One Day in Kuala Lumpur – Things to do

One Day in Kuala Lumpur – Things to do

One Day in Kuala Lumpur is a guide is for people like me who don’t like to spend more than a few days in big cities and are looking to explore Kuala Lumpur in a short time. Yes, it’s possible to do Kuala Lumpur in one day.

One of the Petronas Twin Towers with KL tower in background in Kuala Lumpur

One of the Petronas Twin Towers with KL tower in background in Kuala Lumpur – Picture by Priyanka Kwatra

Kuala Lumpur – this fast growing metropolitan capital of Malaysia is the new gateway to South East Asia. If you are traveling to South East Asia, chances are you will end up in Kuala Lumpur at some point or the other because many budget airlines fly to several other Asian countries from here.

It doesn’t matter if you are in Kuala Lumpur for business or leisure, one thing is for sure – you’re going to LOVE the food here. Seriously, this city offers a delicious culinary ride for even the pickiest of eaters! If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you surely know by know how much I avoid big cities! I have lived in one for many years and I can’t handle them anymore. This is the reason why I did not spend more than two days in this city when I visited it the first time, so I have created a guide for you to help you spend one day in Kuala Lumpur.

How to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to your hotel:

The bad news is, public transport within Kuala Lumpur is expensive. The good news: I’m here to help you cut the cost. Kuala Lumpur’s airport – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has two terminals that are 2KMs away from each other. Most of the flights land at the Main Terminal Building (MTB) and low-cost flights (like Air Asia) land in KLIA2. I flew Air Asia so I landed in KLIA2.

From the airport, you will most likely need to go to KL Sentral to reach your hotel / hostel. KL Sentral is close to Chinatown and connects well to nearby areas in the main city where most of the hotels and hostels are. Here’s an excellent map depicting Kuala Lumpur’s public transport that I found on Wonderful Malaysia’s website which will help you understand how to get around.

In order to get to KL Sentral from KLIA and KLIA2 both, there are two options of super fast airport rail link – KLIA EKSPRES and KLIA Transit. Out of these two, KLIA EKSPRES offers non-stop service, so obviously, it’s faster. Think that you can cut costs by traveling on the slower train? Wrong, they cost the same! A ticket to KL Sentral from any of these trains to any of the airports costs 55 MYR, which is around 14 USD. Unless you’re in a hurry, I’d recommend you walk to the basement of the airport and get on a bus to KL Sentral to save money. It will cost you 20 MYR, which is less than $5.

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

For booking the perfect place to stay in Kuala Lumpur, I highly recommend you visit Traveloka that specializes in flight and hotel booking for South East Asia. This website charges no booking fee and offers a unique interactive price comparison tool. Moreover, if you register and create an account, you can find lower prices. I highly recommend TravelHub, which is in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, just a few minutes walk away from Chinatown or Pasar Seni station.

TravelHub is a hostel style hotel has different themed room on different floors and a roof top attic bar and restaurant. I stayed in a Duplex Suite Room in “Travelhub Highstreet” section of this hotel. The rooms are affordable and comfortable. The complimentary breakfast on the rooftop restaurant was simple but delicious. The staff here was very helpful in helping us with directions and local transport information.

How to spend One Day in Kuala Lumpur:

01 | Visit Batu Caves & Ramayana Cave after breakfast

Imagine limestone cliffs with a series of caves and stalagmites formations inside the caves. The icing on the cake – there are temples inside the caves. Sounds good? Welcome to Batu Caves.

Batu Caves

Batu caves are just a little outside Kuala Lumpur and are super easy to reach by direct train from KL Sentral. The train ticket costs only MYR 5 one way for one person. Just get on to the KTM Seremban Line from KL Sentral, Batu Caves is the last stop on that line. The entry to the caves and temple complex is right outside the train station.

Batu Caves - Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Batu Caves – Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

The Cave complex is free to enter but I recommend you make a small donation. These caves that are next to the Batu River, feature the highest statue of Lord Murugan in the world. It is at the height of 140 feets. The cave complex consists of 3 large caves that have a lot of stalagmite formations. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you will need to climb a lot of stairs to enter one cave from another. Oh, and be prepared to be surrounded by monkeys! They will snatch things out of your hands so don’t hold anything important.

A TIP About traveling to Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur:

If you’re visiting Batu caves just a few hours before your flight, check the train time table before reaching because sometimes the time gap between trains is as long as 30 minutes.

Ramayana Cave

Once you’re in the Batu Caves, do check out the “Ramayana Cave”. The entry to “Ramayana cave” is right before Batu Caves but unlike the latter, it’s not free. The entry fee is only 5 MYRs and is totally worth it. Ramayana Cave is beautiful from inside because it depicts the story of Hindu God Ram as written in the holy book Ramayan. The story is depicted in a narrative manner with statues along the uneven cave walls.

I recommend you spend 2-3 hours here exploring the cave complex and head back to the train station. By the time you’ll be done, it will be lunchtime and restaurants around tourist areas are expensive so its time to get back to the city. From here, get on a train back to KL Sentral and further get onto a monorail (green line) for “Bulkit Bintang” station.

 

02 | Lunch at Bulkit Bintang

Bulkit Bintang district reflects the trendy side of Kuala Lumpur with upscale cafes, a shopping district, an “Arab Street” and more. Kuala Lumpur is one of those cities where the food is delicious almost everywhere. Pick any restaurant at Bulkit Bintang and you are sure to enjoy. Jalan Aloris is Bukit Bintang’s famous hawker food lane. Enjoy a meal of flavorful Curry Laksa, Asam Laksa or local Nyonya delicacies such as rice balls.

Bulkit Bintang district also has some of the world’s most famous malls such as Berjaya Times Square. In case the famous heat of Kuala Lumpur gets to you, you can visit one of the malls to take a little break. Sit in one of the chic cafes and sip something delicious because it’s time to chill before you hit your next stop for the day.

03 | Walk Around the KL Tower

The view of KL Tower - One Day in Kuala Lumpur - things to do

The view of KL Tower – One Day in Kuala Lumpur – things to do

Good news – there is a pedestrian walkway bridge from Bulkit Bintang directly to KLCC. This bridge is a little over a kilometer and is entirely air-conditioned. To be honest, we did not know about this bridge when we visited KL so we ended up walking on the road, which was a lot of fun too.

 

Once you reach KLCC, enjoy the view of KL Tower. You will be able to view the tower from different angles as you walk from KLCC to the Petronas Towers. This tower changes colors and it looks great from a distance. I did not want to take out time to visit this tower. This tower has an observation deck and a sky deck and the entry costs RM 52 and RM105 per person. BONUS: Adventure seekers can also base jump from KL Tower. Click here for more information.

04 | Visit Petronas Towers to enjoy Sunset

 

Visit The Petronas Towers - One Day in Kuala Lumpur

Visit The Petronas Towers – One Day in Kuala Lumpur

 

The Petronas Twin Towers are just a few minutes walk away from KLCC. These towers were the highest skyscrapers in the world from 1998 to 2004 and even today, they are the highest set of twin towers. I suggest you reach here a little before sunset so that you get an opportunity to watch how the towers change colors.

Walk around the Petronas Towers complex, as there are plenty of amazing spots to sit back and enjoy the view of the change of colors on the towers at sunset time. Watch how everything lights up as it gets dark and make sure to click a few photos!

 

Optional: Walk on the Sky Bridge Between the Petronas Twin Towers

If you don’t mind spending, the ticket to access the sky bridge to travel from one tower to another is RM 85 per person. The locals, of course, pay a lower price or RM 30. The sunset time is usually between 7 and 7:30 pm in Kuala Lumpur so try reaching this area by 6:45 PM or around. The entry to the towers closes at 9 PM.

I have kept this point as optional because not everyone would want to spend so much to enter the towers, like me. You can visit the official website for Petronas Towers and book your ticket online because it’s difficult to find tickets on sunset time due to limited availability.

05 | Walk Around Chinatown (Petaling Street) and Eat Dinner

Visit Chinatown for Night Market and Dinner - One Day in Kuala Lumpur - Things to do

Visit Chinatown for Night Market and Dinner – One Day in Kuala Lumpur – Things to do

It’s very easy to reach Chinatown from KLCC because you can get on a direct train to Pasar Seni station and walk directly to the market. Alternatively, you can also walk to the market from Jalan Petaling or Maharajalela Monorail stations. True to its character, Chinatown is exactly how it is in other big cities with small gadget shops, cheap imitations and a lot of food options.

At the time when I visited, the streets were decorated with pretty little red lanterns and the night market was bustling with activity. We ate dinner at one of the roadside Chinese restaurants where the prices were affordable. If you want to try some different food, head to the nearby “Little India”. I was too tired after Chinatown and ended up visiting Little India only when I visited KL for the second time.

Optional: Visit Little India for Dinner

Although KL has a bigger area that’s called “Little India”, the one that’s next to Chinatown is a smaller one and is next to Masjid Jamek station. This Little India is more like Little Madras with amazing Chettinad food (Cuisine from the Chettinad region of South India). This is the only place in the world where Indian food tastes good outside of India. I’m an Indian food snob so it’s a big compliment. I ate an amazing meal of fish curry with Malabari paratha at one of the roadside restaurants here. No, I did not eat a double dinner but these are two separate visits.

Wondering where to go after visiting Kuala Lumpur? Check out our travel guides for a few more destinations in Malaysia:

Melaka – This riverside historical town is only two hours away from Kuala Lumpur.

Penang – It’s an island in North of Malaysia that’s famous for its food.

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Have you been to Kuala Lumpur and have a few tips to share? Let me know in the comments.

One Day in Kuala Lumpur - Things to do, see, eat and what public transport to take
Things to do in Kuala Lumpur - One Day in Kuala Lumpur

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

Explore Penang (Malaysia) Like a Local

Explore Penang (Malaysia) Like a Local

This guest post about Penang, Malaysia has been written by Vivian Lee as a part of “Explore Like a Local” series. Explore Like a Local is an initiative by Drifter Planet to help you get insider tips about destinations all over the world. Want to write about your hometown? Contact me!

Introducing Penang, Malaysia

Penang has long been recognized as a world-class food paradise, the Penang cuisine is heavily influenced by the Peranakan culture (Baba and Nyonya), same goes to another historic port in Malaysia — Malacca. Penang was also featured in various major media, earning the title of “2nd best city in the world to retire in” and “4th best cities to visit by Lonely Planet”. What’s the hype all about you asked? Well, you have to come here to experience it all yourself: food, culture, heritage, history, people and Penang hospitality! Penang surely will not disappoint.

Where to stay in Penang on a budget

There are a lot of budget hostels all over Georgetown, you will never run short of selections. Price ranges from RM20 to RM40 per night. I highly recommend Red Inn right opposite to Guang Yin Ting temple because it is near to major attractions and it is along the route of the free CAT bus. but really, anywhere is fine. Cost of a bed in the dormitory is around USD 5 and a double room costs USD 11. Click here to book Red Inn.
Click here to see hotels in Penang

 

Georgetown Penang, Malaysia

Georgetown Penang, Malaysia

Things to do in Penang, Malaysia

Let’s talk about touristy things to do first: 

01 | Murals and street art in Georgetown: it is touristy but really, a lot of locals do this too. Rent a bike and hunt down all the street arts in Georgetown. You will be given a “Mural Map” when picking up your bike.

02 | Cafes in Georgetown: A lot of cafes with creative themes start budding out around Georgetown since 2014. I’ll tell you some of my favorite: Moon Tree cafe and Mugshot cafe on Jalan Muntri and China House on Lebuh Pantai.

03 | Pagoda Kek Lok Si: One of the most important iconic building of Penang (other than Komtar), this is a Buddhist Temple built on a hill. You’ll have to “hike” a path linedwith souvenir stalls to get to the temple.

 

Kek Lok Si temple, Penang, Malaysia

Kek Lok Si temple, Penang, Malaysia

 

04 | Penang Hill: Come here to take in an unobstructed vista of the city! When you are coming down, try to snag a seat in the first compartment of the cable car and imagine you’re on a rollercoaster.

Others: Snake temple, Botanical Garden, Fort Cornwallis, Gurney Drive and many more.

Off the beaten path: 

01 | Take the historical ferry across the Straits of Malacca and visit Butterworth, where good street food can be found in Raja Uda and the best seafood can be found at Pantai Bersih.

02 | Take a Rapid to the north end of the island, Teluk Bahang where you need to trek for 2 hours to reach Pantai Kerachut and the meromictic lake.

What to eat in Penang (and where)

Assam laksa (Thick rice noodle bathed in spicy sour fish soup, topped with a generous amount of raw vegetables), best in Air Itam Pasar

Food in Penang, Malaysia

Food in Penang, Malaysia

Hokien Mee (Prawn Mee with spicy red pork broth), best at Chew Jetty Cafe

Cendol (Green worm-like rice flour jelly served with shaved ice together with a delightful coconut milk+ palm sugar mixture.), best at Penang Street.

Delicious Cendol in Penang, Malaysia

Delicious Cendol in Penang, Malaysia

Char Koey Teow (Flat noodles fried on old-school charcoal stove, topped with prawns and bloody cockles), best at Lorong Selamat

Baba Nyonya Kuih (cute colorful Peranakan sweets), you can get it anywhere (all equally good).

Learn more about Penang Street Food on the blog Miss HappyFeet.

What to avoid in Penang

I can’t say that it is a tourist trap but personally, I’d advise my couch surfers to skip the food at Gurney Drive and head to Macalister Road instead. Don’t get me wrong, Gurney Drive is great, it is an amazing place to soak up the vibes in Penang, but I personally think that the Macalister road food court serves better food.

Best way to get around in Penang

The CAT bus is definitely the best way to go around Georgetown, it is convenient and not to mention, free. If you are getting out of Georgetown, take a Rapid bus.

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Explore Penang (Malaysia) Like a Local

Explore Penang (Malaysia) Like a Local

I am an average Malaysian girl born and raised in Penang, battling a chronic disease of itchy feet. The only cure for it is to keep exploring. In 2012, I moved 4500 miles away from Malaysia to Russia for my education but I often think about my hometown, especially when I’m hungry. Currently, I am a full-time student, part-time online magazine contributor, magazine columnist, and freelance writer. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Vivian Lee

Miss HappyFeet

Paper Plane Hostel in Kuala Lumpur – Coolness Overload!

Paper Plane Hostel in Kuala Lumpur – Coolness Overload!

Being budget travelers, San and I have stayed in many different kinds of hostels in numerous cities. They’re affordable, fun and are unarguably the best spots to meet other backpackers. From vividly colorful walls to inexpensive decor, most of the hostels are usually similar. Perhaps it is the comfort of the familiarity that keeps pulling us back.

This is exactly what we were expecting as we got off KL’s swanky monorail at Hang Tuah station and decided to walk to Paper Plane Hostel . As we crossed luxurious Swiss Garden Hotel and entered a small street that was definitely an upmarket residential area, I remarked to San that we were lost. He agreed because the last time he was in KL, he had spent the night in a dingy hostel which was a minute away from Chinatown’s messy streets. This street was too clean for a hostel!

One minute and 15 steps later, we caught ourselves staring in amazement at a signboard of Paper Plane Hostel which was outside a classy multi-story building. The instant we entered, we knew it was not a normal hostel. We were greeted by Andrew, a cheerful staff member who handed us our key, “this bed is taken” magnet sign and a map of KL. As we stood barefoot on a sparkly clean floor while Andrew circled a few landmarks on the map for us, we couldn’t help but gaze around distractedly at the walls.

This place looked too good to be a hostel.

Paper Plane Hostel Interiors

Paper Plane Hostel Interiors

Our fatigue left us as we followed Andrew inside the hostel to the next floor. Everything was too classy here! Our eyes wandered around to absorb every arty detail as we climbed up the steps. Subtle black mural painting on stark white walls perfectly complimented the architectural elements of the inside space. The rawness of brick wall accent next to the white walls harmoniously incorporated into the super hipster and arty vibe of this place.

Paper Plane Hostel's Hip Interiors

Paper Plane Hostel’s Hip Interiors

We walked by some dormitories that looked spotlessly clean and finally reached our room. Like every time, San jumped on the bed with all the luggage so I lost my opportunity to click a picture. Our room had everything that we needed – an electric kettle, an alarm clock, towels, a USB charger, hangers, a study desk and an extra strong AC. (Trust me, you need a very strong AC in Kuala Lumpur)

Right outside our room were shared toilet stalls that were fully stocked with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and toothpaste. Seriously, we have never seen shared toilets to be so clean! The best part? A peeing dog artwork outside the WC and a dog enjoying rainfall outside the shower. Quirky yet surprisingly chic!

Paper Plane Hostel Shared Toilet Stalls

Paper Plane Hostel Shared Toilet Stalls

After a long shower, San and I decided to check out the rooftop area. While the insides of the hostel have a wooden floor, the rooftop area is covered with a grassy carpet. The rooftop overlooked some buildings and a few skyscrapers. We knew we were going to spend most of our time here.

Rooftop Area of Paper Plane Hostel KL

Rooftop Area of Paper Plane Hostel KL

A chat with one of the partners – Kenny revealed that on this spot was once a house but is now a newly transformed Hostel. The three partners Kenny, Samuel and Lawrence are high school buddies who have different professions but saved up to start this hostel for their love of traveling.

Suggested reading: Vegan Food Guide for Kuala Lumpur

The artist behind the wall art is owner’s friend and Bangkok’s well-known artist – Jew (real name is Worapot). The hostel interiors were designed by the owners based on what they feel is comfortable as per their personal experience of years of traveling and backpacking. It took them 10 months of design and renovation before they officially opened for business in November 2015.

If you’re planning on traveling to Kuala Lumpur, I highly recommend Paper Plane hostel. The location is perfect because it’s a comfortable walk from the LRT station and Chinatown, yet it’s away from the noise of the busy main street.   The amenities here will give you the comfort of an expensive hotel with the price and environment of a hostel. I can’t wait to go back to Kuala Lumpur so that I can spend a few days in Paper Plane Hostel again.

Paper Plane Hostel in Kuala Lumpur was the best hostel experience of my life! What was yours?

Paper Plane Hostel, Kuala Lumpur details

Read reviews on TripAdvisor or Compare prices on Hotelscombined.com

Location: Near Pudu Sentral Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur

Price range: $17 for a bunk bed and $40 for a private room.

Book Now (deals): Agoda.com or Booking.com

Click HERE to book Paper Plane Hostel, Kuala Lumpur.

Disclaimer: Our stay in Paper Plane Hostel was complimentary but the opinions expressed in this article are honest and straight from our hearts. A big thanks to the staff of Paper Plane hostel for giving us a WOW experience.

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Things to do in Melaka, Malaysia

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

8 Things to do in Melaka, Malaysia – the Amsterdam of Asia

8 Things to do in Melaka, Malaysia – the Amsterdam of Asia

Things to do in Melaka – the Amsterdam of Asia

Am I still in Asia?

I thought to myself as I walked around the streets of Melaka.

Everything around me looked very European – the architecture, street art, cute little cafes and wait… did I just see a windmill on the road?

Melaka (or Malacca) is a beautifully preserved heritage city in Malaysia. With its colorful cafes, graffiti, random windmills on the streets – it looks more European and is unlike any other Asian city that I have seen. Seriously, with a river that runs across the city which can be mistaken as a canal, this Malaysian city made me feel like I was back in Amsterdam. Minus the dope.

Beautiful Melecca at Night - Things to do in Melaka

Beautiful Melecca at Night – Things to do in Melaka

Melaka is ONLY a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, so many people visit it on a day trip but in my opinion, the city deserves at least a full day and night. The entire Melaka city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

How to Reach Melaka

Bus: Buses from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka run every hour from Kuala Lumpur airport (KLIA2) or Kuala Lumpur Sentral. The cost of a direct bus from KLIA2 to Melaka is 24 Ringgits per person. The cost of a ticket from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Melaka is around 10-15 Ringgits. Do keep in mind that a bus ticket costs 11 Ringgits from the airport (KLIA2) to Kuala Lumpur Sentral, so opt for a direct bus if you are starting your journey from the airport. The bus journey takes around 2 hours.

The bus will leave you at Melaka Sentral, from where you can catch bus 17 to the main city which costs 1-2 Ringgits per person. This bus stops at all the main areas such as Dutch Square, Mahkota Parade, and Ramada Plaza. If you don’t have a Malaysian SIM card, download an offline map of Melaka on your phone for walking directions from the bus stop to your hotel.

Where to Stay in Melaka

If you do end up visiting Melaka, I strongly recommend you stay in Olive Flashpackers. This hostel is in the heart of Melaka. Just let the driver of Bus 17 know that you need to get off at Ramada Plaza and its just 7 minutes’ walk from there.

Olive Flashpackers Melaka

The Super Spacious and Luxurious Olive Flashpackers Hostel in Melaka

This newly renovated hostel is unlike any other hostel and has everything that a traveler needs – starting from super comfortable beds in a very spacious dormitory, games, FREE to use toiletries, bathroom clogs (traditional Melaka), hair dryer, ironing board, lockers, many shelves, etc. It’s affordable and super convenient. Seriously, you will not need to unpack your toiletries, towels, etc.

Recommended reading: Reasons to visit Malaysia

Things to do in Melaka –

 01 | Get on a boat for a River Cruise

Boat Ride - River Cruise in Melaka

Boat Ride – River Cruise in Melaka

A fun way to see the best of Melaka is by taking a 45 boat ride on the river. The boat will take you on a circular trip and will cross some famous landmarks, Melaka eye, cute riverside bars, a lot of street art and more! The best time to do this is at sunset so that you can see the beauty of this city as the colors change.

The entire city glows as the darkness descends and the reflection of lights on the water makes the city look bejeweled. This is the best thing we did in Melaka. Seriously, there is no better way to see this beautiful city than this. This costed us 20 Malaysian Ringgits per person and was worth every penny. We also received cookies and juice with the ferry tickets.

Tip: get ready to be sprayed with some river water if you take the front row seats.

02 | Visit Jonker street at night (Chinatown)

Jonker Street of Melaka at Night

Jonker Street of Melaka at Night

Jonker street is the main Chinatown area of Melaka. Just like every other Chinatown, many vendors open small stalls on the streets selling different souvenirs, tank tops, knick knacks, food and drink items. This street starts from the canal that is next to Dutch square and ends at the end of the road. In my opinion, Chinatown in Melaka is way fuller and offers more things to do than the Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur.

Jonker Street Melaka Day

Jonker Street of Melaka During the Day

03 | Check out the Heritage Landmarks, Temples and Mosques

A’Famosa Fort Melaka

A’Famosa Fort – Things to do in Melaka

There are many famous landmarks in Melaka that are mostly next to each other, so can be visited together in just a few hours. Visit A’Famosa Fort (Porta de Santiago), Dutch Square (that has a clock tower and windmill), Saint Paul’s Church, Christ Church, maritime and museums, Malacca Straits Mosque, etc. It’s amazing how this little town has Mosques, Churches, Chinese Temples, Hindu and Sikh temples next to each other.

04 | Ride a Tricycle and Feel Like a Child

As we entered the main heritage area of Melaka, we saw many tricycle rickshaw carts that were excessively decorated with toys, Disney characters, flowers and LED lights. Each one was very true to its theme in matching colors – Hello Kitty, Minions, Superman, etc. Here are a few pictures.

Perfect rides for little kids, no? Wrong.

To our surprise, we saw a few grownups sitting on them and some of them looked slightly embarrassed. We then got to know that these carts can be hired for 30 – 60 minutes and in that duration, they ride around the famous landmarks. At night, these carts light up in psychedelic colors and play super loud music. They are very expensive (RM 30 for 30-40 mins) but we decided to ride one anyway, much to Sandro’s embarrassment.

05 | Explore the city on a bicycle

A cyclist outside Christ Church Melaka

Rent a bicycle – Things to do in Melaka – A cyclist outside Christ Church Melaka

The best way to explore Melaka is on a bicycle (just like Amsterdam). Many different kinds of bicycles are available for rent for around 15 – 20 RM for half or full days. Melaka has a good road system for bicycles and it is definitely one of the more affordable ways of exploring this city.

Read: Things to do in Kuala Lumpur 

06 | Visit Geographer Cafe or Discovery Cafe for a drink

Geographer Cafe Melaka

Geographer Cafe Melaka

Geographer Café is perhaps the most famous cafe (or bar) or Melaka and is a perfect place to chill over a few beers. This cafe is in the middle of Jonker street and is easy to spot. The best table is the corner one on top that overlooks the length of Jonker street. The food here is not the best so it makes sense to only enjoy beer a few drinks here. A glass of draft beer will cost you RM 15. Alternatively, you can also visit Discovery Café, which is as popular and you can spot this cute yellow building from a distance.

07 | Enjoy Local Nyonya Food

Nyonya Food in Melaka

Nyonya Food in Melaka

My favorite way to enjoy a new place is by experiencing the local food. The local food here is Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine which has been passed down from early Chinese migrants who settled here. The result is a mix of Chinese and Malaysian and is definitely worth a try!

My recommendation is not to eat at one of the overly expensive restaurants in or around Jonker street. Instead, try to find a place which is visited by the locals. We were lucky enough to find one such place where we enjoyed fish ball soup, rice balls, salted fish salad and roasted chicken. The rice balls tasted heavenly when dipped in soup. Yum. A must try for dessert lovers is Cendol. It is a local delicacy that is made with coconut milk, lurid green noodles and gula Melaka (Malacca sugar). I also tried sea coconut juice which was brown in color and did not taste like usual coconut water. I really enjoyed trying different iced teas and different coffees.

08 | Walk Around Aimlessly

Colorful Buildings of Maleka

Colorful Buildings of Maleka

In my opinion, the best way to explore a city is on foot and Melaka is no exception. This city is a photographer’s delight and every corner has a sight to behold. I recommend you take out at least an hour to walk along the river or the main town to explore this charming city on your own. Who knows what you may end up discovering? Keep in mind that it’s always summer in Melaka so do this only after 5 pm and do not forget to carry a hat and a bottle of water. An excellent spot for a photograph is THIS corner next to the wheels.

Charming Melaka of Malaysia (or Malacca)

Charming Melaka of Malaysia (or Malacca)

Apart from these 8 things, there are a few other things that can be enjoyed such as a visit to the 3D Museum – we did not to do this because the entry ticket is extremely expensive and it makes more sense to visit one of the bigger 3D museums in Langkawi or Bangkok. It is also possible to visit the beach but we decided not to do this as well because we have seen many beautiful beaches and we wanted to enjoy the main beauty of this town – the river.

A big thanks to Olive Flashpackers for providing a complimentary stay to Sandro and I.

All opinions are my own, not influenced by any third party.

Did you find this list of things to do in Melaka useful? If so, share the love on social media.

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Have you visited Melaka already and have a few tips to share? Let me know in the comments section.

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Explore Penang like a Local

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Things to do in Melaka, Malaysia - Amsterdam of Asia! A Travel Guide for Malacca

Things to do in Melaka, Malaysia – Amsterdam of Asia! A Travel Guide for Malacca

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

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