Transportation - Get In
Malacca International Airport (formerly Batu Berendam Airport) is located about 10 km from the city of Malacca. However, there are no flights from or to this airport since March 2014.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA, is the nearest major airport and is about 1.5-2 hr away by car.
Malaysia Airlines does not fly to Malacca, but it maintains an office at Lot 1&2, Block A, Ground floor, Century Mahkota Hotel, J. Merdeka, Melaka. +60 6 282 9597.
Malacca Town is not served by any railway lines. The nearest railway station is at Pulau Sebang/Tampin, +60 6 341 1034, in the Alor Gajah district about 30 km (18 mi) away. The station is on the main Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru line and served by all trains.
Via Bus:The "Tai Lye" bus goes from the Tampin townsite to Malacca. You'll be looking for bus #26. When you get off the train, walk down the road to the right about 400m until you reach the main road. You now have two options. 1) Cross the road and wait until bus 26 comes toward you, wave madly at it, and it will stop to pick you up. 2) When you reach the main road, turn left and walk about 600m into town. You'll come to an intersection that T's the main road, with a road branching left up a hill. Walk up that road about 200m and the bus station is on your left. This is a less risk but more walk option. If you've got lots of luggage, you can also take a taxi from the train station to the bus station. If you get lost walking, just ask locals for the "bus station". Few speak English here, but they'll understand where you want to get to. The bus fare is RM4.30, and you'll need actual Ringit currency to pay it with. The trip takes about an hour and a half.
Via Taxi:There should be a taxi or two at the train station waiting for someone like you to come along. If there isn't, walk into town with the above directions. You'll see one soon enough. The cost will be somewhere around RM50, but you can try haggling a bit. Either way, get them to take you to your hotel, or if they can only take you to Malacca Sentral, get a cheaper fare (don't wait to discuss this in the taxi!). Honestly, if you have the cash, and more than just a briefcase, this is the easier option. The cars are air conditioned (another bargaining chip if they aren't), and have trunk space for your gear. Plus, you could share the cost with up to three other people. Or if you are alone, maybe there is a local who's also trying to get to Malacca and would appreciate a free ride? Remember to be safe though. Don't get into your taxi until the driver has, always pay at the destination, and watch your stuff! The trip by taxi takes about 40 minutes.
Salira (light blue and yellow) also goes from Melaka Sentral to Tampin via Ayer Keroh and Durian Tunggal. Get off bus at same spot as Tai Lye.
Many long-distance express buses connect Malacca with both Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Johor Bahru, Singapore and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia. All long-distance and local buses now operate from the Melaka Sentral bus terminal, a good 4.5 km from the historic core of the city.
To reach the main historical district take bus number 17 which departs from the domestic bus terminal of Melaka Sentral at the bus bay '17'. This bus goes to Chinatown and Taming Sari. The closest stop to Chinatown is Dutch Square, which you will easily identify from the brick red Christ Church and Stadthuys. Price is RM1/person. Note that bus 17 is a loop line, so when you need to go back to Melaka Sentral you will take it at the same place where you got off, but using bus 17 back to Melaka Sentral does take much longer than the inbound journey. If you wish to take a taxi instead then head towards the rear of the building. There's an official taxi stand that will appoint a driver to you. The standard rate is 20RM for a trip to any hotel in the city.
From Malacca International Airport
- Batang Bus (yellow, cream and red) from Melaka Sentral will go past the airport. Buses will stop by the main road about 200m from the airport building. Tuahbas No. 65 (blue and white) to Taman Merdeka also goes from Melaka Sentral past the airport via Bachang.
From Kuala Lumpur
Southbound buses now leave from new bus terminal Bersepadu Selatan, which is located just next to LRT station and KTM Komuter station Bandar Tasik Selatan. Easiest way to get there from Chinatown is walk to Kuala Lumpur old railway station (just opposite side of canal from LRT Pasar Seni station, use overpass) and take KTM Komuter train for RM1.10 or take LRT from Masjid Jamek station. Buses are leaving every half hour, cartel price of ticket to Melaka Sentral is RM12.20 with all bus companies, ride takes 2 hours.
From Kuala Lumpur International airport
- Transnasional runs 4 direct buses daily at 09:15, 11:45, 16:15 & 20:15 (RM22/16 adult/child), travelling time 2 hours 30min, but if you miss them, you'll have to detour via KL or take a taxi with travelling time about 1.5 hours (fixed "budget" fare RM159, 1 way, counter inside Domestic Arrivals, the guard will happily let you and your trolley of luggage back into this area from outside).
Many bus companies operate from Lavender St. bus terminal directly to Melaka Sentral. Bus schedules vary between companies but some operates have hourly buses. Best show up and buy tickets in advance if you want to travel on Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon as many Singaporean tourists have the same idea. The fares can vary starting from around SGD14-50 one way depending on class of the bus.
Bus rides often take any time between 3.5–5 hours depending on how long it takes to cross the Singapore-Malaysia borders, which during peak periods can cause massive delay. You will have to get your passport stamped at each end of the border and you must bring all your luggage with you when you are making an entrance into each country. Generally, the bus will wait for you at the border but sometimes they will expect you to catch the next bus if you take too long going through custom. Make sure you remember what you bus looks like (the number plate is quite a handy thing to remember). The buses will also have a 20-30min rest stop along the way where you can purchase food and use the toilet facilities (whose cleanliness can be questionable). The Singapore customs area has decent toilet facilities, if required.
Some of the companies operating to/from Malacca are:
- Transnasional, is the largest long-distance bus operator in Malaysia. It links the state with a host of destinations in Peninsular Malaysia like Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Singapore and further afield. Transnasional buses depart from Malacca City (Melaka Sentral), Alor Gajah, A'Famosa Resort and Masjid Tanah.
- Malacca-Kuala Lumpur Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Kuala Lumpur from 05:30-19:00. Tickets cost RM12.50.
- Jebat Ekspres: Buses to Kuala Lumpur via Masjid Tanah and Alor Gajah.
- Malacca-Singapore Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Johor Bahru and Singapore 08:00-19:00. Tickets cost RM19.00 to/from Johor Baru, and RM22.00 to Singapore. The route from Singapore to Malacca is SGD20
- Delima Express: Buses from Singapore to Malacca/ Malacca to Singapore. Tickets cost $20.80/ RM22. The boarding location at Singapore is City Plaza @ Payar Lebar. Online bookings are available.
- Mayang Sari Express: Buses to/from Johor Baru. Tickets cost RM19.00.
- MCW Express: Frequent express services to Muar, Johor
- 707 Travel: Favourite bus company of Chinese-Singaporeans going to Malacca. Departs 4-5 times to/from Malacca (Melaka Sentral) and Singapore (Queen Street). Does not stop at Yong Peng, so the trip can be as short as 3.5 hours. SGD 25 from Singapore; RM25 from Malacca.
Malacca can be accessed from the North South Expressway. When coming from the south, drive along E2 and leave the expressway at theAyer Keroh exit. Alternatively, one can leave the highway at the Simpang Empat exit and proceed through normal road to Melaka. This route will pass through the town of Alor Gajah and now with the new highway (ring road) completed, the trip from Simpang Empat to Melaka will take approximately 20-30 min by car.
Malacca city is on the Coastal Trunk Road (Federal Route 5), and can be accessed from the Main Trunk Road (Federal Route 1) by turning off at Simpang Kendong or Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. Malacca is 150 km (93 mi) from Kuala Lumpur, 216 km (134 mi) from Johor Bahru, and 90 km (56 mi) from Port Dickson.
Rent a car
For those who want an easy and direct way out from either Kuala Lumpur's LCCT or KLIA airport to Melaka, an easy way is to rent or hire a car or van. It will take you about 1-1.5 hr to get there. Prices range from RM150-RM400 depending upon the vehicle type and rental duration.
Chartered taxi services are available from the end of Jalan Kee Ann. They travel within Melaka state and outside Melaka such as to KLIA International Airport and Kuala Lumpur and carry up to 4 passengers at a time. Many taxis will use a set fare rather than a meter for such trips, so you should agree on a price before getting in. If you rather avoid the negotiations, most hotels are able to book these trips for you (although some may take a rather large commission, so check the fare), or you can book online through a range of companies. Typical fares to KLIA are around 150-200RM, depending also on the car model. Family-taxis are available from some companies.
Daily ferries run to and from Bengkalis, Dumai and Pekanbaru in Sumatra,Indonesia. All ferries arrive and depart from the Harbour Master's jetty(Jeti Shahbandar) at Taman Melaka Raya near the Maritime Museum. To get to/away from Jetty: Malacca Town Bus No. 17 (Green) goes near the Harbour Master's jetty which is just down the road from the Red Square.
- To/From Dumai:
- Tunas Rupat Follow Me Express (Malacca ticketing booth at Jln PM10 Melaka Raya. +60 6 281 6766, office +60 6 283 2506, +60 6 283 2516; Dumai agent: Jl. Jend. Sudirman 4. +62 7 653 1398) operates two ferries daily. They depart Malacca for Dumai at 9AM and 3PM. Journey time is just under 2 hr. Tickets cost RM110/170 1-way/return.
- To/From Pekanbaru:
- Tunas Rupat Follow Me Express (Malacca ticketing booth at Jln PM10 Melaka Raya. Tel: +60 6-2816766, office +60 6 2832506, +60 6 2832516; Pekanbaru agent: Jl. Tanjung Datuk No 153, Pekanbaru. +62 761 858777) has ferries from Pekanbaru to Malacca on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0900. From Malacca to Pekanbaru, they depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9:30AM. The journey takes about six and a half hours. Tickets cost RM120/210 1-way/return from Malacca to Pekanbaru.
- NNH Ferry Services Malacca ticketing booth G-15, Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya. +60 6 288 1334 runs the Pelita Jaya ferry from Malacca to Pekanbaru on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9AM.
- To/From Bengkalis:
- Laksamana Group (Malacca ticketing office stalls on Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya) has ferries from Malacca to Bengkalis in Riau Province, Sumatra, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays departing at 1100. Ferries connect to Selat Panjang where there are onward ferries to Batam and the other Riau Islands. From Bengkalis, ferries depart on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30AM.
- Mulia Kencana (Malacca ticketing office Stall No. 5, Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya. Mobile +60 13 373 3545, +60 16 682 6896, +60 12 339 8428) operates three ferries a week from Malacca to Bengkalis. Ferries connect to the town of Pakning. From Malacca, ferries depart on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 1PM. Tickets cost RM50/80 1-way/return. Tickets from Bengkalis to Pakning cost a further Rp 10,000.
Bengkalis are not listed as a visa-free or visa-on-arrival point of entry into Indonesia. However, those entitled to visa-free entry, or at least Malaysian passport holders, do not seem to face any problems.
Transportation - Get Around
Malacca is by no means a small city, but most of the main sites are within easy walking distance from each other and are best explored on foot. Be mindful not to hold up traffic while taking pictures of buildings. The locals have generally good driving sense and adhere to traffic laws.
A 1.6-km monorail system was opened with much fanfare in October 2010, but it was plagued with problems and promptly taken out of service. As of December 2010, the monorail is not operational and its planned extension is in doubt.
Metered Taxis are just about everywhere. Chartered taxis on Jalan Kee Ann also travel within the city and should not cost more than RM15 per ride. Taxi Drivers are quite tourist friendly though not all taxi drivers will speak English. A few taxi drivers also maintain their business cards for more business from tourists.
Some taxis do not to use the meters and try to overcharge foreigners, apparently also giving kickbacks to reservation agents at hotel concierge desks.
Streets in the older/historical part of the city are very narrow, so they quickly become clogged during peak hours. This is especially so during the weekends, when cars from other parts of Malaysia and from Singapore flood to the city. Finding a car park lot is also extremely difficult during weekends. Most of the roads are also one-way, so plan your route properly.
- Malacca Town Bus No 17: Melaka Sentral Terminal to the historic core, Mahkota Parade, Melaka Raya and the Portuguese Settlement. The fare from Melaka Sentral to Makhota Parade is RM1. The last bus from Melaka Sentral leaves at 8:30PM, after which you would have to take a taxi which costs 20 RM to Mahkota Parade. To get to Melaka Sentral from Jonker Street, walk to the bus-stop opposite the Tamil Methodist Church or outside the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTM) City Campus on Jalan Hang Tuah and take Bus No 17 (RM1, 10 minutes).
- Malacca Town Bus No 8: Melaka Sentral to Town Square for RM1.
- Malacca Town Bus No 18: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Tengkera and onwards to Pokok Mangga
- Malacca Town Bus No 19: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Ayer Keroh (Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia). The fare from Melaka Sentral to Ayer Keroh (Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia) is around RM 3
- Malacca Town Bus No. 50: Melaka Sentral Terminal to the Mahkota Parade shopping centre and nearby seafood restaurants
- Kenderaan Aziz (red and white): Buses from Melaka Sentral to Muar via Padang Temu also go past the historic core, Mahkota Parade and Melaka Raya
Generally the bus system in Malacca is worse than chaotic: there doesn't seem to be a schedule (one can wait for more than an hour for a bus on the coast just north of Malacca), and information about where and what buses to catch at Sentral is non-existent (you may get lucky looking at the printed paper displays near the front of the busses).
- Trishaws, complete with blaring pop music and fake flowers are available as well for short trips between tourist spots or circular tours. The drivers are very cheerful and friendly. The going rate is RM 40 per hour, but settle any price in advance.
- Bicycle, hire a bicycle or join a cycling tour group. Some of the hostels, homestays and hotels either provide loan or rental bicycles to their guests for local sightseeing. Major local attractions have an extensive internal road or track system often have bicycles available.
- River boat : Melaka River Cruise offers a 'hop-on hop-off' service (RM 30/day), but during busy times (esp. weekend evenings) don't expect to get a seat anywhere other than near the ticket office landing.