The Portuguese Settlement in Melaka is one of those rare places we consider a “hidden gem”, as we think it’s a must-visit. It’s a vibrant small area, where people from different parts of the world can immerse themselves in Portugal’s rich culture and of course, amazing delicacies.
If you’re planning on visiting soon, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve curated a guide below just for you where we’ll tackle the things you can expect, dishes to try, places to stay and more–let’s get started!
Standard Malaysia Time Time (GMT+8)
Best Time to Go
The best time to visit the Portuguese Settlement in Melaka is hands down during holidays. This is because, during this time, the standing houses in the settlement will be decorated with colourful lights and other kinds of beautiful Christmas decorations.
However, we do want to note that these months (November and December) are also known as the rainy season in Melaka. This being said, you can’t predict whether or not rainfall will occur so just make sure to pack an umbrella to be sure.
If you don’t want your visit to be restricted by rain and strong winds, we’d recommend visiting during the dry months (April, May and October). Melaka is hot and humid all year round but these months see the least amount of rainfall.
Things to Know
How to Get to Portuguese Settlement in Melaka
Trains: The easiest (and often, the fastest) way to get around the city is by train. There are Paris metro and RER train stops throughout the city.
Buses: Melaka makes riding the bus comfortable and accessible for tourists and locals by featuring air conditioning and cheap fares. This is a great option if you really want to feel like a local on your trip to the Portuguese Settlement and save money at the same time.
Some of the nearest bus stops in the Portuguese Settlement include:
Taxis: Riding a taxi is one of the most convenient ways of getting around Melaka. You can find them just about everywhere and they can take you to virtually anywhere in the city, including the settlement, with ease!
Keep in mind that taxi drivers are required to use the fare metre by law. If you find one that insists on a fixed price that’s ridiculously high, it would be better to find another cab.
Grab: Meanwhile, if you don’t want to haggle for prices with taxi drivers, you can simply book a ride through the Grab app. This lets you get around town with ease and the best part is that the rate is already fixed–plus it also helps that you can get picked up from anywhere.
Car rental: The best way to get to Melaka’s Portuguese Settlement is by renting a car, as this provides you and your loved ones with the best privacy and comfort. Furthermore, it lets you stop by other attractions in Melaka with ease.
There are several reputable car rental companies in Melaka as well as in other cities and states such as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Check out our guide on choosing a car rental company here to help find the best option for you.
Where to Stay near the Portuguese Settlement
DoubleTree by Hilton Melaka
Address: Jalan Melaka Raya 23, Hatten City, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-222 3333
DoubleTree by Hilton Melaka is one of the most luxurious hotels you can choose that’s near the Portuguese Settlement. It’s a 5-star hotel that ticks all the boxes needed for a comfortable night’s stay from clean and spacious rooms to amazing amenities and world-class facilities.
One of our absolute favourite things about this hotel is the roof deck swimming pool, as it lets guests relax and enjoy a beautiful view of Melaka. Aside from that, we think that you’ll also enjoy its on-site restaurant, which serves delicious local and international dishes.
Address: 212, Jln Parameswara, Kampung Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-281 9888
Rosa Malacca is an artsy designer hotel that’s sure to captivate your heart the first time you lay your eyes on it. The overall vibe of the place is rustic and it will instantly make you feel like you’re in a lavish apartment in NYC, with its beautiful brick walls and exposed metal beams.
The rooms they have here are worth highlighting as well, as they’re quite large and most importantly neat. They also come with every amenity you need for a comfortable stay in the city, from plush beds to air conditioning, hot water, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and more.
Sojourn Guest House Melaka
Address: World UNESCO Heritage City, 63, Jalan Ujong Pasir, Taman Aman, 75050 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-292 1133
If you’re looking for a homey kind of stay, we recommend staying at Sojourn Guest House Melaka. This place will pamper you throughout your stay by treating you to different spa services, leaving you feeling like a completely brand-new person by the time you check out.
Aside from that, they’ll also prepare some delicious hearty dishes for you during your stay to keep you refreshed inside your body as well! These amenities, paired with their comfortable and neat rooms make for an amazing resort-like experience that will relieve your stress in an instant!
Riviera Suites Melaka
Address: Taman Pulau Melaka, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-288 9168
Riviera Suites Melaka is a great option if you’re looking for beautiful but budget-friendly accommodation in the city. This lodging option looks different from others, as it features a charming old town-like design that will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time.
However, its rooms, facilities and amenities are anything but dated, as it features a swimming pool, a fitness centre and a plethora of restaurants outside. Plus, since it’s by the waterfront, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the calm river while you’re in your room!
Hatten Hotel Melaka
Address: Jln Merdeka, Banda Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-286 9696
If you’re willing to do a bit of travelling and you want to stay in one of the best hotels in Malacca, we recommend checking out Hatten Hotel Melaka. This is a luxurious 5-star establishment that will spoil you and your loved ones with the best rooms, amenities and facilities during your stay.
One of the biggest highlights of staying here is getting to access their sky lounge, where you can drink, dine and admire stunning views of the city. Aside from that, they also feature a roof deck swimming pool where you can splash around and cool down under the hot weather.
Where to Eat near Portuguese Settlement Melaka
De Mellos Restaurant & Bistro
Address: Portuguese Settlement, 18a, Perkampungan Portugis, 75050 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 13-347 1058
If you want to treat yourself to some of Portugal’s delicious dishes, there’s no better place to visit than De Mellos Restaurant & Bistro.
Aside from local favourites, they also serve a plethora of Eurasian delicacies that will open your tastebuds to new amazing flavour combinations.
However, keep in mind that they don’t serve full meals here, as they can only whip up snacks from their kitchen that go alongside your drinks. Speaking of drinks, they also serve alcoholic beverages such as cold beers so visit it at night to experience what nightlife is like in Portugal!
Lucky Famous Restaurant 粿条安
Address: 1, Jalan Melaka Raya 8, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-284 0031
If all the exploring left you craving some good old Chinese food, a great spot we recommend is Lucky Famous Restaurant 粿条安 in Melaka! This local establishment features an amazing menu that consists of all-time classics such as braised duck, kampung fish and more.
It’s hard to say which one of their dishes takes the cake for being the best, but if you want our advice, we recommend the char kway teow. Their version of this classic dish is exceptional, which can be attributed to the texture of the noodles and the freshness of the ingredients.
Nasi Lemak Hijau Ujong Pasir
Address: 199-18, Jln Masjid Ujong Pasir, Kampung Ujong Pasir, 75050 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 12-642 0259
Nasi Lemak Hijau Ujong Pasir is a great place to stop by if you’re craving traditional local dishes. One of their best offerings here is none other than Malaysia’s national dish, nasi lemak.
You can easily include it in the list of top nasi lemak restaurants in the city because of the serving size and the quality of their ingredients like the ikan bilis.
Wa Zen Japanese Restaurant
Address: 38, Jalan Melaka Raya 15, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-282 3882
Located not too far from the settlement is a fancy Japanese restaurant called Wa Zen, which literally translates to “Japanese Food.” Here, you can expect a classy dining experience that revolves around delicacies such as sushi, salmon and pork belly.
If you want to try something different that doesn’t taste exotic, try the meat-wrapped enoki mushrooms—these are, for lack of a better term, to die for.
Soupy Licious Restaurant
Address: No 1 ＆ 3, Jalan Melaka Raya 13, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 18-363 6868
If you’re looking for a nice way to warm your soul, you can drop by Soupy Licious Restaurant in Jalan Melaka. As you may have gleaned from its name, this place serves different kinds of soup such as clam, ginger chicken and anything in between.
One of the things that people love about this restaurant is that their soup isn’t too salty and thick, which is the case for most establishments. It’s also worth noting that they serve other dishes such as stir-fried noodles, fried chicken, fish and more!
Things to See in Portuguese Settlement Melaka
Portuguese restaurants and bars
One of the best things you can do in Melaka’s Portuguese Settlement is to sample some of their delicious authentic delicacies.
Whether you’re a foodie or not, it’s not hard to appreciate the local dishes prepared in this settlement–and the best part is that they won’t break the bank!
Some of the most famous local delicacies that we recommend you try are the Portuguese-style ikan bakar, sambal lady fingers and black pepper brinjals.
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit on the sweeter side, you can also treat yourself to a nice cold glass of mango shake or juice.
The place truly comes alive at night when bars open their doors and light up their neon signs. This is also the time when visitors come to the settlement to taste some of Portugal’s best dishes, so if your idea of nightlife is eating delicious dishes, this is for you!
These reasons make Portuguese Settlement Melaka a great place to spend the evening, as you’ll have access to delicious dishes and booze. Plus, you won’t be confined to a single bar, as there are several establishments in the area that offer great nightlife, including only by the bay!
Christ the Redeemer Replica
Among all the things you’ll find in this seaside settlement, the main highlight for many is the Christ the Redeemer statue. It’s a smaller version of the original one found at the peak of Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, but it doesn’t fall short of majesty and elegance.
You can take a lot of creative photos here and act like you’re in Brazil—or simply admire it for what it is. After all, it is a great replica of the real attraction that features great attention to detail so might as well make the most out of it, right?
Where to Shop in Portuguese Settlement Melaka
Address: Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
You can’t leave Melaka without stopping by Jonker Street, which is located in the city’s Chinatown district. This is the premier souvenir shopping place in the city, as it features a wide variety of products made locally, and the best part is that they’re cheap!
It’s also here where you’ll truly feel like a local, as you’ll be immersed in an open-style market that’s filled with start-up stalls, restaurants and stores. If you’re one to mingle with the friendly locals in town, this is the best place to visit!
Freeport A Famosa Outlet
Address: Jalan Kemus / Sempang Ampat, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-552 8888
If you want to score the sweetest deals from your favourite brands, Freeport A Famosa Outlet is your jam. It’s a common stop over for tourists who are looking to bring home some gifts for their loved ones waiting at home.
This store features tons of brands, whether it be clothing, designer, bags, shoes and more, and the best part is that they’re almost always holding a sale!
Nearby Attractions to Visit
A Famosa Fort
Address: Jln Parameswara, Banda Hilir, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia
Before or after you visit the settlement, stop by the A Famosa fort as it’s one of the few remaining remnants of Malaysia’s Portuguese era. This awe-inspiring structure was built back in 1512 and, today, it stands as among the most iconic attractions to visit in Malacca.
Whether you’re a fan of architecture or not, you’ll be in awe of how ancient this castle is, or at least what’s left of it. Its preserved beauty makes it a premier picture-taking spot so expect to see a lot of people taking photos during your visit there!
Address: Banda Hilir, 75000 Malacca, Malaysia
Of course, you can’t leave the city without visiting its most iconic attraction, the Stadthuys, which is easily recognizable by its red clay colour.
It’s a preserved old building built by the Dutch and today, it serves as the heart of the city where you can immerse yourself in the state’s history.
There are also stores, cafes and restaurants here that we recommend you try to pass the time. Meanwhile, if you don’t want to spend any amount of money, don’t worry, as strolling along the square and taking photos are fun and memorable experiences as well.
Malaysia Prison Museum
Address: Jln Parameswara, Kampung Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-281 3548
One of the most interesting experiences you can enjoy while you’re in the area is visiting the Malaysia Prison Museum. As you may have gleaned from its name, this museum tells you the reality of what it’s like to live behind bars by showcasing realistic exhibits.
Some of these exhibits are grim and depressing such as the death row ones and that’s exactly what you should feel, as it doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Instead, it lets you feel thankful that you don’t have to go through that life and appreciate every day that you’re living free.
Taming Sari Tower (Malacca Tower)
Address: Jln Merdeka, Banda Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +60 6-288 1100
If you want to admire Malacca as a whole, there’s no better place to visit than the Tamang Sari Tower, also known as the Malacca Tower. This massive structure is a 24-story, 110-meter-tall gyro tower that lets you view spectacular panoramic views of Melaka.
Think of it like an amusement park ride but without a big drop that will leave you screaming at the top of your lungs. Instead, you’ll be treated to a slow-moving observation deck that will revolve as you’re given a new perspective to admire and observe the city.
Apps to Download for a Trip to Portuguese Settlement Melaka
CatchThatBus: Bus ticket booking app