The Stadthuys and clocktower in Town Square.

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Top choice in Melaka City

This former town hall and governor's residence dates to the 1650s and is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. It functioned as State Government offices until 1979. Erected after the Dutch captured Melaka in 1641, it's a reproduction of the former Stadhuis (town hall) of the Frisian town of Hoorn in the Netherlands. Today it's the main building in a sprawling museum complex and houses the History & Ethnography Museum.

Admission covers all the museums within the complex. There is no fee for guided tours, which take place at 10.30am and 2.30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

To immerse yourself in Melaka past and present, peruse the Governor's House, Democratic Government Museum, a Literature Museum focusing on Malaysian writers, Cheng Ho Gallery and the Education Museum.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Melaka City attractions

1. History & Ethnography Museums Complex

0.01 MILES

The ground floor of the Stadthuys houses Melaka's most interesting museum, which focuses on the city's fascinating history and ethnography. Exhibits…

2. Dutch Square

0.04 MILES

The focal point of the Unesco Heritage zone, this attractive and elegant square is surrounded by Dutch-era buildings that have been painted crimson, shady…

3. Melaka Malay Sultanate Water Wheel

0.05 MILES

In 2006, work on the Menara Taming Sari revolving tower uncovered another part of the city's fortress walls. The revolving tower was relocated further…

4. Christ Church

0.06 MILES

Built in 1753 from laterite bricks brought from Zeeland in Holland, this eye-catching cherry-pink church is one of the most photographed and imposing…

5. Zheng He Duo Yun Xuan

0.08 MILES

A Shanghai-based auction house has funded this impressive gallery split between two large converted warehouses facing the Melaka River and entered from…

6. Cheng Ho Cultural Museum

0.09 MILES

The impressive exploits of Chinese-Muslim seafarer Cheng Ho (Zheng He) are celebrated through this museum's dioramas and maritime miscellany. The Ming…

7. 8 Heeren Street


This 18th-century, Dutch-period residential house was restored as a model conservation project. A guide is on hand to explain the features and history…

8. St Paul's Church

0.12 MILES

The evocative and sublime ruin of St Paul's Church crowns the summit of Bukit St Paul overlooking central Melaka. Steep stairs from Jln Kota or Jln Chang…