Sometimes referred to as "Mini Lisbon," Melaka Portuguese Square is a hub of Portuguese culture and community in the city—a symbol of Portuguese–Malay heritage. Bars, a few small museums, and restaurants serving up Portuguese fare line the courtyard and surrounding Eurasian village (kampung).
As one of many notable landmarks in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Melaka Portuguese Square is typically a stop on sightseeing tours and day trip from Kuala Lumpur, which also usually include Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, St. Paul’s Church, Stadthuys, Christ Church, and the Kampung Kling Mosque.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The square is a must-see for foodies and those with an interest in Malaysia’s colonial history.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes for exploring the surrounding neighborhood.
- Come hungry; the neighborhood is known for its excellent seafood and Portuguese cuisine.
How to Get There
Melaka Portuguese Square is situated east of the city center. The best way to get there and back is by taxi or with an organized tour.
When to Get There
The square is open all the time, but it’s at its liveliest in the evenings and on weekends when locals and visitors alike come to dine out and take in traditional performances in the square. A bulletin board in the square lists upcoming cultural events.
Festivals in Portuguese Square
Each year, the Portuguese community in Melaka celebrates the Feast of Saint Peter (San Pedro) on June 29 with live music, food, and dancing in the square. Another good time to visit is during Christmas season, when local residents decorate their homes and streets with nativity scenes and colorful lights.