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What We Love About Penang

Previously a British port along the Strait of Malacca, Penang is now a blooming city on the cusp of history and modernity. Most importantly, it's also earned a reputation for being the food capital of Malaysia! Pop by the capital of Georgetown and go on tour to explore the British colonial buildings and spot vibrant street art across the city. Explore a slice of Peranakan life at the Pinang Peranakan Museum, a refurbished Peranakan mansion turned museum, or hop on a heritage trishaw ride for a charming experience. When in Penang, make sure to overdose on mouthwatering street food eats like the famous Penang Laksa and iconic Char Kuey Teow.

Don't miss: Culinary hotspot History and culture Arts and recreation

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Amazing experiences in Penang 1/5

Penang travel guides & tips

Explore all things to do in Penang 2021

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Unmissable sights in Penang

Recognized as the culinary paradise of Malaysia, Penang has been a popular tourist destination for gourmands all over the world. George Town, its state capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers a plethora of unique things to do in Penang. The diverse food scene, along with its eccentric fusion of culture, showcases its international influence and traditional customs. With so many fun things to do in Penang, we have narrowed down the top 10 attractions you definitely shouldn’t miss:

Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple (Temple of Supreme Bliss), sitting atop the Crane Hill in Air Itam, is one of the most interesting places at Penang. The temple complex features an array of magnificent statues, grandiose pagodas and pavilions, historic shrines, landscaped gardens, souvenir kiosks, and the tortoise liberation pond. If you want to see the temple adorned by dangling lanterns that light up beautifully at night, it is best to visit during the Chinese New Year celebrations. You can also get a glimpse of the scenic views surrounding the temple when you take a ride via the inclined lift or the funicular railway to the hilltop.

Penang Hill

Situated along the outskirts of Air Itam, Penang Hill covers the following peaks: the Bukit Bendera (Flagstaff Hill), Bukit Laksamana, Government Hill, Tiger Hill, and the neighboring Western Hill, considered the highest point in the island of Penang. As you begin your journey, you can choose to hike from the botanical gardens, but it is recommended to take the famous funicular railway which is the highlight of any visit to the hill. Some popular attractions to visit in Penang Hill are The Bel Retiro, a heritage building considered the oldest bungalow made for the governor of Penang, and the Habitat, an eco-tourism park where you can enjoy an educational tour of the Malaysian rainforest, along with zip lines and a bridge walk.

Penang Hill Upper Station

The Penang Hill Upper Station is the tourist destination at the end of the funicular railway. The lush hilly forest top offers several ways to help you relax and enjoy the panoramic scenery of the George Town skyline and the Langkawi mountains. The Skywalk and the Skydeck are some of the most popular spots where you can see the breathtaking vistas and 360-degree views of the island while soaking in the cool breeze. Make sure to get the fast lane ticket on the tram ride to the Penang Hill Upper Station to avoid long queues, especially during weekends and public holidays.

Gurney Drive

Gurney Drive, located within George Town, is one of the most popular places to visit in Penang for its vibrant food scene at night, where seafront hawker centers, food courts, and high-end restaurants come to life. You can enjoy both the delectable street food and the luxurious cuisines, all while dining by the sea. Some of the must-try Penang food include laksa, satay, bak kut teh, char kway teow, pasembur, and rojak. After satisfying your cravings, you can opt to visit the historic temples along Gurney Drive such as the Dharmikarama Burmese Temple or the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple.

Penang Botanic Gardens

Located at Jalan Kebun Bunga in George Town, Penang Botanic Gardens is home to a wide array of flora and fauna like the black lily, cannonball tree, black giant squirrels, dusky leaf monkeys, along with a variety of insects and other plant species. For people who wish to exercise or jog in the morning, the gardens contain walking paths and tracks suitable for a calming run. For those who want to explore the gardens without needing to walk, there’s an available tram ride for you to sightsee without breaking a sweat. Before or after a hike to the Penang Hill, we recommend including the botanical gardens on your itinerary, especially the well-known waterfall.

Penang State Museum and Art Gallery

If you want to learn more about Penang’s remarkable history and culture, Penang State Museum and Art Gallery located between Lebuh Farquhar and Lebuh Light in George Town is the place for you. This attraction is divided into two sections: the permanent and the temporary. The permanent museum holds a historical collection of costumes, embroidery, jewels, furniture, ancient maps and documents, past photographs, and old relics. Meanwhile, the temporary art gallery is where you can spot the exhibits of local artists and paintings of old Penang by William Daniels and Captain Robert Smith.

Goddess of Mercy Temple Penang

If you want to take a break from your food crawl adventure in George Town, a trip to the Goddess of Mercy Temple Penang is a great option, where you can take it slow as you appreciate the history and culture of Penang. Found at the Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling in Georgetown, this Chinese temple boasts a marvelous architecture established based on feng shui principles and other traditional aspects. Most tourists visit the temple during significant celebrations like the Chinese New Year, but numerous locals also go here on regular days to light up incense and hold their rituals as they wish for good health and luck.

Dhammikarama Burmese Temple

The Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, located in Lorong Burma, is one of the reasons why George Town is considered the enclave of historical and cultural heritage in Penang. You can walk around the peaceful surroundings of the temple while admiring the majestic architecture, well-manicured gardens, small fish pond, and the golden bell tower where you can have impressive views of the complex. If you wish to immerse more in the local customs and traditions, there are Burmese Buddhist monks around the temple offering blessings and well-preserved intricate artworks, statues, and paintings revealing the life story of Lord Buddha.

St. George's Anglican Church

Located just beside the Penang State Museum & Art Gallery, St. George’s Anglican Church is considered the oldest Anglican Church in South East Asia. During your visit, check out its famous Greek architecture designed by Captain Robert Smith and be sure not to miss out on hearing the pipe organ during regular morning services! Discover more about the church’s history with the exhibits of photos, books, and souvenirs at the Heritage Center. Once you get exhausted after roaming the place, you may grab a drink at the coffee shop inside which offers a variety of refreshments.

Penang Bridge

A visit to Penang would be incomplete without seeing the legendary Penang Bridge! Though initially created to ease the congestion concerns of the state, back when the ferry was once the only way to cross the sea and travel to Penang island, it is now considered an iconic landmark that allows both locals and travelers to drive from the mainland peninsula. The bridge not only boosts island tourism but also brings about opportunities for people to see more of Penang’s beauty.

Travel tips

About Penang

Previously a British port along the Strait of Malacca, Penang is now a blooming city on the cusp of history and modernity. Most importantly, it's also earned a reputation for being the food capital of Malaysia!


Pop by the capital of Georgetown and go on tour to explore the British colonial buildings and spot vibrant street art across the city. Explore a slice of Peranakan life at the Pinang Peranakan Museum, a refurbished Peranakan mansion turned museum, or hop on a heritage trishaw ride for a charming experience. When in Penang, make sure to overdose on mouthwatering street food eats like the famous Penang Laksa and iconic Char Kuey Teow.

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Local weather

  • JAN - DEC
    31° 24°

General info

  • Time Zone
    GMT +08:00

  • Currency
    Malaysian Ringgit

    1USD = 4.11MYR

  • Best time to visit
    • AUG

      George Town Festival

Find out more on Penang

What is Penang Best Known for?

When is the Best Time to Visit Penang?

Where is the Best Location for Tourists to Stay in Penang?

Why people love Penang

Shanice
Published 245 days ago
We love it! Will be back for sure... The room is spacious and well designed The pool is small but who goes to pool when you stay in a heritage hotel. I love the bar and I love when the service staff made an exception for us to reserve the table downstairs because my grandma can’t climb up the steps We enjoyed the tour but wish It could be a lil more historically based.
Saniatul Wada
Published 180 days ago
I went for 2 day pass with 1 night base camp experience with my husband last weekend at Escape Penang and it was an incredible experience!!! The accomodation was great, they provide us with 2 tent (1 big, 1small) and i think it would be perfect for a family getaway if you have kids. The staff was really helpful and kind. All the staff we met while enjoying ourself at the themepark was super friendly. We dont even have to worry about our food at the base camp, the staff was more then happy to help us with the fire, the lightning and the BBQ at night. A special thanks to Ali and the Family manager Soba (sori if i misspell her name) who kept us company at night, helping us with the BBQ and entertaining us with their stories. We will definitely come again. Highly recommended
Nabil
Published 137 days ago
A must visit tourist attraction if you are in Penang! To ensure smooth sight seeing activities, would suggest to book with Klook. Great prices and make your day much more easier. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion House Tour also offer the authentic and classic ambience with all the history behind the blue mansion. Would recommend if you plan to visit Penang in the future. Enjoy!
Nabil
Published 137 days ago
Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm. A must visit place if you like to explore more about the butterfly world. You may experienced yourselves with the freely flying butterfly arround at Entopia and yeah such an amazing experience. Would suggest to visit here, especially to bring along your family members. Book through Klook to enjoy more greater experiences with no hassle and yes, please visit Entopia when you come to Penang.
Siau Yeen
Published 134 days ago
The mansion looks even better than the photos. Check in was a breeze. We were given a room on the ground floor overlooking the water feature. We had our cocktails at the bar before dinner. The 3 course dinner was really good and came in pretty big portion. The finale which was the yuzu and strawberry parfait was a feast for the eyes and the palate. We get to pick our mains for our breakfast the night before. There was also a small buffet spread comprising of yogurt, breads, cereal and light snacks like lor bak and french toast with cheese and ham. We selected western breakfast and teo chew porridge. Their fried pao is worth mentioning. Breakfast was served in the courtyard which was a perfect setting. We joined the 11am tour before check out and learnt more about the place and its history. Overall, we love eveything about the mansion and all it has to offer.
June
Published 41 days ago
Highly recommended! My family and I went to Penang together; there were 13 of us, age range from 1 to 72. It was a good activity for young to old! A nice break from the city life and relaxing. Although the weather was humid, we still had a good time. There were a lot to do and the place is big so do visit early!

Popular activities in Penang

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