Penang is a small tropical island off the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. It is a former British colony, so English is widely spoken. Its population is just over 700,000 with a majority of the people living in its capital, George Town. Penang is a multicultural island with about 60% of its inhabitants being Chinese, 32% Malays, and 7% Indian. Culturally it’s a mind-blowing place to live.
With a mix of these cultures, the food is touted to be the best in all of Southeast Asia. In 2014, Lonely Planet deemed Penang to be the top foodie destination to visit in the world. The most incredible food in Malaysia is not found in high-end restaurants, but at thousands of food stalls that serve one signature dish—often a family’s secret recipe passed down through generations.
Visit Escape Theme Park, Indulge in Different Cuisines on the Food tour, Go on a Bus Tour to Explore Penang, Hike to Penang Hill, Experience Penang Butterfly Park, Embrace Penang Wonderfood Museum and many more.
The wide variety of things to do in Penang must soon earn it the title of “a multicultural island of Malaysia.” From exploring museums and heritage mansions, from screaming with excitement in the larger-than-life theme parks to paying a visit to various temples built by various communities; there is simply no dearth of activities in Penang, provided you must know what interests you.
01. Visit Escape Theme Park
The Escape Theme park is an adventure hotspot that hosts a myriad of fun and exciting activities. From engaging adventure courses to a number of water obstacle courses, this theme park features activities suchlike tubby racer, banana flip, kite flyers, speed racer, family twister, etc.
From twisty rides to thrilling slides; spending a day here is one of the refreshing things to do in Penang. Splashing in the pool, eating scrumptious snacks and taking heart-stopping rides is what’s in the deal for you at Escape Theme Park.
Location: 828, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timing: Opens from 10 AM to 6 PM daily
02. Indulge in Different Cuisines on the Food tour
Tasting a wide range of Malaysian food and street items such as the Appoms, Penang Lobak, and Kuihs, etc. will be a part of this tour. Besides food, you will be accompanied by a tour guide who will not only make you taste the best food in town but will explain to you the cultural relevance and relation with the dishes.
This is basically a group tour that is best suited for families and friends. The tour would help you relish Penang Lobak, the Appoms and Kuihs which are the top dishes of this region. To steal a peek in authentic Malaysian food, Indulging on a food tour is certainly rated as one of the top things to do in Penang.
Location: 1, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timing: DINNER TOUR - begins at 5 PM and ends by 9 PM, BRUNCH TOUR - begins at 9:30 PM and ends by 1:30 PM
03. Go on a Bus Tour to Explore Penang
Take a hop on and hop off bus tour which traverses you across the island in just 3.5 to 4 hours of time. Taking you to places such as Batik Factory, Fort Cornwallis, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Wonderfood Museum, Little India - Street of Harmony, Chew Jetty, Armenian Street Art, Waterfront Village, Reclining Buddha and Burmese Temple etc.
The sunset tour offers a unique stitch of landmarks around the island such as The Top Komtar, the Observatory Deck, Rainbow Skywalk, the Red Garden Hawker Center, Street of Harmony, Trishaw Night Ride (Heritage Building), Penang City Hall, Penang Town Hall, Esplanade Park and Victoria Memorial Clock Tower. There is a various tour in a day, according to your convenience and time availability you can choose from morning, afternoon or evening tours.
Location: Starting point: Harriston Chocolate Boutique, Kelawei Street
Timings: Morning: 10 AM to 1:30 PM | Afternoon 2 PM to 5:30 PM | Sunset tour:
04. Hike to Penang Hill
There are a number of hiking trails originate across Penang hill. The Western Hill at a height of 2731 feet above sea level is the highest point of the Hill which can be raced up in a couple of hours.
The various hiking routes are the 'Jeep track', the Moongate and the one starting from the entrance of the Penang Botanic Gardens. Besides breathing fresh air, enjoying sweeping views of the surrounding valley.
Location: Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera | Air Itam, George Town, Penang Island 11500, Malaysia
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM daily
05. Experience Penang Butterfly Park
One of the largest indoor and outdoor classrooms is located in Teluk Bahang region of Penang. An assorted classroom of butterflies and insects are freely staying in a natural habitat. The farm is dedicated to conserving varied species of butterflies and insects on a large scale.
This offbeat farm conducts research studies along with educating, entertaining and informing the general public. Visiting Penang Butterfly Park is one of the offbeat activities to do in Penang if you are interested in Etymology. The farm hosts exotic species such as the endangered Yellow Birdwing butterfly and the Rajah Brooke etc. Penang Butterfly Park also hosts a tropical fruit farm that spreads over a land of 25-acres within its fringes.
Location: No.830, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timing: 9 AM to 6 PM daily
Entry Fee: RM27 per adult and RM15 per child (4-12 years old), Senior citizen: RM13.50 (58 years old and above).
06. Embrace Penang Wonderfood Museum
Penang Wonderfood Museum is a one-of-a-kind experience where over 100 Malaysian dishes, street food items and local delicacies are on display. The museum allows you to take a plunge in the Malaysian food culture as well as Indian, Chinese, and Peranakan dishes are also showcased shielded under glass covers.
The museum has three main sections: the Info Zone, the Wow Zone, and the Educational Zone. Where the info zone lets you take a look at the range of food items, the wow zone let you take pictures with huge models of the dishes. The education zone tells you about the cultural and the related food as well as what should you eat and what might harm.
Location: 49, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM daily
07. Kek Lok Si
Kek Lok Si is a wonderful Buddhist temple built in away from Penang’s shore. This architectural structure that is a haven for Buddhist pilgrims and Chinese teachings houses a large Buddha statue apart from thousands of his pictures, more than a hundred carvings, and some sculptures making it a traditional home for both Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism.
You can only imagine the backdrop that this scenic temple has considering it is built in the hill station on the foot of Air Itam Mountain. The ponds hurling with fishes and the lush gardens add to the equanimity of this place.
Location: 3km from Penang Hill Station
Timings: 09.00 a.m. to 06.00 p.m.
08. Explore Tropical Spice Garden
Exploring the Tropical Spice Garden is one of the highly rewarding activities in Penang for the ones who love to cook. Famous as the bis-diverse living museum that brings nature and culture together. The eight acres of garden encompasses a range of tropical plants and over 500 living specimens from around the world.
The spice garden and the flower gardens lure people into marching the well-laid paths of this exotic land. Nestled along the Teluk Bahang junction, this nature conservation complex has three major trails, every trail is dotted with streams, waterfalls and models prepared of recycled organic materials.
Location: Lot 595 Mukim, 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM daily
09. Witness Teddyville Museum
The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Batu Ferringhi houses Malaysia’s first and the largest collection of Teddy Bears to tell stories. From miniature to massive teddy bear, you can choose from a range of teddy bears catering to various shapes and sizes to purchase as souvenirs. The bears at the museum are also used to narrate the history of Penang.
Out of the many things you do at this museum, hugging and getting clicked with the bears are few fun activities in Penang that you must not miss!
Location: 56, Jalan Low Yat, Puncak Ria, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM daily
10. Go to Penang House of Music
Located in Komtar in central George Town, Penang House of Music was opened to the public in November 2016. Imparting an insight on the Penang’s musical background and heritage, particularly exhibiting antiques and documents of Penang’s musical golden age which started from the 1940s onwards.
Set over an area of 650 square metres, right above the ICT mall. If you have even a little interest in music, it is one of the intriguing things to do in Penang.
Location: KOMTAR, L4-02, Level 4, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: Opens from 11 AM to 8 PM daily
11. Visit the magnificent Glass Museum Penang
One of the best things to do in Penang is to take a tour of the Glass Museum, where you can spend a day learning the glass-making techniques, try your hands at making glass trinkets and souvenirs, tour around the stunning maze full of glass exhibits and a kaleidoscope of colours. There is also 3-D art, a workshop area, a glass tunnel, and many other things.
Location: 6, Jalan Burma, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
Timing: Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 6:00 pm | Saturday 9:30 am - 5:00 pm | Sunday - Closed.
- Adult - RM 21.50 Foreigner, RM 17 MyKad
- Child (ages 3-12) - RM 12 Foreigner, RM 9 MyKad.
12. Explore Penang 3D Trick Art Museum
Penang 3D Trick Art Museum is located on King Street of George Town which was opened in the year 2014. This interactive museum features two levels of shophouse where the ground floor displays sceneries of Penang island and the other terrains.
The 3D trick art museum is famous for its murals that simply appear as ‘coming-to-life.’ This place grabs everyone’s attention for clicking pictures.
Location: 10, Lebuh Penang, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 6 PM | Saturday to Sunday: 9 AM to 8 PM
13. Batu Ferringhi Beach
Batu Ferringhi Beach is an adventure land where you can get your adrenalin racing while on a leisure holiday. The availability of Jet Skis and Parasailing sports by the seaside is a major lure that pulls every tourist who visits this town in Penang.
Apart from just laying around the beach and taking a sunbath, other things you can do here are getting a buggy ride on the golden sand, go deep sea fishing or revel in a banana boat ride.
Location: 11km from City Center, George Town
Timings: A few hours before sunset is apt so that you have enough time to beach stuff and adventure sports before watching the mesmeric sunset.
14. Penang National Park
Penang National Park breaks the stigma around a national park being about plentiful animals and long jungles. This smallest national park in Malaysia is all about exploring nature by walking in its trails where you can spot some animals like monkeys and giant lizards.
Here’s the amazing part- it all leads to a beach! That is one of a kind, where you get to sunbathe in almost privacy, swing on the beachside, visit the lighthouse and picnic. The Kerachut beach here is home to thousands of turtles with whom you can spend some time if you are lucky.
Location: Pejabat Taman Negara P. Pinang, George Town
Timings: 07.30 a.m. to 07.00 p.m.
15. Visit Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Peranakan Mansion is a museum at church street of George Town which once used to be a residence and office of a Chinese Tycoon. The museum houses artefacts, antiques and collectables belonging to the Peranakan heritage. The furniture and decor of the house also reflect the lifestyle during the Peranakan heritage. The mansion was formerly christened as the Hai Kee Chan, which stands for the 'Sea Remembrance Hall.’
The house was completely abandoned post world war two and was invaded by the Japanese during their occupation of Malaysia. Today, it has been restored to its original state and is open to visitors.
Location: 29, Church St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5 PM daily
16. Admire Penang Bridge
Built from 1982 - 1985, this is among the longest bridges in the region at around 13.5 kilometers. This bridge connects Perai and Gelugor on either ends, and is representative of the city's modern architectural design.
Among the best activities in Penang is to take a drive to the bridge and enjoy the views of the sea, mountains and the scenic surroundings as you pass by, especially in the evening when the entire route gets lit-up.
Location: Penang, Malaysia.
17. Pray at St. George's Anglican Church
St. George's Anglican Church is the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia which was built in the 19th century. Displaying a blend of Neoclassical, Georgian and English Palladian architecture styles.
As you visit the church, you can find traces of the destruction caused by the Japanese Occupation of Malaysia. The edifice today is around 200 plus years old that features an impressive interior, imposing pillars, well-groomed open ground, and peaceful campus. The church can be located on the Farquhar Street in George Town, near to the popular Masjid Kapitan Keling street
Location: 1, Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: TUESDAY to FRIDAY:10 AM to 4 PM | SATURDAY open for Tour Operators and Guides by proper appointment | SUNDAY: CLOSED
18. Go to Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is a boutique resort that dates back to its construction in the year 1880s. Situated on the 14 Leith Street of Georgetown in Penang, the mansion architecture reflects traditional Chinese style built. The grand manor appoints 38 rooms, seven staircases and a total of five well-paved courtyards layered in granite.
The house was built by an affluent merchant-trader named Cheong Fatt Tze which was later sold by its descendants to save it from demolition and now it is a government's property.
Location: 14, Lebuh Leith, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings:11 AM to 12 PM | 2 to 3 PM | 3:30 to 4:30 PM
19. Enjoy at The Top Komtar Penang
The Top Komtar Penang is the islands highest entertainment tower. This iconic tower encompasses 18 themed attractions which include- Rainbow Skywalk, Tech dome Penang, Penang Boutique Aquarium, Penang State Gallery, 7 D Discover Motion Theatre, etc.
Besides entertaining yourself at the endless attractions, you can also satiate your hunger at some top-notch restaurants that promise to impart sweeping views of George Town.
Location: 1, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Timings: 11 AM to 9 PM daily
20. Adventure Zone
You could have a tough time getting your kids out of here once you take them to the Adventure Zone, but, it is worth it. It is an indoor adventure place for every growing child, toddlers, children and teens who can be accompanied by their parents. From drop slides, net-bridges, and playground to a ball
Penang is one of the most famous spots in Malaysia and with good reason. Most of the state of Penang is located on an island and as such you can enjoy beaches, sparkling waters, and a laid back island feel coupled with a big city experience.
Sections of George Town have also been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in part because of their maritime urban settlements known as clan jetties.
If you're looking for ideas on how to spend your time once you get to Malaysia, see our list top half day tours in Penang.
This tour let you go to all the attractions that you like, not like the can approach of a predetermined itinerary tour. For a 6 hours visit from ship or hotel or airport, you choose some 4-7 attractions to go from the list in "tour details". You choose the places and dictate how much time to spend at each attraction. Either you explore every nooks and corners, or you simply take pictures from the outside without entering the attraction, you call the shot. If mobility is a concern, go for a round island tour and take in the view from the comfort of air-conditioned car. If you do not have a clue where to go or to do, let our learned tour guide choose it for you. The tour guide cum driver, will accompany you into all attractions and give commentary on the go. You will be not be disappointed. Penang is a truly surprising hidden gem!
2. Penang City & Temple Tour with Penang Hill(Fast Lane) & Kek Lok Si
Even if you have only a short time in Penang, soak up the key sights in just half a day on this action-packed door-to-door tour. Ride the funicular to the peak of Penang Hill; explore the streets of George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site; watch pewter craftsmen; taste white coffee; and check off religious monuments from Kek Lok Si Temple to Wat Chaiyamangkalaram and Dhammikarama Burmese Temple.
3. Penang: George Town City Half-Day Attractions
Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of George Town on a private 4-hour tour. Highlights include visits to the Reclining Buddha, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, and Clan Jetty. You also enjoy a driving tour through vibrant Little India where Christians, Taoists, Hindus, and Muslims live in harmony. The comprehensive snapshot of the multicultural town is a great opportunity to orient yourself to the area for future exploring.
4. 3-Hour Heritage on a Plate Dinner Hop in George Town Penang
Food makes the perfect introduction to any city—especially Penang. Slurp, sip, and snack as you discover the highlights of the city’s historic center, Georgetown, on a small-group foodie walking tour with a guide. Enjoy the sorts of insights you can only get from a local as you visit vendors and hawkers, and taste the fare of the generations of migrants who have made the island their home
5. 4-Hour Georgetown Food Tour
Feast your senses on the sights and smells of George Town on a half-day culinary tour, ideal for food lovers with limited time in Penang. In a small group, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town in the early evening, a cooler and less-crowded time to visit, on a tour that combines its rich culture with numerous local delicacies. Plus, taking a food tour at the start of your trips means you receive ample culinary recommendations sure to enhance your vacation.
6. Private Tour: Top Seven Wonders of Penang City Tour
Skip the run-of-the-mill organized group tours and explore Penang at your own pace with this private sightseeing tour. In the company of just your party and a driver/guide, explore colorful, multicultural George Town and see its most important sites.
7. Penang Grand Tour with Lunch
This tour covers the main highlights of Penang Island. It includes Chew Jetty – the early Chinese migrant settlement in Penang, the intricate stone carvings and woodworks of the Khoo Kongsi (Clan House), the colourful Little India, the iconic 720-metre high Penang Hill by funicular train and the Kek Lok Si – Southeast Asia’s largest Buddhist temple with its 30-metre high statue of the Goddess of Mercy. Lunch en-route at a local restaurant, optional stops include Coffee Tree and Royal Selangor Pewter.
8. Penang Day Tour From Penang
Explore urban murals full of artistic creations. Board to the Penang Hill for overlooking Penang. At Kek Lok Si Temple has millions of Buddha statues and hundreds of beautiful and meaningful sculptures and sculptures. Visit the wooden houses built on the water.
9. Penang Hill and the Kek Lok Si Temple
Experience the magic of Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple with ease on a 5-hour tour. Complimentary round-trip transportation from your hotel allows you to skip the stress and discomfort of taxis. During the journey, listen to live commentary from your driver cum guide on local history and culture. You also enjoy easy ascent (and complimentary fare) with the funicular up to Penang Hill and chairlift to the Bronze Statue.
10. Penang Full-Day Private Customizable Tour with Pick Up
This tour allow you to choose the attractions that you like, not like the can approach of a fixed itinerary tour. For a 7 hours visit from ship or hotel or airport, you choose some 5-8 attractions to go from the list in "tour details". You choose the place and decide on the you time needed. Either you go deep into selected location, or you can just stop by the corner to take photos from the outside not needing enter the attraction, you made your own decision. If mobility is a concern, you can choose to circulate the Penang Island and take in the view from the comfort of air-conditioned car. If you could not decide on where to go or what to do, let our licensed tour guide choose it for you. The tour guide cum driver, will accompany you into all attractions and give commentary on the go. Penang is Marvel for you to discover.!
Penang has been one of the top expat destinations in Malaysia for years. It is not a bustling city like Kuala Lumpur yet it still has all the comforts of home. There is everything from beaches and shopping to great food and a vibrant culture. You can go shopping at Gurney Plaza, or Queensbay Mall, and find the same high-end stores you would in the U.S. You can walk through the jungle, laze about on a secluded beach, take a food tour and a cooking class, or even drive a few hours to visit an Orangutan shelter.
George Town is a bustling, colorful UNESCO World Heritage City, which is fascinating to walk through. Its well preserved, colonial buildings and Chinese clan houses are living testaments to what life was like centuries ago. You can still feel its multi-cultural heritage as you wander through Chinese and Indian temples, and smell incense burning throughout the streets. Getting lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleyways makes you feel like you are in another world, one that existed long ago.
For a small island, there is no shortage of arts and culture to take part in; from the month long George Town festival that celebrates the arts in every form imaginable, the Jazz and World Music festivals, and the International Film festival. Add to that all of the inherent cultural and religious festivals, loads of art galleries with ever-changing exhibits, and the street art scene, and you’ll never be at a loss for something to do in Penang.