There are plenty of things a tourist can do in Penang as there is something for everyone in Penang. The island state in Malaysia is famous for many things including beaches, tourist attractions, heritage trails, old buildings, shopping, nightlife & more. If you’re on a short trip to Penang then you probably want to explore best things to do in Penang which we have covered in this article.
Best things to do in Penang
If you are wondering what to do in Penang, check out this list of the top 10 things to do in Penang to truly complete your trip.
1. Climb Up the Penang Hill
Climbing Penang Hill, also known as Bukit Bandera locally, is one of the most popular things to do in Penang. At 833 meters above sea level from the top, a climb up Penang Hill is a fantastic adventure that rewards you with the incredible sightseeing opportunities & view of Penang Island.
The best way to reach to top is to get on board the Penang Hill Railway from Air Itam that travels up the hill in 30 minutes. For adventure seekers, there is also about 5km track, known as jeep track which is a popular hiking route to get on top of Penang Hill. At the top, travelers will find a mosque, church, a gorgeous Hindu Temple and a fascinating view of Penang Island. Penang Hill is one of the favorite tourist attraction in Penang.
Address: Near Air Aitam, Penang
2. Visit Fort Cornwallis
As one of Penang’s best distinguished landmarks, Fort Cornwallis is truly impressive with its 10 foot walls and bronze cannons. Named after India’s former Governor General Charles Cornwallis, the fort also contains prison cells, a chapel that dates back to the 17th century and an ammunition area. For the history lover, a visit to Fort Cornwallis is the best thing to do in Penang.
Address: Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
3. Walk the Streets of Georgetown
George Town is a look into the Penang’s colonial past. The UNESCO heritage site offers a top selection of architectural marvels with a story to tell at each and every street corner. Being one of the largest cities in the country, George Town is very tourist friendly and features many heritage attractions and eateries to take a break.
Some of the best things to do in Georgetown is to visit the Goddess of Mercy temple also known as Kuan Yin temple which was built in 1800, the Kapitan Keling Mosque built in 1801, the gorgeous St. George’s Church built in 1816, Goldsmith’s Guild built in 1832, Esplanade, Khoo Kongsi built in 1902 and Victoria clock tower.
Related Article: 10 interesting places in Penang for History Lover
4. Visit Kek Lok Si Temple
The Kek Lok Si temple is one of the biggest & oldest Buddhist temple complexes in all of South East Asia. Standing atop a hill in Air Itam, the Kek Lok Si temple features a stunning 7 tier pagoda named the Pagoda of 1000 Buddhas, beautifully landscaped gardens and the statues of The Four Heavenly Kings and a statue of the Laughing Buddha at the center.
Address: 11500 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
5. See the Giant Reclining Buddha statue at Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram
At 33 meters long, the giant reclining Buddha statue at Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram is considered to be the largest in the world. The Thai temple also features other, smaller statues of the Buddha in various different poses along with statues of Thai deities.
If you want to capture the giant reclining Buddha statue in your camera then visit to Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram is among recommended things to do & see in Penang.
Address: 24, Lorong Burma, Georgetown, 10250 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
6. Enjoy a 360 Panoramic View of Penang from Komtar
Komtar Tower or the Menara Komtar Complex is the tallest building in Penang and sixth tallest building in Malaysia. The island’s skyline is dominated by the Komtar Complex and the view from the top is simply breathtaking. Tourists can take speedy lifts to reach the level 60 to catch an incredible panoramic view of the Penang island complete with the mainland and Penang Bridge. Aside from a stunning view, the level also features a duty-free shop for some shopping.
Related Article: Best Shopping Malls in Penang
Address: Komtar, 1, Jalan Penang, 10100 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
7. Take a Ferry Ride to Butterworth
The Penang Ferry Service connects the Butterworth ferry terminal with the George Town Quay. Being the oldest ferry service in the entire country, the Penang Ferry Service is also a fantastic opportunity for visitors to enjoy a spectacular view of the city, to and back. This is considered to be one of the best travelling options on the island where visitors can enjoy a cool breeze and relax.
8. Capture the Famous Penang Bridge in your Camera
Penang Bridge connects Georgetown with Seberang Prai on the Malaysian mainland. Opened in 1985, the 13.5 km long bridge is the second longest bridge in the country and the fifth longest bridge in Southeast Asia. If you are on the lookout for great photography moments, Penang Bridge is full of them. Many travellers claim that the best spot to photograph Penang Bridge is just off the highway towards the airport.
There is another 24 km long bridge opened in Penang in January 2014 by the name “Sultan Abdul Halilm Muadzam Shah Bridge”, also known as the Penang Second Bridge. The view of the new bridge is also spectacular as Penang Bridge.
9. Hang Out at the Batu Ferringhi Beach & Flea Market
Translating to Foreigner’s Rock, Batu Ferringhi occupies a stretch of beach located on the Northern side of Penang. While the daytimes are calm the night is when Batu Ferringhi comes alive. The Batu Ferringhi night market, also known as night walk bazaar is one of the must-visit nightlife activities in Malaysia and is one of the most popular tourist haunts in Penang.
Batu Ferringhi is also home of some of the luxurious resorts in Penang, including Holiday Inn resort & Park Royal Penang resort. The famous restaurants in Batu Ferringhi including Bora Bora by Sunset, The Ship, Golden Thai Seafood Village, Sixy9ine by the beach & Restaurant Ferringhi Garden are the other highlights of this popular tourist destination in Penang.
A visit to Batu Ferringhi beach & night market is among the best things to do in Penang for people of all ages.
10. Drink some Penang White Coffee
For coffee lovers, Penang White Coffee is an absolute must in their travel itinerary. This special type of coffee is sold at all hours of the day at clubs, coffee shops, hotels, fine dining establishments as well as a small street stalls and mobile hawker centers. George Town features a great selection of coffee shops for visitors to get a taste of the famous Penang White Coffee.
Related Article: Top 10 Must-Try Cafe in Penang
A trip to Penang is nothing but full of fun & excitement. There are probably more things to do and see in Penang but we have listed some of the best things to do in Penang.
Let us know which is your favorite activity in the list. If it is not listed, then do let us know by adding comments below.
Things to do in other Malaysian destinations:
- Things to do in Melaka
- Things to do in Langkawi
- Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
- Things to do in Kota Kinabalu
- Things to do in Cameron Highlands
- Things to do in Johor Bahru
- Things to do in Terengganu
- Things to do in Sipadan
- Things to do in Pangkor
- Things to do in Borneo Malaysia