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  • Writer's pictureIne Vandenwyngaert

Penang Island, Malaysia: A Complete Travel Guide

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Penang is a state in the west of Malaysia, consisting of a tropical island and a peninsula connected by two bridges. The island has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its colonial architecture, natural and cultural attractions, and some of the best street food in Asia. George Town is Penang’s capital and it’s a great base to explore the island from. In this travel guide, we share 10 of the best things to do on Penang Island as well as great places to stay, eat, and drink.

george town penang island malaysia
George Town


Check out our video about Penang Island to see the best things to do through our camera!

Best Things To Do On Penang Island

  • Try The Unique Cuisine Of Penang (Go on a Penang Street Food Tour)

  • Explore George Town’s Historical Streets & Art Scene

  • Take The Funicular Up To Penang Hill

  • Discover Flora And Fauna At The Habitat (Penang Hill)

  • Stroll Around Clan Jetties in George Town

  • Explore Little India

  • Discover The Buddhist Kek Lok Si Temple

  • Hike At Penang National Park (Monkey Beach Trail or Pantai Keracut)

  • Sunbathe On Batu Ferringhi Beach

  • Balik Pulau Bike Ride

penang hill funicular malaysia
Penang Hill Funicular

Places To Stay In George Town, Penang

  • Attic Hotel ($): This is where we stayed in the heart of George Town. The room was clean and the staff was friendly.

  • Kimberley Hotel Georgetown ($$): This hotel is located in the heart of George Town, close to all the major attractions. It has a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city, and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. Prices start from around $50 per night.

  • OZO George Town Penang ($$): This hotel is located in the heart of George Town, close to all the major attractions. The rooms are modern and stylish, and the hotel has a rooftop bar with views of the city. Prices start from around $60 per night.

  • Cheong Fatt Tze ($$$): This hotel is a restored mansion that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rooms are spacious and luxurious, and the hotel has a rooftop pool with stunning views of the city. Prices start from around $75 per night.

Places To Eat And Drink On Penang Island

  • Suffolk House Restaurant: is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. They serve a wide variety of Malaysian dishes, including nasi kandar, laksa, and char kway teow.

  • AR Nasi Lemak & Mee Goreng: is a restaurant famous for its nasi lemak and mee goreng. Nasi lemak is rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, while mee goreng is noodles fried with various spices.

  • Hutton Lane Roti Bakar: is a restaurant famous for its toast (roti). The roti here is made with fresh bread toasted with various toppings, such as peanut butter, chocolate and cheese. It's great as a snack or for breakfast.

  • Hameediyah Restaurant: is famous for its nasi kandar. Nasi kandar is rice served with a variety of side dishes. Be aware that it is very spicy!

  • Lebuh Ah Quee: is a famous hawker stall that serves char kway teow, a stir-fried noodle dish that is a Penang specialty. The char kway teow here is made with fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection

  • Chowrasta Market: is a bustling market that is home to a variety of stalls selling local food. You can find everything from char kway teow to curry mee to roti canai

  • New Lane Street Foodstalls: is another great place to find local food in Penang. This hawker centre is home to over 100 stalls, so you're sure to find something to your taste.

  • Sardaarji - Flavours of Punjab: is known for its Punjabi cuisine, which is known for its spicy and spice-rich flavors. We loved this restaurant in the heart of Little India!

  • Nasi Kandar Beratur Original: is also famous for its nasi kandar, which is made with a variety of side dishes cooked with Penang's signature spices. You occasionally will find some tourists here as well!

  • Makan Kitchen is a casual restaurant near Batu Ferringhi that serves a mix of Malaysian and Western cuisine. The menu features dishes like nasi lemak, chicken rendang, and burgers.

  • Junk Cafe: is a hip cafe that serves all-day breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and coffee. They also have a great selection of cakes and pastries. The breakfast at Junk Cafe is delicious, and the coffee is excellent. The sandwiches and salads are also great, and the cakes and pastries are baked fresh daily.

  • The Loft - Love Lane is a popular spot for pizza and pasta. They also have a great selection of wines and cocktails. The pizza at The Loft is made with fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection. The pasta dishes are also delicious, and the service is excellent.

  • Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul is a popular spot for cendol, a traditional Malaysian dessert made with rice noodles, coconut milk, and gula melaka (palm sugar). A bowl of cendol here costs around RM3.

  • Transfer Road Roti Canai is a popular spot for roti canai, a type of Indian flatbread that is often served with curry.

char kway teow in penang malaysia
char kway teow

Map Penang Island

Find all the places to go, eat, drink, and stay on Penang Island on Google Maps. To follow and save the list, do the following:

  1. Tap on the link to open it (click button below)

  2. Tap Follow. This list will now be added to the group of lists you follow.

  3. Optional: To unfollow a list someone shared with you, tap the list Saved.

If you follow the list we made, all our saved places of Penang will show up in Your Places. The places will also appear as suggested locations in Google Maps.

penang island malaysia google map


Use These Websites To Save Money On Your Trip To Penang Island


Are you having a hard time planning your trip to Penang Island? Get our Interactive Travel Planner to keep it all organized.

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Need more travel inspiration? Check out our other destinations and articles on Malaysia:

World Wild Hearts

Hi! We are Ine & Zac. An international travel couple from Belgium and the US. We created World Wild Hearts to inspire new adventures and help you plan your next trip. Use these tips, stories, and guides to inspire your next adventure of a lifetime!


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