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Colonial Sites in Penang

Colonial Sites in Penang

Penang has long been a cultural and trade link between Asia and Europe, and its colonial history is evident throughout the island, especially in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town. From the shophouses of Beach Street to the rusty cannons of Fort Cornwallis, here are the colonial sites you can’t miss.

 

What to See

  • Fort Cornwallis—an 18th-century fort, the largest remaining in Malaysia, built by the British East India Company

  • Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower—built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

  • St. George’s Church—the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia, dating back to 1817

  • Esplanade Padang—home of the Penang Town Hall and Penang City Hall, two Victorian buildings near the George Town seafront

  • Penang State Museum—a colonial-era building housing artifacts from Malaysia, India, and China

 

How to Visit

  • Book a tour of colonial George Town to learn more about the island’s rich multicultural history.

  • Step aboard the Penang hop-on hop-off bus with 33 designated stops and audio commentary.

  • Ride the funicular railway to the top of Penang Hill for panoramic views over the colonial center.

  • Explore the “Pearl of the Orient” during a discovery tour around the island.

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10 Tours and Activities

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Private Half-Day Penang Highlights City Tour

Private Half-Day Penang Highlights City Tour

star-5
2
Penang, culinary wonderland and Malaysian cultural gem, has a wealth of hidden charms. Orient yourself and see the best of the city on a private 3.5-hour sightseeing tour, which covers Penang highlights such as Little India, Penang State Museum, and Kuan Ying Teng temple. Explore the colorful colonial mansions of Georgetown, a UNESCO-listed enclave, purchase street food staples such as ‘chendol’ (iced dessert) and char sui pork, and receive undivided attention from a private guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$51.29
Price varies by group size
From
$51.29
Price varies by group size

Penang City & Temple Tour with Penang Hill(Fast Lane) & Kek Lok Si

Penang City & Temple Tour with Penang Hill(Fast Lane) & Kek Lok Si

star-4.5
9
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.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.26
Price varies by group size
From
$70.26
Price varies by group size

Half-Day George Town History Private Tour

Half-Day George Town History Private Tour

star-5
15
Discover George Town with an expert guide on a half-day, private tour of the city’s top highlights. You’ll see the bustling Clan Jetties and the Khoo Kongsi clan house, then tour a pair of important Buddhist temples, learning about local history and culture along the way. This 3.5-hour tour offers the flexibility and personal service of a private guide, and includes round-trip hotel transfers in the George Town area. Both morning and afternoon departures are available.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.11
Price varies by group size
From
$64.11
Price varies by group size

Private Tour: Full Day Penang Heritage Tour

Private Tour: Full Day Penang Heritage Tour

star-4.5
2
Cover ground you couldn’t hope to cover by self-drive or taxi on this private door-to-door tour of George Town, Penang’s historic capital. Start at the Penang State Museum, then explore the UNESCO World Heritage area: the Street of Harmony, Khoo Kongsi clanhouse, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Made in Penang Interactive Museum, Chew Jetty, and plenty of street art. Tour includes lunch but excludes entrance fees.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$128.21
Price varies by group size
From
$128.21
Price varies by group size

Penang City Sightseeing Tour

Penang City Sightseeing Tour

star-4.5
5
Experience a taste of all that Penang has to offer on a grand tour of the island with a private guide. Travel in comfort by private vehicle to Penang’s top attractions, including Kek Lok Si Temple, Snake Temple, the funicular railway on Penang Hill and the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre. You'll learn about Malaysian arts including pewter-making and batik, stop at a traditional fishing village and fruit plantation, and see Buddhist temples and other architectural gems, all while enjoying informative commentary from your expert guide.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.58
From
$85.58

Half Day Penang City Tour (4 Hours)

Half Day Penang City Tour (4 Hours)

star-5
1
Explore George Town highlights on a half-day tour combining historic sites with temples and colorful neighborhoods, with an optional visit to the Penang Time Tunnel 3D museum. Traveling in a climate-controlled vehicle means you’ll stay cool and comfortable while ticking off a long list of destinations that include Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple, Fort Cornwallis, Little India, Chew Jetty, and more, finishing the day with a taste of Penang's classic white coffee.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$28.72
Price varies by group size
From
$28.72
Price varies by group size

Georgetown Sightseeing Tour

Georgetown Sightseeing Tour

star-4
5
Explore colonial history and heritage in Penang’s ancient capital city on this private 4-hour sightseeing tour in Georgetown. Take a scenic drive through downtown Georgetown with your private guide and admire the UNESCO–listed colonial architecture you find. Explore Fort Cornwallis’ mighty perimeter and learn of Captain Francis Light’s first landing in the 18th century. Visit Clan Jetty then head into the bustling Chinatown and Little India districts by trishaw, and visit the Chinese clan house of Khoo Kongsi.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$41.03
From
$41.03

Private George Town UNESCO Heritage Walking Tour

Private George Town UNESCO Heritage Walking Tour

The charm of Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in its hidden alleys and architectural details. Discover parts of Penang that you'd be likely to miss if traveling by coach or car during a private walking tour that provides a more intimate glimpse into the historical area. This private tour, which provides a comprehensive introduction to first-time visitors, promises an insider's glimpse into the history and culture of Georgetown.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size
From
$45.00
Price varies by group size

Half-Day George Town Private Culture and Heritage

Half-Day George Town Private Culture and Heritage

Join a private guide for a personalized, half-day tour of George Town culture and heritage that explores everything from local-style tea to handmade crafts. You’ll browse the shops and stalls of Little India, taste a few treats, then see artisans selling everything from clogs to carved seals and wooden signs. This 3.5-hour, private George Town tour includes pickup and drop-off at hotels in the George Town area, with both morning and afternoon departures available.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$76.93
Price varies by group size
From
$76.93
Price varies by group size

Guided Tour of Cheong Fatt Tze's Blue Mansion in George Town

Guided Tour of Cheong Fatt Tze's Blue Mansion in George Town

star-4.5
181
Learn about a life of grandeur in 19th-century Penang on a tour of Cheong Fatt Tze, aka the Blue Mansion. Book admission to the famed George Town landmark and gain insight into its eclectic architecture and heritage, based on the lavish lifestyle of its former resident.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$6.35
From
$6.35