Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Penang

Things to do in  Penang

Welcome to Penang

Penang Island, once known as the Pearl of the Orient, is one of Malaysia's most densely populated urban centers. George Town, its bustling capital, showcases the island's long history as trading port and former British colony, as well as the multicultural influence of its tightly knit immigrant communities. Proud of their glittering, modern skyline, Penang Islanders also treasure their heritage: Colonial relics, faded Chinese shophouses, and Buddhist temples line the cobblestone streets of George Town's central UNESCO World Heritage zone. To capture Penang’s diversity, a guided tour is highly recommended. Absorb sweeping panoramas from atop Penang Hill; visit Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple; and relax on the white sands of Batu Ferringhi beach. Stroll through historic Fort Cornwallis and the riotously colorful streets of Little India and Chinatown, and visit the fascinating Penang Museum. A tasting tour of the island's famous food stalls is a must: try the creamy, spicy coconut laksa (noodle soup), prawn fritters, and slow-cooked pork. Nature lovers can explore Monkey Beach and the uninhabited islands of Penang National Park on a day trip, or snorkel and swim in the azure waters of Pulau Payar Marine Park. From Penang Island, many travelers head to Langkawi by boat, or back to the mainland to tour the rolling green hills of the Cameron Highlands. If you have some in Seburang Perai, the peninsular half of Penang State, visit Penang Bird Park, the largest and oldest aviary in Malaysia.

Top 10 attractions in Penang

#1
Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Clan House & Museum)

Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Clan House & Museum)

star-587
Hidden in a maze of alleyways in Georgetown sits Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Clan House & Museum), one of Malaysia’s most important clan houses. The legacy of the house dates back more than 650 years to the Khoo Kongsi clan from west China and manifests itself in intricate carvings, murals, and timberwork.More
#2
Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple

star-4.5113
Kek Lok Si Temple, which translates from Hokkien as the the Temple of Serene Bliss, stands majestically on the slopes of Air Itam, a hill on Penang Island. The largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, Kek Lok Si attracts thousands of visitors with its 7-story white-and-gold pagoda, golden statues, and an elevated setting that provides panoramic views.More
#3
Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram)

Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram)

star-4.5122
Characterized by glittering stupas and fearsome green dragons, the Thai Buddhist Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram) is one of the most ornate in Penang. The temple’s extravagant exterior alludes to the giant reclining Buddha statue inside, whose position signifies peace and freedom from the material world. Opposite the Thai temple sits a Burmese temple of similar grandeur.More
#4
Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

star-597
The acid-green Pinang Peranakan Mansion offers insight into the culture of the Peranakans (Babas, a community from the China Straits. Inside, more than 1,000 items showcase the affluence of a typical Baba household, while cosmopolitan decor combines traditional Chinese-carved wood panels with English and Scottish features.More
#5
Penang Hill Funicular Railway

Penang Hill Funicular Railway

star-4.599
A colonial-era hill station, Penang Hill sits behind George Town, about 2,733 feet (833 meters) above sea level. Visit in style on the Penang Hill Funicular Railway, a cliff-side railway dating back to 1924. The trains and tracks are modern, and the sheer ascents through the jungle and over bridges make for a spectacular journey.More
#6
Little India

Little India

star-5261
Colorful Little India is a three-street community in already eclectic Georgetown that envelops visitors with the sights and sounds of a small street in Mumbai. On Jalan Pasar (Market Street), colorful storefronts scrawled in Brahmi script blare Hindi melodies. The community is of the oldest Indian enclaves in Malaysia and dates to the earliest British settlements of Georgetown in the late 1700s.Wind through the narrow streets and you’ll find sari and cotton clothing shops, wedding florists, Bollywood posters and DVDs, spice merchants, gold jewelers and an abundance of eateries with popular Indian favorites such as roti, briyani rice and tandoori chicken as well as Malaysian Indian fusion cuisine. On nearby Jalan Bandar, the Sri Mahamariammam Temple, built in 1883 in the ornate and towering South Indian style, it is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. The area really comes alive during Indian holidays such as Deepavali (Diwali) festival of lights each autumn.More
#7
Penang Botanical Gardens (Taman Botani Penang)

Penang Botanical Gardens (Taman Botani Penang)

star-569
Set in a former quarry below Penang Hill, the 71-acre (29-hectare) Penang Botanic Gardens (Taman Botani Pulau Pinang) blend jungle with formal gardens to magical effect. Founded in 1884, and sometimes known as the Waterfall Gardens for the stream that tumbles through them, they’re crisscrossed with walking trails.More
#8
Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm

Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm

star-553
When Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm opened in 1986 as the Penang Butterfly Farm, it was the first facility of its kind anywhere in the tropics. This living museum showcases more than 15,000 rare, endangered, and indigenous butterflies and dragonflies representing some 120 species alongside 200 species of plants. A multistory indoor discovery center known as the Cocoon lets visitors explore the world of invertebrates through a series of hands-on exhibits and activities. Entopia doubles as a research and conservation center for butterflies, insects, and their habitats.More
#9
Snake Temple (Hock Hing Keong)

Snake Temple (Hock Hing Keong)

star-558
Variously known as Hock Hin Keong, Cheng Hoon Giam, or Fu Xing Gong, depending which Chinese dialect you favor, Penang’s Snake Temple does exactly what it says on the tin. Dedicated to Chor Soo Kong, a Chinese healer turned god, this 19th-century temple boasts fruit trees decked with vipers and snakes in the prayer hall.More
#10
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion)

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion)

star-4.5191
Known by locals as the Blue Mansion, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts visitors with its architectural fusion of European and Chinese styles. Featured in the Oscar-winning movieIndochine, the mansion, an important part of George Town’s heritage, is now part hotel, part museum. Indigo blue walls and decadent ornamentation make for stunning photographs.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Penang

How to Spend 1 Day in Penang

Colonial Sites in Penang

Colonial Sites in Penang

How to Spend 3 Days in Penang

How to Spend 3 Days in Penang

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Penang

star-5
Fuss free nature trip
YongKuei_L, Jun 2022
Penang: Flexible Full-Day Adventures
As we wanted to explore places outside of Georgetown, he also brought us to visit a durian farm(the durians were great!
star-5
Great day of food and exploration of Penang with Tiger!
Sam_L, Jun 2022
Food Tour at George Town 5 hours - Eat Like a Local, Feel Like a Local
Tiger is a Penangite with excellent conversant English communication and wealth of knowledge on history, cultures, geography, cuisine, government and people!
star-5
Great tour
Taylor_L, Jan 2020
Penang: Round Island Half-Day Gems
Shared a ton of information with a lot of enthusiasm, very good English and went above and beyond to show us so much around the island.
star-5
Great tour
patriciavitalich, Nov 2019
Penang: Flexible Half-Day Escapes
He showed us a few things we wanted to see and left the rest to him.
star-5
Great fully packed day in Penang.
jfischkoff, Jan 2020
Penang: Flexible Full-Day Adventures
He took us around George Town to see the Clan Jetties, an old mosque, street art, antiques Chinese mansions etc.
star-5
Super
Aishath_F, Jan 2020
Penang: Flexible 6-Hours Highlights
The six hours tour was too good,we were able to see the temples ,the Anglican church as well as the Kapitan Keling Mosque.
star-5
Very good package, excellent service
XuanYuan_T, Dec 2019
Penang: Flexible 6-Hours Highlights
For the places to visit, we selected a bunch from the places listed in the package description and also requested to visit some shops where we could buy the tambun (green bean) biscuits and preserved nutmeg.
star-5
Penang Express Tour
JoAnn_C, Jul 2019
Private Tour: Full Day Center Penang Island Tour
This tour was perfect for us since the pace was not too fast and we were able to see the major sites in the city in one day.
star-5
As our cruise ship was scheduled to...
Robert_Y, Mar 2018
Penang Hill Funicular Ticket
We had also purchased hop-on-hop-off bus tickets the bus stops right outside the funicular station and wanted to see as much of Penang as we could in the time we had available.
star-5
The audio tour of Penang was great...
Ann G, Jan 2017
Remarkable Penang Self-Guided Audio Tour
The self-guided tour is a great way to visit a city.
star-5
Wonderful tour with an excellent caring guide
PengKin_W, Oct 2019
Penang: Flexible 6-Hours Highlights
Really enjoyed the trip which allows us to pick your attractions too.
We perform checks on reviews

All about Penang

Currency
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Time Zone
MYT (UTC +7)
Country Code
+60
Language(s)
Malay

People Also Ask

What is Penang known for?

George Town, Penang island’s vibrant capital, holds UNESCO World Heritage status for its historic, multicultural architecture, a feast of temples, clan houses, colonial-era mansions, and candy-colored shophouses. It’s also a center for Peranakan culture, a fusion of Chinese and Malaysian traditions, and multicultural food, while its street art is Instagram famous.

...More
How can I spend 3 days in Penang?

Three days in Penang gives you time to get a good taste of historic George Town—a trishaw ride is a must. You can also see more of the island: beaches, fruit farms, spice gardens, butterfly farms, botanical gardens, rain forest reserves, and the Penang War Museum all await outside the city limits.

...More
What shouldn't I miss in Penang?

George Town is Penang’s cultural highlight, not to mention Malaysia’s food capital. Alongside historic treats such as Blue Mansion, the Khoo Kongsi clan house, and the Chew Jetty, enjoy museums, cafés, and markets. Sampling Peranakan (Nyonya) food is a must, as is a tasting tour of Little India.

...More
What is there to do in Penang for free?

There is plenty to do in Penang for free. Swim off Pantai Pasir Panjang or Monkey Beach, or hike in Penang National Park. In George Town, photograph street art or shophouses, admire the stilt houses on Chew Jetty, or explore religious buildings like the Goddess of Mercy Temple (Kuan Yin Teng).

...More
What activities do people do in Penang?

Walking, eating, sightseeing, and photography are favorite activities in Penang. A ride in a trishaw 3-wheeler is a must, while food tours and cooking classes are popular. Alternatively, fill up your Insta at the Upside Down Museum, the 3D Trick Art Museum, or The TOP Penang, atop the towering Komtar building.

...More
What do locals do in Penang?

Locals in Penang love to eat, often at hawker courts, and shop, often at traditional night markets. George Town has a thriving nightlife scene, including hidden bars, karaoke joints (KTV), and the Soundmaker Studio rock venue. Some locals enjoy hiking in the island’s parks and rain forest reserves and visiting the beach.

...More
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Penang?
Q:
What are the top activities in Penang?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Penang?
A:
Check out things to do near Penang:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Penang?