Penang is one of the most famous states and also is a beautiful island in Malaysia for tourism. In Penang there is a large community of Chinese and Tamil immigrants living together with the indigenous Malay people, so you will find very unique colors, very typical of many different countries and many backgrounds along with many wonderful and diverse cuisines if you come to Penang. So, what to do in Penang? Let’s check out our top rated 21+ must do in Penang which including best things to do in Penang, cool things to do in Penang, fun things to do in Penang, top things to do in Penang and unique things to do in Penang as follows!
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Malaysia’s well-known tourist island has its own beautiful beaches with clear water, along with famous delicacies such as spicy curry, noodles and many other street foods, in addition to ancient architectural works and a diversity in culture. All of these have come together to create a Penang that has the honor of being recognized by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites in Malaysia. If you want to fully explore Penang, then don’t miss a series of outstanding things to do in Penang that we will suggest to you through this article.
Visit the Tropical Spice Garden (# best things to do in penang)
One of the most prominent and unique attractions in Penang located on the outskirts of Penang that you should not miss is the Tropical Spice Garden located in the Jalan Teluk Bahang area. This place is a farm, a “home” of herbs and spices originating from all over the world, especially those of tropical origin, established on a piece of land that was formerly was a rubber plantation but has now been reconstructed.
If you are someone who is extremely interested in learning about the diverse and rich flora and fauna of Malaysia, then we believe that this Tropical Spice Garden is one of the suitable places to visit for you in Penang.
Not only you can learn about special herbs and spices from around the world, you can also participate in a cooking class here to learn how to combine these spices. These flavors and herbs to create a local dish with a distinct Malaysian flavor.
In addition, you can also participate in guided tours of the farm and join other visitors in special activities related to the spices and herbs grown there.
- Address: Lot 595 Mukim, 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4881 1797
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 9am to 6pm
Learn about local history at Fort Cornwallis (# cool things to do in penang)
Fort Cornwallis is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Penang and has been here since the 18th century. Fort Cornwallis was built by the British East India Company under the direction of Sir Francis Light – the first mayor who founded the state of Penang and was designed to protect the entire state in case of enemy attack from the water.
Even though it has been a long time, until today, Fort Cornwallis is still in good condition and if you come here, you will immediately see a sculpture of Sir Francis Light placed right at the entrance of the fortress as well as a series of original cannons.
And if you see a flower placed inside the muzzle of a cannon, don’t be too surprised, because there is a legend whispered by local people that if a girl wants to get pregnant, she should bring it to her. If you come here to pray with an offering, your wish will come true.
- Address: Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4263 9855
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 9am to 10pm
Visit the famous Kek Lok Si Temple (# must do in penang)
Kek Lok Si Temple is famous as one of the largest Buddhist temples in Malaysia in particular and Southeast Asia in general. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to come to Penang, you should not miss this special temple. Many Buddhists view Kek Lok Si Temple as a special and important pilgrimage and spiritual tourism site with the giant statue of the Goddess of Mercy Kuan Yin (Guan Yin) located here. The statue simulating the image of the Goddess of Mercy with a height of 36.5 meters is placed prominently outside the temple on a hill, making the pagoda receive more attraction and attention.
In addition, Kek Lok Si Temple is also built in a Chinese-style architecture, making this place seem like a “miniature China” in the heart of Penang and always attracts a large number of pilgrims to worship and visit.
- Address: Air Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4828 3317
- Opening hours: from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sunbathe at the beautiful Batu Ferringhi beach (# fun things to do in penang)
Every visitor traveling to Penang almost wants to enjoy the feeling of lying on the beautiful white sand beach and enjoying the gentle, warm sunlight. That’s why if you come to Penang, you can once enjoy sunbathing right at Batu Ferringhi beach – one of the most famous beautiful beaches here and always welcomes a large number of visitors.
If you come here, you can also participate in other popular outdoor activities, such as splashing in the cool, clear, calm water where you can see the bottom or enjoying moments of relaxation and comfort and enjoy a cool, sweet coconut while admiring the beautiful natural surroundings or take a above tour around by taking a paragliding tour.
We reveal that if possible, you should go to Batu Ferringhi beach when sunset is about to fall because the scenery here at this time is really beautiful and attractive, ensuring that if you come at this time you will get amazing photos.
- Address: Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia
Enjoy afternoon tea in a luxurious, classic space at Suffolk House (# top things to do in penang)
Suffolk House is a cafe designed in the style of Penang’s remaining traditional British colonial architecture, and is one of the famous places frequently visited by tourists in Penang. This place used to be the old house of Sir Francis Light – the man who discovered and founded the state of Penang as it is today. However, after his death, the house fell into serious disrepair and was closed.
In 2007, this place was restored and repurposed to become a cafe specializing in serving afternoon tea with an elegant, classic space. If you visit Suffolk House, you can also learn about the rich history of this building with bold colonial architecture.
If you come here, don’t miss out on rewarding yourself with a cup of traditionally prepared cream tea, served with a delicious piece of cake and delicately and meticulously prepared sophisticatedly sandwiches and extremely delicious and impressive.
- Address: 250 Jalan Air Hitam, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4228 3930
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 10am to 11pm
Visit Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi (# unique things to do in penang)
Khoo Kongsi is one of Penang’s most iconic attractions and always attracts a large number of visitors. This place used to be the home of one of the large Chinese clans who immigrated to Penang in the past. And today, the house has been restored and rebuilt, becoming a local museum and you will be able to enjoy an overview of the beautiful Chinese-inspired architecture as well as find works of arts, elegant and sophisticated sculptures and stone carvings in Chinese culture.
Khoo Kongsi is a house built in the 19th century with some highlights such as a large ancestral altar decorated with unique gold leaf. And if you stop by at the right time, you can enjoy a Chinese opera show here because Khoo Kongsi is often chosen as a year-round theater venue.
- Address: 18 Cannon Square, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4261 4609
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 9am to 5pm
Go sightseeing by trishaw (# what to do in penang)
One of the best ways for you to fully explore every corner and street in Penang in the late afternoon is hop on a trishaw – a traditional local means of transportation, similar to a cyclo in Vietnam which are decorated in many bright and eye-catching colors, attracting and letting the drivers take you around the place. If you don’t like, you can also rent a bicycle and cycling along the streets in George Town where vehicles such as cars are not allowed.
Visit Pinang Peranakan museum (Pinang Peranakan Mansion)
Pinang Peranakan Museum is an old mansion to display and preserve items of the Peranakan people, also known as immigrants from the China Strait region. The Peranakan people moved to Penang, Malaysia in ancient times and had a unique, special culture with them, which is a harmonious combination of traditional Chinese customs and native Malay culture.
If you want to learn more about this special culture, then Pinang Peranakan Museum is the ideal place for you. This place will help you go back in time, back to the 19th century with a museum space imbued with ancient culture, along with a series of works on display here, including Precious photos and antiques will help you better understand this unique culture.
- Address: 29 Church St, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4264 2929
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
Challenge yourself at the Snake Temple
True to its name, the Snake Temple in Penang is home to many species of reptiles. This is also one of the most unique temples in Malaysia. The temple began to have many “special guests” visit in 1805 and the monks in the temple allowed them to stay here and gradually, these “guests” became more crowded at the temple.
Today, if you come to the Snake Pagoda, you will easily see images of curled up snakes lying in different corners throughout the temple grounds as well as curled up at a certain altar. And if you’re brave, you can also take photos with these special “guests”.
The Snake Temple deserves to be one of the famous tourist attractions in Penang thanks to its unique, special and impressive nature. One thing you can rest assured about when visiting the temple is that most of the snakes here are benign, safe, and do not attack visitors at all. However, you should not tease these “friends”.
- Address: Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas Industrial Park, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4643 7273
Enjoy lunch at Pelita Nasi Kandar restaurant
Pelita Nasi Kandar is one of the famous restaurant chains throughout Malaysia, a suitable place if you want to enjoy authentic, authentic local dishes in Penang. About Nasi Kandar, this is simply a dish made from rice, combined with other proteins such as meat, fish, seafood and vegetable side dishes served with a rich, delicious curry sauce.
All dishes are displayed in a glass case in front of the restaurant and you just need to point to the dish you want to combine in the portion and you will immediately have a portion of nasi kandar that suits your own liking and taste.
The dishes at Pelita restaurant are largely influenced by Tamil tastes due to a large Tamil community living in Penang. Therefore, do not miss the delicious curry with typical Indian flavors, served with many side dishes such as sauteed cabbage and okra with mustard seeds and fresh turmeric to bring a characteristic color, attractive and eye-catching.
- Address: 146A Jalan Macalister, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4227 6214
- Opening hours: open 24/24 every day of the week
Explore Little India
Little India is one of the places that contributes to the specialness and cultural diversity of Penang, so if you have the opportunity to come here, don’t miss the place that people often call this ”Little India”. If you come to Little India, take a walk around and find stores that specialize in selling beautiful, colorful saris as well as many stores that specialize in selling perfumes and incense sticks, lambs here.
Not only is there a series of unique products waiting for you to take home, this place also attracts tourists with performances of Bollywood-standard music on the street, and this is also a great place to enjoy delicious snacks in Penang.
Snacks that you can easily see sold on the streets of Little India include deep-fried pastries like Samosa. In addition, you can also find the most famous drinks in Malaysia that are also widely sold and popular here, for example, traditional milk tea Teh Tarik combines condensed milk and tea, processed in a unique way is to pour from one cup to another quickly to create a delicious, smooth layer of milk foam.
- Address: Lebuh Pasar, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 8am to 9:45pm
Explore the art of tea ceremony at Huang Chen Hao Tea Art
One of the special things in Penang is that it has a variety of tea ceremony shops with beautiful small spaces, bearing the mark of Chinese culture as well as showing the strong influence of this national culture in where is considered the pearl of Malaysia in the middle of the ocean. Because these tea houses are quite small, people are often overlooked if they don’t pay attention. However, don’t ignore the houses with cozy spaces with a strong scent of tea because there are hidden joys inside waiting for you to explore.
Huan Chen Hao Tea Art tea ceremony shop is also one of the places with a fragrant atmosphere of tea with a variety of products from traditional Chinese tea brands displayed and sold here.
Not only that, this place also prepares small tables neatly arranged inside, allowing you to sit down, rest and enjoy delicious cups of tea. This is also where you can find special and meaningful souvenirs to bring back as gifts for your loved ones in the family after a trip to the beautiful Malaysian state of Penang.
- Address: 83 Lebuh Campbell, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4262 1315
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 9am to 6pm
Visit the floating mosque Tanjung Bungah
Tanjung Bungah is a small town located between the capital George Town and the Batu Ferringhi area. A prominent tourist attraction that helps this small town attract a large number of tourists is that there is a floating mosque built on the sea called Tanjung Bungah. At low tide, you can walk directly around this mosque area and explore this amazing, wonderful, technically unique architectural work as well as the first mosque built in Malaysia in this form.
- Address: Tanjung Bungah Road, Pulau Pinang, Penang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4250 2800
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 5 am to 10 pm
Take the ferry to Butterworth
Most people think that the Penang island area only includes the capital George Town. However, there is also the Butterworth area, which is also one of the coastal towns.
Butterworth is part of mainland Malaysia, while the capital George Town is located completely separate on an island. Therefore, if you want to visit the Butterworth area, you can only choose to travel by ferry. That’s why you can enjoy the feeling of the fresh, cool sea breeze “playing” on your face and hair while admiring the beautiful natural landscapes of both the capital George Town and Butterworth.
Enjoy shopping at Batu Ferringhi night market
Batu Ferringhi is known as an area with a vibrant and wonderful night market, suitable for shopping lovers to visit and if you are lucky, you can also buy good items at affordable prices.
At Batu Ferringhi night market, people trade an extremely diverse range of products with a large number of shops specializing in selling clothes, handbags, watches, and even DVDs on sale here. Not only that, if you come here, you can easily find small, beautiful and meaningful souvenirs to bring back for your loved ones in the family, such as small-sized and fitted wood carvings.
Besides these items, Batu Ferringhi night market is also famous for a series of street vendors with a full range of famous street foods in Penang in particular and Malaysia in general, such as grilled meat, noodles and fried rice.
- Address: Jalan Pantai Batu, Taman Pantai Batu, Tanjong Bungah, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 18283 4117
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 7pm to 1am
Enjoy dinner at Northam Beach Cafe
If you are looking for the best way to end a perfect day in Penang, don’t miss the food at Northam Beach Cafe – which is only open to serve everyone when sun has fallen and helps you can enjoy dinner while looking at the beautiful ocean view at night.
There are a series of stalls specializing in serving many different dishes so you can easily find a dish that suits your own taste. Common dishes sold here include Penang tiger prawn noodles, grilled chicken wings and dim sum. You can also find chicken pie and traditional British sausages and mashed potatoes on sale here.
Having a meal, combined with a cool glass of beer and watching the sunset slowly fall over the sea, what could be more wonderful and ideal, right?
- Address: 58 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4226 6205
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 4:30 pm to 1 am
Travel to Penang Hill area by funicular
Penang Hill is definitely one of the tourist places that always attracts a large number of tourists in Penang with hills up to 812 meters above sea level. This place is operated and served by the Penang Hill Railway Company – one of the companies with the oldest cable systems in the world. With funicular system, you can reach up to the top of the hill, where you can see wonderful natural scenery, even seeing the Langkawi and Kedah areas in the distance.
Not only the funicular system, Penang Hill also has a series of natural trails, ready to meet the needs of those who love hiking in the forest. You can also walk to the top of the hill from the nearby Botanical Gardens area.
Enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the Upper Penang Road
Compared to other areas in Malaysia, the state of Penang, especially in the Upper Penang Road area, has a much more vibrant and bustling night atmosphere. Right from sunset, there are always a large number of tourists and locals flocking to this area of the road to stop and visit the bars and nightclubs located along both sides of the road. some of the most famous spots here, such as Slippery Senoritas and Soho Free House.
Not only that, many clubs and bars in the Upper Penang Road also know how to attract customers by applying a number of daily promotions called “happy hours” as well as implementing many other different programs every night of the week.
Therefore, if you are a person who loves a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, as well as wants to once immerse yourself in the vibrant life at night in Penang, especially Upper Penang Road area, we believe that this is the most ideal thing to do for you during your trip to Malaysia.
- Address: George Town, Jalan Penang, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Explore Penang National Park
Penang National Park is a great place to visit if you want to escape the modern atmosphere of the vibrant, fast-paced life of the city and spend more time exploring wild natural life. In Penang National Park, there are a series of jungle trails that will take you to beautiful small beaches with beautiful quiet space. Even from here you can go to an old lighthouse that was built in 1883.
There are also trails that take you to Kerachut beach, where there is a Sea Turtle Conservation Center. If you come here, you will learn how the people here care for and protect their friends from the ocean and if you are lucky, you will be able to witness the scene of baby turtles breaking their egg shells to escape and swim towards the vast ocean.
- Address: Pejabat Taman Negara Pulau Pinang, Jalan Hassan Abbas, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
- Phone number: +60 4881 3530
- Opening hours: open all days of the week, from 8am to 5pm
Enjoy the unique culinary culture at Chulia Street night market
One thing that makes Penang famous among tourists coming to Malaysia is its unique street food and if possible, don’t miss the night market at Chulia Street, where you will be able to taste delicious street food. Street food with the most delicious and authentic flavors is sold here.
The night market begins to bustle as dusk falls, and you will easily find a variety of street foods served on small carts located along the long road. Some of the most delicious and attractive street foods sold here include famous local laksa as well as wonton noodles, various types of noodles and dumplings… Besides, you can You can also find unique turnip cake made from rice flour and turnip as well as the famous Hainanese chicken rice dish also sold at this night market.
Challenge yourself with water sports at Batu Ferringhi (# best things to do in Penang)
One of the things that attracts tourists to Batu Ferringhi is that they can enjoy the water sports held here. If you love the feeling of adventure, we believe that Batu Ferringhi is the ideal place for you. Because there are a series of adventure sports games that bring excitement such as paragliding or jet skiing. Besides, you can also kayak or go fishing in the ocean.
Penang is a famous state for tourism with many attractions and a variety of interesting and exciting entertainment activities, ready to meet all the needs of tourists coming here. If you are looking for interesting things to do when coming to Penang, this article is for you.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Penang you can refer to
- Private Penang Airport Transfers (PEN) for Penang
- Private City Transfers for Penang and Surrounding Cities
- Shared Penang International Airport (PEN) Transfers for Georgetown or Batu Ferringhi
- Explore Georgetown
- The Habitat Penang Hill Ticket
- Klook Pass Penang
- The TOP Penang Ticket
- ESCAPE Penang Ticket
- Explore Georgetown Half Day City Tour
- Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm Ticket
- Dark Mansion Museum Ticket
- Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Tour in Penang
- Georgetown Penang Private Car Charter
- Boutique Aquarium Ticket at The TOP Penang
- Heritage Tour and Trishaw Ride in Penang
- Penang Hill and Temple Sightseeing
- Penang Heritage & Street Food Tour
- Georgetown Scenic Night Tour
- KL TravelPass (Metro Card) in Kuala Lumpur
- [SALE] 4G Prepaid SIM Card (MY Airports Pick Up) for Malaysia
- 4G WiFi (MY Airport Pick Up) for Malaysia
Are you looking for more top things to do in Penang: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Penang travel blog — The fullest guide for a budget trip to Penang of Malaysia. And Penang in 1 day: Let’s check it out here.