Penang Georgetown To Butterworth

If you’re not exactly sure how to get from Penang Georgetown to Butterworth, you can refer to this travel guide.

Or keep this post handy for future reference as you never know when you want to explore the rest of the mainland from Penang Island!

Getting to Butterworth from Georgetown Penang is pretty straightforward. Let’s take a look at how much time and money it’ll cost using the most popular public transportation methods available.

1. Ferry From Penang Georgetown To Butterworth

Of the two bridges that link Penang to the mainland, one of the bridges does somewhat connect Georgetown to Butterworth, albeit you won’t end up directly in central Butterworth.

But much further south in Perai. Perai is a 15-minute drive from Butterworth. Or 20 minutes by bus.

So many locals who don’t have their own car choose to take the ferry from Georgetown to Butterworth instead. It’s mostly a direct route*, as well as short journey and affordable too.

*you may still need to get a ride (via an e-hailing service or taxi) from Penang Sentral Station to Butterworth

Georgetown And Butterworth Separated By The Sea
Georgetown And Butterworth Separated By The Sea – Photo credits to Wan San Yip (unsplash)

1.1. Penang Georgetown Ferry Terminals

There are 2 Penang island ferry ports. One is walking distance (~20 minutes) from the center of Georgetown. And it goes by the name, Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal.

Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal is where you can take the vehicle ferries if you have a motorcycle or bicycle.

The second ferry terminal in Georgetown Penang is Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT), approximately 30 minutes’ walk from Georgetown. This is where you can take the passenger ferries.

Both ferry terminals are under 15 minutes’ walk apart from each other.

Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal At Georgetown Penang
Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal At Georgetown Penang – Photo credits to Jihao Tan (unsplash)

1.2. Passenger Ferry (Fast Ferry) From Georgetown (Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal) To Ferry Terminal Butterworth (Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim)

The passenger ferries from Penang to Butterworth have a different schedule on weekdays, weekends and public holidays.

And because of the pandemic, there are now chunks of the schedule blocked out just to sanitize the passenger ferries. This is typically a period of 4 hours once a day.

Although, you should still be able to get a time slot you want (assuming the tickets are not sold out) since they have more than one ferry.

Board passenger ferries from Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) from as early as 7am to as late as 9pm on weekdays. On weekends, the earliest ferry is at 7:30am.

  • Duration: ~10 minutes
  • Intervals: Hourly (and 30 minute intervals during peak hours on weekdays only from 7am to 9:30am)
  • First Departure: 7am (07:00) on weekdays, 7:30am (07:30) on weekends and public holidays
  • Last Departure: 9pm (21:00) every day
  • Price: RM1.2 (Adult), RM0.6 (Child), RM0.6 (OKU)

Note: For the latest schedule, please check the official ferry schedule.

1.3. Vehicle Ferry From Georgetown (Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda) To Ferry Terminal Butterworth (Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim)

If you have your own vehicle (motorcycles and bicycles only) but still want to take the ferry from Penang to Butterworth, make your way to the Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal.

Vehicle Ferry From Georgetown To Butterworth
Vehicle Ferry From Georgetown To Butterworth – Photo credits to Kelvin Zyteng (unsplash)

On weekdays, the ferries departing from the Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal at frequent intervals of 1 hour throughout the day.

Weekends and public holidays are the same except for 2 blocked-out time slots in the day – one between 11:30am to 1:30pm, and another between 3:30pm to 5:30pm.

  • Duration: ~10 minutes
  • Intervals: Every hour during peak hours except on weekends and public holidays
  • First Departure: 7:30am (07:30)
  • Last Departure: 7:30pm (19:30)
  • Price: RM2 (Motorcycle), RM1.4 (Bicycle)

Note: You can see the latest schedule on the official Penang Port website.

1.4. Butterworth Ferry Terminal

Regardless, the ferries from Georgetown (Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal (SPCT) or Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal) will bring passengers to the Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal in Butterworth.

1.5. Penang Sentral, Butterworth

Another reason why taking the ferry from Georgetown to Butterworth is preferable is because the Butterworth ferry terminal (Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal) is conveniently next to the main transport hub in ButterworthPenang Sentral!

The Older Bridge - One Of Penang's 2 Bridges
The Older Bridge – One Of Penang’s 2 Bridges – Photo credits to Yaopey Yong (unsplash)

From here, you can board a bus or train to Kuala Lumpur and other major cities in West Malaysia that are further up north or south of Penang.

In between waiting for your bus or train, you can take advantage of the numerous facilities and services at Penang Sentral:

These include luggage storage via lockers, a 3-storey car park with 24-hour security, and helpful staff at the Information Counter at Level 3.

There is also the food court, a convenience store (7-Eleven), fast food joints like KFC and Marrybrown, a pharmacy, a handful of bakeries, an on-site medical clinic besides money changing services, a baby room, prayer rooms, and ATMs (RHB and Maybank).

You can even pick up some chocolate at Beryl’s Chocolate. Or check out some electronics at the Huawei, Samsung, OPPO concept stores to kill some time.

Penang's Second Bridge
Penang’s Second Bridge – Photo credtis to Rebecca Lee (unsplash)

2. Taxi From Penang Island To Butterworth

If the idea of taking a ferry does not appeal to you but you don’t have your own mode of transportation, or you just like to keep things flexible:

The next best thing to get from Georgetown to Butterworth is to use an e-hailing service or take a taxi.

This is a 30 to 40 minute drive depending on traffic conditions.

  • Duration: ~30 minutes
  • Price: It costs around RM40 for a taxi or ~RM20 for an e-hailing service like Grab or Air Asia Ride


And that’s about all you need to know if you want to get from Georgetown Penang to Butterworth without having to drive!

We highly recommend taking the ferry (it’s cheap, with regular intervals and it is a short journey) if you are travelling light.

Else, taking a taxi or e-hailing service may be more convenient. And the latter is less stressful for everyone if you are travelling in a group.

Further reading:

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