How do you get from culturally-rich Penang Island to breathtaking Langkawi stress-free?
With a little bit of planning, heading further up north can be holistically enjoyable, forming part of your amazing travel experience.
Whether you choose to board a flight, ferry, bus, or drive up via car, dive into this guide as we share how to get from Penang to Langkawi hassle-free.
Table Of Contents:
- Penang To Langkawi Distance
- Penang To Langkawi By Flight
- Penang To Langkawi By Ferry
- Penang To Langkawi By Car
- Penang To Langkawi By Bus
- Penang To Langkawi By Cruise
- Frequently Asked Questions
Penang To Langkawi Distance
With a straight line difference of 122km between both the states, the actual travel distance varies greatly depending on your mode of transport.
Here are the 4 most popular options on how you can travel from Penang to Langkawi.
1. Penang To Langkawi By Flight
Should you choose to fly to Langkawi, you will have to depart from the Penang International Airport at Bayan Lepas, and arrive at Langkawi International Airport at Kuah.
With a flight distance of 80 miles or 129 kilometers, expect to arrive at your destination in 40 minutes.
Notable airline operators such as AirAsia and Firefly offer daily direct flights from Penang to Langkawi and vice versa.
The starting price for flight tickets is RM80++. To enjoy better rates, book in advance to secure your seat.
Note: In addition, most local airlines recommend arriving at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure for a relaxed travel experience.
2. Penang To Langkawi By Ferry
Note: Travel by ferry has been temporarily suspended since 20 October 2020 to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Cruising by ferry between Penang and Langkawi is another fairly affordable option for those who which to visit Langkawi from Penang:
|Child (below 2yrs)
Note: Rates stated above exclude port handling charges (Adult: RM13.60 one-way; Child/Infant: RM9.90 one-way) and are subject to changes by Langkawi Ferry Services Sdn Bhd.
However, given that the one-way fare for an adult costs RM73.60 (including port handling charges), these are marginal savings compared to traveling by plane.
And trade-back is that travel time by sea is double compared to other modes of transportation, ranging between 2.5 hours and 3 hours.
Thus, if you have time to spare and don’t mind capturing a picturesque view of glistening oceans from afar, sailing across the ocean can be rewarding.
That is, if you’re not affected by seasickness!
3. How To Go To Langkawi From Penang By Car
As Langkawi is an island, there is no direct road connection to Langkawi.
You can either drive or ride a bus to any of 2 departure points – One at Kuala Kedah and another at Kuala Perlis – where you can board a ferry to Langkawi.
But both routes will take you about 3-4 hours total. And that doesn’t include any traffic jams during the holiday season.
Once you’ve reach your jetty of choice, you can park your car at the port for RM10 to RM15 per day.
3.1. Method 1: Penang To Langkawi Via Ferry Terminal At Kuala Kedah
This first method will clock in a total duration of around 3 hours 15 minutes. Provided that there isn’t any heavy traffic or other delays.
3.1.1. Get To The Ferry Terminal At Kuala Kedah By Car
Cruise along the North-South Expressway (E1), exit at Alor Setar Selatan and follow the signboards heading towards Kuala Kedah.
- Driving duration from George Town Penang to Kuala Kedah Jetty (By Car): 1 hour 45 minutes
- Driving distance from George Town Penang to Kuala Kedah Jetty: 119km
- Ferry ride duration from Kuala Kedah Jetty to Kuah Jetty, Langkawi: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Total travel duration: ~3 hours 15 minutes
3.1.2. Take The Ferry From Kuala Kedah Jetty To Kuah Jetty In Langkawi
The journey from Kuala Kedah Jetty to Kuah Jetty, Langkawi via Ferry) will last roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Prices listed below are subject to changes by the respective ferry operator:
Pricing table for the ferry at Kuala Kedah Jetty to Kuah Jetty, Langkawi:
3.2. Method 2: Penang To Langkawi Via Ferry Terminal At Kuala Perlis
This second method of driving to the Kuala Perlis Jetty from George Town Penang takes slightly longer than the first method with a total travel duration of around 3 hours 35 minutes.
3.2.1. Get To The Ferry Terminal At Kuala Perlis By Car
However, because of the shorter ferry ride between Kuala Perlis to Langkawi, this jetty is preferable to Kuala Kedah.
There are also more ferries and operators for this route.
- Driving duration from George Town, Penang to Kuala Perlis Jetty (By Car): 2 hours 30 minutes
- Driving distance from George Town, Penang to Kuala Perlis Jetty: 175km
- Ferry ride duration from Kuala Perlis Jetty to Kuah Jetty, Langkawi: 1 hour and 5 minutes
- Total duration around 3 hours 35 minutes
3.2.2. Take The Ferry From Kuala Perlis Jetty To Kuah Jetty In Langkawi
Riding the ferry from Kuala Perlis Jetty to Kuah Jetty, Langkawi will take 1 hour 5 minutes. That’s 30 minutes shorter than taking the ferry from Kuala Kedah Jetty (first method).
The ferry rates are also slightly cheaper.
Pricing table for the ferry at Kuala Perlis Jetty to Kuah Jetty, Langkawi:
3.2.3. Take The RoRo Ferry Service From Kuala Perlis Jetty To Langkawi Tanjung Lembung Port
Alternatively, there are roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) ferries that carry cargo and cars along with passengers too.
Langkawi RoRo Ferry Services and Langkawi Auto Express are two appointed service operators of RoRo ferries.
These ferries allow you to drive your vehicle on board, ride to your destination, and drive off at Langkawi. Note that the final destination is not Kuah Jetty, unlike with the previous methods.
The cost to board these ferries depends on the size of your vehicle and the number of passengers.
Note: It costs RM348 for a return fare for a small car (below 1500cc), its driver, and one accompanying passenger. For motorcycles, the fee imposed is RM140.
Seeing that it’s quite pricey, you’re better off renting a car for RM100 to RM200 per day (depending on the car model) or using a ride hailing service if you only plan to stay less than 4 days on the island.
4. Penang To Langkawi By Bus
Another affordable means to get from Penang to Langkawi (without having to drive) is to first travel by bus from Penang island to Penang Sentral, Butterworth.
From Butterworth, you’ll need to board another bus to either the Kuala Perlis jetty or Kuala Kedah jetty. Similar to the section above (see 3.3 and 3.4).
Step 1: Penang Island To Penang Sentral Butterworth
If you’re not already in Butterworth, you can take a ferry from Penang Island to the mainland (Butterworth).
The cost is RM1.2 for adults, RM0.60 for kids, and students below 21 years old get to board for free.
For more information, check out this detailed guide on how to get from Penang Georgetown to Butterworth here.
Step 2: Penang Sentral Butterworth To Kuala Perlis/ Kuala Kedah Jetty
Take a bus from Penang Sentral Butterworth to travel to either the Kuala Perlis jetty or Kuala Kedah jetty.
Option 1: Bus From Penang Sentral Butterworth To Kuala Perlis Jetty
Since the bus stop at Kuala Perlis is a mere 6-minute walk to the ferry terminal, this is the most convenient option.
Plus, there are 5 reputable coach operators who offer up to 17 trips daily for an average price of RM20 per person.
Penang Sentral Butterworth To Kuala Perlis Jetty:
- Travel Distance: 158km
- Average Duration: 2 hours 26 minutes
- Average Price: RM20
Option 2: Bus From Penang Sentral Butterworth To Kuala Kedah Jetty
There aren’t any direct bus routes from Butterworth to the Kuala Kedah jetty. So you can see why this option is not as popular as option 1.
As such, you’ll need to take a bus from Butterworth to the Shahab Perdana Terminal (Alor Setar bus terminal).
Penang Sentral Butterworth to the Shahab Perdana Bus Terminal:
- Travel Distance: 102km
- Average Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes
- Average Price: RM15
From here, you still need to get on a local bus to make your way to the Kuala Kedah Jetty (12 km away). This additional leg typically costs RM3 per pax.
Or you can try a car hailing service.
Terminal Bas Shahab Perdana to Kuala Kedah Jetty:
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Price: RM3
Your final stretch of this journey is to hop on a ferry from Kuala Kedah Jetty to Kuah Jetty Langkawi.
More information on traveling between the Kuala Kedah Jetty and Kuah Jetty. (Link to be provided)
5. Penang To Langkawi By Cruise
Update: The cruise has been temporarily halted due to Omicron.
Alternatively, set sail in an all-inclusive vibrant cruise from Penang to Langkawi via Genting’s Star Pieces cruise.
Note: Since its inaugural cruise on 22 December 2022, stringent requirements were introduced for public health safety. Among these, only fully vaccinated guests and crew can board and passenger capacity is now 50%.
Frequently Asked Questions
While not the fastest (~5 hours), the cheapest option to travel between Penang and Langkawi is by bus and ferry.
You’ll first need to board a bus from Penang to Butterworth, then to the Kuala Perlis jetty (this is the recommended jetty) and finally, ride on the ferry to Kuah.
The estimated total cost is around~RM40per person per trip. For comparison, travelling by bus from Penang but taking the ferry from Kuala Kedah Jetty instead of Kuala Perlis Jetty will cost around RM42 per person per trip.
If you manage to secure a flight ticket at RM80++, it’s a good deal considering the time saved with an estimated flight time of 40 minutes.
The fastest travel option between Penang and Langkawi is by air. The flight time is 40 minutes. But it is still quicker than taking the bus/driving and ferry.
Connectivity from Langkawi International Airport is seamless with many taxis and e-haling rides available at your disposal.
Being a relatively small island with no public transport, the best way to get around Langkawi is to rent a car or motorbike or engage e-hailing services like Grab.
If you don’t mind paying extra, you can seek out guided tours for day tours, or hire a private charter to take you to the best attractions in Langkawi.
Yes, Langkawi is a duty-free haven (since 1987). As such, you can purchase chocolates, liquor, fragrances, designer clothes, and kitchenware at cheaper prices compared other parts of the country.
If you like the outdoors and water sports, there are endless activities to try and places to explore in Langkawi. You can also do some shopping.
Discover the top things to do in Langkawi for a memorable island escapade!
Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Pantai Kok, Tanjung Rhu and Kuah are the 5 best locations to stay in Langkawi.
While some areas are relatively more touristy than others, each is unique in terms of landscape, available amenities, and crowd level:
Pantai Cenang – Here’s where you’ll find the most vibrant nightlife with a good mix of cheaper and mid-range accommodations. It’s a convenient 20 minutes from the Langkawi International Airport.
Pantai Tengah – Pantai Tengah has more relaxed vibes than Pantai Cenang. There are a few idyllic resorts, spas, and guesthouses here.
Pantai Kok – Several first-class resorts reside here.
Tanjung Rhu – This is a secluded stretch of pristine coast with 5-star hotels such as the Four Seasons Resort and Tanjung Rhu Resort
Kuah – Smallish and laid-back district capital of Langkawi with several heavily thronged duty-free outlets.
This depends on your travel schedule and budget.
Flying back is the most time-saving option. However, if you want to save some money, you can try the slower ride back by bus and ferry. Do check out our detailed guide here.
With various alternatives to get from Penang to Langkawi, weigh your options carefully. If you’re traveling with kids in tow, being cooped up in a bus for long periods will put your parenting skills to the test.
But if you plan early enough, there isn’t a significant price difference between traveling by air or land so we would suggest flying if you prioritize convenience in your itinerary for Langkawi!