An abundance of things to do in Georgetown Penang means you can easily spend a full day here!
Most Georgetown Penang attractions are accessible on foot. Or by trishaw! Many revolve around the history present at this UNESCO World Heritage zone!
There’s street art, Little India, hidden temples and more to discover! Including places to try the best of Penang food!
Start planning your trip to Georgetown:
Table Of Contents:
- Gaze Upon Georgetown’s Historical Colonial Landmarks
- Admire The Symmetry Of St. George’s Anglican Church
- Enter The Stately Kapitan Keling Mosque For A Visit
- See Georgetown’s Places Of Worship
- Discover The Clan Community Of Penang
- Visit A Penang Museum
- Take Delight In Peranakan Culture
- Satisfy Your Taste Buds With George Town’s Famous Food
- Seek Out Penang Street Art
- Treat Yourself At A Hipster Café
- Have A Bird’s Eye View Of Penang From KOMTAR
- Shop At A Penang Mall In George Town
- Stay Out Late In Georgetown
13 Fun & Best Things To Do In Georgetown Penang
1. Gaze Upon Georgetown’s Historical Colonial Landmarks
Those keen on finding the architectural wonders of historic Georgetown should hang around the north-east coast corner of Penang Island!
You can see these landmarks as part of the Penang heritage trail which starts from Armenian Street.
Continue to the clan jetties and up along the coast to where Pengkalan Weld (Weld Jetty) is.
Make a loop by turning west to Gurney Drive and back down through Little India.
1.1. Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower
1.2. Penang Town Hall or Penang City Hall
1.3. Fort Cornwallis
2. Admire The Symmetry Of St. George’s Anglican Church
Taking inspiration from its namesake in Madras (Chennai), 19th century St. George’s Anglican Church was built in 1817 with sand and limestone.
Miraculously, much of the church retains the original structures and material except for the tile floor and flat roof. The latter had to be replaced a few times!
In 2007, the church received much needed funds from the government with recognition as a national treasure!
- Next to Penang State Museum & Art Gallery
- There is a Heritage Centre in the premises. Open between Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm
- The church is closed on public holidays, Fridays and Sundays! Or if there is wedding/ funeral.
- Church goers can go for the service on Wednesdays (9:30am) and Sundays (8:30am to 10:30am).
3. Enter The Stately Kapitan Keling Mosque For A Visit
Kapitan Keling Mosque dates back to the early 19th century. It was built by Indian Muslims who came to Penang under the East India Company.
The distinguished mosque is right at the heart of the chulias (Tamil Muslim neighborhood).
Its current exterior features Indo-Moorish influence and is pretty recent relative to its origins. With expansion works taking place in 1930.
4. See Georgetown’s Places Of Worship
Aside from Kapitan Keling Mosque, there are other places of worship.
The oldest of them are in or close to Little India Penang – Sri Mahamariamman Temple and Kuan Yin Temple (Goddess of Mercy Temple).
And further from Georgetown in Pulau Tikus, you’ll find the impressive hilltop Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple and the oldest Thai temple in Penang (Wat Chayamangkalaram)!
4.1. Sri Mahamariamman Temple
4.2. Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple
4.3. Kuan Yin Temple
4.4. Wat Chayamangkalaram
5. Discover The Clan Community Of Penang
In the 19th century, many mainland Chinese came to Penang to work in the then-booming trading industry.
As they became more comfortable in Penang, they brought their families and extended families.
They preferred to stay together, forming their own little communities within Penang.
To this date, visitors can come and see the preserved clan houses in Georgetown!
5.2. Khoo Kongsi
5.3. Cheah Kongsi
6. Visit A Penang Museum
Penang has a surprising number of wonderful museums showcasing Penang’s history and culture! There’s even a museum that is dedicated to food (Wonderfood Museum)!
History buffs can make for the Penang State Museum to learn more about Penang’s history. Or the Colonial Penang Museum for their astounding collection of antiques!
For some good old fun, you can try novelty galleries like the Penang 3D Trick Art Museum and Ghost Museum!
6.1. Penang 3D Trick Art Musuem
6.2. Colonial Penang Museum
6.3. Penang State Museum
7. Take Delight In Peranakan Culture
The Perankans or the Baba-Nyonya are a unique people descended from Chinese settlers in the Malay Peninsula and Indonesian Archipelago.
They are known for their delicious Nyonya cuisine. And the wealthy folk back in 19th century Penang loved to emulate their eclectic colorful style into their own houses!
A couple of these houses have been restored and are now galleries with daily tours!
7.1. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (The Blue Mansion)
8. Satisfy Your Taste Buds With George Town’s Famous Food
Don’t forget to try some Penang food while you wander the streets of Georgetown!
Chulia Street Night Market is open from the evening onwards. It consists of roadside stalls selling all the quintessential Malaysian street food. Like popiah, char kway teow, apom and more!
And you’ll have to go early to beat the queues at the original stall of Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol (and Penang asam laksa)! But it’s worth it!
Read more: 11 Best Night Market In Penang: Monday To Sunday (Especially #5)
9. Seek Out Penang Street Art
A full day may not be enough to see all the iron sculptures (Welden Iron Wall Caricatures) and street art in Penang!
Let alone all the ones by famed Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic!
Some Street Art By Ernest Zacharevic
- Boy On Motorbike
- Little Boy With Pet Dinosaur
Then there’s Art Lane Penang too– a hidden gallery of wall murals by local and international artists!
Another collection of paintings around Georgetown is part of an animal awareness project featuring cats (101 Lost Kittens)!
But more recently, there’s the Penang International Container Art Festival (PICAF) which will run from January to end of May 2020.
10. Treat Yourself At A Hipster Café
Penang has a wonderful cafe scene! A tempting haven for coffee addicts and photographers! Or as an in-between break from local food.
There are many cafes to choose from in Georgetown alone! Most serve a mixed menu consisting of Western and Asian cuisine.
Some specialize in coffee while others focus on cakes and desserts!
Penang Cafes To Try:
- Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Company
- Kafka Penang
- Dolce Dessert
11. Have A Bird’s Eye View Of Penang From KOMTAR
KOMTAR Penang like Penang Hill, is high enough to offer aerial views of the city via a glass bridge (Rainbow Skywalk)!
And if you can summon the courage, you can try The Gravityz experience which will give you the opportunity to face your fear of heights!
A full-day pass means you can try the main attractions without having to buy individual tickets!
Other Main Attractions At KOMTAR:
- 7D Discovery Motion Theater
- Jurassic Research Center (Outdoor)
- Durian Museum
- Penang Boutique Aquarium
- Ocean Explorer
- Dino Gym – Play area for young kids
Read more: 21 Fun Things To Do In Penang With Kids (Ultimate Guide) + Food & Hotels
12. Shop At A Penang Mall In George Town
In the mood for shopping in Penang? While it may no longer be a duty-free state like Langkawi, Penang shopping malls still hold appeal for the masses!
The best time to go is during the nationwide sales in August!
Queensbay Mall is a one-stop dream with more than 400 retail stores! But it’s at Bayan Lepas which is a 20 minutes’ drive from Georgetown.
Alternatively, you can visit shiny high-end Gurney Paragon mall along with its larger neighbor, Gurney Plaza!
13. Stay Out Late In Georgetown
Just cause it’s evening doesn’t mean the fun’s over! See some landmarks (e.g. Fort Cornwallis, Cheah Kongsi or The Blue Mansion) when they are lit up!
Dive into the hawker stall experience at Red Garden Food Paradise, Chulia Street Night Hawker Stalls (Chulia Street Pasar Malam) or Gurney Drive Hawker Centre!
And later, recount the day over a beer or cocktail at the bars of Chulia Street and Love Lane!
13.1. Micke’s Place At Love Lane
13.2. Chulia Court
Read more: Penang Itinerary 3 Days: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Penang Trip In
Getting To Penang Georgetown Attractions
Even though it’s easy to navigate on your feet in Georgetown:
Having a local around to show you Penang can be eye-opening! With the added advantage of a flexible schedule!
Private tour service, RayTheTour has these benefits and more:
- We use MPVs and vans
- Reliable tour guides who speak English or Chinese
- Tours to Ipoh, Taiping and Cameron Highlands
- Pick up or drop off from any Penang hotel or the airport during your tour with us
- 4 Best Ways For Getting Around Penang (With All Penang Transport Options)
- How To Get From Penang Airport To Georgetown (4 Easy Ways)
- How To Get To Penang Island From Kuala Lumpur (KL)
- Best Way To Travel From Langkawi To Penang (All Methods + Cheap Option)
With so many things to do in Georgetown Penang, you’ll probably want to extend your trip!
Marvel at beautiful buildings and learn their history. Savor the local cuisine or chill at one of Penang’s many cafes! Pop into a museum or two!
And keep your eyes peeled for street art every time you turn a corner!