Things To Do In Georgetown Penang

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:

  1. Gaze Upon Georgetown’s Historical Colonial Landmarks
  2. Admire The Symmetry Of St. George’s Anglican Church
  3. Enter The Stately Kapitan Keling Mosque For A Visit
  4. See Georgetown’s Places Of Worship
  5. Discover The Clan Community Of Penang
  6. Visit A Penang Museum
  7. Take Delight In Peranakan Culture
  8. Satisfy Your Taste Buds With George Town’s Famous Food
  9. Seek Out Penang Street Art
  10. Treat Yourself At A Hipster Café
  11. Have A Bird’s Eye View Of Penang From KOMTAR
  12. Shop At A Penang Mall In George Town
  13. 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!

City Hall In Georgetown Penang
City Hall In Georgetown Penang – photo credits to kangcolourz.jpeg (Instagram)

You can see these landmarks as part of the Penang heritage trail which starts from Armenian Street.

Cannons At Fort Cornwallis
Cannons At Fort Cornwallis – photo credits to m_kheong (Instagram)

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

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Georgetown Penang Landmark
Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Georgetown Penang Landmark – photo credits to rasiri.rewadee (Instagram)

Location: Lebuh Light, George Town, 10450 George Town, Penang Island

1.2. Penang Town Hall or Penang City Hall

Location: Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang

1.3. Fort Cornwallis

Location: Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 9am to 10pm

Contact: +604-263 9855

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.

St George's Anglican Church In Georgetown Penang
St George’s Anglican Church In Georgetown Penang – photo credits to okiess (Instagram)

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!

Location: 1, Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Note:

  • 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.

Kapitan Keling Mosque In Georgetown Penang
Kapitan Keling Mosque In Georgetown Penang – photo credits to damaniiik (Instagram)

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.

Location: 14, Jalan Buckingham, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

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).

Goddess Of Mercy Temple (Kuan Yin Temple)
Goddess Of Mercy Temple (Kuan Yin Temple) – photo credits to food_ian0903 (Instagram)

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

Location: Lebuh Queen, George Town, 10450 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-264 3494

4.2. Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple

Rewarding Views Of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang After A long Climb
Rewarding Views Of Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang After A long Climb – photo credits to wolverboy (Instagram)

Location: 17, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-262 0202

4.3. Kuan Yin Temple

Location: 30, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 5am to 6pm (hours vary during festivities and celebrations)

Contact: +604-261 4137

4.4. Wat Chayamangkalaram

Wat Chayamangkalaram Thai Buddhist Temple In Georgetown, Penang
Wat Chayamangkalaram Thai Buddhist Temple (泰佛寺) In Georgetown, Penang – photo credits to chachiksnap (Instagram)

Location: 17, Lorong Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang Island

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.

Cheah Kongsi Clan House In Georgetown Penang
Cheah Kongsi Clan House In Georgetown Penang – photo credits to cynthiackm (Instagram)

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!

5.1. Clan Jetties Of Penang

Location: Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm

Contact: +6019-593 5333

5.2. Khoo Kongsi

Location: 18, Cannon Square, George Town, 10450 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm

Contact: +604-261 4609

5.3. Cheah Kongsi

Location: 8, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Closed on Sundays)

Contact: +604-261 3837

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)!

Typical Chinese New Year Feast Visual Exhibit At Wonderfood Museum
Typical Chinese New Year Feast Visual Exhibit At Wonderfood Museum – photo credits to heartybear_e1 (Instagram)

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!

Colonial Penang Museum
Colonial Penang Museum – photo credits to bibz2.0 (Instagram)

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

Location: 10, Lebuh Penang, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours:

  • Weekdays: 9am to 6pm
  • Weekends: 9am to 8pm

Contact: +604-263 1628

Entrance Fee:

  • Malaysians: RM15 (Adult), RM10 (Child/ Senior/ Student)
  • Non-Malaysians: RM25 (Adult), RM15 (Child/ Senior/ Student)

6.2. Colonial Penang Museum

Location: 7, Jalan D.S Ramanathan, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 9:45am to 5:15pm

Contact: +604-228 8561

Entrance Fee: RM30 (Adult), RM15 (Child)

6.3. Penang State Museum

Location: Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, 10450 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm

Contact: +604-226 1462

Entrance Fee: RM1 per adult

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.

The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion)
The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion) – photo credits to nelsoncns (Instagram)

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!

Penang Peranakan Museum
Penang Peranakan Museum – photo credits to aishahfarhanah_ (Instagram)

A couple of these houses have been restored and are now galleries with daily tours!

7.1. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (The Blue Mansion)

Location: 14, Leith St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang

Opening Hours (Tour slots): 11am to 12pm; 2pm to 3pm; 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Contact: +604-262 0006

Entrance Fee:

  • RM25 (Adult), RM12.50 (Child between 6-12 years old)
  • Free evening tours for guests

7.2. Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Location: 29, Church St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang

Opening Hours: 9:30am to 5pm

Contact: +604-264 2929

Entrance Fee: RM20 (Adult)

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!

Chulia Street Night Hawker Stalls
Chulia Street Night Hawker Stalls – photo credits to len_j_p (Instagram)

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!

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul Is One Of The Penang Famous Food
Cendul From The Original Stall That Started Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul – photo credits to gengen.eataroundtheworld (Instagram)

Read more: Penang Famous Cendol – 9 Best Cendol In Penang That You Can Try Today!


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!

Kopi O' Kau! Ironworks Sculpture In Penang
Kopi O’ Kau! Ironworks Sculpture In Penang – photo credits to ken_phang (Instagram)

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
Little Boy With Pet Dinosaur - A Penang Street Art Painting By Ernest Zacharevic
Little Boy With Pet Dinosaur By Ernest Zacharevic – photo credits to artversehaven (Instagram)

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)!

I Can Help Catch Rats - One Of The 101 Kittens Penang Street Art Project
I Can Help Catch Rats – photo credits to the_concrete_canvas (Instagram)

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.

Coffee Paired With A Dessert Dolce Dessert Cafe In Penang
Coffee Paired With A Dessert Dolce Dessert Cafe In Penang – photo credits to iceice_a.k.a_nisaaaaa (Instagram)

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!

Cakes On Display At China House Penang
Cakes On Display At China House Penang – photo credits to cindy_tkp (Instagram)

Penang Cafes To Try:

  • Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Company
  • Kafka Penang
  • Dolce Dessert

Read more: 11 Best Night Market In Penang: Monday To Sunday (Especially #5)


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)!

Rainbow Skywalk At The Top Komtar Penang
Rainbow Skywalk At The Top Komtar Penang – photo credits to raghav3134 (Instagram)

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!

Hanging Off The 65th Floor At The Komtar With The Gravityz
Hanging Off The 65th Floor At The Komtar With The Gravityz – photo credits to zinincubus (Instagram)

A full-day pass means you can try the main attractions without having to buy individual tickets!

Other Main Attractions At KOMTAR:

  1. 7D Discovery Motion Theater
  2. Jurassic Research Center (Outdoor)
  3. Durian Museum
  4. Penang Boutique Aquarium
  5. Ocean Explorer
  6. Tech-Dome
  7. 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!

The Exterior Of Gurney Plaza Shopping Mall In Penang
The Exterior Of Gurney Plaza Shopping Mall In Penang – photo credits to mazahikokung (Instagram)

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!


Read more: 11 Best Massage In Penang – For Full Body & Foot Massage


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!

Gurney Drive Hawker Food Centre Before Nightfall In Penang
Gurney Drive Hawker Food Centre Before Nightfall In Penang – photo credits to juliana_franzizca (Instagram)

And later, recount the day over a beer or cocktail at the bars of Chulia Street and Love Lane!

Micke's Place Love Lane
Micke’s Place Love Lane – photo credits to ikmalfareeq (Instagram)

13.1. Micke’s Place At Love Lane

Location: 94, Lorong Love, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang Island

Opening Hours: Daily 12pm to 3am

Contact: +6012-493 8279

13.2. Chulia Court

Location: 357, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang

Opening Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 1am
  • Weekends: 8am to 2am

Contact: +6012-485 8333


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!

Penang Tour - RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

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

To book, head to our WhatsApp or Facebook.


Further reading:


Conclusion

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!

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