Best Things To Do In Penang

Searching for the best thing to do in Penang? We have a foolproof list of the top Penang attractions and places to visit in Penang! Including things to do in Penang with kids!

There’s always something new to do in vibrant Penang! And some of these are not your usual Penang tourist attractions so pay attention!

Table of contents:

  1. Eat Penang Food
  2. Hike Up Or Ride The Train To Penang Hill (& Habitat)
  3. Stop By The Penang Peranakan Museum
  4. Wander Among The Clan Jetties Of Penang
  5. See The Famous Street Murals Of Penang
  6. Visit Kek Lok Si Temple
  7. Admire The Flora At Penang Botanical Gardens
  8. Climb Up To Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Waterfall Temple
  9. Soak In The History Of Fort Cornwallis
  10. Have Fun At An Interactive Museum
  11. Marvel At The Architecture Of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Temple
  12. Go For A Tour At The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion)
  13. Visit Penang’s Oldest Taoist Temple, Goddess Of Mercy Temple
  14. Surround Yourself With Nature At The Penang National Park
  15. Step Into The Penang Butterfly Farm (Entopia)
  16. Go For A Tour Inside Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque
  17. Conquer Your Fear Of Heights @ The Gravityz
  18. Ride A Horse At Countryside Stables Penang
  19. Feel Like You’re On Pandora @ Avatar Secret Garden
  20. Roam Penang’s Colorful And Lively Little India
  21. Peek Into The 200-Year-Old Sri Mahamariamman Temple
  22. Treat The Kids To Adventure Zone Theme Park
  23. Get Your Adrenaline Going At ESCAPE Theme Park
  24. Enjoy Penang’s Skyline From The Top Komtar (The Top Penang)
  25. Jog Or Walk Around Air Itam Dam
  26. Relax At The New Sia Boey Urban Archaeological Park
  27. Watch The Sun Set At Batu Ferringhi Beach

27 Best Things To Do In Penang

1. Eat Penang Food

This goes without saying! Savory Malaysian dishes like assam laksa and Hokkien mee are an absolute must-try!

Another Good Food In Penang - Penang Air Itam Laksa
Penang Air Itam Laksa – photo credits to blisssky (Instagram)

Local food haunts like Chulia Street Night Market will satisfy your needs for a one-stop location with Penang street food!

You’ll find many local favorites like lor bak, boiled octopus and char kway teow sold at the hawker stalls along this street.

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

2. Hike Up Or Ride The Train To Penang Hill (& Habitat)

On a clear day, you can see the whole of Penang and even Langkawi from atop Penang Hill, a popular Penang tourist attraction! The night view is just as nice too!

View Of The Railway And Penang From Penang Hill
View Of The Railway And Penang From Penang Hill – photo credits to zishanwashere (Instagram)

There are numerous hiking trails of varying height and difficulty to Penang Hill.

Take the 30-minute funicular from Air Itam to Penang Hill if you’re not keen on hiking!

Do expect a long wait if you go during a public holiday or weekend. Fast lane tickets are available.

Read more: The Habitat Penang Hill (Ultimate Guide) – With Tips For Entrance Fee Discounts!

3. Stop By The Penang Peranakan Museum

Allow a couple of hours at this stunning museum that is itself a restored building.

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

There are many exquisite Nyonya-Baba (Peranakan) culture exhibits inside the museum!

It costs RM20 per adult to enter but if you have more than 5 in your group, you can book a private tour for no extra charge!

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

Contact: +604-264 2929

Opening Hours: 9:30am–5pm

4. Wander Among The Clan Jetties Of Penang

Chew Jetty is one of the remaining traditional settlements left by Chinese immigrants open to the public from 9am to 9pm to casually observe their lifestyle.

Can be touristy with all the vendor shops!

Chew Jetty Penang (姓周桥)
Chew Jetty Penang (姓周桥) – photo credits to mariaholzamer (Instagram)

Do respect the privacy of the families that still live here and refrain from taking photos of the house interiors and families!

5. See The Famous Street Murals of Penang

While you’re moving between places to visit in Penang, you can keep an eye out for these street murals!

They’re easy to spot as there’s often a line of people wanting to have a photo with the murals!

One Of The Place To Visit In Penang - Penang Street Mural Of Kids On A Bicycle
Penang Street Mural Of Kids On A Bicycle – photo credits to saifulridzaimi (Instagram)
  • Along Muntri Street: Girl in blue
  • Armenian Street: 2 kids riding a bicycle; Children and dim sum
  • Armenian Café: Old man’s face
  • Lebuh Armenian: Giant orange cat
  • Ah Quee Street: Boy on a motorcycle
  • Cannon Street: Boy reaching up standing on a chair
  • Chew Jetty: Kids in a boat
  • Gat Lebuh Chulia: Kids playing basketball
  • Penang Road: Man resting in trishaw

6. Visit Kek Lok Si Temple

One of the best places to visit in Penang is this large and picturesque Buddhist temple in Air Itam! Especially when the lights are on for Chinese New Year!

Must-do Penang Attraction - Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok Si Temple In Penang – photo credits to cherkho (Instagram)

Go early in the day to avoid the heat and the crowds! And for RM2, you can access the pagoda for a view of the city! Prepare yourself for 300+ stairs to climb!

Location: Air Itam, Penang Island

Contact: +604-828 3317

Opening Hours: 8:30am–5:30pm

7. Admire The Flora At Penang Botanical Gardens

An impressive garden with numerous trails and a 50m-high waterfall, it shares a common trait with Taiping Lake Gardens!

Both are transformed abandoned quarries by past British colonial administrators.

Penang Botanic Gardens
Penang Botanic Gardens – photo credits to peiboon_alyssa (Instagram)

Today, the gardens are still well kept and some of the original trees are now giants! Including unusual Cannonball trees!

Location: Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-227 0428

Opening Hours: 5am–8pm

Remarks:

  • No WiFi;
  • A shuttle service is available
  • This is where you can start your hike up to Penang Hill!

8. Climb Up To Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Waterfall Temple

Not far from the botanical gardens, Waterfall Hill Temple or Thaneer Malai as locals call it, requires visitors to climb 500+ stairs to reach the magnificent temple complex!

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)

Because of the necessary physical effort, you’ll likely have the breathtaking views of the surroundings to yourself!

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

Contact: +604-262 0202

9. Soak In The History Of Fort Cornwallis

Note: Renovation works in progress

Fort Cornwallis is another famous Penang tourist attraction for history buffs with pleasant views of the sea at the upper level!

Fort Cornwallis in Penang
Fort Cornwallis in Penang – photo credits to styleitlikeitshot (Instagram)

The entrance fee for foreigners is quite steep at RM20 per person. But you can still admire the fort from afar.

It’s a 15-minute walk to this late 18th century British Colonial fort from Chew Jetty.

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

Contact: +604-263 9855

Opening Hours: 9am–10pm

10. Have Fun At An Interactive Museum

Try an interactive Penang museum for a slice of fun for the whole family!

There are so many interactive museums in Penang which provide welcome relief from the afternoon heat too!

Upside Down Museum 顛倒博物館
Upside Down Museum 顛倒博物館 – photo credits to desty_david (Instagram)

And you’re guaranteed to bring back some wacky photos for souvenirs!

Giant Laksa At The Wonderfood Museum
Giant Laksa At The Wonderfood Museum – photo credits to jimmysutjiptogenerali (Instagram)

Recommended museums:

  • Wonderfood Museum
  • Upside Down Museum
  • Penang 3D Trick Art Museum

11. Marvel At The Architecture Of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Temple

In the day, you can visit this historical Chinese clan house – a collection of ornate buildings that include a temple, a large hall and theatre.

Khoo Kongsi Clan House
Khoo Kongsi Clan House – photo credits to wolf_goofydog (Instagram)

Be on the lookout for evening cultural shows here (on the last Saturday of each month). The lit courtyard against the temple architecture create the perfect backdrop!

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

Contact: +604-261 4609

Opening Hours: 9am–5pm

12. Go For A Tour At The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion)

We have another architectural old-world wonder in this list of Penang attractions!

Visitors can either choose to stay, dine (Indigo restaurant) or come for the daily tours at The Blue Mansion.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (The Blue Mansion)
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (The Blue Mansion) – photo credits to luxurytravelblog.silverlining (Instagram)

Take note of the tour times (11am, 1.30pm and 3pm) and be punctual!

There is no limit for the number of tour participants so try to go on a less busy day to avoid compromising on your experience there!

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

Contact: +604-262 0006

Opening Hours: 11am–12pm; 2–3pm; 3:30–4:30pm

13. Visit Penang’s Oldest Taoist temple, Goddess of Mercy Temple (Kuan Yin Temple)

Kuan Yin Teng as Penangites refer to it, has survived its fair share of violence during the Japanese invasion and back in the 1960s.

The still-standing roof is a testament to ancient Chinese craftsmanship!

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

Many devotees flock to this temple during Chinese New Year, the annual feast days for Guan Yin as well as the Jade Emperor‘s Birthday.

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

Contact: +604-261 4137

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

14. Surround Yourself With Nature At The Penang National Park (Pantai Keracut Beach)

Take a day to explore the national park when you want to get away from the busy city!

Bridge In Penang National Park
Bridge In Penang National Park – photo credits to yusufbhunnoo(Instagram)

There are two main trails here – the easy coastal trek to Monkey beach or an inland jungle trek to a turtle sanctuary.

Turtle Hatchery Pantai Kerachut
Turtle Hatchery Pantai Kerachut – photo credits to justine.plz (Instagram)

For both trails, you’ll probably need 2 days to cover all the highlights:

  • Kerachut Beach (Pantai Keracut) – the turtle sanctuary and meromictic lake are here
  • Monkey Beach (Teluk Duyung)
  • Muka Head Lighthouse – additional steep climb from the coastal trail

Penang National Park Office:

Location: Jalan Hassan Abas, Teluk Bahang, 11050, Penang Island

Contact: +604-881 3530

Opening Hours: 8am–5pm

15. Step Into The Penang Butterfly Farm (Entopia)

There’s much more than just butterflies at Entopia, an education and research hub that has outdoor gardens!

And an indoor discovery centre with interactive exhibits on insects and other invertebrates!

Butterfly At Entopia
Butterfly At Entopia – photo credits to oinkoinkglen2018 (Instagram)

Besides the butterfly farm is the Tropical Fruit Farm with 25 acres of organically fruit, including durians and cherries! You can easily spend your whole afternoon at Entopia!

Location: No.830, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050, Penang Island

Contact: +604-888 8111

Opening Hours: 9am–6pm

Read more: Penang Durian Farm – 9 Best Places To Eat Durian In Penang

16. Go For A Tour Inside Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque

Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque extends out into the sea, not far from George Town. Its RM15 million construction began in early 2000s with its official opening in 2007.

Floating Mosque, Penang
Floating Mosque, Penang – photo credits to chiachuin.graphon (Instagram)

It is only during high tide that the mosque appears to be on the sea! If you meet the dress code, you can enter the prayer hall for a free 30-minute tour of the elegant mosque!

Location: Tanjung Bungah Road, Penang Island, 11200, Penang

Contact: +604-250 2800

Opening Hours: 5am–10pm

17. Conquer Your Fear Of Heights @ The Gravityz

Gravityz gives Penang visitors a wholly unequal perspective. To see Penang from the 65th floor of Komtar! That’s ~240m above the ground! And almost level with Penang Hill!

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)

This is the highest rope course in the world and certainly not an experience that you will forget!

You can walk, sit or be suspended at the high-altitude platform. Or take on the flying fox!

Location: 65 Floor, Jalan Penang, the top @komtar, 10000 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +6011-5691 5543

Opening Hours: 12pm–8pm Weekends: 12pm–9pm

Price Range: ~RM90-200 depending on whether you are a local from Penang, Malaysian or an international visitor!

18. Ride A Horse At Countryside Stables Penang

While far from George Town (30-40 minutes’ drive), horse riding at Countryside Stables Penang is a relaxing pastime that requires no serious commitment!

The entrance and lesson fees are affordable!

Countryside Stables Penang
Countryside Stables Penang – photo credits to wrawos (Instagram)

First-time riders will feel at ease with the friendly instructors, clean stables and healthy horses! You can have a go at feeding or brushing the horses too!

Location: Lot 10050, Jalan Sungai Burung, Kampung Sungai Burung, 11000 Balik Pulau, Penang Island

Contact: +6012-408 0678

Opening Hours: 10am–12pm; 2–7pm

Entrance Fees: RM10 (Malaysian), RM15 (non-Malaysian)

Lesson Fees: RM80 (30 minutes), RM120 (60 minutes)

19. Feel Like You’re On Pandora @ Penang Avatar Secret Garden

Behind Thai Pak Koong Temple in Tanjung Tokong is a small garden.

Blue Lights In The Trees At Penang Avatar Secret Garden
Blue Lights In The Trees At Penang Avatar Secret Garden – photo credits to maysihijau (Instagram)

Strings of LED lights give the trees an ethereal look much like the forest scene in James Cameron’s movie, Avatar!

Statures Backlit By Colored LEDs At Penang Avatar Secret Garden
Statures Backlit By Colored LEDs At Penang Avatar Secret Garden – photo credits to maysihijau (Instagram)

Come just before sunset to meander along the shore and watch the sunset before 7:35pm when the garden transforms into Pandora!

Location: 336, Jalan Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang Island

Opening Hours: 8am–12am

Entrance Fee: Free though you will need to pay RM3 for parking

Read more: Love Lane Penang: What To Love About This Popular Street In George Town

20. Roam Penang’s Colorful And Lively Little India

Little India of George Town stretches over Chulia Street, Queen Street and Market Street with an abundance of currency exchange services!

It is busiest before and during Deepavali and Thaipusam!

Little India Of Penang
Little India Of Penang – photo credits to ivan_teoh (Instagram)

Expect to find sarees to fit any budget with costume or gold jewelry shops to help you complete the look.

Try authentic and vegetarian-friendly Indian food and snacks (NR Sweets)!

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

Contact: +604-250 2800

Opening Hours: 8am–9:45pm

21. Peek Into The 200-Year-Old Sri Mahamariamman Temple

Arulmigu Sri Mahamariamman Temple of Queen Street is the oldest Hindu temple on the island. You’ll probably pass by it if you’re walking around Little India!

Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Penang
Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Penang – photo credits to i_am_yumi.h (Instagram)

Various puja (rituals) occur daily throughout the day and during festivals when it is full of devotees!

Inside the temple, are the Hindu deities such as Lord Subramaniamx Durga and Ganapathy.

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

Contact: +604-264 3494

Opening Hours: 6am to 9am and 4:30pm to 9:15pm

22. Treat The Kids To Adventure Zone Theme Park

Kid-friendly places to visit Penang definitely include this air-conditioned indoor theme park inside Golden Sands Resort!

It is essentially a giant jungle gym (of over 10,000 sq ft) for kids!

Parents and guardians can join in the fun for free! There are drop slides, a ball pen, game zones and birthday party rooms.

Don’t forget to bring socks and long sleeved tops for everyone who’s playing!

Location: Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Kampung Tanjung Huma, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island

Contact: +604-886 1911 ext. 7874

Opening Hours: 10am–7pm

Entrance Fees:

  • Resort Guests: RM20 (2-hour session per kid), RM40 (Half-day session per kid)
  • Walk-In Visitors: RM30 (2-hour session per kid)

23. Get Your Adrenaline Going At ESCAPE Theme Park

ESCAPE Theme Park has two sections – a waterpark and an adventure park! You might want to get a multi-day pass so you can try both!

Escape Theme Park In Penang
Escape Theme Park In Penang – photo credits to encikbuncet (Instagram)

Highlights Of The Adventure Park:

  • Kite Flyer (50m swing through the jungle)
  • Tubby Racer (Ride a rubber tube down a slide!)
  • Zip lines
  • Flying fox
  • Monkey Business (High rope obstacle course)
Rock Climbing At Escape Theme Park, Penang
Rock Climbing At Escape Theme Park, Penang – photo credits to sunstory_jeju (Instagram)

Highlights Of The Water Park:

  • Water obstacle course
  • Lazy river
  • Wave pool
  • Water slides (Banana Flip, Family Twister, Speed Racers)

Location: 828, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang, 11050, Penang Island

Contact: +604-881 1106

Opening Hours: 10am–6pm Monday Closed

Entrance Fee: Day Pass: ~RM55 (Child/ Senior), ~RM85 (Adult)

Tip: Tickets are cheaper if you book more days and in advance!

24. Enjoy Penang’s skyline From The Top Komtar (The Top Penang)

You don’t have to suspend yourself from the side of the building to get a good look of Penang from above!

Instead, there is a glass platform (Rainbow Skywalk) that visitors can walk out on.

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

If you plan to check out the family-friendly indoor theme park at The Top Komtar, there is a different ticket (The Top Fun Pass) that lets you access Rainbow Skywalk multiple times in a day!

Location: 1, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-262 3800

Opening Hours: 11am–8pm Weekends: 11am–9pm

Entrance Fees:

Tickets are cheaper for Malaysians!

The Top Fun Pass: ~RM80-90 per adult, ~RM50-60 per child/ senior/ disabled

Rainbow Skywalk Only: ~RM50-70 per adult, ~RM30-50 per child/ senior/ disabled

25. Jog Or Walk Around Air Itam Dam

Kek Lok Si is visible on the way to Air Itam Dam, the first dam in Penang!

Locals love to frequent this scenic area for a morning or evening jog/ walk. The path around the lake is ~3km long with 4 to 5 slopes.

Air Itam Dam
Air Itam Dam – photo credits to chongming6009 (Instagram)

It’s a short shaded hike up (40-50minutes) from the car park at the bottom of the hill to the dam for unbeatable views!

Early risers will be treated to the mist among the trees and cooler temperatures!

View Of Penang From Air Itam Dam
View Of Penang From Air Itam Dam – photo credits to kehhung (Instagram)

Location: Jalan Balik Pulau, George Town, Penang Island

Contact: +604-509 6509

26. Relax At The New Sia Boey Urban Archaeological Park

A particular drain canal filled with koi at this park went viral in social media for its resemblance to clean Japanese drains.

Now, the new urban park is bringing activity back to this older part of town.

Contemporary Playgroung At Urban Sia Boey Urban Archaeological Park
Contemporary Playgroung At Urban Sia Boey Urban Archaeological Park – photo credits to han_chou (Instagram)

The attractive contemporary park features a playground for kids and hot-air balloon shaped lanterns that lend a dreamy atmosphere when evening comes!

Location: 50, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, George Town, 10100 George Town, Penang Island

Read more: 17 Best Cafe In Penang With Great Coffee (Includes New Cafes)

27. Watch The Sun Set At Batu Ferringhi Beach

Batu Ferringhi used to be one of the best places to visit in Penang after an exhausting day exploring George Town!

But the landscape has seen much development including high-rise buildings!

Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia – photo credits to penang_my (Instagram)

Water sports bring noise to the peaceful beach and affect the water quality.

However, there are restaurants nearby that still make the beach a convenient venue for visitors to take in the sunset!

Sunset At Batu Feringgi Beach
Sunset At Batu Feringgi Beach – photo credits to tiffanywu215 (Instagram)

Getting To Penang Tourist Attraction

If you can’t decide what the best things to do in Penang are, let us help!

Our experienced local guides will bring you around Penang to their favorite places from morning to evening!

Penang Tour - RayTheTour & Travelswithsun

RayTheTour offers private tours in Penang, Cameron Highlands, Ipoh as well as other towns in Perak – including Taiping!

These tours can be just for one day or for multiple days!

Ask us more questions via our WhatsApp or Facebook!

Further reading:

Conclusion

There’s a reason Penang is on the bucket list for so many local or foreign travelers.

There are so many things to do in Penang! From museums, parks, temples, historical sites and theme parks!

Figuring out where you want to go beforehand will help you to maximize your time in Penang! Use this list to help you do that!

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