Penang has ties with history in such a way that it is almost impossible to overlook the city, during a Malaysia trip. There are many Penang attractions to visit to discover the cultural diversity in this region.
Offering a glimpse of the colonial world, intertwined with other Asian cultural influences is something that is of interest to many travelers.
Apart from this, places of interest in Penang are a cool combination of religious edifices, lush green natural settings, and entertaining and thrilling adventures. If you wish to learn more about this bunch of experiences, we suggest you give the below-mentioned a read.
Penang: Attractions To Visit
Historical Streets of George Town
Amongst all Penang attractions to visit, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town offers a great start. A pot-pourri of European and Asian cultures, George Town still mingles with a variety of travelers that bring along their culture, while exploring the place.
To have an eyeful of the rich vintage collection, you must visit the old streets of Lebuh Acheh’s historical enclave. Here you will find the most classic collection of old Chinese shophouses, colonial mansions as well as various religious spots. For a sneak peek into the cultural history, pay a visit to Penang State Museum & Art Gallery within the town.
All of us have ran behind a butterfly when we were little, but what if you get to see thousands of these lovely creatures in one place? Dreamy isn’t it! Entopia is a butterfly utopia with almost 15,000 butterflies coexisting with mystifying waterfalls, heavenly verdure, and other natural replicas.
The park has trails that offer a chance to sight butterflies in their natural habitat including small caves, a wild garden, and a backyard. The main area where these free-flying creatures can be spotted is the Natureland, while the little ones yet in transformation are protected in the Cocoon. Both the zones are great learning opportunities about nature.
The Habitat Penang Hill
The Habitat Penang Hill is an ultimate escape into nature and one of the top-rated Penang attractions to visit. Crossing the Andaman sea, the ancient forest trail takes you deep into the thicket and treats you with riveting views of the environs.
Take a walk on Langur Way Canopy Walk for more alluring views of the terrain or zipline in the jungle, to add a pinch of vim and vigor. To have a 360-degree perspective all to yourself, take the challenge and climb up the Curtis Crest Tree Top Walk.
Fort Cornwallis is the oldest edifice of the entire country, which means it's all the more important to visit the place. Housing remnants of prison cells, a chapel, an ammunition area, and a statue of Captain Francis Light, the fort ignites imagination like no other place.
While it hasn’t witnessed any real battles, the gradual additions including the steel lighthouse and exhibits, point to its administrative significance.
Kek Lok Si Temple
The largest Buddhist temple of Malaysia, Kek Lok Si, has to be on your list of Penang attractions to visit. Sheltering a seven-tiered pagoda, 10,000 plus Buddha statues, and a 37-meter tall sculpture of Kuan Yin, the temple is an important pilgrimage spot for both spiritual travelers and cultural vultures.
Take a 3-kilometer hike and climb up a stone staircase from Penang Hill, to be rewarded with the enthralling views of the Kek Lok Si Temple. The well-maintained temple complex is a delight to explore alongside vibrant prayer halls, gardens, and ponds. For a better look into the temple’s traditions, it is recommended you visit during the Chinese New Year.
Colorful houses built over stilts are one of the crowd-pulling features of this Penang attraction. Clan Jetties is an essential stop if you wish to delve deeper into the history and legacy of Pengang’s traditional town settlement and rural lifestyle.
It was a Chinese immigrant settlement, used for commercial purposes like firewood and charcoal trading. Later on, families took over certain areas of the dock and claimed the business. Today, the place stands as a testimony to the early industrialization efforts of Chinese settlers, and the Clan Jetties is still occupied by them.
Penang National Park
The smallest national park in the world, Penang National Parks offers big reasons for travelers to come to the premises. Forest, mangroves, timber trees, and a lovely seacoast are all to be found within the park. The several hike trails within the premises allow hikers to explore the jungle in-depth and sight attractions like Muka Head Lighthouse and Moneky Beach.
For climbers, there are ropes and concrete steps, if the climb gets too challenging. Overall, there isn’t much reason why the Penang National Park shouldn’t be on your itinerary.
Fun Things To Do in Penang
Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour
Timings: Morning Tour- 10 am to 1:30 pm
Afternoon Tour - 2 pm - 5:30 pm
Sunset Tour- 6:30 pm - 10 pm
Starting Point: Harriston Chocolate Boutique, Kelawei Street
Just like European cities, Penang offers an enthralling way of exploration, that is through a hop-on hop-off tour. Taking about 3.5 to 4 hours, the hop-on-hop-off bus tour covers a great range of Penang attractions. Some of the major ones falling in this tour include Batik Factory, Fort Cornwallis, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Wonderfood Museum, Little India Street of Harmony, Waterfront Village, Reclining Buddha, and Burmese Temple, Armenian Street Art, etc.
For people wanting a piece of the dusky sky, sunset tours are perfect. Penang attractions to visit while on this evening tour include the Top Komtar, the Observatory Deck, Rainbow Skywalk, Street of Harmony, Penang City Hall, Esplanade Park, Trishaw Night Ride, Red Garden Hawker Center, and Victoria Memorial Clock Tower.
Musical Ride At Penang House Of Music
Flip through the pages of the musical history of Penang at Penang House of Music. Situated in Komtar in central George Town, the Penang House of Music is a much recent addition to the museum scene of the city. Even though its recent launch, the museum has become an important Penang attraction to visit.
The Penang House of Music features exhibits that tell about the glorious era of music beginning from the 1940s. The museum opens from 11 am and is accessible till 8 pm, so make sure to visit.
Water Shenanigans At Batu Ferringhi Beach
Batu Ferringhi Beach is a beach lover's paradise. With long stretches of glittering sand and azure waters, the beach makes for an ideal spot for sun-soaking bouts and a laid-back day. However, if this isn’t on your list, the Batu Ferringhi Beach offers a myriad of adventure activities in Penang too.
Go splash in the scintillating waters while opting for an adrenaline-pumping jet ski ride. Touch the fresh sea breeze and marvel at the seascape, while parasailing on the seaside. Additionally, buggy rides, banana boat rides, and deep-sea fishing are excellent ways to spend your day at Batu Ferringhi Beach.
Step Into Entertainment Hub: Top Komtar Penang
The sky-scraping entertainment hub - Top Komtar has to be amongst the best activities and attractions of Penang. With almost 18 themed attractions like Rainbow Skywalk, Tech Dome Penang, and Penang Boutique Aquarium, amongst others, the tower is truly a pleasure to visit.
Indulge in a hearty dinner at the exquisite diners or restaurants located within the Top Komtar. Later on, climb on to the top for surreal views of George Town under a starlit evening.
Hike Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest
The lush thicket of Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest is truly a mecca of fun activities and natural wonders. Stretching to a whopping area of 37 acres, the forest is great for quaint family day outings and picnics. For a pinch of adventure, you can also opt for a challenging hike and be guerdoned with lovely views post-completion.
If you run out of things to do, there is also a lovely waterfall, where you can spend time admiring the gushing waters and their therapeutic rhythms. For social media flaunts, don’t forget to get snapped at the old ornamental suspension bridge and the tea kiosk situated in the middle of the forest.
Shopping Spree At Straits Quay
Retail therapy is one of the popular things to do in Penang. In Penang, Straits Quay is a place to be, given you have a soft spot for quality items and pocket-friendly bargains.
Located in the throbbing heart of George Town, Straits Quay is a seaside mall that is only a few years older than a decade. There is a large marina, convention center, and almost 100 retail shops including Starbucks and a grocery supermarket. So, just know that Straits Quay will keep you on your toes throughout!
Food sampling isn’t just for the foodies, it is an amazing way to learn about the culinary traditions and practices of a place while tasting the best of flavors. Malaysian cuisine is a gigantic platter of innumerable dishes and flavors, so a food tour is a mandatory thing to do in Penang.
Gorge on lip-smacking roadside tidbits like Appoms, Penang Lobak, and Kuihs. While sampling some of these, your tour guide will offer insights into its cultural relevance and cooking style. For a full-blown food tour, you can undertake self-planned restaurant and cafe exploration in the city.
Visit The Teddy Museum
Who doesn’t love a life-size teddy? If you have the same fantasy, you have to visit the Teddy Museum at Penang. Hiding in the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton in Batu Ferringhi, the Teddy Museum is an under-rated Penang attraction to visit.