The ultimate guide to Penang  —  Must visit places in Penang 

30 Apr 2024
13 mins read
Written by Riona lye

Heading to Johor Bahu might seem like a good idea, but let’s face it  —  some days, getting stuck in customs traffic makes you want to hop on a plane to somewhere else instead. 


If you’re still itching to explore Malaysia but prefer flying, why not consider Penang? 


Here’s the deal: you’ve got iconic street art, charming colonial buildings, mouthwatering street food, and pristine beaches  —  all in one place. 


That’s Penang for you, captured in a single snapshot. And if you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat because this place is a culinary paradise, with famous local delights like Penang Laksa, Char Kway Teow, and Chendol lining the streets. Plus, Penang’s Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dripping with history dating back to the 1800s. 


Whether you’re strolling through its historic streets or indulging in local flavours, Penang guarantees an unforgettable experience packed with culture, flavour, and charm. 


Want to know more? Read on! 

Where is Penang? 

So, let’s talk about Penang — it’s nestled on the northwest coast of Malaysia, right along the scenic Malacca Strait. Here’s the scoop: Penang is made up of two parts — Penang Island, home to the bustling Georgetown, and Seberang Perai. And the cool part? They’re connected by the famous Penang Bridge and Second Penang Bridge, making it super easy to hop from one side to the other. Accessibility? You bet! 


How far is Singapore to Penang? 


If you glance at the map, you’ll notice that the Singapore to Penang distance is approximately 686.08 km if you take the shortest route. 

How to go Penang from Singapore?  

Curious about how to go Penang from Singapore? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ll walk you through the three main methods you can choose from to make the journey. 

Singapore to Penang by bus 

This option is perfect for those who don’t mind spending some extra time on the road and actually enjoy a good long bus journey. If you’re considering taking a bus to Penang, here are some bus operators that provide services between Singapore and Penang, along with their prices. 



Bus operator 

First bus 

Last bus 

Fare from 

Golden Mile Complex 

Billion Stars 

9:30 am 

11:46 pm 

SGD 55 

KKKL Travel & Tours Pte Ltd 

9:30 pm 

10:00 pm 

SGD 60 

Starmart Express 

10:15 pm 

10:15 pm 

SGD 50 

Supernice Grassland 

9:00 pm 

9:15 pm 

SGD 60



The entire bus journey from Singapore to Penang typically takes about 10 hours. The buses usually depart from Golden Mile Complex and make several stops along the way, including Juru Toll and Butterworth Penang, before finally arriving at Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal. From there, it’s just a quick 15-minute bus or taxi ride to Georgetown. 


To secure your seats, it’s a good idea to book your tickets well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles with fully booked buses. 

Singapore to Penang by car 

There’s just something about being behind the wheel or riding in your own private car that gives you a sense of freedom, right? You can pull over whenever you feel like it and grab a bite to eat whenever hunger strikes. 


If you’re leaning towards the comfort and convenience of a private ride, you might want to consider renting a private car or taxi from Singapore to Penang. SGMYTAXI offers one-way rides starting at SGD 650, allowing you to select your preferred pick-up date, time, location, and drop-off points in Penang. 


Here are some key points to keep in mind: 


  • The journey typically takes around 8 hours, depending on traffic conditions. 
  • Each car can accommodate up to 10 people. 
  • You won’t need to get out of the car at immigration checkpoints. 
  • Payment options include cash, PAYNOW, and credit card with a 3.6% surcharge. 
  • Make sure to arrive at the pick-up location at least 5 minutes early to avoid delays. 
  • Please note that the car service is not wheelchair accessible. 
Want to rent a car in Penang? 

At the price you’re shelling out for that private car, you might want to consider flying to Penang instead and renting a car from Penang International Airport. It’s worth exploring some popular car rental options available there. 


Car rental company 

Rating out of 5 

Prices from 

Asia Car 


SGD 48 per day 



SGD 92 per day 



SGD 57 per day 



SGD 51 per day 



SGD 42 per day



One great thing about opting for a hire car at Penang International Airport is that you can avoid the extra cost of a transfer from the airport to Georgetown. Platforms like Skyscanner, KAYAK, and Rentalcars offer some of the best deals on car rentals. Plus, they often provide free cancellation, giving you the flexibility to tweak your plans hassle-free. 

Singapore to Penang by flight 

Another option to consider is buying a flight ticket from Singapore to Penang. 


Given the time it takes for the previous travel option, you might be curious: how long is the flight from Singapore to Penang? It typically takes around an hour or so.  


We’ve also uncovered some cheap flights to Penang offered by airlines like Firefly Malaysia, AirAsia, Jetstar, and Scoot, with rates kicking off at just SGD 92 for a round trip. 


For those bargain hunters out there, sites like,, or Agoda can be your go-to spots to check out flight times and snag some cheap flights to Penang. 

Best way to get to Penang from Singapore 

Here is a summary of the best way to get to Penang from Singapore. 


Mode of transport 

Travelling time 

Average cost 


10 hours 

From SGD 55 

Rent car from Singapore 

8 to 10 hours 

From SGD 650 

Rent a car from Penang International Airport 

1 hour  

From SGD 42 

Singapore to Penang by flight 

1 hour 

From SGD 92 

What to do in Penang? 

When it comes to travelling, time always seems to fly by faster than we’d like, doesn’t it? But if you’re the type who wants to make the most out of every moment, we’ve got you covered with a quick rundown of must visit places in Penang.  


So save yourself the hassle of googling what to do in Penang. Here is a summary of the must visit places in Penang. 


  • Escape Penang 
  • Entopia Penang 
  • Penang Hill 
  • Kek Lok Si Temple Penang 
  • Clan Jetties of Penang 
  • Little India Penang 
  • Batu Ferringhi Penang 


First off, there’s ESCAPE Theme Park Penang. Tucked away in Teluk Bahang, Escape Penang is like a childhood dream come true, with activities for all ages — from high-rope courses to slides, all nestled amidst lush rainforest vibes. 


Then there’s Entopia Penang, a butterfly haven boasting thousands of fluttering beauties. It’s like stepping into a dream paradise, with outdoor gardens and an indoor discovery centre to explore. 


For those who crave breathtaking views, Penang Hill is a must. Hop on a funicular train or choose a hiking trail, and prepare to be mesmerised by panoramic vistas of the city below. 


History buffs will find solace in Kek Lok Si Temple, a majestic marvel steeped in Chinese culture and Buddha teachings. And while you’re at it, why not explore the iconic Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Clan Jetties of Penang for a deeper dive into Penang’s rich heritage? 


Little India Penang is a vibrant tapestry of colours and aromas, offering a feast for the senses with its array of Indian and Penang delicacies. And if you’re a sun seeker, Batu Ferringhi Beach awaits, with its sandy shores and lively night market offering endless delights. 


So, whether you’re into adventure, culture, or simply soaking up the sun, Penang has something for everyone! 

What to eat in Penang and where to eat in Penang? 

Penang is renowned as Malaysia’s “food paradise,” especially when it comes to street food! If you’re wondering what to eat in Penang and where to eat in Penang, don’t sweat it. Here’s a rundown of some must-try street foods that’ll give you the real taste of Penang street food. 

Penang Laksa 

On the list is the famous Penang Road Famous Laksa, a must-visit spot that’s earned itself a Michelin Bib Gourmand.  


This place is renowned for its take on the classic Malaysian dish, serving up a flavourful Penang Laksa with a unique twist.  


The dish features thick rice noodles swimming in a broth infused with the perfect blend of sardine and fish sauce. Topped with cucumber slices, lettuce, red onions, pineapple chunks, ginger flower, and mint leaves, each bite is a burst of authentic flavours.  


Be prepared for a bit of heat, as the laksa noodles come with a decent spice level. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, keep a drink handy!  


Aside from their famous Penang laksa, the shop also offers other local favourites like Penang Char Kway Teow and oyster omelettes. 

Where to eat Penang Laksa 

Penang Road Famous Laksa 

Address: 5 — 7, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia 

Opening hours: Daily, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Closed on Wednesdays) 

Penang Char Kway Teow 

Another Penang street food you can’t miss is the famous Penang Char Kway Teow. Considered a quintessential dish that truly embodies Penang’s culinary identity, it’s a must-try for any food enthusiast.  


This delectable dish features flat rice noodles, or “kway teow,” stir-fried with an array of flavourful ingredients. Picture fresh shrimps, sliced Chinese sausage (known as “lap cheong”), succulent blood clams, fragrant chives, eggs, and crispy bean sprouts all coming together in a symphony of tastes and textures. 


The secret to a perfect plate of Penang Char Kway Teow lies in the smoky flavour, also known as the “wok flavour,” which elevates the dish to new heights. It’s achieved through expert stir-frying techniques and the right combination of seasonings, including soy sauce, chili paste, garlic, and sometimes prawn paste for that extra umami kick. 


For the best char kway teow in Penang, here’s a list of must-visit spots to satisfy your cravings! 

Where to eat Penang Char Kway Teow 

Penang Road Famous Jin Kor Char Kuey Teow  


Address: 475, Jln Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia 


Opening hours: Monday to Thursday & Sunday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm | Friday to Saturday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm 


Siam Road Char Koay Teow Penang 


Address: 82, Jalan Siam, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia 


Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Wednesday, 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Closed on Mondays and Sundays) 

Penang Hokkien Mee 

Penang Hokkien Mee is yet another crowd favourite found on the bustling streets of Penang.  


This mouthwatering dish consists of a delightful medley of yellow egg noodles and rice vermicelli bathed in a flavourful, slightly spicy prawn-infused broth. The real star of this culinary spectacle? You guessed it — the broth itself. 


Prepared by simmering a blend of prawns, squid, and occasionally pork or chicken for hours on end, this broth boasts of a rich umami flavour that’s simply irresistible. Once the noodles are submerged in this fragrant concoction, they’re adorned with a variety of toppings to enhance the overall experience.  


Picture slices of hard-boiled eggs, crispy fried shallots, fresh green onions, and perhaps a splash of lime juice for a zesty kick. Penang Hokkien Mee is undoubtedly one of the must try food in Penang. 

Where to eat Penang Hokkien Mee 

888 Hokkien Mee 


Address: 67 — A, Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia 


Opening hours: Daily, 3:00 pm to 9:30 pm (Closed on Thursdays) 


Green House Prawn Mee Corner 


Address: 133A, Jalan Burma, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 1:30 am | Sunday, 9:00 am to 12:00 am 

Penang Chendol 

When it comes to cooling down in the tropical heat, nothing beats indulging in a bowl of refreshing dessert! Enter Penang Chendol — a beloved treat that’s sure to hit the spot. This iconic dessert starts with a bed of shaved ice, which serves as the perfect canvas for a delightful medley of flavours. 


Atop the ice sits green rice flour jelly noodles, known as chendol, generously drizzled with creamy coconut milk and luscious palm sugar syrup, also known as Gula Melaka. The chendol noodles offer a delightful chewiness, while the coconut milk lends a velvety richness to each spoonful. As for the Gula Melaka, it infuses the dessert with a sweet, fragrant caramel-like essence that’s simply irresistible. 


With its harmonious blend of textures and flavours, Penang Chendol is a must-try treat for anyone visiting Penang. Don’t miss out on this delicious delight during your time in the city! 

Where to eat Penang Chendol 

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul 


Address: 27 — 29, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia 


Opening hours: Daily, 10:00 am to 6:30 pm 

Best hotels to stay in Penang 

If you’re seeking a comfy place to rest your head in Penang, there are plenty of options to consider. From luxury colonial-style hotels to budget-friendly stays, Penang has something for everyone. Here’s a rundown of some top picks of the best hotels to stay in Penang


  • Eastern and Oriental Hotel Penang: A classic favourite in Georgetown, offering stunning sea views, plush rooms, and top-notch dining options. Rates start at around SGD 279. 
  • G Hotel: Modern and chic, with convenient access to shopping malls and local eateries. Rates start at SGD 140. 
  • Sunway Hotel: Ideal for those who want convenience without breaking the bank. Rates start at just SGD 87, with easy access to street food and attractions like Penang Hill. 
  • Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion: A historic gem offering unique rooms and guided tours. Rates start at SGD 172, offering a taste of heritage and luxury. 
  • Cititel Hotel Penang: Located in the heart of Georgetown, offering over 450 rooms and a range of dining options. Rates start at SGD 72, making it perfect for families and friends. 
  • Prestige Hotel Penang: Experience Victorian-era charm with modern amenities and a rooftop infinity pool. Rates start at SGD 115. 
  • OZO Hotel: Stylish and affordable, with rates starting at just SGD 51. Enjoy comfortable rooms and a rooftop pool with stunning city views. 
  • JEN Penang Hotel: Surrounded by shopping malls and popular attractions, offering over 400 rooms and fantastic facilities. Rates start at SGD 98. 
  • PARKROYAL Penang: Perfect for families seeking a beach getaway, with spacious rooms and a range of amenities. Rates start at SGD 115. 
  • Hard Rock Penang: Rock-themed luxury with smart sound systems and a massive outdoor pool. Rates start at SGD 122, promising a fun and relaxing stay. 

With this curated list, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay during your visit to Penang! 

Before you go… 

After reading all about Penang, you must be itching to book a flight and jet off to this exciting destination, right?  


Hold your horses for a moment there! Before you rush to hit that “add to cart” button, it’s essential to ensure you have the perfect credit card in hand to make the most of your Penang adventure. 



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**Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.   

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