Sunrise at George Town, Penang

The Heritage Site of George Town, Penang

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George Town is the capital of the state of Penang and the second largest metropolitan city in Malaysia, after Kuala Lumpur. It is an island connected by a bridge to the mainland of Malaysia at Butterworth. This UNESCO World Heritage City has unique British architecture and a cultural townscape that has been shaped by the influences of different cultures and religions over the centuries. Let us know more about this interesting island town to find the best places to visit.

Travel Guide to George Town, Penang

How To Reach?

By Ferry

There are frequent ferries that are run between Penang Sentral and George Town Jetty. It is the most convenient and affordable option to commute to the island. The journey takes about 20 minutes one way, but delays are expected. You can also board your two-wheeler on the ferry. Check the timings of the ferry from the official website.

Cash payments are not accepted at the counter. Payments can be made only through credit cards, debit cards, Touch N Go Cards, Ali Pay, Shopee Pay, Boost, and Grab Pay.  

By Road

Penang - George Town Bridge, Malaysia

Penang Bridge is a six-lane toll road connecting George Town’s island to mainland Malaysia at Butterworth. Heavy traffic is the norm during peak hours, weekends, and holidays. The bridge is recommended if you have your own vehicle. The ferry is a good option in other cases.

Best Time To Visit George Town

George Town can be visited throughout the year. Although the rainy season starts in May and ends in September, it doesn’t rain all day. You can explore even if you visit during the monsoon season.

Where To Eat?

Penang - food capital of Malaysia

Penang is known as the food capital of Malaysia. Many restaurants are spread across George Town. You can find many different cuisines, including Malay, Indian, Chinese, French, Italian, Thai, and so much more.

Where To Stay?

 

Different accommodations, from hostels to beachfront resorts, are available in George Town, Penang. You can choose based on your budget and comfort. We stayed at Aayu Chulia. Here are a few other recommendations.

Shopping 

Gurney Plaza is a mall complex where you can find everything from souvenirs to accessories, clothes, electronics, and so much more. The Gurney Paragon Mall is also nearby. Both are popular among both tourists and locals. George Town offers many options if you like to buy souvenirs from Malaysia.

Getting Around George Town

Central Area Transit (CAT) is a free shuttle bus in George Town. The buses cover the UNESCO sites and jetty. The paid buses are also a convenient way to explore the corners of the city. Google Maps will help you navigate, including the bus number, routes, etc. Alternatively, you can also hire two-wheelers or take a Grab to get around. Walking is also a good way to visit the nearby areas.

Places to Visit in George Town

1. Penang Hill

Penang Hill, different ways to reach

A trip to George Town is incomplete if it does not cover Penang Hill or Bukit Bendera. Hiking is our favorite among the many routes to reach the top, including the popular funicular train. We have taken the Moon Gate Trail and Heritage Trail. If you enjoy hiking, you should not miss this experience. Read our blog post to learn about all the possible routes and attractions at Penang Hill.

2. Chew Jetty & Tan Jetty

Chew Jetty and Tan Jetty

Unlike the name, Chew Jetty and Tan Jetty do not have stages for boats to arrive or depart. It is home to numerous wooden slit houses around a walkway in a village built in the 19th century. A visit to the area offers an insight into the glimpse of the local life of the water villages. Hean Boo Thean Kuan Yin Temple, the Chinese temple overlooking the water, is visible from both jetties. From the Tan Jetty, you can get amazing views of the sunrise. The ships crossing the Penang Bridge are also visible from here.

3. Interactive Street Art

Brother and sister on a swing

George Town is famous for its street art. A girl in the swing, a boy riding a motorbike, a boy on the chair, a brother and sister on a swing, and kids on a bicycle are a few of the most popular street artworks. A walk through the streets allows you to find a treasure trove of more interesting artworks.

4. Rainbow Skywalk

Komtar Skywalk or Rainbow Skywalk or the top, George Town

Also known as Komtar Skywalk or The Top, Rainbow Skywalk is located on the top of Komtar, the tallest skyscraper in George Town, Penang. It is Malaysia’s highest outdoor glass skywalk, standing at 248.7 m or 816 feet from the ground. There is an observatory deck on level 65, and the skywalk is located on level 68. The Top offers a panoramic 360° view of the island, a sight for sore eyes at any time of the day.

  • Timings: 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Entry Fee: RM 78 for foreigners. There are also combo passes available for multiple attractions.

5. Beaches of George Town

Shores at George Town, Malaysia

The beaches in the main area of George Town are rocky, so the locals go to the beaches on the other side of the island. Some famous beaches are Batu Ferringhi Beach, Beach of Moonlight Bay, and Tanjung Bungah Public Beach. Batu Ferringhi Beach also offers a range of water sports activities.

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