7 Reasons To Visit Penang, Malaysia

On my recent visit to Malaysia, I was most excited to visit Penang. I had seen so many great images of the street art all over the city and knew I had to see it for myself. Penang has alot to offer it’s visitors and here are 7 reasons you should visit see and do whilst in the city!


Penang has become well known for its street art popping up all over historic Georgetown. Running around the city and finding all of the pieces is a lot of fun, but can be tiring in the Penang heat! I suggest pinning all the locations onto your Google map so you can work out the quickest way to get around them all, be prepared for some lines, but you may also get lucky and find you have one all to yourself.


Daily guided tours around the historic Cheong Fatt Tze (Blue Mansion) take place at 11am, 2pm and 3.30pm. The mansion also operates as a hotel with 18 rooms and if you want to get your Insta shot against the famous blue walls you will need to be staying at the hotel as this area is closed off for guests only. 


You can easily spend a day, or two, wandering around the historic centre. There are plenty of traditional shop houses to see, the most well maintained street being Muntri Street which is definitely worth a wander. You will also find yourself passing through Little India and China Town as you search for all the street art, be sure to stop and take in Penang life happening around you.


Penang may be full of high rise buildings, but nestled amongst them there are some beautiful temples which are a must see whilst in the city. The largest ones are the Burmese Buddhist Temple and Kek Lok Si. There are also a number of temples you will stumble upon as you wander around the the old town, so just make sure to get lost in the narrow streets whilst you are there.


Penang is well known for having amazing food, much of which can be found cheaply at the hawker centres. These are all over the city, so ask your hotel where the closest one is and enjoy a feast of traditional Malay, Indian, Chinese, and much more.


Head up to Habitat on Penang Hill to see Penang from the highest vantage point in the city. Habitat is currently building a trail of sky bridges which will be ready for visitors from March 2017. Whilst there you can take a guided tour through the nature trail to learn about the rainforest, swing on the giant swings over and even sight some tarantulas!


The Clan Jetties have been around since the 19th century, a series of overwater houses on stilts, the jetties were once home to a number of Chinese clans. These days, the wooden piers are littered with dozens of souvenir stands and is a fairly touristic spot, but if you are close by its worth a quick visit.

Have you visited Penang? Please share you owns tips and favourite places to see in the city with our readers in the comments below!

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  • Reply
    Vanessa Rivers
    January 25, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Such awesome photos! Look like you guys had an amazing trip! Wish I could have been there with you!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

    We’ve been wavering on Malaysia for a while now — to go now or later? But your post on Penang is making me want to go stat! Thanks for all the info and beautiful photos. It’s definitely on my must-see list now!

    • Reply
      Becky van Dijk
      January 26, 2017 at 12:04 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Anna! I am so glad this inspired you to go to Malaysia! If you do, you should also see Cameron Highlands (I have some posts on that), Perhentians and Langkawi! All beautiful places!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2017 at 2:30 am

    […] Penang has become famous for its street art, with some murals amassing long queues to get your picture with them. I suggest starring all of the art you want to find on Google maps (the majority are in Georgetown’s historic centre) and then get up early and reach each of them on your own walking tour of the city. Once you are done with all the street art make sure to head up to Habitat on Penang Hill for views out over the city, and then back down to see Kek Lok Si (Snake Temple). For more details read 7 Reasons To Visit Penang. […]

  • Reply
    20 Epic Trips To Take In 2017 | We Are Travel Girls
    April 14, 2017 at 6:50 am

    […] READ: 5 Places You Must Visit In Malaysia READ: 7 Reasons To Visit Penang […]

  • Reply
    Joanne Mather
    July 5, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    We are taking our girls to KL for a few days and then Penang for a chill out. We are on a tight budget, so your blog was very inspirational, thank you. Im getting excited now as only 3 weeks away. Can you walk about and feel safe?

    • Reply
      Becky van Dijk
      July 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Joanne, thanks so much for reading and commenting! Malaysia is a great place to travel on a budget, you can eat pretty cheaply in most restaurants and most activities are free, especially in Penang. You can definitely walk around feeling safe, but as with any city always stick to busier streets and be mindful about your belongings. I felt totally safe in Penang and the rest of Malaysia. I would highly recommend going to the Blue Mansion for one of their tours, the story of the building is really interesting – I loved it! https://beckyvandijk.com/cheong-fatt-tze-penang-blue-mansion/ Also, if you are on a budget you can guide yourself around most of the street art – lots of the works are close together, and its fun to just wander around and find them yourself! Let me know if you have other questions!

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