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Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 20 Feb 2020
TOP PENANG ATTRACTIONS
Penang is a city easy to explore over a weekend trip, but best explored over 4 days.
Penang food The number one thing to do is to feast on as much Penang food as possible. Prepare your belly for Char Koay Teow, Penang Assam Laksa, Mee Goreng, Nasi Kandar, Penang Teochew Chendol, Apom Manis, Curry Mee, Oyster Omelette and more. Street food in Penang is simply delicious and stretches on and on in the variety it offers. Check out our beginner's guide for some of the best places to eat in Penang.
Georgetown is the top tourist spot in Penang, with plenty of colonial, post-colonial and pre-colonial architecture to explore. Georgetown has modern skyscrapers, charming colonial buildings, Chinese shophouses and Arabic mosques. Visit Penang Hill, one of the top Penang attractions. The UNESCO World Heritage zone in the core of Georgetown is highly recommended. Walking the historic lanes and streets, including Armenian Street, is a must.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN PENANG
When choosing your Penang hotel, consider how close it is to the shopping centres, Georgetown and the beach. Batu Ferringhi beach hotels like Hard Rock and Flamingo are popular for relaxation, whereas Georgetown hotels are more central an easy for sightseeing. Or you could opt for Penang hotels that are an experience in themselves, such as the colonial E&O hotel, the Deluxcious Luxurious Heritage Hotel, trendy Hotel Jen in the shopping district of Georgetown or 1881 Chong Tian Hotel which has more historic Chinese character.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN PENANG
Penang is also home to some major spiritual sites which are among the most renowned in Southeast Asia. Kek Lok Si is the largest Buddhist temple in the city, with a very interesting pagoda drawing influences from Chinese, Thai and Burmese cultures. The view from the top is also amazing. Don't forget to explore all the delicious food in the area too. The temple is in Air Itam, a short ride from Georgetown. The Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple and the Kapitan Keling Mosque are also well worth exploring for a few hours.
The Penang Road-Chulia Street area is another popular place for great dining. Expect to find plenty of delicious Indian-Malay restaurants in Little India, one of Penang’s most famous cultural highlights. If visitors are looking for the cheaper side of Penang’s dining life, uncovering Kimberly Street’s bustling street vendor culture each evening is highly recommended.
Shopping in Penang There are dozens of markets across the island, and these are held throughout the week. Items are usually cheap, but be ready to bargain with the merchants. Little India and Little Penang Street Market are two of the most famous markets in Penang. Of course, there are many larger shopping centres available too. Queensbay Mall is the largest shopping complex in Penang and KOMTAR is a shiny 12-sided building with shops and an observation deck that offers you the best place to take panoramic views of the city.
Penang Beaches Though Penang beaches are not as famous as those found elsewhere in Malaysia, they do still provide a nice quiet escape. Penang National Park has several secluded gems, including Teluk Kempi and Teluk Duyung. You can also visit the Botanic Gardens for more nature. Check out Monkey Beach in Penang National Park.