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Penang State Museum

Housed in a handsome Victorian building, this museum traces Penang’s fascinating history through an extensive collection of artefacts, photographs and artwork.

The museum chronicles the city's transformation culturally, physically and politically since the days of Sir Francis Light, founder of the British colony in Penang in the 1800s. Transport yourself through Penang's past via a wealth of photographs accompanied by first-hand accounts of key events. Galleries of artefacts, including antiques once owned by prominent Chinese Straits families, give a comprehensive glimpse at the Penang of yesteryear.

The dignified structure of white with its high arches and tall columns was originally built as a school in 1821, but was converted into a museum and opened to the public in 1964. The museum is divided into two areas: an art gallery displaying a collection of local and international artwork, and exhibits detailing the city's history.

Wander the corridors of Penang's past through a plethora of photographs, including the series on the Penang Riots of 1867, or pictures depicting Penang during the World War II Japanese occupation. Various oil paintings by Captain Robert Smith of the East India Company allow you to see Penang through the eyes of early British colonists. Walk through the main hall of a Chinese trader's home and inspect the fine collection of furniture such as opium beds, and elaborate accessories like slippers and jewellery previously owned by Straits Chinese families.

Art aficionados will revel in the extensive local art collections located on the ground floor. Some interesting permanent collections include a series of paintings dedicated to Malay seamanship, and several portrayals of old Penang.

A railway car from the old Penang Hill service houses the museum's souvenir kiosk, creating an interesting atmosphere to peruse the souvenirs on sale.

Located along Farquhar Street in central Georgetown, the Penang State Museum is serviced by most major bus lines. It is open daily, except Friday and public holidays, and there is a small charge for entry.


Guide to Exploring Penang State Museum


Map

Top Penang State Museum Hotel Deals

See all 790 properties near Penang State Museum
Eastern And Oriental Hotel RM636
Eastern And Oriental Hotel

Eastern And Oriental Hotel

10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, Penang
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly George Town hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 15-minute walk of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).

    Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La RM212
    Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

    Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La

    Magazine Road, George Town, Penang
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly George Town hotel is located in the shopping district, within a 5-minute walk of KOMTAR, 1st Avenue Mall and Prangin Mall.

      Loop On Leith George Town Penang Hotel by Compass Hospitality RM117
      Loop On Leith George Town Penang Hotel by Compass Hospitality

      Loop On Leith George Town Penang Hotel by Compass Hospitality

      29 Leith Street, George Town, Penang
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and KOMTAR. Penang Times Square and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal are also within 1 mile (2 km).

        Reunion Carnarvon RM75
        Reunion Carnarvon

        Reunion Carnarvon

        No.218, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, Penang
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Penang Islamic Museum and KOMTAR. Penang Times Square and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal are also within 1 mile (2 km).

          Silver Shine Guesthouse
          Silver Shine Guesthouse

          Silver Shine Guesthouse

          7 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town, Pulau Pinang
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown George Town, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of St. George's Church and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Gurney Drive are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Seven Terraces Hotel RM502
            Seven Terraces Hotel

            Seven Terraces Hotel

            Stewart Lane, Georgetown, George Town, Penang
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown George Town, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Goddess of Mercy Temple and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).

              You Le Yuen RM364
              You Le Yuen

              You Le Yuen

              7 Love Lane, Georgetown, George Town, Penang
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown George Town, this bed & breakfast is within a 15-minute walk of Penang State Museum and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).

                The 80's Guesthouse RM79
                The 80's Guesthouse

                The 80's Guesthouse

                46, Love Lane, George Town
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown George Town, this hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Penang State Museum and Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. KOMTAR and Penang Times Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).