Flag of Malaysia

Georgetown

Things to see and do

  • Fort Cornwallis
    4 stars

    Originally built of palm trunks in 1786, Fort Cornwallis was upgraded into the brick structure you see today in 1804. Once home to a barracks, gun powder magazine, chapel, harbour light, flagstaff, armoury, cell rooms, stores and many other administration buildings, in its day the Fort was a ... read more

  • Komtar Viewing Deck
    3 stars

    Enter the Komtar tower and a lift will whisk you up 60 floors in just under 30 seconds to the viewing deck. From there enjoy dazzling views of Penang. At 30 ringgit, this isn't a cheap diversion -- you may want to consider dinner at the Bayview Hotel's revolving restaurant instead as it costs 48 ... read more

  • Syed Alatas Mansion
    2.5 stars

    Originally belonging to Syed Mohamad Alatas, a spice trader and the leader of the Acheen Street Mosque community during the Penang riots of 1867, it's believed this house was used as a base for the Acehnese leaders during their war against the Dutch. It's speculated that Syed Mohamad Alatas ... read more

  • Dhammakarama Burmese Temple and Wat Chaiya Mangalaram Temple
    3.5 stars

    These two temples on Lorong Burma lie across the street from each other. The lane and Burmese temple date back to the early 19th century when there was a Burmese village in the area. Wat Chaiya Mangalaram is a Thai temple, constructed much later, with a 33-metre reclining Buddha inside, one of ... read more

  • Cathedral of the Assumption
    2.5 stars

    This place of worship is not quite as grand as its name might suggest and unless you pass by during a service time the building is locked up. It is double spired and although white still manages to look quite bleak. Originally built in 1786 the current structure is from 1861.

  • St George's Church
    2.5 stars

    Sitting almost next to the Cathedral of Assumption this church with its pointy spire and columned entrance is set in a wide grassed area. It's the oldest Anglican Church in Southeast Asia, built in 1818 using convict labour. The church is currently closed until further notice for restoration.

  • Goddess of Mercy Temple
    4 stars

    The oldest Chinese temple on Penang, the Goddess of Mercy was founded in 1801 after Chinese settlers received the plot of land it stands on from the British. The street directly opposite is named Lebuh China -- an effort by the British to make clear as to who stayed where. Worshippers here ... read more

  • Han Jiang Teochew Ancestral Temple
    3.5 stars

    Originally known as Teochew Kongsi, the Han Jiang Teochew Ancestral Temple dates back to 1870 and has seen several restoration projects, one in 1936 then again in the 1980s. The most recent one, costing 1.5m ringgit, won a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Conservation award. The immaculately restored ... read more

  • Penang State Museum
    4 stars

    This quiet museum is housed in a white building opposite another set of white buildings belonging to the Penang Magistrate's Court. It's a great escape from the heat and hustle and bustle of Penang and will give you an excellent overview of the sights, culture and rich history of the island. ... read more

  • Eastern & Oriental Hotel
    3.5 stars

    If you are close by, it's worth taking a few minutes to marvel at this restored bit of history. The hotel was owned and operated by the Sarkies brothers, who were also responsible for Raffles in Singapore. Originally built in 1884, the hotel attracted the rich and famous and you can see their ... read more

  • Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
    3.5 stars

    This Hindu temple is beautifully ornate and intricately decorated. The temple remains in use today, but is quiet. It is worth taking your shoes off to go and wander around the colourful walls and sculptures. There is no visitor information at all but the temple is South Indian style and was built ... read more

  • Khoo Kongsi
    4 stars

    This clan house is the pride of Penang. In 2000, 4.2 million ringgit was spent on a restoration project and today it sits resplendent with its gold leaf and tile shard work. The original building was truly opulent and took some eight years to build. It was made from wood and just three weeks after ... read more

  • Hock Tiek Cheng Sin Kongsi
    3.5 stars

    This beautiful clan temple was built in 1892 in honour of the god of prosperity and the devotees are nearly all seeking good or better business. This kongsi operates under the supervision of the Penang Chinese trader association and, while tiny compared to the Khoo clan temple, the atmosphere ... read more

  • Ciji Temple
    3 stars

    Located beside the Yap Kongsi and across the road from the Hock Tiek Cheng Sin Kongsi means you'll struggle for an excuse not to pop in here. Built in 1924, it's a Taoist temple and in good condition.

  • Cheah Si Hock Haw Kong Kongsi
    3.5 stars

    It's a mouthful of a name, but the Cheah Si Hock Haw Kong Kongsi (most refer to it as Cheah Kongsi) on Lebuh Armenian enjoys a very active clan association, which was originally formed in 1820. This makes it the oldest of the Straits Chinese clan associations. Once you pass its red painted ... read more

  • Peranakan Mansion
    3.5 stars

    Many cultures and traditions have shaped the development of Georgetown, but one of the most remarkable is that of the 19th and early 20th-century Peranakan Chinese, whose affluent and opulent lifestyles are celebrated at the Peranakan Mansion. Built by tin magnate Chung Keng Quee in the late 1800s, ... read more

  • Hainanese Temple
    3 stars

    Spend any amount of time in Penang, and you will discover that the island’s Chinese heritage is as diverse as it is fascinating. During the 19th century, dialect groups from across southern China converged here, each community bringing its own traditions, language and cuisine to add to ... read more

  • Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
    4 stars

    Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, otherwise known as the Blue Mansion, has retained every inch of its original glory, and you can still get a glimpse of what life must have been like for Georgetown’s mercantile millionaires at the turn of the 20th century. The original owner of the house, Cheong Fatt ... read more

  • Townbikes
    4 stars

    Part of the joy of visiting Penang’s Georgetown is wandering its streets and taking in the sights, sounds and smells of its fascinating UNESCO-protected heritage townscape. However, getting the most out of Georgetown requires some degree of stamina when it comes to putting one foot in front of ... read more

  • Pinaon Time Tunnel
    3.5 stars

    For a settlement that has existed less than 250 years, Penang has had its fair share of drama. Did you know, for example, that in the early 19th century the island’s predominant population was not Chinese, but Indian? Or that the now-tranquil Georgetown was once hit by 10 days of riots, when ... read more

  • Straits Quay
    3.5 stars

    There’s so much to see and do in Georgetown that it’s sometimes easy to forget that there’s a whole island to go and explore, and one destination outside the centre that is really growing in popularity is modern retail complex, Straits Quay. Set around what is undoubtedly Penang’s most ... read more

  • Suffolk House
    3.5 stars

    Most aspects of colonialism are, no doubt, best resigned to the past, but some of the buildings that the British left behind are worthy of praise. Suffolk House is one such example, where you can get a real feel for the British colonial architecture and lifestyle. The house itself is steeped in ... read more

  • Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve
    4 stars

    Just over an hour’s drive from central Georgetown, roughly 40 kilometres south of the mainland part of Penang state, lies what must be one of the northern region’s most unexpectedly rewarding attractions: the mangrove swamps of the Matang Forest Reserve in Kuala Sepetang. Located west of ... read more

  • Rickshaws
    4 stars

    The island of Penang may be developing rapidly, but Georgetown’s cycle rickshaws are a real throwback to years gone by and taking a ride in one evokes a sense of ‘old Asia’ that complements the well-preserved architecture of the heritage zone. This is not to say, however, that the rickshaws ... read more

  • The Clan Jetties
    4 stars

    Because they could not afford housing on the land, members of these clans built clusters of stilted homes around the jetties. Known as the clan jetties, these continue to exist today as villages occupied by descendents of the first immigrants. At the southern end of Pengkalan Weld, opposite the ... read more


Photo gallery

Photo for Georgetown

Jump to a destination


Most popular sights in Georgetown



Newsletter signup

Sign up for Travelfish Burp!

Our weekly wrap on Southeast Asian travel.
Click here to see a recent newsletter.

We respect your email privacy