Photo: Shophouse scenes.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Penang.

Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

How long should you spend on Penang?

As one of the major settlements in peninsular Malaysia, there is more to do on Penang than your average small island. ... Read more about How long should you spend on Penang? .

Penang’s UNESCO Heritage Zone Walking Tour

Without doubt, a wander through the streets of Penang’s UNESCO heritage zone should be top of any visitors to-do list. ... Read more about Penang’s UNESCO Heritage Zone Walking Tour .

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Khoo Kongsi
18 Medan Cannon, Georgetown

The Khoo Kongsi is the jewel in the crown of Penang’s clan houses, if you see no other, join the throngs ... Read more about Khoo Kongsi .

Kek Lok Si
Jalan Balik Pulau, Air Itam
T: (0482) 83 317

Dominating the hillside overshadowing the town of Air Itam, west of Georgetown, imposing Kek Lok Si is hyped as the largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia. ... Read more about Kek Lok Si .

Cheah Kongsi
Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street), Georgetown
T: (0426) 13 837

The Cheah Kongsi, or formerly the tongue-twisting, Sek Tong Cheah Si Seh Tek Tong Hock Haw Kong Kongsi, is one of the oldest Hokkien clan associations in Penang, established in 1810 by immigrants from China’s Fujian Province. ... Read more about Cheah Kongsi .

Goddess of Mercy Temple
Corner of Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lorong Stewart

As one of Penang’s oldest and most celebrated buildings, the Goddess of Mercy Temple is also one of the island’s most historically ... Read more about Goddess of Mercy Temple .

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
Lebuh Queen, Georgetown (Little India)

At the heart of Little India, small but ornate and intricately decorated Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is the focal point of Penang’s Southern Indian Hindu diaspora. ... Read more about Sri Maha Mariamman Temple .

Han Jiang Ancestral Temple
Lebuh Chulia, Georgetown (in front of Lebuh Queen)

Han Jiang Ancestral Temple, Penang’s Teochew Kongsi or clan association, is the sole example of traditional Teochew temple architecture in Georgetown, built in 1870 as a centre of fellowship for immigrants from the Guangzhou region in Southern China. ... Read more about Han Jiang Ancestral Temple .

Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple
57 Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown

You hardly notice the entrance to Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple on Lebuh Armenian, and this is somewhat intentional as this temple dedicated to the god of prosperity, has a chequered history and was the former base of some of Penang’s most notorious secret societies. ... Read more about Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple .

Yap Kongsi
Corner of Lebuh Armenian and Medan Cannon, Georgetown

Conspicuously but rather incongruously side by side on the corner of Lebuh Armenian and Medan Cannon, the rather imposing pale green and white colonial-looking Yap Kongsi contrasts with the compact, yet florid neighbouring temple, Choo Chay Keong, also associated with the Yap ... Read more about Yap Kongsi .

Hainanese Temple (Thean Hou Kong)
93 Lebuh Muntri, Georgetown
T: (0426) 23 752

Thean Hou Kong or the Temple of the Heavenly Queen is the spiritual centre for Penang’s Hainanese community and as well as displaying some of Georgetown’s best stone carvings, it also provides an insight into the history of the people who built it. ... Read more about Hainanese Temple (Thean Hou Kong) .

King Street Temples
30–40 Lebuh King, Georgetown

As you walk along Lebuh King, you won’t miss the row of large grey granite-faced Kongsi with a striking zig-zag roofline near Lebuh Gereja (Church Street), so much so that they almost overshadow the other two neighbouring temples. ... Read more about King Street Temples .

Eng Chuan Tan Kongsi
28 Seh Tan Court, Georgetown (off Beach Street)

The Tans are regarded as one of Penang’s “big five” Hokkien clans, and although there are no records confirming the fact, the general consensus is that they may have formed the first clan association in Penang. ... Read more about Eng Chuan Tan Kongsi .

Dhammakarama Temple and Wat Chaiyamangalaram
17 & 24 Lorong Burma, Pulau Tikus

Occupying opposing sides of Lorong Burma in Pulau Tikus, these two temples serve Penang’s Thai and Burmese Buddhist communities. ... Read more about Dhammakarama Temple and Wat Chaiyamangalaram .

Snake Temple (Hock Kin Keong)
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas

The concept of a “snake temple” may conjure up all sorts of Raiders of the Lost Ark type scenarios with pits of writhing serpents, and if that’s your idea of fun, prepare for disappointment at Penang’s heritage Snake ... Read more about Snake Temple (Hock Kin Keong) .

Sam Poh Footprint Temple
Jalan Bayan Lepas, Batu Maung

Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Penang, the tiny fishing village of Batu Maung is believed to be a site that larger-then-legend 13th century Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng He) set foot upon Penang, and literally left a giant mark in the form of a king-sized footprint embedded in stone. ... Read more about Sam Poh Footprint Temple .

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War Museum
Lot 1350, Mukim 12, Daerah Barat Daya, Batu Maung
T: (0164) 213 606

Originally known as Penang Fort, Penang’s War Museum is not just for war history buffs—anyone who appreciates atmospheric historical sites may find themselves spending more time here than planned. ... Read more about War Museum .

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Interesting buildings

Pinang Peranakan Mansion
29 Lebuh Gereja (Church Street), Georgetown
T: (0426) 42 929

Many cultures and traditions have shaped the development of Penang, but one of the most remarkable is that of the Peranakan, whose affluent and opulent lifestyles are celebrated at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. ... Read more about Pinang Peranakan Mansion .

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
14 Lebuh Leith, Georgetown
T: (0426) 20 006

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the former home of one of Georgetown’s most celebrated mercantile millionaires, both conceals the ghosts of a bygone era and stands out like the proverbial (blue) bruised digit among a 21st century expanse of ugly tarmac and concrete. ... Read more about Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion .

Kapitan Keling Mosque
Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Georgetown

Kapitan Keling Mosque is one of the most prominent landmarks in Georgetown, with its Mughal-inspired minaret and copper-clad main dome, oxidised to a striking black against the (sometimes) bright blue sky. ... Read more about Kapitan Keling Mosque .

St George’s Church and Protestant Cemetery
St George’s Church: 1 Lebuh Farquhar; Protestant Cemetery: Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah
T: (0426) 12 739

St George’s Church is the oldest purpose-built Anglican Church in Southeast Asia, although with its most recent restoration completed in 2011, it looks as fresh as it would have done when its first service was held on Christmas day, 1818. ... Read more about St George’s Church and Protestant Cemetery .

Fort Cornwallis
Lebuh Light, Georgetown

In keeping with its history as a fort devoid of battles, a state of inertia seems to penetrate the very walls of peaceful Fort Cornwallis. ... Read more about Fort Cornwallis .

Acheen Street Mosque
Jalan Lebuh Acheh, Georgetown

Towering above the surrounding tightly packed shophouses and bungalows around Lebuh Acheh, the Acheen Street Mosque’s minaret betrays its presence in the otherwise hidden enclave. ... Read more about Acheen Street Mosque .

Suffolk House
250 Jalan Air Hitam, Penang
T: (0422) 83 930

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 and Suffolk House is one such example where you can get a real feel for the British colonial architecture and lifestyle. ... Read more about Suffolk House .

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Natural attractions

Penang National Park
Jalan Hassan Abbas, Teluk Bahang
T: (0488) 13 530

Penang boasts Malaysia’s smallest national park, and although that may not sound like anything to brag about, a trek through this beautiful rainforest reserve is, for many travellers, an unexpected highlight of Penang. ... Read more about Penang National Park .

Penang Hill
Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Air Itam

If the narrow streets of Georgetown and the stifling tropical heat are simply getting too much, then you can follow in the footsteps of the nineteenth-century colonial Brits and seek sanctuary in the cooler climes of Penang’s very own hill station. ... Read more about Penang Hill .

Penang Botanic Gardens
Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus

To experience Malaysia’s rainforests without straying too far from the sanctity of the city, you need go no further than the Penang Botanic Gardens. ... Read more about Penang Botanic Gardens .

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Shopping in Penang

Penang has been in the trading game since Francis Light first set foot upon her shores to establish an outpost of the British East India Company. The once heavily prized spices and silks are still up for grabs in traditional markets and stores, but added to the mix, there’s mega malls, chichi boutiques, hipster galleries and everything in ... Read more about Shopping in Penang .

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Festivals and events

Thaipusam in Penang

Of all Penang’s cultural and religious celebrations, none is more colourful than Thaipusam, observed by the Tamil Hindu diaspora. ... Read more about Thaipusam in Penang .

The Hungry Ghost Festival in Penang
Across Penang

If you’re in Penang and feel like you’re being watched as you tuck into your bowl of asam laksa or char koay teow, you might just be right. ... Read more about The Hungry Ghost Festival in Penang .

Lunar New Year in Penang
Across Penang

Out with the old, and in with the new is very much the theme during Chinese Lunar New Year, and an excellent time to experience Penang at its most vibrant. ... Read more about Lunar New Year in Penang .

Ramadan in Penang
Across Penang

The holy month of Ramadan may not seem like the most obvious time to enjoy traditional Malay food but every evening, once the daylight hours of abstinence and spiritual reflection are over, Penang’s Muslims gather at Ramadan bazaars across the island to break the end of the day’s fast (Iftar or “buka puasa” in Malay) and spend quality time with family and ... Read more about Ramadan in Penang .

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Noordin Mews in Georgetown
Noordin Mews in Georgetown
Ad A delightful choice among
Penang’s heritage picks.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Penang? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Malaysia.

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