Kek Lok Si Temple, George Town
Kek Lok Si Temple, George Town
Penang

Since its heritage listing in 2008, George Town has become the epicentre of modernity and culture. Stroll through the capitals painted streets, sip cocktails or dine in some of Penang’s best restaurants, there's a little something for every kind of traveller. Get to know this ever-evolving city with the help of our Penang travel guide. 

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Places to stay

As you can imagine Penang has a diverse selection of accommodation. For the full resort experience stay in the Parkroyal Penang Resort on one of the Island’s best beaches, Batu Ferringhi. The behemoth hotel has recently refurbed all of its 308 rooms, public areas and restaurants. A 45-minute drive from buzzing George Town, this secluded resort is circled by rainforest, gardens and courtyards.

If you’d rather stay close to the action, stay in the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. A renovated Chinese courtyard house that describes itself as once being the “pivotal heart of the city.” This stunning boutique hotel is an easy walk to George Town.

Things to do

Penang city is best explored on foot but with more than 1,700 historical sites in the city alone, its important to pace yourself. Visit the colourful Goddess of Mercy Temple, then stroll down to the historic Kapitan Keling Mosque and admire its beautiful, intricately crafted domes. For refreshments and a nice place to relax, walk five minutes around the corner and you’ll find Love Lane, a hip café precinct.

For an aperitif to remember, head to Three Sixty Skybar on the Bayview hotel’s rooftop. Sip cocktails and watch the sun set over George Town before heading off to dinner.

For a cultural hit, discover George Town’s prolific street art by famous Lithuanian, Ernest Zacharevic. You can find the full-scale interactive works sprinkled throughout the city. For a challenging outdoor activity, visit the world's highest rope course – The Gravitz in George Town.

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Food and drink

Penang much like KL is an amalgamation of cuisines. Think spicy curry, tangy salads and delicate dumplings. Try the local favourite tiger char koay teow, a dish of thick noodles stir-fried with meat and vegetables.

Head to Penang’s little India to taste authentic roti, tandoori meats and crunchy samosa. For authentic Jawi Peranakan cuisine, Jawi House is the place for a fusion of Muslim-Indian and Malay cuisines.

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Shopping

Much like KL, market streets nervously rub shoulders with mega-malls and luxury hotels which makes for some interesting shopping. Head to Market street in Little India for trinkets, brass and traditional Indian cakes.

For big brand shopping, Sunway Carnival Mall in Seberang Perai is the go-to. The glossy mall is a favourite in Penang and extremely convenient.

Experienced shoppers will want to check out Chowrasta Bazaar for inexpensive clothing, fresh produce and hawker-style street food.

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Getting around

From the airport: The most cost effective way to travel from Penang International Airport to George Town is to take one of the bus services that leave the airport every 30 minutes. Rapid Penang has an extensive route system covering Penang Island and Seberang Perai. A Rapid Penang Tourist Passport allows unlimited travel on these buses for a whole week.

In and around the city: in Penang’s George Town everything is within walking distance, so we suggest bringing your best walking shoes or renting a bike. Alternatively renting a car is a good option to explore everything the Island has to offer.

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Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: ** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.

Disclaimer: ~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.