6 Best Penang Attractions You Should Know

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Travel Guide

Looking for Penang attractions to visit? There are many activities you can do in Penang. Located on Malaysia’s northwest coast, Penang consists of an island and a peninsula connected by the two longest bridges in the country.

The state capital of Penang is George Town, which has become a major tourist destination in Malaysia. Due to its well-preserved colonial architecture and cultural landmark, sections of the town have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Penang is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene. You get to enjoy numerous festivals and events held throughout the year. If you are wondering which Penang attractions to visit, here is a list of places you should explore when you reach Penang.


Best Penang Attractions #1 – Penang Hill

Penang Attractions

If you are looking for a place to escape the heat and humidity of the island, Penang Hill is a great place to enjoy the chill. Also known as Bukit Bendera, it is located northwest of Penang. The hill stands 833 meters above sea level, and you get to see some of the best views of Penang.

You can reach the top of Penang Hill by taking the funicular train, which was built in 1923 and completely overhauled in 2010. It has the world’s steepest tunnel track, where you can see the beautiful green open views over the city.

Besides the funicular train, you can take a buggy tour of the peak, or you can opt to hike to the top of Penang Hill. Most of the time, visitors will choose to go up using the railway and take a casual stroll on the way down.


Best Penang Attractions #2 – Street Art In George Town

Video Credit: Malaysia Walker

One of the most popular Penang attractions is street art in George Town. It is beautified with a splash of colors on streetside murals, wall paintings, commercial art, and captivating steel sculptures. Street art began in 2012 when the Penang Municipal Council decided to create a plethora of art depicting the rich history of Penang’s George.

The art pieces are a mix of styles and themes, from traditional cultural motifs to contemporary pop art. It is created just with bottles of spray paint in the hands of painters, such as Baba Chuah, Ernest Zacharevic, and many more.

Some of the famous pieces include “Kids on a bicycle”, “Kung Fu Girl”, and “Cannon Hole”. Some pieces include interactive installations, allowing visitors to become part of the artwork. It is one of the places where you get to explore the city’s history and artistic expression.


Best Penang Attractions #3 – Kek Lok Si Temple

Penang Attractions

Over a hundred years old, Kek Lok Si temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. It is often referred to as the Temple of Supreme Bliss. Located at Air Itam, the temple was built in 1890 and continuously expanded over the years.

It is home to a seven-tiered pagoda that stands 30 meters tall and over 10,000 Buddha statues. You also wouldn’t want to miss the 30-meter-high bronze sculpture of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, located at the temple’s entrance. This temple has attracted Buddhists from all over Southeast Asia.

The temple complex also features beautifully landscaped gardens, ponds with fish and turtles, bridges, and walkways. The temple is particularly busy during the Chinese New Year period, illuminated with lights and lanterns, creating a stunning display of color and light. They lit well into the night for one whole month.

Video Credit: On The Move

Best Penang Attractions #4 – Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Penang Attractions

Also known as the Blue Mansion, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is a historic building located in the heart of George Town. It is built in the late 19th century. It is a traditional Chinese mansion, which is the former home of Cheong Fatt Tze, a prominent Chinese merchant, and philanthropist.

The exterior of the building is painted in an iconic indigo-blue color, which has made it one of the most recognizable landmarks in Penang. It is built with the best materials from around the world. There are many beautifully restored rooms and courtyards. Each room is furnished with antiques and artwork.

The mansion was sold to a group of Penang conservationists after the death of Cheong Fatt Tze last con. This group of Penang conservationists restores it to its former glory. It is now a boutique hotel and a major tourist attraction. After the restoration, the mansion earned The Malaysian Institue of Architects Architecture Award in Recognition of Design Excellence in 1995. Also UNESCO’s Most Excellent Project in the Asia Pacific Heritage Award in 2000.


Best Penang Attractions #5 – Tropical Spice Garden

Penang Attractions

Image Credit: Klook

Want to know more about spices? You won’t miss the tropical spice garden, which showcases more than 500 spices and herbs. It is a great way to learn more about these mystery ingredients in their natural stage.

Located in Teluk Bahang, the tropical spice garden was opened in 2003 and spanned over eight acres of lush tropical vegetation. You will get an immersive experience in the world of spices and herbs. Guided tours are available, or you can explore the garden on your own with an audio tour.

There are other facilities and activities for you to be involved in. There’s a cooking school right on the premise. You can join the cooking class that teaches you to use different spices and herbs in cooking. Spices and herbs are plucked straight from the garden.


Best Penang Attractions #6 – Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

Image Credit: Expedia Malaysia

Pinang Peranakan Mansion is where you get to know more about Peranakan. Peranakan, also known as the Babas and Nyonyas, are Chinese immigrants who came to Malaysia around the 16th century. Over the years, they developed their unique culture, cuisine, and even dialect.

This heritage mansion was originally built in the late 19th century by the Chung Keng Kwee family. Now, it is a museum showcasing the Peranakan community’s lifestyle, traditions, and culture. The museum features a collection of Peranakan jewelry, clothing, and accessories. You can see how a wealthy Peranakan family lived over a century ago.

The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a popular tourist attraction in Penang, where you can see the unique Peranakan culture and heritage.

There’s a wide range of Penang attractions for you to visit. You get to explore the unique culture in Penang, where you will have an unforgettable experience.



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