George Town travel guide

George Town Tourism | George Town Guide

You're Going to Love George Town

The city of George Town on Malaysia's Penang Island is a popular vacation spot due to its natural beauty, colonial architecture, and abundant outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing, hiking, and diving.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit George Town

1. Kek Lok Si

Visit this well-known Buddhist temple, the largest in Malaysia, with sea-facing views.

2. Khoo Kongsi

This Chinese clanhouse features elaborate carvings and unique architecture, and is a stark reminder of China's historical influence in the region.

3. Penang Botanic Gardens

Also known as "waterfall gardens," this green expanse can be found near Penang Hill at Jalan Air Terjun.

4. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

This mansion-turned-museum was built by a prominent Hakka Chinese merchant at the end of the 19th century in accordance with feng shui principles.

5. Batik Painting Museum Penang

This museum recounts the history of the local batik painting style in Malaysia.

Where to Eat in George Town

Ilyana's serves Malay food prepared by a Thai chef with fresh seafood and dishes such as lala and satay. Average meal prices cost RM40 for two people.

When to visit George Town

George Town in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 25
1 night at 3-star hotel
George Town in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 25
1 night at 3-star hotel

Visit between November and February during the dry season in Penang, offering visitors many swimming, hiking, and sightseeing opportunities.

Data provided by weatherbase
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to George Town


Penang International Airport (PEN) is located 9.9 miles south of George Town. Visitors can then transfer by private car or Rapid Penang bus 401, 401A, or 401E to the city center.


The closest train stop to Penang Island is at Butterworth Station; from here you must transfer by ferry to George Town. A one-way ticket from Kuala Lumpur costs RM70 and takes around 5.5 hours.


Follow Lebuhraya Utara and Selatan/E1 toll roads from Kuala Lumpur to reach George Town in four hours.


Shah Alam and KBES offer connections from Kuala Lumpur, with a one-way, seven-hour journey costing RM70.

Airports near George Town


Airlines serving George Town

United Airlines
Good (2,301 reviews)
Good (259 reviews)
Air France
Good (269 reviews)
British Airways
Good (742 reviews)
Excellent (2,538 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (925 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (835 reviews)
Excellent (566 reviews)
Good (336 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (175 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (114 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Excellent (16 reviews)
Thai Airways
Excellent (27 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (229 reviews)
Oman Air
Good (3 reviews)
SriLankan Airlines
Okay (7 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (75 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Excellent (19 reviews)
Philippine Airlines
Good (70 reviews)
China Airlines
Excellent (7 reviews)
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Where to stay in George Town

Hotel Penaga offers rooms with additional spa, garden, conference rooms, and swimming pool. Cintra Heritage House is a boutique hotel in the historic quarter with eclectic decor.

Popular neighbourhoods in George Town

Old Town - this UNESCO Heritage Site is comprised of 19th-century colonial architecture and features lots of tourist shops for visitors.

Penang Hill - take a scenic tram to the top of this hill overlooking the city below with several museums, gardens, and restaurants.

Little India - this neighborhood caters to the Indian population of the city, with lots of religious items, clothing, food, and handicrafts for sale.

Where to stay in popular areas of George Town

Most booked hotels in George Town

Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 117+
Jen Penang Georgetown By Shangri-La
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 102+
The Wembley A St Giles Hotel Penang
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 67+
Sunway Hotel Georgetown Penang
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 53+
Bayview Beach Resort
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 73+
De Garden Hotel
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
C$ 30+
See all hotels

How to Get Around George Town

Public Transportation

There are many air-conditioned buses in George Town, with the main stops being at Jetty and Komtar. A single fare costs RM2 and can be paid to the driver on entering the bus.


Taxis in George Town are metered and very affordable. Tariffs start at RM1.5 and will cost no more than RM15 for a trip between destinations in the city center.


Avis, New Bob, and Easybook offer daily rental vehicles for as little as RM45 a day.

The Cost of Living in George Town

Shopping Streets

Queensbay Mall is the largest shopping mall, with five floors of retail stores, restaurants, and a cinema. On the last Sunday of every month, you can visit the Little Penang Street Market to bargain for items such as hand-painted clothes, clogs, local batik, and henna art.

Groceries and Other

Sam's Groceria Gurney Paragon and Giant Supermarket Penang Plaza are the two biggest grocery stores. A dozen eggs costs RM5.

Cheap meal
C$ 2.43
A pair of jeans
C$ 66.51
Single public transport ticket
C$ 0.61
C$ 2.43