Penang is a hot-spot for tourists and visitors traveling to Malaysia, with its blend of endless attractions, inspiring experiences, friendly visitors and effortless Malaysia visa formalities. Boasting a vibrant multicultural background with strong influences of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures, it serves as a starting point to discover the Baba-Nyonya culture of Malacca and Penang.
Being a hot hub for trading, there are many Penang attractions which you should definitely not miss out during your Malaysian holidays. With modern skyscrapers and world-class shopping malls, there are still places to visit in Penang which carry the essence of the island. We have handpicked some of the most popular Penang tourist attractions which would help you cover things to do in Malaysia during your trip. Our list contains an eclectic mix of family-friendly destinations, amusement parks, natural and man-made attractions, and endless quirky offering set for all age groups.
1.Old Georgetown Streets
This place definitely carries the essence of Malaysia and undisputedly named in the UNESCO listed heritage sites. Go back the clock and revisit the docks decorated with colonial and ancient architectural structures mixed with colors which are so soothing to the eye. Once a hot-spot for trading in Southeast Asia, today there are several guided tours conducted in the city to explore and discover the rich heritage of Malay.
A summit of 821 meters above sea level is not sufficient to attract tourists. It is the colored colonial mansions, which are now guest houses or restaurants and the mesmerizing scenery that catch the eye of the tourists and locals alike. If you are a fitness freak, then explore the trekking path up the hill through the Botanical Gardens. For lazy bunch, a short 30-minute cable car ride will take you to the top of the hill. Enjoy spectacular views down the hill from the top.
[Also Read : Top Things to do in Kuala Lumpur]
3.Pinang Peranakan Museum
An iconic mansion of a wealthy Baba merchant, this museum is not exclusively dedicated to promoting the Peranakan culture. There are several items on display such as furniture, opium beds, jewelry, women’s accessories, cutlery, houseware and much more – all well preserved as they are almost a century old. The place still carries the charm of the 19th century. You should definitely not miss this one.
This grand landmark is the ancestral home of the Khoo family. The well-preserved and ornate residence is a clear indication of the wealth and lifestyle of the rich traders and merchants who were once settled here. The entire family meets up at this place and is officially declared as the headquarters. Many Chinese immigrants who were traders have built grand houses as these, but many have not been able to withstand the impact of nature over the years.
Well, the British rule in the region has left some beautiful landmarks such as the Fort Cornwallis. A grand structure was built during their colonial rule, but today the ruins exist only for the 10 foot surrounding wall covering the garden and a handful of buildings such as the prison, chapel, and barracks. The clock tower and this fort are some of the highlights of the British colonial rule in Penang which are still standing strong.
6.Camera and Asia Camera Museum
The only two of its kind in this region, the Camera and the Asia Camera museums houses close to 2000 varieties of different cameras among them. Tourists and visitors are given tutorial lessons on how to use these cameras. They are even allowed to touch these antique pieces. So whether you are an amateur or a professional shutterbug, this place definitely deserves a visit. A rare and unique experience before heading to the nearby beautiful beaches on the Malay coast.
7.Penang Botanical Gardens
A treat for the nature lovers, this lush green environment is relaxing even to those who are not fond of it. Placed at the foot of the Penang Hill, adventure junkies can trek through the garden to reach the hill. With landscaped pathways and plenty to explore on the journey to the top, it is definitely worth a try. Beware of the monkey troops as they are fond of your belongings and are never short of energy.
8.The Butterfly Farm
Set in the year 1986, this houses approximately 4000 creatures of amazing butterflies. This is the world’s largest research and preserved areas for these wonderful insects. With over 120 species cocooned here, several iconic personalities do not miss out visiting this place when they step in Malaysia.
9.Nattukotai Chettiar Temple
This is the largest Hindu temple existing in Penang that was built by the Chettiar community that immigrated from Tamil Nadu in South India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Thandayutha and has been laid out in the form of a cross. The place is calm and serenity that is unmatched in terms of places of worship in Penang. The interior walls are decorated with an array of paintings and it hosts several annual Thaipusam festivals.
10.Dharmikarama Burmese Temple
One of the biggest Buddhist temples in this area opposite the iconic Wat Chayamangkalaram temple. This temple is a meeting point for the Burmese population settled in Penang and is one of the rare attractions existing outside Myanmar. Some of the other highlights of this temple include the vibrant colorful frescos and the unique gables.