In this blog you will know what attractions to visit and places to eat local food in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia on a 3-day itinerary budget.

Recently I have explored Penang, Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur city. I arrived late at night in Penang Sentral Bus Terminal and took the 10:00 PM ferry going to Georgetown island, Penang.

From KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur to Penang, it would normally take 5-6 hours duration via bus for the trip. It’s also so convenient because the bus will pick you at the lower ground floor of NU mall bus buy in KL Sentral and then drop you off directly to Penang Sentral Bus Terminal where at the same location you will also find the Ferry Terminal. The ferry ride would only take 10-15 minutes.

How to book a bus from KL Sentral to Penang, Malaysia : Easybook.com (Online Confirmation) Cost: 40 RM (per way)

How to book a ferry from Penang to Georgetown island : Walk-in at the Penang Sentral Ferry Terminal (Go to second level of the Penang Sentral bus terminal, you will find the KFC restaurant for you to go outside to the Ferry Terminal going to Georgetown Island) Cost: 2 RM (per way) The ferry leaves every one hour.

Accommodation in Georgetown: There are a lot of options from budget hostel, AirBNBs to luxury hotels. I stayed in Kimberly 24 Hostel where it is located within the attractions. I highly recommend this and it is so budget-friendly. I booked the hostel through Booking.com at 60 RM per night.

Since Penang is the food capital of Malaysia, the highlight of this trip will be mixture of food and activities you can do in the island of Georgetown where it is a UNESCO Heritage site.


Breakfast: Kedai Kopi Pak Hock Famous Chicken Rice – For less than 10 RM per meal, you get to enjoy this local restaurant of their tasty and one of the best Hainanese and roasted chicken rice. This hidden gem is located at the heart of Georgetown, Lebuh Carnarvon street.

Fort Cornwallis – Hop on a free CAT bus within Georgetown and head to Fort Cornwallis to learn about the history of Penang and how it was influenced by the British settlement. This attraction entrance fee costs 20 RM including water bottle and a tour guide.

Chew Jetty – Hop on a free CAT bus and head to the jetty. Chew Jetty has wooden houses built above the water. From the jetty you will appreciate the sea view and the boats around the area. People literally live in these houses but since it’s one of the main attraction, you can shop for souvenirs here and explore the food stalls. There is also a Chinese temple at the entrance of Chew Jetty.

Lunch: Seng Thor Coffee Shop – Most restaurants here are closed at 2:30 PM. From Chew Jetty, you can walk towards Georgetown Street Art and reach Seng Thor Coffee Shop – Penang style “kopitiam” coffee. It’s not just a coffee shop, it has a lot of local “Peranakan” food options. It can be crowded most of the times. They serve quick food at reasonable prices.

Malay Central Mosque – Just walking distance from Georgetown Street Art within the Heritage site, you will find Malay Central Mosque (Masjid) since 1800 which looks like a lighthouse. If you want to visit the mosque, always wear decent clothing especially for women covering the skin, mostly. However, it is open to public until 6:00 PM so you can take photos (except for the prayer hall). Entrance Fee: Not Applicable

Kapitan Keling Mosque – Located at the heart of Georgetown Heritage site, this old and beautiful mosque with garden is open to public (Non-Muslim, tourists) provided that you have to leave your shoes outside and you must change your clothing for women. This mosque is so peaceful and clean. There is a free toilet located on the right side (from the main gate). Entrance Fee: Not Applicable

Dinner: Carnarvon Street (Night Street Food) – The night is vibrant in Georgetown, Penang. Pretty cafes, restaurants and bars are located in this area for great options. Instead of queuing up to 30 minutes in a long line at the famous Teksen restaurant, I had my quick dinner at Chulia Street Lok Lok, this stall offers cheap and authentic food on sticks and dip them in a boiling pot. Each stick would cost between 1-2 RM.

Night life: Hong Kong Bar – I recommend going to this oldest bar in Penang since 1920 for a cozy drinking. Just around the corner of Carnavon Street, you will find Chulia Street where bars are resided and you are going to find this historical treasure. It is a museum and a bar at the same time. This bar is unique with lots of war memorabilia and souvenirs. A bottle of Guinness beer costs 16 RM.


Breakfast: Yong Pin restaurant – If you’re looking for the best and a must-visit dim sum restaurant in Penang, this is the right place for you. Close to the hostel where I stayed, I got to visit this early in the morning as soon as it opens at 6:30 AM. The line is usually long most of the times. So I suggest you come here on a walk-in very early to secure a table. It has a pleasant atmosphere, great food quality, exceptional service and reasonable prices. Walk towards Chowrasta market and hop on a bus to Batu Ferringhi beach. The fare for the bus is 3 RM.

Batu Ferringhi – Located in Northwest side of Georgetown, well-known for its white sand beaches, seafood restaurants and water sports activities. Spending a day here is always a good idea. The 15 kilometer trip from Georgetown Heritage Site to Batu Ferringhi would normally take an hour or so. If during peak hours, traffic jam is expected since it’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists especially on the weekends. I went to Ferringhi Walk and to Frandy Beach Bar & Restaurant respectively.

Head to Ferringhi Walk, a public beach with free entrance and where bars and restaurant options can be found. You can bring your own chair or mat for you to sit on the sand and have your own food. Tables and chairs are available for the customers of the restaurants.

Lunch: Frandy Beach Bar & Restaurant – A perfect spot beside the beach with delicious food and at reasonable price. This place can be crowded and reservations are recommended for large groups. However, walk-ins can be accommodated if you are alone or two persons. Fast service with beautiful decorations of the interior. You can enjoy the sunset view from here with live band by the beach. The price can vary but I spent 40+ RM here for the meal and drinks.

Dinner: Kimberly Street Food Night Market – After spending a day in Batu Ferringhi, head back to Georgetown heritage site and go to experience the Penang’s street food. The weather can be unpredictable in Malaysia and mostly it rains in the evening. A bowl of noodles from a local stall and restaurant is a great way to end the cold night.


Penang Street Art – Georgetown is famous for the street wall art. You can explore the creative side of Penang where you can see the mural paintings all around the UNESCO heritage site. I suggest that you visit the Street Art in the early morning or in the evening. No entrance fee, you can just find these anywhere in the city and take your photo.

Choo Chay Keong Temple (Yap Kongsi) – Free entrance attraction. A small Taoist temple built in 1920 at the corner of Cannon Street and Armenian Street in a busy area. I recommend visiting this at night as well when the temple is lighted up.

Chinatown Penang – You can wander in here all day if you want. There is so much to see in terms of architecture and culture. You will see how rich the culture is. A lot of sightseeing places within Chinatown and aesthetic cafes to try. You can go to eat and shop in Chinatown Penang. Walking is a good way to explore the heritage site. However, it can be really hot in the afternoons.

Little India – Nearby Chinatown is Penang’s Little India. The street is full of cultural colors, spices, scents, shops and authentic Indian food options. A Little India is also great for walking, shopping and food experience.

Love Lane – Love Lane is known for its colorful architecture, aesthetic cafes, and exciting nightlife. There are variety of restaurants serving local cuisine. There are also great cafes serving food and drinks. Tourists usually come here for the bars and clubs where you can enjoy live music and cocktails. The street is also a popular spot for street art and boutique shops.

I really enjoyed my stay in Georgetown, Penang and I would love to come back again. Malaysia has a lot to offer in terms of its diverse culture and heritage. Also, the public transportation getting around Georgetown island is very convenient. There are public busses and Grab cars that you can take for a rice.

When planning your trip to Penang, aside from bus and ferry, you can actually book a train from KL Sentral and it would take 4 hours and 30 minutes for the travel duration. However, the tickets are fast-selling with limited time options and it is twice as expensive compare taking the public bus. There is also an international airport in Georgetown if you flying outside Malaysia or just prefer taking the domestic plane.

Planning to go to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Check-out the itinerary here https://www.blogsnippets.com/solo-traveling-in-kuala-lumpur-malaysia-itinerary-in-4-days/

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated to any brand or agency, nor a visa consultant. I write blog based on my actual experience. I’m just happy to share my ideas on how to manage your trip and lessen the anxiety.

Yang Herrera

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