The Best 3 Days In Penang Itinerary to Explore the Island

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Penang, a Malaysian gem, is a captivating blend of rich heritage, mouthwatering cuisine, and stunning landscapes. This vibrant island destination offers a plethora of experiences for travellers seeking cultural immersion, culinary delights, and natural beauty.

In this 3-day itinerary, we will explore the best attractions and hidden gems of Penang, ensuring an unforgettable adventure. Get ready to indulge in tantalising street food, delve into the island’s history, and bask in the idyllic surroundings.

Penang Itinerary : Day 1

Most people will start the trip in Georgetown after arrived on the beautiful island. Georgetown was crowned as one of the UNESCO World Heritage site. This enchanting destination is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture, captivating street art, and mouthwatering street food. 

Read more : 8+ Best Hotels By The Beach In Penang

Explore Georgetown

Start your day by visiting the local “kopitiam” for a delightful traditional Malaysia breakfast! 

I would recommend the Toh Soon Cafe at Campbell Street to start your day. Toh Soon Cafe boasts a rich history that spans several decades, making it an iconic establishment in Georgetown. It is renowned for its flavourful charcoal-roasted bread and rich Hainan-style coffee, both of which are hard to find today.

Toh Soon Cafe is easily found as it is a green-coloured stall located in an alley at Campbell Street.There will be a queue outside the stall early in the morning. Get a seat and start your day with toast bread and the must try Hainanese coffee.

Coffee and toasts from Toh Soon Cafe
Coffee and toasts from Toh Soon Cafe

After breakfast, take a walk to the morning market on Campbell street to explore the local culture.

Next, you may embark on a fascinating heritage walking tour to discover Georgetown’s captivating history.

Wander through the charming streets adorned with colonial architecture, ornate temples, and bustling markets. There are a number of iconic landmarks like Fort Cornwallis, the majestic Khoo Kongsi clan house, and the historic Kapitan Keling Mosque which are all in walking distance from Campbell Street.

Fort Cornwallis in Penang
Fort Cornwallis in Penang
Khoo Kong Si in Penang
Khoo Kong Si in Penang

Lunch at Armenian Street

After the morning tour to the heritage area, you can explore the cafe culture in Penang! Take a trip down Armenian Street and the history district; there are a variety of quaint cafés and restaurants to try! 

Few of my favourites would be Urban Daybreak, Narrow Marrow, OME Spacebar coffee and more.

 

Armenian Street And Mural Arts

Mural art in Penang
Mural art in Penang

After a delightful lunch and coffee, head to Armenian Street and stroll along the iconic street for its captivating mural arts!

There are many famous mural arts by Ernest Zacharevic which you can spot on around the street. 

The mural arts on Armenian Street are the result of a project initiated by the Penang State Government to revitalise the area and celebrate Penang’s cultural heritage. The Armenian Street mural arts are not only a feast for the eyes but also a testament to Georgetown’s vibrant artistic scene and its commitment to preserving and showcasing its cultural heritage.

Besides the street arts, Armenian Street has a lot to offer to. The street is packed with everything from Buddhist temples and food vendors to souvenir shops developing up in historic Chinese/Nyonya houses.

Explore Clan Jetties

Mural art at Clan Jetties
You can find mural art on Clan Jetties too!

Explore Clan Jetties and their floating villages which are just opposite the Heritage area. Clan Jetties is also a historic landmark of Penang. 

This is a village on stilts above the sea where Chinese clans reside since the 19th century. 

Among the various jetties, each bearing the name of its corresponding surname, Chew Jetty stands out as the most renowned and popular among tourists.

The descendants of the Chinese immigrants are still living in these villages but many homes on the jetties have been converted to souvenir shops especially Chew Jetty.

The best time to visit the jetties are during the evening, when you can witness the sunset on the jetties and it is during this time that you can witness the transition from daylight to the enchanting nighttime lighting of the villages.

Dinner at Lebuh Chulia

Chulia Street Hawker stalls
Chulia Street Hawker stalls

Lebuh Chulia (a.k.a Chulia Street) has long been known for its night hawker food.

Although the renowned hawker stall that was previously situated on the bustling main road of Chulia Street has now relocated to Carnarvon Street due to safety purpose, the locals still refer it to the Chulia Street night hawker.

At this street, you can find all the best in town street food and one of the most famous is Mother & Son Won Ton Mee.

 

Second Round At Love Lane

Love Lane Night bar
Love Lane Night bar

After dinner at Chulia Street, walk a few steps to the famous Love Lane which is just opposite the main road.

Love Lane is a narrow street filled with cafes, backpacker hostel and bar! Some of the famous ones are Wheeler’s Cafe, Micke’s Place, The Loft and many more along Chulia Street too.

Penang Itinerary : Day 2

The next morning, you can kickstart your day with a flavourful breakfast at Cecil Street Market.

This market is one of the oldest wet market in Georgetown and many food gems are located here. It is also best known by the locals as the 7th Street market.

This bustling market is a haven for food lovers, offering a wide array of local delicacies. Feast on delicious hawker fare such as char kway teow, wanton noodles, and nasi lemak.

Visit Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple at night
Kek Lok Si Temple at night

After the breakfast, head to one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia!

Kek Lok Si Temple is definitely a must-visit place in most of the Penang itineraries. If you happen to visit during the festive season of Chinese New Year, Kek Lok Si Temple is an absolute must-see attraction that should not be missed.

The temple grounds are stunning. Marvel at the intricate architecture, vibrant colours, and ornate statues that adorn the temple grounds.

It is also home to many beautiful pagodas. Climb the steps to the Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas and take in breathtaking views of Georgetown from the hilltop vantage point.

Gp Up To Penang Hill

Penang Hill funicular train
Lanterns in Fushimi-Inari Taisha.

One of the must-visit attractions in Penang is the renowned Penang Hill. This majestic hill station, nestled amidst the lush tropical rainforest, offers a respite from the bustling city below and provides a memorable experience for visitors.

You can either climb up the hill or take a scenic funicular train ride up to the renowned Bukit Bendera. Most visitors choose the option of taking the ride up as the view going up through train is extraordinary! 

David Brown's Restaurant

Penang Hill is famous for its breathtaking scenic view of Penang city. From here you can see the amazing view of Penang. I highly recommend to come here in the morning when the view is the most stunning and the weather up here is the most cozy. 

Besides the view, there is an amazing restaurant nestled atop Penang Hill. David Brown’s Restaurant is a restaurant that serves a blend of western and Asian cuisines. The food is amazing and the amazing Georgetown landscape from the restaurant is what sets it apart.

If you have more time, you can visit The Habitat to see the narute wildlife too.

The Habitat in Penang Hill
The Habitat in Penang Hill

Visit The Top Penang

After hilly ride at Penang Hill, let’s get to another top of Penang!

The Top Penang is situated within the tallest building in Penang – Komtar tower.

The Top Penang
The Top Penang

Komtar Tower is just another 20 minutes ride away from Penang Hill. 

Upon reaching Komtar Tower, you will see signboard that shows you the direction to The Top. The Top is an iconic entertainment and observation deck that offers a range of attractions and activities.

You can either buy tickets on the spot or get tickets online in advanced too.

Once you got to the entrance, the staff will bring you to the city’s fastest pod elevator where it will bring you to the Level 65 of the tower for an amazing 360 view of the city!

If you are not afraid of heights, get to Level 68 to walk on the glass bridge of Rainbow Skywalk to see Penang beneath your feet!

The Top Rainbow Skywalk
The Top Rainbow Skywalk

Indulge In Penang Road Cendol

A trip to Penang without a taste of the Penang Road cendol is not complete.

After the thrilling experience of walking on the top of Penang, walk to the opposite of Komtar tower to the famous Penang Road cendol stall.

This Penang Road cendol has over 80 years of history and is the original stall of its franchise outlets.

Not only tourists flock to this stall, the locals are also fond of its sweet and flavourful cendol.

Penang Road Famous Cendol
Penang Road Famous Cendol

Relax And Chill At Hin Bus Depot

After teatime, its time to unwind and relax before dinner.

You can go to Hin Bus Depot which is just a 10 minutes of walking distance away.

If you’re wondering why you’d travel to a bus station to relax, Hin Bus Depot is a repurposed bus service terminal facility, hence the name. It is currently being turned into Penang’s creative centre. The makeover began in 2014, when the venue hosted Ernest Zacharevic’s first solo show.

Hin Bus Depot
Hin Bus Depot

As you step into Hin Bus Depot, you’ll immediately be captivated by the vibrant energy and artistic atmosphere that permeates the space. The walls are adorned with striking murals, while art installations and sculptures dot the surroundings, creating a visually stimulating environment that sparks inspiration and imagination.

Beyond the art galleries, Hin Bus Depot is also home to charming cafes and eateries, offering a cozy and inviting space to relax and recharge. There are a few famous cafes in town which is located in the cozy corner of Hin Bus Depot. And you can even find a Michelin-star Fine Dine restaurant here!

If you visit on weekend, you’ll probably be catching up on their weekly events or bazaar.These events highlight the different talents and viewpoints of Penang’s artists, encouraging artistic appreciation and community involvement.

Dinner At New Lane Hawker

After a relaxing afternoon at Hin Bus Depot, it’s time for a delicious local dinner!

Around the corner, where you only need to take 7-minute walk from Hin Bus Depot, is where the local famous food heaven : New Lane Hawker street located.

This bustling food street comes alive in the evening. rom authentic Penang street food like Char Kway Teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles), Hokkien Mee (prawn noodles), and Satay (grilled skewered meat) to Chinese, Indian, and Malay dishes, the choices are endless. 

 

Penang Itinerary : Day 3

Penang National Park

Start your Day 3 at Penang National Park after a hearty breakfast.

Penang National Park is a natural gem nestled along the northwestern tip of the island.

Said to be one of the smallest national parks in the world, this lush and biodiverse park offers a range of activities, from jungle trekking to exploring pristine beaches.

The admission to the park is free but if you plan to go to the Canopy Walk, you can buy a RM 5 entry ticket to access to it.

Some people may spend an entire day exploring the park, but if you are on a tight schedule, I recommend spending only a morning here.

Penang National Park
Penang National Park

Lunch At Teluk Bahang Seafood Restaurant

After National Park, head to Teluk Bahang which is a charming fishing village that also serves as the gateway to Penang National Park.

Indulge in a seafood feast at the seafood restaurants here. 

Choose a restaurant that catches your eye and settle in for a memorable meal. The friendly staff will guide you through the menu, showcasing an array of seafood delights sourced directly from the nearby waters. From succulent prawns and juicy crabs to fresh fish and delectable shellfish, you’ll find an abundance of options to suit your preferences.

Visit Entopia

If you love natures or if you visit Penang in a group of family with kids, then visiting Entopia should definitely be in your itinerary.

Entopia is a Butterfly farm in Penang. As you enter Entopia, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery and vibrant blooms that mimic the natural habitats of the butterflies and insects. The sanctuary is designed to create a harmonious environment where these delicate creatures can thrive and visitors can immerse themselves in their captivating world.

Entopia Penang Butterfly Farm
Entopia Penang Butterfly Farm

One of the highlights of Entopia is the Butterfly Aviary, a large enclosed space filled with a kaleidoscope of fluttering butterflies. As you step inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a symphony of colours as these delicate creatures dance and soar through the air.

Take your time to observe their elegant flight patterns, marvel at their intricate wing designs, and appreciate the tranquility of this enchanting space.

Evening Stroll At Straits Quay

Straits Quay
Straits Quay

After visiting Entopia, make your way to Straits Quay for a leisure stroll.

Straits Quay is a vibrant waterfront retail marina that offers a blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment located at Tanjung Bungah.

You may either wander down the promenade with a view of the sea and yacht or relax in one of the cafes and enjoy the evening.

Batu Ferringhi Beach

If you wish to go to the beach, travel to the renowned Batu Ferringhi beach for a walk and possibly a wonderful sunset view.

You can access to the private beach if you are staying in one of the sea view hotels here in Batu Ferringhi. 

If you aren’t, don’t worry; there is one sea-view Starbucks that allows you to walk down to the beach.

This Starbucks at Batu Ferringhi is extraordinary and have become a must-visit for visitors as it is the one and only sea-view Starbucks on the island!

Imagine sipping the cold brew with the sea breeze brushes your face. You can either sit in the Starbucks or walk to the beach from Starbucks.

Penang itinerary : Starbucks Batu Ferringhi
Starbucks Batu Ferringhi

Dinner At Ferringhi Garden

For a memorable dinner experience, head to Ferringhi Garden, a renowned restaurant that specialises inwestern food  and delectable seafood. 

Ferringhi Garden restaurant is located in the coastal enclave of Batu Ferringhi. Due to its popularity, it is better to make a reservation with the restaurant in advance to avoid disappointment.

As the name of the restaurant implies, there are plants and flowers surrounding the dining area making it a lovely place to dine.

Whether you’re dining with family or a loved one, you’ll have a wonderful time here.

Read more : 9+ Romantic Restaurants in Penang

So this wraps up the 3-day Penang itinerary, especially if this is your first time visiting this beautiful place. 

From the vibrant streets of Georgetown, adorned with captivating murals and quaint cafes, to the serene jetties that provide a glimpse into the lives of the local communities, there are so much to experience on this island. 

As a local “Penang Lang” myself, I always recommend Penang to others when I find myself in conversations about travel destinations. I hope this 3-day Penang itinerary helps you in planning your trip to Penang.  

How many Days Is Enough For Penang?

If you want to experience the island and the beach, 3 days is enough for you to explore.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Penang?

Penang only one season season throughout the year which is summer.

However, there are a few months when the rain falls frequently and it is better to avoid travelling to Penang during these months. May to October is the wettest season in Penang, so you might want to plan your trip in November to April for better travel experience.

Where To Stay in Penang?

If you are looking for special nyonya-themed stay,Penang has a lot of local-house-turned-hostel or hotel.

If you are looking for sea view hotels, you may check out this post about the best sea-view hotels to stay in Penang.

Here are some of the good stays in Penang.

Mansion style hotelThe Edison

Nyonya style hotel : Jawi Peranakan Mansion

Beach access: Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang

Historical Hotel : Eastern and Oriental Hotel

Penang Travel Cost

The cost of traveling in Penang is the moderate in Southeast Asia. 

Accommodation : If you are looking for sharing room to save cost, a budget dorm room normally costs around RM70-RM150 (15 – 30 USD) per night. However, if you are looking for privacy and a standard budget room in the city, you can still find a small hotel room that costs around RM 250 – RM 400 (50 – 85 USD ) per night.

Meals : Food in Penang is generally cheaper than other city in Malaysia. For a bowl of wanton mee at the hawker, it costs about RM 6 (1.3 USD).  Most restaurants and cafes meals cost around RM 25 – RM 40 (5 – 9 USD). 

If you spend most of the time eating the local hawker food, then the cost of meal will be affordable. Overall, spare a minimum of RM50 (9.5 USD) a day for food in Penang.

Transportation: Transportation in Penang is not so convenience. Penang does not have the light rail transport system yet, but you can use the rapid bus to bring you from a place to another.

Other than that, you may use the e-hailing service like Grab.

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