Discover Penang in 24 Hours
What to Do and See in Penang in One Day
Penang is a vibrant island where cultural heritage and cosmopolitan structures go hand-in-hand, and discovering its many sights and sounds within 24 hours can be a challenging yet fulfilling experience. When it comes to accommodation, Penang caters to any budget and style, where you can enjoy a good night’s rest in quaint heritage hotels, guesthouses and hostels, or do it in style at a top five-star resort.
Perfect for when you only have a day in Penang, we’ve compiled a helpful mini guide that includes a visit to Georgetown, a pedestrian-friendly district that’s filled with ornate temples, colonial buildings and colourful street art, followed by Gurney Drive, which hosts massive shopping malls and a myriad of local delicacies – the place to be for unapologetic food lovers.
- Traditional English Afternoon Tea at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel
- City Half-Day Tour
- EZhopper Sightseeing Bus Pass
- Georgetown by Night Tour
- Island Half-Day Tour
- Private Penang Hill & Temple
- Heritage Trishaw Tour
- Private Penang Hill & High Tea at David Brown's Restaurant
- Botanic Gardens & Tropical Spice Garden Tour
- Penang Hill & Kek Lok Si Temple Tour
How to Spend the Morning in Penang
Kick-start your day in Penang by exploring Georgetown’s Lebuh Armenian, Love Lane and Lebuh Muntri heritage streets – on foot or trishaw. Here you’ll find plenty of well-preserved temples and museums with vibrant artwork by Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevi, adorning the narrow walkways.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, standout attractions in Georgetown include the blue-hued Penang Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Peranakan Museum, Kuan Yin Temple, Khoo Kongsi clan house and Kapitan Keling Mosque. Lastly, make your way to the Clan Jetties, which is a series of six wooden jetties that are more than 100 years old. Do note however, that people still live in this water village so be mindful when you take pictures.
Spending the Afternoon in Penang
No trip to Penang is complete without sampling its diverse range of dessert offerings, all of which are best enjoyed during the scorching afternoon. Definite must-tries include the smooth and creamy cendol at Penang Road’s Famous Teochew Chendul, Kafe Kek Seng’s ais kacang, and apom balik at Apong Guan, Burma Road.
Georgetown is also the place to visit remnants of colonial structures such as Malaysia’s largest standing fort, Fort Cornwallis and the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, both of which are well preserved relics from the British colonial era. To reach these historical landmarks, it is a 15-minute walk from the Penang Clan Jetties.
Spending the Evening in Penang
After a day of sightseeing in Georgetown, take a 10-minute taxi ride to Gurney Drive’s most popular shopping malls, namely Gurney Paragon Mall and Gurney Plaza. Set along Persiaran Gurney, the former is a seafront complex that houses more than 40 fashion boutiques and 30 restaurants while the latter houses the Golden Screen Cinemas Cineplex and 380 stores with upmarket brands such as Versace, Fossil, and Coach.
Gurney Drive is also the place to get you fill of fresh seafood and hawker cuisine in Penang, so make sure you head to Gurney Drive Hawker Centre (next to Gurney Plaza) for dinner. Open from evening till late, this al fresco food court houses numerous stalls selling char kuey teow (stir-fried rice noodles), curry mee, assam laksa (noodles in a fish-based sour broth), and rojak (a fruit and vegetable salad dish).
Spending the Night in Penang
The best way to end your one-day excursion in Penang is by partying the night away with the locals and fellow travellers. Penang Upper Road is hailed as the centre of Georgetown’s nightlife, where rows of pubs and nightclubs come alive with vibrant lights, burlesque shows, and resident DJs spinning dance-worthy tunes until the hours of morning.