Batu Ferringhi is a beachfront strip with gorgeous views, some of Penang Island’s most glamorous hotels and the best known street market. An exploration of the area’s night time offerings is divided into two parts: first, head for the acclaimed Batu Ferringhi Night Market to get a feel for the place and perhaps grab a bargain, then visit one of the area’s bars for a nightcap.
Unfortunately, the bars along this stretch are not conducive for fancy footloose action – instead they are perfect for live music entertainment or just relaxing with a cool drink and some bar snacks. Check out our list of chart toppers when it comes to Batu Ferringhi’s best places to go at night.
Batu Ferringhi Night Market
It may seem strange that Batu Ferringhi Night Market tops our list of best places for night time action, but with highlights that range from pirated DVDs and fake designer accessories to handmade local arts and crafts, home décor items and souvenirs, this night market is certainly a sight to see. Stretching along Jalan Batu Ferringhi from Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa all the way to Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort, it is a not-to-be-missed experience when visiting the northern part of Penang. During the day, the street is clean and clear to traffic, but come nightfall hundreds of stalls set up offering a myriad of bargain items.
What makes it a great shopping option is the fact that travellers staying along the Batu Ferringhi stretch do not have to travel all the way into Georgetown for their retail fix. The only downside is that you could purchase select items (like batik-print clothes) at slightly better prices in town: our advice – bargain hard! If you like something, do not buy it at the first stall you see - have a look around, and then return only if you cannot find a better price elsewhere.
- Opening Hours: 19:00 – late
- Location: Along Jalan Batu Feringghi, from Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa to Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort
Hard Rock Café
Hard Rock Café Penang sits comfortably among the top contenders of our Top 10 Best Nightlife haunts along Batu Ferringhi because it the perfect combo of great live music performances (including top notch international names), fantastic food and iconic music-memorabilia décor. An local landmark, it is set on Jalan Batu Ferringhi, and a thoroughly-classic American rock vibe permeates throughout the place. The interior design of the pub is retro cool – think wooden tables, Tuscan-red walls lined with gold vinyl records and flat-screen TVs playing 80s music videos – all giving it the look of a classic diner. Then add in the brand’s trademark music collectibles in glass cabinets and on the walls, and you get an almost chaotic yet chic appearance.
What makes it one of our favourites is the electrifying live performances that take place here: though the stage usually hosts local acts, there have also been famous international acts including Bob Marley’s Jamaican backing band, The Wailers, and Dia Frampton, runner-up on the first season of the US edition of The Voice.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 02:00 Sunday to Thursday; 11:30 – 02:30 Friday, Saturday and eve of public holiday
- Address: Jalan Batu Feringghi, 11100, Penang
- Tel: +604 8811 711
Bora Bora by Sunset
Bora Bora by Sunset is a beachside restobar with a good selection of drinks at low prices (RM12 for a bottle of beer and RM90 for a bottle of house wine). Its atmosphere is not particularly posh – rather, this is a casual, comfortable spot reminiscent of a Caribbean beach bar. Think, parquet floors, gauzy white curtains, sleek black plastic chairs, Balinese-style divans, potted plants and paper lanterns, and you get the picture.
Stretching all the way to the beach’s edge, it is popular for romantic interludes, with a diverse range of locals, tourists and expats as its clientele. Be prepared for impromptu dance sessions – when these happen, the place has potential Spring Break hotspot written all over it.
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 01:00 Sunday – Thursday; 12:00 – 03:00 Friday, Saturday & eve of public holiday
- Address: Lot 415, Jalan Batu Ferringhi
- Tel: +6012 553 1313 or +019 682 6467
Largely resembling an exclusive gentlemen’s bar, with dim lighting, intimate seating areas and mismatched but masculine furnishings, Ferringhi Bar is the perfect place to head to for a quiet nightcap after a busy day exploring Penang Island. Set inside Shangri La Rasa Sayang, its ambiance is muted and the clientele sophisticated – so do not expect a rowdy night out here (in fact, there are few places along Jalan Batu Ferringhi that cater to wild parties).
All in all, it is a real feel-good, handsome place that skilfully utilises its space and offers the usual menu of classic cocktails, beers and wines. Prices are what you would expect of a hotel bar – a pint of beer cost upwards of RM15 – but it is worth the cost considering the delightful décor. To keep you entertained, the bar frequently hosts local bands on its stage, but the beachfront views are just as enjoyable.
- Opening Hours: 17:30 – 01:00
- Address: Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Rasa Wing Lobby, Mezzanine Level, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
- Tel: +604 888 8888
Sigi's Bar & Grill Bach Bar
Sigi’s Bar & Grill is certainly a bona fide beach bar at its best where you can cast aside your flip flops, feel the sand beneath your feet and enjoy a fruity cocktail. Being part of the exclusive Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort, this is no ramshackle beachbar, rather it is a properly-constructed building with both indoor and outdoor seating and a sophisticated ambiance.
We love the fact that there are so many seating options available: choose to sit in air-conditioned comfort indoors, enjoy a tipple al fresco on high stools ringing the bar, grab a bean bag and sit directly on the sand, or head upstairs to the rooftop outdoor deck. Entertainment-wise, expect strolling bands (bands with simple music instruments that move from table to table serenading guests), fire jugglers and flair bartenders – it is all par for the course at Sigi's.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – 24:00
- Address: Level 1, Ground Floor, Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort, Batu Feringgi Beach 11100 Penang Malaysia
- Tel: +604 886 1852
Effortlessly straddling the line between opulence and creativity, the garden-themed Feringhi Garden is most popular along Jalan Batu Ferringhi for its accomplished menu. However if you are looking for a potential after-dinner spot, this is also great choice, with the bar offering creative signature cocktails.
When it comes to seating areas you are spoilt for choice: indoors it is like a Mediterranean-inspired museum with heavy golden wood furniture prominently featured, while outside is an al fresco area with oil lamps that cast a dim, romantic glow over the place, making it perfect for date-nights (or wedding proposals)! Prices for drinks are pretty decent with a glass of house pour costing less than RM20.
- Opening Hours: 16:00 – 24:00
- Address: 34 A, B & C, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang
- Tel: +604 881 1193
Bay Lounge Lobby Bar
Casual and comfortable are just some of the words to describe Bay Lounge Lobby Bar. Set in Bayview Hotel along Jalan Batu Ferringhi, it has a very laidback atmosphere, with a timeless Art Deco style – think, glossy black rattan chairs, chocolate-brown banisters, a tavern-like bar counter and a white baby grand piano with resident pianist available to serenade guests with classic tunes.
Combining wit and cosiness in unique Penang style, its sedate atmosphere makes it a good place to grab a drink before bed. However, it is also a popular spot when the latest football match is on, as the bar has a huge flat screen TV that screens live matches.
- Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
- Address: Ground Floor, Bayview Beach Resort, Jalan Batu Feringghi
- Tel: +604 881 2123
A casual restobar set within Parkroyal Penang Hotel’s grounds, the open air Javana Lounge is the perfect spot for a romantic after-dinner drink. The 80-seater bar opens pretty early at 11:00 but truly shines when it celebrates sunset with the emergence of local live bands on its stage.
Its posh look comes courtesy of its Balinese-style décor – think, edgy glossy-black wooden furniture and punches of colour from multicoloured throw cushions. Meanwhile, if you are feeling peckish dive into the restobar’s menu of light snacks such as calamari rings, cheesy nachos and barbecued chicken wings.
The bar offers a healthy selection of all things drinkable, but it truly shines with classic cocktail offerings like a boozy but balanced Long Island iced tea and tropical mojito.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00 Sunday – Thursday; 11:00 – 01:00 Friday & Saturday
- Address: Ground Floor, Parkroyal Penang Resort
- Tel: +604 881 1133 (Ext: 8213)
Lobby Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel
A world on its own, where rock-n-roll and luxury accommodation collide, Lobby Lounge in Hard Rock Hotel is certainly an interesting spot for a drink at night. Located beside the iconic property’s check-in counters, if you arrive in the afternoon you will see a lot of guests mingling around the lounge, enjoying a drink before they receive their room keys – it is all part of the Hard Rock charm.
The views from the open-air seating areas are of the beautiful bodies lounging by the hotel’s gorgeous, incredibly-happening free-form pool, plus you can see the beach beyond it. Alternatively, check out the flair bartenders at work behind the reception desk, or just enjoy live band performances on select nights (Wednesday, Friday – Sunday): in any case you are not likely to be bored. The ambiance is marvellously relaxing, with simple furniture accented by vinyl memorabilia on the walls and in glass cabinets, to create a look that is retro yet classy.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:30
- Address: Lot 415, Jalan Batu Ferringhi
- Tel: +604 8811 711
Living Room Café Bar & Gallery
Often confused to be one and the same with its flashier neighbour, Ferringhi Garden, Living Room Café Bar & Gallery is a restaurant and bar combo set along Jalan Batu Ferringhi. Unpretentious and casual, it is divided into an indoor space and al fresco section, and features a garden-theme with lots of potted plants surrounding its metal tables and wooden chairs. The only difference to Ferringhi Garden is that pink paper lanterns add a more whimsical touch to this more family-oriented and comforting spot.
If you are here simply for an after-dinner drink, we recommend ordering a cold pint and getting a small plate of the kitchen’s beef rendang, a Malay specialty of caramelised tender chunks of juicy meat seasoned with a combination of spices and served with a creamy, coconut-based curry. Living Room Café Bar & Gallery’s version is possibly the best we have ever had!
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 15:00: 18:45 – 22:00 Thursday - Tuesday
- Address: 43-C Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang
- Tel: +6017 477 2148 or +6012 589 9136