Penang Holidays

Culture and visual drama meet beautiful beaches and rainforest spilling into the Andaman Sea. Penang is an island you’ll fall in love with.

Holidays to Penang take you from historic sites and heritage houses to golden sands and luxury hotels. Capital city George Town bowls visitors over with its ‘step back in time’ charms: you’ll see pre-war buildings, Chinese clan jetties, Buddhist temples, British Palladian architecture and Indo-Islamic mosques. The street food scene is one of South East Asia’s best, with 24-hour hawker stalls dishing out everything from stir-fried rice cakes to the island’s famous asam laksa. Ride the Penang Hill funicular, explore rainforest with The Habitat’s in-house naturalists and get stellar sunset views from Komtar Observatory’s Rainbow Sky Walk.

For a heavenly dose of sand and sea, Batu Ferringhi beach is the place to be. Throw down a towel, pick up a kayak and end the night at a slow-mo beach bar. Penang National Park is also easily accessible from here, for jungle treks, panga boat rides and secluded beaches.

If you’re seeking an indulgent and culturally rich island escape, we’re ready to craft you a tailormade holiday to Penang.

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Penang Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Penang

Shangri-La Golden Sands, Penang

A gorgeous resort with a family-friendly vibe, situated on popular Battu Ferringhi Beach.

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang

Beautiful grounds are scattered with century-old trees and tropical flowers at this classic Penan...

Eastern & Oriental Hotel

One of Malaysia’s most famous hotels, the ‘E&O’ radiates style in a fantastic setting.

Hidden Penang Photography Tour

The idyllic island of Penang is the ideal subject for keen photographers. A professional photographer will guide you around George Town’s heritage sites and local areas, where you’ll experience a diverse mix of cultures and religions. Highlights include narrow Armenian Street with its charming shophouses and cafés; the eclectic houses and street art of Muntri Street; elaborate Khoo Kongsi Chinese clanhouse; and Penang Chowrasta, one of Penang’s oldest markets. Taking your time to capture these sights will give you the chance to see Penang in a different light.

• Duration: half day
• Time: 9am to 1pm
• Departing daily from Penang
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Penang Street Food

Put on your walking shoes and leisurely taste your way through Penang’s rich history and heritage. You’ll meet a local historian, who will be your guide during this informative evening tour, and take in the island’s kaleidoscope of cultures. As you sample tasty street food, your guide will help you understand the influences behind each flavour, tracing its culinary origins through links to the East, West and the rest of South-East Asia. You’ll also have the chance to see Penang’s many heritage sites and colonial-era architecture.

• Duration: evening
• Time: 7pm to 11pm
• Departing daily from Penang
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Discover George Town’s Heritage

Spend a few hours exploring the beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town and its indigenous and colonial architecture. You’ll begin at Pinang Peranakan Mansion, which displays over a thousand pieces of Peranakan antiques and collectable items. Next, you’ll take a short walk to the colourful enclave of Little India, which sells colourful sarees and aromatic Indian spices. You’ll pass Penang’s oldest Hindu temple, then continue to Teochew Temple, with its ornate rooftops and intricately carved dragon pillars, before learning the history of Dr Sun Yat-sen at the Sun Yat-Sen Museum. You’ll hunt for Penang’s famous street art before continuing to one of Penang’s ancient traditional clan houses. The tour concludes with shopping for some local goodies at Cocoa Boutique.

• Duration: half day
• Time: 9am to 2pm
• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Penang, Your Way

Tailor your perfect tour of Penang, deciding how long you want your time to last and where you want to go. A private driver will show you the city and provide expert commentary. Visit the temples in Little India and the mosques in Chinatown, both hives of activity in the shadows of looming skyscrapers. Take snaps of the vibrantly-hued Blue Mansion and observe the colonial architecture — pausing to taste the famous street food.

• Duration: half day or full day
• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Get to know Langkawi and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT +8 hours


Malaysian Ringgit


14 hours (not including stopover time)


Majority Muslim; Buddhism, Hindu and Christianity


Malay (Bahasa Melayu)

Where is Penang?
Located in the Strait of Malacca, Penang is a small tropical island that lies on the northwestern coast of Malaysia, separated from the mainland by about 16 kilometres.

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George Town
In the late 18th Century George Town was founded as the first of the Straits Settlements, a group of Southeast Asian British. As you wander through along the city streets, witnessing a number of architectural styles dating from the 18th to the 20th Centuries, you’ll feel as if you’re peeling back the layers of time. As well as an array of British architectural varieties, George Town plays host to mosques and Chinese and Indian-style temples. The resplendent temple of Kek Lok Si, or the ‘Temple of Supreme Bliss’ is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia and is dominated by a magnificent seven-storey pagoda built in a blend of Chinese, Thai and Burmese designs.

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Batu Ferringhi
All of our featured resorts are located alongside the island’s most popular stretch of beach in the former fishing village of Batu Ferringhi. Each night the Jalan Batu Ferringhi road comes alive with people dining and drinking at the many restaurants or browsing the clothing, art and crafts and souvenir stalls at the nightly market. Sharpen up your bargaining skills, sample the mouth-watering dishes from the numerous hawker stalls or just soak up the atmosphere and relish in this unique Penang experience.

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Food and drink
As one of South East Asia’s hottest food destinations, it's easy to eat like a local in Penang. Flavours are carved out of a fascinating mix of cultures including Indian Tamils, Hokkien, Malays, Hakka, Chinese and British. Follow the scent of lemongrass, ginger and tamarind to George Town’s hawker centres and stalls where you’ll find hot wok cooking producing aromatic noodles, spicy sauces and crispy cracklings. Everything is hot, sour, salty or sweet and stand out dishes include Hokkien prawn mee, asam laksa, claypot apom and char koay teow.

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Penang Weather

Dec - Mar