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What to do in Penang: itinerary for 3 days, 4 days and 7 days

We have been in Penang for an entire week and there’s actually more than enough interesting, creative and beautiful things to see for 7 days. However, we will summarize what to do in Penang with the perfect itinerary for 3 days, 4 days and even 7 days. Apart from the itinerary you can also check our recommendations on the best restaurants of Penang, as well as the places to stay at the end of this post.

What to do in Penang: itinerary for 3 days

What to do in Penang if you extend your trip one more day

What to do in Penang if you would be there 7 days

Day 1 Arrive in Penang, walk through the center, explore the street art and visit the green and blue mansions

You can arrive in Penang by plane, train, by boat or even by minivan or any other land vehicle.

When you check in in most of the hotels of Penang, you will probably be given a map of Penang with the main spots for street art written on it. The street art in Penang is very abundant and it is amazing to see so many pieces of art on the walls. There is even some graffiti directly by the jetty on the old wooden houses. We have added a complete guide to the street art in this post.

Apart from this you can also visit the green and blue mansions to learn about examples of early Chinese immigrants who settled down in Malaysia and their relations between the trading and the unification of both cultures. The green mansion is especially nice since you also learn about the Nyonya cuisine and you have a guide for 1h included in the entrance fee (which is 25 RM per person).

Day 2: Visit the Penang Hill and the biggest Buddhist temple in Malaysia

The way to Penang Hill is amazing, and it’s maybe even better than the hill itself. We would really recommend taking the zipline train to go up there since it’s super steep and super fast. It’s very nice to be inside such a beautiful piece of engineering. It feels a little bit like being on a rollercoaster. Check out this time-lapse for what you can expect up there.

On top of the Penang Hill you get to have magnificent views of Penang and the ocean as well as to walk through a beautiful bridge and a beautiful platform, which is on the highest point of Penang. 

Moreover, there you can see the famous dusky monkeys, small squirrels, flying foxes as well as the giant squirrels with huge black tails. We actually saw everything except for the flying foxes and we even got to see the baby dusky monkey, which is actually orange! They change the color of their fur when they mature into adulthood. You can see a close up where the orange head of the baby is showing.

Finally, you can get the chance of being there to visit the biggest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, which actually also has a huge statue of Guanyin made of bronze.

Day 3: Visit the Indian temple and the botanical garden

We would recommend visiting the Indian waterfall hill temple since it’s beautiful, colorful and the views from the top of the temple are also nice. You get to see the views of Penang and the ocean. Moreover, we were pretty lucky to have been in Penang and Kuala Lumpur during the Thaipusam festival, which is a huge Tamil Hindu festival, in which many traditions take place (see this post for more). We could see these celebrations in the city as well as in the Indian temples such as this one.

Apart from that, you could use your time on day 3 to visit the botanical garden, which is really close to the Indian temple. It is free and you can enjoy not only the plants but seeing monkeys in their natural habitat. You can check this post for more about this garden. Just be careful because the orchid garden and fern garden are only open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Day 4: Visit the spice garden, the floating mosque, as well as the long beach

The other three places that are popular to see in Penang and were relatively close to Georgetown are the spice garden, the floating mosque as well as the long beach.

The spice garden is a really nice place in which you can spend half a day, looking at the local spices as well as enjoying a natural fish spa (see this post for more). The floating mosque is beautiful with blue and white colors and placed directly by the beach on top of the sand and sea.The long beach was not our favorite beach of the trip since the water is not very clear but it’s a beach in which you can relax as well. You can check out our cinematic drone video of the floating mosque and the long beach from a bird's eye view.

Day 5: Visit the tropical fruit garden on the west of the island as well as a nutmeg factory or a durian farm

If you’re spending more days on the island, on day 5 you can also opt to visit the most remote parts, which are the west of the island. It’s usually referred to as “the other side of the island” by the locals but it’s actually worth it. The roads are more quiet so you can explore it with a motorbike (which costs about 35 RM per day) and you can visit the traditional houses of the Malays as well as the tropical fruit garden, in which you can learn lots of things about so many tropical trees and fruit. You can also visit the nutmeg factory or even a durian farm. You can check this post we wrote for more details on the gardens of Penang.

Day 6: Do a cooking class in Penang

Since Penang is so famous for the food quality and diversity, we would definitely recommend doing a cooking class here. We can recommend doing the one we did since you will be assisting a private class for about 35€ and you also get to visit the local market close to the biggest Buddhist temple. It’s a nice experience and you can check more about the cooking class we recommend in this post

Day 7: Handcrafting day: learn how to do Batik in the factory and how the local artists do ceramic in Penang

We went to the Batik factory by chance and discovered that you could do a Batik course directly there. You can do that for just 35 RM, which includes the price of the piece of art and all the processing needed for the Batik. They teach you how to do it and you can paint it yourself. Afterwards they need one day to fix the colors on the fabric. It’s an amazing souvenir from Malaysia that is unique since you do it yourself. You can check more about it in this post.

We also visited the ceramic studios that are supported by the Malaysian government at a handcraft location that used to be a college. It was so interesting to speak with the local people and about their stories on how they ended up doing art. One of them is an art student who moved from KL to dedicate to ceramics full time and the other one used to have a job before Covid-19 and then he lost the job and started working on ceramics. After 3 years he can do really beautiful pieces of art, including very nice tea pots.

Where to eat

Penang is one of the best places to eat in Malaysia and I think in Southeast Asia in general. As you can see in this post, it has lots of good source ingredients to be able to cook. Moreover, it has a combination of three big cuisines: Chinese, Malay and Indian. And its borders with Thailand and Indonesia mean that they have lots of influence from these two countries as well. This makes Malaysia, and in particular Penang a very nice paradise for food. Moreover, Penang used to be a spice island (similar to Zanzibar) and therefore it has lots of experience on using spices in their cuisine. Finally, during history, the Chinese used to trade a lot of spices with the Malays and these early Chinese that settled in Malaysia combined both their cuisines, developing a whole new set of recipes considered a separate cuisine: the Nyonya cuisine.

That means, Penang has a lot of types of cuisines and therefore many signature dishes such as the Nasi Lemak, the Penang Asam Laksa, the Otak-Otak, the Penang Char Koay Teow, the different types of roti such as the roti canai, the salty fish soup (Nyonya cuisine), the salted egg, the Nasi Kandar and many others that we might be forgetting. All of them were really tasty. We would like to recommend you a couple of restaurants

Vegetarian Chinese-Malaysian Nyonya: Pinxin vegan cuisine (The Nasi Lemak is really good)

Best Indian-Malaysian: Deens Maju Nasi Kandur (It’s extremely good for the price. We ate for 2.5€ per person a full dish with a Teh Tarik)

Best Chinese-Malaysian: Andrew’s Kampung (the place doesn’t look spectacular at all but the food is amazing. We went there three times).

Best roti canai: We really liked the most popular one (for breakfast only) but in the west there is one that does the plain dosa really well (maybe even better) and for just 0.3€).

Where to sleep

We have been sleeping 5 nights in Georgetown and 2 nights on the west of the Island and we liked both of our hotels. 

Both hotels were costing about 35€ per night and were really clean and at a nice location. The one in Georgetown was a 3 stars hotel and the one on the west part of the island was a 4 stars hotel with even an infinity pool.

Here you can check the one in Georgetown and here the one on the west.


Penang is a really cool place that has lots to offer. At the beginning we thought that 7 days might be too much but it turned out to be just perfect. You could do some of the highlights of the island in 3 days but if you’re travelling for a longer period of time, you can enjoy most of the things that we mentioned in this post ^^

I hope you’re motivated to visit Penang and Malaysia in general, especially if you love trying different types of food! Next stop, Langkawi.



Bernat Lluch
Bernat Lluch

Aquest temple fa molt bona pinta i sense humans 😍


sí crec que et molaria molt també!

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