Georgetown Penang Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1 day

Best Time: November to April Read More

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Also Refered As:

George Town

"Penang's Gorgeous Capital City"

Georgetown Penang Tourism

As Malaysia’s fourth most-populated city, Georgetown is the colourful, multicultural capital of Penang Island. Once an eminent trading hub on the Straits of Malacca, the UNESCO-listed city is known for its British colonial buildings, Chinese shophouses, temples, mosques and pristine beaches. Beyond the old town, Georgetown is a modern city with skyscrapers and shopping malls.

The entirety of Georgetown is overlooked by Penang Hill, offering forested hiking trails, campsites and a funicular railway. Georgetown boasts some of Southeast Asia’s best-preserved colonial architecture. The 38-roomed Blue Mansion is Penang’s most famous building, with an indigo facade. Arched windows and colonnades decorate the neo-Baroque City Hall. Fort Cornwallis, Malaysia’s biggest fort, showcases its star-shaped bastion enclosing a park. Nearby is Esplanade, Penang Clock Tower, and St George’s, Asia’s oldest Anglican church.

Seek blessings at Wat Chayamangkalaram, Mahamariamman Temple, and Masjid Kapitan Keling. Peer into Georgetown’s local soul at the Penang Road Market, where tourists shop for souvenirs, traditional garments, handicrafts and street food. Then, navigate through alleys bustling with music, clothes and food at Georgetown’s Little India, spread across Chulia, Market and Queen Streets.

Some more must-visit destinations in Georgetown include Chew Jetty’s mysterious overwater Chinese villages, Straits Quay Marina Mall, Penang State Museum, the Rainbow Skywalk glass bridge on George Town’s tallest building, and Gurney Drive Beach.

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Currency in Georgetown

The currency of Georgetown is the Malaysian Ringgit (RM). Visa & Master Cards are accepted by most places.

Shopping in Georgetown

As Penang’s capital city, Georgetown is a popular destination to splurge on ethnic Malaysian fabrics, chic apparel, handicrafts, homeware, textiles, food, jewellery and souvenirs. Flanked by tourists, shopaholics, fashionistas and foodies alike, here are the best places for shopping in Georgetown.

  • Georgetown’s colourful markets are a must-visit for cheap shopping. Pick up beaded shoes, artworks, painted tiles, tainted glasses, hand-painted Batik, Kebaya, rattan baskets and woodwork from the Penang Road Market, Lorong Kulit Flea Market, and Little Penang Street Market.
  • Shopping malls in Georgetown offer great deals on designer and boutique apparel, shoes, electronics, cosmetics, antiques, and much more. Make a stop at the impressive 65-storey Komtar Mall, 1st Avenue Mall, Gurney Plaza, Paragon Mall and Penang Times Square. They also house Walmarts, restaurants, cinemas, karaoke and bowling alleys.
  • Georgetown’s Little India is spread across Chulia, Market and Queen Streets. You can find bustling shops selling clothes, Indian food and live performances here.
  • At the Asian-themed Pulau Tikus Market, open kiosks sell Chinese curios, handbags, shoes, clothes and watches.

Nightlife in Georgetown

Packed with opportunities for clubbing, shopping, bar hopping, pub crawls, karaoke, live performances and night safaris, Georgetown's nightlife exposes this multi-ethnic city's colourful character. Most of Georgetown's nightlife centres around Upper Penang Road and Jalan Penang Road.

Here are the best ways to enjoy the nightlife in Georgetown -

  • Join clubbers on neon-lit dance floors at popular nightclubs like Soju Room, Peace Club Penang, Out Of Nowhere, and MOIS Club.
  • Georgetown's bars offer excellent live music, themed shows, sports and movie screenings. Try cocktails and cuisines at Manchu Bar, HiddenTiki, Mish Mash, Farquhar's Bar, Soho Freehouse and Penthouse.
  • Stop by at gastropubs like Monkey Bar, The Beach Bar, Farquhar's Bar, Beer Mansion, and Hong Kong Bar.
  • Gaze upon panoramic views of the Andaman Sea from dining lounges like the Three-Sixty Revolving Restaurant, Rooftop Bar, and Gravity Lounge atop G Hotel.
  • Shop for homemade crafts like jewelled headbands, beaded shoes, artworks, painted crockery, hand-painted Batik, Kebaya, rattan baskets and woodwork at the vibrant Batu Ferringhi Night Market.

History of Georgetown

Founded in 1786 as the East India Company’s trading port, Georgetown was Southeast Asia’s first British settlement. Georgetown became a major administrative stronghold in 1914, causing the city to be repeatedly attacked during World War II and the Japanese Invasion. With the intermingling of a multi-ethnic populace, Georgetown acquired eclectic assortments of colonial, Chinese and Asian architectural styles and cuisine. Some famous historical monuments here are Blue Mansion, Fort Cornwallis, Town Hall, Hanjiang Temple, and St George’s Church.

Language of Georgetown

The languages spoken in George Town are English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. But the most commonly spoken, distinct language here is Penang Hokkien.

Georgetown Customs

Tipping is not compulsory, but you could always tip if you liked the service, especially when it comes to porters.

Religion of Georgetown

Georgetown comprises of Malay and Chinese, followed by Indians and Eurasians.

Daily Budget for Georgetown

A budgeted trip would cost you about RM 27, excluding accommodation. A mid-range trip will cost you RM 56. A luxurious stay in this city would come up to RM 100.

Exchanging Money in Georgetown

You can exchange currency at most of the Georgetown banks. Stores called Foreign Exchange Bureaus can also help. Watch out for signs like Bureau De Change, Geld Wechseln or Cambio, to exchange currency. You can also exchange currency at Penang International airport. Desc: Visa & Master Cards are accepted by most pla

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FAQs on Georgetown Penang

What is the best time to visit Georgetown?

This is the ideal period in which to visit Georgeotwn. November-Janaury promises great weather, whereas February-April will give you emptier streets and a lot more peace and calm to look around and enjoy.
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What are the places near Georgetown?

The top places near to Georgetown are Penang which is 3 km from Georgetown, Kuala lumpur which is located 297 km from Georgetown, Petaling jaya which is located 293 km from Georgetown, Langkawi which is located 116 km from Georgetown, Melaka which is located 420 km from Georgetown

What are the things to do in Georgetown?

The top things to do in Georgetown are Penang Hill, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Khoo Kongsi, Penang Botanic Gardens, Sri Mahamariamman Temple. You can see all the places to visit in Georgetown here

What are the top hotels in Georgetown?

There are 1138 in Georgetown which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Georgetown are Penang Island Holiday Home, Mansion One Condominium, VAR, MY CHINAMAN'S HOME II, The Landmark, Sea View Vacation Home Gurney Drive for 4-6 Pax, Seaview Suites @ Gurney. You can see all the hotels in Georgetown here

What is the best way to reach Georgetown?

You can get to Georgetown by air, bus, cab/car and even by sea, making it that much more accessible.
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What is the local food in Georgetown?

Georgetown is practically famous for its street food. Western, Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisine are all available here. Lots of tourists visit Gurney Drive for food, but this is also considered to be an expensive area. That is why it is wise to ask some locals for suggestions on where to eat.
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