• Georgetown Street Art

Penang Holidays

Penang holidays take you to the exotic Pearl of the Orient. Famed for its silky smooth sand beaches and for being the delicious food capital of Malaysia, it’s quickly becoming a number one ch0ice for travellers searching for rich history among heavenly landscapes. Stretching along the country’s northwest coast, Penang is a true heritage maze. Discover eclectic art scenes, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and tropical gardens all in one place.

Holidays in Penang usually conjure ideas of bustling vendors selling street food favourites to hungry locals. Foodies will be tantalised by every corner of colonial George Town. Traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes come together to create a delicious fusion of what’s now fondly described as the best street food in all of Asia. From five in the morning until two at night, get lost in the hustle and bustle of vendors dishing up sizzling local favourites at the famous Hawker Fares. Taste age-old family recipes and old-fashioned cooking styles in open-air centres - but be sure to grab a seat first as the street food here attracts crowds of people at all times of the day.

Holidays in Penang: a world of heritage 

Visiting Penang offers much more than delicious food and beautiful beaches. A captivating fusion of eastern and western influences have created the well-preserved George Town, where colonial traditions have made their way through time. There are bounds of culture to explore in this UNESCO World Heritage site - around 1,700 buildings with a long and illustrious history behind them. To pack in as much as you can, go on one of the many Heritage Trails through George Town and discover the remnants left behind by the British and other past dwellers.

Southeast Asia is famed for its exotic jungles and old rainforests – and Penang is no exception. Visit The Habitat, a 130 million year old rainforest that has been meticulously preserved and is an entire world in itself. Start on a guided journey along the Nature Trail and discover hundreds of intriguing creatures, including collared owls and the blue Malayan coral snake. At the top of Penang Hill, take in an astonishing 360 degree view from the highest viewing point in Penang. 

For a quieter pace of life and a closer look at untouched nature, head to Balik Pulau. Over 17,000 hectares of land and blankets of lusciously green hills lead to charming towns and heritage buildings. Spend your days picking up local goods at the antique shophouses. Pick orchards during high season or ride a pony among pretty white picket fences and colourful trees. 

Holidays in Penang are perfect for explorers, families and sol0 travellers alike. Discover this culinary haven set within ancient rainforests for an unforgettable holiday.

 

Destination Highlights
  • Explore hundreds of historical buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town
  • Discover fascinating wildlife and the 130 million year old rainforest at The Habitat
  • Get lost in the gourmet’s paradise with sizzling local favourites at Hawker Fare
  • Visit charming rural streets or go on a pony ride in Balik Pulau

Our favourite hotels

Our experts have carefully curated a list of our top hotels in Penang, from rustic boutiques set in beautiful surroundings to five star resorts. Browse our favourite places to stay.

Swimming pool

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa

Penang

H&J Rating

Guide Price

 £1,399  pp

Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa
a car parked in front of a building

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang

Penang

H&J Rating

Guide Price

 £1,999  pp

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang
Shangri-La`s Golden Sands Resort

Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

Penang

H&J Rating
Average: 4.5 (1 vote)

Guide Price

 £1,299  pp

Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

Hard Rock Hotel Penang

Penang

H&J Rating

Guide Price

 £1,099  pp

Hard Rock Hotel Penang
  • Georgetown

    George Town after dusk

    With its ornate shop houses and buildings on stilts over the water, Penang's capital, George Town, has a distinct Chinese flavour and no visit to Penang is complete without a visit. Named after King George III, George Town is a window to the sights, sounds and scents of this fascinating part of the world; its architecture offers an intriguing fusion of colonial-fronted residential buildings with modern, commercialised high-rises, and the people prove that George Town is a charming heritage jewel.

  • Batu Ferringhi Night Market

    Batu Ferringhi Night Market

    Batu Ferringhi is a famous Pasar Malam night market and is an extremely popular attraction in Penang. At night, Batu Feringghi comes alive with the bustle of the market vendors selling everything from clothing and fake designer handbags, to local crafts, souvenirs and artwork. Throughout the market, there are plenty of hawker stalls selling tasty local delicacies. The night market is within walking distance from most of our hotels in Penang and a great way to spend your evening. Don't be afraid to haggle while you're there and you could grab yourself a bargain

Select month

Average weather in January

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
165mm
Langkawi
32ºC
40mm

Average weather in February

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
157mm
Langkawi
33ºC
38mm

Average weather in March

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
33ºC
236mm
Langkawi
34ºC
91mm

Average weather in April

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
33ºC
276mm
Langkawi
33ºC
187mm

Average weather in May

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
222mm
Langkawi
32ºC
291mm

Average weather in June

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
136mm
Langkawi
31ºC
279mm

Average weather in July

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
129mm
Langkawi
31ºC
280mm

Average weather in August

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
162mm
Langkawi
31ºC
305mm

Average weather in September

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
202mm
Langkawi
31ºC
380mm

Average weather in October

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
32ºC
280mm
Langkawi
31ºC
370mm

Average weather in November

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
31ºC
290mm
Langkawi
31ºC
222mm

Average weather in December

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Kuala Lumpur
31ºC
243mm
Langkawi
31ºC
70mm
  • a woman in a red shirt

    Karen

    Destination Executive

    “Walk through the tree tops at the Langur Way Canopy Walk - it’s the highest public viewing spot at 13 metres and you’ll get incredible 360 degree views of Penang.”

     

  • Isla, Destination Executive

    Isla

    Destination Executive

    “Penang isn’t known as a gourmet’s paradise for nothing. Go on a food trail and sample different local delicacies as you walk around George Town. It’s a great way to experience the cultural and culinary delights of Penang.”

     

Events & Festivals

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Penang holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.

  • Thaipusam

    Celebrated every year, usually between mid January to mid February, the Malaysian Hindu community put on a colourful, vibrant and chaotic Thaipusam Festival to honour the deity Lord Murugan. It’s an extraordinary festival in Penang, with coconut-smashing rituals and the decorated statue of Lord Murugan being carried through the streets. 

     

  • Chinese New Year

    Penang is a top place to be during the Chinese New Year and it’s famous for taking celebrations onto the streets. Expect daily parades, dragon dances, loud fireworks and lots of drinking and eating. Don’t miss out on the beautiful annual lantern festival on the last day of Chinese New Year, where families get together and illuminate their handmade lanterns under a full moon.

     

  • Eid Al Fitr

    Eid Al Fitr is a vibrant Muslim festivity that celebrates the completion of the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day. Enjoy the many street parties and open houses dishing up local favourites - these are open to everyone and it’s a great way to meet locals and take part in the celebrations

     

  • Diwali

    Diwali, the colourful Festival of Lights, happens on the darkest night in the kartik month in the Hindu calendar. The Hindu community take to the streets with spectacular light displays and exploding firecrackers.

     

Local Cuisine

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Penang holiday. Here are a few of our favourite experiences.

 

  • Street Food

    Penang is known as a gourmet paradise and you’ll soon see why. The local cuisine here fuses fragrant Malaysian and Indian spices with spicy Chinese flavours to create delicious plates that burst with fresh and aromatic ingredients. Local staples include oyster omelettes, curry mee and the unrivalled Penang laksa.

     

  • Char koay teow

    Try the local favourite char koay teow - a smoky flavoured signature dish of rice noodles, prawns and crunchy bean sprouts that you’ll find a version of on every corner. 

     

Types of Penang holidays

Penang

Penang Multi Centre Holidays

Multi Centre Holidays

Frequently Asked Questions

The average length of stay in Penang is seven nights. If you want to combine island life with the capital Kuala Lumpur this will give you enough time to fit both in to a two week holiday. If you are choosing to stay in the capital George Town rather than on the beaches of Batu Ferringhi you may like to stay for four or five nights before moving on to your next destination.

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