Penang has long been a cultural and trade link between Asia and Europe, and its colonial history is evident throughout the island, especially in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town. From the shophouses of Beach Street to the rusty cannons of Fort Cornwallis, here are the colonial sites you can’t miss.
What to See
- Fort Cornwallis—an 18th-century fort, the largest remaining in Malaysia, built by the British East India Company
- Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower—built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
- St. George’s Church—the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia, dating back to 1817
- Esplanade Padang—home of the Penang Town Hall and Penang City Hall, two Victorian buildings near the George Town seafront
- Penang State Museum—a colonial-era building housing artifacts from Malaysia, India, and China
How to Visit
- Book a tour of colonial George Town to learn more about the island’s rich multicultural history.
- Step aboard the Penang hop-on hop-off bus with 33 designated stops and audio commentary.
- Ride the funicular railway to the top of Penang Hill for panoramic views over the colonial center.
- Explore the “Pearl of the Orient” during a discovery tour around the island.