George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a unique mix of cultures. The beating heart of Penang, George Town offers visitors a heady combination of world-class street food, colorful colonial architecture, and street art. This historic enclave, which can be explored entirely on foot, is also famous for its novelty museums.
Rather than navigate George Town’s maze-like streets alone, get your bearings by joining an introductory walking or bike tour. Guided tours usually cover Fort Cornwallis, Little India, and the Clan Jetties. Food-focused tours are also popular with first-time visitors who enjoy sampling Penang’s renowned street food representing a variety of Asian and European cultures. An evening food tour offers the chance to try the widest variety of food stalls.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A must-visit for culture vultures and history lovers.
- Be mindful when exploring George Town on foot, as sidewalks can be slippery, especially after rain.
- Uneven surfaces make some parts of George Town difficult to access in a wheelchair.
- Bring an umbrella: unexpected downpours are common throughout the year.
How to Get There
To get from Penang International Airport to George Town takes about 30 minutes by car, depending on the traffic. If you’re staying in George Town, you can reach most attractions on foot or using a taxi mobile app. To avoid having to worry about navigating or taking public transport, explore with a guided tour.
When to Get There
In northern Malaysia, the dry season runs between August and November. During this time, rainfall decreases and temperatures are cooler, making it the best time to explore on foot. George Town provides a plethora of activities during both day and night, but Love Lane area is especially lively with music and street stalls after dusk.
The Best Museums in Penang
In stark contrast to its austere colonial heritage, Penang boasts several novelty museums that promise hilarious photos and provide a great way to escape a sudden downpour. Favorites include the Upside Down Museums, where you can take mind-bending photographs that make you appear to be standing upside down, and the Ghost Museum, which comes with family-friendly scares.