With three days in Penang, you’ll have time to check off the top city sights and take a day trip elsewhere. Go hiking in the national park, observe orangutans and reef sharks, or even spend a few hours in a different country. Here are some options.
Day 1: Gorgeous George Town
Focus your first morning on George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its colonial architecture, cultural diversity, and tasty street food. Walk among the mansions and heritage houses, or see more in less time on a private tour with transport included. Later, explore farther afield on a half-day trip to Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple, two of the city’s most popular attractions. If you’d rather focus on religious landmarks, temple tours reveal a harmonious blend of Burmese, Thai, Hindu, and Muslim monuments.
At night, delve deeper into Penang’s food culture. Some evening walking tours stop by Little India and Chinatown; others showcase the best of Penang’s renowned street food.
Day 2: A Wealth of Wildlife
On your second day, get out into Malaysia’s nature. Hike or take a boat ride to the pristine Monkey Beach, inhabited by hundreds of grey macaques, or observe endangered orangutans on a day trip to Taiping. A 2-hour speedboat ride from George Town, the tropical island of Langkawi offers travelers the chance to relax on white-sand beaches, reach dizzying heights on the Langkawi Sky Bridge, and discover mangroves replete with wildlife.
Also within day-tripping distance of Penang: Pulau Payar Marine Park, home to some of Southeast Asia’s most diverse marine life, and Hat Yai, a city on the southern tip of Thailand.
Day 3: Alternative Penang
On your final day in Penang, see an alternative side of the city. For the ultimate morning of family fun, check out a few novelty museums. Delight in mind-bending photos at the Upside Down Museum; pose beside gigantic snacks at the Wonderfood Museum; or become a part of famous paintings at the 3D Trick Art Museum. To skip the entry lines, book your admission tickets in advance.
Nature lovers can spend time at Entopia Butterfly Farm and the Tropical Spice Garden, while history buffs might visit Fort Cornwallis.
For a memorable final evening in Penang, dine with a view—at a restaurant on the summit of Penang Hill, or at a swanky rooftop restaurant in the modern part of town.