Where to stay in Penang [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

If you’re looking to stay in Penang, you’re in for a treat as this is a world-renowned exotic holiday destination. Located off the Northwestern coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the island-state is divided into two halves: Penang Island, home to the capital city of Georgetown, and Seberang Perai, a strip of mainland Peninsula.

Although it cannot compete with other Asian countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand when it comes to beaches. But Penang more than makes up for what it lacks on the coast with its melting pot of culture and stunning natural scenery.

tan jetty, one of clan jetties at penang, malaysia

Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, it’s no wonder that Penang is quickly developing from a virgin paradise to an idyllic destination explored by many.

In the heart of the state, you’ll find the diverse and cosmopolitan George Town, a place that has been frozen in time as old-world Asia, yet has also developed into a bustling urban city over time.

As you move away from the city, you’ll then be overwhelmed with palm-fringed beaches, charming fishing villages, mountainous jungle and farms, as well as touches of British colonization and Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences all over.

❤️ Best Area first timersGeorge Town
💸 Best Luxury HotelShangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesBy The Sea, Penang
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelMercure Penang Beach
🛏️ Best Budget HotelM Qube Hotel
✨ Best HostelSwing & Pillows @ Beach Street

Wondering where is the best place to stay in Penang? We will cover off all types of Penang accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Penang hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Penang 2024, the best Penang hotels, best places in Penang to visit, the best places to stay in Penang, hotels near Penang attractions, Penang neighborhood guide and many more.

With no shortage of cultural sights to see and nature to explore, this can make choosing where to stay in Penang difficult.

The good news is, that most areas in this state have something for everyone. To help you make the most of your time in Penang as a first-time visitor, we have put together our best recommendations of where to stay in Penang, which is known as the “food paradise” of Malaysia!

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

George Town – Where to stay in Penang for tourists

Naturally, the capital city has to be one of our top recommendations for areas to stay in while in Penang, but it’s not just because it is the capital, it’s because it’s so amazing spot, that can’t be missed!

Named as one of the most interesting and colourful cities in Malaysia, George Town is a hub of activity, economy, history and culture.

Walking down its streets, you will be bombarded with a unique multicultural charm that you won’t find anywhere else. You will be surrounded by British colonial buildings, Chinese shop houses and mosques.

The old historic town of Little India offers a plethora of top-notch street food, street art and coffee shops.

Home to historic landmarks, skyscrapers, shops, hotels, hiking paths and panoramic views, this blend of old meets modern is why Penang is becoming a popular place to visit every year.

Although Malaysia’s second largest city after Kuala Lumpur, George Town offers laid-back vibes and breathtaking scenery that makes it worthy of its UNESCO status.

Why Stay in George Town Penang

George Town Penang is an international traveller’s dream. The multiculturalism that is shown throughout this beautiful city has something for everyone.

Experience the art culture by following the Trail of Street Art and take a food tour to experience what is said to be the best Street Food in Penang.

Take in the many festivals and enjoy the dynamic differences in architecture. Shop in a mall or the many small shops throughout the city. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this laid back, uniquely diverse city. 

Things To Do in George Town Penang

  • Trail of Street Art

In 2012 Penang Municipal Council commissioned artist Ernest Zacharevic to create murals on the sides of old buildings and shops to rejuvenate the region and celebrate the rich history of the local areas. Since then it has grown throughout the city.

An abundance of Street Art is found in the historical quarter as well as on thoroughfares like Armenian Street and Lebuh Leith. View a Brother and Sister on a Swing, the Malayan Tiger, and be moved with the most photographed mural in the Trail of Street Art, Stealing Baos.

The world-renowned Street Art of George Town is spread across the city. You can find Trail of Street Art maps at any tourist information office, so you do not miss any of these most interesting and unique art galleries.  

  • Street Food

As you walk the streets experiencing the multiculturalism of the architecture, you can also delight in the diverse culture of the cuisine.

The Hawkers Center is a great place to experience the variety of street food offered within the city. Try classic local Malaysian dishes or traditional Chinese or Indian food.

On the last weekend of every month, Penang Road closes for the Penang Road Market. A mix of produce, household items, local wares, as well as some of the best food in Penang. It is an experience every food-loving tourist will enjoy. 

  • Overwater Chinese Villages 

Early in the 19th century, Chinese Clans came to work in Penang. Finding little or no housing within the booming town, the clans built these Overwater Villages.

A total of eight clan villages were originally built with six remaining. Chew Jetty is the most tourist-friendly of the villages.

There you can walk the boardwalks that create the pathways from house to house. Enjoy the shops and street food as you stroll along the boardwalk admiring the wooden and aluminum homes of this floating village.

  • Tour The Blue Mansion

A wealthy Chinese businessman had a dream. Cheong Fatt Tze had the vision to build a mansion that would be the home to nine generations of his family. In the early 19th century, construction began on the Blue Mansion.

This 38-room mansion with multiple courtyards is an architectural dream. Combining many different styles and cultures, it is known as the most photographed building in Penang. Tragically after he died in 1916,  the mansion was left in disrepair.

Purchased by a group of Penang conservationists after the death of his last son it took six years to restore it to its former glory. Today you can tour, dine or stay at this unique piece of George Town history. 

  • Nightlife on the Beach

The fun does not stop when the sun goes down in this seaside city. Enjoy an evening at one of the many restaurants and bars that line the shores of George Town.

Beach Blanket Babylon is a favourite among tourists and locals alike. With the breathtaking view of the sea on one side and the Blue Mansion on the other, you can dine from a diverse cultural menu while enjoying the perfect view.

Relax in a bean bag chair with a cool drink at Laguna Bay Beach Bar. Here you can also enjoy fire performers mesmerizing you with their skill as you take in that cool sea breeze. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for George Town

where to stay in Georgetown penang

Cheapest Hostels in George Town Penang:

Budget accommodation in George Town Penang:

Mid-Range accommodation in George Town Penang:

Family Friendly accommodation in George Town Penang:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in George Town Penang:

Panoramic aerial view of Georgetown, Penang island, Malaysia

Tanjung Bungah – Cool places to stay in Penang

Although only situated 6.5km northwest of the busy George Town, Tanjung Bungah (literally meaning ‘Flower Cape’) is a quaint seaside paradise.

Located along the northern coast of Penang Island between Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Tokong, this suburb is becoming a well-known beach destination with the expat population, which is increasing every year.

Why is Tanjung Bungah such a popular spot? Not only has this suburb retain its original sleepy fishing village charm but it also offers the convenience of modern amenities.

You’ll find a decent range of hotels from budget to luxury, which are similarly priced, or more affordable than hotels in Batu Feringghi or George Town.

Known as THE destination for watersports in Penang, Tanjung Bungah also offers spectacular natural landscapes, two major shopping complexes and tourist attractions such as the Penang Toy Museum, so you can be sure that there is something for everybody.

Why Stay in Tanjung Bungah

Tanjung Bungah is a flourishing fishing village. Sitting on the shores of Malacca Strait, you have a beautiful view of the Andaman Sea while staying at any of the beachside resorts.

With miles of sandy beach, you can enjoy many water activities on, off and in the water. Swim, kayak, or even have a game of beach soccer. Ready for some land activities?

With the many different styles of attractions, Tanjung Bungah offers its visitors the best of both worlds. 

Things To Do in Tanjung Bungah

  • Water Activities ON and OFF the Water

With miles of sandy beaches lining Tanjung Bungah’s shores, there are water activities of every kind. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle off to an exciting adventure on the strait.

Play a game of beach soccer or watch the dragon boat practise their skills at the Penang Water Sports Center.

Grab a cocktail and relax to the sound of the waves hitting the shore. Water is the main attraction in this quaint fishing village. Tanjung Bungah gives you the services so you can enjoy it to the fullest.

  • The Floating Mosque

Arqam Babu Rahman Mosque, also known as the Floating Mosque has the unique architecture of being built over the water.

Built on pilings and tilts above the sea, the Mosque appears to be floating at high tide. This Mosque can accommodate up to 1500 worshippers and has a seven-story minaret that is used to announce prayers.

The mosque is open to visitors and free of charge. This is a definite item on your to do list while visiting Tanjung Bungah. 

  • Escape Penang

If the thrill of a ride excites you, then a visit to Escape Penang is a must. With over 35 rides and attractions, it is fun for the whole family. Splash in the splash pad, do a banana flip on a water slide or float in the Dead Sea Pool.

Rediscover Nature at Base Camp. An overnight excursion into the jungle, sleep in a tent under the stars after a nice BBQ, jungle nature and campfire fun.  

  • Teluk Bahang Forest Eco Park

Take a walk through the forest at Teluk Bahang Forest Eco Park. A 32-hectare Park that is part of the Teluk Bangang Forest Reserve.

Hike through the jungle and take advantage of the small pools of water to cool off. Pack a picnic lunch and go for the day or grab a campsite or use the hostel and enjoy the night.

The majestic Malasyia forest is to be enjoyed from within. At Tuluk Banhang Forest Eco Park, you can do just that. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Tanjung Bungah

Beast Places to stay in Tanjung Bungah

Cheapest Hostels in Tanjung Bungah Penang:

Budget accommodation in Tanjung Bungah Penang:

Mid-Range accommodation in Tanjung Bungah Penang:

Family Friendly accommodation in Tanjung Bungah

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Tanjung Bungah Penang:

Floating mosque of Tanjung Bungah in Penang, Malaysia, Asia

Batu Ferringhi – Where to stay in Penang with family

Our second spot for recommendations on where to stay in Penang is Batu Ferringhi. It is thought of as the second most popular destination after George Town within Penang.

North of Penang Island, you’ll find Batu Ferringhi, the tourist belt of Penang. This location boasts long stretches of soft, white sandy beaches, a variety of water sports activities that will make any water-enthusiast drool, popular tourist attractions, and perhaps more importantly, the best street food and seafood restaurants that you will find in all of Penang (or so we’ve been told). In our minds, this makes Batu Ferringhi a prime holiday destination.

It’s hardly a surprise that this beach resort area is popular among expats with the most popular thing to do here is visit the legendary seafront night market.

Why Stay in Batu Ferringhi

This ideal resort town is the perfect choice for a family stay. With a variety of watersport activities and all-ages attractions, you are guaranteed to have a great time.

Feel the adventure at the Adventure Zone. An indoor 10,000 sq foot playground with jaw-dropping drop slides and play equipment for all ages.

Have a fruitful experience at the Tropical Fruit Farm or a relaxing day on the beach at Batu Ferringhi Beach. There is fun for the whole family in Batu Ferringhi. 

Things To Do in Batu Ferringhi

  • Adventure Zone 

Adventure Zone, located at the Shangri-La Resort in Batu Ferringhi, is an indoor playground for all ages.

Although specifically designed for children, adults can join the fun too sliding down the amazing drop slides.

There are game zones as well as playground equipment for the kids to enjoy. A wonderful air-conditioned environment where kids of all ages get to play. 

  • Batu Ferringhi Night Market

Opened every evening from 6 pm to midnight, this 1-kilometre stretch holds vendors of every kind.

From handmade trinkets and knock-off designer handbags to local cuisine, you can find it among the hundreds of stalls here at the Batu Ferringhi Night Market.

A great way to do some shopping and experience the local culture in Batu Ferringhi 

  • Water Sports in Batu Ferringhi 

Make the most of your seaside adventure by playing on the water. Exhilarating water sports can be found in Batu Ferringhi.

Check out East Wind Water Sports to cut through the water on a jet ski or glide over it parasailing. Want something a little more relaxing?

Take a ride in a Banana Boat or a boat tour to Monkey Island. Experience their sandy beaches or take a hike to the lighthouse all the while watching the monkeys play in the trees.  

  • Chin Farm Waterfall

Take a hike to the Chin Farm Waterfall. This natural attraction is an easy hike leading to beautiful falls sitting at the edge of the jungle.

Pack a lunch and eat while watching the little fish that swim in the pool below the falls. On your way see the Chinese Temple, Chin Waterfall Lam Thean Mui Temple, which is close to the falls.

Take in the breathtaking view of Penang at the farmhouse at the base of the falls. Spend a wonderful day with nature at Chin Waterfall. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Batu Ferringhi

Best places stay in Batu Ferringhi

Cheapest Hostels in Batu Ferringhi Penang:

Budget accommodation in Batu Ferringhi Penang:

Mid-Range accommodation in Batu Ferringhi Penang:

Family Friendly accommodation in Batu Ferringhi Penang:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Batu Ferringhi Penang:

Batu Ferringhi beach, Penang Malaysia Sunbeds palms sea ocean mountains sand, travel photo

Bayan Lepas – Where to stay in Penang on a Budget

If you don’t have the budget to stay in one of the main cities or areas, Bayan Lepas offers the best solution: affordable accommodation whilst maintaining great transport links to the cities.

Situated in the Southwest Penang Island District, Bayan Lepas is connected to George Town via an Expressway which takes approximately half an hour to get to the capital! As well as a great location, the area also has its own charms and attractions.

Established as an agricultural village in the 19th century, you can still see the town’s old-worldly origins seeping through the streets that have become the island’s main industrial hub today.

Nowadays though, people tend to flock here for more than just the charm of the town, as it is also home to the Penang international airport, Penang’s biggest shopping mall, and popular sites such as the Snake Temple and Penang War Museum.

Why Stay in Bayan Lepas

When looking for seaside fun and adventure at a reasonable cost Bayan Lepas is the place to go in Penang.

Mixing cultural beauty with modern amenities, this gem is a place you want to visit. Home to Penang International Airport, it is the first stop for many international travellers to Penang.

Shop at the largest mall in Penang, Queensbay Mall, stop for a spa or visit a Chinese temple. A beautiful seaside vacation that is easy on the pocketbook. 

Things To Do in Bayan Lepas

  • Queensbay Mall

Queensbay Mall is Penang’s largest and longest shopping mall. With five stories of retail space, you can find something for everyone on your souvenir list.

Go to the movies or Escape from Mission Q in a real physical escape game. Take the kids on a Sunset Garden Kiddie Ride or let them play in the toy castle.

Enjoy lunch or dinner in one of the many dining spaces to finish a wonderful day at the mall. 

  • Snake Temple

Snake Temple in Bayan Lepas built in 1805 for Master Qingshui, a defied Buddhist monk. The temple was built to honour Master Qinshui for his many miracles in healing the sick and giving shelter to snakes.

Visitors to the temple can admire the beauty of the architecture, look into the “Dragons Eye Well” and commune with the many pit vipers that roam the temple for free.

There is no admission charge. No worries about the snakes. It is said the smoke and fragrance from the incense burning keep them harmless. A truly slithering experience. 

  • Penang Golf Club

Feeling like a round of golf? Penang Golf Club is the only golf club on the island.

Golf in the tropics as this 18-hole golf course has tropical fruit trees such as pineapple and coconuts, among others as well as giving you a beautiful view of the double bridges that connect Penang to the mainland.

This par 72 course will give the best golfer a challenge with its sandtraps and water hazards. Penang Golf club also provides a driving range and putting course for all your golfing needs. 

  • Penang War Museum

Built by the British in the 1930s to protect the Malacca Strait from Japanese attack, Penang War Museum is said to be the largest war museum in South East Asia.

Having a 360-degree view of the strait, the British were taken off guard by the Japanese who took control of the fortress from the jungle.

Touring through the museum you can see a cannon-firing bay, sleeping quarters for the soldiers, a cookhouse and a marker for a Guillotines stand that was used by the Japanese. Take advantage of this walk back in time to visit history in its original form.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Bayan Lepas

Best places to stay in Bayan Lepas

Budget accommodation in Bayan Lepas Penang:

Mid-Range accommodation in Bayan Lepas Penang:

Family Friendly accommodation in Bayan Lepas

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Bayan Lepas

Snake temple at Penang island  in Malaysia

Seberang Perai – Best place to stay in Penang for couple

Also known as Province Wellesley by the British, Seberang Perai is the strip of mainland that makes up one half of Penang. Originally a sleepy cowboy town, Seberang Perai has come a long way since then, developing into the industrial area it is today.

Made up of smaller towns such as Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Jaya, Sungai Puyu and Prai, you can see many different styles of town and way of living in this one province. The main action, however, takes place in the biggest town of Butterworth.

Drawing people in with its fantastic local food, Butterworth also offers intriguing tourist attractions such as the Temple of the “Ninth Emperor God” and the Penang Bird Park where you can see over 300 different species of birds originating from all over South-East Asia.

Why Stay in Seberang Perai

A city made up of different cities allows you to experience the many different cultures in Seberang Perai. A wonderful place for couples to get away and enjoy each other’s company.

Take a romantic stroll along the Butterworth Art Walk, stop for coffee at the Bed Coffee & Lounge or explore a temple. Seberang Perai is that nice little getaway you have been looking for. 

Things To Do in Seberang Perai

  • Butterworth Art Walk

The Butterworth Art Walk was created by local artists whose focus was to educate visitors and locals alike on the rich history and economic achievements of this beautiful city.

Follow the lane and learn the story of Butterworth from how it got its name to the history of exporting elephants as an economic source. A history story in pictures you could say. 

  • Penang Bird Park

Walk among over 300 species of birds showcasing about 2500 birds. Birds from all over Malaysia can be found here. Participate in one of their live events to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures.

Take a stroll through one of their two walk-in aviaries and hand feed a Sunbird, or be amazed at the size of an ostrich which will grow up to 8 feet.

Tour the botanical gardens and take in the orchids and bamboo. There is a lot to see and a travel memory you will not soon forget. 

  • Too Boo Kong Temple

Starting as a garden shed in 1971 Too Boo Kong Temple or better known as The Nine Emperor’s Gods Temple, has grown into a beautifully ornate temple.

As you walk through the grand archway, it is just a taste of what you will see. The temple complex itself is a series of courtyards and grand halls. Look to the roof as you walk in to see the dragons welcoming you.

The infinite detail of art in the architecture of this temple will leave you awestruck. It is a must-visit place on your visit to Seberang Peria.

  • Enjoy the View from Frog Hill

Frog Hill is an abandoned tin mine site on the north side of Seberang Perai. A short hike to the top gives you views of Penang and pools of water that go from a dark blue pool on overcast days to crystal clear on sunny days.

You also may see some monkeys swimming, and watch out for the odd water buffalo. A serene sight where you can stop and appreciate the beauty around you and beside you. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Seberang Perai

Best places to stay in Seberang Perai

Budget accommodation in Seberang Perai Penang:

Mid-Range accommodation in Seberang Perai Penang:

Family Friendly accommodation in Seberang Perai Penang:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Seberang Perai Penang:

An Evening view during sunset at the Floating Mosque,Penang Port, Seberang Perai, Malaysia.

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.