How to Spend 2 Days in Penang
Two days in Penang allows you to dive headfirst into the cultural diversity of the island city. Discover the sights and street food of UNESCO-listed Georgetown; visit temples that reflect Malaysia’s religious harmony; and explore Penang’s natural landscape. Here’s how to make the most of two days in the Pearl of the Orient.
Day 1: Essential Penang
**Morning:**Kickstart your stay with a walking tour of Georgetown, a distinctive enclave that's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exploring on foot allows you to see the neighborhood details, which are integral to Georgetown’s charm. Admire the colorful colonial mansions and heritage houses, and pose beside iconic street art.
**Afternoon:**Penang boasts some of the most impressive temples in Malaysia, so dedicate the afternoon to learning about the religions that coexist harmoniously on the island. Highlights include Kek Lok Si Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, and the Thai Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram temple, home to glittering dragon statues.
**Night:**No visit to Penang would be complete without a stop at Penang Hill. Options for ascending the peak include a package with afternoon tea or dinner, plus round-trip transport to the hill, a 30-minute drive from Georgetown. Skip-the-line tickets are essential to avoid waiting hours for the funicular.
Day 2: The Great Outdoors
**Morning:**Rise early and beat the midday heat on a morning tour of Penang National Park, home to lush rainforest trails, a canopy walkway, and Monkey Beach, populated by hundreds of grey macaques. Tours are designed to increase your chances of spotting wildlife and typically include a boat ride back to the city.
**Afternoon:**Following your energetic morning, spend the afternoon either relaxing on Batu Ferringhi beach or learning to make Malaysia handicrafts at a family-friendly workshop. Alternatively, enjoy Penang’s famous cafe culture by hopping among quirky cafes in Georgetown or checking out some of the city’s novelty museums, including the Upside Down Museum.
**Night:**Your final evening is all about Penang’s food scene, one of the best in Asia. The names and ingredients of the hundreds of dishes on offer can sometimes be overwhelming for first-time visitors, so opt for a food tour that lets you sample to best of Penang’s diverse culinary offerings.