Georgetown Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Georgetown, Malaysia. How to get there and more…
Georgetown is the second largest city in Malaysia after the capital Kuala Lumpur with a population of a little over 700.000 people. Georgetown, located on the island Penang has a lot of history since its foundation in 1786. You might not think that Georgetown sounds like a city in Malaysia, and that’s because Georgetown was a British colony for 90 years from 1867 to 1957.
That has left a landmark in plenty of the architecture around the city, and that the city was named after King George III of Britain. One of the best things to do when you’re in Georgetown is to wander around and walk the streets. There are so many cool things to see and lots of delicious food everywhere you look.
Georgetown has a cool mix of historical building, street art, a mixed food culture and exciting nightlife among other things to offer.
Best times of the year to visit Georgetown
The temperatures are steady around 28 degrees celsius all year long, but there are better times to visit with less rain. December to February and June to August are usually sunny and low on rain, while September and October is the rainy season and to be avoided.
How to get there from the airport to Georgetown
Penang International Airport is located around 40 minutes by bus from Georgetown. The prices are extremely cheap, under $1.
If you’d rather take a taxi you can grab one outside of the airport for the cheap price of around $8.
How to get around Georgetown
Penang is a pretty small city and doesn’t have any trains running in the city. You’re best to get around by walking or grabbing a taxi. Prices are extremely cheap for a cab ride and driving 10 minutes will take you from one part of town to the other for no more than $2.
You can also go on a trishaw, which is kind of like a tuk tuk bike and ride around on a guided tour around town to see all significant buildings, street art and other attractions for around $10.
Where to stay in Georgetown
There are plenty of different places to stay in Georgetown, whether you are a backpacker on budget or someone looking for a great hotel. Be aware that a lot of the buildings were built over a 100 years ago and therefore if you’re looking for a quiet nights rest staying on the busiest street in the center in a cheap hotel might compromise that and will not be the best option.
There are many newly built modern hotels and apartment buildings to rent just outside of the old town city center that is very good for the price. You can easily get the value of a top class modern hotel three times as cheap as in Europe.
Cheap: Ros Heritage Motel $10
Great stay: Ideahomes Mansion $50
Luxury: Seaview Penang Suites $100+
The Best Food in Georgetown
Georgetown and Penang has a food culture that is a melting pot of chinese, indian and malasisan food. The traditional dishes are based on noodles, curry, vegetables and different types of meat.
Some traditional Georgetown dishes you need to try out:
Koay Teow Th’ng is a bowl of fish soup with rice noodles, pork slices, chicken and garlic. Try it at Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng.
Curry Mae is a dish made with egg noodles in a coconut based curry soup filled with beans, bean sprouts, cuttlefish, shrimp and cockles. Try it at Sister Curry Mae.
Asam Laksa is one of the signature dishes of the island. It’s a curry made with tamarind, lemongrass, galangal, chilli topped with mint, pineapple, onion and sweet prawn paste. At its best on Air Itam Asam Laksa.
Georgetown has a thriving food market in the city center where you can try all sorts of local dishes and enjoy an abundance of new flavours.
There’s an incredible plant based sushi place in Georgetown simply called Sushi Kitchen (picture).
Food is very cheap, expect it to be at least three times cheaper than in Europe.
Georgetown has liberal alcohol laws even though the country is predominantly muslim and you won’t have any trouble finding bars or buying alcohol in the stores. There’s a thriving nightlife on Lebua Chulia street where bars and nightclubs open up for you to enjoy the evening.
Check out these cool bars while in Georgetown:
Out of Nowhere
Golden Shower by Chinchin
Top 7 Attractions You Must See When Visiting Georgetown
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Built in the 1880s this building has a rich history, designed in traditional Hakka-Teochew style it was rescued in the 1990s and turned into a heritage hotel. It has been featured in international films and is well worth the visit.
- Clan Jetties
Jetties are short public landing stages near the waterfront where the Chinese boats would come in. Have a stroll close to Lebuh Chulia and experience the heritage from the late 1880s.
- Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok is one of Malaysia’s largest buddhist temples, standing on a hilltop it comprises of monasteries, prayer halls and beautifully landscaped gardens. Built in 1890, it’s staggeringly beautiful and peaceful.
- Khoo Kongsi
One of Georgetown’s most interesting attractions is the famous Khoo Kongsi house, built over 650 years ago. It’s a house built in chinese fashion where families would come and worship their ancestors.
- Fort Cornwallis
Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. The fort would keep defense against pirates, Kedah forces and the French during the Napoleonic Wars. It was built in 1786 and is over 420 square meters. A must to visit when in Georgetown.
- Penang Street Art
All over the city there are some very cool street art popping up where tourists take photos and enjoy the beauty of the creative paintings.
- Old Town Buildings
Since Georgetown was a british colony many of its buildings were made in a british style. This makes Georgetown very special since having a walk down the street gives you a european vibe even though it’s almost 30 degrees celsius outside. You’ll find one beautiful building after the
next. The city hall is surrounded by a green park that is perfect for a nice walk.
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