Things to do in Georgetown – Malaysia

Welcome to Georgetown, Malaysia – a bustling city with a rich history and culture. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your visit. From exploring historical landmarks to experiencing the delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone in Georgetown. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top things to do in this vibrant city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Georgetown is a city with a rich history and culture
  • There are plenty of activities for visitors, including exploring historical landmarks and trying local cuisine
  • Georgetown has something for everyone

Exploring Georgetown’s Landmarks and Points of Interest

Georgetown is home to a plethora of landmarks and points of interest that are steeped in history and culture. As we wander through the charming streets of Georgetown, we are captivated by the rich architectural heritage of the buildings, temples, and mosques.

Fort Cornwallis

One of the most prominent landmarks in Georgetown is Fort Cornwallis, a star-shaped fort built by the British East India Company in the late 18th century. We recommend taking a guided tour to learn about the fort’s history and significance.

Khoo Kongsi

The Khoo Kongsi is another must-visit attraction in Georgetown. The clanhouse is a beautiful example of Chinese architecture, and it is intricately decorated with carvings and paintings. Make sure to stop by during the Chinese New Year festivities to see the building illuminated with lanterns.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion, is a stunning example of Chinese architecture and design. The mansion is painted in a striking shade of blue, and it is adorned with intricate carvings and decorations. We recommend taking a guided tour to learn about the mansion’s history and architecture.

Street Art

Georgetown is also known for its vibrant street art scene. Throughout the city, visitors can find colorful murals and installations that are often inspired by the city’s culture and history. We recommend taking a walking tour to discover some of the best street art in Georgetown.

Penang Hill

For a stunning view of Georgetown and its surroundings, head to Penang Hill. The hill offers breathtaking views of the city skyline, as well as the lush rainforest that surrounds it. Visitors can take a funicular train to the top of the hill, where they can explore the various viewpoints and attractions.

Georgetown is full of landmarks and points of interest that are sure to captivate and inspire visitors. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or art, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.

Uncovering Georgetown’s Hidden Gems

Aside from the famous landmarks and popular attractions, Georgetown has many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. These off-the-beaten-path destinations offer unique experiences and are worth visiting during your stay in the city.

The Blue Mansion

The Blue Mansion, also known as Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, is a stunning 19th-century mansion that has been beautifully restored and turned into a boutique hotel. The mansion features distinctive blue walls and intricate wood carvings, reflecting both Chinese and European architectural styles. Take a guided tour of the mansion to admire the intricate details and learn about the history of the building and its owner.

Street Art

Georgetown is renowned for its street art, with dozens of murals and installations scattered throughout the old town. Take a walk around the city to discover these hidden gems for yourself. Keep an eye out for the famous “Kids on Bicycle” mural, depicting two children cycling on a old-fashioned bike.

Chew Jetty

Chew Jetty is a charming waterfront village that offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Georgetown. The village is built on stilts over the water and features a series of wooden walkways and bridges. Explore the small shops and homes, and stop by one of the food stalls to sample some local street food.

Clan Jetties

The Clan Jetties are a collection of traditional Chinese stilt houses situated along the waterfront. Each jetty is named after the Chinese clan that originally settled there, and many of the houses have been passed down through generations. Take a stroll along the boardwalks to admire the views of the sea and the colorful houses.

These hidden gems offer a unique perspective and insight into the rich history and culture of Georgetown. Don’t miss out on these off-the-beaten-path destinations during your visit to the city.

Embarking on Georgetown’s Cultural Journey

Georgetown’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and traditions. To fully appreciate the unique blend of cultures that make up this vibrant city, we recommend embarking on a cultural journey. Here are some must-visit attractions:

Penang Peranakan Mansion

The Penang Peranakan Mansion is a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion that showcases the opulent lifestyle of wealthy Peranakan families. Visitors can explore the mansion’s ornate interiors and admire the intricate carvings and porcelain collections.

Khoo Kongsi

The Khoo Kongsi is a stunning clan house that was built by the Khoo family in the late 19th century. The intricate carvings and vibrant colours of the temple and courtyard are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the artisans who built it.

Little India

Little India is a vibrant neighbourhood that is home to a large Indian community. Visitors can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and smells of India by exploring the colourful shops, sari stores, and spice markets.

Street Art

Georgetown’s street art is another reflection of its cultural diversity. Take a walking tour of the city’s murals and sculptures, which are scattered throughout the old town. Look out for the iconic “Children on a Bicycle” mural and the “Boy on a Chair” sculpture.

Embarking on a cultural journey in Georgetown is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the city’s rich history and heritage.

Experiencing Georgetown’s Gastronomic Delights

When it comes to food, Georgetown is a true melting pot of cultures, offering a wide range of flavours and dishes to suit all tastes and budgets. From street food to fancy restaurants, there is something for everyone in this Malaysian city.

One of the must-try local specialties is asam laksa, a spicy and sour noodle soup that perfectly reflects Georgetown’s multicultural heritage. It’s made with a fish-based broth, tamarind paste, lemongrass, chilli, and a variety of herbs, and it’s usually served with shredded mackerel, cucumber, onions, and pineapple.

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, don’t miss the opportunity to try cendol, a refreshing dessert that’s popular throughout Southeast Asia. It consists of shaved ice, coconut milk, palm sugar, and green jelly noodles made from rice flour, and it’s often topped with red beans or corn.

Georgetown’s Must-Try Restaurants

Restaurant Cuisine Price Range
Mansion Tea Stall Indian £
Cecil Street Market Chinese £
Kimberley Street Duck Kway Chap Chinese £
Sarkies International £££

If you’re looking for a fancy night out, consider visiting Sarkies, the iconic restaurant located in the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, where you can enjoy a luxurious buffet with a wide range of international dishes. However, if you’re on a budget, don’t worry – there are plenty of affordable options as well, such as the delicious Indian dishes at Mansion Tea Stall, the famous duck Kway Chap at Kimberley Street, or the Chinese delicacies at Cecil Street Market.

Aside from the food, most of the local eateries in Georgetown also offer a unique atmosphere and cultural experience. Whether you’re sitting on a plastic stool on the street, trying out the latest fusion cuisine in a hipster café, or dining in a heritage mansion, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable gastronomic journey in this vibrant city.

Enjoying Georgetown’s Thriving Nightlife

When the sun sets in Georgetown, the city transforms into a vibrant hub of activity with a bustling nightlife scene. From trendy bars to underground clubs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Bars and Pubs

If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, head to one of Georgetown’s many bars and pubs. The Big Ben British Pub is a popular choice, serving up classic pub fare and a wide selection of beers. For a taste of local brews, check out The Beer Factory, which offers a variety of beers on tap and in bottles.

If you’re in the mood for a speakeasy-style bar, head to Mish Mash. This hidden gem serves up unique cocktails in a sophisticated setting.

Clubs and Lounges

For those seeking a livelier vibe, Georgetown’s clubs and lounges won’t disappoint. China House is a popular spot, known for its eclectic decor and live music performances. Those looking for a more exclusive experience can check out Gravity Club Penang, which offers VIP areas and a rooftop lounge.

Fancy a bit of dancing? Drop by Soju Room Penang, a popular club that plays host to local and international DJs. Alternatively, head to Play Club at The Roof, a rooftop club with stunning views of Georgetown’s skyline.

Street Food and Night Markets

Foodies will be pleased to know that Georgetown’s night scene doesn’t just revolve around bars and clubs. The city has a thriving street food scene, with countless hawker stalls and food trucks offering up delicious bites.

For a true taste of Penang’s street food culture, check out Gurney Drive Hawker Centre. Open from dusk until late, this hawker centre is known for its seafood and noodle dishes.

If you’re looking for more than just food, head to one of Georgetown’s night markets. The Batu Ferringhi Night Market is a popular choice, offering a variety of stalls selling everything from clothing to souvenirs.

Whatever your preference, Georgetown’s nightlife scene is not to be missed. From bars to clubs to street food, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Recommendations for Accommodation in Georgetown

Georgetown is a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are our top recommendations for places to stay in Georgetown:

Boutique Hotels

If you’re looking for a unique and stylish experience, check out Seven Terraces, a restored 19th-century townhouse, or Muntri Mews, a charming boutique hotel featuring traditional Peranakan architecture. Another great option is The Edison George Town, a contemporary hotel housed in a historic building.

Budget Hotels and Guesthouses

If you’re on a tighter budget, consider staying at one of Georgetown’s many affordable guesthouses and budget hotels. Some popular options include the Reggae Mansion, Red Inn Court and Moon Tree 47.

Luxury Hotels

For a more indulgent stay, check out Eastern & Oriental Hotel, a grand colonial-style hotel overlooking the sea, or The Ritz-Carlton, which offers guests stunning ocean views and a range of luxurious amenities.

Service Apartments

If you’re travelling with a group or looking for a home-away-from-home experience, service apartments are a great option. Straits Quay Suites and Gurney Paragon Residences both offer spacious and well-appointed apartments with great facilities.

Wherever you choose to stay in Georgetown, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options to suit your needs and budget. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Exploring Georgetown’s Nearby Attractions

Georgetown, Malaysia is a fascinating city full of history, culture, and unique experiences. However, if you have the time and inclination to explore beyond the city limits, there are several nearby attractions that are well worth a visit.

The Penang Hill

The Penang Hill is an iconic viewing spot that offers fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The hill is accessible via a funicular railway that takes passengers up a 2km track to the summit. Once at the top, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, bird-watching, and exploring the beautiful gardens and landscapes.

The Kek Lok Si Temple

The Kek Lok Si Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia and is located just a short drive away from Georgetown city centre. The temple is a fusion of Chinese, Thai, and Burmese architecture and features a 36.5m high statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy.

The Snake Temple

The Snake Temple is a unique attraction located approximately 12km from Georgetown city centre. As the name suggests, the temple is home to several species of snakes, including the Wagler’s pit viper and the tree snake. While the temple’s snake population may be the main draw for visitors, the temple itself is a beautiful piece of architecture and is worth exploring in its own right.

The Batu Ferringhi Beach

The Batu Ferringhi Beach is an idyllic stretch of coastline located just 20km from Georgetown city centre. The beach is famous for its clear blue waters and white sandy beaches, and visitors can enjoy a variety of water sports, including parasailing, jet skiing, and windsurfing.

The National Park

The National Park is a nature reserve located approximately 25km from Georgetown city centre. The park covers an area of 1,213 hectares and features a variety of flora and fauna, including monkeys, otters, and hornbills. Visitors can hike through the park’s dense forests, swim in its crystal-clear streams, and explore its many waterfalls.

With so many exciting nearby attractions to explore, Georgetown, Malaysia offers visitors the perfect base from which to discover all that this beautiful region has to offer.

Discovering Georgetown’s Festivals and Events

Georgetown is a city that boasts a vibrant cultural scene, and there is no better way to experience this than by attending one of its many festivals and events. From traditional cultural celebrations to art exhibitions and music festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

George Town Festival

The George Town Festival is an annual event that takes place in August and September. The festival celebrates the arts and culture of George Town, and features a variety of performances, exhibitions, and workshops. Visitors can enjoy music concerts, theatre shows, and art exhibitions throughout the event.

Thaipusam Festival

The Thaipusam Festival is a religious festival that takes place in January or February and is celebrated by the Tamil community in Georgetown. The festival involves a procession of devotees carrying kavadis (ornate structures) as an offering to Lord Murugan. Visitors can witness this colorful and vibrant event, which culminates at the Sri Thandayuthapani Temple.

Penang International Food Festival

Foodies will delight in the Penang International Food Festival, which takes place in April and celebrates the diverse culinary offerings of Georgetown. Visitors can sample a wide variety of local and international dishes from food vendors located throughout the city.

Penang World Music Festival

The Penang World Music Festival is an annual event that takes place in March and brings together musicians from around the world to perform. Music lovers can enjoy a variety of genres, from traditional ethnic music to contemporary world music.

No matter what time of year you visit Georgetown, there is bound to be a festival or event that will pique your interest. From celebrating cultural traditions to enjoying a diverse range of music and food, the city’s festivals and events offer a unique insight into its rich cultural heritage.


Q: What are some of the top attractions in Georgetown?

A: Some of the top attractions in Georgetown include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si Temple, and Clan Jetties.

Q: What activities can I do in Georgetown?

A: In Georgetown, you can explore the street art, visit the many museums, take a heritage walk, go on a food tour, and shop at the famous markets.

Q: Are there any must-visit landmarks in Georgetown?

A: Yes, some must-visit landmarks in Georgetown include Fort Cornwallis, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (The Blue Mansion), and St. George’s Church.

Q: What hidden gems can I uncover in Georgetown?

A: Some hidden gems in Georgetown include the Upside Down Museum, Penang Avatar Secret Garden, and the Chew Jetty Art Street.

Q: Are there any cultural tours available in Georgetown?

A: Yes, you can go on cultural tours in Georgetown that will take you to temples, mosques, and historical sites, allowing you to learn about the diverse culture of the city.

Q: Where can I find the best restaurants in Georgetown?

A: The best restaurants in Georgetown can be found in the UNESCO World Heritage Site area, particularly along Lebuh Chulia, Love Lane, and Jalan Muntri.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Georgetown?

A: Georgetown offers a vibrant nightlife with a variety of bars, live music venues, and night markets. You can enjoy a drink at a trendy cocktail bar or dance the night away at a club.

Q: Can you recommend some accommodation options in Georgetown?

A: Some recommended accommodation options in Georgetown include historic boutique hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses, and luxury resorts. Some popular choices are Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Seven Terraces, and Muntri Mews.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions worth exploring from Georgetown?

A: Yes, there are several nearby attractions worth exploring from Georgetown, such as Penang National Park, Batu Ferringhi beach, and the Tropical Spice Garden.

Q: Are there any festivals or events happening in Georgetown?

A: Georgetown hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including the George Town Festival, Penang Chinese New Year Celebration, and the Penang International Food Festival.