Exploring Penang Hill A Complete Guide

Exploring Penang Hill: A Complete Guide

Penang Hill stands as a timeless testament to the allure of natural beauty and human ingenuity.

This enchanting destination has gone beyond its colonial origins to become a modern marvel that captivates the hearts of tourists and locals alike. It has since become a haven of panoramic views, diverse flora and fauna, and rich cultural experiences. 

There are many things to do and exhibits to see in Penang Hill, and we’re here to guide you through each one. This way, you can maximize your visit and have the best time while you’re here!

Time Zone

Malaysian Standard Time (UTC+8) 

Best Time to Go

The best time to go to Penang Hill is during spring and early summer, from the months of March to May. Visiting during these months offers pleasant weather and clear skies, making it ideal for sightseeing the beautiful views and enjoying the lush greenery. 

However, if you like festivals and celebrations, go from November to February—but it might be busier. 

Regardless of when you visit, you can expect the sunrise or sunset in Penang Hill to be amazing!

Things to Know

Location: 11500 Bukit Bendera, Penang, Malaysia
Operating Hours:

AttractionOpening Hours
Penang Hill Funicular Train6:30AM - 11PM
The Habitat Penang Hill9AM - 6:30PM
Cliff Cafe / Astaka Bukit Bendera9AM - 6PM
David Brown's Restaurant9AM - 10PM
Monkey Cup Garden9AM - 6PM
Owl Museum9AM - 6PM
Kopi Hutan9AM - 6PM

How to Get to Penang Hill

Bus: Catch the 204 bus from the Pengkalan Weld Jetty Bus Terminal A and get off at the last stop, which is the Penang Hill Lower Train Station. 

Taxi: Taxis are readily available and offer a comfortable and direct way to get to Penang Hill.

Ride-Hailing Service: Utilize ride-hailing apps such as Grab or inDrive to book a private ride to transport you to Penang Hill. 

Places to stay near Penang Hill

The Prestige Hotel Penang

Address: 8, Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 4-217 5888
Pricing: $$$
Book Now

The Prestige Hotel Penang is located in the heart of George Town and offers a seamless blend of colonial charm and contemporary sophistication. It offers a spectacular view along with its luxurious rooms and amazing continental and Asian food.  

The moment you step inside, you’re greeted by a world of luxury that goes beyond its walls. The luxurious rooms not only provide the utmost comfort but also offer spectacular views that leave a lasting impression.

When it comes to dining, this 5-star boutique hotel takes it up a notch. The culinary journey offers a delightful fusion of continental and Asian flavors that satisfy every palate. 

This 5-star, boutique hotel also has a fitness center, free parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and room service—convenient, right?

Hotel 19

Hotel 19
Credit: Booking.com

Address: No. 19, Pengkalan Weld ( Weld Quay ), 10300 George Town, Malaysia
Contact Details: +604-262 9888
Pricing: $$
Book Now

Hotel 19 is a remarkable choice that treats you to both mesmerizing sea and city vistas right from the comfort of your room. 

The standout feature of this budget-friendly gem is its prime location, which grants convenient access to the nearby bus terminal and all the captivating attractions that Penang has to offer. 

This accessibility means you can effortlessly embark on adventures throughout the town, making your stay both enjoyable and hassle-free.

Cocoa Mews Cafe and Homestay

Address: 101, Lebuh King, 10200 George Town, Malaysia 
Contact Details: +60 16-477 8482
Pricing: $
Book Now

Cocoa Mews Cafe and Homestay presents a delightful haven where charming rooms with shared bathroom facilities await. 

While this budget-friendly gem’s exterior exudes simplicity, its true essence lies in the warmth of its staff’s hospitality and the meticulous upkeep and sanitation of its rooms.

The well-maintained rooms provide a comfortable and clean space, ensuring a restful night’s sleep after a day of exploring the lively surroundings.

Adding to the convenience, the guesthouse offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout, allowing you to stay connected and share your travel experiences effortlessly. 

What to Do in Penang Hill

Ride the Penang Hill Funicular Train

Hop on the iconic Penang Hill Funicular Train! This Swiss-inspired train runs on one of the oldest funicular systems in the world and its tunnel track is the longest and steepest track in Asia! 

Aside from the amazing view you get from the top, you can also admire the monkeys lurking there! The whole train ride takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

You can check out ticket prices here: 

TicketNormal LaneFast Lane
Senior CitizenRM30RM60

Local Tips: 

  • You can rent out binoculars for a better view of the beautiful landscapes around you.
  • The lines can get pretty absurd during seasonal holidays, so be sure to be there early! If you want to skip the queue, splurge and take the Fast Lane so you can skip it and enjoy the view ASAP! 
  • Don’t lose your ticket! You will need to show it a few times during the trip.

Stroll through Habitat Penang Hill

The Habitat Penang Hill holds a rich history as a forest reserve dating back to 1911 and should be at the top of your list when visiting Penang! 

Situated within the heart of an ancient rainforest, it offers a truly immersive experience where visitors can connect deeply with nature.

The Habitat serves as a haven for a diverse range of flora and fauna. From the intricate world of plants and trees to the mesmerizing melodies of birds and the occasional sight of reptiles, the forest teems with life. 

Two must-visit highlights in this journey are the 230m Langur Way Canopy Walk and the Curtis Tree Top. These spots provide an unparalleled vantage point to take in the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of Penang Island.

Local Tip: 

  • You can even go on a zipline, “Flight of the Colugo,”  for that adrenaline rush! It costs RM105 per person. 

Lock your love at Penang Hill Food Centre

Traveling with a partner? Immortalize your love with a symbolic padlock! 

Lovebirds can visit the open-air observation deck of the Penang Hill Food Centre and fasten a love lock on an 80-meter-wide fence! The fence overlooks the city of George Town, so even the whole city knows about your love for each other! 

You can buy love locks on-site, but you can also bring one of your own so you don’t have to spend anything. 

Marvel at the architecture of the Penang Hill Mosque 

The sole mosque on Penang Hill, Masjid Bukit Bendera was erected for use by Muslims living and working in the area. It’s 24 hours for Muslims wanting some quiet prayer time. 

Its Islamic architecture, adorned with minarets and domes, is definitely a beautiful sight to behold. Aside from that, it also features a great view of the city, so don’t forget to snap a shot, especially if you’re here on a clear day!

Discover the charming delights of the enchanting Little Village

Little Village is definitely perfect for kids! In this quaint attraction, you can find the biggest Love Arch and Dwarf Village – complete with all the seven dwarfs and Snow White!

You’ll also be greeted with the Rabbit Garden, Rose Garden, Levanda Garden, and a bee showroom, where you can sample honey! 

Indulge in some kacang putih

Feast on some kacang putih, a savory snack that consists of chickpeas, muruku, corn, nuts, and pulled together by yummy masala sauce that will definitely bring you back for more! 

On the Upper Station of Penang Hill, you’ll find a roadside stall called, “The Famous Penang Hill Kacang Pot” by Mr. Sakthivel which has been a family business for generations since the 1960s.

Their kacang putih stands out from the usual as it’s been mixed with other ingredients such as their homemade masala sauce! It’s definitely a unique twist to the classic kacang putih that are just made out of chickpeas. 

It only costs RM5 and it’s definitely worth every penny! 

Soak in the spectacular view of George Town at night 

George Town takes on a truly enchanting glow at night. But it’s the view from Penang Hill that will truly steal your heart and leave you utterly breathless. 

Don’t miss the chance to visit the love lock area, the main viewing deck, and the Sky Walk – these spots offer the sweetest views of the UNESCO Heritage Site that will leave you with memories to cherish forever.

Local Tip:

  • Don’t forget to bring a jacket or sweater with you as Penang Hill can be pretty chilly at night! 

Appreciate history at Edgecliff Bungalow

Location: C7F9+Q9, Bukit Bendera, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Contact Details: +604 282 8880
Operating Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Sunday 9AM-4:30PM
Entrance Fee:

Senior CitizenRM5
Persons with disabilitiesFREE
Children below 4 years oldFREE

Step into the welcoming embrace of the Edgecliff Bungalow, nestled within the embrace of the Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve. Here, you’ll find yourself embarking on an extraordinary journey through history and space. 

The Time Tunnel, Heritage, Biodiversity, Funicular, and Cultural galleries come alive with an impressive collection of photos!

It’s a captivating adventure that seamlessly transports you through the ages and offers a deeper connection to the treasures of Penang Hill.

Where to Eat in Penang Hill

Cliff Cafe (Astaka Bukit Bendera)

Address: Astaka Bukit Bendera, Jalan Tuanku Yahya Petra, 10000, Penang
Pricing: $-$$
Operating Hours: Daily, 8AM – 8PM

Feast on a variety of local delicacies all while soaking in the beautiful view at Cliff Cafe. It’s a three-storey food and beverage court in Penang Hill and is especially beautiful at night amid the city lights. 

The two higher levels house the food court and the souvenir and drink stalls are located at the lower level. 

Local Tip: 

  • Try out the local favorites, asam laksa and char kuey teow, and for dessert the ais kacang

David Brown’s Restaurant

Address: Strawberry Hill, Bukit Bendera, Ayer Itam, Penang Island 11300 Malaysia
Contact Details: +604-828 8337
Pricing: $$-$$$
Operating Hours: Daily, 11AM – 10PM

David Brown’s Restaurant and Tea Terraces’ beautiful location allows you to breathe in the fresh air, coupled with an amazing view and peaceful sounds. 

With its gorgeous garden and excellent food, it’s definitely a beautiful retreat where you can spend quality time with yourself or your loved ones!

Kopi Hutan (Monkey Cup Cafe)

Address: Summit Road, Penang Hill, Penang, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 12-428 9585
Pricing: $
Operating Hours: Daily, 9AM – 5PM

Kopi Hutan’s specialty coffee, named kopi hutan, is an experience in itself. 

Blending five distinct types of coffee beans from various countries, this brew is a harmonious symphony of flavors that takes your taste buds on a delightful journey around the world. 

While savoring your coffee, you’ll be mesmerized by the nepenthes plant, more commonly known as monkey cups or pitcher plants, found in the establishment. 

There’s something uniquely fascinating about these carnivorous plants. Is it their allure? Their danger? We’ll never know! 

Local Tip: 

  • Try their best-selling onde cake! It’s perfectly paired with their signature coffee.

What to Expect in Penang Weather

Dry Season (March to October): The dry season in Penang Hill brings warm and humid weather, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F). 

Rainy Season (November to February): Rainy season in Penang Hill with occasional heavy showers and thunderstorms, with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F).

Apps to Download

Penang Hill App: Online mobile guide to exploring Penang Hill 
iOS | Android

Grab: Ride-hailing, electric bikes and motorized scooters, food delivery
iOs | Android

inDrive: Ride-hailing car
iOS | Android

Google Translate: Word translation with offline capabilities
iOs | Android