Penang earns its place as local and international tourist’s darling is largely due to the charm of Georgetown. Below is our street guide to help you get the best out of this charming old soul with a young heart town.
1. Lebuh Armenian (Armenian Street)
Lebuh Armenian is the heart and soul of Georgetown. It is unique and rich of heritage remnants and charm.
What you can do in Lebuh Armenian and surrounds
· Check out the amazing wall art
Hunting Georgetown wall art is an absolute must do activity in Georgetown. Map that will guide you to the mural art all over Georgetown are available from the airport, visitor centre and most accommodations. You can find most of it are located in Lebuh Armenian and surround.
Dine and Drink in China House
This Australian owned Joint has been awarded the longest café in the world and the best café in my opinion in Penang. If you have only one café to try, this is it. This joint is divided into Kopi C (café), Canteen (lunch), a bar, a courtyard, reading room, fine dining restaurant and an art gallery and bookshop on the second floor. The must try item in Kopi C is the tiramisu cake.
Try local Pastry in Ming Xiang Tai
Penang is famous for its traditional pastry and biscuits. The egg tart and other pastry offered here are so delicious. They also sell herbal teas that are good for health and very refreshing. My favourite is the egg tart with silky smooth, glossy custard and melt in your mouth pastry.
· Get to know the work of Local Artist in Studio Howard
Howard is a well respected photographer based in Penang. You can see and purchase his photographic works that are mostly of colourful buildings of Penang and the local architecture at his decent size studio located at 90, Lebuh Armenian, Penang, 10200, Malaysia.
2. Cannon Street
Khoo Kong Si is the main attraction in Cannon street. The street leading to it is filled with quirky shops selling kitsch and Knicks knacks. Check out 7 Museums to explore in Penang Khoo Kongsi and other museums in Penang.
3. Penang Road
Penang road is one of the main roads in Georgetown well known for the food and market stalls. Penang road is also where the taxi headquarters and many bus stops are located.
What to do in Penang Street:
Have lunch at Joohoei
Joo Hoei is one of the most popular eating place in Penang located in Penang Road. They are famous for the Penang Road Laksa and Chendol. They also have fried Kwei Tiaw, loh bak and a few other dishes. The place is always fully packed with customers and the line to buy the chendol is always ridiculously long (but moves quite rapidly). Chendol is a sweet soupy dessert popular in Malaysia.
Tips: There are 2 chendols on offer here. The shop itself sell their own chendol that you can order from the waiter. For the more popular chendol you can’t consume in Joohoei Tables unless you don’t mind paying the restaurant an extra RM 0.5 to ‘borrow’ their seat and you have to queue for it in person.
Visit Chowrasta Market
This colourful market is great if you want shop for carry-on bags/ luggage, textile and cheap fashion. Remember to bargain hard before you purchase anything.
· Have Nasi Kandar at Line Clear
Line clear is famous for its nasi kandar. Nasi Kandar is a mix of rice and dish from a buffet selection and you only need to pay from what you selected. Typical options are assorted curries, fried chicken/fish/egg, curried vegetables and stir fly vegetables.
4. Campbell Street
Campbell Street can be described as the less popular sister of Penang road but it has its own charm and quirk.
What’s on Campbell Street?
· Tohsoon Café
Tohsoon Café is a unique outdoor and traditional café serving coal toasted bread with local kaya (coconut jam) and butter spread which are best enjoyed with local’s favourite hot beverage like the tea tarik and coffee. Local adores this place and it is jam packed with people most of the time.
This restaurant has been voted as the best nasi kandar in Penang
5. Jalan Muntri
I love Jalan Muntri for its whimsical atmosphere and many interesting shops/ cafes / museums to pop in and out from. Some worth noting ones are as below:
· Camera Museum
The first camera museum in South East Asia is located in Penang. As the name suggested, this museum house a collection of cameras throughout the history with a café and gift shop on the entry/exit point.
· Purrfect Cafe – Cat Café
You guessed it, it’s a café where you can get up-close and personal with live cats.
· Moontree 47 Cafe / Guesthouse
Guesthouse slashed café in heritage building that takes you down the memory lane. Great place to chill with mini indoor courtyard and very friendly staff.
Moustache Café is a cute moustache themed café to join the themed café hype.
· INCH Food Bar at 44 Muntri Street
This restaurant is located just opposite the purrfect café. It has unique design and good ambience.
· Cheong Fat Tze (The Blue) Mansion
The blue mansion provides an inside to a fascinating piece of Penang history. Check out 7 Museums to Explore in Penang for further information on guided tours, address and opening hours and other museums in Penang.
6. Lebuh Chulia
Lebuh Chulia is a street pulsating with energy from tourist. Lebuh Chulia has some of my favourite place to eat and chill in Penang as below:
For me it is the best Indian food in Penang.
· Rainforest Bakery & Mugshot Cafe
Definitely a must visit when you are in Georgetown. Great coffee and the bagel and cream cheese have become an addiction to me. It is definitely one of my favourite café in Penang.
· The Alley Café
Alley Café serves great coffee teamed with an adorable place.
· Tho Yuen
This is a place for dimsum famous for the handmade oval shaped egg tart. An outstanding dish is the prawn ifumie – it’s so good!!! For any dimsum, you have to come here early for the full range menu. When you do visit make sure you try the prawn ifumie.
7. Beach Street/Lebuh Pantai –Pangkalan Weld and surrounds
Lebuh Pantai is located toward the edge of the city. The free shuttle bus from Komtar ends here in a loop. The Jetty is another main transport hub in Georgetown besides Komtar.
What’s in Lebuh Pantai and surroundings?
· 3D Interactive Museum
It’s a fun and colourful museum with many amusing backdrops for photo taking. Highly recommend for family activities
· Green Peranakan Mansion
I vote it best museum in Penang
· Café and bar strip :
In lebuh Pantai there is a strip of cafes and restaurants so you won’t ever have a hard time finding food in Penang. The two we visited are Kaffa Café and The Twelve Cup.
· The Twelve Cup
This is just one of the many cafes in the cafe strip that we pick to try. It has a selection of mille crepe cake to choose from. Who can resist a slice of mille crepe right?
· My Chew Jetty
Take a nice stroll by the sea at My Chew Jetty. Alongside the jetty there will be stalls selling penang souvenirs, ice cream and durian puff.
8. Macalister / Magazine Road – Nagore Square
Macalister road is a good place to stay if you are looking for a convenient starting point in. There are a lot of food at night and Hawker centres along Macalister Street.
Visit Nagore Square
Nagore Square is located at the intersection of Jalan Bawasah and Jalan Nagor. This place has unique oriental and colourful architecture and so many restaurants.
Try piknik, one of the most quirky café bursting with bohemian vintage personality tucked in Nagore square.
Hot Bowl White Curry Mee
If you stay at Macalister road try their delicious Hot Bowl White Curry Mee.
9. Lebuh Macallum / Tye Sin
A less heard-off area near komtar is Lebuh Macallum. It is less heard because compare to the rest of Georgetown it is out of the way and has less attractions. (totally skip this if you think your time will be wise-spend elsewhere). The 2 places worth checking out in Lebuh Macallum are as below:
Macallum Café is a large warehouse that has been cleverly segregated and become a café, a coffee school and coffee roaster.
Cecil market is a traditional market busy with locals shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables and sit around to have food from the many food stalls.
Want more on Georgetown? check out my other post:
- 25 Cafes to Try in Penang (18 are in Georgetown)
- 25 Place to Eat in Penang (10 are in Georgetown)
- 7 Museums to Visit in GeorgetownRelated
- Top 16 Things to do in Penang
- 28 Food to try in Penang
- 12 Any-Budget Accommodation in Penang
- 8 Things I found Interesting in Penang
Have I missed anything that is quintessentially Georgetown? Do you have a personal favourite thing / place in Georgetown? I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.