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Getting To Penang

By Air
Penang is easily accessible by air with daily flights from major airports in the country and the region. The Penang International Airport is about 20km from the city centre.

Taxis plying the route follow the coupon system which fares between the airport and various destinations in Penang are fixed. 

By Road
The North-South Highway connects Penang to major cities on the West side of Peninsular Malaysia. Travel by highway can take anywhere from 4-5 hours with toll charges in between.

Once you reach Butterworth, which is the island's main entry point from the mainland, you may take either the Penang Bridge or the ferry to cross over to the island, which still operates from Butterworth to Weld Quay and will transport your vehicle too at a small charge. A charge of RM7 is levied on all classes of cars at the toll plaza in Perai on the mainland. No payment is required for travelling from the island to the mainland.

By Ferry
From Butterworth, it is necessary to take the ferry to Penang Island. The ferry service is available for both passengers and vehicles. Tickets are purchased at the Butterworth terminal.

Frequency: 20 minutes
Duration: 20 minutes

Ferry Operating Hours 
Island – Mainland Mainland – Island
First ferry: 5.40am
Last Ferry: 1.00am
First ferry: 5.40am
Last ferry: 12.40am

Ferry Fares:
Car: RM7.70
Motorcycle: RM2.00
Pedestrian (Adult): RM1.20
                       (Child): RM0.60

By Rail
The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes approximately six hours. Taking the train is a comfortable way to travel within the country and it affords one the opportunity to see a lot of the countryside.

The railway station on mainland Penang connects to the mainline which runs from Bangkok to Johor Bahru (for access from Singapore)

Getting Around
Penang's public transport system is efficient and moving around by taxis, buses or trishaws may be a fun and inexpensive way of catching the sights.

Taxis are easily and widely available around the island; it is the most common means of getting around by visitors. But bear in mind that the taxis here don't use meters, so be sure to agree on a price first before boarding the taxi. Start by asking how much it is to get to your destination; you can negotiate on the prices quoted if you feel that they are too high.

GrabTaxi is a taxi-dispatch service with GPS-enhancements, allowing passengers to book the nearest taxi with extreme ease with just several taps of their smartphone.

GrabTaxi automatically detects the commuter’s current location using a smartphone’s in-built GPS. The app will then show the number of available taxis within a certain radius.

After the commuter selects his/her destination, the booking request is sent to taxi drivers within the radius so they can bid for the job. The taxi driver nearest to the commuter gets the job.

Within a minute, the commuter receives a booking confirmation coupled with crucial information about the ETA, taxi number and the driver’s contact details. The commuter can also track the real-time location of the booked taxi.

Customers first need to download the app, which is available for free on iOS devices (https://goo.gl/Gv6yCK) and  Android (https://goo.gl/AmiEjS).

QR Code:
Grab QR Code


Buses play the major routes around the city and island. The main terminals are located in George Town's Weld Quay and KOMTAR buildings. Buses have machines that accept coins to pay the fares, and are the cheapest mode of transportation around the island. (http://www.rapidpg.com.my)

MPPP-Rapid Penang Central Area Transit
There's also a free Central Area Transit (CAT) shuttle bus service that ply the streets of Georgetown. Launched in 2009, it covers a route from Pengkalan Weld to Penang Road and back. Along the way, it makes 19 stops at strategic points of interest. The service runs from 6.00am until midnight. Apart from the route around KOMTAR, the shuttle service ply roads within the core and buffer zones of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The three-wheeled trishaw used to be a common sight on the island, but modern times have nearly phased them out. Today, they exist as a novelty for tourists to enjoy. Trishaw is the most flexible means of transportation around the city, allowing you to make a few stops along the way and shop for souvenirs while touring the city.

You can find plenty of trishaws around the capital city of George Town, especially next to Cititel Hotel on Jalan Penang and along the Esplanade near Fort Cornwallis (Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah). Be sure to ask and agree on a price first before you board one, but not to worry, prices are always negotiable (although it is always better to tip your trishaw peddler generously for their laborious effort alone).

Renting a car offers great flexibility and convenience. They are charged by daily rate – all you have to do is pay a deposit and the car is yours to go anywhere with. Car rentals are available around town – most hotels can hook you up with one.

Company Name Contact Number
Europcar Rental  012-329 3070
Hawk Penang Rent-A-Car 016-207 6535 
Hertz Car Rental  04-226 8602
Kasina Rent-A-Car 04-228 2641
La Belle Rent-A-Car 04-264 2717
Mayflower Car Rental 04-641 1191
New Bob Rent-A-Car 04-226 6111
Orix Penang Rent-A-Car 04-644 4772

Bicycles and motorcycles also offer inexpensive and fun ways of exploring the island. Stores along the hotel stretch of Batu Ferringhi and in the city offer them for hire.