Tanjung Bunga, Penang Island Looking north towards Batu Ferrenghi – Image courtesy Gregg Cure/Wikimedia

How to get to Penang Island

Penang Island is located in the Melacca Straits, just off the north-west of Peninsular Malaysia.

The most convenient route to Penang is by air to Penang International Airport (PEN), located near Bayan Lepas at the southeast tip of Penang Island, around 16km (10mi) south of the island's capital, George Town.

From many overseas destinations this requires first flying into Singapore's Changi Airport (SIN) or Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), followed by a connecting flight to Penang International Airport (PEN).

Note: Singapore's Changi Airport (SIN) receives more direct international flights than Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)

By road from the mainland, there's a choice of two bridges to Penang Island: The 13km-long Penang Bridge links Butterworth on the mainland with Gulagor, and has a toll of RM7. The 24km-long Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge joins Batu Kawan on the mainland to Batu Maung at the southeastern tip of Penang Island. The toll here is RM8.50.

Note: You must acquire a rechargeable toll payment card, Touch 'n Go (www.touchngo.com.my), before you reach tolling points; they are available from most petrol stations (and some car-rental operators). Tolls are paid only on the mainland side of the bridges; you pay nothing for the return journey.

By train, the overnight journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth takes 10 hours, followed by a short 20-minute ferry ride to Penang Island; you can also take a taxi.


Flight times to Penang

The following are the most convenient and quickest routes to Penang Airport (PEN), Malaysia.

Within Malaysia: AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Airways offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Penang.

Kuala Lumpur to Penang is 50 minutes, direct flight


From Singapore: Jetstar Asia Airways, SilkAir, Scoot Tigerair and AirAsia offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Penang.

Singapore to Penang is 1 hour 20 minutes, direct flight


From Thailand: Thai Smile and Thai AirAsia offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Penang.

Bangkok to Penang is 1 hour 45 minutes, direct flight


From China: China Southern Airlines and Cathay Dragon offer the most convenient flights to Penang.

Guangzhou to Penang is 4 hrs, direct flight
Hong Kong to Penang is 3 hr 45 min, direct flight


Flight times to Singapore

The following are the most convenient international flights to Singapore.

From China: Singapore Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Spring Airlines and Cathay Pacific offer the most convenient flights to Singapore.

Beijing to Singapore is 6 hrs 15 min, direct flight
Shanghai to Singapore is 5 hrs 20 min, direct flight
Hong Kong to Singapore is 3 hrs 45 min, direct flight


From Australia: Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Scoot Tigerair offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Singapore.

Adelaide to Singapore is 7 hrs 30 min, direct flight
Brisbane to Singapore is 7 hrs 40 min, direct flight
Sydney to Singapore is 8 hrs 15 min, direct flight
Melbourne to Singapore is 7 hrs 40 min, direct flight
Perth to Singapore is 5 hrs 15 min, direct flight


From New Zealand: Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Singapore.

Auckland to Singapore is 10 hrs 45 min, direct flight


From United Arab Emirates: Etihad, Emirates and Singapore Airlines offer the most convenient flights to Singapore.

Abu Dhabi to Singapore is 8 hrs 5 min, direct flight
Dubai to Singapore is 7 hrs 30 min, direct flight


From United Kingdom: British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Qantas offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Singapore.

London to Singapore is 13 hrs 5 min, direct flight
Manchester to Singapore is 13 hrs, direct flight


From Ireland: Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, British Airways and KLM offers the most convenient flights to Singapore.

Dublin to Singapore is 15 hrs 20 min, connecting flightˆ


From France: Air France and Singapore Airlines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Singapore.

Paris to Singapore is 12 hrs 50 min, direct flight


From Germany: Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Scoot Tigerair offer the most convenient flights to Singapore.

Berlin to Singapore is 12 hrs 20 min, direct flight
Dusseldorf to Singapore is 12 hrs 25 min, direct flight
Frankfurt to Singapore is 12 hrs 20 min, direct flight
Munich to Singapore is 11 hrs 50 min, direct flight

Hamburg to Singapore is 14 hrs 15 min, connecting flightˆ


From United States: United Airlines, Delta, Korean Air, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Singapore.

Los Angeles to Singapore is 17 hrs, direct flight
San Francisco to Singapore is 16 hrs 20 min, direct flight
Seattle to Singapore is 15 hrs 45 min, direct flight

Atlanta to Singapore is 22 hrs 38 min, connecting flightˆ
Boston to Singapore is 20 hrs 45 min, connecting flightˆ
Chicago to Singapore is 20 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ
Dallas-Fort Worth to Singapore is 21 hrs 45 mins, connecting flightˆ
New York to Singapore is 21 hrs 10 min, connecting flightˆ


From Canada: Air Canada, Air Transit, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air offer the most convenient scheduled flights to Singapore.

Toronto to Singapore is 20 hrs 40 min, connecting flightˆ
Montreal to Singapore is 20 hrs 50 min, connecting flightˆ
Vancouver to Singapore is 18 hrs, connecting flightˆ

(ˆincludes transfer time.)


Flying in

Penang International Airport (PEN) is located at the southeast tip of Penang Island, around 16km (10mi) south of the city centre.


Public transport

Taxi: Taxis are inexpensive and reliable, with fixed prices for specific destinations. The trip from Penang International Airport to George Town costs around RM40; with a 50% surcharge from midnight until 0600.

Passengers need to buy a voucher at the taxi counter in the terminal building and then present the voucher at the taxi rank where they will be assigned a taxi.

Shuttle: Hotels can meet guests by prior arrangement.

Bus: Buses operated by Rapid Penang (tel: +604 238 1212; www.rapidpg.com.my) are frequent and extensive, covering almost every destination in Penang.

Bus numbers 401, 401A and 401E all connect the airport to the capital George Town in the north of the state as well as Komtar and the jetty, where ferries are available to Butterworth on the mainland.

Journey time to George Town is around 50 minutes, with the fare around RM2.70.


Car rental

Car hire companies at Penang International Airport include Avis, Hertz, Europcar and Auto Europe, along with a number of local agencies.


Terminal facilities

Money: A bank, ATMs and a foreign exchange service are available.

Food: Restaurants, fast food outlets, and cafes offering both local and international food are located in the terminal building.

Shopping: There are a number of duty-free shops at Penang International Airport, as well as a gift shop and several newsagents.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi internet access is available, and there is a charging station in both the international and domestic departures. Postal services are offered in one of the shops in the terminal building.

Other: A VIP lounge and a business centre with a fax machine, Wi-Fi and telephones are located in the terminal building. A first aid service is available in the terminal building.

A children’s playground is located at domestic departure, and a baby care room is situated on level 2 of the Public Concourse.

A Muslim prayer room and a smoking lounge are available in both departure terminals.


Disabled facilities

Accessibility is good and there are toilets for wheelchair users, lifts up to the departure area on the first floor, and reserved parking spaces in the car parks.


Entry requirements

A passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay, a return/onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days.


Getting around Penang

The historic and cultural sights of George Town are best appreciated on foot or bicycle. Taxis and trishaws are plentiful – just remember to bargain hard before setting off.

Around the island, buses provide a frequent scheduled service between the beach resorts at Batu Feringgi and George Town and provide an inexpensive way of getting around the island.

Car and motorcycles are available for hire, and are perfect for exploring the island – Penang is not that big, and you can see more than 50 per cent of the island in a day.

More information about how to get around Penang Island


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More about Penang…


Latest update: How to get to Penang Island: 3 June, 2020


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