Where to Stay in Georgetown, Penang (Malaysia)

Georgetown is the capital of Penang Island and Penang Region in Malaysia. It is located in the north-eastern corner of the island. The centre of Georgetown is a well preserved colonial town with many monuments and relics. This page provides an overview of the main parts of Georgetown and advice on where to stay in Georgetown.

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Here you can see more information about where to stay in Penang (the whole island).

Basic Orientation in Georgetown

The centre of Georgetown is not that large and you can usually walk from one end to the other in less than 20 minutes (of course there are vast suburbs away from the centre, but most of them offer no tourist infrastructure). The main points of orientation in the city are:

  • The historical centre around Fort Cornwallis, located at the northeastern tip of the coast.
  • East coast and port (south of the fort).
  • North coast, running from the fort to the north-west. This is the best looking area and has the highest concentration of hotels.
  • KOMTAR (details below), located away from the coast.

Where to Stay in Georgetown (Best Areas)

KOMTAR Skyscraper (short for Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak) is visible from most places around Georgetown and the whole Penang. It is 232 metres tall and at time of its completion in 1988 it was the highest building in Asia. To many people (locals and tourists alike) it is the centre of the city, because the bus station and a big shopping centre are located here (the shopping centre is really huge – I got lost multiple times). Staying near KOMTAR is a good idea if you want convenience (for shopping and transportation). It is about 10 minutes walk from the coast (to either north or east) and less than 15 minutes walk from any key area in Georgetown.

The north coast and the streets between the north coast and KOMTAR are the most popular places to stay in Georgetown – probably the nicest and with the highest number of hotels. Popular “hotel streets” are especially Jalan Muntri and Lebuh Chulia, both about halfway between KOMTAR and the coast. But there are hotels in almost every little street in this part of the city.

Georgetown/Penang Port is located on the eastern part of the coast, facing the mainland. You can take a ferry to Butterworth from here. Georgetown Port is also a popular stop for cruise ships. There are several classical hotels facing the port, although the density of hotels is considerably lower than in the north.

For other parts of Penang outside Georgetown, see where to stay in Penang.