Fun & Free Things To Do In Penang

Fun isn’t always free, but free is always fun
By: Iffah Salleh
February 20, 2024

Visiting Penang is always a good choice, offering not only great food but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in its rich heritage and culture. You might also want to experience the bustling traffic, which never fails to amuse (and scare) every tourist. 

From the moment you arrive in this vibrant state, you’ll find yourself on an adventure. But you know what’s even more enjoyable when you’re travelling? Finding free things to do, automatically makes the trip that much better since you won’t be breaking the bank.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best free activities you can enjoy while in Penang. Take a look, and consider adding them to your itinerary for your next trip, which might be sooner than you think!


Rapid Bus Service

Explore Penang affordably with the Rapid Penang bus service. Fares begin as low as RM1, making it a budget-friendly option for getting around the island. For convenience, consider purchasing a Rapid Passport, offering unlimited bus travel for 7 days at RM30. Plan your routes and view schedules on the Rapid Penang website here

Scooter Rentals

For greater flexibility in exploring Penang, especially if you are visiting the island, consider renting a scooter. Prices range from RM35 to RM60 per day, offering a convenient and economical way to navigate Penang’s streets.

Penang Hop-On Hop-Off Bus

Experience the sights and sounds of Penang aboard the iconic double-decker Hop-On Hop-Off buses. Choose from two tour options: Sightseeing Tours and Sunset Tours. Prices start at RM115 for adults and RM50 for children (12 years old and below). For pick-up points, online ticket purchases, routes, and more visit the Penang Hop-On Hop-Off Bus website.


When discussing accommodation options for travel, we recommend using There are several reasons for this recommendation, including the fact that the price displayed typically includes all fees and taxes, which you pay upon arrival at your hotel. However, don’t feel restricted by our suggestion; there are numerous booking apps available, such as Trivago and Expedia. The most important thing is to plan your trip carefully to minimise any potential issues, especially if you’re travelling during peak seasons, such as public holidays or school breaks.

Free Things To Do In Penang

1. Penang Street Art Trail

Penang’s Street Art Trail has emerged as a prominent attraction, captivating tourists with its vibrant and captivating displays. The artworks, a relatively recent addition to Penang’s cultural landscape, offer a unique and quintessentially Penang experience. Visitors can explore numerous street art trails, including the renowned murals by Ernest Zacharevic and the intriguing “Marking Georgetown” series, featuring metal sculptures that vividly depict Penang’s rich history through whimsical illustrations and factual narratives. 

For more information and access to street art maps, visit Penang’s Must-See Street Art. Additionally, trail maps can be downloaded from the Street Art Brochure here, or visitors can explore the interactive Google Map of Penang Street Art and trails for an immersive experience.

Address316, Beach St, Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang
Operating Hours24 Hours
Contact DetailsNA

2. Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang)

Penang National Park, also known as Taman Negara Pulau Pinang, may hold the title of the world’s smallest national park, but its offerings are anything but diminutive. This natural gem boasts a turtle sanctuary, the unique Meromictic Lake where fresh and saltwater coexist without mixing, a picturesque swimming beach, and two primary hiking trails leading to Penang’s most pristine beaches. With ample free camping grounds and an array of attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Admission to the park is free, but visitors should come prepared with essentials such as good walking shoes, a picnic lunch, plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and a swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.

Penang Turtle Sanctuary

While exploring the park, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Penang Turtle Sanctuary, where you can learn about turtle conservation efforts and witness these fascinating creatures up close. Admission to the sanctuary is also free, and it is open daily from 10:00 to 16:30, with a brief closure for lunch between 13:00 and 14:00.

For further information about Penang’s National Park and its attractions, visit Travel Penang and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks websites here.

AddressPejabat Taman Negara P. Pinang jalan Hassan Abbas, 11050 George Town, Penang
Operating HoursDaily 8:00 to 17:00
Contact Details+604 881 3530

3. Enjoy the Nature at the Botanic Gardens

Enjoy the tranquillity of nature at the Botanic Gardens, where lush greenery and fragrant blooms await. Lose yourself in the enchanting scents of palms, orchids, black lilies, and cannonball trees as you meander through the verdant landscape. This sanctuary also features an informative mini jungle trail, offering insights into the rich biodiversity of the area.

It also offers a delightful setting for leisurely strolls, picnics, or invigorating morning jogs. Spend hours wandering through the diverse flora collections, observing playful monkeys, including long-tailed macaques and dusky leaf monkeys, along with black giant squirrels, birds, butterflies, and insects. Highlights include the Palm Collection, Pine Collection, Herb Garden, Fern Rockery, Cactus House, and Formal Garden.

Refuel with refreshments available at the Botanical Shop, and take advantage of facilities such as picnic areas, disabled access, jogging tracks, gazebos, and public toilets. 

For more information, visit the Penang Botanical Gardens webpage and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Address673A, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town
Operating HoursFor information please visit  More Penang
Contact Details+604 226 4401

4. Visit a Nutmeg ‘Factory’

If you are travelling, you can never be wrong not to visit some local enterprise, like making a visit to a quaint family-owned nutmeg factory nestled along a picturesque hilly-billy road between Penang National Park and Balik Pulau town. You will be welcomed by a delightful ice-cold nutmeg juice, setting the stage for a memorable tour. 

 Led by Emily, a fourth-generation nutmeg farmer, you’ll uncover the hidden treasures of nutmeg, from its aromatic spice to its soothing balm and revitalising tea. Explore the intricate process of nutmeg production as she shares captivating stories and insights into this versatile fruit. It is not only educational but also entirely complimentary, with the opportunity to indulge in free tastings of nutmeg-infused delights.

Delight your senses with samples of nutmeg juice, tea, pickled fruit, and dried treats, all available for purchase at pocket-friendly prices. From the fragrant orchards to the charming family-run shop, each moment promises to be a delightful discovery, leaving you with cherished memories and perhaps a few nutmeg goodies to take home.

Shop and produce prices:
Nutmeg Balm (for mozzie bites): RM 5.00
Natural Nutmeg Juice: RM8.00
100% Sugar-Free Nutmeg Tea: RM 22.00 

Address202-A Jalan Teluk Bahang, Balik Pulau, Penang
Operating HoursDaily: 9:00 to 18:00
Contact Details+6016 433 6303

5. Visit the Temples Around Penang

If you want some laid-back activities, we suggest you take on a spiritual journey through the scenic and peaceful temples that grace the streets of Penang. Whether you’re strolling through Georgetown’s historic centre or venturing out on a bike or bus, you’ll discover a treasure trove of sacred sites waiting to be explored. Here are some of the temples you should visit:

Snake Temple

One such gem is the renowned Snake Temple, an unconventional attraction that offers a truly unique experience. While the sight of green vipers may send shivers down your spine, rest assured they’ve been safely de-venomed for your peace of mind. If you’re feeling adventurous and ready to conquer your fears, entry is free, offering an opportunity for an unforgettable encounter.

Kek Lok Si Temple

For those seeking serenity and grandeur, the majestic Kek Lok Si Temple beckons with its awe-inspiring presence. As the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, Kek Lok Si is a testament to Penang’s rich cultural heritage. Marvel at the intricate Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas and the towering bronze statue of Kuan Yin, set amidst sprawling gardens and serene fish ponds.

Admission to the temple is free, allowing you to wander through its labyrinth of prayer halls and monasteries at your leisure. For a nominal fee, you can ascend to new heights aboard the sky lift and bask in panoramic views of this sacred sanctuary. 

Price: Pagoda: RM2 / Sky lift:RM3

6. Sightseeing at the Rope Walk Market (Lorong Kulit Flea Market)

Sightseeing is a must, and we recommend you explore Penang’s cultural landscape at the Rope Walk Market, also known as the Lorong Kulit Flea Market. Nestled along Lorong Kulit, this marketplace offers a blend of antiquity and modernity, where treasures from bygone eras mingle with contemporary curiosities. 

From intricately crafted antiques to quaint vintage pieces and eclectic second-hand finds, the market is a veritable trove of delights waiting to be discovered. Adjacent to the UNESCO Headquarters Building, the market embodies the essence of Penang’s diverse cultural heritage. Its bustling stalls and lively ambiance provide a captivating glimpse into the island’s rich history and bustling street life. As you meander through the maze of vendors, you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of goods, each with its own story to tell.

From traditional handicrafts to quirky collectibles, the market offers something for every taste and interest. Whether you’re seeking a cherished keepsake or a unique souvenir for a friend, you’re bound to find it amidst the market’s colourful array of offerings. And as the sun sets, the adjacent Lebuh Aceh Flea Market (Pasar Karat) comes to life, offering a lively extension of the day’s adventures.

Here, amidst the hustle and bustle of the bustling stalls, you’ll uncover the hidden gems and timeless treasures that make Penang a truly enchanting destination.

Address625 Jalan Dato Keramat Georgetown, 10460 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Operating HoursDaily: 7:30 to 13:00
Contact Details+6016 439 4913

7. Explore Georgetown

Georgetown’s varied assortment of sights and sounds offers a mesmerising blend of old-world charm and modern attractiveness, welcoming you on a memorable trip through Penang’s cultural history and down to memory lane. Each thoroughfare provides a unique peek into the island’s rich cultural legacy, enticing you on a journey of exploration

Little India

Little India, where the air is alive with the beautiful strains of Bollywood music and the heady aroma of sandalwood incense. Stroll down King and Queen Street, where colourful saris grab the eye’s attention and tantalising aromas appeal from streetside cafés. As you soak up the lively energy of this bustling neighbourhood, treat your palette to vegetarian Indian dishes.

Armenian Street

Explore  Armenian Street, where street art covers worn walls and Chinese lanterns flutter in the breeze. You’ll find a treasure trove of artisanal goods, small cafes, and souvenir shops, all of which offer a look into Penang’s rich cultural legacy. Immerse yourself in the brilliant colours and creative spirit of this artistic enclave, and discover the timeless beauty of ancient Georgetown.

Cannon Street

Cannon Street is a hidden gem known for its eccentric charm and offbeat allure. This tiny thoroughfare boasts a charming blend of old-world charm and artistic flair, with cosy cafes, intriguing art shops, and antique boutiques. Lose yourself in its twisting passageways, discovering unexpected treasures around every corner.

Chulia Street

Finally, head to Chulia Street, a busy road that serves as the throbbing core of Georgetown’s tourism district. Colonial, Indian, and Chinese influences combine to create a vivid tapestry of sights, sounds, and flavours. Explore this vibrant neighbourhood by indulging in affordable street cuisine, browsing local boutiques, or simply taking in the boisterous environment.

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