When In Penang, Experience The City Vibrant Nightlife With These Top Attractions

Keep an eye out for Penang's best nightlife activities and…
By: Aqilah Najwa Jamaluddin
September 22, 2023

I frequently hear first-time visitors commenting, “Penang‘s nightlife is dull, slow and there’s nothing exciting about it.” Well, we’re here to dispel the sceptics’ claims and confirm that they absolutely have no idea where to seek nightlife attractions around Penang Island. 

With its active nightlife scene and distinctive late-night hotspots, touring around Penang at night is just as interesting as it is during the day. This vibrant cluster of wonderful culinary and cultural pleasures is undoubtedly a location worth discovering and staying awake for. 

From flamboyantly lit-up parks to enigmatic underground pubs, here are Glitz‘s top nightlife attractions to experience while in Penang. Take our words – there will never be a boring moment on this island state

Penang’s Best Nightlife Attractions

1. Penang’s Night Markets

The real Malaysian nightlife adventure would be incomplete without a visit to the traditional pasar malam, and Penang has its fair share of popular night markets with a variety of stalls to visit. Night markets to visit include the Batu Ferringhi Night Market, the Farlim Night Market, and the Macallum Street Night Market. These are popular hangouts for locals, with a plethora of tents offering hot meals and a range of reasonably priced merchandise. These night markets are ideal for your after-dark spending requirements, with everything from inexpensive trinkets and beach attire to local treasures.

2. Penang’s Hawker Stalls

Credit: Penang Foodie

There is no better way to taste Penang’s delicacies than through its hawker booths. From busy food stalls to tiny street sellers, each serving of great cuisine offered by them is exceedingly inexpensive and certain to make you happy. Enjoy the offerings of the New Lane Hawker Centre and the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre

At night, Chulia Street is another must-visit destination for the greatest hawker cuisine. Likewise, those of you visiting Batu Ferringhi may dine at the Long Beach Food Court, which serves Malay, Chinese, and Indian food.

3. Penang’s Live Performances

Penang’s community art culture is thriving on both a domestic and global scale. You should certainly spend some time out during the night to watch the various sorts of exciting and interesting live acts, centring both classical and contemporary shows as well as visual arts. 

PenangPAC is the island’s live music venue, with an amazing lineup of live acts to keep you delighted. If you want to listen to live bands while eating with your mates, The Canteen at China House is a must-see for some of the greatest local music festivals. 

4. Penang’s Diners

A fantastic night in Penang isn’t perfect without a hearty meal. If hawker cuisine isn’t your thing, don’t worry, since Penang also has many gorgeous venues for an upscale dining experience. Enjoy a lovely garden supper at Ferringhi Garden, a restaurant known for its charming serene environment. 

The Indigo Restaurant is another one of our preferred places to eat. You may now enjoy an exceptional gourmet meal within the landmark historic building in addition to touring the gorgeous blue Cheong Fatt Tze home.

5. Penang’s Beach Bars

Penang has a plethora of pubs to fit any tourist’s taste, giving these establishments one of the primary features of the city’s vibrant nighttime scene. As an island province, there are lots of beach bars where you can bury your feet on the beach while sipping your drinks. 

At Batu Ferringhi, BoraBora is the ideal seaside resto bar to wine and dine. If you’re searching for a more refined atmosphere, we suggest Beach Blanket Babylon – an outdoor restaurant and bar housed in a stunning historic home, with a diverse drink menu and foreign culinary options.

6. Penang’s Hidden Bars

Go on a hunt for secret bars to spice up your bar-hopping experience. Penang’s secret bar scene understands how to keep visitors interested, with hazy places that transport you back to the Old China era and intimate locations that radiate mellow, laid-back feelings. 

Plunge into Chinese Old World design and style by visiting Magazine 63 and Manchu Bar, two secret pubs that brilliantly nail this exotic motif. Savour on creative and delicious drinks created by their professional bartenders. Another speakeasy with one of our favourite concealed doors is Out Of Nowhere.

7. Penang’s Cultural Sites

Credit: Penang Foodie

Penang is more than simply a destination for modern entertainment; it is also strongly anchored in history. The island is rich in cultural landmarks, particularly stunning chapels that draw enormous audiences to their entrance on a regular basis. When night falls, these temples illuminate and transform into sight to admire. 

The Kuan Yin Floating Temple, also known as Hean Boo Thean, is a lovely floating temple near Weld Quay’s famed quays. The reflection of the temple’s glittering spotlights on the lake’s surface creates an exquisite sight as it hovers above the sea. You should also pay a visit to the well-known Kek Lok Si Temple. During the yearly festival, this ornate wonder of a structure fills up during the night with a magnificent light show.

8. Penang’s Skyscrapers

Increase your Penang sightseeing by seeing the greatest panoramas of Georgetown at night. The pinnacle of the island’s icon, THE TOP Komtar, is one of the greatest sites to take in the brilliant city lights. Their Rainbow Skywalk is a moderate glass footbridge that gives breathtaking uninterrupted views of Georgetown from 68 storeys overhead, with transparent glass bottoms and ends. For another idea, you can also climb to Penang Hill for a more expansive and distant perspective of the city.

9. Penang’s Art at Night

Credit: Top Travel Sights

While you’ve seen Penang’s art during the day, some of it can look totally different under the stars. Moreover, there are also fewer people at night so you can take better pictures without a stranger photobombing every 10 seconds! Interacting with the street lights at night, some of the art can look different as well. Besides, it’s also cooler to walk around at night and discover art murals. No sweating in your photos or squinting your eyes because of the blinding sun! 

10. Penang’s Cafes

There are also plenty of cafes open at night in Penang if you don’t want to close out the night so early. A late-night coffee and some desserts are always a good idea! Many cafes open till late and serve a concoction of cocktails, coffees, mocktails and more. Some even feature live music for entertainment! Others serve a hefty meal alongside cakes and desserts if you’re hungry for supper. If you’re down for game night, some cafes even offer board games and classic games for you and your family to play while snacking on some finger food. 

11. Penang’s Zoomers

Want to get around Penang at night? Hop on an electric bike and zoom around Georgetown! This is a fun activity to do at night and even helps you get around fairly quickly. Zip through less crowded streets and look for hidden murals hiding in small alleys. These electric bikes charge per hour so you can decide when to give it up! But do keep in mind that you aren’t allowed to ride on the main roads so stick within Georgetown’s vicinity.

12. Penang’s Unique Views

Credit: TimeOut

After enjoying the views of Penang under the sun, Penang’s night view is a whole other experience. Buildings that seem ordinary during the day, light up to create a spectacle anyone can appreciate. The Hean Boo Thean Temple, known as the Shrine of the Goddess of Mercy is a stunning view you can’t miss. Enjoy the unique view from Tan Jetty or walk around to explore. The lights bounce off the water and create a gorgeous reflection too! 

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