Getting Around, Penang Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Penang, Federal Territory, Malaysia)

Picture of Georgetown street and trafficWith so many attractions spread all over Penang, using some form of transportation to travel around the island is a must. Fortunately Penang has a fine public transport system - most buses on the island are air conditioned - and there is an abundance of taxis that can be easily hailed.

If you're planning to do a lot of travelling while visiting Penang, car rental is a useful transport option. Your own set of wheels allows you the freedom of setting your own timetables and is the most convenient way to travel around, with Penang Bridge conveniently connecting Seberang Prai on the mainland Malay Peninsula. You can also hire a bicycle if you don't plan on covering a lot of ground.

Picture of the Penang International Airport (PEN)

Penang International Airport (PEN) / Arriving by Air

Address: Malaysia Airport Sdn Bhd, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 4643 4411
Penang International Airport can be found in the south of the island in Bayan Lepas, 15 km / 9 miles to the south of Georgetown. This mid-sized facility handles flights to destinations outside of Malaysia, such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Riau, Taipei and Medan. Penang Airport is the gateway to northern Malaysia, handling more than three million passengers each year. Over 20 daily flights link Penang with Kuala Lumpur. Travel options for getting to your chosen destination include airport shuttle, public bus transport, taxis and limousines. The island's Yellow Bus Company runs an hourly service from the airport to Pengkalan Weld from early morning through late evening. Regular taxis offer fixed-price services to a variety of destinations around the island, while air-conditioned taxis and limousines are also available, at higher rates.

Additional Georgetown image

Car Rental

Most major car hire agencies have offices on Penang and at the airport, with visitors recommended to book online before arriving here, to ensure they get the vehicle of their choice. Driving around the island is a relatively easy affair thanks to well-posted signs on most main roads. For drivers who have rented a car in Kuala Lumpur, there is an excellent north-south highway that heads to Penang, with the drive taking approximately four hours.

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Local traffic view

Buses, Coaches, Trams and Trolley

Penang's comprehensive public transportation system comprises electric trams, trolleys and double-decker buses. A vast network of routes stretches through the streets of Georgetown and other key points over the island. In fact, the entire public bus system was recently overhauled to improve services on 38 routes around the island and mainland. Penang has two main bus terminals that service longer-distance routes heading or arriving from the mainland, one at the Wellesley ferry terminal and a newer bus terminal at Sungai Nibong.


With the exception of the Penang Hill railway - a funicular that makes the climb to the top of historic Penang Hill - Penang does not have a train line. However, it is possible to travel by train from almost anywhere in Malaysia and Thailand to the town of Butterworth on the mainland, and then catch a taxi or a ferry to cross to Penang itself.

Picture of local island roundabout


Penang has an abundance of taxis, making them a reliable and easy way to get around the island. Drivers are required by law to use meters, however, many ignore this law. Travellers are advised to make sure their driver is willing to turn on the meter or agree on a fare before they get in the car.