Georgetown Landmarks and Monuments

(Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia)

Visible from all over Georgetown, Penang Hill, just 6 km / 4 miles away, is the city's main landmark. There are also a number of magnificent temples whose stupas crown the city's skyline. The best panoramas of the city and the entire island can be enjoyed from the viewing platform at the 65-storey Komtar Tower.

Views across the strait from the old fort, especially at sunset, are well worth the effort of a little planning, so that you arrive at the right time. The Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower is another Georgetown landmark of great significance, as is the Kapitan Keling Mosque (Masjid Kapitan Keling), the Sri Mariamman Temple, the State Assembly Building (Dewan Undangan Negeri) and the Supreme Court, amongst many others.

Komtar Tower / Menara Komtar Complex

Address: Jalan Penang, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 04 262 2222
Although a classic tourist trap, the 360-degree view from the 60th floor of this high-rise justifies at least one visit, as not just the city but the whole island, the strait and the mainland are at your feet. Completed in 1986 and measuring in at just over 230 metres / 755 feet, the tower is actually the tallest landmark in the whole of Penang, and is currently the sixth-tallest in Malaysia. The views are the only reason to pay a visit to the Komtar Tower, and both the halal restaurant and souvenir shop are really best ignored.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 21:00
Admission: charge

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower

Address: Light Street / Beach Street / King Edward's Place, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
Nothing short of a Penang icon, the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower was commissioned by a millionaire Chinese resident to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and stands at 18 metres / 60 feet in height, with each foot representing a year of the British queen's reign. The Clock Tower is to be found on the south-easterly side of Fort Cornwallis and is bright white in colour, being crowned by a Moorish-style dome.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Kapitan Keling Mosque (Masjid Kapitan Keling)

Address: Lebuh Chulia / Jalan Buckingham / Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 04 252 0202
Built in 1801 by the early Indian Muslim community, the Kapitan Keling Mosque was Penang's first mosque and is the oldest and largest still standing in the city, being constructed to serve the Indian Muslim community. Its Moghul-style copper domes and tall tower minaret combine to enhance the city skyline, looking at their most attractive when the sun is setting.
Open hours: entry by permission of the mosque's officials
Admission: free

Further Mosques (State Mosque and the Acheen Street Mosque)

Address: Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
A number of additional mosques reside in the city and hold much interest to visiting sightseers. The State Mosque (Masjid Negeri) is a particularly noteworthy landmark and resides within the Air Itam area of the city, just over 1 km / 0.5 miles to the west. This is Penang's largest mosque, boasting a minaret towering approximately 50 metres / 164 feet high. Close to the Khoo Kongsi Clan House, the early 19th-century Acheen Street Mosque (Masjid Lebuh Acheh) dominates the Lebuh Acheh with its unusual Egyptian-style minaret. Today, entrance of this particular mosque is restricted to Muslims only.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Sri Mariamman Temple

Address: Lebuh Pasae / Lebuh Chiulia, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
This multi-coloured Hindu temple is the oldest such landmark in Penang, being built in the early 19th century in the distinctive southern Indian Dravidian style. Highly intricate carvings cover the painted structure and inside is an image of Lord Subramaniam encrusted with gold, silver, emeralds and diamonds. The tall stupa of the Arulmigu Sri Mahamariamman Temple is clearly visible from across the city. Each year at the end of January or the early part of February, the Thaipusam parade starts from here.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 12:00, 16:00 to 21:00
Admission: free

Kuan Yin Teng Temple

Address: Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling / Lebuh Pitt, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 04 261 6663
This lovely early 19th-century Buddhist temple is dedicated to Kuan Yin Teng (Kwan Yin Teng), the Goddess of Mercy, and is the oldest Buddhist temple on the island. Built by early Chinese immigrants, the Kuan Yin Teng Temple is also dedicated to Ma Chor Po, the sea god, in thanks for the immigrants safe arrival by sea from China. Although the temple is not especially large or eye-catching, it remains extremely popular with the city's resident Chinese community. There are always worshippers here and incense sticks will likely be burning when you arrive.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Address: Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
The Tua Pek Kong Temple is a splendid and highly coloured structure, being recently renovated and painted in a mixture of red, gold and black. Over the years, the temple has rather confusingly gone by a number of different names, such as the Hock Teik Cheng Sin, the Hokkien Kongsi and the Tong Kheng Seah, when the building served as the headquarters for different Chinese secret societies.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Hainan Temple

Address: Lebuh Muntri, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
The Hainan Temple was completed at the very end of the 19th century, being built to honor the Chinese patron saint of seafarers, Mar Chor. There are a number of interesting features here, although it is the spacious stone courtyard that generally holds the most appeal, with its highly detailed carved pillars, strong oriental character and endless paper lanterns, appearing as if it could be a set for the one of the Karate Kid movies.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Khoo Kongsi Clan House and Temple

Address: 18 Cannon Square, Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 04 261 4609
Founders of the Hokkien community in Penang and Georgetown, the Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi are one of the most respected Chinese lineages in Malaysia. This stunning building is the centre of activities for the clan, and is a true gem of magnificently decorated Chinese architecture and culture. The Khoo Kongsi Clan House (advertised as the 'Heritage Jewel of Penang') is richly decorated with elaborate stone carvings, painted murals and statues of oriental dragons, fish and lions.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 19:00
Admission: free

Penang Chinese Shophouses

Address: Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
Everywhere in the old city are rows of traditional Chinese shophouses, built mostly in the 19th century by the ancestors of the present-day Chinese community, the largest ethnic group on the island. These iconic everyday buildings are protected from redevelopment, remaining as important monuments to the cultural and economic development of the city.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Chayamanghalaram)

Address: Georgetown, Malaysia, MY
This glorious Thai Buddhist temple serves the visiting and resident Thai community in Penang. The Wat Chayamanghalaram is also a landmark structure for Thai Buddhism, due to its massive gilded image of the reclining Buddha, which is actually the third-biggest in the world. The Buddha statue is some 33 metres / 108 feet in length and is dressed in a gold-leaf robe. The large stone dragons at the entrance and exit doorways provide further ornamentation.
Open hours: daily - 07:00 to 17:30
Admission: free

More information about Penang landmarks.