Getting Around, Georgetown Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia)

Transportation on Penang Island is reasonably efficient, with bus services in the city of Georgetown and around the island's perimeter, as well as trishaws and taxis. Penang International Airport is close by and provides routes across South-East Asia to international air travel hubs, as well as to domestic destinations throughout Malaysia.

Although there is no train transport on Penang, there are ferries which travel from the mainland, and car hire is easily arranged both at the airport and in the city, for those who want to self-drive. Tourists in Georgetown may also like to consider renting a bicycle or motorbike, with competitive daily rates being offered.

Penang International Airport (PEN) / Arriving by Air

Address: Beyan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 04 643 0411
Penang International Airport lies some 16 km / 10 miles to the south of Georgetown and is the main airport for the north of Malaysia. A medium-sized facility, Penang Airport serves flights in and around South-East Asia and to international hubs, and handles up to four million passenger throughputs a year. The single terminal facilities are basic and serve as a hub for two low-cost airlines, Air Asia and Firefly. The usual facilities are on offer here, including eateries, ATMs and city information, and transportation to the city along the expressway is by shuttle bus, local bus or taxi. The Yellow Bus number 83 is especially popular and drops-off at Pengkalan Weld and Komtar, as well as at Lebuh Chulia.

Car Rental

Car rental in Penang International Airport is easy to arrange, either in advance online or on arrival. Particularly convenient in the city itself is the Hertz rental outlet on Lebuh Farquhar. A number of reliable international companies have car hire desks on the concourse and travel between the airport and Georgetown is fast and easy via the Jelutong Expressway.

Driving around Penang is a convenient way to travel, with a lengthy road bridge (some 13.5 km / 8.5 miles long) connecting nearby Seberang Perai, on the Malay Peninsula. A one-way toll is payable when you arrive on the mainland.

Buses and Coaches

Public bus transportation in Georgetown is provided by Rapid Penang, with air-conditioned buses operating from the company's hub at Komtar. Rapid Penang operates a free daily service around town for commuters and tourists. A bus also travels right around the island, along the scenic coast road, with more than 30 different routes available. Popular attractions and destinations linked by local buses include Butterworth, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Hill, Kek Lok Si, the Sanke Temple and Teluk Bahang.

Express bus transport from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Johor Bahru arrives at the Sungai Nibong Bus Station on Victoria Street, and buses leave from here to reach Thailand, Singapore and Hat Yai. Apart from buses, Georgetown has an efficient trishaw service covering the city and its suburbs.


Taxis are available in Georgetown, but tourists need to take care, as many drivers do not go by the law as regards fares and may try to cheat foreigners. It is essential to agree a fare before your journey begins. Taxis can be hired for three hours or more at a fixed rate per hour for journeys away from the city, but again, care should be taken that the going rate is charged.

Boats and Ferries

Ferries arrive regularly from Butterworth and other mainland cities at the Weld Quay terminal, to the east of downtown. Ferry services also travel between Penang and Langkawi, and to Medan on Sumatra. On these two routes, booking in advance is advisable. A 24-hour ferry service sails to and from Seberang Perai, meaning that the mainland is easy to reach, day and night.

More information about Penang transport.