Once the sun sets, the historical gems and tropical beaches of Penang remain as stunning as ever. Adding to its charm is the unique mixture of cultures, namely Asian and European. In order to help you out, we have made a list of the top ten things to do in the island state at night. Unleash the nocturnal adventurer in you and explore the booming nightlife of Penang.
1. Batu Ferringhi shopping spree
Batu Ferringhi is popular not only for its beachfront location, but also for its vibrant night market. At 7:00pm, numerous stalls take over the street and locals and tourists start flocking in to do some shopping. Prices range from 1 to 5 USD, and you can use your skills in bargaining to get cheaper rates. The stores offer different kinds of items such as CDs, DVDs, artworks, clothes, bags, shoes, and souvenirs. Shop till you drop or just walk around and enjoy the night market’s lively surroundings up to 12:00am.
Batu Ferringhi Night Market
Address: Jalan Pantai Batu, Taman Pantai Batu, 11200 Tanjong Bungah, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 7:00pm to 12:00am
Contact: +60 18-283 4117
Penang National Park is home to over a thousand hectares of forests and wetlands, and you can explore these natural treasures on a boat. Starting at 5:00am, the cruise will give you an up-close look at the diverse greenery and wildlife of the park. There is still enough natural light, thus making way for many photo opportunities. On the way back, get ready to be enthralled by the sunset view. The cruise requires a minimum of two people and a maximum of ten.
Sunset Cruise at Penang National Park
Address: Pejabat Taman Negara P. Pinang, Jalan Hassan Abbas, Balik Pulau, Pulau Pinang, 11050 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Price: from 11 USD (Monkey Island); 22 USD (around the peninsular and turtle sanctuary)
Opening Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Duration: around 3 hours required.
Contact: +604 8813500
Website: Penang National Park
You can also get on a 4-hour Monkey Beach trip that lets you spot the native wildlife in Penang National Park.
Half-Day Beach Break to Monkey Beach from Penang Including BBQ Lunch
Duration: Approximately 4 hours
Price: From 59.80 USD
3. Take a tour of Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok Si Temple is beautifully-lit at night, and local devotees drop by to say their prayers. Also known as the Temple of Supreme Bliss, the ten-acre establishment’s most popular attraction is the Pagoda of Rama VI. It’s where you will see over 10,000 Buddha statues made from alabaster and bronze. The sculptures serve as a symbol of harmony between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. There’s also the 99-foot-tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. Other highlights include the gardens, turtle and fish ponds, and the sky lift, which will take you to the highest part of Kek Lok Si. Admission to the temple is free, but you need to pay 0.45 USD to enter the pagoda and the sky lift.
Kek Lok Si Temple
Address: 1000-L, Tingkat Lembah Ria 1, 11500 Ayer Itam, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Price: Free, but 0.45 USD for the sky lift and pagoda
Opening Hours: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Contact: +60 19-750 2139
Website: Kek Lok Si Temple
4. Try the finest street food dishes at Gurney Drive
A Penang nightlife experience won’t be complete without a food trip. After all, the island state is also dubbed as Malaysia’s food paradise. Gurney Drive, which is located in the historical George Town, is filled up with hawker stalls at night. These stalls sell the finest street dishes in town, all of which are served under the colorful tents. The presentation of the delicacies may not be a priority, but the taste and freshness will surely make up for it. Have a taste of flat rice noodles, pork and ginger chicken, Penang curry mee, Malay fried rice, and many more.
Gurney Drive Hawker Center
Address: 172, Solok Gurney 1, Pulau Tikus, 10250 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 6:00pm to 12:00am
Contact: +60 16-497 3907
5. Dine at Ferringhi Garden
If you prefer a calmer vibe while dining, then Ferrignhi Garden is for you. The restaurant is renowned for its garden setting and its wide selection of barbeque, steak, and seafood dishes. Inside, you will surely enjoy not only your meal, but the Mediterranean features of the area as well. Outside, oil lamps and lush scenery provide a romantic feel, which makes it a perfect spot for dates. Both areas are filled with blooming flowers, giving visitors a feeling of bliss. It’s open from 5:00pm to 12:00am.
Address: 34-A/B/C, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang Pulau Pinang
Opening Hours: 5:00pm to 12:00am
Contact: +60 4-881 1193
Website: Ferringhi Garden
6. Chill out at Three Sixty Revolving Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
The 17th-floor of Bayview Hotel Georgetown is home to one of Penang’s most premiere nightlife spots. Three Sixty is divided into two levels; the first one is the restaurant, while the second one is the rooftop bar. The restaurant slowly moves 360 degrees every hour, giving you a view of the beaches and colonial buildings. When you head to the second level, you can get a table or sit at the bar and have a glass of beer, whiskey, or a cocktail. Let the bright night lights of Penang astound you while you enjoy your beverage.
Three Sixty Revolving Restaurant and Rooftop Bar
Address: Bayview Hotel Georgetown, 25A Farquhar Street, George Town, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 4:00pm to 2:00am
Contact: 604-2613540 (call after 3:00pm)
7. Have drinks at The Soho Free House
Drink beers and relive the British period at Soho Free House in Georgetown. The colonial-style pub serves the best Belgian, German, and French beers and is often visited by friendly expats. If you’re not much of a drinker, the food selection is worth trying out here. Some of the most popular dishes include pastas, seafood, and burgers, particularly the chicken burger. On the second floor, you can challenge your friends on one of the pool tables. To keep up with its nostalgic theme, the music consists mostly of hits from the 80’s. It’s the best spot not just for drinking and eating, but also for socializing and reminiscing.
Soho Free House
Address: 50, Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 3:00am
Contact: +60 4-263 3331
Website: Soho Free House
8. Watch bands play good music at China House
The Canteen at Chinahouse hosts events featuring the most talented local musicians. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, the band lineups consist solely of upcoming independent artists. Watching these shows is your opportunity to fully support the impressive music scene. Treat yourself to a cocktail, glass of wine, or fruit juice while the performers serenade you with their originals and covers. Fans of the 70’s will also appreciate the venue’s retro design.
The Canteen at Chinahouse
Address: 183b Lebuh Victoria, George Town, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 6:00pm to 12:00am
Contact: +60 4-263 7299
Website: The Canteen at Chinahouse
9. Dance the night away at Soju Room
A night of absolute partying is what Soju Room offers. Located in Penang Time Square’s basement, this club has neon lights, comfy sofas, a wide dance floor, and a futuristic-looking circular stage. The DJs will make you dance with their mix of electro, house, and hip-hop songs. You might even catch a few bands playing classic rock, alternative, and heavy metal. For the drinks, imported beers and alcoholic beverages are available at the huge bar.
Address: B2, Entertainment City, Penang Times Square, Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9:00pm to 3:00am
Contact: +60 12-556 5876
Website: Soju Room
10. Unwind at Javana Lounge
The lounge is already open at 11:00am, but it gets more exciting at sunset. Javana Lounge is on the ground floor of Parkroyal Penang Resort, and its furniture and decorations have a Balinese touch. Their famous drinks include Mojito, Long Island Iced Tea, and Wild Orchid. Light snacks are also available to accompany your tasty beverage. If you love music, the live band will make your evening complete. It’s the ideal after-dinner place.
Address: Batu Ferringhi Park Royal Penang Resort, Jalan Bayu Senja, Batu Ferringhi, Penang, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm (Sunday to Thursday); 11:00am to 1:00am (Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays)
Contact: +604 881 1133 (Ext: 8213)
Website: Javana Lounge
At night, this mellow restaurant and bar turns into a hive of activity. The main attraction is the live music, and the cover bands are excellent. Often, you will even find international stars belting out their numbers in the venue. It’s right next door to the Hard Rock Hotel and the decor, like the hotel, hosts many music collectibles.
Your menu is full to the brim with American-style food like onion rings and burgers that are served in generous portions. The apple cobbler is recommended for dessert and it’s a magical combination of pie crust, walnuts, and caramel sauce.
Hard Rock Cafe Penang
Address: Batu Ferringhi Beach Penang, Malaysia
Website: Hard Rock Cafe Penang
12. Experience fine dining at the Indigo Restaurant in The Blue Mansion
The Blue Mansion in Georgetown is an example of beautiful architecture and it’s worth exploring a bit. Inside, you will find the Indigo Restaurant, known for fine dining. It stays open until 10:00 pm, so it’s a great place to dine while exploring the nightlife of the Penang. Downstairs, there’s a cocktail bar where you can relax.
The menu is mainly French and European. The food is well presented and delicious. A favorite is a lamb rack served with crispy veg and scalloped potatoes. The asparagus soup is highly recommended. The high-class restaurant in Penang comes with impeccable waiter service.
Indigo Restaurant in The Blue Mansion
Address: 14 Lebuh Leith | 14 Leith Street, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia
The night is young
With an atmosphere as energetic as Kuala Lumpur, Penang promises no dull moments. Feel the good vibes rise as you discover the state’s nightlife. Along the way, get a deeper understanding of the rich culture and make new friends. See you there!