Things to Do in Penang Hill: A Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

Penang Hill is a hill station located on Penang Island and is a popular tourist destination due to its panoramic views, flora, and fauna. The hill is rich in history and has many attractions, including the Habitat, Sri Aruloli Thirumurugan Temple, Penang Hill Gallery, and Penang Hill Mosque.


One of the best things to do in Penang Hill is to ride on the funicular train, which offers a scenic journey from the lower station at Air Itam to the upper station. Visitors can also explore the hill by hiking on one of the many hiking trails available. The hill has several bungalows and homestays, making it an ideal location for a hillside retreat. Visitors can also enjoy the food court, coffee shops, and restaurants available on the hill.

Getting to Penang Hill

To reach Penang Hill, visitors have a few transportation options available. This section will outline the three most popular methods: Rapid Penang Bus, Penang Hill Train, and Jeep Service.

Rapid Penang Bus

Rapid Penang Bus Route 204 is a convenient and affordable way to get to Penang Hill. The bus shuttles from Weld Quay, the old Penang Ferry jetty, via Jalan Ria near KOMTAR, Air Hitam, and finally to the lower station of Penang Hill Funicular train. Visitors can purchase the bus ticket from the driver or use their Rapid Penang card. The bus runs daily from 6:00 am to 11:30 pm.

Penang Hill Train

The Penang Hill Funicular Train is the most popular and iconic way to visit Penang Hill. This Swiss-designed funicular runs on one of the oldest funicular systems in the world, and will take visitors to the top past lush greenery. The train departs from the lower station at Air Itam and takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the top. Visitors can purchase tickets at the station or online. “fast lane” tickets are also available for those who want to skip the long queues. In addition, visitors can upgrade their regular ticket to a fast lane ticket for an additional fee.

Jeep Service

For those who prefer a more adventurous ride, a jeep service is available. Visitors can hire a jeep at the entrance of Penang Hill and enjoy a bumpy ride up the hill. The jeep service is perfect for those exploring the hill’s hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations.

In conclusion, visitors have several options for getting to Penang Hill, and each method has advantages and disadvantages. Regardless of the transportation method, visitors will surely enjoy the stunning views and attractions that Penang Hill offers.

Things to Do on Penang Hill

Hiking Trails

Penang Hill offers a variety of hiking trails for nature enthusiasts. The trails range from easy to difficult, offering stunning views of the surrounding flora and fauna. Some popular hiking trails include Bukit Bendera Trail, Moongate Trail, and the Western Hill Trail.

The Habitat

The Habitat is a must-visit attraction on Penang Hill, a nature reserve that offers a unique opportunity to explore the rainforest canopy via a treetop walk. The Habitat also has a variety of flora and fauna, including over 100 species of birds.

Kek Lok Si

Kek Lok Si is a famous Buddhist temple located on Penang Hill. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia and is known for its impressive architecture and beautiful gardens. Visitors can explore the temple grounds, including a seven-tiered pagoda, a statue of the Goddess of Mercy statue, and a turtle pond.

Penang Botanic Gardens

The Penang Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to visit on Penang Hill. It is home to various plants and trees, including rare and endangered species. Visitors can stroll along the garden’s many paths and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Convalescent Bungalow

The Convalescent Bungalow is a historic building on Penang Hill that was once used as a hospital for British soldiers. Today, it has been restored and converted into a museum showcasing Penang Hill’s history. Visitors can learn about the bungalow’s history and enjoy the panoramic views from its balcony.

Curtis Crest Treetop Walk

The Curtis Crest Treetop Walk is another popular attraction on Penang Hill. It is a suspension bridge offering a unique rainforest canopy view. Visitors can walk across the bridge and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Other Penang Hill Attractions

Penang Hill has many other attractions, including the Penang Hill Railway, the Owl Museum, and the Toy Museum. Visitors can ride on the railway to the summit of Penang Hill, explore the Owl Museum’s collection of owl-themed items, or visit the Toy Museum to see a collection of toys from around the world.

Food on Penang Hill

Concerning food, Penang Hill has plenty of options to satisfy anyone’s appetite. From local favorites to Western delights, there’s something for everyone. Here are two popular places to grab a bite on Penang Hill:

Kopi Hutan

Kopi Hutan, located near the top of Penang Hill, is a must-visit spot for coffee lovers. The café offers a variety of coffee drinks made from locally sourced beans. Visitors can enjoy their coffee while taking in the stunning views of Penang Island. The café serves light snacks like sandwiches and pastries, perfect for a quick bite.

Food Court

Fried Penang Char Kuey Teow

For those looking for a more substantial meal, the food court at Astaka Bukit Bendera is the place to go. The three-story food court offers a wide range of local delicacies like asam laksa and char kuey teow and Western favorites like pizza and sandwiches. The food court also has a variety of souvenir and drinks stalls.

Tips for Visiting Penang Hill

Visiting Penang Hill is a must-do activity when in Penang. Here are some tips to make the most of your visit:

Best Things to Do

There are plenty of things to do on Penang Hill, including taking in the stunning views, visiting the various attractions, and enjoying the cooler temperatures. Some of the best things to do include:

  • Taking a ride on the Penang Hill Funicular Train
  • Visiting the Owl Museum
  • Exploring the Botanic Gardens
  • Hiking to Monkey Cup Garden
  • Enjoying the panoramic view from the Sky Walk

Children and Adults

Penang Hill is suitable for visitors of all ages. Children will love the train ride and the various attractions, while adults will appreciate the stunning views and the cooler temperatures. However, visitors with mobility issues may find it challenging to navigate the hilly terrain.

Non-Malaysian Visitors

Non-Malaysian visitors will need to purchase a permit to visit Penang Hill. The permit can be purchased at the ticket counter before boarding the train. It is recommended to bring your passport or a copy of your passport for identification purposes.