MalaysiaPenang Free All Year Mostly Outdoor
Garden

Penang Botanic Gardens

A garden oasis offering a serene slice of Penang's natural habitat fused with imported plant species in meticulously landscaped gardens. Prominent features include Pinang palms (from which Penang island received its name), a cannonball tree with reddish brown fruit resembling rusty cannonballs, an orchid garden, fern house, cactus house, lily pond, Japanese garden, and herb garden. A quarry garden, amphitheater, and cascading waterfall are located in the neighboring grounds.

Located at the foot of Penang Hill, the 29-hectare gardens' moon gate provides an entrance for adventurous hikers to climb the hill on foot. Less vigorous exercise options include walking or running along the jogging track or joining a yoga or tai chi class under the shady trees. Just be careful to avoid a tribe of cheeky macaque monkeys in the aptly named 'monkey garden'. Other animal residents within the gardens include squirrels, butterflies, and a family of turtles residing in the lily pond.

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Price

Free

Time Spent

1-2hours

Fitness level: Easy

Hours

5am-8pm7 days

Look Around

Entrance gateEntrance gate
Beautiful manicured gardensBeautiful manicured gardens
Canonball treeCanonball tree
Lilly pondLilly pond
SignpostSignpost
Around Penang Botanical Gardens
Archway in Formal GardenArchway in Formal Garden
TramTram
Pathway through gardenPathway through garden
MillipedeMillipede
Walking through lush gardens near Lily PondWalking through lush gardens near Lily Pond
Exploring Penang Botanical Gardens via tram

Who Will Like Penang Botanic Gardens

Relaxation Guru

Read a book under a shady tree after taking a slow-paced tram tour around the gardens.

Nature Lover

Stroll around the gardens to fully appreciate the beauty of nature, including rare species like a 200-year-old rain tree. Don’t miss the lily pond, tropical rainforest, or monkey garden. Visit when the plant houses are open to also witness lush ferns, colorful orchids and spikey cacti.

Outdoor Trailblazer

Hike from the gardens’ moon gate to the peak of Penang Hill, which should take between 60 and 90 minutes (one way).

Recreational Athlete

Jog a few laps around the running track in the morning or evening when Penang’s humid weather is at its coolest.

Wellness Pursuer

Join an occasional restorative yoga or tai chi class on the main grassed area.

Photography Whiz

Set your tripod up near the quarry waterfall and lily pond or try to snap an action shot of a cheeky macaque monkey.

Fun Expert

Bring your family along for a picnic, just make sure your food is in sealable containers, for protection from the local monkey population.

Insider Tips For Penang Botanic Gardens

Ticket sales booth for tram
  • Plant houses (Fern House, Cactus & Succulent House, Orchidarium, and Bromeliad House) are open Tuesday & Thursday 9:30am-12:30pm and 2pm-4:30pm; Saturday & Sunday 9:30am-12:30pm and 2pm-6pm;
  • If you don't feel like walking in Penang's muggy heat, take a tram tour around the garden (RM10 (USD$2.38) per adult and RM3 (USD$0.71) per child) and learn the history of iconic plants like the cannonball tree and rain tree.
  • A small café and gift shop is located near the entrance selling drinks, snacks, souvenirs, and seedlings.
  • Visit in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat.
  • Don't feed or touch the monkeys. If you do, you could be fined up to RM500 (USD$119.03).
  • 4WD rides to the top of Penang Hill along a 5.1km track can be purchased by the moon gate. Round-trip price is RM160 (USD$38.09) per car (up to 4 people).

Video

Where Is It

Kompleks Pentadbiran,Bangunan Pavilion, Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Open map...

How To Get There

Car

Large carpark near main entrance with ample parking.

Free

Driving directions... Walking directions from car...

Bus (Rapid Penang Bus 10Last stop)

Bus from George Town runs every 45-60 minutes. Bus stop is located in the main car park.

Walking directions from bus...

Rideshare

Grab drivers drop off and pick up near main carpark.

Walking directions from rideshare...

Taxi

Taxi drivers drop off and pick up near main carpark.

Walking directions from taxi...

What To Bring

Do:
  • Drinking water.
  • Comfortable shoes  for walking.
  • Cash for tram tour and snacks.
  • Picnic basket and snacks. 
Don't:
  • Food for monkeys.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yes

Tripod allowed: Yes

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Golden Hour

Tips: Use a tripod to capture a long exposure of the nearby waterfall.

Drones

Drones allowed: Yes (subject to national/regional rules)

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Food & Drink

The Garden Shop

Waterfall Cafe - Small café serving light meals, snacks and drinks like smoothies and coffee.

The Garden Shop - Gift shop selling drinks and ice creams.

Backstory

The Penang Botanic Gardens were originally established in 1884, under the supervision of British superintendents, Nathaniel Cantley and Charles Curtis. The Gardens were constructed on the site of an old granite quarry, with the purpose of cultivating and preserving commercial plant species. The Gardens were severely damaged as a result of Japanese occupation during WWII, and restored upon British reoccupation in 1945.

Following Malaysian independence, the Gardens were handed over to the Penang State Government and botanical research and cultivation activities waned. A large portion of the herbarium established by Curtis and his successors was transferred to the Singapore Botanic Gardens while the Penang Botanic Gardens slowly transformed into the public park it is today.

Etiquette

Pros:
  • Respect the signed rules of the park.
  • Make way for joggers  on the running track. 
Cons:
  • Remove or pick plants and flowers.
  • Feed or touch the monkeys 
  • Leave rubbish behind. 

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Lily Garden and idyllic wooden bridges.
  • Diversity of local and international plant species. 
  • Serene, natural atmosphere surrounded by tropical rainforest.
Could Be Better:
  • Heat and humidity make it difficult to enjoy the gardens during the middle of the day.
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