MalaysiaPenang $$$$$ All Year Mostly Outdoor
Overlook

Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera)

A hilltop complex comprising 6 peaks and a protected tropical rainforest. From the top, visitors can admire panoramic views over the island from the SkyWalk, wander along hiking trails through soaring forest to see monkeys, squirrels, and rare orchids, explore British colonial history, or pay an extra fee to visit attractions like The Habitat treetop walk or Owl Museum. There’s no shortage of attractions and activities to fill the day with fun. 

Most commonly accessed via a funicular train climbing the world’s steepest tunnel track, Penang Hill is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to escape the heat with temperatures usually 5°C lower than Georgetown below. 

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Price

Adult: RM30 (USD$6.88), Child (4-12): RM15 ($3.44)

Buy tickets...

Time Spent

1.5-4hours

Fitness level: Light effort

Hours

6.30am-11pm7 days

Look Around

Map of Penang HillMap of Penang Hill
SkyWalk elevated lookout platform near Upper StationSkyWalk elevated lookout platform near Upper Station
View of Georgetown and the mainlandView of Georgetown and the mainland
Binoculars on SkydeckBinoculars on Skydeck
Part of Little VillagePart of Little Village
Around Penang Hill
Swing in front of The Owl MuseumSwing in front of The Owl Museum
Love Lock promenadeLove Lock promenade
Tropical gardensTropical gardens
It's on a sign so it must be trueIt's on a sign so it must be true
Natural Walk Trail 1
Sign along walkwaySign along walkway
Serene sense of remoteness away from the Upper StationSerene sense of remoteness away from the Upper Station
Steps on Bypath BSteps on Bypath B
SignageSignage
Natural Walk Trail 2
Viewpoint over Georgetown on Jalan Tuanku Petra (Nature Walk Trail 2)

Who Will Like Penang Hill

Nature Lover

Trek your way through the rainforest in search of rare residents like the Dusky Leaf Monkey and the Black Giant Squirrel. For an extra fee, visit the Monkey Cup Garden to stroll among beautiful orchids or walk among the leaves at The Habitat treetop walk.

Culture Buff

Uncover the British colonial era with bungalows dating back to 1803, a 32-pound cannon, and the Bel Retiro Gate House built in 1789 for the governor of Penang. See Malaysia’s cultural diversity at the Islamic Mosque and Hindu temple. 

Bucketlist Bandit

Jump aboard the funicular to ride through the world’s steepest tunnel track. Join the crowds admiring the views before relaxing at the bar with your favorite drink.

Photography Whiz

Capture a panorama of the sun setting over Penang's coastline reaching to the Malacca Straight to the west and Georgetown to the east.

Insider Tips For Penang Hill

Ticket office at Lower StationTicket office at Lower Station
Digital sign board for next funicular departureDigital sign board for next funicular departure
Inside the funicularInside the funicular
Upper StationUpper Station
Getting funicular tickets
  • To avoid crowds and excruciatingly-long funicular queues, visit early in the morning and avoid weekends and public holidays.
  • If there’s a large funicular queue, opt for Fast Lane Tickets (Adult: RM80 (USD$18.33), Child: RM40 ($9.17)) for priority access. 
  • Buy tickets online to avoid queuing for tickets as well as the funicular.
  • Most visitors tend to swarm around attractions closest to the Upper funicular station. Wander further for a taste of the tranquil rainforest. 
  • The best time to see wildlife is in the mid-morning and late afternoon.
  • Extend your visit by booking a room at the Belleview Hotel or Hickory Penang Hill.
  • If you’re not up for walking, hire a golf buggy (RM10 (USD$2.29)) and be driven between the hill's main attractions. 
  • If you’re fit enough to walk, take the hiking trail up to Penang Hill from Penang Botanical Gardens and avoid paying the funicular fee. Entrance to Penang Hill is actually free, only the funicular ride is charged. 
     

Video

Where Is It

Open map...

Perbadanan Bukit Bendera, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Air Itam, 11500 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

How To Get There

Car

RM4/hr (USD$0.92 / hr) • Carpark located across the street from the Penang Hill Lower train station.

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

Bus (204Bukit Bendera)

Short walk to the Penang Hill Lower train station.

Walking directions from bus...

Taxi

4x4 Jeep ride to Penang Hill from Penang Botanical Garden. Tickets available from the Penang Hill Jeep Service counter for RM160 (4 passengers).

More details...

Walk

90-minute uphill hike from Penang Botanical Gardens.

Riding directions... Google Map directions may be inaccurate

Bicycle

Shared walking/cycling path from Penang Botanical Gardens.

Walking directions... Google Map directions may be inaccurate

Start of hiking path to Penang Hill near entrance to Penang Botanical Gardens

What To Bring

Do:
  • Water bottle plus extra water if hiking.
  • Comfortable shoes suitable for hiking. 
  • Picnic lunch or snacks snacks to save money on food.
  • Binoculars to spot wildlife.
  • Insect repellent to keep the mosquitos away.
Don't:
  • Large, heavy, or bulky belongings. Your feet will thank you.

Tech & Photography

Wifi

Public wifi access: None

Photography

Photography allowed: Yes

Tripod allowed: Yes

Selfie sticks allowed: Yes

Best time to shoot: Sunrise & Sunset

Drones

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

Bags

Backpacks allowed: Yes

Secured bag lockers available: No

Food & Drink

Inside Sky BarInside Sky Bar
Passionfruit drinkPassionfruit drink
Sky Bar on Strawberry Hill

Food and drink prices at Penanag Hill's restaurants are relatively expensive. Consider bringing your own snacks or picnic lunch if you're on a budget. Restaurant options:

Backstory

Founded as a British colonial retreat during the 1700s now a display of cultural diversity with British colonial bungalows, a Hindu temple, and an Islamic mosque. 

The plan to reach Penang hill by funicular started in 1905 when construction on the first funicular track commenced. Due to design flaws, this track was never commissioned and a new funicular was constructed in 1925 with several upgrades taking place from 1977. The current funicular, able to reach the top in 5 minutes, was overhauled in 2010. 

Penang Hill is now a popular retreat for locals and tourists alike, and the hilltop area has blossomed into a multifunction attraction with something for everyone.

Etiquette

Do:
  • Be patient when queueing for the funicular.
  • Be careful on the hiking trails and bring lots of water. Don’t hike alone if its your first hike.
Don't:
  • Litter in the national park.
  • Disturb wildlife. Just admire them from a distance.

Scorecard

Best Parts:
  • Nature trails to see exotic plants and rare animals in their natural habitat. 
  • SkyDeck. Sunrise and sunset are hard to beat from this vantage point.
Could Be Better:
  • Long queues for funicular. Buy Fast Lane tickets to skip most of the queue.
  • Expensive food and drinks at the restaurants. 
My itinerary Save View

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