Penang and Malacca are both well-known states located on the Malay Peninsula in Malaysia. Penang is a state on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia with George Town as the capital city of the state. Malacca is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Strait of Malacca.

Both places played an important role as trading hubs along the trading route of the Straits of Malacca when they were under colonial rule. Penang is popular for its food, shopping, visiting museums, and beach while in Malacca you can visit museums, colonial buildings, go shopping, and much more.

In this post, we will compare Penang and Malacca in Malaysia. Let’s get started!

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Penang Or Malacca

Penang and Malacca are both good places to visit especially the cities of George Town and Malacca city. They both have a very similar history and culture.

We will try to make it easier for you by comparing Penang and Malacca with factors such as their history, accommodation, food scene, and any other factors that may have an impact on your trip.

Malacca And Penang History

Both of these have a very similar history mainly because places played an important role as trading hubs when they were under colonial rule from the Portuguese, Dutch, and then the English.

Penang History

George Town in Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a lot of history all around Penang, especially in George Town. As you wander around George Town you will see gorgeous architecture and old European buildings as well as museums, forts, and temples.

George Town can get fairly hot in the middle of the day, so it’s better to start early if you plan to go exploring.

Malacca Culture

Malacca is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 2008, as one of the historic sites along the Straits of Malacca. In Malacca’s past, it experienced Portuguese, Dutch, and English colonial rule before Malaysia gained independence.

As well as finding old European-type buildings around the city, museums, and forts. You will discover a lot more as you wander around the city.

What’s The Nightlife Like?

Malaysia is not known for its crazy nightlife, but Penang and Malacca have good nightlife, which is busy mostly at the weekends.

Let’s compare the nightlife between Penang and Malacca.

Penang Nightlife

George Town in Penang is the busiest place in Penang at night with plenty of bars and clubs, particularly in Chulia Street and Love Lane. There are a lot of hostels and cheaper hotels nearby.

Plus, it’s got loads of food options and bars for everyone of all budgets. Another area is Upper Penang Road which is lined with bars and restaurants as well.

Malacca Nightlife

Malacca nightlife is a bit quieter than Penang. Jonker Street is perfect for food and a few beers. And for more lively nightlife, head to Melaka Raya where there are more clubs and pubs.

Jonker Walk in Malacca Malaysia

Food Scene In Penang And Malacca

Malacca and Penang are both awesome places for people with a particular interest in food. Penang properly has a slightly better offering in the food scene but only just.

Food Scene In Penang

Penang is famous for its delicious food, with Georgetown being the center of the food scene with loads of stalls and food courts. The food is really affordable and you will not be disappointed.

Here is a very short list of good food you must try while in Penang!

  • Penang Char Koay Teow.
  • Penang Asam Laksa.
  • Otak-Otak.
  • Wantan Mee.

Malacca Food Scene

Malacca surprisingly has a lot to offer from a foodie point of view. There are lots of good food in and around Malacca. There is a variety of delicious food on every corner.

Jonker Street is where you will find the road filled with food stalls and look out for something delicious to eat.

Here is some food worth trying while in Malacca.

  • Heng Huat Coffeeshop Wanton Noodles.
  • Soon Yen Duck Noodles.
  • Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice.
  • Durian Cottage.

Accommodation In Penang And Malacca

Choosing the right accommodation is important regardless of whether it is in either Penang or Malacca. The hostel and hotel prices can differ a lot from high season to low season.

Staying In Penang

Penang has a good range of hotels and hostels. The prices in George town can be a little more pricey but you will find hotels that are within walking of the town and cheaper.

Staying In Malacca

Malacca has a good supply of hostels, guesthouses, and hotels that are within a walk of the town. Prices are cheaper further away from the town center.

What To Do See In Penang And Malacca

Penang and Malacca are both similar and different in many ways. Malacca has been known for its history and culture while Penang is known as a foodie paradise and more.

Here are some of the best things to do in each place.

Things To Do In Penang

Penang offers awesome local food on offer from the vast number of hidden eateries and restaurants dotted around the town. As well as see the wonderful landmarks around Penang.

Old Kek Lok Si Temple Penang Malaysia

Here is our list of things to do in Penang Malaysia.

  • Enjoy The View From Penang Hill.
  • Visit Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.
  • Visit Sri Mahamariamman Temple.
  • Enjoy The Penang Toy Museum.
  • Explore Old Kek Lok Si Temple.

Read more about things to do in Penang here.

Things To Do In Malacca

Malacca is known for its history and as you explore the town you will see why. There is a lot of history in Malacca to learn about in the different historical museums.

Malacca River

Here is our list of things to do in Malacca Malaysia.

  • Visit Malacca Sultanate Palace.
  • Explore the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum.
  • Visit Famosa Monument.
  • See Dutch Square.
  • Go Shopping At Jonker Street.

Read more about things to do in Malacca here.

Wrapping Up

Finally, which one to choose depends on your interests. For people interested in the food scene and a decent nightlife for a few days then it is George Town in Penang. On the other hand, if you are looking for somewhere with a bit of culture and history. If you enjoy nice food but want to be close to Kuala Lumpur then it is Malacca is for you.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on Penang or Malacca in Malaysia, which is better to visit was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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