penang or malacca malaysia

Penang or Malacca in Malaysia, Which is Better To Visit?

Penang and Malacca are both states in Malaysia, with the capital city of Malacca been Malacca city. And for Penang is George Town.

Both cities played an important role as a trading hub along the trading route of the straits of Malacca when they were under colonial rule.

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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.

Penang or Malacca

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

These two cities are around 414 km apart and it would be a 6 hour to get from one to the other.

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 definitely 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 got independence.

As well as finding old European type buildings around the city, and 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 a crazy nightlife, but Penang and Malacca have a 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, its got loads of food options and bars for everyone of all budgets.

Another area is Upper Penang Road that 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
Jonker Street

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 been 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 at 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 at try 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 if it is in either Penang and 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 a cheaper.

Staying in Malacca

Malacca has a good supply of hostels, guesthouses, and hotels that are within walking 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 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 seem the wonderful landmarks around Penang.

Old Kek Lok Si Temple Penang Malaysia
Old Kek Lok Si Temple

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 the different historical museums.

Malacca River
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, in which one to choose really 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. And enjoy nice food but want to be close to Kuala Lumpar 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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penang or malacca malaysia

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