Home to colonial architecture and some of the best street food in Asia, Penang’s charm is undeniable. The small size of Georgetown—the UNESCO World Heritage Site that serves as the island’s diverse cultural center—makes it easy to explore in just one day. Here’s what you need to know.
Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, George Town, Penang, 10200
A visit to Fort Cornwallis is an integral part of most Penang sightseeing tours. To escape the heat and see more in less time, choose a comprehensive tour that whisks you around by air-conditioned minivan. Or, focus on the rich heritage of George Town with a historical tour that includes stops at the Penang State Museum, the Clan Jetties, and some of Penang’s colonial mansions. Many tours include hotel pickup and drop-off.
Things to Know Before You Go
Fort Cornwallis has a small admission fee.
An hour is usually ample time to explore the fortress.
There’s a hawker center near the fortress that serves up some of Penang’s best-known dishes for low prices.
Fort Cornwallis is home to the only lighthouse in Malaysia that has no navigational function.
How to Get There
Fort Cornwallis is reachable on foot from many places in George Town. Most travelers opt to visit the fortress as part of a guided tour that provides transportation among dispersed sites in Penang.
When to Get There
Fort Cornwallis is open daily, morning to night. To beat the crowds, avoid the daytime heat, and see the fortress illuminated, visit after sunset.
Fine Dining Inside Fort Cornwallis
Food lovers can indulge in gourmet fusion cuisine at Kota Cornwallis, a restaurant located within the walls of the fort. Inspired by Penang’s rich culinary traditions and Malaysia’s international flair, dishes typically combine fresh seafood with trademark spices and tangy tamarind. The restaurant is open from midmorning to late evening.
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- Pinang Peranakan Mansion
- Made in Penang Interactive Museum
- Penang Tunnel Museum (Penang Time Tunnel)
- Wonderfood Museum Penang
- Penang State Museum and Art Gallery
- George Town (Penang Georgetown)
- Asia Camera Museum Penang
- Khoo Kongsi (Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Clan House & Museum)
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (Blue Mansion)
- Penang Armenian Street (Lebuh Armenian)
- Upside Down Museum
- Little India
- Penang House of Music
- Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram)