If you’re planning a trip to Penang with a baby or toddler, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of activities for your little one to enjoy on the island.
From strolling through the historic streets of Georgetown to lounging on the beaches of Batu Ferringhi, Penang has something for everyone.
Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, is a charming island located on the northwest coast of Malaysia.
It has a rich history, vibrant street art, delicious food, and stunning beaches, so it’s no surprise that Penang is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world.
In this post, we’ll provide you with some tips and recommendations on how to make the most of your visit to Penang with a baby and toddler, including where to stay, what to do, and how to get around.
So, if you’re looking for a fun and family-friendly vacation, keep reading to find out more about visiting Penang with a baby and toddler.
Is Penang Baby Friendly?
If you’re planning a family vacation to Penang, you’ll be happy to know that this vibrant island is very welcoming to little ones.
The locals here have a genuine love for children, so don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with smiles and friendly attention wherever you go.
The island has plenty to offer for families, with a mix of cultural experiences, outdoor activities, and kid-friendly attractions. So pack your bags, bring your little one, and get ready for a fantastic adventure on the island of Penang.
Where to Stay in Penang with a Young Family
Penang has a range of family-friendly accommodations, from resorts to apartments and guesthouses. Some hotels also provide baby equipment like cribs, high chairs, and strollers, so be sure to check with your chosen accommodation beforehand.
Penang is quite a big island so it’s worth thinking about where you want to stay.
You may want to be close to the beach, in the heart of the city, or away from it all in a more secluded area, Penang has something to offer for every family.
We split our time on the island between Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi which gave us a nice mix of taking in the sights and culture of the island followed by some beach and pool time.
This is the heart of Penang and is the perfect location for families who want to be in the middle of all the action. Georgetown offers a range of family-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and apartments, and is known for its colonial architecture, street art, and bustling food scene.
Families can explore historic sites like Fort Cornwallis, the Penang Peranakan Mansion, and the Khoo Kongsi clan house, or visit the nearby clan jetties for a glimpse of traditional Chinese village life.
Located on the northern coast of Penang, Batu Ferringhi is a popular beach destination for families. The area is lined with hotels, resorts, and holiday apartments that cater to families, and offers a range of water activities like jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. Families can also visit the nearby Tropical Spice Garden or take a trip to the nearby Entopia Butterfly Farm.
This is a quieter, more residential area located between Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi. Families who want to be close to the beach but away from the crowds may prefer to stay in Tanjung Bungah. The area has a range of hotels, guesthouses, and apartments, as well as a small night market and a number of restaurants and cafes.
This is a more secluded area located on the northwestern coast of Penang. Families who want to get away from it all may enjoy staying in Teluk Bahang, which is home to the Penang National Park and a range of natural attractions like the Batu Ferringhi Waterfall and the Monkey Beach. The area offers a range of accommodation options, including guesthouses, resorts, and holiday homes.
Things to do in Penang with a Toddler or Baby
Penang is a great destination for families with young children, as it offers a wide range of activities that are fun and educational. Here are some of the best things to do in Penang with young children:
Kek Lok Si Temple
Don’t miss out on one of the most iconic landmarks in George Town, Penang – the Kek Lok Si Chinese Buddhist temple. Known as the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, it’s a must-see destination when visiting Penang Hill.
As a family, Kek Lok Si Temple was a personal favorite of ours in George Town. The intricate architecture, vibrant colors, and diverse shrines were a feast for the eyes. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the turtle pond and fountain before marveling at the breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
Visit Entopia Penang Butterfly Farm
This is a great attraction for families with young children. You can see hundreds of different species of butterflies, as well as other insects and reptiles. There are also educational exhibits and activities for children, making it a fun and educational experience.
Fort Cornwallis is a great family attraction in George Town. As the largest standing fort in Malaysia, it offers a unique glimpse into the country’s colonial past.
Toddlers will enjoy exploring the fort’s cannons, barracks, and prison cells while the interactive exhibits provide a fun way to learn about the history of the fort and the city. The spacious park surrounding the fort is a great place for a picnic and there is a playground too.
Explore the Penang National Park
The national park offers a range of activities for families, including hiking, swimming, and exploring the beach. You can also take a boat ride to Monkey Beach, where you can see monkeys playing in the trees.
Ride the Penang Hill Funicular Railway
The railway is a fun way to get to the top of Penang Hill, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area. There are also nature trails and a playground at the top, making it a great destination for families with young children.
Visit the Penang Toy Museum
This museum is home to a vast collection of toys, including action figures, dolls, and board games. There are also interactive exhibits and activities for children, making it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Check out the Penang Street Art
The street art in Penang is famous for its vibrant colors and unique designs. You can take a walk around the city to see some of the best pieces, or take a guided tour to learn more about the artists and their work.
Explore the Penang Peranakan Mansion
This historic mansion offers a glimpse into the culture and lifestyle of the Peranakan people, who are of mixed Chinese and Malay heritage. The mansion is filled with antiques and artifacts, making it a fascinating destination for families with young children.
Visit the Penang Aquarium
The aquarium is home to a wide range of marine life, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles. There are also educational exhibits and activities for children, making it a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Go on a Food Tour
Penang is famous for its delicious street food, and going on a food tour is a great way to try some of the best dishes the city has to offer. There are plenty of tours available that cater to families with young children, so you can enjoy the food without worrying about finding kid-friendly options.
Goddess of Mercy Temple
While exploring George Town in Penang, Malaysia, make sure to pay a visit to the Goddess of Mercy Temple. This stunning Chinese temple, located on Pitt Street, is rich in history and the oldest Taoist temple in Penang, having been first built in 1728.
A trishaw ride is a must-do experience for families visiting Penang. It is a unique way to explore the city’s streets and get a taste of local life. The trishaw is a bicycle rickshaw that can carry two adults and one child comfortably. Your little ones will enjoy the ride as the trishaw driver pedals you through narrow streets and past colorful shops and street art.
Saanen Dairy Goat Farm
The Saanen Dairy Goat Farm is a great place for kids to learn about farm life and get up close with some adorable goats. Your little ones can pet and feed the goats, and even milk them if they’re feeling adventurous. You can also buy fresh goat milk and yogurt at the farm’s shop, which is a great way to support the local community.
The Habitat Penang Hill
The Habitat Penang Hill is a nature reserve located on top of Penang Hill. It offers stunning views of the island and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Families can explore the reserve’s nature trails, visit the butterfly farm, and take the canopy walk for a unique treetop view of the rainforest.
Go to the Beach
Peanang isn’t all about the beaches like some islands, but it is well worth spending some time with you baby and toddler at one of the beautiful beaches. Toddlers just love the beach!
The Teddyville Museum is a must-visit for families with young children. It is a world-class museum that showcases teddy bears from around the world. The museum is home to over 1,000 teddy bears, including life-sized bears and bears that tell stories. Your little ones will enjoy the interactive exhibits and the chance to take photos with their favorite teddy bears.
Penang Bird Park
The Penang Bird Park is home to over 300 species of birds, making it the largest bird park in Malaysia. Families can enjoy a walk through the park’s aviaries and see colorful birds from all over the world. There are also bird shows and feeding sessions throughout the day, which are sure to delight your little ones.
Penang’s Avatar Secret Garden
Penang’s Avatar Secret Garden is a magical place that is perfect for families with young children. The garden is illuminated by thousands of LED lights at night, creating a stunning and surreal atmosphere. Families can walk through the garden’s various sections, each with its own unique theme and lighting. Your little ones will love the fairytale-like atmosphere and the chance to see the garden come to life at night.
Can You Get Baby Supplies in Penang?
One of the biggest concerns for parents traveling with young children is having access to necessary baby supplies.
Fortunately, Penang has a good selection of convenience stores and supermarkets where you can find diapers, wet wipes, baby food, and other essentials.
However, it’s always a good idea to bring along extra supplies from home, just in case you can’t find what you need. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on enjoying your family vacation.
Are Nappies or Diapers Available in Penang?
Yes, you can easily find diapers in Penang. Mamy-Poko is a popular and high-quality brand that is similar to Pampers in the UK. However, if you’re planning to venture out to more remote areas, it’s best to stock up on diapers beforehand, just to be safe.
Is it OK to Breastfeed in Penang?
Breastfeeding in public is not something that the locals will do in Penang. It’s acceptable to do it but it’s recommended to be discreet by using a cover-up or finding a private area. This is more to save you from being stared at and making you feel uncomfortable, it’s worthwhile choosing somewhere quiet.
As with many parts of Malaysia, Penang has a conservative Islamic culture, so it’s best to be respectful of local customs and sensitivities. However, many malls and public areas have baby changing rooms where you can comfortably feed your baby in privacy.
Can You Find Baby Food in Penang?
While you can find ready-made baby foods in Penang, the variety and quality may not be up to the standards you’re used to.
It’s always a good idea to bring along some baby food pouches or snacks from home, so you can be sure your little one is getting the nutrition they need. Plus, having some healthy snacks on hand can be a lifesaver when you’re out and about exploring the island.
If you do need to purchase baby food in Penang, supermarkets carry a good selection, but be sure to check the ingredients and nutritional information before buying.
Getting to Penang
Getting to Penang is easy, as it’s a popular tourist spot and a bustling city.
Buses are available from various destinations in Peninsular Malaysia, so finding a bus to Penang should not be a problem. Flights to Penang are available from many locations, with most flights departing from Kuala Lumpur. You can also fly directly to Penang from Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Another option is to take a train to Butterworth and then catch a ferry to Penang. We came here by ferry straight from Langkawi.
Getting around Penang with Baby and Toddler
Getting around Penang is made easy with a well-organized bus system that links the main areas of the island. Around Georgetown, there are even a couple of circular routes that are free to use.
The bus service offers a direct route from the airport to Batu Ferringhi, although this may take up to two hours.
Timetables and routes can be easily accessed online for planning your journey ahead of time.
Taxis are also readily available and good value. Using the Grab smartphone app is an excellent way to book a taxi and understand the rates.
For those who prefer driving themselves, car hire is affordable, and Penang is a relatively easy place to navigate by car.
Penang with a Toddler or Baby – Final Thoughts
Penang is a fantastic destination for families traveling with babies or toddlers.
With its beautiful beaches, rich history, delicious food, and numerous family-friendly activities, there is no shortage of things to see and do.
From stroller-friendly walks to water parks and interactive museums, Penang has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags, grab your little ones, and get ready for a fun-filled adventure in one of Malaysia’s most exciting destinations!
Be sure to check out our guide to Malaysia with baby and toddler and Kuala Lumpur with a baby or toddler.