Penang Airport to George Town
One of the best places to stay in Penang is George Town. Being the capital city of Penang, There are many things to do in George Town, and it’s a hub for Penang transport and hotels. It’s residence to the island’s renowned Penang heritage houses and Penang street art, not to mention some of the island’s best hawker stalls and Penang street food. Your travel plans to Penang will undoubtedly include getting from Penang Airport to George Town.
Penang airport transportation
Your trip from Penang Airport to George Town will go smoothly with good planning. Fortunately, Penang people are generally helpful and happy to give directions. Nearly all bus drivers, taxi drivers, and train staff speak sufficient English. Getting to your destination is easy when you know all the available Penang airport transport options. We have simplified these options for you in the list below.
How to get from Penang airport to George Town
- Hop on the Penang Airport bus to George Town – This is the cheapest transport option
- Take a Penang Taxi to George Town or use the Grab app
- Driving to George Town. Car hire is excellent for that extra independence.
- Private tours – A great way to see more of Penang
- Airport transfer from Penang Airport to George Town – Hotels can arrange transfers to George Town. The train to George Town is convenient. All it takes is a little extra planning.
In Penang, buses are a popular mode of public transport due to their low cost, ease of access, and general reliability. Penang buses are outstanding value for money. Here are some things you should know about making use of the bus service from Penang airport:
Make sure you have plenty of small denomination change, as the bus drivers usually don’t carry change. Cash can be exchanged for local currency at the airport if needed, but try to exchange only a small amount as the rates are far more favorable in George Town.
Using the bus service during rush hour can add extra travel time to your itinerary, so consider this when booking tours or excursions.
While the bus route number is displayed on the front of the bus, the driver may change the route after you get on, so talk to them about where you are going when you board.
Using Penang maps and journey planners, such as the one on the official Rapid Penang website, will help you select the correct bus route.
The upside of taking the Penang bus:
Relative low cost, and comfortable seating, the stops are usually at tourist hot spots, and most drivers have some grasp of English.
Things to consider about catching the bus from Penang
Traffic can slow your journey down drastically, and there are many stops along the way. Remember to take small change with you to pay the correct fare.
Penang airport bus options:
The shuttle bus from Penang Airport to Georgetown
Five Rapid bus numbers go from the airport to George town, each taking about an hour. Rapid Penang is the primary local public bus service. A polite reminder that the Rapid Penang bus is not known for its “rapid” speed! So plan accordingly.
A Rapid Passport is a seven-day bus pass for unlimited travel on the Rapid bus system for 1 week; it costs RM30 per person and saves you the hassle of carrying cash with you. These passes are not available at the airport but can be bought at:
- KOMTAR Bus Terminal
- Weld Quay Bus Terminal
- Bukit Jambul Bus Hub
- Penang Central
- Rapid Penang Headquarters at Lorong Kulit
Alternatively, you can purchase tickets on the bus at around RM1-3 per trip.
Once you arrive in George Town, be sure to use the CAT free shuttle bus to get around all of George Town itself– this is a great money saver!
The Rapid bus stop is right outside Penang airport. Penang taxi operators may approach you while you walk to the bus stop, but don’t be afraid to politely decline their offers if you don’t intend to take a taxi.
Rapid Penang Airport Transit (AT)
This express bus service follows the highly popular 401E route but excludes the Queensbay Mall to reduce travel time.
The route is:
Penang International Airport – Snake Temple – Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal – KOMTAR Terminal – Love Lane – Little India – Jetty (Pengkalan Weld)
AT operates from 7 am to 7 pm, with 36 stops and an average duration of 48 minutes. Its frequency is every 45 – 90 minutes.
Rapid Penang Bus 102
The bus to George Town also goes to Gurney drive and up to Batu Ferringhi. It also continues to Teluk Bahang, the location of the Penang National Park.
It also stops at Sungai Nibong Express Bus Terminal (for inter-state buses) and KOMTAR Bus Interchange.
The route is as follows:
Penang International Airport – Snake Temple – Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal – Penang Times Square – KOMTAR Terminal – Gurney Paragon & Plaza – Batu Ferringhi – Teluk Bahang.
This bus operates from 6 am to 11:15 pm, has 111 stops and is, on average, 111 minutes. Its frequency is 60 minutes.
Rapid Penang Bus 306
If you need to get to Penang General Hospital via Air Itam, this is the bus for you. It is also the most affordable service between Kek Lok Si and KOMTAR. The cost to travel on the Rapid Penang Bus 306 is around RM 2 – 8.
The route is as follows:
Penang International Airport to Snake Temple. Then on to Queensbay Mall and finally to Penang General Hospital (George Town)
This bus operates from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm and has an average duration of 59 minutes, with 47 stops. Its frequency is every 45 to 60 minutes.
Rapid Penang Bus 401
This bus follows the East Coastline from Balik Pulau and ends at Penang Jetty.
The bus route is as follows:
Balik Pulau to Teluk Kumbar on to Penang International Airport. The from the airport to Snake Temple, Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal,KOMTAR , Little India to Jetty (Pengkalan Weld)
This bus operates from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm, has 49 stops and is an average of 65 minutes duration. The frequency is every 30 minutes.
Rapid Penang Bus 401E
This is an express bus service and excludes Gelugor from the above route. It makes use of the coastal Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway instead.
The rouse is as follows:
Balik Pulau – Penang International Airport – Snake Temple – Queensbay Mall – KOMTAR – Jetty (Pengkalan Weld)
The bus operates from 5:20 am to 10:30 pm, has 40 stops, and is approximately 60 minutes long. Its frequency is roughly every 30 minutes.
Penang Taxis / Making use of the Grab App
Penang Taxis are available just outside the exit of Penang Airport. Make sure you make use of a metered taxi. The average cost of a taxi from the airport to George Town is RM 20- 40, but this could increase by 50% if you use a taxi between 12 am and 6 am, the redeye hours.
The Grab App In Penang
The Grab is similar to other mobility service providers such as Uber or Bolt and is often cheaper than making use of a taxi. How to use:
1. Download the App.
2. Create a profile.
3. Select a car from the menu
4. Type in your destination
5. It should take the app less than a minute to find you an available vehicle and driver
6. You will then be quoted a price
7. Click accept if you agree
8. You can see the driver’s progress as he makes his way to you.
9. Be sure not to let the taxi driver wait, as additional fees will be charged.
The upside of using a taxi or the Grab app:
There is virtually no waiting, it is very affordable for up to 4 people, there are no additional stops, and it offers an option for transport at awkward hours such as late at night or early morning.
Things to consider:
You are not guaranteed a specific type or quality of taxi, and if there is no meter in the cab, you could pay much more. Fewer taxis are prepared to drive during rush hour, and you would need to make arrangements with the driver directly if your destination is rural and you need a return journey later on.
Penang Car Rental
This is the most flexible option available, as you have the car with you and you decide where to go and when, no waiting, no extra stops, you are in control (well, not of the traffic!). It’s about a 20 to 40-minute drive to George Town, which is 16kms away from the airport.
The following companies are available:
Asia Galaxy Car Rental
Green Matrix – has free cancellations
Kasina – has free cancellations
Car rental runs between RM 80 – 150 / day and is vehicle-dependent.
The upside of car rental:
You set your schedule, guaranteed transport for your return journey to the airport, and friends and family can all share one car. :
Private Penang Tours
Private tours are an excellent way to hit the ground running and make the most of your time immediately starting sightseeing. You can request a tailor-made tour to ensure you see precisely what you want while visiting!
The upside of private tours:
The vehicles are clean, comfortable, safe, and reliable. You will be in the hands of experienced tour guides, and you can decide where you go and when.
The possible downside:
The cost is prohibitive for solo travelers or those on a tighter budget.
Depending on your accommodation, your hotel may offer a shuttle to and from the airport upon arrival and departure. Some of them are complimentary, and others will have their own cost. Contact your hotel to enquire about the rates and method of payment.
The upside of hotel shuttles:
The drivers are provided with your flight details and will be ready and waiting for you at the airport when you land. There is no dragging around luggage on and off public transport!
The possible downside:
Not all hotels offer shuttles, the costs can be prohibitive, and once at your hotel, your transport options are again limited to public transport, taxis, etc., unless you are prepared to book and pay for the hotel shuttle for each little trip.
While there are no train stations on Penang Island, the transport hub at the Penang mainland connects the state by road, rail, and sea. You can arrive by train at the Butterworth station, then take the ferry to the island, where you can catch the 102 Rapid Penang bus or use any other transport mentioned above.
Penang Taxi location
There is a official Penang taxi desk at the arrivals hall where you can book a taxi. The taxi rank is locatede outside the airport terminal building
Penang International Airport Arrivals
11900 Bayan Lepas
Pulau Pinang / Penang