EXACTLY How To Go From Ipoh To Penang [2024]

Published Categorized as Ipoh, Penang
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Need to know how to get from Ipoh to Penang? Or how to travel from Penang to Ipoh?

Great choice! Penang and Ipoh are two of our favourite places in Malaysia and I’m sure you will love them too, especially if you love great food!

Getting between Ipoh and Penang is straightforward whether you plan to drive yourself, take a coach from Ipoh to Penang, a train or a taxi. However, working out which transport option is the best for you may take a bit of thought.

Let us help!

Lorong Song Hong George Town Penang
Lorong Song Hong in George Town

Below, I describe exactly how to go from Ipoh to Penang whether you are looking for a bus from Ipoh to Penang, wondering whether to take an Ipoh to Penang train or want to drive Ipoh to Penang by car or taxi.

I also describe the reverse journey from Penang to Ipoh, and tell you the easiest and best way to travel this route.

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Map: Ipoh To Penang

The distance from Ipoh to Penang is only 160 kilometres. How long does it take to drive from Ipoh to Penang? It’s about two hours if you drive straight through.

The following map shows the journey and the distance between Ipoh and Penang.

Ipoh To Penang map
Click the Map above to open it in Google Maps.

BEST OPTION: How To Go From Ipoh To Penang

The fastest and easiest way to travel from Ipoh to Penang is to take a private taxi. If you want to save money and use public transport, an express bus Ipoh to Penang is the easiest and cheapest option.

Here’s a summary of your options with full details below!

Mode of transportDurationBest For?Book
Bus3.5 hoursPeople who want the cheapest option (that’s still relatively easy)Check here
Train3.5 hoursTrain enthusiasts who don’t have much luggageCheck here
Car2 hoursPeople who have easy access to a car or who like to stop along the wayCheck here
Taxi2 hoursAnyone who wants the easiest and most straightforward way to get to PenangBook here
Durations take into account an approximate time getting to and from bus stations and airports to a central location as well as waiting time

Option 1: Ipoh To Penang Bus

bus Malaysia

Taking the bus between Ipoh and Penang is a quick and affordable option. The bus between Ipoh and Georgetown will take about two and a half hours. If you want to take the bus from Ipoh to Penang Airport, the journey will be a little longer.

The bus will cost you about RM 20. You can find the Ipoh to Penang bus schedule online here. There are many companies you can ride with, including Unititi, Billion Stars, Sri Maju Group, and others.

Buses run daily, leaving regularly including throughout the night. You can book tickets online or at the station, but if you want to make sure to leave at a certain time, it’s best to book online.

Click here to see the latest timetables and prices.

Note that some buses finish in Butterworth. From here, you can catch a ferry across to George Town, but it can be easier to make sure you book a bus to Penang island.

Option 2: Train From Ipoh To Penang

You can cover part of the journey between Ipoh and Penang by train if you desire. This involves leaving from the KTM station and travelling by train to Butterworth which will take you about an hour and 45 minutes. This train is quite comfortable and offers air conditioning.

Click here to see the latest timetables and prices.

The KTM Ipoh to Penang journey will cost you around RM40. After you arrive in Butterworth, you’ll need to board the ferry at Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal. The terminal is adjacent to the train station, so you’ll be able to easily walk there, although it is a hassle with luggage. The bus is easier.

You’ll arrive at Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal on Penang Island after a 20-minute journey. The ferry ride will cost you RM 1.20.

Inside a train between KL and Padang Besar
Inside a train between Ipoh and Butterworth

Option 3: Ipoh To Penang By Car

Considering the Ipoh to Penang distance, which is around 160 kilometres, driving is the easiest way to make the trip. If you have access to a car and feel comfortable on the road, this option provides a safe and simple way to get between the two locations.

There are two ways to get between Ipoh and Penang by car. First, you can drive the entire distance. This will involve crossing the toll bridge to Penang Island. The Ipoh to Penang toll fee for the bridge is RM 7 for a private car if you pay in cash, plus there will be tolls on the way to the bridge.

The second option is to leave your car in the long-term parking at Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal and take the ferry across to Penang. If you won’t need a car during your stay on Penang, this might be a good option for you. You can also take your car on the ferry.

You can hire a car in Malaysia here.

Streets of Ipoh
Wandering around Ipoh

Option 4: Ipoh To Penang By Taxi

Travelling by taxi is a great option for people who want the quickest, easiest and more comfortable way to travel between Ipoh and Penang. You can be picked up at your hotel and dropped off at your next one (or the airport).

This saves a lot of sweat and mucking around, especially if you have much luggage. There’s no trying to work out or navigate bus stations. However, it’s the most expensive option, so it’s not for budget travellers.

It’ll feel worth it when you pull up your hotel all nice and fresh and not hot and sweaty though. 🙂

The cost for a taxi between Ipoh and Penang is about RM 650. The journey will take around two hours, but it depends where on Penang you are going. You can take the taxi all the way to Penang to your choice of drop-off point.

We can book a taxi for you with a safe and trustworthy local operator.

Click here for more details and prices.

Penang To Ipoh

When it comes time to return to Ipoh, you’ll be able to choose from the same options that were available to get you to Penang.

The first option is the Penang to Ipoh bus. You can take the Sri Maju Penang to Ipoh bus, or you can ride with one of the other available companies. The ride from Georgetown takes about two and a half hours and will cost you around RM 20. You can get a bus ticket from Penang to Ipoh at the station or purchase one online here (easiest option).

Train at Taiping station
Train that runs between Ipoh and Butterworth

The ETS train Penang to Ipoh is another great option. The Penang to Ipoh train ride will take around an hour and 45 minutes to complete. The KTM Penang to Ipoh will cost you around RM 40. However, you need to first get to Butterworth to catch the train which isn’t on Penang island. You are best taking a ferry from George Town to the station.

You can also enjoy covering the 160-kilometre Penang to Ipoh distance in a private vehicle. If you drove a vehicle to Penang, you’ll need to return across the toll bridge. Going from Penang to Ipoh by car is best for those who prefer the freedom to stop anywhere they like along the way.

Lastly, you can always take a taxi back to Ipoh from Penang. Again, this is the easiest and most comfortable option ensuring you don’t waste any precious holiday time. We can book a taxi for you with a safe and trustworthy local operator.

Click here for more details and prices.

Want the Easiest (and BEST) Way to travel between Penang and Ipoh?

We can book a taxi for you from anywhere in Ipoh directly to your hotel in Penang for a great price.

You can pick your own departure time, relax and know everything will go to plan.

Click here for prices and online booking.

Final Words

When deciding how to get between Penang and Ipoh, consider your travel preferences. Do you like to reach your destination as quickly as possible, or do you prefer to make a few stops along the way? 

Do you want to travel privately, or do you enjoy riding on a bus or train alongside your fellow travellers? Are you looking to save as much money as possible, or do you have a little to splurge?

Answering these questions should help you decide.

The bus is the cheapest. It’s affordable, comfortable, safe, and hassle-free. The only issue is that you won’t have privacy and you also need to travel to the bus terminals at both ends.

If you like the fastest, easiest and most comfortable option, a taxi is your best bet. You’ll arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to explore.

The train is probably the most complicated way to get between Penang and Ipoh. It’s comfortable, but it’s more expensive than the bus. Taking the train requires using the ferry as well, so it’s not really recommended unless you really love train travel and don’t have much luggage.

No matter which option you utilise, you’ll be sure to have an amazing time in Penang. Have a great trip!

Click here to read our full guide on what to do in Penang for 3 days. You can also find our full Penang travel guide here.

Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon is a certified Malaysia travel expert and can't get enough of travelling and talking about Malaysia since she first visited 21 years ago. She travels around Malaysia multiple times a year both alone and with her kids. She used to call Penang home and especially loves this food paradise. Sharon also has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies, a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and has been certified by Tourism Malaysia as a Malaysia Travel Expert. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to this amazing destination.