Going to Penang? Fantastic! Penang is one of my favourite places in the world and you’ll love it!
If you are wondering how to go to Penang from KL then you are in the right place. This is a straightforward journey but there are a few choices and it’s important to pick the one that is best for your budget and time available as well as your personal preferences.
Below, I describe exactly how to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Island whether you are looking for a Kuala Lumpur to Penang flight, taking a Kuala Lumpur to Penang bus, wondering whether to take a Kuala Lumpur to Penang train, or wanting to have a drive from KL to Penang by car. I also tell you what I think is the best option for how to travel from KL to Penang.
Finally, I describe the reverse journey from Penang to Kuala Lumpur.
Table of Contents
Map: KL To Penang
The distance between Kuala Lumpur and Penang can look long on the map but it is only 358 kilometres and the Kuala Lumpur to Penang travel time in a private car is about 4 hours (if you don’t hit much traffic).
This low Kuala Lumpur to Penang distance can make driving from Kuala Lumpur to Penang a very attractive option.
Best Option: How To Get From Kuala Lumpur To Penang
Given the distance between Kuala Lumpur to Penang is not great and the roads are good, I recommend travelling by private car if you can if you are already in Kuala Lumpur.
If you are flying in or already near the airport then I recommend you fly Kuala Lumpur to Penang.
If on a budget, catch a bus from KL Sentral to Penang
Option One: KL to Penang Flight
Booking a cheap flight from KL to Penang is the easiest way to travel between the two cities. Since the KL to Penang flight duration is about an hour, it’s also the quickest way. You can easily do a day trip to Penang from Kuala Lumpur and fly back the same evening if you wish.
You can fly KL to Penang using either Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL) or Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB). You’ll arrive at Penang International Airport (PEN). Airline options include AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, and Malindo Air.
It’s usually quite easy to find a cheap flight from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. The KL to Penang flight price is typically around RM 150. However, if you take some time to look at all the options, you might be able to find sales and discounts. A discounted air ticket from KL to Penang typically starts around RM 25.
After your flight from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Malaysia, you’ll need to figure out how to cover the 15 kilometres between the airport to Georgetown. You can take the Rapid Penang Bus, which costs about RM 3 and takes an hour of travel. Another option is a taxi, which will cost about RM 20 to 30 and take about a half hour.
Option Two: Bus from KL to Penang
Purchasing a bus ticket from KL to Penang is a good option for travellers who prefer to move at a slower pace. The KL to Penang bus travel time is about five hours. This is a long ride, but most of the buses are comfortable. They usually offer Wi-Fi and other amenities. Going from the KL Sentral bus station to Penang is generally a smooth and easy journey.
A bus ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Penang will cost around RM 30. If you want a luxury bus from KL to Penang, you might have to spend a little more. You can book a coach from Kuala Lumpur to Penang online or at the station. Buses run frequently throughout the day, so this is a good option for last-minute travel plans. A bus leaves every 30 minutes to an hour.
The express bus from KL to Penang leaves from Terminal Bersepadu Seletan, which is the main bus station in the city. You can arrive in Penang at either the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal or the Butterworth station. The latter is your best bet if you’re headed for Georgetown and need to catch the ferry.
The best bus from KL to Penang is a matter of opinion. Most options are similar, and all offer an acceptable level of comfort during your travels.
Option Three: Train from KL to Penang
Taking the train from KL Sentral to Penang is another option. The KL to Penang train price is around RM 40. It’s a little more expensive than the bus, but it provides the experience of riding the train, which some travellers enjoy.
The KTM KL to Penang train makes four daily trips between 11 in the morning and 10 at night. The express train from KL to Penang should take about four hours. You can go online to book your train ticket from KL to Penang, or you can book at the station.
After you take the train to Penang from KL Sentral, you’ll arrive at the Butterworth station. From there, you’ll need to walk to the ferry, which will take you to Georgetown. Two ferries leave per hour. The ride costs RM 5 and takes about 20 minutes.
Option Four: Kuala Lumpur To Penang By Car
If you enjoy driving, going from KL to Penang by car might be the best choice for you. The distance from Kuala Lumpur to Penang by car is 358 kilometers. It takes about four hours to drive that far under normal conditions, which isn’t too bad.
Considering the KL to Penang distance, driving yourself is a good choice. You’ll be free to take your time and stop at any of the attractions along the way, such as the Papan Recreational Forest Preserve.
When planning a road trip from KL to Penang, you’ll need to be aware of the costs. The Kuala Lumpur to Penang by car cost will vary depending on the vehicle you drive, but in general, this is an affordable option. It makes the most sense if you live in the area or know someone with a vehicle you can use. It’s also easy to hire a car in Kuala Lumpur (click here for prices).
The tolls are one factor that will affect the cost of the KL to Penang drive. You’ll pass three toll gates on your way to Penang. The total for all toll fees should amount to around RM 55, which means you can cover the entire Kula Lumpur to Penang distance by road for RM 11 return. You’ll also need to consider the cost of fuel.
Option Five: Kuala Lumpur To Penang By Taxi
A taxi is another option for how to reach Penang from Kuala Lumpur. One benefit of a taxi is that you can get dropped right at your hotel instead of a bus station or airport. However, this option can also be quite costly. The typical Kuala Lumpur to Penang taxi fare is RM 805.
You might be able to convince a driver to provide transport from KL to Penang for a cheaper price, but this is a long shot. Since the driver may be unable to find someone else to bring back to KL, they usually must charge more to cover spending so much time on the highway.
Since using a taxi for transport from Kuala Lumpur to Penang can be expensive, this option is best for those who are travelling in a group. You’ll be able to split the cost, which makes getting from Kuala Lumpur to Penang more affordable for everyone.
If you’re wondering how to go from Kuala Lumpur to Penang via taxi, you can either book in advance with Klook or find a driver on the street and negotiate a price.
From Penang To Kuala Lumpur
The journey back to Kuala Lumpur will follow the same route you took to get there. If you drove yourself, you’ll naturally need to drive back. If you went with another option, you can choose a different method for the return trip. Considering the distance between Penang and Kuala Lumpur, it makes sense that you might want to utilise ground transportation going one way and then do the return journey by plane.
Book a flight ticket from Penang to KL, a train from Penang to KL, a nice bus to KL, or a taxi, all of which should cost about the same as they did going the other direction. If you choose a Penang to KL flight, you can fly onward to another destination from there. If you’ll be staying in Kuala Lumpur, you can find a taxi to take you back to the city. A taxi ride will cost about RM 75.
When deciding how to get to Penang from KL, consider what you enjoy about travel. Do you like to get to your destination and begin sightseeing right away? Do you prefer to travel at a slower pace and experience the small towns and pit stops between major cities?
In summary, flying via Kuala Lumpur airport to Penang is the quickest and easiest option. Aside from driving your own vehicle, the bus is the most affordable. The train is a little more costly, but it provides a unique experience. A taxi is expensive, but it can work if you’re travelling with a few people.
No matter what you choose, you’ll be sure to have a great time in Penang. Enjoy your trip!
Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She explores Malaysia multiple times a year, often with her kids, and has previously lived in Penang.