The historic city of Melaka, also known as Malacca, is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the top destinations in Malaysia. With Portuguese, British, and Dutch influences all over the place, Melaka is a melting pot of cultures that makes it unique, and truly one of a kind.
Equally as stunning is Penang, popular for its stunning beaches, and fondly called Malaysia’s food capital.
Now, if you’re wondering how you can get from Melaka Sentral to Penang, or from Melaka airport to Penang, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, I describe exactly how to get to Penang from Melaka whether you are looking to fly from Melaka to Penang, take a trip from Melaka to Penang by bus, wondering whether to try and travel via train from Melaka to Penang or want to drive from Melaka to Penang by car.
I also describe the reverse journey from Penang to Melaka.
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Map: From Melaka To Penang
This map shows you how you can get from Melaka to Penang. The distance from Melaka to Penang is 510 kilometres with an estimated travel time of about 5.5 hours.
This will, of course, depend on the type of transportation that you take and the traffic.
BEST OPTION: How To Get From Melaka To Penang
There are various ways you can go to and from these destinations.
The cheapest way is to take the bus from Melaka to Penang. Meanwhile, the quickest and most convenient way to get to your destination is to travel via plane.
Option 1: Melaka To Penang Flight
If you plan to take a flight from Melaka to Penang, you can either fly from Melaka Airport (formerly known as the Batu Berendum Airport). Airline carriers like AirAsia and Malindo Air from Melaka to Penang run flights between these two destinations. Approximate flying time is about an hour.
The flight ticket from Melaka to Penang usually costs about RM200, but you can purchase them a lot cheaper during promos. Make sure to double-check your Melaka to Penang flight schedule in advance for possible flight changes, and rerouting.
Note that Melaka Airport is approximately 10 km. from the central Melaka, and it can take half an hour’s drive to get here. You can easily take a taxi from the city centre.
Penang International Airport terminal and airplane wing view during takeoffNow, after your Melaka to Penang flight has arrived at Penang Airport, note that the distance from the airport to Georgetown or the main city centre of Penang is 15 km. If you’re planning to the taxi or a Grab, travel time is approximately 30 minutes, and will cost about RM30.
A cheaper alternative is to catch the Rapid Penang Bus. Although it might take longer to get to your destination (approximately an hour) but will cost only about RM3.
To avoid traffic and any hassles on your flight, I recommend that you get to the airport earlier.
Like I said earlier, the fastest way to get from Melaka to Penang (and vice versa) is via plane. This is ideal if you’re pressed for time, and you don’t want to endure a 7-hour, butt-numbing bus ride. However, this option can be costly if you’re a budget traveller.
Option 2: Melaka To Penang Bus
Another option is to take the bus Melaka to Penang. You can catch a Melaka to Penang bus at Melaka Sentral. There are many bus lines available, and they usually run multiple times a day, on an hourly basis. Check the Melaka to Penang bus schedule in advance.
Keep in mind that travelling by bus usually takes longer. The Melaka to Penang bus duration is approximately 7 hours and costs around RM45.
I recommend that you buy your bus ticket from Melaka to Penang in advance, especially if you’re travelling on holidays and weekends because of the large influx of travellers that may be taking the bus from Melaka to Penang.
To shorten your travel time, you can also take the express bus from Melaka to Penang.
Riding the bus is one of the cheapest ways to get to your destination, so it’s excellent if you’re a solo or budget traveller. Just keep in mind that travel time is much longer. It will take approximately 7 hours to get to your destination.
Option 3: Melaka To Penang Train
Another option is to take the train from Melaka to Penang. From Pulau Sebang, take the KTM train to Butterworth (Gemas-Butterworth-Padang Besar).
The estimated travel time is approximately 6 hours and costs about RM65. Note, however, that Pulau Sebang station is about 40km and an hour’s drive away from Melaka.
Once you arrive at Butterworth station, walk and take a ferry that takes you across to George Town for Penang island. This takes approximately 20 minutes and costs around RM5.
Given the time it takes to get to the train station in Melaka (and then having to take the ferry that would take you to Penang Island), riding the bus is a more convenient option, unless you’re a big train person.
Option 4: Melaka To Penang By Car
Another way you can travel from Melaka to Penang is by car. This option is also one of the quickest and most convenient ways to get to your destination.
The total distance is about 510 kilometres with an approximate driving time of 5.5 hours. Travelling with your own vehicle helps you create a more flexible itinerary, allowing you to stop in notable tourist attractions along the way.
However, this is a more expensive option if you’re travelling on a budget, or you’re a solo traveller.
Penang To Melaka
Now, if you’re travelling the other way around and you want to get from Penang to Melaka, all you need to do is to take the following transportation options listed in reverse.
There is a direct flight from Penang to Melaka offered by various airline carriers such as AirAsia and Malindo Air Penang to Melaka. You can catch your Penang to Melaka flight at Penang Airport.
Another alternative way to travel from Penang to Melaka is to catch the Penang to Melaka bus at Penang Sentral. If you’re planning to take the bus from Penang to Melaka, make sure to secure your bus ticket from Penang to Melaka in advance and check the Penang to Melaka bus schedule to avoid any hassle.
Also, note that if you’re taking the Penang to Melaka bus, the Penang to Melaka bus duration will take approximately 7 hours.
A less popular alternative is to take the train to Melaka from Penang. From Penang Island, you have to take a 20-minute ferry before you can get to Butterworth station where you can ride a KTM train that will take you to Pulau Sebang.
The entire train ride takes approximately 6 hours of travel time. Once you arrive at Pulau Sebang, Melaka is still an hour’s drive away.
You can also travel from Penang to Melaka via a private car. The total travel time if you’re travelling from Penang to Melaka by car is approximately 5.5 hours.
So, there you have it. In this article, we have managed to cover the various transportations that you can take if you want to travel from Penang to Melaka (or vice versa).
If you have limited travel time, and you want to get to your destination the quickest way possible, then fly via plane.
However, if you find flying too expensive, a cheaper alternative is to take the bus. Note, however, that you’ll be travelling for longer periods, and you might have to endure a 7-hour bus ride to reach your destination.
Another option is to take a private car for quicker and more convenient travel.
We don’t recommend you travel via train (unless you’re a big train person) as it takes longer and will require multiple transfers which can be a hassle, especially with luggage.
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.