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, want to drive from Melaka to Penang by car or have the ease of a private taxi.
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 just over 500 kilometres with an estimated travel time of about 6 hours if driving direct.
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 2024
The best way to travel between Melaka and Penang is by flying. The next best way is by private taxi. The cheapest way is to take the bus from Melaka to Penang.
Here is a summary of your options….
|Mode of transport
|People who want the quickest option
|People who want the cheapest option
|People who love trains and don’t mind taking a ferry and long taxi ride as well
|People who want the quickest and easiest way
|People who are happy to hire a car and like to stop along the way
Option 1: Melaka To Penang Flight
If you would like to take a flight from Melaka to Penang, there is a daily flight from Melaka Airport (formerly known as the Batu Berendum Airport) with Batik Airlines between the two places. Approximate flying time is about an hour and twenty minutes.
Since there is no competition on this route at the this time, it can be a more expensive route. However, if you book awhile ahead, the flight ticket from Melaka to Penang start at around RM130.
Note that Melaka Airport is approximately 9 kilometres from central Melaka, and it can take a half an hour’s drive to get here. You can easily take a taxi from the city centre using the Grab app.
After your Melaka to Penang flight has arrived at Penang Airport, note that the distance from the airport to George Town or the main city centre of Penang is 15 kilometres. If you’re planning to the taxi or a Grab, travel time is approximately 30 minutes, and will cost about RM40.
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.
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 7.5 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. Buses tend to depart in the mornings and the evenings.
Keep in mind that travelling by bus usually takes longer. The Melaka to Penang bus duration is approximately 7.5 hours and costs around RM50.
I recommend that you buy your bus ticket from Melaka to Penang in advance, especially if you’re travelling on holidays and weekends.
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.
Melaka Sentral, where the buses depart from, is about four kilometres from the central tourist area in Melaka. You’ll need to take a taxi to reach here or a local bus.
On arrival in Penang, you’ll be at the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal which is about 11 kilometres from George Town. Again, you can take a local bus or a taxi.
Option 3: Melaka To Penang Train
Another option is to take the train from Melaka to Penang. However, I don’t recommend taking this option as the bus is more convenient, faster and cheaper. However, if you are a big train person, you may want to consider it.
The closest train station to Melaka is Pulau Sebang/Tampin. It’s about 37 kilometres and an hour’s drive from the centre of Melaka. You can take a taxi here or travel by local bus. However, note that it’ll require two local buses, a fair bit of walking and take about three hours all up, so a taxi is your best choice.
From Pulau Sebang, take the KTM train to Butterworth. This currently runs once a day in the afternoon and takes around 6.5 hours. Tickets start at RM74.
Butterworth is not on Penang island. Once you arrive there, you need to walk and take a ferry that takes you across to George Town. This takes approximately 20 minutes and costs around RM1.20. Ferries run about every 30 minutes.
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.
Option 4: Melaka To Penang By Taxi
The easiest and quickest way (after flying) to get from Melaka to Penang is to book a long distance taxi to take you door-to-door.
While it is more expensive, it’s also stress free! And you can arrive refreshed and ready to go instead of hot and sweaty. You also don’t have all the queues and waiting round of air or bus travel.
We can book a taxi for you with a safe and trustworthy local operator starting from RM1000.
Option 5: 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 500 kilometres with an approximate driving time of 6 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. It’s also quite a long way which is tiring.
Penang To Melaka
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 transportation options listed above in reverse.
There is a daily direct flight from Penang to Melaka. It operates in the morning and takes around one hour and twenty minutes. This is on Batik Air Penang to Melaka.
You can catch your Penang to Melaka flight at Penang Airport. Find more details here.
An alternative way to travel from Penang to Melaka is to catch a Penang to Melaka bus from various terminals in Penang.
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 7.5 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.
This train runs once a day in the morning and takes approximately 6.5 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 6 hours.
Instead of driving yourself, you can also take a private taxi. We can book a taxi for you with a safe and trustworthy local operator.
In this article, we have covered the various transportation 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 it takes around 7.5 hours to reach your destination.
Another option is to take a taxi for quicker, easier 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.
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!