Penang is a small island city known for some of Malaysia’s best street food, cute colonial heritage houses, and street art.
The last item – hunting street art – is perhaps the most fun thing to do in the city. It’s a great way to explore the Georgetown area. Most hostels in town will pass out a map with locations of the famous murals. It feels like a scavenger hunt as you search for each one and then snap a photo when you find it. Some are located in little alleyways so you have to search harder for it. It’s always worth the effort! And as you’re searching for a particular one, you may find other surprises on the way.
I admit, though, that I didn’t try particularly hard to find every single famous one. When my sister and I were in Penang, it was DREADFULLY hot. And of course, it’s best to search for street art when it’s still bright outside. We waited until about 1.5 hour before sunset to start hunting, but the heat was still terrible. So we only hit up the ones around Armenia Street.
There are better posts about Penang’s street art (such as Angie’s post. She wrote more about the history of it, and she found WAY more art than I did!), so mine is mostly just photos. They’re in no particular order. Enjoy!
Let’s start with a couple of my favorite ones!
This one is perhaps the MOST iconic Penang street art piece. It has practically become a symbol of Penang. A lot of souvenir items feature this brother and sister on a bike.
I love how a lot of the art have 3D elements that allow you to interact with the piece and become part of it. I love this one below too.
And here’s my interpretation of it:
Foodie tip: Conveniently, it’s located right next to one of my favorite cafes of all time – China House. Seriously, look at this post and you’ll understand why. It’s a definite can’t-miss if you’re ever in Penang!
Besides the wall murals, you’ll also see wire art. In the photo below, this wall has half that’s a mural, and half wire art.
The wire art is so unique. They tell the history of Penang. In this one below found on Love Lane, it tells of when many shophouses started being converted into cheap budget hotels, which made the area into a famous backpacker’s district.
As you stroll around, you’ll also see many kitty murals! These are meant to bring awareness and care to stray cats.
On the other corner of this mural is a mouse hiding from this cat!
I really love this little piece too. It shows the mix of 3 cultures that make up Malaysia: Malay, Chinese, and Indian.
Finally, I’ll end with a few more of my favorites. I love how the art is all interactive. It makes it more fun for photos.
This is another famous one that was hidden in a little alleyway. This is Brother and Sister on a Swing.
It’s so fun to explore the city by going on a little art treasure hunt. If you don’t mind doing a bit of walking in the heat, you can find a lot more than we did. I was so pleasantly surprised by the vibrant art scene in Penang. This is what makes Penang such a special place. It’s got food, nature, history, and art – a perfect mix.
Have you been to Penang? Where else in the world have you seen great street art?
P.S. I know I tend to be overly wordy, so there will be some more photo posts coming up!