The best times to visit Penang are December and February in our opinion. The weather during these months is slightly cooler than the rest of the year. Furthermore, there's less chance of rain ruining your planned activities. This, and the Christmas and New Year's Eve festivities, make December and February the best times of year to visit Penang.
That being said, depending on your motives, you may have a different perception of the best time to visit Penang weather-wise. So, ultimately, deciding what is the best time of year to visit Penang can sometimes come down to personal preference. For example, some people may prefer to travel here when it's less crowded. Others may prefer hotter or colder temperatures. Or, maybe you're interested in attending certain events throughout the year.
However, this magnificent island is also considered a year-round destination as the tropical climate is relatively stable, and the weather barely fluctuates. Therefore, you can almost always get away with shorts and a T-shirt. However, it's still handy to carry an umbrella for the occasional to frequent showers.
Either way, we'll present you with monthly weather conditions, the top activities and events, and the anticipated forecast for rainfall. That way, you can decide on the best time to visit Penang!
For bright blue skies and over eight hours of warm sunshine - go in January! The average temperature in January is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. There are ten days of rainfall on average during this month. Furthermore, January is one of the best times of year to visit Penang because you can celebrate the Chinese New Year with the locals.
During this time, you must visit the beautiful display at Kek Lok Si Temple. The lights are spectacular, and it's even open to the public at night. Furthermore, you must check out the plenty of colourful, bright lights running from the Kuan Yin statue to the pavilion Penang temple.
Also, we recommend visiting one of Georgetown's most iconic buildings, the Blue Mansion of Cheong Fatt Tze. This tycoon millionaire's home is a depiction of Strait Chinese architecture. We had a great time at their fine dining restaurant called Indigo. You can even stay overnight in one of their gorgeously furnished rooms.
Additionally, the Botanical Gardens are also a must-see because they have the most scenic landscapes. Here you can observe many forms of wildlife, from monkeys to lizards. There's even a gift shop that you can drop by for a souvenir.
January is the best time to visit Penang weather-wise because of how the sunshine bathes almost every place you visit. So we recommend visiting these buildings to start the year. It's much easier to appreciate their beauty when the lights shine on them like they do in January.
Conveniently, the driest month of the year is February! The average monthly temperature is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. There are only six days of rainfall on average during this month. This means the sun is always shining, and the weather is pretty predictable, making it the best time to visit Penang weather-wise.
Check out the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Polo Ground when you're here. This yearly event is purposely timed to fit seamlessly into the Chinese New Year festivities and helps to make it one of the best times of year to visit Penang. Several family-friendly activities have been added to the event. For example, there is kite flying, photography contests, and other fun workshops.
Furthermore, The Happy and Loud Dong-Dong-Cheng accompanies the Chinese New Year festivities as well. During this event, acrobatic performances and lion dances take place on the streets of Georgetown.
Moreover, the best time to visit Penang Hill is in February. It's not too hot or cold, and the views at 830 metres above sea level are stunning. If you agree with us on this, we advise you to rise early in the morning and catch a cloudy and beamy sunrise like no other!
There's no better way to bathe in the beauty of Georgetown. But, of course, you can also opt for the evening if city lights are more your cup of tea. February is truly one of the best times of year to visit Penang.
The average temperature in March is 33 °C with a low of 24 °C. The average monthly rainfall is ten days, which is not too bad. However, remember that the humidity may make conditions feel even hotter. Therefore, March may not be the best time to visit Malaysia to avoid the heat. You can expect to see a mixture of cloudy and clear skies with light breezes throughout most days.
March is the best time to visit Penang if you want to catch the beginning of spring and the best flora and fauna the place has to offer. So, you should plan a trip to the Tropical Spice Garden, which is another must-try activity. This unique garden features over 500 species of exotic wildlife. This is also another best time to visit Penang Hill, where March has relatively similar weather to February but is less crowded.
Furthermore, we suggest that you stroll down Armenian Street and discover the many art galleries, trinket shops and cafes. You'll probably pass by a well-loved mural called "Little Children on a Bicycle". At night, you can see the full charm that the area has to offer. You can also spend time walking through Georgetown's heritage buildings like Pinang Peranakan Mansion and clan houses like Khoo Kongsi.
Sunshine and a few clouds make April among the best times to visit Malaysia. The month's average temperature is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. The average monthly rainfall is 11 days when the Penang rainy season starts. However, during our time there, we mainly saw sunshine and blue skies with a few cloudy days.
During April, a must-see festival is the Thai Water Festival Songkran. It is a traditional Thai-Burmese event that inaugurates the Thai New Year. To celebrate the festival, participants splash lots of water on one another so prepare to get soaked! While it is done at a smaller scale compared to Thailand, the celebrations are still done at Wat Chayamangkalaram, a Thai Buddhist temple in Penang.
We also suggest witnessing the Vaisakhi Celebration that takes place at Penang Times Square. It's a festivity you don't want to miss during one of the best times of year to visit Penang. This is a Sikh harvest festival that typically draws approximately 3,000 people to celebrate. Festivities include free henna painting, free food, cultural exhibits, and bhangra dancing.
If you decide April is the best time of year to visit Penang, you should also visit the Entopia butterfly farm. The dormancy of the butterflies ends come spring, so you can see their bright and colourful wings light up the farm. It is an activity that your family is sure to enjoy!
You'll want to start carrying an umbrella if you choose May as the best time to visit Malaysia. The average temperature in May is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. Furthermore, the average rainfall for the month is 13 days. Therefore, you should expect high levels of humidity. On the other hand, the days will be sunny for the most part.
Despite not being the best time to visit Penang weather-wise there are still so many awesome things to take part in. For example, you can observe Wesak Day in May to celebrate Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death. In the evening, there's a procession of 15 floats where you and approximately 10,000 other people gather and can watch them pass by.
Although, the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival changes yearly - it’s definitely a sight to see. The festival takes place in Teluk Bahang Dam. On our visit in May, we observed colourfully painted dragonheads and boats. It was a fantastic spectacle!
Moreover, we had the most fun at ESCAPE Theme Park at Teluk Bahang. You can experience the fun of Guinness World Book of Record zip lines and the joy of sturdy climbing platforms without the crowds. So, if festivals are your thing, May is the best time of year to visit Penang.
The average temperature in June is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. The average rainfall for the month is eight days. The island is moderately humid, and the blue skies are plentiful, with a few rainy days in between.
For locals, June is famously known as the start of Durian season. Coincidentally, the Durian Festival in Georgetown is held in the same month and is must-try event for the whole family. It's a time when the King of Fruits is celebrated! From Musang King to Black Thorn, tons of people show up to indulge the mysterious, sweet and aromatic Durian.
You can also check out one of our favourite summertime activities on the island - visiting the clan jetties. These floating, stilted Chinese villages in Georgetown stand over the water on the city's east coast. Each village contains a Chinese clan, and everyone has their own unique traditions. So it's an excellent opportunity to learn the history of the culture and the best time of year to visit Penang.
You should see mostly clear skies during July. Mid-afternoon showers often serve as a welcome break from the high humidity levels you're sure to experience. The average temperature in July is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. There are nine days of rainfall on average during this month. Unfortunately, the heat is no joke during this time of year. So, not the best time to visit Penang weather-wise.
However, July is one of the best times of year to visit Penang if you want to be busy with the many activities that are held. You'll be treated to the Georgetown Festival, a month-long procession at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the festival, you can participate in the photo contest, increase historical awareness of the place, dive deep into the rainforest or just enjoy the local artwork.
Another activity that we enjoy in July is the Japanese Bon Odori Festival at the Penang Esplanade. In honour of the ancestors, this Japanese-Buddhist festival features dancing, big drums, Japanese gifts, games, fireworks, food stalls, and more.
We also recommend checking out the Penang International Paddy Festival, as it's one of the best times of year to visit Penang. The community celebrates the traditions and efforts of the rice farmers. They showcase music, storytelling, games, and traditional methods of planting rice.
As we get into August, there will be a higher chance of rain. There are about 11 days of rainfall on average during this month. The average temperature in August is 32 °C with a low of 24 °C. Having said that, there are still plenty of outdoor events that are planned during this month.
Attending the Malaysian Independence Day parade at Padang Kota Lama, Georgetown is always a blast. During the parade, you'll have the chance to catch the most important politicians and the military on the main stage. Sometimes the Malaysian air force has their planes fly overhead, and if that wasn't enough spectacle, there's also food and music. This is a great reason to believe that August is the best time of year to visit Penang.
Moreover, we suggest heading to Penang National Park for some nature and wildlife. You might even get a glimpse of some macaques. Then, dip in the beautiful waters at Monkey Beach. It's a popular beach on the island where you can grab a cocktail after soaking in the sun.
Although the Penang rainy season starts in April and May, the heaviest rains of the year begin in September. Therefore, you'll want to have an umbrella with you at all times and a suitable raincoat. The average temperature in September is 31 °C with a low of 24 °C.
There are around 13 days of rainfall on average during this month.
Instead of the brief showers we mentioned earlier, it can rain for days at a time during this period. So, unless you love being soaked, it is not the best time to visit Penang weather-wise.
The Nine Emperor Gods Festival occurs in September or October (varies year on year) at various Chinese temples throughout the island. You'll see a fire walking ceremony, eat delicious vegetarian meals at the food stalls, and more. There's also a colourful float that travels through the city on the last day.
We like to plan for indoor activities during the rainy season, like visiting the Upside Down Museum. You can take quirky photos, plus it's a great idea for things to do in Penang with kids.
September is absolutely the best time of year to visit Penang if you are also interested in what the nightlife offers. This is because there aren't many tourists, and popular spots like Junk Cafe and Wheeler's will not be as crowded. So if you need things to do at night in Penang, don't hesitate to walk the streets and sample the delicacies.
You can expect to see more cloudy skies during October, though you'll also catch about seven hours of sunshine. The average temperature in October is 31 °C with a low of 24 °C. There are about 15 days of rainfall on average during this month. We know many people dig this kind of vibe, but if you ask us, October is not the best time to visit Penang weather-wise.
October is a good time to visit Penang for the Penang International Lion Dance on Stilts Championship. The event is held at Han Chiang Stadium in George Town. It is a unique showmanship of lion dance skills where you can see the performers gracefully fly and glide through the air.
Furthermore, there are barely any crowds in October, so we enjoy visiting the city's town hall. It's the oldest municipal building in Georgetown. The town hall has gorgeous arched windows and tall columns with a Victorian design. It's an excellent opportunity to take pictures and learn about the island’s history.
In addition, we loved going to the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden in October. The serene and spacious atmosphere of the space makes them a top attraction for tourists. There are also ostriches, emus, and Bengal Tigers to observe. October is absolutely one of the best times of year to visit Penang because you can avoid the huge crowd and enjoy popular places without a rush.
November is absolutely one of the best times to visit Penang weather-wise. The average temperature in November is 31 °C with a low of 24 °C. There are about 13 days of rainfall on average during this month. During most days, there are afternoon clouds, but the mornings should be clear, giving you about seven hours of sunshine.
Consider joining (or watching) the Penang Bridge International Marathon during mid-November on the island's first bridge. It's cool to see half and full marathons being run, and it's a great way to meet new people. We love the Georgetown Literary Festival, which is one of a kind. You can meet local and international authors and discuss your favourite books. There are also free workshops and labels in addition to the festivities.
Furthermore, you don't want to miss Deepavali, located in Little India. Also called "The Festival of Lights," colourful lamps surround the area. It's a festive occasion to give thanks for knowledge, wealth, peace, and happiness. These cultural events make November an attractive time to visit Penang.
The average temperature in December is 31 °C with a low of 24 °C. There are about eight days of rainfall on average during this month. December is one of the best times to visit Penang weather-wise because it's generally a cooler month. As a result, there aren't as many bright blue skies, but it's still excellent weather.
Celebrate the New Year's countdown at the Esplanade in Penang. There will be live bands and a large fireworks display, which we loved when we attended. It's definitely the best time of year to visit Penang for the holiday spirit.
Furthermore, before you arrive, we suggest checking out the many Christmas Eve parties along Penang Road. The dance shows, and live bands make it quite a sight to see, especially with all the lights and decorations.
Lastly, don't forget to stop by the Jazz Festival at Batu Ferringhi International or the Bayview Beach Resort, one of the best Penang resorts. The country's prominent jazz musicians come to dazzle the audience with their spectacular renditions of the most popular songs. If we had to choose, it's hard not to opt for December as the best time of year to visit Penang.
However, flight tickets start getting more expensive from mid-December. If we're travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang during this time, we prefer to drive to save costs. However, if we're coming from Singapore to Penang, we'd take a direct flight. From our experience, it's been much cheaper to fly directly to Penang using Airsia first rather than to Kuala Lumpur.
Penang Weather by Month
|January||32°C - 24 °C|
|February||33°C - 24 °C|
|March||32°C - 24 °C|
|April||32°C - 25 °C|
|May||32°C - 25 °C|
|June||32°C - 25 °C|
|July||32°C - 24 °C|
|August||32°C - 24 °C|
|September||31°C - 24 °C|
|October||31°C - 24 °C|
|November||31°C - 24 °C|
|December||31°C - 24 °C|
Ultimately, the best time of year to visit Penang depends on your preference. This island is a gorgeous city to visit at any time of the year. However, if you want to plan around certain events throughout the year, this guide will surely help you decide on the best time of year to visit Penang.
Follow us on Instagram @tabitogether to find out more about our travels!
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.