A Comparison of Penang and Kuala Lumpur: Which City is Best for You?

When it comes to Malaysia, Penang and Kuala Lumpur are two of the most popular destinations for tourists and expats alike. Both cities offer unique experiences and attractions, but which one is better? 

In this article, we will compare the two cities based on several factors to help you decide which one is best for you. If you want to visit Penang or Kuala Lumpur, flight search for your flight tickets only with Traveloka. 

Cost of Living

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a city is the cost of living. When it comes to the cost of living, Penang is generally considered to be cheaper than Kuala Lumpur. 

This is especially true when it comes to housing, where you can find affordable apartments and houses in Penang. However, Kuala Lumpur offers a wider variety of options when it comes to shopping and entertainment, with more upscale malls and restaurants.


Another important factor to consider is transportation. Kuala Lumpur has a more developed public transportation system, with a network of trains, buses, and taxis that can take you anywhere in the city. 

Penang has a less developed public transportation system, and it can be difficult to get around without a car or scooter. However, Penang is a smaller city, so it is easier to navigate and there is less traffic than in Kuala Lumpur.


Malaysia is known for its incredible food, and both Penang and Kuala Lumpur offer a wide variety of delicious dishes. Penang is particularly famous for its street food, with hawker stalls selling everything from char kway teow to assam laksa.

While for Kuala Lumpur, this city offers a more diverse range of cuisines, with high-end restaurants serving everything from Japanese to Italian food.


Both Penang and Kuala Lumpur have plenty of attractions to offer visitors. Penang is known for its historic colonial buildings, beautiful beaches, and cultural heritage sites like the Kek Lok Si Temple and the Penang Peranakan Mansion. Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur is famous for its iconic landmarks like the Petronas Twin Towers, as well as its museums, theme parks, and shopping malls.


If you’re looking for nightlife, Kuala Lumpur is the place to be. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Penang, on the other hand, has a more laid-back vibe, with fewer options for nightlife. However, there are still some great bars and restaurants in Penang, and you can always head to the beach for a relaxing evening.


In conclusion, both Penang and Kuala Lumpur have their own unique charm and attractions. If you’re looking for a more affordable city with a slower pace of life, Penang might be the better choice for you. 

However, if you’re looking for a city with a wider variety of shopping, entertainment, and nightlife, Kuala Lumpur is the place to be. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your own personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a city.