Skip to Content

Top 14 indoor activities in Penang to keep you cool and dry

Top 14 indoor activities in Penang to keep you cool and dry

Wondering what to do on a rainy day in Penang or where to go to escape the heat? Here we have compiled the best indoor activities in Penang for you.

Penang packs a punch with the array of activities on offer; from the street food and street art of downtown George Town, to rainforest hikes and sea kayaking at Penang National Park, and everything in between, there are so many things to do in Penang!

However, this is the tropics and during your visiting, whether it’s one day in Penang or a two week stay, there are going to be a moment when you seek an indoor activity in Penang. Perhaps you’re visiting in the rainy season and need to shelter from the afternoon downpour, or perhaps you just need some time in an airconditioned room away from the sun and heat? Either way, here we detail the best Penang indoor activities.

1. Entopia

Click here for more information
Open 9am to 6pm every day except Wednesday when Entopia is closed

butterfly at Entopia

Entopia is one of the largest butterfly gardens in Malaysia with approximately 15,000 free-flying butterflies at any one time consisting of up to 60 species. All within ‘The Natureland’, there are also a range of invertebrates and reptiles, over 200 species of plants, plus waterfalls and caves.

There are also two floors of exhibitions and indoor activities as part of ‘The Cocoon’ with interactive stations and walk-through experiences.

Allow 2-3 hours for your visit. This is an especially good activity if visiting Penang with kids.

2. Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion

Click here for more information
Two tours daily at 11am and 2pm, or book a self-guided audio tour

Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion

Painted in distinct indigo-blue, Cheong Fatt Tze (more commonly known as ‘The Blue Mansion’) is an impressive Chinese historical mansion in George Town.

Built at the end of the 19th century by the merchant Cheong Fatt Tze, who was once regarded as the richest person in Malaya, this mansion is now a boutique hotel (and one of the best hotels in Penang) and also offers tours for visitors to marvel at the architecture and understand more about Chinese history on the island.

There are two tours daily at 11am and 2pm, lasting 45 minutes. Numbers are capped at 35 and the tours are very popular, so pre-booking is advised.

Alternatively, you can also book online for a self-guided audio tour. You are able to enter the mansion between 11am and 6pm, although there is a maximum of 12 per day, so again, pre-booking is advised. This is the much more relaxed way to enjoy a tour of the Blue Mansion, but unfortunately there is no guide to ask questions to. Ensure you download the tour app onto your smartphone before your visit (a link is provided when you book your ticket) and that you have earphones to connect and listen.

3. Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi

Click here for more information
Open daily from 9am to 5pm, including public holidays

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, or Khoo Kongsi for short, is arguably one of the grandest Chinese clan community centres in Malaysia. The temple, which is the focal point, is beautifully ornate and stunning to walk around.

You will also find here a small museum providing information on the history of clan buildings and culture, as well as Chinese history on Penang, plus a souvenir and ice-cream stall.

No need to pre-book. Just turn up and pay the entrance feel at the ticket booth on arrival.

4. Gurney Plaza

Click here for more information
Open daily from 10am to 10pm

Gurney Plaza, Penang

The beauty of Penang is its juxtaposition between old and new, and what better way to experience modern Penang than at it’s premier shopping mall, Gurney Plaza.

Spread over nine floors, Gurney Plaza offers both high end and Western high street shops (such as Marks & Spencer) as well as restaurants and a 12-screen cinema (there are always Western films in English showing).

5. Upside Down Museum

Click here for more information
Open daily from 9:30am to 6:30pm

Create crazy photographs and defy gravity in a world where everything is the wrong way up. Then share your photos with family and friends back home to really confuse them.

Located in George Town, Penang’s Upside Down Museum is great fun for a hour to escape an afternoon downpour or the heat. Although if you’ve been to others around the world (they are particularly popular in Southeast Asian cities) then it may lack a little novelty.

6. Tech Dome Penang

Click here for more information
Open daily from 9:30am to 6:30pm

Tech Dome Penang is Penang’s Science Museum, showcasing 120 interactive science and technology exhibits all under the one roof. This is a superb Penang indoor activity for any science-buffs!

Understand gravity with the G-Drop, code your bot around a maze, try an escape the laser beams, float balls with air, and take on the climbing wall. This science museum is brilliant fun and will get you thinking.

7. Ghost Museum Penang

Click here for more information
Open 10am to 7pm every day

A weird and whacky museum in the heart of Georgetown with ghostly and scary exhibits that make you feel like you’ve stepped into at an 80’s Halloween-themed party. You will hear the stories from 30 different ghosts, teaching visitors about dark culture and history, and have the opportunity to take some trick-eye photos. It’s all rather garish and tacky, but will get you laughing.

8. Afternoon tea at The E&O

Click here for more information
Serving 3pm 5pm every day

afternoon tea at The E&O Penang

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel, commonly known as the E&O Hotel, is an iconic and historic landmark situated in the heart of George Town. Established in 1885 by the Sarkies Brothers, who also founded the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the E&O Hotel exudes an old-world charm that transports guests to a bygone era.

It’s one of Penang’s most luxurious hotels, but you don’t need to pay the hefty price tag to enjoy its grandeur. Afternoon tea at The E&O is one of the top things to do in Penang, and as it’s indoors, this is a perfect indoor activity for a rainy day or beating the heat.

The three-tiered English afternoon tea that is served every afternoon between 3 and 5pm is the quintessential E&O experience. Please not that there is a dress code after 3pm;  smart-casual attire is required (Polo T-shirts are acceptable but guests are discouraged from wearing shorts, singlets, flip flops and gentlemen’s sandals).

Pre-book your afternoon-tea online to guarantee a table.

9. De’ 8000, Mini Golf Café

Click here for more information
Open 10am to 11pm every day

This quirky indoor café offers mini golf alongside your tea and cake! Or time your visit for a meal.

10. Karaoke

Click here for more information
Open 11am to 3am every day

Malaysians love karaoke, so why not grab the mic and try some yourself? Don’t worry, you get your own booth so no one can hear you 😉

Message ahead on whatsapp to secure your karaoke session!

11. Penang War Museum

Click here for more information
Open 9am to 6pm every day

Penang War Museum

Whilst not strictly an indoor activity, Penang War Museum is mostly sheltered and offers a fascinating insight into the Japanese occupation of Penang during WW2. It’s also one of the few Penang indoor activities that’s not located in George Town. Instead it’s located to the southeast of the island on Batu Maung Hill.

Initially a military fortress designed by the British in the 1930s, it was lost to the invading Japanese in 1942 and then used as a site to detain prisoners of war. A fascinating place to visit.

12. Get a massage

Lots of different options around Penang. Best to check Google Maps for a spa close to you.

Penang spa day

One of my (Jenny) personal favourite things to do on a free rainy afternoon in Penang is to get a massage. An hour or two of pure, relaxing bliss to zone out and reset.

Massages in Southeast Asia are always so much cheaper (and better) that ones back home in the UK, so I never feel guilty with the mini splurge.

The easiest way to find a spa near to where you are based in Penang is to check Google maps. For downtown George Town, Bliss Wellness or Spakita Reflexology are both good options. And along the main stretch of Batu Ferringhi (where you’ll find Penang beach resorts) there are lots of options. For something a little more upmarket, try De Villa Spa or Tower Spa Penang.

13. Adventure Zone

Click here for more information
Open 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm every day (always closed for 1 hour over lunch)

If you’re looking to escape the Penang heat but still need to keep the kids active, head over to Adventure Zone for an indoor play experience including slides, ball pools and soft-play.

Located in Batu Feringgi, as part of the Shangri-La hotel complex, the Adventure Zone is open every day; just remember to bring socks for the little ones, and they’re expected to wear long sleeves and pants when using the slides.

There is a small snack counter for parents to grab a hot drink while their little one plays. If you are visiting with a toddler, there is a reserved area for them.

Entry fee for non-resort guests is RM36 for 2 hours or RM43 for 4 hours per child.

14. Dark Mansion – 3D Glow in the Dark Museum 

Click here for more information
Open 10am to 6:30pm every day

The first and only 3D glow in the dark museum in Malaysia, Dark Mansion is one of the most fun things to to in Penang when it rains. Allow 1-2 hours for your visit and watch as paintings transform from 2D paintings to weird and whacky 3D optical illusions!

Make sure you have your camera handy to capture the fun illusions. Staff are on hand to help you find the best angle for those photos.