Headed up to Penang for a quick weekend getaway? Besides great food culture, you can’t miss the colourful alleyways of the famous George Town, with its many walls covered with murals and street art. I put together this detailed walking guide with some recommended routes to help you find all the Penang street art in George Town on your own.
There has been quite a boom of street art in Penang since 2012 when I first created this post. To make things easier, I’ve plotted out the locations on this Google Map and recommended some routes in different colours that you can follow when exploring George Town on your own.
This Lithuanian artist is probably the reason why street art became such a big deal to Penang in the first place, after his commissioned work ‘Mirrors George Town’ for the George Town Festival back in 2012 became a big hit. His works are by far the most popular out of all the street art I saw, with queues forming to take pictures with these works and appearing on souvenirs quite prominently. He recently had a solo exhibition in early 2014 titled Art is Rubbish is Art, and now has works that can be found in various part of Malaysia, Singapore and Europe.
This collection of 12 cat-related street artworks is a project by Thai artist Natthapon Muangkliang and Malaysian artists Louise Low and Tang Yeok Khang aimed at creating awareness towards stray animals. Here’s a quite detailed blogpost about where you can find all the 101 Lost Kittens artworks.
Creative space Hin Bus Depot and Urban Nation organizes an annual urban arts festival that invites both local Malaysian and prominent overseas street arts to Penang to transform the buildings with murals and street art. Beyond murals, it also brings together contemporary art and outdoor art installations to the streets of Penang.
These 52 iron structures can be found in abundance throughout George Town, and were actually commissioned by the Penang Tourism Board to provide a fun pictoral anecdote about the history of the street it is located on, and is a rather fun way to learn a little bit about Penang’s heritage. I don’t cover that in here because the locations are already pretty well documented by the Tourism Board.
There are many different street artworks besides those listed above, some by random artists and others commissioned by the local tenants. I tried my best to find out info about these artists and credit them accordingly here, but if you do have updates, please let me know!
Another handy resource I used for my 2016 trip is Travel2Penang, which is pretty detailed and the street view maps were simultaneously useful yet hard to read somehow
*Remember that street art is transient and ever-changing and I might have overlooked some spots!
Route 1 (Orange)
Lebuh Ah Quee
Start from Lebuh Cannon junction and walk down towards Jalan Pantai junction.
Turn left at the Lebuh Pantai junction. Walk past Gat Lebuh Chulia junction. Before you reach Lebuh Pasar, you should come across a carpark on your left where you should see these two artworks quite easily:
Gat Lebuh Chulia
Turn back down Lebuh Pantai and walk towards Gat Lebuh Chulia. Turn left and walk towards Pengkalan Weld aka Weld Quay.
*on the opposite of Gat Lebuh Chulia is another alleyway. Within that one you can see another of Louis Gan’s murals, which show two kids playing basketball. I missed that this time around!
Route 2 (Red)
After you are done with the orange route above, continue walking down Gat Lebuh Chulia till you reach Pengkalan Weld. Turn right and walk down the road (away from the Bus interchange). You should pass various jetty entrances, stop and turn in the one that says Chew Jetty.
Gat Lebuh Armenian
Backtrack towards Pengkalan Weld and cross the road. Gat Lebuh Armenian should be directly opposite. Walk straight up the road towards Lebuh Armenian.
*another 101 Lost Kittens work entitled ‘Please care and bathe me’ is somewhere around here, though I couldn’t find it!
After Gat Lebuh Armenian, cross the Lebuh Pantai junction towards Lebuh Armenian and walk all the way up. You will need to make a minor detour towards Lorong Soo Hong. This road is closed to vehicular traffic on weekends.
Route 3 (Yellow)
From Lebuh Armenian junction, turn left and walk down Lebuh Cannon.
Lorong Toh Aka
Route 4 (Green)
Ok I didn’t link this walk with the other three as it is a little bit further away. Start from Jalan Masjid Kepitan Keling and walk along Lorong Stewart.
If you have any additions or corrections, do drop me a comment or an email please! I created this guide based on my own experiences and research, so I may have missed out some things or gotten locations wonky, so do help me make this guide better!
I loved Penang, and we spent there a week - two weeks in George town but still i haven't seen some of the murals you have posted ;)
Wednesday 31st of July 2019
Hope you have a chance to return and see them! There are plenty of murals outside of George Town as well :)
Wednesday 11th of October 2017
Excellent article! I loved this piece and the detailed info. I believe you ventured far beyond the more well known street artworks and showed some hidden gems.
Thursday 12th of October 2017
Thanks Ayush I hope it helped you find some cool works :)
Tuesday 30th of May 2017
Thanks so much for this post - I managed to find so much of the art this week because of it! Unfortunately a couple are starting to fade even more but as you said, there are lots of new ones too! Great post :)
Thursday 1st of June 2017
thanks, good to know! well street art is everchanging, so the fun part is seeing what new works pop up over time :)
Friday 3rd of March 2017
I will be there tomorrow :) for 2 days. Thank you so much for the intricate directions! full information is here! Thank you Thank you.
Saturday 4th of March 2017
have fun and glad you found the guide useful!
Tuesday 20th of September 2016
I'm kinda disappointed to be in Penang with someone who's grumpy all the time about walking despite the fact that I've told her more than once that Penang holiday was going to be all about walking long before booking our flight.
Now I'm flying back home without photographing any of the paintings. :(
Thank you for the detailed post I can at least enjoy the painting through your camera.
Wednesday 3rd of May 2017
I know how you feel. I think you have to come back to Penang next time :)
Wednesday 21st of September 2016
Well some people just don't like walking unfortunately! Hopefully you have a chance to come back next time on your own :)