How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang
One of the best ways to travel on the cheap is to use local transport. We looked at all the options for travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island and settled on public bus and ferry. In this article, we will go through the options on how to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island so you can make an informed decision for your own travel plans.
Below, you’ll find the results of our research, which will help you decide which way you travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. Further down you’ll also read about our experience on the bus and ferry.
Flying from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island
✈️ Air Asia had the cheapest flights of all airlines. Although they didn’t have flights on the day we wanted to travel, the cost on other days ranged from 180MYR per person.
Train from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island (via Butterworth)
🚉 Trains are a great option. They take about four hours to travel, and there are two different carriage options that differ in level of comfort. From Sentral KL Station, the train travels to Butterworth, and then you get a ferry across to Penang island. Most importantly, book your train early as they book up quickly!
Grab from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island
🚕 By Grab, you can book a car and driver, and it will cost anywhere from 600-1000MYR, depending on the amount of luggage you have. The small cars are small, so our family of four (with luggage) need a six seater.
Private car from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island
🚗 To book a private car, you’d be looking at closer to 1000MYR. The benefit of this would be that they are often willing to stop off at specific places on the way. We contemplated this because we thought we could stop at Ipoh on the way through.
Public bus from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island (via Butterworth)
🚌 By bus there are many many options! There are so many sizes, companies, and levels of comfort. You can book a bus online using the RedBus website (or others) or walk into the station and book it. The cost ranges significantly, as does the comfort, and in turn, the cost! Our bus cost 160MYR for the four of us.
Ferry from Butterworth to Penang island
⛴️ The final leg from Butterworth to Penang island was simple. From the bus station, we followed the signs to the ferry, bought a ticket, and boarded immediately. They leave every 30 minutes and take 10 minutes to get across.
Our journey from Kuala Lumpur to Penang island
We booked an AeroCity Executive (2+1) bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan to Penang Sentral (Butterworth). The bus was scheduled to leave at 9:45am and take 5hr15 but didn’t leave until 10:30am and it took closer to 7hrs due to traffic. The bus was so comfortable that we had large seats (2 and 1 across).
We had WiFi available, although it wasn’t fabulous. There was loads of room for luggage downstairs (all seating upstairs). We had one stop along the way for a toilet break, too. We were able to eat our own food on board which was handy. There were USB charging ports assigned for each seat, too. So good. We would definitely recommend travelling by bus from KL to Penang.
If we knew it was this good, we would have done the same from Penang to Langkawi! But, we’ve already booked a flight for that part of our journey.