Hey there, art connoisseurs and architectural enthusiasts! If you’re searching for a place that blends stunning street art with beautiful architecture, look no further than the colorful streets of Georgetown, Penang. No wonder the neighborhood of Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage site in itself! Trust me when I say this place is an absolute dream for those who appreciate the beauty of both art and architecture. So, grab your cameras and get ready to capture this photogenic city! In this post, I will cover the best street art in Penang and also give you the exact locations to get there! There is also a bonus Google Map of all the Penang Street Art at the end of this post too!
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How did the Street Art in Penang start?
The street art scene in Penang began to gain significant prominence with the initiation of the “Mirrors George Town” project in 2012. This project was a collaboration between the Penang State Tourism Development Office and Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. It aimed to rejuvenate the streets of George Town by integrating art into public spaces, attracting tourists from all over the world.
Ernest Zacharevic played a crucial role in transforming the streets of Penang into an open-air gallery. He created a series of interactive murals that depicted scenes from everyday life in Penang. He incorporated real objects in the murals to encourage interaction. His murals became a huge hit and now Penang is one of the best street art cities in the world to visit.
The success of Zacharevic’s murals inspired other local and international artists to contribute to Penang’s street art scene. Today, there are numerous street art pieces adorning the walls of George Town, created by both renowned artists and local talents.
The street art that can be found all over Georgetown has become an integral part of Penang’s identity. In fact, it has been awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get to Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
The easiest way is by hiring a taxi via Grab (the Malaysian version of Uber). Otherwise, you can rent a car. I use Discover Cars to find the best price (link to hire a car). All the street art is pretty accessible so you can really just walk around easily from spot to spot once you’ve made it to the Georgetown area.
💡Pro-Tip: When visiting Penang, be sure to get an e-sim card. It’s my best travel hack ever. No need for the hassle of buying a physical e-sim anymore! I use Airalo (click here to purchase online and install right away!).
🎨 If you don’t want the stress of finding all the street art yourself then you can do a tour where you’ll learn about the history and be taken to some of the best spots! (Click here to book the tour)
Where to Stay near the Penang Street Art
You’ll definitely want to stay somewhere in Georgetown as that is where all the street art is!
Affordable Hotels in Georgetown
- MoonTree47: where I stayed! Very kind host and a quirky place. The front part is a cafe and shop (check prices & book).
- Museum Hotel
- Very Hotel
Luxury Hotels in Georgetown
The Best Street Art in Penang, Georgetown
Seeing the street art in Penang is the absolute best thing to do in Georgetown! Be sure to check out my full guide on Georgetown here if you’re looking for even more things to do in this creative city.
1. Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat
The “Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat” mural in Penang is part of the street art scene in George Town. This mural was created by the Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, who is well-known for his interactive and engaging street art pieces.
This mural features a large black and white cat, similar to the iconic Maneki-neko or beckoning cat often associated with good fortune and luck in Japanese culture. The cat in the mural is depicted in a playful manner, extending its paw as if inviting people to interact with it.
📍Location: 5 Gat Lebuh Armenian (Google Maps)
2. Monkey Wall
Right next to the cat, you’ll find the Monkey Wall. The color and details of this piece is unreal. No wonder it is one of the best street art designs in Penang.
📍Location: 5 Gat Lebuh Armenian (Google Maps)
3. Brother and Sister on a Swing
The “Brother and Sister on a Swing” depicts two children, a boy, and a girl, sitting on a swing made from old bicycle tires. The mural captures a playful and nostalgic scene, evoking a sense of childhood innocence and joy.
📍Location: 63 Gat Lebuh Chulia (Google Maps)
4. Telephone Mural
This cute mural is bright pink and has a phone attached to the wall. I had so much fun acting like I was making a phone call here. This is located right next to the Central Fire Station on Beach Street. You’ll also find one of the cutest streets here full of spinning flowers and lined with colorful lanterns. There are many other murals dedicated to the firemen of Malaysia down this street too.
📍Location: Beach St, Georgetown (Google Maps)
5. A Curious Old Bicycle Shop
Located near Armenian Street this fun mural is part of an old bicycle shop. Chin Seng Leong is the name of it.
📍Location: 55, Lbh Armenian (Google Maps)
6. The Indian Boatman
Painted by Lorong Stewart (2014), “The Indian Boatman” depicts an Indian man rowing a boat. The artwork captures the essence of the local Indian community, which has played a significant role in Penang’s history.
📍Location: 75, Lorong Stewart (Google Maps)
7. Little Girl in Blue
Another piece by Ernest Zacharevic is the ‘”‘Little Girl in Blue’. She is painted high at the top of a building and is almost floating in the sky as she pushes herself up from 2 windows. Her hair is unkept covering her eyes and she wears a blue jumpsuit with a matching blue ribbon in her hair.
📍Location: 41 Muntri St, Georgetown (Google Maps)
8. Susu Soya Asli & Segar
Painted by Homesoy and Vilmedia of St. Xavier’s Institution. “Susu Soya Asli & Segar” translates to “pure and fresh soy milk”. It depicts an elderly lady scooping soy milk and handing it to a little boy.
📍Location: GPS coordinates: 5.414186, 100.340604 (Google Maps)
9. Folklore by The Sea
“Folklore by The Sea” depicts a young boy sitting on a chair with a fishing net, capturing something from the sea. An older figure sits in a hammock relaxing. This mural is located in Chew Jetty.
📍Location: 59A, Chew Jetty (Google Maps)
10. Hoola Hoop Basketball
Hoola Hoop Basketball showcases a boy and girl playing basketball. There is an actual basketball hoop right behind them too.
📍Location: 59 Gat Lebuh Chulia (Google Maps)
11. I Want Bao
“I Want Bao” showcases 2 children reaching for a basket of Bao. This mural is located next to Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop. Fun fact: the children are thought to be the owner’s children!
📍Location: 28 Gat Lebuh Armenian (Google Maps)
12. Boy on a Motorbike
“Boy on a Motorbike” is one of the best street art murals in Penang. It depicts a young boy riding a motorbike made from painted tires. The mural captures a sense of adventure and freedom. It evokes the spirit of exploration that can be associated with childhood.
📍Location: 12 Lebuh Ah Quee (Google Maps)
13. 4 Cats in a Window & Cat in the Blue Window
These 2 murals of cats in a window are right next to each other. Also, expect to find many cats along this small alleyway!
📍Location: 14-2 Cannon St (Google Maps)
14. Boy on a Chair
One of the most popular murals, if you’re looking for the best street art in Penang, is ‘Boy on a Chair’. This little boy is reaching up and standing on the edge of a chair. It is located right across of the window cat murals.
📍Location: 14 Lebuh Cannon (Google Maps)
15. Let’s Push
2 guys are pushing a door. Have fun with this one and stand in front of their hands to give the illusion that they are pushing you! This mural is located right next to the Penang umbrella street. I love umbrella streets so much that I’ve written a blog post on all the best umbrella streets around the world!
📍Location: Lbh Armenian (Google Maps)
Google Map of the Best Street Art in Penang, Georgetown
If you want to see all the Best Street Art in Penang mentioned in this blog post, just open this Google map I created just for you! If you want also want even more locations then you can use the map linked here which has hundreds of locations! It can be overwhelming so my advice is to start with the ones I have mentioned and wander about til you stumble upon others. However, many of the Penang murals can be hidden in alleyways so the map can be really handy.
What are your favorite murals or street art in Penang? Comment below and let me know!
For more reading, you may also like:
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