If you want to travel from (KL) Kuala Lumpur to Georgetown, Penang Island, you have a choice of taking a fast train from KL Sentral to Butterworth (located on the mainland and connected by a 15 minute ferry ride), a bus to Butterworth (Penang Sentral) or Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal, or you can fly from KL to PEN airport.
The cheapest way to travel from KL to Georgetown is to take a bus.
These days, most buses departing from Kuala Lumpur for Penang leave from the large TBS Bus Terminal (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) although you can still find less frequent departures from other places such as Hentian Duta and KL Sentral.
We would recommend you go from TBS as it is very easy to get to from anywhere in the city.
The best way to get to TBS is to take a train as the bus station is connected to the Bandar Tasik Selatan Train Station (BTS) by KTM Komuter, KLIA Transit and LRT trains.
Once you are at TBS, you now have a choose a destination.
Or, go to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal (on Penang Island), then take a local bus from there into Georgetown.
The duration of the bus journey from TBS to Penang is around 5, to 5 and a half hours.
The cheaper, slower buses will often stop off in places like Ipoh along the route so if you want a quicker bus, pay a little more!
Our recommended way to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Georgetown is to take the modern, fast, Electric Train Service (ETS for short) from either KL Sentral Railway Station or the old Moorish Kuala Lumpur Train Station to Butterworth Railway Station.
Taking the train is a safe, relaxing and quick way to travel and costs just a little more than a bus.
Make sure you take a train that is due to arrive well before the last ferry departs for Georgetown.
Flying from KL to Penang International Airport may be a quick flight (one hour) but by the time you get to/from the airport, check-in, collect your bags etc, it may be just as quick to take a train or bus.
Internal flights within Malaysia are quite cheap with many airlines flying this route.
You can choose to fly from KUL (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) or from SZB (Subang Airport).
Once you arrive at Penang Airport, it is around 19 km to Georgetown's Old Town (heritage area).
To get to Georgetown from PEN you can take a cheap bus or a fixed price taxi (you have to buy a taxi coupon).