Making the journey from Melaka to Penang Island (Georgetown) will involve quite a long trip if you travel overland by bus or train, or you can take the fastest option of flying from MKZ to PEN or even fly from KUL (KLIA2).
The distance from Melaka to Penang Island is around 500 kilometres.
There are a few coach companies that operate a direct bus from Melaka Sentral, Malacca, to Butterworth Bus Terminal (Penang Sentral), with a trip duration of around 7 hours.
You can also find a few buses from Melaka Sentral to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal on Penang island.
Bus tickets from Melaka to Butterworth currently cost between 45 RM and RM 55 and are the cheapest way to travel to Penang Island.
To Sungai Nibong, expect to pay a few Ringgit more as they have to pay the toll for the bridge.
When you arrive at Butterworth Bus Terminal, you have a 5-minute walk to the jetty, where you can take a short 15-minute boat trip over to Georgetown on Penang island by ferry.
If you go to Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal, you will have to take a local RapidPenang Bus or taxi into Georgetown.
If you want to travel by train from Melaka to Penang, you will first have to travel out to the nearest railway station at Tampin (Pulau Sebang) by local bus or taxi.
From Tampin you can take a fast Electric Train Service (ETS) to Butterworth (duration around 6 hours and twenty minutes).
There are however only limited services from Tampin, so you might want to consider taking a KTM Komuter train from Tampin to KL Sentral, then an ETS train from there to Butterworth.
Another good option would be to take a bus from Melaka to TBS bus station in Kuala Lumpur. TBS bus station is located right next to the BTS railway station where you can take a cheap KTM Komuter train to KL Sentral, then take an ETS train from KL Sentral to Butterworth Penang (please note there is also a direct train from BTS to Penang - See the full ETS timetable here >).
You can fly between Melaka Airport and Penang Airport (MKZ to PEN) with Malindo Air who operate flights about 4 times a week.
This is not the cheapest of domestic flights and you may find cheaper options flying from KLIA2 to Penang.
StarMart Express operates a regular bus service (duration around 2 hours) from
Melaka Sentral to KLIA2 Airport.
From here you can take a much cheaper flight to Penang using Air Asia (or Malaindo Air) or even connect to another bus from KUL Airport to Butterworth Bus Terminal, (Penang Sentral).
To check for flight deals to Penang click here >
If you want to drive from Melaka to Penang the distance from Melaka to Georgetown is a little over 500 km and should take around 7 hours using the North-South Expressway (E1).
To drive to Penang Island you can take the first bridge if you want to go to Bayan Lepas or Batu Ferringhi Beach, the second bridge for Georgetown, or drive to the jetty in Butterworth and take the car ferry over to Georgetown.