Last Updated: 2019-12-21
Taking the relatively short trip from Penang to Langkawi is one of the most popular routes to take while travelling in this part of Malaysia.
Many people take the direct ferry from Georgetown to Kuah Jetty on Langkawi Island, however, there are plenty of other ways to get to Langkawi if you are looking for a cheaper way to travel.
For all the options on how to travel from Penang to Langkawi, keep on reading or use the quick links below to the relevant sections of this page.
Or if you are a tight budget, you can take a cheaper combination of either:
An easy, but relatively expensive option is to take the high-speed ferry boat from Swettenham Pier (next to Fort Cornwallis), located in the very north-eastern corner of Georgetown on Penang Island.
There are just a few boats every day that operate on this route between Georgetown, Penang and Kuah on Langkawi Island, with a travel time of between two and a half hours to three hours on a good weather day (boats can often take a bit longer during rough weather).
This fairly long boat trip is not for everyone and for those who get a
little seasick, this speed boat can be rather unpleasant at times, as
the journey can be a little bumpy during bad weather / rough seas.
For much shorter boat trips to Langkawi that will also cost you a lot less, please read on:
One of the cheapest ways to travel to Langkawi from Penang island is firstly to take the Penang ferry to the mainland at Butterworth where you can catch a bus from the Butterworth Bus Station Penang Sentral (located right next to the ferry terminal) to either Alor Setar or better still, travel from Penang directly to Kuala Perlis Jetty.
If travelling from Penang to Alor Setar, you then have to take another short (15 km) bus trip to the ferry terminal at Kuala Kedah, where much more frequent ferries operate to Langkawi between 7 am to 7 pm.
The ferry from Kuala Kedah to Kuah on Langkawi Island costs just RM 23 and the duration of the trip is around one hour 45 minutes.
You can also take a bus from Butterworth further north to Kuala Perlis where frequent ferries to Langkawi operate regularly from 7 am to 7 pm.
This is the shortest ferry trip to Langkawi, taking just one hour 15 minutes and is even cheaper at RM 18.
This is a good way to travel to Langkawi from Penang, as the bus station in Kuala Perlis is just a couple of minutes walk away from the ferry terminal.
The only problem is these buses usually originate from Kuala Lumpur and are frequently full.
So, if you plan on taking this route, book your bus tickets in advance here >
Taking these routes you should be able to do both trips for less than RM 35, much cheaper than catching the ferry directly from Penang which is currently RM 60 plus port tax (+10 RM).
Now with many more regular trains from Butterworth heading north, you can also take the train to either Alor Setar or Arau and transfer to the ferry ports for boats to Langkawi.
Please note: All of the ETS trains on this route from Butterworth are now cancelled, so you will now have to take the commuter services.
Taking this option can work out even cheaper than the bus / ferry combination as the commuter services are cheaper than the bus services.
The only problem is:
From Penang to Kuala Kedah, you have to go to Alor Setar railway station, then you will have 10 minutes to walk to the city centre to catch the local bus to Kuala Kedah.
If you go to Arau you have to get to Kuala Perlis Jetty and there is no direct bus. You will have to take a MyBas bus to Kangar, then transfer to another MyBas bus to Kuala Perlis (which can take quite a long time).
For more info, timetables and fares for MyBas services:
If you plan to take a taxi from either station to the ports, then this is no problem and still works out much cheaper than the direct ferry from Georgetown (especially if there are a few of you to share the taxi fare).
For the latest commuter train timetables and fares, please see the following pages on our site:
Travelling on any of these passenger ferry routes from Penang to Langkawi, you will end up at the Langkawi Jetty Point / ferry terminal in Kuah (the main town on the island).
From the ferry terminal, you will have to take a taxi, hire your own transport or walk into town as there are no public buses on the island.
There are a couple of low-cost operators that offer daily flights between these two Malaysian islands.
The fares are pretty good value and the flights quick, but you have to take into account travel times and costs from getting to and from the airports, especially in Langkawi where there are no real public transport options, so it may end up costing you a fair amount just to get from the airport to your final destination in Langkawi.
However, sometimes you can cut your taxi costs on Langkawi by flying, as the airport is closer to many of the most popular beach areas on the island, so you can get there by taxi cheaper than you would if taking a taxi from the port at Kuah.
If you want to drive from Penang to Langkawi and take your car over to the island, the best option is to drive to the port of Kuala Perlis, where you can now take one of the roll-on-roll-off ferries that operate from here.
If you plan to leave your car on the mainland, both K. Perlis and K. Kedah jetties / ferry terminals are surrounded by car parking sites that usually charge RM 10 per day to park.
How to travel to other popular islands in Malaysia from Penang: