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50 things to do in Penang: Music and nightlife

Attend Penang's largest jazz festival, get dizzy with a glass of toddy and more of the best things to do


Book a ticket to Penang's largest jazz festival

Penang Island Jazz Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in Malaysia and a very popular one in Penang, this annual festival sees international and local musical greats coming together for a three-day jazzy feast at Batu Ferringhi. It’s normally held towards the end of November and early December.

For updates, check penangjazz.com.

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Chill with the musicians at The Canteen

Live music on weekends can easily be found in places such as Jammin’, a chill out place above Via Pre restaurant and there’s a lovely view of the pier from their balcony where you can sit, chat and sip their gourmet Italian beers. The Canteen has a range of bands range from indie music to pop and jazz. Despite their rustic feel, they have a good sound system.

Jammin' Via Pre, Second floor, 5 Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+604 262 0560).
The Canteen at ChinaHouse, 153 & 155 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+604 263 7299).

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George Town

Lounge with a sunset view and a beer

Places such as Straits Quay, Bora Bora and QEII at the end of the pier on Pengkalan Weld, are great to go for drinks while watching the sun setting since they’re located by the water.

Straits Quay Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 5228).
Bora Bora Lot 415, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 885 1313).
QEII Church Street pier, 8A Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+604 261 2126).

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George Town

Fall for smooth single malt whiskies at The Den

The Den within the Macalister Mansion only serves single malt whisky and Vino Vino (around the corner from Queensbay Mall), specialises in wines (both old and new world varieties) and champagne.

The Den Macalister Mansion, 228 Jalan Macalister, George Town (+604 228 3888).
Vino Vino Bistro Block H-10-3, Lorong Bayan indah 2, Bay Avenue, Bayan Lepas (+604 645 9922).

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George Town

Sip an ice cold beer at BED Auto City

For those preferring an easy ambience where you can just chat while sipping a favourite poison, there are BED at Auto City and Soho Free House. They often have beer promotions during their happy hour.

BED Auto City 1824-G1 & 1823-G3, Jalan Perusahaan Auto-City, North-South Highway, Juru Interchange, Seberang Perai (+604 507 0725).
Soho Free House 60A, Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 263 3331).

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Tanjung Bungah

Enjoy the sea breeze and mojitos at Sigi's Bar & Grill

For intoxicating glasses of signature cocktails, Maricosa at Straits Quay mall offers a line-up of flavoured margaritas while Sigi’s Bar and Grill on the Beach within Golden Sands Resort has refreshing mojito, among other cocktails.

Maricosa 3E-G-1, Block E, Ground floor, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 0809).
Sigi's Bar and Grill on the Beach Shangri-La Golden Sands Resort, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 1911).

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Batu Ferringhi