A Travel Price Comparison for Malaysia Melaka vs. Penang for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Melaka or Penang?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Melaka or Penang, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Melaka or Penang?

Melaka

Melaka (or Malacca) is a large city on the western coast of Malaysia about half way between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. This historical city grew up as a result of trading in the region due to its position on the namesake Straights of Malacca, a natural waterway formed from the peninsula of Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Penang

Just off the northwestern coast of Malaysia is the charming and diverse island state of Penang. As the link between the ancient kingdoms of Asia and Europe's colonial empire, this area is enriched with Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences. This exciting culture is centered in George Town, the main city of the state.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Malaysia, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Malaysia, The Best 10-Day Tours in Malaysia, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Malaysia.


Which place is cheaper, Penang or Melaka?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Melaka is $22, while the average daily cost in Penang is $104. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Melaka and Penang in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Melaka $8.49
    Penang $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Melaka $17
    Penang $98
Compare Hotels in Melaka and Penang

Looking for a hotel in Melaka or Penang? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Melaka


Hotels in Penang


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Melaka Hotel Prices and Penang Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Melaka $1.87
    Penang $12
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Melaka

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Melaka are as follows:


  • Taxi
    $4.25
  • Bus Ride
    $0.32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Melaka

Also for Melaka, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Chauffeur: Malacca to Cameron Highlands Transfer [Car]: $269
  • Chauffeur: Malacca to Desaru Transfer [Van]: $84
  • Chauffeur: Malacca to Fraser's Hill Transfer [Van]: $77
  • Chauffeur: Malacca to Penang Island Transfer [Van]: $123
  • Chauffeur: Malacca to Singapore Car Transfer: $209
  • Chauffeur: Malacca to Taman Negara Transfer [Van]: $80
  • Local Transfer: Kuala Tembeling Jetty (Taman Negara) to Kuala Lumpur City Hotels: $72
  • Malacca City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur Airport 1-way Transfer: $50
  • Malacca City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur City Hotels 1-way Transfer: $50
  • Malacca City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur Hotels 1-way Transfer: $43
  • Malacca City Private Transfer to Kuala Lumpur Airport Enroute Putrajaya : $47
  • Malacca Hotel to Kuala Lumpur Hotel (Door to Door) Transfer: $54

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Penang

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Penang:


  • Local Bus
    $1.27
  • Island Ferry
    $0.51
  • Bus From Airport to George Town
    $0.57
  • Taxi From Airport to George Town
    $9.77
  • Motorbike Rental (One Day)
    $6.37
  • Bicycle Rental (One Day)
    $2.12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Penang

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Penang:

  • Full-Day Private Transfer in Penang City : $213
  • Private Transfer : Penang Hotel to Kuala Lumpur Hotel: $200
  • Penang City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur City Hotels One-way Transfer: $140
  • Penang City to Kuala Lumpur City One-way Transfer: $140
  • Penang City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur Airport One-way Transfer: $140
  • Private Transfer: Penang Island to or from Perak: $131
  • Penang City Hotes to Kuala Lumpur City Hotels 1-way Transfer: $125
  • Penang City Hotels to Kuala Lumpur Hotels 1-way Transfer: $125
  • Penang Intl Airport (PEN): Transfer to Penang Island hotels: $118
  • Penang Airport (PEN): Transfer to Swettenham Cruise Port: $118
  • Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal: Transfer to Penang Island: $118
  • Penang to Kuala Lumpur 1-way Transfer: $107

Is it cheaper to fly into Melaka or Penang?

Prices for flights to both Penang and Melaka change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Melaka $10
    Penang $33
Typical Food Prices in Melaka

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Melaka:


  • Sitdown Lunch (for Two)
    $6.37
  • Dinner at the Market (for Two)
    $2.76
  • Asam Pedas (Fish Curry)
    $1.27
  • Taiwanese Noodle Soup
    $1.06
  • Sitdown Dinner (for Two)
    $6.79

Typical Food Prices in Penang

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Penang:


  • Snack
    $1.70
  • Dinner at The Suffolk House (for 2)
    $73
  • Lunch at Sakae Sushi (for 2)
    $61
  • Lassy Juice
    $1.49
  • Dinner for 2
    $3.18
  • Street Stall Food
    $0.59
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $4.03
  • Italian Lunch (for Two)
    $10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Penang

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Penang.

  • Penang Plates Food Tour with 15+ Tastings: $45
  • Good Morning Penang Food Tour with 15+ Tastings: $45
  • Eat Like A Local: Penang Street Food Tour: $62
  • Local Street Food Tour in Georgetown Penang : $62
  • 3-Hour Heritage on a Plate Dinner Hop in George Town Penang: $66
  • 4-Hour Georgetown Food Tour: $88
  • Private Half Day Penang Tasty Local Street Food Tour: $89
  • Penang Cooking Class:Dive into Malaysian Cuisine with PenangChiak: $93
  • Dinner at Penang Hill: $102
  • Chef Samuel's Private Malaysian Cooking Class with Wet Market Tour: $116
  • Food Tour at Penang - Eat Like a Local, Feel Like a Local: $120
  • Dinner at Penang Hill Including Train Ride: $141

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Melaka $3.60
    Penang $49
Typical Entertainment Prices in Melaka

For Melaka, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Maritime Museum Entrance
    $0.64
  • Taming Sari Revolving Tower Entrance
    $4.25
  • Trishaw Tour (One Hour)
    $9.55
  • Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum Entrance
    $2.12
  • Melaka Zoo Entrance
    $1.49
  • Low Cost Kite
    $0.64
  • Malacca Duck Tour
    $8.49
  • Melaka River Cruise (One Hour)
    $2.12

Tours and Activities in Melaka

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Melaka.

  • Melaka Upside Down House Admission Tickets: $4.49
  • Melaka Upside Down House Admission Tickets: $12
  • A'Famosa Safari and Water Park in Melaka Ticket (Only Malaysian): $15
  • Malacca Illusion 3D Art Museum Admission Tickets: $19
  • Luxury Full Day Tour to Saqqara, Pyramids: $21
  • Malacca City To Kuala Lumpur Airport EN-ROUTE Putrajaya City Tour: $48
  • Malacca City Hotels To Kuala Lumpur Airport EN-ROUTE Putrajaya City Tour: $48
  • Malacca City To Kuala Lumpur City En-route Putrajaya Tour: $49
  • Malacca City To Kuala Lumpur City EN-ROUTE Putrajaya City Tour: $61
  • Malacca To Kuala Lumpur EN-ROUTE Putrajaya City Tour: $61
  • *13 Hrs Best of Melaka Full Day Flexible Van Tour w' Tour Guide: $80
  • #13Hrs Singapore Full Flexible Van Tour from Malacca w' TourGuide: $128

Typical Entertainment Prices in Penang

Here are a few typical costs in Penang for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Butterfly Gardens
    $6.58
  • Trishaw Tour (One Hour)
    $6.37
  • Fort Cornwallis Entrance
    $0.42
  • Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi Entrance
    $2.12

Tours and Activities in Penang

Here are a few actual costs in Penang for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Penang City Temple Tour with Penang Hill(Fast Lane) & Kek Lok Si: $100
  • 4-Hour Heritage Walking Tour of Georgetown: $58
  • 4-Hour Private Heritage Tour in George Town: $61
  • 6-Hours Penang Private Tour: $153
  • 8 Hours of Penang Tour: $65
  • Admission Ticket for Dark Mansion Glow-in-the-Dark Museum in Penang: $8.80
  • Asia Camera Museum Admission Ticket: $5.45
  • Bukit Merah Orang Utan and Penang City Private Tour: $140
  • Colors of George Town Walking Tour: $114
  • Countryside Cycling Tour by Matahari: $83
  • Discover Georgetown Heritage Private Tour in Penang: $51
  • Discover Penang City in Amazing Tour: $83

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Melaka $7.36
    Penang $16

Typical Alcohol Prices in Penang

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Penang:


  • Beer
    $1.70


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Melaka and Penang, we can see that Penang is more expensive. And not only is Melaka much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Melaka would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Melaka and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Penang would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Penang than you might in Melaka.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Melaka Expensive? and Is Penang Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Melaka or Penang?

Melaka has a larger population, and is about 1% larger than the population of Penang. When comparing the sizes of Melaka and Penang, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.