About the ride from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
Penang, Malaysia’s food capital, has so much to offer by way of sights and experiences. The good news, however, is that Kuala Lumpur has quite a few to its name too.
With visits to the Petronas Twin Towers and strolls through the Central Market, Chinatown, and Jalan Alor, there is plenty to keep you occupied in Malaysia’s capital city. And Batu Caves is a popular Kuala Lumpur day trip for every culture craver.
The distance from Penang to Kuala Lumpur is 220 miles (or 355 km), and it’s a pretty easy trip.
The most budget-friendly option is a bus, and the fastest is taking a flight.
A scenic ride makes taking a train a good choice too, but you’ll have to take a short ferry from Penang Island to the mainland first.
Those looking for more flexibility or traveling with a group can book a private taxi or minivan.
What to see when traveling from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
If you have opted for road travel via bus, minivan, or taxi, you will take a national freeway so you can expect a smooth ride. The best part of this journey is that you will be crossing the famous Penang Bridge right at the beginning of your ride.
The train journey, if you choose that, takes you through Malaysia’s charming countryside. Watch green fields, quaint towns, and cute train stations go by as you relax in the air-conditioned comfort of your modern compartment.
How to get from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
Taking a bus from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
Buses are one of the most popular and convenient ways to travel. With ticket prices starting at US$7, they’re also the most budget-friendly option and an excellent choice for backpackers.
Most buses take around five hours to cover the Penang to Kuala Lumpur distance though some operators take seven to eight hours. If you take a night bus, you’ll reach KL in the early hours of the morning, which will help you save on hotel costs.
All the buses have air conditioning and come with cushioned, reclining seats, allowing you to rest or take a nap. Not all the buses have attached washrooms, but the driver stops along the way so you can use the restroom or simply stretch your legs.
Most Penang to Kuala Lumpur buses are priced between US$7-13 per passenger, though some premium options are available too. The luxury buses provide passengers with blankets, pillows, a packaged meal, a drink, and even have personal TVs fitted for each seat. In addition, these buses all have attached bathrooms.
The luggage allowance is 20 kg per person.
There are more than 100 departures, with the earliest buses leaving around 8:00 am and the last night buses departing by midnight. One look at the Penang to Kuala Lumpur bus schedule, and you’ll have little trouble finding a time that works best for you.
The buses depart from various points in the city, such as the Penang Bus Station, the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal, the Juru Caltex Petrol Station, and the Komtar Bus Terminal. Drop-off is typically at the Kuala Lumpur Bus Station or Airport.
You can choose from over 30 bus operators. Kejora Express, KPB Ekspres, Plusliner, Billion Stars Express, Mariner, Cosmic Express, StarMart Express, Aeroline, and Pancaran Matahari are well-known names.
Taking a minivan from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
If you’re traveling with children or with friends, you can rent a private minivan. With seating for up to seven passengers, this is a great option for small groups.
The cost of hiring a minivan is around US$230, and the travel time is about 4.5 hours.
The biggest advantage that private minivans offer is flexibility in departure times and hotel pick-up and drop-off.
With air conditioning, reclining seats, and a little more legroom, they make for a comfortable ride.
GP Global is a well-known operator who provides private minivan and taxi services.
Taking a private car from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
Another option available for travelers is to rent a private taxi. Travel time is similar to that of minivans, about 4.5 hours. And like minivans, they provide the convenience of hotel pick-up and drop-off, flexibility in travel plans, and more legroom and space for luggage. All the vehicles are air-conditioned, and the operator provides an English-speaking driver.
With standard taxis costing around US$200, these extra benefits come at a premium.
This option is great for solo travelers and couples looking for comfort and privacy and don’t mind paying extra for it.
Taking a flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
A one-hour fly time makes taking a Penang to Kuala Lumpur flight the fastest way to cover this route.
With around 17 departures every day, including morning and evening departures, taking a flight is a convenient way to travel.
Flight tickets to Kuala Lumpur range from US$35 to US$75 for a one-way ticket. This option is a great value for money, especially if you’re staying close to the airports.
The flights depart from Penang International Airport (PEN) and arrive either at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB).
A few operators on this route are Malindo Air, Malaysian Airlines, AirAsia, and Firefly.
Taking a train from Penang to Kuala Lumpur
Yet another popular option is to travel by train.
The travel duration for the Penang to Kuala Lumpur train is 4.5 hours, similar to that of private vehicles. But there’s a catch. The KTM trains start from Butterworth station, located on the mainland, and a ferry ride from Penang Island.
Ferries leave from the island to the mainland every 10-20 mins, and the boat ride itself is a short 15-min one.
There are around three to five departures every day.
Train ticket prices start from US$14 per passenger. ETS (Electric Train Service) Gold Services are a little cheaper but make more stops while the ETS Platinum Services are faster.
You can choose to buy a seat in a standard class or business class compartment.
Check out the Penang to Kuala Lumpur train schedule to figure out the most convenient timings.