Penang is the western island state of Malaysia and home to a number of cool attractions. But the one that overshadows everything is Georgetown, a mash of street art, repurposed shophouses, boutiques and food, glorious food!

But elsewhere on this island, you’ll find stunning botanical gardens, beautiful beaches and places where you can actually watch baby sea turtles being born. It’s truly an amazing place.

However, where do you stay? Is it best to base yourself in Georgetown? Or should you go for somewhere more outta town?

Well, we got you. We’ve sorted through all the best hostels in Penang to bring you this handy list that makes life easier when trying to decide on a hostel that’s right for you.

Are you ready to see all the cool hostels in Penang? Ok, let’s go!

Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Penang

Best Hostels in Penang

Best Hostels in Penang

Penang is a rather sizable area with a lot of cool places to stay spread across its neighborhoods, towns, and cities. Choosing the right hostel is both a matter of finding the right vibe but also the right location. Luckily, there are heaps of awesome options!

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    Best Overall Hostel in Penang – House of Journey

    House of Journey best hostels in Penang
    House of Journey is our pick for best overall hostel in Penang
    • $$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Outdoor Terrace
    • Bar

    This cutely named place is easily the best overall hostel in Penang. With chic interior design splashed all over an 1850s heritage building and close to the popular Love Lane, this top hostel in Penang couldn’t be better situated in Georgetown.

    Featuring loads of lovely houseplants, wooden floors, polished concrete, things like that, it’s also got a great atmosphere and is a pretty decent place for meeting new people. We also can’t fault the staff who are super friendly and helpful. What more do you want?

    Best Hostel with a Private Room in Penang – The Frame Guesthouse

    The Frame Guesthouse best hostels in Penang
    The Frame Guesthouse is our pick for best hostel with a private room in Penang
    • $$
    • Literally Cool AF
    • Breakfast Included
    • Air Con

    The Frame Guesthouse is one of the coolest hostels in Penang. It’s super minimalist, ultra design heavy. You’re seriously gonna wanna do some photoshoots here. Your Insta will seriously be poppin’.

    We seriously want to move into this place, let alone stay there. So as you can tell it’s our top pick for the best hostel with a private room in Penang. A nice mix of old and new, all this high-class design is set in an old shophouse (an old frame makers’ house) and a lot of it is preserved the way it is. Super dang cool.

    Best Party Hostel in Penang – Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel

    Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel best hostels in Penang
    Tipsy Tiger Party Hostelis is our pick for Best Party Hostel in Penang
    • $
    • Free Breakfast
    • Bar
    • Games Room

    Of COURSE, this is the best party hostel in Penang – with a name like that, how couldn’t it be?! But seriously, it really is. Featuring a bar with decently drinks and staff who help create a fun sociable atmosphere, it’s definitely one for the good times.

    We’re talkin’ cocktails, drinks deals, beach outings, all that sorta thing, and all based in the historic colonial neighborhoods of George Town. And when you wake up feeling a lil’ jaded, just head over to the FREE BUFFET BREAKFAST, chat to your new mates and play some PlayStation. Dang.

    Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Penang – Drippin Dragon Hostel

    Drippin Dragon Hostel best hostels in Penang
    Drippin Dragon Hostel is our pick for best Hostel for solo travellers in Penang
    • $
    • Air Con
    • Cafe/Bar
    • Games Room

    The second Penang backpackers hostel on our list to employ some amazing animal names, this place is set right in the heritage warren that is Chinatown in George Town and it’s a great place to meet new people and make friends.

    It’s not a big ol’ party hostel, but the staff here work hard to make this a chill place where people can actually get to know each other. Definitely our top pick for the best hostel for solo travellers in Penang, there’s bar crawls, movie nights and all sorts of other shizz to get you chattin’.

    Drippin Dragon Hostel is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Best Cheap Hostel in Penang – Magpie Residence

    Magpie Residence best hostels in Penang
    Magpie Residence is our pick for best cheap hostel in Penang
    • $
    • 24 Hour Security
    • Housekeeping
    • Cafe

    A peaceful hostel that’s a little bit outta the centre of George Town, this top hostel in Penang is a great place to stay if you’re traveling Malaysia on a budget. It’s not the most sociable of hostels, but then again you get a lot for your money at this place. It’s cheaper than most other places, for a start.

    You get pod bunk beds with curtains here (there are private rooms as well), there’s decent air con, the staff are helpful and cook up a different breakfast every day, which makes for a change. Clean, friendly, safe, the best cheap hostel in Penang also offers free coffee ALL DAY. So you can get your fix at any hour.

    Magpie Residence is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

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    Best Hostel for Couples in Penang – Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel

    Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel best hostels in Penang
    Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel is our pick for best hostel for couples in Penang
    • $$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Laundry Facilities
    • Bar

    Based on a Japanese ryokan and housed in a historic heritage building, this youth hostel in Penang is a little bit more luxury than typical backpacker level accommodation. The best hostel for couples in Penang, it’s comfy and the private rooms are pretty sweet, we gotta say.

    There’s a bar here where you can enjoy a drinkie or two before heading out to one of the many, many amazing places to eat that literally litter the streets of George Town (in fact, it’s located on ‘Food Street’). There’s also a free breakfast here, so there’s that, too.

    Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Penang – Georgetown Residences

    Georgetown Residences best hostels in Penang
    Georgetown Residences is our pick for best hostel for digital nomads in Penang
    • $$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Shuttle Bus
    • Cable TV

    This one sounds a bit more upmarket than a regular old Penang backpackers hostel, and, well, it sort of is. Think green plants, and inside/outside kinda feeling, deck chairs, funky street art, exposed brick, clean lines – all the good stuff, y’know.

    Very secure and with some great common areas just right for you and your laptop, we’d say this is the best hostel for digital nomads in Penang. With good high-speed internet as the cherry on top, you’ll be zipping through all your work before you know it! And it’s also a relatively peaceful hostel to live in, which is code for: NO ONE WILL DISTURB YOU.

    Georgetown Residences is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    More Best Hostels In Penang

    Still not convinced that Penang is one of the best areas to stay in Malaysia? Then allow us to remedy those fears… with these bonus hostel honorable mentions!

    The 80s Guesthouse

    The 80s Guesthouse best hostels in Penang
    The 80s Guesthouse
    • $
    • Free Breakfast
    • Free Tea & Coffee ALL DAY
    • VERY COOL

    A cool guesthouse in Georgetown, this place is actually so cool you’ll wanna move in. Seriously. What is with all these cool hostels in Penang? We love it, but dang, it’s all too much to process!

    This one is definitely up there as one of the coolest hostels in Penang though. Even the dorms are super cool. Simple and understated, though it’s more like staying in a boutique hotel, and there ain’t much atmosphere, it’s very good value for money: e.g. free brekkie and free coffee ALL DAY.

    Summer Terrace

    Summer Terrace best hostels in Penang
    Summer Terrace
    • $$
    • Common Room
    • 24 Hour Terrace
    • Outdoor Terrace

    Turquoise and pink and palm leaves and stuff decorate this cool hostel in George Town, featuring private rooms and dorms giving you a nice lil’ choice; it’s also set at the end of Love Lane, a very cool place to visit in Penang.

    There are chilled vibes going on here, not a lot of party action (if any), which makes for a decent night’s sleep. We’d say this is a good shout for a couples hostel in Penang, actually.

    Summer Terrace is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Container Hotel Penang

    Container Hotel Penang best hostels in Penang
    Container Hotel Penang
    • $$
    • Air Con
    • 24 Hour Security
    • Towels Included

    Can you guess what this hotel is made of? Well, part of it is made from a couple of containers. One of the coolest hostels in Penang, think dark shiny surfaces and geometric patterns. It’s very design-y.

    It gets less and less like a Penang backpackers hostel the more you look at it: the dorm beds are like pods, which is cool, but if you don’t like pod stuff then… well. Yeah. Their corridor is a mini art gallery to show off Penang’s heritage and culture, which is pretty interesting. Sleep here and spend your days exploring your Penang itinerary.

    Container Hotel Penang is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Roomies Penang

    Roomies Penang best hostels in Penang
    Roomies Penang
    • $
    • Free Breakfast
    • Air Con
    • ATM

    Another cool hostel in Penang (like, seriously), this one makes for a change since it’s not actually located in the tourist town of George Town: you’ll find this Penang backpackers hotel in Batu Feringghi, on the north of Penang island.

    The style is more industrial style than those in Georgetown. Plus Roomies Penang is located near the beach, meaning you can have some chill time. It’s also close to Malaysia’s smallest national park, where you can see turtles hatching. Cute!

    Roomies Penang is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Chateau One

    Chateau One best hostels in Penang
    Chateau One
    • $
    • Air Con
    • Tea & Coffee Making Facilities
    • Book Exchange

    Located in George Town, this top hostel in Penang has big open spaces and a load of exposed brick. It’s sorta cool, but it’s not the most atmospheric of places. Even so, it’s in an old shophouse, so it’s still a decent place to hang around in.

    The people who work here are always friendly and on hand with great travel tips for Malaysia and Penang, most importantly about where to eat (Malaysians definitely know their food). And if you wanna party? It’s close to nightlife spots.

    Chateau One is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Tido Penang Hostel

    Tido Penang Hostel best hostels in Penang
    Tido Penang Hostel
    • $
    • Common Room
    • Airport Transfers
    • Laundry Facilities

    Offering up a loada comfort at a low rate – wait, you guessed it, this place is stylish and cool. AGAIN. Different from other Penang backpacker hostels in the area, there’s a nice lounge area where you can sit and chat to fellow peeps staying here. Plus its 88 beds mean it can get pretty busy and vibey here. Good for groups, we’d say.

    The dorms here are super clean and the private rooms… well, they’re like the sorta rooms you’d expect from a super nice hotel. What more can we say other than we wish this recommended hostel in Penang was OUR HOUSE.

    Tido Penang Hostel is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Dream Catcher Travelers Refuge

    Dream Catcher Travelers Refuge best hostels in Penang
    Dream Catcher Travelers Refuge
    • $
    • Free Breakfast
    • Common Room
    • Bicycle Hire

    Set in an old shophouse in the centre of George Town, the people who run this top hostel in Penang are super friendly and helpful. There’s a nice common room complete with a load of seating, games and even art supplies (!) so you can get your art on with new mates. Maybe some self-portraits.

    One thing about this place is… the walls are thin, so you might have some trouble sleeping if any of your neighbours are snorey Snorlaxes. But that’s not a huge deal. What is a huge deal (always) is the free breakfast. All over it.

    Dream Catcher Travelers Refuge is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Olive Hostel Female Only

    Olive Hostel Female Only best hostels in Penang
    Olive Hostel Female Only
    • $
    • Cafe
    • Air Con
    • Late Check-out

    This top Penang hostel is female-only, as you can tell by the name. Instantly we’d say this is the best hostel for female travellers in Penang – and not only that, if you’re female AND you like baked goods, you’ll be pleased to know that they bake FRESH STUFF EVERY MORNING. Pastries, bread… you name it.

    Aside from the tasty food, this place is (you guessed it) set in an old shophouse. The dorms are decent and spacious with privacy curtains and stairs instead of ladders – hooray! Oh and this recommended hostel in Penang is above a cafe, meaning even MORE baked goods!

    Olive Hostel Female Only is one of our favourites in Penang but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

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      What to Pack for your Penang Hostel

      Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from us, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straight forward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art we have perfected over many years.

      Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

      Why you should travel to Penang

      Wow, those were the best hostels in Penang – and how many of those places are the coolest you’ve ever seen?!

      Seriously, we’d jump at the chance of moving into one of these cool Penang hostels, let alone stay just a few nights in ’em!

      Featuring amazing decor and immaculate design, these hostels truly are some of the coolest hostels in Malaysia – let alone Penang!

      A lot of them are in George Town, sure, but there are a couple of options elsewhere to keep your horizons open.

      But since there’s such a big choice, your head may be spinning at what to go for.

      And we don’t blame you! But we’d just say book yourself a bed at House of Journey! That’s easily our top choice for the best overall hostel in Penang, not the coolest but a great all-rounder.

      House of Journey best hostels in Penang

      Get ready to be wowed by charming Penang – and its amazing food!

      FAQ about Hostels in Penang

      Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Penang.

      Travel Safety Tips for Penang

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      More Epic Hostels and Accommodation in Malaysia a

      Hopefully, by now, you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Penang.

      Planning an epic trip all across Malaysia or even Southeast Asia itself?

      Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

      For more cool hostel guides around Southeast Asia, check out:

      Over to you

      By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Penang has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

      If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!


      Bye for now, but not forever!

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        And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!