15 INCREDIBLE Hostels in Penang (2020 • Insider Guide!)

This is the ultimate list of the best hostels in Penang. Designed to help you find the hostel that fits your needs so you can book quickly!

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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

 

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?

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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 storied streets of Georgetown. 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.

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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 Georgetown 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’.

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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 Georgetown, this top hostel in Penang is a great place to stay if you’re 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.

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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 Georgetown (in fact, it’s located on ‘Food Street’). There’s also a free breakfast here, so there’s that, too.

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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 ain’t vibey, which is code for: NO ONE WILL DISTURB YOU.

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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.

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Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!

 

More Best Hostels In Penang

Are you looking to stay in specific neighborhood? Check out our guide to Penang’s best areas to stay.

 

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 Georgetown, featuring private rooms and dorms giving you a nice lil’ choice; it’s also set at very end of Love Lane, meaning you’ll get to do a nice bit of walking around and exploring from this Penang backpackers hostel.

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.

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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 using our Pengang itinerary.

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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 Georgetown: 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!

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Chateau One

Chateau One best hostels in Penang

Chateau One

– $
– Air Con
– Tea & Coffee Making Facilities
– Book Exchange

Located in Georgetown, 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 advice, most importantly about where to eat (Malaysians definitely know their food). And if you wanna party? It’s close to nightlife spots.

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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.

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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.

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Want to save the world and stay hydrated? Single-use plastic bottles are a huge threat to the oceans and planet – Be a part of the solution and invest in a filter water bottle.

The GRAYL GEOPRESS water bottle is the ONLY all-in-one filter water bottle setup you’ll need. We use it on our own adventures to purify often nasty looking water and it does a beautiful job – we have yet to get sick! This is what the whole Broke Backpacker team uses- in mountains, cities, jungles – we love it – it’s a total game changer

 

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 Georgetown, 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.

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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!

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The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

 

What to Pack for your Penang Hostel

We don’t often travel without these essentials.

 

Travel Pocket Soaps1. Sea to Summit Travel Soap: When dirtbagging around the globe, hygiene sometimes comes a bit short. This Sea to Summit Travel Soap can wash your hands, clothes or anything else, wherever you are. The soap strips are dry and super thin but dissolve in contact with water, so you can even take it easily through security in a carry-on.

 

Universal Adapter2. Universal Travel Adapter: This universal travel adapter charges your devices in (pretty much) every country – definitely a lifesaver when travelling around the world. The plug also regulates the power output depending on which device you’re charging. No more fried hair dryers or electric razors!

 

Noise Cancelling Earbuds3. Noise-Cancelling Earbuds: You’ll have some pretty sorry roommates – it happens from time to time. These noise-canceling earbuds help mitigate the damage. The comfortable and ergonomic design won’t hurt your ears while sleeping no matter how long you keep them in. Increase the quality of your sleep by listening to some relaxing music at night or just enjoy the silence.

 

Active Roots Water Bottle4. Active Roots Water Bottle: Sturdy and durable, the Active Roots water bottle survives the roughest adventures while keeping your drink cold or hot for at least 24 hours. Vacuum-sealed and made from stainless steel, the bottle can fit 25oz, which is plenty to keep you hydrated. Super cool bonus: the bottle isn’t just super useful, it helps to reduce the single-use plastic waste –  save the planet by filling up your bottle.

 

AR Towel5. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Having your own towel is a must when traveling since most hostels don’t provide them. Plus as a backpacker, use of a towel will extend further than just showers, it’s a minimalist yoga towel and a great beach blanket/towel combo! The Active Roots Microfiber Towel is really the best solution for backpacking.

 

Playing Cards6. Playing Cards: These waterproof cards are essential kit for every backpacker. Play by the pool, beach or at your hostel after a long day with travel buds, without your cards breaking or getting soaked. And once you pull out those cards, the chance that you’ll be the hero of the night is pretty high (no promises though).

 

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 Georgetown, 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!

 

Travel Safety Tips for Penang

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you think Malaysia might be dangerous? Take one look at our Malaysian safety guide and you’ll find that it surely isn’t.

 

More Epic Hostels in Malaysia and Southeast Asia

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!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps keep the site going.


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This is the ultimate list of the best hostels in Penang. Designed to help you find the hostel that fits your needs so you can book quickly!

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