The Art & Architecture of George Town, Penang

The UNESCO site of George Town has proved to be an inspiring canvas for street art artists from all over the world. Take a peek at our favorite sites. 


I never expected to see such a diverse selection of street art during our visit to Penang. Around every corner and down every alley was something unexpected and inspiring to see. The street art here isn’t just graffiti covered walls and political statements, that seem to be the norm nowadays.  Instead you’ll find a creative narrative illustrating Penang’s past, present and future. All of which are beautifully conceptualized by a bevy of international and local artists. 

Sure you can spot the popular works by Ernest Zacharevic (probably the artist with the most famous artworks in Penang) a mile away. His art graces the sides of large buildings, or just look for the long queues of travelers waiting to take pictures. Appreciate the popular pieces, but don't forget to look further. You'll find so many paintings ranging from daily life to Thai Boxing cats and countless sculptures depicting Penangs' past - all hidden in plain sight. 

Sure there are plenty of tours you can take, but we decided to venture out on our own and see what we could find. We downloaded this map and loaded our GPS with the sites we wanted to see. We spent several hours strolling through the streets and photographing our way around George Town. 


Even beyond the anecdotal art pieces, the buildings themselves are like an artistic interpretation of time. Facades and walls are layered with different colored paints and as time goes by and paint chips away a beautiful mixture of colors and patterns are revealed.

At first glance I wanted to power wash everything, but soon realized that oddly enough, the built up layers of grime, paint and life is what makes George Town so special. Its beauty can only be appreciated by those that can look beyond the dirt and see what a glorious mixture of color, time has left behind. 

So pack some cold water, plan out a route and face the'll be rewarded! 


You'll Find Street Art Everywhere


Old Architecture Has Never Looked So Beautiful


For an in-depth guide and map to the best street art in George Town, make sure to visit Penang’s Tourism website: