We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“History Lesson”

Penang State Museum and Art Gallery
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Georgetown Sightseeing Tour
More Info
and up
Penang City Tour
More Info
and up
Ranked #44 of 218 things to do in Penang Island
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Penang State Museum and Art Gallery Officially open in 1962, the Museum houses a fine collection of old photographs, maps, charts and other historical relics. There are also Malay daggers (keris), Chinese furniture, embroidery and paintings of old Penang. At the Penang State Museum there are also interesting sections which recounts the bloody nine days of rioting between Chinese secret societies in 1867, attributed by bewildered British authorities to a rambutan-throwing incident. Georgetown suffered a near civil war before the administrators took a firm hand. The societies were heavily fined and the proceeds used to build police stations which subsequently kept the peace. The Penang State Art Gallery on the other hand is situated at a different premise which is at Dewan Sri Pinang, Light Street, a stone thrown away from the Museum premise . There are two Art Galleries which is situated in Dewan Sri Pinang. The Art Gallery on the Ground floor displays the works of local artists and is the venue for special exhibitions meanwhile the exhibition hall at the 3rd Floor housed the Permanent Collection which comprises of paintings donated or bought from the artists.
Durban, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
173 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“History Lesson”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Great place to visit and so informative. Really enjoyed reading up on the history of Malaysia which is so full of drama and intrigue.

Visited December 2012
Thank TravelindsRH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

240 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
41 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“The museum feels run down”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We visited the museum on the same day of visiting the Pinang Peranakan Mansion (in fact, it was just an hour after visiting the latter). It’s probably unfair to make comparisons. For one, the admission fee to the Penang State Museum costs very, very little (even lower than the taxi fare to get there), while the admission fee to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion cost a number of times more. Having said that, when I visited the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, I was ‘wow’ed by what I had seen, but on the other hand, when visiting the Penang State Museum, I felt like I just wanted to hurry through the exhibits. Perhaps it was because of the lighting (which was dim throughout the place) and therefore made the exhibits less interesting. Perhaps also it is because they didn’t have many special exhibits – I mean, yes, they had old stuff on display, but it didn’t come across as treasure. My overall feeling of the museum was that that it was run down and in need of renovation. Nonetheless, there were some good titbits of Penang history that I could gather from the museum.

Visited December 2012
Thank RoyChanYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“1rm entry”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

;) it was ridiculously cheap and filled with different kind of historic backgrounds to Penang. good to go in the afternoon as the place is air-condition when its really hot outside.

Visited December 2012
Thank hellyf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 6 Contributor
1,296 reviews
511 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 812 helpful votes
“Good island historical overview”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

I usually do not rate museums but this museum was a good overview of the history of Penang and costs almost nothing to enter. Something to do mid-day as it is cool inside and steamy outside.

Visited December 2012
Thank Ann C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Must visit”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

One of the best sites in Penang if one wants to understand its history. We spent more than three hours and it would be worth a second visit because we didn't get to read it all.

At 1 ringget it's ridiculously cheap.

The only downside was an 'invasion' of adolescent students who seemed to have no interest in the displays and despite the signs urging 'quiet' were in full voice. But they only lasted about 30 minutes.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Nat255068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Penang State Museum and Art Gallery also viewed

George Town, Penang Island
George Town, Penang Island

Been to Penang State Museum and Art Gallery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing