The 10 Best Beach Bars in Penang, Malaysia

Photo of Michelle Leong
31 August 2018

Penang is made of sun, sea and sustenance — including alcohol, even if it’s heavily taxed. If you like all three elements in one place, hop along to some of these 10 fabulous beach bars.

Penang may be the second smallest state by land mass, but it also has one of the most extensive coastlines in Malaysia. This means lots of water activities (jet-skiing, anyone?), hotels by the sea and, of course, beach bars. Music, cocktails and a view of the breathtaking horizon — check out the bars that do it all.

BoraBora by Sunset @ Batu Ferringhi

Bar, Asian, Fusion
Map View
Watermelon and passionfruit drinks
Watermelon and passionfruit drinks | © Cabeca de Marmore / Shutterstock

There are two Bora Bora’s in town, and this is the more well-known. Everyone loves this place for its fun vibe, complete with your alcohol of choice and wooden picnic-style tables. Set right on the Batu Ferringhi beach, you’ll be enjoying one of the best sea views in Penang. Culture Trip recommends coming here during sunset, between 6.30 to 7.30p.m.

Frandy Beach Bar

Bar, Asian, Fusion
Map View
Customers enjoying the view of the sunset from Frandy Beach Bar
Customers enjoying the view of the sunset from Frandy Beach Bar | © Frandy Beach Bar

Looking for a tropical sea breeze and long stretches of fine sand, with calm waves lapping on the shore? Look no further. The Frandy Beach Bar offers a commanding view of Penang’s best beach, plus a rotation of the island’s local music bands and festive decoration to amp up the vibe.

Beach Blanket Babylon

Bar, Asian, Fusion
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Outdoor sitting area by the sea at Beach Blanket Babylon
Outdoor sitting area by the sea at Beach Blanket Babylon | © Beach Blanket Babylon

If you prefer a more upscale drinking experience, the Beach Blanket Babylon is where it’s at. With sheer white drapes, elegant wood panelling and modern furniture, this bar feels like a Mediterranean lounge in the heart of tropical Malaysia. Enjoy reasonably priced drinks and food in a beautiful nature-framed setting.

Muchacha, QEII

Bar, Fusion
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Customers dancing to the live band at Muchacha, Qe2
Customers dancing to the live band at Muchacha, Qe2 | © Muchacha Qe2

Strategically located on the Weld Quay, this is one for the George Towners. Live music happens on Fridays and Saturdays, turning the venue into a boppin’ and vibrant hub of activity. With an extensive drinks menu and delicious food (Culture Trip recommends the pizza), you can sing it out, drink it down, and check out the horizon of Penang’s nighttime skyline.

Sand Bar @ Hard Rock Hotel

Bar, Fusion
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Evening sunset scene at The Sand Bar, Hard Rock Hotel
Evening sunset scene at The Sand Bar, Hard Rock Hotel | © The Sand Bar

Want to sip on your favorite cocktail while overlooking swaying coconut trees, soft sand and calm waves? At the Sand Bar, this is everyone’s tropical dream come true. Have your martinis shaken, stirred or straight up, and let the evening beach party music get you going.

Sigi’s Bar & Grill @ Golden Sands Resort

Bar, Fusion, $$$
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Seafood paella
Seafood paella | © Jukov studio / Shutterstock

Operated by Golden Sands Resort, Sigi’s blends beach, beer and barbecue under one elegant marquee. Portions are generous (Culture Trip recommends the paella) and the view is panoramic. Mocktails are also available for those who prefer to forgo the alcohol.

Olive Kitchen + Bar

Bar, Indian, Fusion, Asian
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The crowd at Olive Kitchen and Bar
The crowd at Olive Kitchen and Bar | © Olive Kitchen and Bar

At the Olive Kitchen + Bar, everything’s buzzing — the drinks, the music, even you. Cold draught beer, strawberry daiquiris and Chicken 65 (flavorful pieces of fried chicken) are frequent favorites. While it’s not technically situated on a beach, you’ll still be moved by the sea breeze here.

Living Room Cafe Bar & Gallery

Bar, Fusion
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Beer in tap
Beer on tap | © Master1305 / Shutterstock

If you want good music, good people, and one of the best beef rendangs in town, the Living Room Cafe Bar & Gallery is the place to be. Portions are generous, options are cosmopolitan (including calamari rings and spring rolls), and decor is rustic-meets-palm trees.

BoraBora @ George Town

Bar, Asian, Fusion
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The cosy atmosphere at BoraBora Georgetown
The cosy atmosphere at BoraBora Georgetown | © BoraBora @ Georgetown

While not technically in central George Town, this Bora Bora is relatively close to Penang’s city center. Surf boards, neon lights, and casual chairs on the beach give this place a contemporary, young vibe. Like its sister branch in Batu Ferringhi, this Bora Bora offers great food to go with your alcohol, including bruschetta, pizza and spring rolls.

Healy Mac’s

Bar, Asian, Fusion, Irish, $$$
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Screaming Multiple Orgasm cocktail at Healy Mac's, Penang
Screaming Multiple Orgasm cocktail at Healy Mac's, Penang | © Michelle Leong

Do you like white yachts, 80’s music and beer nights? If so, you’ve probably been to Healy Mac’s. This laid-back Irish pub isn’t exactly on the beach, but it does boast an extensive view of the sea from the Straits Quay. Men’s night is on Wednesday (bring on the beer!) and ladies’ night is on Thursdays (selected cocktails are free).