Kuala Lumpur (KL) is Malaysia’s capital, a vibrant mix of skyscrapers, Asian-European architecture, large shopping districts, and flavourful cuisine. It can be quite busy, but it’s all about finding your rhythm in its beautiful chaos.
If you have some extra time, we highly recommend a trip to Batu Caves just 30 minutes away from the city centre.
Do you plan on travelling the 290km distance from Penang to Kuala Lumpur? If so, you have 4 options. You can take the train (5 hours), the bus (5 hours), a flight (1 hour), or a taxi (4.5 hours). Fares range between 41 MYR ($9) and 813 MYR ($180).
There is no direct train from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. You’ll need to take a ferry from Penang Island and then take a train from Butterworth. The transfer is pretty easy though, so you will still have an effortless journey. Combined fares start from 79 MYR ($17.50).
If you prefer a direct journey, you can take a bus with tickets starting from 41 MYR ($9). Alternatively, there are also buses leaving from Butterworth, which also involve a transfer with the ferry just like the train.
The 1-hour flight is a good option if you have very little time. However, it’s always good to avoid flying where possible, especially on short-haul flights like this the carbon emissions are very harmful for such a short flight. If you still want to take the flight, airfares start from 103 MYR ($23).
Travelling with a small group? The taxi is a hassle-free option but can be quite expensive with rates from 813 MYR ($180).
If you’re staying in George Town, you’ll first have to take a taxi/Grab or a bus (Line 101) to Weld Quay. Fares start from 13 MYR ($2.95) and 4.50 MYR ($1), respectively. Keep in mind that the bus takes longer as it makes a lot of stops and it may not stop near your hotel.
Ferries depart from Weld Quay from 05:20 to 22:00, with a 20 to 30-minute interval. Beyond 22:00, the ferry runs every 40 minutes until its last trip at 00:40. A ticket to Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal in Butterworth costs 3 MYR ($0.65).
Butterworth Train Station is conveniently connected to the port by a walkway. It’s just a 10-minute walk but there are some stairs involved, so bear this in mind if you’re carrying large luggage.
Step 2: Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur by Train
Duration: 4-4.5 hours Cost: 63 MYR ($14)
From Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur, 2 trains operate on weekdays and 4 on weekends (Friday to Sunday). A standard train ticket costs 63 MYR ($14) and travel time is 4-4.5 hours.
There are 2 types of trains: ETS Platinum and ETS Gold. Platinum trains are faster as they make fewer stops, but they are also more expensive.
The trains depart from Butterworth Station and arrive at KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur city centre.
Penang to Kuala Lumpur by Bus
Duration: 5 hours Cost: 41 MYR ($9)
There are direct buses that depart from Penang city centre and arrive at Kuala Lumpur city centre. But if you prefer a little more adventure, you can also take the indirect bus route via Butterworth.
Penang to Kuala Lumpur by Direct Bus
Duration: 5 hours Cost: 41 MYR ($9)
We recommend taking a KKKL Express Bus that will take you directly from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. They have 2 departure points in Penang: Komtar Bus Terminal in George Town city centre and Sungai Nibong located 10km south of the city centre. In KL, you can choose to arrive at either Kuala Lumpur Bus Terminal (TBS) or Kuala Lumpur Sentral.
A ticket for the 5-hour journey costs 41.50 MYR ($9) when you book online at Baolau. There are departures almost every hour from 07:00 to 23:30. For a more detailed schedule, just click the link below.
Same as with the train option, you’ll first have to take a taxi or bus from Penang city centre to Weld Quay. Taxi rates start from 13 MYR ($2.95) and a bus ride (Line 101) costs 4.50 MYR ($1).
From Weld Quay, you’ll take a 10 to 20-min ferry ride to reach Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal. A ferry ticket costs 3 MYR ($0.65). Penang Sentral is connected to the port by a walkway.
Step 2: Butterworth to Kuala Lumpur by Bus
Duration: 5 hours Cost: 47 MYR ($10.50)
Buses bound for Kuala Lumpur are parked at Penang Sentral. You can choose from 2 trusted operators: KPB Ekspres and Transnational. Both offer VIP buses for 47 MYR ($10.50) so you’ll have a very comfortable 5-hour journey.
The buses stop at Kuala Lumpur Bus Terminal (TBS).
You can book a ticket online through BookAway. Below are their schedules:
All flights depart from Penang Airport, 18km south of George Town. You can reach it by a 30-minute taxi with fares from 30 MYR ($6.50) or by a 1-hour bus, which costs 3 MYR ($0.65).
You can choose to arrive at 2 different airports: Subang Airport or Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Subang Airport is nearer KL city centre, but flights to KL Airport are normally cheaper.
Flight via Subang Airport (SBZ)
Duration: 1 hour Cost: from 141 MYR ($32)
Malindo Air often offers the cheapest airfares from Penang to Subang Airport (SBZ), with tickets starting from 141 MYR ($32). Other options include Thai Lion Air, Firefly and Malaysia Airlines. The flight takes about 1 hr.
Kuala Lumpur city centre is located some 20km east of Subang Airport. You can reach it in 3 ways: by train going to KL Sentral, by bus #U81, or by taxi. Travel time is about 30 minutes and fares cost from 2 MYR ($0.45).
Flight via Kuala Lumpur Int’l Airport (KUL)
Duration: 1 hour Cost: from 103 MYR ($23)
Airfares from Penang to Kuala Lumpur Int’l Airport (KUL) start from 103 MYR ($23). You can usually get the lowest price with Air Asia, but Thai Lion Air, Malaysia Airlines, and Malindo Air also offer flights for this route.
From KL Airport, you can reach the city centre in 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on which mode of transport you take. For more info, visit our page on Kuala Lumpur Int’l Airport.
Penang to Kuala Lumpur by Taxi
Duration: 4.5 hours Cost: 813 MYR ($180)
Taxi rental rates from Penang to Kuala Lumpur start from 813 MYR ($180). It’s quite expensive and we don’t really think it’s worth spending that much when the other options are already very convenient. But if you prefer a private transfer, you can book a taxi online through BookAway. Travel time is 4.5 hours.