The following are some of the international rankings of Penang, listed according to category.

Urban liveability[edit]

Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Malacca Strait, with George Town as its capital and economic centre.

In 2010, George Town was ranked the 62nd most liveable city in the world and the eighth in Asia by ECA International, becoming the joint top-ranked Malaysian city alongside Kuala Lumpur.[1] As of April 2017, this was the highest city liveability ranking ever achieved for George Town.

The ECA International’s urban liveability rankings for George Town between 2015 and 2017 are as listed below.

Year Global rank Asian rank Malaysian rank Note
2015 118 26 1 Kuala Lumpur: 118[2]
2016 117 Kuala Lumpur: 120[2]
2017 115 Kuala Lumpur: 118[3]


In chronological order:

  • The New York Times: Penang was ranked 2nd among The 44 Places to Go in 2009.[4]
  • Yahoo!: Penang Island was 8th in the list of 10 Islands to Explore Before You Die.[5]
  • The Guardian: George Town came in at 8th place in the 40 Holiday Hotspots list in 2014.[6]
  • Lonely Planet: George Town was ranked 4th in the Best in Travel’s Top 10 Cities 2016 list.[7][8]
  • Los Angeles Times: Penang Island was among the 16 Must-see Destinations.[9]
  • Forbes: George Town was 1st among the 10 Best Budget travel Destinations for 2016.[10]
  • CNN: Penang was listed 2nd in the list of 17 Best Places to Visit in 2017.[11]
  • Traveller: Gurney Drive was ranked 13th among the 25 Best Streets Around the World to See Before You Die.[12]
  • Time: Penang was listed as one of the 10 most budget-friendly Asian destinations.[13]


In chronological order:

  • Yahoo!: George Town was 4th among the 8 Great Places to Retire Abroad.[14]
  • Forbes: George Town was ranked 3rd in the list of 7 Best Places to Retire Around the World.[15]
  • CBS: Penang was ranked 16th in the list of 20 Coolest Places to Retire in the World.[16]
  • CNN: George Town came in at 6th place in the list of 10 Best Places to Retire Abroad in 2016.[17]
  • Condé Nast Traveler: Penang was ranked 2nd in the list of 10 Best Places in the World to Retire.[18]

In chronological order:

  • Time: Penang was recognised as having the best street food in Asia in 2004.[19]
  • CNN: Penang’s asam laksa was ranked 7th in the World’s 50 Best Foods.[20]
  • CNN: Penang was listed among Asia’s 10 Greatest Street Food Cities.[21]
  • Lonely Planet: Penang was ranked 1st in the list of 8 of the world’s culinary hotspots in 2014.[22]


  • Time: George Town was listed as the 10th ‘Selfiest City in the World‘.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chow, Tan Sin. “Penang’s capital is eighth most liveable city in Asia, on par with KL and Bangkok – Nation | The Star Online”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  2. ^ a b “Hong Kong moves into the global top 30 on global liveability index”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  3. ^ “KL and JB still don’t cut it for Asian expats”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  4. ^ Chin, Christina (2009-01-18). “NY Times readers choose Penang as No.2 must-visit destination for 2009”. The Star. Archived from the original on 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  5. ^ “10 Islands to Explore Before You Die”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  6. ^ “Holiday hotspots: where to go in 2014”. The Guardian. 2014-01-03. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  7. ^ hermesauto (2015-10-29). “Penang’s Georgetown named No. 4 in Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 cities for travel”. The Straits Times. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  8. ^ “Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2016: countries, cities, regions revealed”. Lonely Planet Travel News. 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  9. ^ “Looking for a 2016 vacation? Here are 16 must-see destinations”. Los Angeles Times. 2015-12-26. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  10. ^ “Penang one of 2016’s ‘best budget travel destinations“. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  11. ^ Hetter, Katia; Cripps, Karla; Shadbolt, Peter; Neild, Barry; Hunter, Marnie. “17 best places to visit in 2017”. CNN. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  12. ^ Kim, Soo (2017-03-20). “The 25 streets around the world every traveller needs to visit”. Traveller. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  13. ^ Renzulli, Megan Leonhardt, Kerri Anne. “10 Amazing Asian Vacations That Won’t Cost a Fortune”. Money. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  14. ^ “8 Great Places to Retire Abroad”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  15. ^ Avenue, Next. “The 7 Best Places To Retire Around The World”. Forbes. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  16. ^ “20 of the coolest places to retire in the world”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  17. ^ Lobosco, Katie. “Best places to retire abroad in 2016”. CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  18. ^ “The 10 Best Places in the World to Retire”. Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  19. ^ “TIME Magazine — Asia Edition — November 22, 2004 / Vol. 164, No. 21”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  20. ^ “50 best foods in the world | CNN Travel”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  21. ^ “Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities | CNN Travel”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  22. ^ “Where are the foodies going in 2014?”. The Independent. 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
  23. ^ “The Definitive Ranking Of The Selfiest Cities in the World”. Retrieved 2017-04-28.

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