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Kota KinabaluMalaysia

Sabah’s capital is a laid-back, oceanfront city not far from towering Mount Kinabalu, traditional villages and a spectacular marine park.

Kota Kinabalu, or “KK” as it is affectionately known throughout Asia, is the dynamic gateway to Borneo. The city offers a wealth of cultural sights, from museums and art galleries, to mosques and botanical gardens. The year-round tropical weather is ideal for exploring the nearby beaches, rain forest trails and tropical islands. KK is also a foodie’s paradise, offering a huge range of regional Asian cuisines, including some of the largest barbecued banana prawns you will ever hope to see!

It’s easy to get around KK’s downtown sights on foot or by bus. Spend a day exploring local culture at the Sabah Museum and the nearby Ethnobotanical Gardens, where you’ll find pitcher plants, medicinal flora, rice and herbs.

At the Sabah Art Gallery, within the Sabah Museum complex, enjoy work by local artists both established and upcoming. Visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village for insight into the Kadazandusun indigenous tribes of Sabah. These tribes share their craftwork, architectural practices, cooking and dance with visitors.

Just beyond Kota Kinabalu’s downtown attractions, a world of wilderness and island possibilities await. Pack your snorkeling and fishing gear and island hop around the five islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

Discover Borneo's incredible fauna at the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Center, the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Green Connection, an aquarium, and the Tuaran Crocodile Farm.

Pull on your hiking boots and experience wild Borneo at the Kinabulu Park, where you’ll find carnivorous pitcher plants, the huge rafflesia flower and four species of primate. Climb to the peak of Mount Kinabalu for an unforgettable sunrise view over northern Borneo and the South China Sea.

Kota Kinabalu is home to Malaysia’s second busiest airport, making it an easily accessible destination.

Top hotels in Kota Kinabalu

Borneo Beach Villas
Borneo Beach Villas
4 out of 5
The price is RM191 per night from 8 Dec to 9 Dec

This Kota Kinabalu resort is on the beach, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Karambunai Peninsula, and within 12 mi (20 km) of 1Borneo Hypermall and University of Malaysia ...

4/5Very Good! (304 reviews)

"Nice location, next to the beach with water sport equipment for rent"…"

Reviewed on 24 Feb 2020

Borneo Beach Villas
Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel
Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel
5 out of 5
Lot G-23A, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
The price is RM279 per night from 5 Dec to 6 Dec

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Anjung Samudera and Imago Shopping Mall. KK Esplanade and Atkinson Clock Tower ...

4.2/5Very Good! (406 reviews)

"Welcoming and friendly staff. Clean rooms and public areas. Big spread for buffet breakfast. Free parking for hotel guests. Highly recommend this hotel."…"

Reviewed on 28 Sep 2020

Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel
Ming Garden Hotel and Residences
Ming Garden Hotel and Residences
4 out of 5
The price is RM225 per night from 1 Jan to 2 Jan

This family-friendly Kota Kinabalu hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Plaza Wawasan, Imago Shopping Mall and Centre Point. Sutera ...

3.7/5Good! (728 reviews)

"Nice hotel,love the hotel, great service, clean room.."…"

Reviewed on 19 Aug 2020

Ming Garden Hotel and Residences
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Kota Kinabalu

Studio Apartment @ KK City Center
Studio Apartment @ KK City Center
2.5 out of 5
1-R3-10, 3rd Floor Block 1, Api-Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Warisan Square and Centre Point. Imago Shopping Mall and Kota Kinabalu ...

Studio Apartment @ KK City Center
1st Choice Vacation Apartments@ Marina Court Resort Resort
1st Choice Vacation Apartments@ Marina Court Resort Resort
3 out of 5

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Warisan Square, Imago Shopping Mall and Centre Point. Kota Kinabalu ...

3.6/5Good! (19 reviews)

"Aircond in two of the rooms were not functioning well and we have to sleep at the living hall."…"

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2020

1st Choice Vacation Apartments@ Marina Court Resort Resort
Aloha Airpad Downtown KK
Aloha Airpad Downtown KK
3 out of 5
Near Imago Mall, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
The price is RM153 per night from 7 Dec to 8 Dec

Situated in Kota Kinabalu, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Imago Shopping Mall and Sutera Harbour. Sabah State Mosque and Centre Point ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)
Our wonderful stay in aloha! Grazie!

"It was our 2nd time in KotaKinabalu and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Aloha! The host had gone out of their ways to check in on us during our stay to ensure everything was well. We appreciate the hospitality and even though the host is managing more than a handful of units in the same building, ..."…"

Reviewed on 14 Nov 2018

Aloha Airpad Downtown KK
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Kota Kinabalu

Top things to do in Kota Kinabalu

Reviews of Kota Kinabalu

4.1

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
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5 - Excellent 33.333333333333336%
4 - Good
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4 - Good 42.42424242424242%
3 - Okay
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3 - Okay 24.242424242424242%
2 - Disappointing
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5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

9 Dec 2019

great loved it

4/5 - Good

Haji

11 Sep 2019

Nice place to visit full of culture nice and friendly people around

3/5 - Okay

lucy

1 Sep 2019

There is a big overhead walk way built 2 years ago connecting the Oceanus, Center Points and Sky Star Mall, BUT, it is closed and never being used as I was told by locals - CROSS THE ROAD AT YOUR OWN RISK. :-(

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

26 Aug 2019

Very commercial and hectic, not at all beautiful but good place to start your Sabah adventure. The islands are easily accessible and the beaches are clean but often full of tourists during the middle of the day. Free WiFi in city centre!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Jul 2019

Recommend going to Filipino and Waterfront markets for food.

4/5 - Good

Kevin

3 Jul 2019

Great city,great food and night life. Lots of trips and island hopping tours departing from there. Just get used to seeing rats because KK is over-run with them