Malaysia may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

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

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
5 out of 5
No. 20, Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
The price is RM375 per night from 26 Sep to 27 Sep

This Tanjung Aru resort is on the beach, 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Sabah State Mosque, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Imago Shopping Mall and Anjung Samudera. Gaya Street ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,086 reviews)

"We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Shangri-la Tanjung Aru. We requested for a quiet room and this was provided to us. Kevin, a staff at the Horizon Lounge was very hospitable and helpful throughout our stay there. The hotel rooms are updated with latest amenities ie. Bluetooth speakers, smart TVs ..."…"

Reviewed on 1 Sep 2020

Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
The price is RM374 per night from 26 Sep to 27 Sep

Nestled on the beach, this Tuaran resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Dalit Beach, Karambunai Peninsula and Tuaran Crocodile Farm. 1Borneo Hypermall and Upside Down ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (997 reviews)

"The quietness and calmness of the hotel is still as inviting as it has been. However, could see that the hotel is quite dated in terms of facilities and the room itself. A refurbishment would definitely uplift the experience for guests. Kudos to the hotel for providing complimentary masks and hand ..."…"

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2020

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
CJ Residence
CJ Residence
2.5 out of 5
#4, 2nd Floor, Block J, Sinsuran Shopping Complex, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
The price is RM81 per night from 27 Sep to 28 Sep

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Centre Point and Kota Kinabalu Central Market. Gaya Street Sunday Market and Suria ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (7 reviews)

"Everything was okay. Good stay here for two night 😊"…"

Reviewed on 8 Sep 2020

CJ Residence

Vacation Rentals in Kota Kinabalu

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Sunset Sea View Vacation Condos & Infinity Pool
Sunset Sea View Vacation Condos & Infinity Pool
3 out of 5
The price is RM236 per night from 28 Sep to 29 Sep

This family-friendly Kota Kinabalu apartment building is located in the shopping district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Plaza Wawasan, Imago Shopping Mall and Sutera ...

3.4/5 (5 reviews)

"We enjoyed our stay there. The convenient shops on the ground floor of the buildings are great as they provide ease of access to the common shopping amenities. There are stationed security guards at every entrances and a double tap is necessary, The facilities within the hotel are well equipped. ..."…"

Reviewed on 4 Dec 2019

Sunset Sea View Vacation Condos & Infinity Pool
Sabah Beach Villas & Suites
Sabah Beach Villas & Suites
3.5 out of 5
The price is RM225 per night from 15 Oct to 16 Oct

Nestled on the beach, this Kota Kinabalu apartment building is within 16 mi (25 km) of 1Borneo Hypermall, University of Malaysia Sabah and Tuaran Crocodile Farm. ...

4.2/5Excellent! (175 reviews)

"The seaside location, spacious rooms, friendly staff. Although this hotel has just restarted business due to the pandemic, the unit where we stayed in is in good shape. Only thing is, 1 night stay is too short!"…"

Reviewed on 7 Jun 2020

Sabah Beach Villas & Suites
Borneo Aloha Sutera 2 Bedroom Units
Borneo Aloha Sutera 2 Bedroom Units
3 out of 5
The price is RM114 per night from 27 Sep to 28 Sep

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Imago Shopping Mall and Sutera Harbour. Centre Point and Sapi Island ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (16 reviews)

"The apartement was clean & staff also pleasant. Very comfortable and reasonable price(Rm290 for 2 night). Somehow, pool was closing early 10pm. The most complicated things is high security. They provide you two card(1 car park access & door access). Everytime you want to leave the place. You need ..."…"

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2020

Borneo Aloha Sutera 2 Bedroom Units

Popular places to visit in Kota Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu National Park
Image for Mount Kinabalu National Park

Mount Kinabalu National Park

4.5/5(3 reviews)

Tackle the two-day climb to Borneo’s highest peak or enjoy the lower rainforest trails in this park, home to some of the world’s rarest plants.

Top things to do in Kota Kinabalu

Kiulu River Rafting Excursion
Image for Kiulu River Rafting Excursion

Kiulu River Rafting Excursion

RM250
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Night Tour with Cultural Performance and Dinner
Image for Night Tour with Cultural Performance and Dinner

Night Tour with Cultural Performance and Dinner

RM300
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Snorkeling Tour & Island Visit with Lunch
Image for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Snorkeling Tour & Island Visit with Lunch

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Snorkeling Tour & Island Visit with Lunch

RM215
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Klias Wetland Safari & Fireflies Tour
Image for Klias Wetland Safari & Fireflies Tour

Klias Wetland Safari & Fireflies Tour

RM300
Per adult
Mari-Mari Cultural Village Tour
Image for Mari-Mari Cultural Village Tour

Mari-Mari Cultural Village Tour

RM260
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Tambunan Rafflesia Rainforest Reserve Tour from Kota Kinabalu
Image for Tambunan Rafflesia Rainforest Reserve Tour from Kota Kinabalu

Tambunan Rafflesia Rainforest Reserve Tour from Kota Kinabalu

RM967
Per adult

Reviews of Kota Kinabalu

4.1

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
11
5 - Excellent 33.333333333333336%
4 - Good
14
4 - Good 42.42424242424242%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 24.242424242424242%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

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