Kota Kinabalu

Image for Kota Kinabalu featuring tropical scenes and a park

Visit Kota Kinabalu

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
RM688
per night
7 Jan-8 Jan

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! (1,646 reviews)

"I really like this property. Rooms are comfortable and spacious. Love the balcony! Breakfast is great with lots of options. My daughter spends a lot of time at the kids club. Like the variety of restaurants but missed the Italian this time (closed recently). Staff is very helpful. Some places could ..."…"

Reviewed on 30 Oct,2019

Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
5 out of 5
Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
RM376
per night
5 Jan-6 Jan

This family-friendly Kota Kinabalu hotel is located on the waterfront, just steps away from KK Esplanade and Wisma Merdeka. Suria Sabah Shopping Mall and Gaya ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,152 reviews)

"The brekfast not much selection. Just like 3 star hotel breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 26 Nov,2019

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel
Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel
5 out of 5
Lot G-23A, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
RM424
per night
9 Jan-10 Jan

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 ...

4.2/5Excellent! (271 reviews)

"Clean and friendly staff. Enjoying my stay with the sea view"…"

Reviewed on 23 Nov,2019

Kota Kinabalu Marriott Hotel

Popular things to do 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 activities in Kota Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU CITY TOUR
Image for KOTA KINABALU CITY TOUR

KOTA KINABALU CITY TOUR

RM175

Kota Kinabalu, the gateway to the rest of Sabah, is also the state capital. It has a population of approximately 300,000 and is usually called 'KK' for short.

Full-Day Weston River Proboscis Monkey & Firefly Cruise with Buffet Dinner
Image for Full-Day Weston River Proboscis Monkey & Firefly Cruise with Buffet Dinner

Full-Day Weston River Proboscis Monkey & Firefly Cruise with Buffet Dinner

RM160

Come face-to-face with Sabah's incredible wildlife on a river cruise in the lush Weston Wetland Park. Float past proboscis monkeys and fishing villages in the afternoon light, and after sunset fades into darkness, indulge in a dinner buffet and watch the landscape twinkle with glowing fireflies.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour
Image for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour

RM320

Spend a day of family fun venturing between the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, just a short distance from Kota Kinabalu in the South China Sea. Immerse yourself in the splendors of these charming islands as you dive into the water and swim with the abundant marine life of Sabah.

SAPI AND MANUKAN ISLAND
Image for SAPI AND MANUKAN ISLAND

SAPI AND MANUKAN ISLAND

RM260

You can visit a combination of two beautiful Islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. You will be transferred from hotel to Jesselton Jetty , where you will board a boat for about 15 minutes. The first stop will be Manukan Island.

Colonial Steam Train Excursion
Image for Colonial Steam Train Excursion

Colonial Steam Train Excursion

RM600

Take a journey back into the colonial days of British North Borneo on board the North Borneo Railway. Immerse yourself in refurbished colonial designs alongside charming hosts dressed in colonial attire as you pass through small towns, plantations, jungles, and beaches in this relaxing tour.

Kudat Rungus Long House & Tip of Borneo Tour from Kota Kinabalu
Image for Kudat Rungus Long House & Tip of Borneo Tour from Kota Kinabalu

Kudat Rungus Long House & Tip of Borneo Tour from Kota Kinabalu

RM668

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Gombizau Honey Bee Farm, Matunggong, Kudat 89050 Malaysia 0730hrs pick up from City Hotel. It will take about 3 hours drives to Kudat Town, passing by several oil palm plantations where you can have a better view of the golden fruit of Malaysia.

Reviews of Kota Kinabalu

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
9
5 - Excellent 31.03448275862069%
4 - Good
12
4 - Good 41.37931034482759%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 27.586206896551722%
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

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