Kota Kinabalu

Image for Kota Kinabalu featuring a garden and tropical scenes

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.

Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide Video

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
P8,401
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! (1,645 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 Oct 30, 2019

Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
5 out of 5
P4,596
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! (1,151 reviews)

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

Reviewed on Nov 26, 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
P5,178
per night
7 Jan - 8 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 Nov 23, 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

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

P2,124

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

P1,942

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

P3,883

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

P3,155

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
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Colonial Steam Train Excursion

P7,281

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.

Klias River Safari from Kota Kinabalu
Image for Klias River Safari from Kota Kinabalu

Klias River Safari from Kota Kinabalu

P3,359

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Stop At: Klias Wetlands, Malaysia 1430hrs depart from the city hotel and the journey takes approximately 2 hours drive to the Southern part of Kota Kinabalu.

Reviews of Kota Kinabalu

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
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5 - Excellent 66.66666666666667%
4 - Good
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3 - Okay 33.333333333333336%
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5/5 - Excellent

Mike

26 Mar 2019

We highly recommend it.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

25 Feb 2019

The room/place/ambience is excellent with its rate. The room is clean and spacious. I love the veranda. . Perhaps telephone inside the room or even common phone outside within the floor level.

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