Kota Kinabalu

4.3/5Top Destination

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.

Known for

swimming, island and snorkeling

Explore map

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
P7,625
per night
12 Nov - 13 Nov

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! (1,591 reviews)

"Shangri-la. Wonderful as usual, will be back soon ❤️"…"

Reviewed on Sep 6, 2019

Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
5 out of 5
P4,600
per night
6 Nov - 7 Nov

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! (1,097 reviews)

"Prfet position, amazing staff..didnt enjoy long ques waiting for seats for breakfast."…"

Reviewed on Sep 26, 2019

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
P7,038
per night
12 Nov - 13 Nov

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! (1,009 reviews)

"It's the little things that make it so special, the cold hand towels passed around, the amazing and friendly staff, we also loved the rooms, food, and so many beautiful sitting areas."…"

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

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

P2,154

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.

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

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour

P3,939

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.

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

P1,969

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.

Colonial Steam Train Excursion
Image for Colonial Steam Train Excursion

Colonial Steam Train Excursion

P7,385

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.

SAPI AND MANUKAN ISLAND
Image for SAPI AND MANUKAN ISLAND

SAPI AND MANUKAN ISLAND

P3,200

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.

Private Klias Wetland Safari & Fireflies Tour
Image for Private Klias Wetland Safari & Fireflies Tour

Private Klias Wetland Safari & Fireflies Tour

P4,677

Move a step back from the concrete jungle of Kota Kinabalu and see the wild side of Sabah at Beaufort district, along the Klias Forest Reserve. Discover a variety of unique wildlife, including the Proboscis monkey, Macaque monkey, pygmy elephants, and thousands of fireflies.

Other places like Kota Kinabalu

Kuching
Image for Kuching
Kuching
Kuantan
Image for Kuantan
Kuantan
Nha Trang
Image for Nha Trang
Nha Trang
Okinawa
Image for Okinawa
Okinawa