Kota Kinabalu

Travel Guide
Kota Kinabalu which includes landscape views and boating
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

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu

OYO 564 Y Hotel
OYO 564 Y Hotel
2 out of 5
2, Lorong Hiburan Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88300
The price is P1,062 per night from 29 Nov to 30 Nov
P1,062
per night
29 Nov - 30 Nov
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and daily housekeeping. Popular attractions Lintas Plaza and Water World ...
4/5 Very Good! (19 reviews)
Nice but a bit Noisy
"It's a very nice budget hotel with on-site parking lots and the room together with the attached bathroom is also well-maintained and very clean, which is commendable. But our only gripe is that since the hotel and a gym fitness center also sharing the same building but the flooring and the wall isn't ..."

Reviewed on Nov 7, 2021

OYO 564 Y Hotel
Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
5 out of 5
No. 20, Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88100
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is P10,557 per night from 30 Nov to 1 Dec
P10,557
per night
30 Nov - 1 Dec
Stay at this 5-star luxury resort in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 3 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the family amenities ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,001 reviews)
"Staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. Loved the range of amenities - although the spa was sold out the entire time we were there which was unfortunate. The sunset bar was my absolute favourite place to be!"

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2022

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
The Magellan Sutera Resort
The Magellan Sutera Resort
5 out of 5
1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88100
The price is P6,198 per night from 4 Dec to 5 Dec
P6,198
per night
4 Dec - 5 Dec
Stay at this 5-star luxury resort in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a private beach. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our reviews. ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,000 reviews)
"Nice sea view."

Reviewed on Oct 28, 2022

The Magellan Sutera Resort
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.
Amazing Sunset Downtown  B36
Amazing Sunset Downtown B36
3 out of 5
Kota Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu, 88000
Stay at this 3-star apartment in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a rooftop terrace. Popular attractions Imago Shopping Mall and Plaza Wawasan ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (4 reviews)
Amazing
"Lovely apartment in a busy area,close tomsea front and city center."

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2022

Amazing Sunset Downtown B36
Jesselton Quay Citypads
Jesselton Quay Citypads
3 out of 5
Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88000
Stay at this 3-star apartment in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and Netflix. Popular attractions Jesselton Quay and Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal ...
Jesselton Quay Citypads
Homesuite at Aeropod  SOVO
Homesuite at Aeropod SOVO
3 out of 5
Jalan Sabah Rail, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88100
Stay at this 3-star apartment in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a balcony. Popular attractions Tanjung Aru Perdana Park and Sabah State Mosque ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Best Stay
"Overall really good"

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2020

Homesuite at Aeropod SOVO
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.

Things to do