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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.

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
The price is P6,556 per night

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! (1,128 reviews)

"Great location for the beach and sunset, extremely friendly and helpful staff. Great amenities. Would definitely recommend."…"

Reviewed on Mar 2, 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 P5,944 per night

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 ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (998 reviews)

"Love the hospitality and the friendly staff at Rasa Ria Resort! Will surely come again.."…"

Reviewed on Aug 2, 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 P897 per night

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 ...

5/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)

"Good service... Next time i stay again at Cj residence"…"

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2020

CJ Residence

Popular places to visit 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 things to do in Kota Kinabalu

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

P1,883
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour
Image for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park Island-Hopping Tour

P3,765
Per adult
Plaza Premium Lounge at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)
Image for Plaza Premium Lounge at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)

Plaza Premium Lounge at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI)

P1,731
Per adult
Colonial Steam Train Excursion
Image for Colonial Steam Train Excursion

Colonial Steam Train Excursion

P7,060
Per adult
78% of travellers recommend
Private Sandakan Tour & Orangutan Sanctuary with Lunch
Image for Private Sandakan Tour & Orangutan Sanctuary with Lunch

Private Sandakan Tour & Orangutan Sanctuary with Lunch

P15,194
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Kota Kinabalu Airport Transfer Private
Image for Kota Kinabalu Airport Transfer Private

Kota Kinabalu Airport Transfer Private

P611
Per adult