Kota Kinabalu

Travel Guide
Kota Kinabalu featuring 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 Centre, 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.

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
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is S$25 per night from 9 Jul to 10 Jul
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! (15 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 7 Nov,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
The price is S$217 per night from 28 Jul to 29 Jul
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! (993 reviews)
"Kids friendly resort. Room maintain quite well. Love the breakfast buffer"

Reviewed on 1 Jun,2022

Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
Hilton Kota Kinabalu
Hilton Kota Kinabalu
5 out of 5
Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Asia City, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88000
The price is S$111 per night from 1 Aug to 2 Aug
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants and breakfast. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in their reviews. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (729 reviews)
"Only a 10 minute taxi from the airport, staff were friendly and the rooms were nice."

Reviewed on 25 Jun,2022

Hilton Kota Kinabalu
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.
Borneo Aloha Sutera 3 Bedroom Units
Borneo Aloha Sutera 3 Bedroom Units
3 out of 5
Sutera Ave Residences, Coastal Highway, KK Times Square, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 92100
The price is S$94 per night from 8 Jul to 9 Jul
Stay at this 3-star apartment in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a fitness centre. Popular attractions Imago Shopping Mall and Plaza Wawasan ...
5/5 Exceptional! (1 review)
Worthy and Cleanliness
"Choose here if you want to have family or friends gathering ( 3bedroom) super worthy! Even the cleanliness and the design room. It just amazing and beautiful hotel that Will create your long term memories. No worries, the owner/manager reply very fast that you things."

Reviewed on 12 Apr,2021

Borneo Aloha Sutera 3 Bedroom Units
Sabah Beach Villas & Suites
Sabah Beach Villas & Suites
3.5 out of 5
PV 139, Pecinct Dillenia, Nexus Residence, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, 88993
The price is S$121 per night from 27 Jul to 28 Jul
Stay at this 3.5-star beach aparthotel in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free parking, 2 outdoor pools and a beach locale. Our guests praise the pool and the WiFi in their ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (177 reviews)
"😊Nice beach and spacious room 😑If the furnitures got newer the feeling is better. The building not well maintained."

Reviewed on 27 Feb,2021

Sabah Beach Villas & Suites
Sunset Seaview Beach Villas & Spa Suites at Nexus Karambunai
Sunset Seaview Beach Villas & Spa Suites at Nexus Karambunai
3.5 out of 5
PV104, Precinct Dillenia, Nexus, Residence Karambunai, Off Sepangar Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, 88993
Stay at this 3.5-star beach villa in Kota Kinabalu. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a beach locale. Popular attractions Karambunai Peninsula and Dalit Beach ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (8 reviews)
"Great location & beach. Very disappointed with the condition of the property, very run downed. We can see that the property had good bones but just not maintained well. No property toiletries provided I.e face/hand towels, shampoo & conditioners. Aircond had leaks. Doors & windows leading out to ..."

Reviewed on 6 Jan,2020

Sunset Seaview Beach Villas & Spa Suites at Nexus Karambunai
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.

Top things to do in Kota Kinabalu