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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.

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu showing a coastal town, tropical scenes and island images

Downtown Kota Kinabalu

4.5/5Wonderful!(90 area reviews)

Downtown Kota Kinabalu is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Imago Shopping Mall and Centre Point.

Downtown Kota Kinabalu
Lovely few days r&r in April after a fantastic Sabah roadtrip

Tanjung Aru

3.5/5Good!(10 area reviews)

Pristine beaches and ample dining options are well-reviewed features of Tanjung Aru. Make a stop by top sights like Tanjung Aru Perdana Park while you're exploring the area.

Tanjung Aru
Kota Kinabalu showing a coastal town, tropical scenes and island images

Kampung Air

Some popular features of Kampung Air include its shopping and restaurants. If you're in the mood to explore farther, Imago Shopping Mall or Centre Point are worth checking out in the surrounding nearby area.

Kampung Air

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 NT$3,874 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! (1,159 reviews)

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

Reviewed on 2020/3/2

Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Borneo Beach Villas
Borneo Beach Villas
4 out of 5
Pool Villa 163, Precinct Dillenia, Jalan Sepanggar Bay, Locked Bag 100, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
The price is NT$1,928 per night

This Kota Kinabalu resort is on the beach, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Karambunai Peninsula, and within 12 mi (20 km) of 1Borneo Hypermall and University of Malaysia ...

4/5Very Good! (304 reviews)

"Nice location, next to the beach with water sport equipment for rent"…"

Reviewed on 2020/2/24

Borneo Beach Villas
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Pantai Dalit, Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Sabah
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NT$3,719 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 ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (999 reviews)

"Beautiful, spacious and wonderful facilities, restaurants and food. I think this has now become my favourite ever hotel and we will return, hopefully soon. Fantastic hospitality, and my wife shed a tear when the staff sang to us as they bid us farewell."…"

Reviewed on 2020/2/26

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

Popular places to visit in Kota Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu National Park
Image for Mount Kinabalu National Park

Mount Kinabalu National Park

4.5/5(26 reviews)

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.

Mt Kinabalu
Image for Mt Kinabalu

Mt Kinabalu

5/5(2 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Mt Kinabalu, a popular spot to commune with nature in Kota Belud. Discover the mountain views while you're in the area.

Sapi Island
Image for Sapi Island

Sapi Island

4/5(12 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Sapi Island, a popular spot to commune with nature in Gaya Island. Discover the area's shops, or seek out its local tours.

Reviews of Kota Kinabalu

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
44
5 - Excellent 51.76470588235294%
4 - Good
35
4 - Good 41.1764705882353%
3 - Okay
6
3 - Okay 7.0588235294117645%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
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1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Othman

Mar 18, 2020

Kota Kinabalu main attraction for us is seafood, dried and fresh. However, the nearby islands is a must experience for swimming snorkeling. Drive to Mount Kinabalu is about 2 hours & the stop at Kundasang was good for local street food, fruits.

5/5 - Excellent

EZEN

Mar 15, 2020

Wonderful city with friendly people that I met during my visit in Kota kinabalu. .The city I so clean and safe to go out in the night. A lot of delicious food found around the city centre. The most I love to visit again The Mt Kinabalu ,Kundasang.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 31, 2019

Food heaven.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 19, 2019

KK was a nice place to visit. We would go back.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 17, 2019

Lovely city. Food heaven. Very inexpensive to eat here if you eat like the locals do!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 11, 2019

Interesting little city with great seafood.

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