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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 Anjung Samudera.

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
Gorgeous caterpillar

Gana-Gana

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Gana-Gana and surrounding area, you can visit Arnab Village and Last POW Camp Memorial.

Gana-Gana

Top Hotels in Kota Kinabalu

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
5 out of 5
Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
NT$2,638
per night
Apr 16 - Apr 17

This family-friendly Kota Kinabalu hotel is located on the waterfront, just steps from KK Esplanade and Wisma Merdeka. Suria Sabah Shopping Mall and Gaya Street ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,229 reviews)

"This hotel have beautiful ocean view,is close to shopping center and eateries...Staff are friendly and helpful..."…"

Reviewed on 2020/2/13

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hilton Kota Kinabalu
Hilton Kota Kinabalu
5 out of 5
Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Asia City, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
NT$2,638
per night
Apr 15 - Apr 16

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of All Saint's Cathedral and Centre Point. Anjung Samudera and Gaya Street Sunday Market ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (646 reviews)

"All was good but would like to suggest to include basic amenities like shaver kit."…"

Reviewed on 2020/3/5

Hilton Kota Kinabalu
Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu
4 out of 5
No 4, Lorong Api-Api 3, Api-Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
NT$1,800
per night
Apr 17 - Apr 18

Located in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Warisan Square, Imago Shopping Mall, and Anjung Samudera. Centre Point and Kota Kinabalu ...

3.9/5Good! (428 reviews)

"Fast check-in and fast check-out."…"

Reviewed on 2020/2/24

Promenade Hotel Kota Kinabalu

Popular things to do 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.

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
Image for Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

4/5(1 review)

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm is one of the more well-known attractions to visit during your trip to Kundasang. Wander the parks or discover the area's mountain views.

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
0
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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