Kota KinabaluMalaysia

Image for Kota Kinabalu featuring tropical scenes and a park

Visit Kota Kinabalu

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!(87 area reviews)

Travelers to Downtown Kota Kinabalu praise its popular shops. If you've got some more time to explore, be sure to make a stop by 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

Uncover some of the top draws of Kampung Air like its shopping and restaurants. If you're hoping to see more of the larger area, make a stop by Imago Shopping Mall or Centre Point.

Kampung Air
Gorgeous caterpillar

Gana-Gana

When in Gana-Gana, you can plan a visit to Arnab Village and Last POW Camp Memorial, some noteworthy sights in the nearby area.

Gana-Gana

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
NT$6,109
per night
Feb 16 - Feb 17

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! (1,626 reviews)

"This property is beautiful. It took a over an hour to get a spa me it sent to the room which was a little frustrating and the shower stall is very small...standing in the middle I looked up to the water to rinse my face and banged my head on a corner of the wall behind me. Very weird placement and ..."…"

Reviewed on 2020/1/11

Shangri La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
5 out of 5
Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Free Cancellation
NT$3,301
per night
Feb 19 - Feb 20

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! (1,189 reviews)

"convient location, arrived on New year Eve, right before countdown"…"

Reviewed on 2020/1/8

Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Pantai Dalit, Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Sabah
NT$5,076
per night
Feb 16 - Feb 17

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! (1,091 reviews)

"Received a warm welcome and farewell. Understood our needs and offered a good room."…"

Reviewed on 2020/1/13

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa

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. While you're in the area, wander around the natural setting.

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
41
5 - Excellent 51.25%
4 - Good
33
4 - Good 41.25%
3 - Okay
6
3 - Okay 7.5%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

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.

4/5 - Good

Jerlyn

Oct 13, 2019

a must part of your tour

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 24, 2019

Great city with abundance of eating and shopping options at reasonable prices.

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