Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia · 427 hotels available
45462 reviews from hotels in Kota Kinabalu with aggregated rating of 8.2/10.
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Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the state of Sabah and is known as a paradise to tourists from all over the world. With its abundance of natural and well-preserved ecosystems, you’ll get to enjoy verdant greens, swarming wildlife, picturesque beaches, and virgin rainforests.
A haven for nature lovers, this Asian destination is a treat. If you love the outdoors, there are plenty of mountains to climb and rivers to cruise. Island hopping will take you to prime destinations for sports activities like water rafting, scuba diving, and parasailing. Overall, Kota Kinabalu is a nice place to visit over the weekend for an adventure focused on exploring the wonders of nature.
Kota Kinabalu International Airport is the 2nd busiest airport in the country and serves as the main gateway to the island of Borneo. It’s just 7km away from the city proper, making it easily accessible to transport services.
There’s an airport bus that leaves every hour to go to major points in the city. Some minibuses also provide a cheap option to get to the city. You can ride the taxi or hail a cab through a mobile app to get to your destination. Taxi fares here are relatively cheap, so it’s okay to consider them an option.
Kota Kinabalu isn’t that large, so you can just walk to get across different tourist spots. It’s the recommended option since you’ll get to know the city’s culture more by experiencing its streets. Buses and taxis are also easy to come by, so transportation isn’t a problem in the city.
Many activities in Kota Kinabalu will excite every traveler’s senses. The Atkinson Clock Tower is one of the most famous tourist spots in Kota Kinabalu. Climb the hill located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman to get a close-up picture of the tower and get a scenic view of the city. While you’re here, visit the Signal Hill Observatory too which is just a little further from the Atkinson Tower.
Trekking the famous Crocker Mountain Range is one of the most exciting things to do in Kota Kinabalu. You can also climb the sacred Mount Kinabalu in Sabah which is around 13,000 feet above sea level. Meanwhile, go wild and experience an adrenaline rush by going white water rafting at either the Kiulu River or the Padas River. For a more tamed adventure, a wetland river cruise at the Kilas River will introduce you to Malaysia’s wildlife.
If you’re traveling with your family, don’t forget to visit the Green Connection Aquarium. This famous tourist spot in Kota Kinabalu hosts a wide array of the most colorful sea creatures found in the region. Island hopping at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is also one of the most enjoyable things to do in Kota Kinabalu that you shouldn’t miss. You can swim, dive, hike, and sunbathe on the islands to pass the time.
One of the famous tourist spots in Kota Kinabalu during the weekend is the Tanjung Aru Beach. The long stretch of sand, the clean water, and the nice sunset view make it a great place to just sit and relax.
You can also visit the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, which is hailed as the largest and most beautiful mosque in the city. The large lagoon leading to the grand structure makes the building look like it’s floating on water.
Satisfy your palate with yummy Malay food in Kota Kinabalu. The Huang Jiu Tuaran Mee of Seng Hing Kopitiam restaurant is an addictive mix of noodles, fish, meat, and wine. Meanwhile, the Tom Yam of Kedai Kopi Wan Wan is widely popular for the fresh sea bass included in the meal.
Another must-try is the Bak kut teh. It is a native dish made of pork ribs stewed for hours in garlic, herbs, and other spices. The most popular version is served by Yu Kee Restaurant. Finally, there’s the Malaysian Laksa. The Laksa Melaka of Palm Café is a must-try. Another notable restaurant that serves this excellent dish is the Kedai Kopi Yee Fung.
Kota Kinabalu offers an interesting nightlife because of the mix of cultural influences you can find in their cuisine and alcoholic drinks. The Tavern Kitchen & Bar specializes in giving a local twist to Western cuisine. They offer a variety of beverages served in an artsy manner.
On the other hand, the Sunset Bar is the place to go for a peaceful drinking session with jazz music on the background and a nice sunset view of the bay. If you’re after a Mexican or Spanish drinking experience, head to El Centro Nas.
For a unique experience, the Beernest Mixo is the first and only mixology bar in the city. They offer the most versatile range of beers and cocktails. If you want a more active entertainment while drinking, BED can provide you the real night club experience of Kota Kinabalu.
Jalan Gaya is the primary tourist center and is the nearest to the airport. Despite its popularity and busy streets, Kota Kinabalu hotels here are rather affordable. There’s nothing more relaxing than staying at hotels in Kota Kinabalu that are near the beach. If you’re after these kinds of accommodation, the Tanjung Aru area is the best place to stay. Families are recommended to book hotels in this area.
If it’s your first time in the city, Karamunsing is the best place to look for hotels in Kota Kinabalu. It’s near museums, mosques, and zoos. A trip to the harbor is just minutes away and there are loads of activities to do in nearby shops.
The towns of Likas and Dongongan provide cheap but cool places to stay near the city. Kota Kinabalu hotels here are near natural tourist attractions, making them the best place to stay for hikers and nature-lovers. For the best nightlife experience, the Waterfront area is the ideal place to stay.