Flag of Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu

Things to see and do

  • Sabah State Museum
    3.5 stars

    The main building houses a diverse, if a little dry, collection of archaeological artifacts, tribal items and zoological specimens. If you're more of a hands-on learner, cross the river via a swinging bridge to enter the tribal village with replicas of longhouses complete with warrior costumes and ... read more

  • Gaya Street
    4 stars

    This street has been the best place in KK to shop and eat for more than 100 years, and is still going strong. The red gate at the start of Gaya Street is a nod to the Chinese traders who originally settled here, but today it's the tourist heart of the city with cafes, bars, backpackers hostels ... read more

  • KK Heritage Walk
    4 stars

    This two and a half hour walking tour offers a crash course in local history and visits notable sites like Independence Field, Atkinson Clock Tower, the North Borneo War Memorial and Australia Place. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and throw in some fun alongside the lessons with a treasure ... read more

  • Central Market & Handicraft Market
    3.5 stars

    The sprawling Central Market is where locals come to shop for dried fish, spices, fruit and other household essentials. It's very photogenic and the vendors are happy to pose with the catch of the day, but you'll likely leave empty-handed. The Handicraft Market (also known as the Filipino ... read more

  • Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
    4.5 stars

    Manukan and Sapi have basic facilities including a cafe and store, but for other islands you'll want to bring your own snacks and rent a mask and snorkel at the jetty (10 ringgit, extra 5 ringgit for fins). It's also possible to scuba-dive around the marine park – we recommend Borneo Dream ... read more

  • Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
    3.5 stars

    Lok Kawi's menagerie includes pygmy elephants, Malayan tigers, sun bears, crocodiles, hornbills, mouse deer, gibbons, big-nosed proboscis monkeys and, of course, orang utans. The surrounding jungle is green and dense and there's an adjacent botanic gardens (included with admission), but the setting ... read more

  • Monsopiad Cultural Village
    3 stars

    Unlike the Mari Mari Cultural Village, guests are free to wander at their own pace around the replica longhouses, though a guided tour and dance show are included in the price. Don't miss the ‘House of Skulls' where the heads of legendary Kadazan warrior Monsopiad's enemies are still on ... read more

  • Mari Mari Cultural Village
    3 stars

    A fact-filled guide will lead you through longhouses where Sabah tribespeople will share their fire-starting, blow-dart shooting and tattooing techniques and even let you jump on the traditional wooden trampoline. Visits are at set times of 10:00, 14:00 and 18:00 daily and take about three ... read more

  • North Borneo Railway
    3.5 stars

    The North Borneo Railway is an attraction – not a practical form of transportation – and makes a 3.5 hour loop from Tanjung Aru Station, 15 minutes from KK, to Kinarut to see a temple, Papar town to see the local markets, then back to Tanjung Aru. At the time of writing, the train ... read more


Photo gallery

Photo for Kota Kinabalu

Jump to a destination


Most popular sights in Kota Kinabalu



Newsletter signup

Sign up for Travelfish Burp!

Our weekly wrap on Southeast Asian travel.
Click here to see a recent newsletter.

We respect your email privacy