Kota Kinabalu 2023: Best Places to Visit (with Map & Photos)

Guide to Kota Kinabalu: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The most interesting in Kota Kinabalu: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and shops.

Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu

The capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, was completely destroyed during World War II. The city was rebuilt only in 1967, completely changing the old buildings and laying the streets in even squares parallel and perpendicular to the coastline. It is not surprising that now Kota Kinabalu is a synthesis of all possible cultures: Malay, European and Chinese. Here, side by side with high-rise buildings and new shopping malls, you can see old Chinese shops and traditional bazaars.

Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu

In the past, the city had another name, Singah-Mata, meaning "where the eye goes."

How to get there


Malaysia Airlines operates scheduled flights to Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Labuan and Kuching. Other major companies provide connections to Singapore, Brunei, Jakarta, Manila, Hong Kong and Taipei.

Shopping and shops Kota Kinabalu


Every Sunday, Jalan Gaya Street hosts street fairs called tamu. The central market of the city is located halfway to the village of Kampung Ayer. Here you can buy the freshest fish, fruits and vegetables freshly delivered from farms at the foot of Mount Kinabalu.

Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu

The beaches of Kota Kinabalu


The sandy beach of Tanjung Aru, the city's yacht club and Prince Philip Park are located on the western outskirts of Kota Kinabalu. The local hotel, The Tanjung Aru Beach, is conveniently located next to the island's national park. Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. You can get there in 20 minutes by speedboat and enjoy swimming, diving, snorkeling and underwater photography. Here, side by side, there are five islands - Manukan, Mamutik, Gaya, Sapi and Sulug.

Entertainment and attractions of Kota Kinabalu


It is worth visiting the main mosque of the state - a beautiful golden-domed building that can accommodate up to 5 thousand people. Near the mosque is Signal Hill, which offers a beautiful panorama of the city.

A fantastic sight is the 31-story building of the Sabah Foundation in Likas Bay, a ten-minute highway drive from Kota Kinabalu. This spectacular futuristic tower appears to be encased in a 72-sided glass case.

Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu

Sabah State Museum


The Sabah State Museum is located on Bukit Istana Lama, behind the main mosque. The museum building was built in the traditional style of the Muruts and Rungus peoples. It houses historical and tribal artifacts, handicrafts, a collection of ceramics and remarkable life-size replicas of the traditional houses of Sabah's ethnic groups.

In addition, the museum boasts interesting expositions of flora and fauna, an art gallery and a natural science center. The complex also has a restaurant, a coffee shop, a botanical garden and a gift shop.

Kota Kinabalu Map