It’s about time people look past Kuala Lumpur when they visit Malaysia. Other cities, especially the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu, offer plenty of attractions worth visiting.

For one, its famous stilt villages represent the culture of Sabah state in beautiful and tranquil surroundings. For another, there are its outstanding natural sites and tourism highlights, like Mount Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu Islands, Tanjung Aru Beach, Kiulu River, and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Other can’t-miss attractions in the city are Gaya Street Sunday Market, KK Waterfront, Chinatown, Atkinson Clock Tower, and Signal Hill Observatory Platform.

Kota Kinabalu is a 2-hour, 30 minutes plane ride from Kuala Lumpur, but there are also direct international flights to the city. So it becomes even more accessible for international tourists, especially those from Singapore and the Philippines.

To help with your trip planning, I’ve added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted below. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app for easy reference. But before you start ticking goals off your bucketlist, here are travel essentials & discounts you’ll need to check. Pre-book online for a hassle-free trip!

Kota Kinabalu travel essentials

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Kota Kinabalu HotelsTours + discountsFlights

View all travel tips on: Kota Kinabalu.

1. Signal Hill Observatory Platform

Location: Jalan Bukit Bendera. Save on Google Maps.

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Kota Kinabalu City Half Day Tour

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2. Atkinson Clock Tower

Location: Lorong Dewan / Jalan Bukit Bendera. Save on Google Maps.

3. Kota Kinabalu Islands (Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park)

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Island Hopping tour packages

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4. KK Waterfront

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5. Gaya Street Sunday Market

Location: Jalan Gaya. Save on Google Maps.

6. Tanjung Aru Beach

Location: Tanjung Aru. Save on Google Maps.

7. Mount Kinabalu

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Kinabalu Park & Poring Hot Spring

Kinabalu National Park tour packages

Tours + discounts

Beyond Kota Kinabalu


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Brunei Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discounts

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Kota Kinabalu that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu tourist spots, things to do in Kota Kinabalu, where to go in Kota Kinabalu & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Where to Stay in Kota Kinabalu

Click below & search recommended Kota Kinabalu hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your min/max price, travel dates, and sort by review ratings. I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Don’t Stop Here

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