Best Things To Do in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Are you looking for what to do in Kota Kinabalu?


  • Tanjung Aru Beach: This wide beach isn't the best for swimming, but the peaceful waterfront is an enjoyable place to sit, relax, and eat.
  • Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre: Located just one mile from KK's city center, this is a sprawling mangrove forest with elevated wooden walkways.  Visitors enjoy a rare opportunity to see species that are found in wetlands which are normally inaccessible.
  • Gaya Street Market: Visit the Gaya Street Sunday Market and avail the bargains available exclusively at weekends to relish your shopping at the historic bazaar.
  • Manukan Island: Just take a 15 minutes boat ride to reach the Manukan Island which is one of the most famous and most frequented islands by domestic and international tourists.
  • Kota Kinabalu City Mosque: Kota Kinabalu is predominantly Muslim city. Your itinerary of Kota Kinabalu will not be complete without having visited the emblems of Islamic faith here. Visit the city mosque which is also the most popular here.
  • Green connection Aquarium: Take a unique guided journey through limestone caves, dense jungles, mangrove area, and coral reefs of Sipadan, the Northern Tip of Borneo and Tiga Island at The Green Connection.
  • Sabah Museum: Visit the Sabah Museum that comprises of the Main Building, the Science and Technology Centre, the Heritage Village, Ethno-Botanical Garden and the Sabah Islamic Civilization Museum.


  • Visit Kinabalu National Park: Hike up to this national park in order to watch the panoramic views of Sabah and to look at the biggest flower (rafflesia) in the world which can be found here.
  • Island Hopping at Abdul Rahman Marine Park: Take out time to visit the five islands of this marine park to enjoy a wide range of water activities such as banana boat, sea walking, para sailing and Jet Ski.
  • Watch Sabah Sunset: Sabah is considered as the best place to view sunsets. In Kota Kinabalu, there are various viewpoints from where you can have excellent views of sunset. Some of these are: Tanjung Aru Beach, Segama waterfront, Signal Hill observatory tower, Peak of Bukit Pedang and sunset bar, Shangri la Tanjung Aru Resort.
  • Experience the local food: Malaysian food is delectable. Try Bak Kut Teh, Laksa, mee at the local Kopitiam and experience the coffee shop culture.

Below we have a list of things to do in Kota Kinabalu and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Kota Kinabalu getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Kota Kinabalu with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Kota Kinabalu

Here is the list of things to do in Kota Kinabalu and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Mount Kinabalu

    4.5 (2611 Votes)
    Mount Kinabalu

    View Point, Hill

    Climb up to this highest mountain between the Himalayas and the island of New Guinea. In the Malaysian language, this mountain is called as Gunung Kinabalu and is quite unlike any other on earth as it rises almost twice as high of its Crocker Range neighbors. While hiking towards its peak you shall come across several fine walking trails in the rainforest at the base of the mountain where the c...Read more
  2. Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

    National Park, Park, Nature

    Tunku Abdul Rahman is a cluster of islands namely Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. As the islands are only a short boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu it is a popular destination among day-trippers. You can opt to stay for a few days at the resorts within the marine park. Gaya and Manukan are the biggest islands within the marine park (though Manukan...Read more
  3. Manukan Island

    4.3 (2765 Votes)
    Manukan Island


    Located near Kota Kinabalu, Manukan Island is one of the most famous and most frequented islands by domestic and international tourists. To reach here, you just need to take a 15-minutes boat ride from Kota Kinabalu City. With its long stretch of white sandy beach and tranquil waters, the island is a must visit as a day trip in your itinerary of Kota Kinabalu. The water is so calm and shallow t...Read more
  4. Poring Hot Springs

    4.1 (2524 Votes)
    Poring Hot Springs

    Hot Spring, Nature

    Poring Hot Springs is about 40 kilometers from the Kinabalu National Park Headquarters in Kundasang. The hot springs is actually part of the huge Kinabalu National Park. The Poring Hot Springs was first developed by the Japanese during World War II and has progressed gradually to become one of the top tourist destinations amongst foreigners and locals alike. The hot waters of the spring co...Read more
  5. Sapi Island

    4.1 (1509 Votes)
    Sapi Island

    Outdoors, Beach, Island, Nature

    Among all the islands that surround Kota Kinabalu City, Sapi Island (Pulau Sapi) is the most favorite amongst tourists. Not only does it offer abundant nature’s experience, it also offers activities such as Coral Flyer (longest island to island zipline in the world) to render your trip an exciting one. With a perfect landscape combination of blue sky, white sandy beach, crystal clear...Read more
  6. Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

    4 (870 Votes)
    Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

    Wildlife Park, Zoo, Botanical Garden

    This is a huge wildlife park that is made up of two parts: the zoological and the botanical side. Among the many residents of the zoo are the Borneo Pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, Orang Utan, Proboscis monkey, Malayan Tiger as well as a few species of deer. The botanical component offers visitors the chance to go jungle trekking along the botanical trail. The readily paved trail is appro...Read more
  7. Kinabalu Park

    4.6 (1509 Votes)
    Kinabalu Park

    Park, Nature

    Kinabalu Park is located at the entrance to Mount Kinabalu and thus acts as the main starting point for the summit trail that leads to the top of Mount Kinabalu. If you don’t wish to climb the mighty mountain of Kinabalu, you can just spend some time in this Park that is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. 
  8. Mamutik Island

    4.3 (1096 Votes)
    Mamutik Island

    Outdoors, Island, Picnic Spot

    A visit to the Mamutik Island can let you enjoy the beauty of sun and sand to the fullest. The place is an ideal spot for holidaying where you can indulge in various recreational activities. First of all, you will be charmed by the crystal clear water of the place. You can swim and enjoy snorkelling at the very spot. Clean beaches and coral reefs are the picturesque spots of this place. You wil...Read more
  9. North Borneo Railway

    Outdoors, Train Ride

    One of the attractions of Kota Kinabalu is to take a ride on the North Borneo Railway that recreates the era of British North Borneo. As you take a ride in this steam train, you shall come across the tracks of Tanjung Aru, through Kinarut and towards the end, the Rice bowl of Sabah, Papar. The journey on this train proves to be beautiful as you come across the green vistas of sprawling paddy fi...Read more
  10. Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

    4.5 (2311 Votes)
    Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

    Mosque, Religious Site

    Kota Kinabalu is populated by predominantly Muslim population. Therefore, the city is scattered with emblems of Islamic faith and culture. Visit the largest mosque of Kota Kinabalu city that displays the contemporary Islamic architecture. Situated just near to the sea, this mosque looks resplendent with its white structure and looks quite similar to the Nawabi Mosque in Medina. With its structu...Read more
  11. Sabah Museum

    4.2 (2281 Votes)
    Sabah Museum

    Museum, Specialty Museum

    You and your companions can visit the Sabah Museum that started its journey in the year 1965. Since its journey, the museum has made people surprised with its large collection of historical artefacts. The museum authority adds more valuables to their collection regularly. The museum mainly concentrates on exhibiting the history and cultural importance of the location of Sabah, Malaysia. The env...Read more
  12. Gaya Street Sunday Market

    4.3 (230 Votes)
    Gaya Street Sunday Market

    Outdoors, Street Market

    This street was originally named as Bond Street and has been present in the central business district for past 100 years. The market here looks exotic with the wooden shops with nipah roofs. Here, you can shop for anything under the shady trees and over sized umbrellas. The market is famous for products such as batik sarongs, fruits and flowers, antiques and souvenirs, cakes and even pets and h...Read more
  13. Night Market

    Outdoors, Street Market, Street Food

    The culture of Malaysia comes alive at the Night Market in Kota Kinabalu which also serves as one of the most famous food courts in all South East Asia. This market is located off Jalan Kampung Air near to the old Filipino craft market. The market operates under the sheets of tarpon, canvas and plastic. Visit this market to have an insider’s view of the city and purchase memorab...Read more
  14. Filipino Market

    Food And Drinks, Market, Specialty Shop

    Filipino market is the best haunt to purchase a diverse range of products such as handicrafts, toiletries to traditional food and medicine. One of the things that you ought to buy in the Filipino market is its famous cultured pearl priced at around RM5 apiece. There are also tailors available in the Filipino market. At nighttime, you can find this Sabah market selling fresh poultry, fishes and ...Read more
  15. Suria Sabah

    4.3 (916 Votes)
    Suria Sabah

    Food And Drinks, Mall, Shopping Center, Architecture

    This new shopping malls has gradually placed itself as one of the attractions of Kota Kinabalu. With a unique architecture that shall remind you of salad bowl design, the mall has become famous as it houses the best brands that you can search for. Try lunch at its food court to savor at the multi cuisine dishes available here.