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Where to stayin Kota Kinabalu

Sabah's compact coastal capital Kota Kinabalu, often known as KK, is one of Malaysia's fastest-growing cities. Its neighborhoods are fascinating and diverse. This is where most travelers choose to stay before heading off to explore farther afield, perhaps to climb Mount Kinabalu or ride the North Borneo Railway. Closer to the city, day trips range from snorkeling in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and admiring the magnificent Kota Kinabalu City Mosque to soaking in hot springs on the edge of Kinabalu National Park. This abundance of activities means accommodations can be fully reserved early, so book well ahead of time to secure a bed in the best hostels, hotels, or guesthouses.

Where to Stay for Tours

Places to stay in Downtown Kota Kinabalu, sometimes noted as Pusat Bandar, span all budgets and make a great base for exploring Sabah. International five-star hotels on the waterfront organize everything from trips to Mari Mari Cultural Village to white-water rafting on the Padas River and will make recommendations for many more activities. At the opposite end of the scale, numerous hostels cater to independent and budget travelers, including offering extended stays of a month or longer. For boat trips, reserve a room near Jesselton Point rather than neighborhoods farther inland so early-morning departures are as free of stress as possible.

Downtown Kota Kinabalu

Downtown Kota Kinabalu is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Imago Shopping Mall and Anjung Samudera.

Recommended hotels in Downtown Kota Kinabalu

Pusat Bandar

Travelers to Pusat Bandar praise its popular shops. If you've got some more time to explore, be sure to make a stop by Gaya Street Sunday Market and Kota Kinabalu Central Market.

Recommended hotels in Pusat Bandar

Great Neighborhoods for Beaches

Tanjung Aru's magnificent beach is one of Kota Kinabalu's main draws, popular with locals and visitors who come to snack on street food and watch the sunset. Resort accommodations are available close to the ocean, while just inland plenty of modern hotels provide budget rooms that are perfect after a long day in the sun. The UMS ODEC Beach, just north of the center, is also worth exploring. It's well looked after and clean on the campus of the University Malaysia Sabah. For a luxurious stay, it's even possible to book a room offshore at an island resort in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.

Tanjung Aru

Pristine beaches and ample dining options are well-reviewed features of Tanjung Aru. Make a stop by top sights like Tanjung Aru Perdana Park while you're exploring the area.

Recommended hotels in Tanjung Aru

Best Places to Stay for Dining

Look for rooms in Downtown Kota Kinabalu to be near the widest choice of places to eat. KK's dining scene is diverse. Foodies will find great laksa, pan mee, and banana leaf platters as well as excellent seafood and a growing number of fusion and Western dishes. Waterfront restaurants have the best views, if not always the best food. A few super-swanky resort hotels offer fine-dining options. For something more informal, stay near Kota Kinabalu Night Market and choose Malaysian favorites form the best hawker stalls or in Tanjung Aru for barbecues on the beach.

Downtown Kota Kinabalu

Downtown Kota Kinabalu is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Imago Shopping Mall and Anjung Samudera.

Recommended hotels in Downtown Kota Kinabalu

Tanjung Aru

Pristine beaches and ample dining options are well-reviewed features of Tanjung Aru. Make a stop by top sights like Tanjung Aru Perdana Park while you're exploring the area.

Recommended hotels in Tanjung Aru

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