Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu

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How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu?

Kota Kinabalu (KK) is a fast-growing coastal city on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. Its city centre is a vibrant mix of progress and heritage. Although the name Kota Kinabalu is relatively new, the region itself boasts of a colourful history. We recommend a sweep of the Atkinson Clock Tower, Sabah State Museum, Double Six Monument, and the waterfront City Mosque to truly appreciate the city. At night, explore the night market for some great finds.

The real adventure though lies on the outskirts of the city. Pristine beaches, lush jungles, and Southeast Asia’s highest peak (Mount Kinabalu) awaits adrenaline junkies. If you’re planning on a hike, make sure to reserve a slot early as only 185 persons are allowed to start their climb daily. The hike itself takes at least 2 days.

Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Flight4 hours304 MYR ($71)Check Flights

The only way to travel the 1,620km distance from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu is by flight. This flight journey, including transfers, takes about 4 hours. Fares start from 304 MYR ($71).

Itinerary from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu


Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu by Flight

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: from 304 MYR ($71)

Flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu depart from KL International Airport.

Step 1: Kuala Lumpur City Centre to KL International Airport

Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Cost: from 12 MYR ($2.80)

First, you’ll need to travel from KL city centre to Kuala Lumpur Int’l Airport (KLIA). You can take a train (30 minutes), a bus (1 hour), or a taxi (1 hour). Fares start from 12 MYR ($2.80).

For more details, check out our page on Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Step 2: Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu by Flight

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: from 287 MYR ($67)

Air Asia normally offers the cheapest fares from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, with tickets prices from 287 MYR ($67). Other carriers you can choose from are Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air. A flight takes about 2.5 hours.

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Kota Kinabalu Airport to City Centre

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: from 5 MYR ($1.20)

From Kota Kinabalu Airport to the city centre, you can take either a bus or a taxi.

Airport buses depart every hour from 07:30 to 20:30, with tickets from 5 MYR ($1.20). It takes you up to Merdeka Square where you can easily hop on another form of transport to your hotel, if necessary.

A more convenient option is to take a taxi. Prepaid taxis are available at the airport, just pay your fixed fare at the booth and then show your coupon to the taxi driver. This way, you won’t have to worry about being overcharged. Taxi fares from the airport to the city centre start from 30 MYR ($7).

If you want your taxi to be ready as soon as you arrive at the airport, you can also pre-book one with Klook. Their rates start from 36 MYR ($8.50).

Reserve a taxi with Klook

Travel time from the airport to KK city centre takes 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic.

More routes to Kota Kinabalu

Singapore to Kota Kinabalu

More routes from Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Airport

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Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara

Kuala Lumpur to Tioman Island

Most popular routes in Malaysia

Langkawi to Koh Lipe

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Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu

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