22 Hostels in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

22 hostels found. Prices start from $8 for a dorm.

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Get to know Kota Kinabalu (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Kota Kinabalu. To help you make friends with Kota Kinabalu before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

Kota Kinabalu (often called KK) is a beautiful city in Malaysia and the capital of Sabah region. Kota Kinabalu is well known for its beautiful scenery (Mount Kinabalu and Pulau Sipadan), shopping malls, budget accommodation, good nightlife, and a lot of restaurants with amazing fresh seafood. Kota Kinabalu is easily reachable by all transports (flight, boat, bus, and train), but probably the best way is by air –- there are a lot of low cost companies that fly here from different parts of Southeast Asia. The airport is located only about six kilometers from the city center –- you can take a taxi or minibus.

Kota Kinabalu has a lot to offer, depending your tastes and budget. During your stay in Kota Kinabalu city, you should visit the old area to see the remains of its colonial past, including the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Garden and the Waterfront Markets. If you are into more outdoor activities, you should try to do water rafting (do a one-day tour that can be easily arranged in every tour agency in the city), dive in Pulau Sipadan (recognized as one of the best places in the world to do dive -– here you can see barracudas, sharks, turtles, and amazing reefs), or climb the huge Mount Kinabalu (more than four thousand meters high). There are a lot of tours operated by different agencies in Kota Kinabalu organizing trips to the summit (the average is two days/one night).

Kota Kinabalu has a lot of hostels available, where you can have a good time, and in most of them you can also organize your tours. Kota Kinabalu hostels are on a budget, but clean, friendly, and in a relaxed environment.

Written by local enthusiast for Kota Kinabalu hostels

Written by local enthusiast for Kota Kinabalu hostels Grace

FAQ about Kota Kinabalu Hostels

There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in Kota Kinabalu. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in Kota Kinabalu. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right?

Hostelz.com shows all 22 Hostels in Kota Kinabalu. Simply filter by neighborhood and price to find your perfect budget place to stay.
B&B@21 is the best hostel in Kota Kinabalu for families.
Hostelz.com compares prices for 22 hostels in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. We list for you other cheap places to stay in Kota Kinabalu such as
  • 15 hotels
  • 3 guesthouses

This makes this very website the best place to find cheap accommodation in Kota Kinabalu.

Your Packing List for Kota Kinabalu

Your Packing List for Kota Kinabalu

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Kota Kinabalu and Malaysia.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Kota Kinabalu Hostel Cheatsheet

Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in Kota Kinabalu, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
22 Total number of hostels
$9 Average dorm price
$8 Cheapest hostel in Kota Kinabalu
Homy Seafront Hostel is the cheapest
2 Party hostels in Kota Kinabalu
Sakot Hostel is the best rated
Most Kota Kinabalu hostels are located in
Kampung Air
6.7 Average rating of all hostels

Other Nearby Cities

Tempurung (8 Km / 5 mi.)
Poring (17 Km / 11 mi.)
Kinabalu Park (53 Km / 33 mi.)
Ranau (65 Km / 41 mi.)
Kudat (132 Km / 82 mi.)
Bandar Seri Begawan (169 Km / 105 mi.)

Travel Tips for Kota Kinabalu - from the Community

Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking Kota Kinabalu. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of Kota Kinabalu. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!

The only real good reason to travel here is to climb nearby Mount Kinabalu. And if you do, then don't book your climb through a middleman or tour company! Book directly from the company managing the lodge on the mountain, otherwise you pay too much. Having said that, the people are friendly. The price of a movie is only 8-11 ringgits ($3 usd). Plenty of places to eat (local & western chains). The bus system is cheap, but unpredictable. The taxis are a bit expensive -- one ride is the cost of a night at a hostel. There are lots of good, cheap hostels. The sidewalks are sketchy, dangerous, or nonexistent. It's not a good area of Malaysia for beaches or snorkeling.


The vast majority of the people in Kota Kinabalu are friendly and very few try to rip you off.


Staying for a night in Kota Kinabalu made me feel like I'm in a place surrounded by odd people. They seem friendly at first, but after a while they become scary -- the way they stare, the way they move. It's like they want you drawn into their world and then cast spells on you that would make you stay there for the entirety of your life.


Kota Kinabalu comments only. Don't discuss the hostels here, post a review on the hostel's page instead.

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