Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Getting Around/Transport

Kota Kinabalu's roads are really congested especially during the rush hours. Public transport is limited to buses and taxis. A car rental is also an option in getting around the city, however, it is not advisable because of the heavy traffic jam especially during the rush hours. Boats are also available, but these are used for island to island transportation.




The most economical way to get around the city is by bus. There are several bus stations, but Wawasan Bus Terminal is the main depot for buses and minibuses that services from the city center to the suburbs including Putatan, Tanjung Aru, Kepayan, Luyang, Penampang, Likas, Inanam, and Menggatal. The bus fare is around 0.50 RM to 2 RM depending on the distance.

Next to the Wawasan Bus Terminal is the City Bus Service. This is the bus that services within the city center that are usually green and yellow in color. It has 4 different routes. The fare is as low as 0.50 RM.

The North Bus Terminal in Inanam is the main station for long distance bus. It is within a 10 kilometer distance away from the city center. The terminal only operates between 6:30 am to 8:30 pm. The bus services to the East Coast such as Sandakan, Tawau, Semporna, and Lahad Datu daily.

The Padang Merdeka is located in the city center. The buses service to the city and towns on the West Coast and Interior of Sabah including Keningau, Tenom, Kudat, Kota Belud, and Ranau. Next to the terminal is a long distance taxi station.

For transportation to the Southern Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei, the City Park Bus Terminal is the bus hub to look for. It is located opposite of the KK High Court Building. If planning to travel across the border, passports must be presented.




For a faster and a more convenient way of transportation, taxi is a great option. It is an advisable mode of transport if planning to move between a few remote places and attractions that are not covered by the bus routes. Hotels may arrange a taxi for the guests. Short fares are around 10 RM while longer trips usually costs 20 RM or higher depending on the distance. Bargaining is important for taxi drivers who don't use meters. Haggle for lower prices because taxi drivers tend to raise prices especially to tourists.


Boat services are available for island to island transportation. The Jesselton Point is the most popular boat terminal. It operates from 6 am to 4 pm. Boat that services to the islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park are between 17 RM to 40 RM depending on the island. Island hopping can also be arranged here.

Other boat services are offered by ports operated by hotels such as the Sultera Harbor of Pacific Sutera Hotel and the Star Marina of Shangri La Tanjung Aru.