Kota Kinabalu Museums

(Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia)

Kota Kinabalu is not awash with museums and similar cultural attractions, yet has enough to appease the culture lover. There are themed museums showcasing local history and culture, and Islamic folk beliefs, as well as a fun marine and aquarium centre.

The best and most accessible is the Sabah State Museum, which is located right in the centre of Kota Kinabalu. This is a large complex and home to several different venues, being a must-see. There are also traditional houses here, at the Heritage Village, and a beautiful landscaped botanical garden.

Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village

Address: Jalan Muzium / Jalan Kebajikan / Jalan Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 088 253 199
The four-floor Sabah State Museum is the top cultural magnet in town, located on the corner of the Jalan Penampang and the Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. It is in a good spot (not far south of Kampong Air) and consists of the main museum, an art gallery, a science centre and a heritage village, all rolled into one big attraction. Expect to find lots of prehistoric relics, tribal artefacts and even a reconstruction of a limestone cave. The galleries have pottery and photographs, as well as quality art works from all over the region.
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Science and Technology Centre / Science and Education Centre

Address: Jalan Muzium / Jalan Kebajikan, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 088 253 199
The Science and Technology Centre is a part of the Sabah State Museum complex near the end of the car park. It is good for those with kids and provides some hands-on exhibits relating to the petroleum industry in the state. Displays concentrate on all aspects of petroleum production, from drilling and extraction, to processing and the refinement stage. Many folks choose to combine a visit to the Science and Technology Centre with the nearby the Museum of Islamic Civilisation, which is literally just a stroll away.
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Museum of Islamic Civilisation

Address: Jalan Menteri, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 088 538 234
The Museum of Islamic Civilisation (Muzium Tamadun Islam Sabah) is not far from the Science and Technology Centre and can be visited as part of the same trip. It is dedicated to Muslim culture, history and heritage, and includes a collection of maps and Korans (Qurans). Although there is an entrance fee, you will also being able to gain entry with a valid Sabah Museum ticket.
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge

Aquarium and Marine Museum

Address: Sabah University, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 088 320 000
Situated on the campus of Sabah University, on the northern side of the city, is this quality marine museum. The attraction is based within the BMRI Research Institute and has eye-popping displays and facilities. Tanks are free-standing and include open-water reef and live shallow reef aquariums, along with a mangrove walk and other natty underwater-related features.
Open hours: Thursday to Tuesday - 09:30 to 12:30, 14:00 to 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children, students, seniors, disabled visitors