When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Kota Kinabalu?
The cheapest time to fly to Kota Kinabula is in May when it is least expensive, and there are few visitors. However, humidity is highest during April and May. To experience the best of the weather and take advantage of budget-friendly rates, use Netflights to search for Kota Kinabula flights from January to March when temperatures are cool, and the city is less crowded after the festivities.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Kota Kinabalu?
It is best to book your flights to Kota Kinabula as early as possible. Rates rise the closer they are to your departure day. Save money by searching Netflights for last-minute flights or selecting ‘flexible dates’ to find the cheapest day of the week to travel. Kota Kinabula has a dry season and a wet season, so don’t forget to do your homework and pack either sunglasses or an umbrella as appropriate.
Flying to Kota Kinabula International Airport (BKI)
Kota Kinabula International Airport (BKI) lies eight kilometres southwest of Kota Kinabula. It is Malaysia’s second-busiest airport and serves the entire west coast of Sabah.
You can fly to Kota Kinabula from a number of airports across the UK. These include London Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast City Airports. Although there are no direct flights from the UK, single-stop flights are available from London Heathrow and Manchester Airport. Flights from all other airports have two or more stops on their journey. Stopovers are in major cities like Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Doha, Singapore and London. There are several top airlines with budget-friendly flights to BKI from the UK, such as Asian Airlines, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Emirates Airlines and Korean Air Lines. Use Netflights to find the best route to suit you, as well as the cheapest airfare.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
Kota Kinabula International Airport has two independent terminals. Terminal 1 is the newest addition to the airport and is for both international and domestic return flights. It has three levels: level 1 for arrivals, level 2 for offices and local departures and level 3, which contains check-in counters and domestic/international departures. Terminal 2 is used mainly for cargo, private jets and charter flights. BKI includes several amenities for travellers like ATMs, bureaux de change, shops (including a duty-free shop), restaurants, luggage storage facilities and lockers, medical services, showers and free Wi-Fi.
Getting to the City from Kota Kinabula International Airport (BKI)
The only ways to travel directly from BKI to Kota Kinabula are by taxi or renting a car. To travel by taxi, you must first purchase a coupon from the Airport Taxi counter in the middle of level 1, at the arrivals area. The ticket is then given to the driver before entering the vehicle. There are several car hire agencies available, like Avis, Budget and Hertz. It’s best to book in advance to make sure you’ll have a car waiting when you land. Public transport can be taken from outside the airport area. Minibus No. 17 stops by the footbridge outside of the airport along the main road.
Why visit Kota Kinabalu?
Kota Kinabalu is a growing, diverse city in a beautiful tropical setting with a picturesque waterfront. It’s quite a contemporary city that has risen from the ashes of the Second World War to become a thriving, modern holiday destination. As a testament to its life before the war, the old wooden Atkinson Clock Tower stands proudly on the bluff; it is the oldest structure in KK. You can see for yourself just how much the city has grown from the Signal Hill Observatory platform, which rises above the jungle canopy.
Kota Kinabula city centre is a great place to take in local culture by wandering through the numerous local markets. The central market has plenty of tropical fruits and vegetables, as well as fresh poultry to eat. Nearby is the Handicraft market, or Filipino market, perfect for buying local souvenirs. Don’t miss out on the lively Night market, filled with a mix of south-east Asian dishes, local food and lots of people.
Don't Forget Before You Fly
Before travelling to Kota Kinabula, it is a good idea to exchange some of your money into Malaysian ringgit to carry with you. ATMs are available at BKI on levels one and three near the currency exchange kiosks if you decide to take out money out on arrival. British nationals don’t need a visa to enter the country and can stay for up to three months. Be sure not to overstay so as to avoid being fined, detained and deported. Your passport should be valid for at least six months from your date of entry.