Nightlife in Kota Kinabalu - 12 Best After-Dark Places

Popularly known as KK in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is more of a friendly capital when it comes to nightlife and partying. Located on the gigantic island of Borneo, in Sabah, this city is all about heartwarming citizens, invigorating night clubs, discotheques, and live bands, for those craving a drink and chitchat. Here are some of Kota Kinabalu's exciting night clubs, bistros, and night markets:

1. Breeze Beach Club

The stunning sunset at The Breeze Beach Club in Kota Kinabalu
The stunning view of sunset by the beach from Breeze Beach Club (Source)
Residing inside ‘The Pacific Sutera Hotel’, the Breeze Beach Club is one of the most loved nightlife spots in Kota Kinabalu. It is known for typical Malaysian and Western seafood, a fine selection of wine, signature cocktails, and other beverages. Beside the pool, amid the tropics and facing the wide blue ocean, this breezy open-air restaurant delivers one of the best sunset experiences in town. It also showcases a live fire performance along with an in-house DJ, which is scheduled at 8:00 PM every Friday to Sunday. Don’t forget to taste their grilled seafood along with the iconic Tiger Beer!
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM to 12.30 AM
Moonlight Hours: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Breeze Weekend Fiesta: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Friday to Sunday
Location: Level 1, The Pacific Sutera Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Telephone: +60 88-318 888
Email: [email protected]
Cost: RM 40 – RM 80

2. BED (Best Entertainment Destination)

The revellers grooving to the DJ at Best Entertainment Destination in Kota Kinabalu
BED is one of the best places for enjoying live music in Kota Kinabalu (Source)
Located at the waterfront complex, BED, an acronym for Best Entertainment Destination is the most popular nightclub in Kota Kinabalu. It is inclined to more of a western concept with a huge space composed of the raised stage, seating area with high tables and bars, a cozy lounge, and also private areas for reserved parties and personal gatherings. Visit this place to experience the biggest live entertainment in town!
Opening Hours: 7:00 PM - 1:00 AM (Sunday – Thursday), 7:00 PM - 2:00 AM (Friday – Saturday)
Location: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 88 251 901
Email: [email protected] 

3. Shamrock Irish Bar

The typical British ambience of Irish Pub in Kota Kinabalu
The Shamrock Irish Bar has a typical Irish ambience (Source)
The Shamrock Irish Bar is a traditional Irish pub. It is known for the best burgers and beers in Kinabalu. Situated at the Waterfront, it provides a scenic view and serves Kilkenny, Tiger, tasty meat stews, and other alcoholic beverages. You can check out this popular hangout place for the locals with an old-fashioned and rustic ambience.
Opening Hours: 12:00 PM - 1:30 AM
Location: Jalan Tun Fuad, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 88 249 829

4. Shenanigans

Shenanigan pub in Kota Kinabalu has a soothing ambience
Shenanigan is an Irish-style Pub in Kota Kinabalu (Source)
Shenanigan is a popular nightlife spot in Kota Kinabalu offering live performances, entertainments, and DJ nights with a view of the waterfront. Though not the biggest pub in town, it is one of the oldest with a compact central bar, seating space, and a small stage beside the pool table area. This Irish style pub offers drinks that are relatively costly with unique night themes every day. You can also check out their Ladies night and Sassy Angels night every Wednesday and Saturdays respectively. It has also won many awards from various tourism boards for its excellent service and hospitality.
Opening Hours: 5:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Happy Hours: 6 pm to 9 pm
Location: Hyatt Regency, Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 88-295 300
Dress Code: Smart Casual, No slippers/singlet for men
Email: [email protected] 

5. Sunset Bar

Stunning sunset view from the Sunset Bar in Kota Kinabalu
The stunning sunset view from Sunset Bar (Source)
Sitting on the tip of the peninsular region, the Sunset Bar boasts one of the best scenic views in Kota Kinabalu. It has a wide seating arena against the backdrop of the blue ocean, palm trees, and tropical islands. More of a bar and lounge rather than a restaurant, it is an appealing venue for exclusive beverages, cocktails, and romantic sunsets. Some of its best appetizers include Royal mojito, Pepperita, and Lepa-Lepa! You can experience a relaxed evening with a jazz band rolling out foot-tapping music!
Opening Hours: 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 88 327 888
Email: [email protected]
Cost: High priced

6. Beernest Mixo

Fire performance at Beernest Kota Kinabalu
The fire performance at Beernest (Source)
The Beernest Muxo is an award-winning mixology bar in Kota Kinabalu that is widely known amongst young tourists and travellers. It is a unique, old-school concept bar and one of a kind in the city that specializes in custom made beers and tailor-made menus. On festival nights and occasions such as Halloween, Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc, it organizes surprise party nights for its visitors. This chill bar is a must-visit for its fresh draught beer and magnificent sunset views!
Opening Hours: 4:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Location: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Pusat Bandar Kota, Kinabalu
Telephone: +6016 834 8883
Email: [email protected]

7. Sully’s Bar

Sully's Bar with seating and live band performance
The 70s themed Sully's Bar in Kota Kinabalu (Source)
Sully’s bar in Kota Kinabalu is known for a sophisticated atmosphere offering a variety of musical themes ranging from the 70s era to those of jazz. It usually has soothing and calm jazz music playing in the background. This place is usually spotted with people over 30 who prefer the tranquil atmosphere. Sully’s in-house band named ‘Booboo’ is quite popular among the locals.
Opening Hours: 5:00 PM - 1:30 AM (Monday – Saturday), 6:00 PM - 12:30 AM (Sunday)
Location: KK Times Square Hotel, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 88 447 107
Email: [email protected]

8. The Loft

The Loft in Kota Kinabalu has a waterfront seating with a stunning view
The Loft with waterfront seating and a stunning view (Source)
Located at the heart of the Waterfront, which is the most happening place in Kinabalu, ‘The Loft’ is a popular destination amongst nightlife freaks and tourists. This bar houses comfy couches, huge screens for entertainment, and also a pool table for sports lovers. It also serves chill beers, cocktails, and a pure collection of fine wines!
Opening Hours: 3:00 PM - 1:00 AM (Sunday – Thursday), 3:00 PM - 2:00 AM (Friday – Saturday)
Happy Hours: 3:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: The Waterfront Esplanade, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 88-270 387

9. El Centro

Glass of chilled cocktails
Representational image (Source)
Located in a busy street, El Centro is a wide-open Mexican-themed bar and restaurant that is known for serving pizzas, quesadillas, and fajitas along with vivid cocktails and zestful drinks. With a westernized ambience, they serve healthy and fusion food to their guests. Some of the items in their menu include handmade nachos, tacos, salads, pizzas, burgers, and other beverages. Visit this place for various themes like salsa nights, jazz nights, and Wednesday quiz nights to experience good food with great vibes!
Opening Hours: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Location: 32, Jalan Haji Saman, Pusat Bandar, Kota Kinabalu
Telephone: +60 19 893 5499
Cost: Pocket-friendly

10. Api Api Night Food Market

Representational Image (Source)
Apart from night pubs, bistros, and dance clubs, Kota Kinabalu’s night markets give you a chance to immerse yourself into its local culture and cuisines! Located in Gaya Street, this one of a kind weekly market offers food, drinks, fruits, and handicrafts specially made by the locals. You can sample the delicious Malay cuisine such as dumplings, handmade curry, Korean chicken, and many more!
Opening Hours: 6:00 PM - 2:00 AM (Friday to Saturday), Closed from Sunday to Thursday
Location: Jalan Bandaran, Pusat Bandar, Kota Kinabalu

11. Metro Town Night Market

Metro town Night Market in Kota Kinabalu
The psychedelic Metro Town Night Market board (Source)
This market is the most desired weekend market for tourists as it showcases a wide range of cheap and best delicacies! It is the best joint for foodies where they can garb small bites from varied food trucks and stalls situated in the street. Some of the items include crunchy fried squid, pork burger, pork satay, lamb, and salted egg yolk fried chicken!
Opening Hours: 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM, Closed from Sunday - Friday
Location: Lorong Metro 2, Kota Kinabalu

12. Sinsuran Night Market

Street Food Vendors at Sinsuran Night Market in Kota Kinabalu
Street Food vendors (Source)
Sinsuran market is known to be a pure paradise for seafood lovers in Kota Kinabalu! This market serves freshly cooked lobsters, tiger prawns, squids, fish, and stingrays that are 3-4 times bigger than their original size. You may get your food grilled or steamed and dipped in chilli sauce or lime. They also sell local foods and vegetables in the market at a reasonable price.
Opening Hours: 6:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Location: Sinsuran Kompleks, Kinabalu
Apart from the most exciting bars and nightclubs in Kota Kinabalu, don’t forget to take a stroll down these local street markets that showcase the extraordinary cultural side.

This post was published by Gayathri Babu

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