Kuching is the capital of the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. This city isn’t often visited by tourist and that’s a shame because it’s a gateway to a fascinating, culturally diverse part of Malaysia. There is also a rich, tasty food scene to explore and lots of great Kuching accommodation options to try.
Because there aren’t too many tourists who visit this city, it can be difficult to find the best areas to stay in Kuching. That’s why we’ve created this Kuching neighborhood guide, so that you can find an area that suits your budget and your travel plans.
So, get off the beaten track and explore somewhere that few tourists ever visit. You’ll come home with lots of great pictures and stories that your friends just can’t match!
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Kuching.
Unlock Our GREATEST Travel Secrets!
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best travel tips delivered right to your inbox.
Best Airbnb in Kuching: Kai Joo Suites #1
If you want a little extra luxury for your trip, then try this beautiful private loft. It has two bedrooms and is suitable for up to 3 guests. The loft is located in the middle of the city and has sleek, warm furnishings as well as all the amenities you’ll need for a short or long stay.
Best Hostel in Kuching: Check in Lodge
If you’re deciding where to stay in Kuching for one night or for longer, this is one of the best budget choices. This hostel in Kuching offers clean and modern facilities as well as easy access to all the best sites. There are a variety of different rooms available from dorms to private rooms, and lots of restaurants and bars nearby to entertain you at night.
Best Hotel in Kuching: Abell Hotel
This hotel in Kuching offers everything you’ll need for a short or long stay. It’s ideally located if you want easy access to all the best sites and has 80 rooms that are fully equipped to make your stay comfortable. There’s a lounge bar on site so you have a quiet drink after a long day exploring the city and lots of restaurants and cafes nearby, so you’ll never go hungry!
Petra Jaya is a large area of the city where the city’s Malay population can be found. this makes it the best area in Kuching to stay in if you want to experience Malay culture and eat lots of their food!
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Kuching on a budget, then Padungan is the best choice. This is where the city’s Chinese population gathers, so you’ll enjoy great food and cool stores at the same time.
Jalan Song Thian Cheok
If you’re looking for where to stay in Kuching for nightlife, then look no further. Jalan song Thian Cheok is the epicenter for the bar and nightlife scene in the city.
When you want the coolest places to stay in Kuching, you can’t go past this area. Damai beach is about half an hour north of the city and is based around the beach.
Kuching City Center
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the city center. It’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Kuching for families or with a group of friends.
Kuching is a big, busy, and crowded metropolitan area of Malaysia, so it can be difficult to work out where one neighborhood starts and the other ends. Basically, no matter where you stay in Kuching, you’ll be surrounded by great food, interesting sites, and a vibrant and sometimes noisy culture that’s very different to what you’re probably used to.
And with this Kuching neighborhood guide, you’ll be able to find the area that suits your travel style perfectly.
Petra Jaya is one of the coolest places to stay in Kuching. It’s the center of Malay culture in the city and is close enough to the city center for easy access. The food in this area is awesome as well!
If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Kuching to stay in on a budget, then try Padungan. This is the city’s China town and has some awesome nightlife options as well.
But if you’re really looking for some exciting nightlife then try Jalan Song Thian Cheok. This is located close to the city center and has more bars, clubs, and restaurants than any other part of the city. You’ll never get bored at night in Jalan Song Thian Cheok!
Sometimes, you just want a more relaxed experience, and that’s exactly what you’ll get when you stay at Damai Beach. It offers sun and sand as well as easy access to the city and is the perfect answer if you want a beach holiday in Kuching.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Kuching
Kuching is a crowded, busy city. So if you’re looking to find the best Kuching accommodation options in a hurry, try some of these areas.
Petra Jaya is a large area of the city where the city’s Malay population can be found. This makes it the best area in Kuching to stay in if you’ve chosen a backpacking trip to Malaysia to experience Malay culture and eat their incredible food!
Petra Jaya is just across the river from the city center and yet the streets are quieter, so you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep after a day exploring the city.
This is one of Kuching’s best neighhorhoods for food and you’ll find everything from large restaurants to family run local eateries. Eating, drinking and staying in this part of the city is also a little cheaper than in the more central areas. And the transport options are great, so you won’t have any trouble getting around.
Best Hostel in Petra Jaya: 8@KaiJoo
This hostel in Kuching is located just two minutes’ walk from Golden Bridge and is in a historic building that’s believed to be over 100 years old. This gives the hostel a homey vibe, making you feel welcome and included in the life of the city. There are a variety of room sizes available to suit every travel group and preference.
Best Hotel in Petra Jaya: Homestay Petrajaya Kuching
Located in one of Kuching’s best neighborhoods, this homestay offers comfort, convenience, and all the comforts of home at the same time. It has free Wi-Fi, a sun deck where you can take in the rays, and a swimming pool that you can use. It’s only a few minutes away from some of the city’s best landmarks and will offer you amazing privacy right in the heart of the city.
Best Airbnb in Petra Jaya: ShaS HomeStay@Kuching
Suitable for up to 7 guests, this 3-bedroom house is a great choice when you’re trying to decide where to stay in Kuching with kids or with a group of friends. The host is lovely and will do everything possible to ensure that you have a great stay and there’s a kitchen, washing machine, and parking spot on site for your convenience.
ShaS HomeStay@Kuching is one of our favourites in Kuching but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Petra Jaya
- Relax in nature at the Sarawak Orchid Garden.
- Visit historic Fort Margherita, once controlled by the British Empire.
- Head to the Matang Wildlife Centre to see Asia’s coolest animals!
- If you like books or architecture, spend some time with the international literature at the Pustaka Negeri Sarawak
- Visit Astana, a palace that has beautiful public gardens for you to explore.
- Learn more about the local culture at the Masjid Jamek mosque.
We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.
Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!View on Osprey View on REI
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Kuching on a budget, then Padungan is the best choice. This is where the city’s Chinese population gathers, so you’ll enjoy great food and cool stores at the same time. Padungan is close to the center as well, so you can enjoy convenient access to all the city’s best sites.
Given this neighborhood’s convenient location in Kuching, it’s a great area to explore from without blowing your Malaysia travel budget. It’s close to the riverfront, so it has great scenery, and there are also some popular nightlife spots close by. So, no matter what you enjoy doing on your trip, you’ll find a wealth of options in Padungan.
Best Airbnb in Padungan: TravelQube Kuching Property
Located in one of the best areas to stay in Kuching, this comfortable property is perfect if you’re on a tight budget. The owner offers a private room in their apartment that includes a private bathroom. The apartment is luxuriously outfitted and is close to the city’s best bars, restaurants and shopping for your convenience!
Best Hostel in Padungan: Marco Polo
This brand-new guesthouse is located in the heart of Kuching’s Chinatown. It’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Kuching for one night or for a longer stay.
It’s close to the waterfront as well as to India Street, Main Bazaar, and lots of restaurants and bars. And the dormitory rooms are air-conditioned and well equipped to make your stay comfortable.
Best Hotel in Padungan: Padungan Hotel
This hotel in Kuching has 36 recently refurbished rooms and is located right in the heart of the city. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the staff will do everything they can to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Each room is air-conditioned and has a private bathroom, ironing facilities, and an in-room safe.
Things to See and Do in Padungan
- Eat in Chinatown!
- Check out the unusual cat statue and learn why this animal is so important in Kuching.
- Go south of Chinatown to check out Kuching’s Filipino community and the great restaurants in the area.
- People watch on the waterfront and make sure you’re there for at least one sunset.
- Learn about the history of textiles in Kuching at the Tun Jugah Foundation.
If you’re looking for where to stay in Kuching for insane nightlife, then look no further. Jalan Song Thian Cheok is the epicenter for the bar and nightlife scene in the city. This area is a single street that’s located between Padungan and Central Kuching and it’s a popular spot for backpackers and travelers who enjoy a vibrant nightlife.
But there’s more to this area then just clubbing. It’s close to restaurants, cafes, and important landmarks and temples. The public transport options in this part of the city are simply amazing as well, so you’ll be able to explore without much trouble.
And despite its reputation for nightlife, it’s also one of the safest parts of the city, so you can have a loose and lovely time without needing to worry about your safety in Malaysia.
Best Airbnb in Jalan Song Thian Cheok: Heart Of City Town@ Pei San Loft
When you’re trying to decide where to stay in Kuching for nightlife, this is a great choice. This studio apartment has 3 beds and is suitable for up to 6 guests. It’s located right in the heart of the city in a safe area for adults and for kids. There are also lots of restaurants nearby, so you’ll be spoiled for choice at meal time!
Best Hostel in Jalan Song Thian Cheok: Borneo Seahare Guesthouse
Located on Jalan Song Thian Cheok, in the heart of the city, this is one of the best places in Kuching to stay for nightlife and easy access to everything. It’s close to the waterfront as well as lots of bars, cafes, and restaurants.
It also has free Wi-Fi and breakfast included. There’s an in house bar so you can get to know your fellow travelers and clean, modern rooms.
Best Hotel in Jalan Song Thian Cheok: 360 Xpress City Center
Located in the best neighborhood to stay in Kuching, this convenient and comfortable hotel is a great choice for every type of traveler. It’s right in the heart of the city and offers amenities like dry cleaning, a laundry service, baggage storage, and a Jacuzzi. The rooms are air conditioned and contain a mini bar and fridge.
Things to See and Do in Jalan Song Thian Cheok
- Eat until your stomach hurts for cheap at the Song Keng Hai Hawker Centre.
- Visit Sri Srinivasagar Temple and make sure you have a meal at the Indian restaurant there!
- Grab your mates and go out clubbing, the Terminal 1 Club is particularly popular.
- Check out the quirky Upside Down House, which is exactly what it sounds like.
- Make sure you check out the many cafes and restaurants until you find your favorites.
A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!
An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected. It’s just that easy.
Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.Grab an eSIM!
When you want the coolest places to stay in Kuching, you can’t go past this area. Damai beach is about half an hour north of the city and is based around the beach.
This makes it a popular resort town for locals and travelers alike. Despite its popularity, it has a laidback vibe that will suit every member of your travel group, from the most active to the smallest.
Located close enough to Kuching for easy day visits, Damai Beach offers the perfect combination of convenience and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s also set up for travelers and has a huge collection of restaurants, bars, cafes, and other facilities.
It’s a popular spot for adventure activities as well as for long, warm days relaxing on the beach. So, whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Kuching with kids or with friends, make sure you consider Damai Beach and all its charms.
Best Airbnb in Damai Beach: Rooms in Jungle Beach Area
Damai Beach is hands down the best neighborhood in Kuching to stay in if you want the beach in a tropical setting. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you choose to stay in these rooms.
Offering private rooms and half baths in the middle of the jungle, this venue also includes a delicious breakfast with their rooms. It’s a perfectly peaceful natural place for nature lovers and so close to the beach that you’ll be down there all the time.
Best Hotel in Damai Beach: Permai Rainforest Resort
This is one of the best places to stay in Kuching for a real beach experience. It’s at the foot of Mount Santubong and offers a private beach, an outdoor pool, and rooms that are fully equipped to help you have a comfortable stay. There’s also an onsite restaurant and café so you will never have to go far to find a delicious snack!
Best Hostel in Damai Beach: BB Bunkers
Located in the best neighborhood to stay in Kuching for beach access, this hostel is a popular choice amongst backpackers. It offers shared bathrooms, a TV lounge, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning to keep you comfortable when you aren’t out on the beach! It’s also close enough to all the local attractions that you can explore to your heart’s content.
BB Bunkers is one of our favourites in Kuching but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Damai Beach
- Just relax and enjoy the beach.
- Head into the center of Kuching when you want some excitement and noise and then leave when you get tired.
- Enjoy some adventure activities on the beach or near it.
- Head to Sarawak Cultural Village to learn about the local traditions.
- Visit the Mausoleum of Sultan Tengah and learn about the only Sultan to rule over the region.
- Grab the family or some friends and hike through the rainforest at the Permai Rainforest Walk.
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the city center. It’s a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Kuching for families or with a group of friends. It offers the best transport options in Kuching as well as the waterfront, busy markets, and lots of other beautiful things to see, .
Most of the Kuching’s top attractions are in this area as well, so you won’t have to go far to see something fantastic.
Just to tempt you more, this is also the best area to stay in if you love to eat. It’s incredibly multicultural, which means you can eat Malay food one night, Chinese the next, and Indonesian the night after that!
Best Hostel in Kuching City Center: Sunset Homestay
One of the best places in Kuching to stay, this hostel offers dormitory accommodation in the middle of the city. There’s a shared and fully equipped kitchen on site as well as free Wi-Fi and shared bathroom. The location is first rate and the facilities are all clean, modern, and welcoming.
Best Hotel in Kuching City Center: The LimeTree Hotel Kuching
Whether you’re deciding where to stay in Kuching for families or on your own, this hotel is a great choice. It’s located right in the center of town and offers comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price. It’s been recently refurbished and offers a coffee bar, laundry service, and spacious rooms with private bathrooms.
Best Airbnb in Kuching City Center: Stampin Suite @ Uplands
This gated and guarded apartment is perfect whether you’re deciding where to stay in Kuching with kids or with friends. You’ll get the entire apartment to yourself along with a private bathroom and fully equipped kitchen. The furnishings are clean and modern and there’s a pool and gym on site that you can use as well.
Stampin Suite @ Uplands is one of our favourites in Kuching but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Kuching City Center
- Visit Tua Pek Kong temple, the oldest in Kuching.
- Take a tour out to Bako National Park to see monkeys!
- Go shopping at the market style Main Bazaar.
- Learn more about the local culture and its history at Sarawak State Museum.
- People watching down at the waterfront and stop at cafes and shops along the way!
- Spend some time at the Kuching City Mosque and take part in its religious customs.
- Try as much of the delicious food from as many different cultures as possible.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Kuching
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Kuching and where to stay.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Kuching
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Kuching
This Kuching neighborhood guide will help you have to the trip of your dreams to this part of Malaysia. You’ll be able to explore all the amazing experiences of visiting Malaysia and still head back to a comfortable base at night when you’re tired.
So, get started booking your trip to Kuching today. Because once you spend some time there, you’ll be intoxicated by the city’s perfect mix of cultures, food, and attractions.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!