The Philippines should be at the top of your list if you’re seeking for a beautiful place to visit in Southeast Asia. This stunning archipelago is a haven of varied scenery, kind people, and a storied past. The Philippines is well known for its breathtaking beaches and natural beauty, but its cities also have a staggering variety of things to do and see. Here, we list the top 7 Best Cities to Visit in the Philippines, each of which offers a special charm and allure.
Manila – Capital
Manila, the vibrant capital city of the Philippines, is a true melting pot of cultures and histories. Modern skyscrapers and shopping malls coexist alongside historical landmarks and Spanish colonial architecture. Intramuros, the “Walled City,” is a fascinating journey back in time, offering a glimpse of Manila’s colonial past. Take a leisurely walk along the ancient walls, visit the Casa Manila Museum, and marvel at the majestic Manila Cathedral.
For art enthusiasts, the National Museum of the Philippines houses an impressive collection of Filipino art and historical artifacts. Manila Ocean Park is a favorite attraction for families, featuring an underwater tunnel that showcases a wide array of marine life.
Foodies will find delight in the city’s diverse culinary scene. From street food favorites like balut (boiled fertilized duck egg) and isaw (barbecued chicken intestines) to fine dining restaurants serving traditional Filipino dishes with a modern twist, Manila is a paradise for food lovers.
Cebu City, the dynamic urban center of the Visayas region, boasts a perfect blend of urban living and natural wonders. Start your journey by exploring Magellan’s Cross, a significant historical landmark marking the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. Nearby, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño stands as a testament to Cebuano’s deep-rooted faith.
For a taste of local culture and art, visit the Taboan Public Market and Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Casa Gorordo Museum, which showcases the lifestyle of the Filipino elite during the Spanish colonial era.
Don’t forget to indulge in Cebu’s culinary delights, such as the famous Cebu lechon (roast pig) and dried mangoes. For adventure seekers, a visit to Kawasan Falls in Badian and the white sand beaches of Moalboal are a must. Cebu is a must see and hence one of the 7 Best Cities to Visit in the Philippines.
Boracay, a tiny island in the Western Visayas, is a haven for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. White Beach, stretching for nearly four kilometers, is an iconic strip of powdery white sand fringed by crystal-clear waters. It’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, beach volleyball, and watching stunning sunsets.
If you’re in the mood for some adventure, Bulabog Beach on the opposite side of the island offers excellent conditions for kiteboarding and windsurfing. For a more serene experience, head to Puka Shell Beach, known for its abundance of beautiful puka shells.
D’Mall is the island’s central shopping and dining area, offering a wide range of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. Whether you’re craving local Filipino dishes or international cuisine, Boracay’s diverse dining scene has something for every palate.
Baguio City, located in the Cordillera Central highlands, is a picturesque hill station and the Philippines’ Summer Capital. Its mild environment and stunning views have made it a popular weekend resort for both locals and tourists. The landmark Baguio Cathedral towers over the city and provides panoramic views of the surrounds.
Visitors should not miss the Baguio Public Market, which sells fresh vegetables, locally crafted handicrafts, and delectable snacks. Don’t miss out on the famed strawberry taho, a delectable combination of soybean curd, tapioca pearls, and fresh strawberries.
Beautiful parks and gardens like Burnham Park and the Botanical Garden are another reason why Baguio is well-known.
Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao, is noted for its orderly and environmentally friendly atmosphere. As you explore the city, you’ll note a tight adherence to restrictions, such as a smoking ban and a ban on the selling of firecrackers.
A trip to Davao would be incomplete until you saw the Philippine eagle, the country’s official bird. The Philippine Eagle Centre is a safe haven for these magnificent birds, as well as other endangered species. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see these beautiful creatures up close and learn about ongoing conservation efforts.
Davao City also serves as a hub for other attractive attractions in the region. Adventurers can climb Mount Apo, the Philippines’ tallest peak, and walk through beautiful jungles and rich fauna.
Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage site with well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings that transports visitors back in time. Calle Crisologo is a cobblestone street surrounded with historical dwellings that provides a nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of the Spanish past.
A calesa (horse-drawn carriage) journey is the ideal way to discover the city’s historical charm. Vigan is also well-known for its traditional crafts, including pottery and handwoven textiles, as well as delicacies such as Vigan longganisa (local sausage) and empanada.
Bohol’s natural wonders are what make it a must-visit destination in the Philippines. The Chocolate Hills, a UNESCO-listed geological formation, are a series of 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills that turn chocolate brown during the dry season, creating a breathtaking sight.
Another fascinating attraction in Bohol is the Philippine tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates. At the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, you can witness these adorable creatures in their natural habitat, leaping gracefully from tree to tree.
Bohol is also renowned for its stunning beaches and dive sites. Panglao Island offers picturesque white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Divers and snorkelers will be enthralled by the colorful coral reefs and the chance to spot sea turtles and various species of fish.
These are the 7 Cities to Visit in Philippines
The Philippines is a land of enchanting cities, each with its own charm and allure. From the bustling metropolis of Manila to the serene and picturesque Bohol, every city offers a unique experience that will leave travelers captivated. Whether you’re drawn to the historical landmarks, natural wonders, or the warmth of Filipino hospitality, the best cities to visit in the Philippines promise an unforgettable journey filled with beauty, adventure, and cultural richness.
FAQs – 7 Best Cities to Visit in the Philippines
What are some of the most well-known festivals in the Philippines?
The Philippines is famous for its lively celebrations. Other well-known celebrations besides the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio are the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, and the colourful MassKara Festival in Bacolod.
Is it possible to swim with whale sharks in Davao?
While whale shark sightings are not common in Davao, you may swim with these gentle giants in Oslob, Cebu, which is only a short flight or ferry trip away.
How can I go from Manila to Boracay?
The quickest method to go to Boracay from Manila is to take a local aircraft to Caticlan or Kalibo Airport in Aklan province. You may then take a short boat ride to Boracay.
Is there any ecotourism on the island of Bohol?
Yes, Bohol has eco-tourism activities such as floating restaurant cruises on the Loboc River and exploring the Man-made Forest, a reforestation initiative that produced a magnificent tunnel of mahogany trees.
Is English spoken commonly in these cities?
Yes, in large cities like as Manila, Cebu, and Davao, English is commonly spoken and understood. It is one of the Philippines’ official languages and is widely used in business, education, and everyday communication.