Davao City Travel Guide

Overview of Davao City

The hub of the Davao Region is Davao City. It is the third-largest city in the Philippines and the most populous city in Mindanao. Davao City is the third-most significant metropolitan center in the Philippines and one of the island's most important economies, known for its thriving economic activity, urban development, and modern facilities.

The Philippine Eagle Centre is home to 36 Philippine Eagles, 18 of which are captive-bred. It also houses 10 other species of birds, 4 species of mammals and 2 species of reptiles. Simulating a tropical rain forest environment, the Center offers the visitor a glimpse into the country’s forest ecosystem. Although the exhibits are used primarily to help educate the Filipino people on conservation, the facility is also considered a major tourist attraction in Davao City.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Region's first completely smoke-free metropolis was acknowledged by the international community in 2013. Every Davaoeo's tenacity and warmth are reflected in Davao's rich history.

Where to Go

People's Park

This urban park showcases indigenous flora and sculptures, providing a relaxing environment for locals and tourists alike.

Mount Apo

The highest peak in the Philippines, Mount Apo is a haven for trekkers and nature enthusiasts. The climb to the summit offers stunning views and a unique experience.

Eden Nature Park

A mountain resort that offers various recreational activities such as zip-lining, hiking, and fishing. It's a great place to enjoy nature and unwind.

Davao Crocodile Park

Home to a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles, snakes, and birds. The park also features animal shows and educational exhibits.

Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

Learn about the cultural heritage and history of Davao through artifacts and exhibits.

Malagos Garden Resort

A picturesque resort that combines nature and art. It houses the Malagos Chocolate Museum, where you can learn about the chocolate-making process.

Jack's Ridge

A popular spot for dining with a panoramic view of Davao City. It's a great place to enjoy local cuisine while taking in the city lights.

Island Garden City of Samal

Take a short ferry ride from Davao City to Samal Island, where you can enjoy pristine beaches, snorkeling, and island hopping.

Aldevinco Shopping Center

A great place to buy local crafts, souvenirs, and products. It's a market where you can experience the local culture and pick up some unique items.

Matina Town Square

A popular spot for nightlife and entertainment. It features restaurants, bars, and live music.

What to Do

Try Durian

Davao is known as the "Durian Capital of the Philippines." Don't miss the opportunity to taste this unique fruit, known for its strong smell and distinct flavor. You can find durian at local markets and fruit stalls.

Explore Roxas Avenue Night Market

Visit the night market along Roxas Avenue in the evening. It's a vibrant street market where you can find local street food, snacks, and affordable clothing and accessories.

Visit the Philippine Eagle Center

Located in Malagos, the Philippine Eagle Center is a conservation and breeding facility for the endangered Philippine Eagle. It's an opportunity to see these majestic birds up close and learn about conservation efforts.

Take a River Cruise

Experience a different side of Davao by taking a river cruise along the Davao River. Enjoy the scenic views and relax as you cruise through the city.

Join a City Tour

Explore the city's landmarks and attractions by joining a guided city tour. This is a great way to learn about the history and culture of Davao.

Go on a Food Trip

Davao is known for its diverse and delicious food. Try local specialties like kinilaw (ceviche), seafood, and grilled meats. Don't forget to explore the various fruit stands offering tropical fruits.

Enjoy Water Sports

Head to the beaches of Samal Island for snorkeling, diving, and other water sports. Talicud Island, part of Samal, is known for its pristine beaches and coral reefs.

Hike to Mount Apo's Base Camp

If you're an adventure seeker, consider hiking to the base camp of Mount Apo. Even if you don't summit the highest peak, the trek offers beautiful scenery and a challenging hike.

Relax at Eden Nature Park

Spend a day at Eden Nature Park for a peaceful retreat. Enjoy the cool climate, explore gardens, and engage in outdoor activities like zip-lining and horseback riding.

When is the Best Time to Davao City

The optimal time to visit Davao City is during the dry season, which typically spans from December to April. During these months, the weather is generally sunny and rainfall is minimal. This period offers ideal conditions for exploring outdoor attractions, participating in various activities, and enjoying the city's vibrant culture.

From May to November, the city experiences increased rainfall, resulting in lush landscapes and a burst of natural beauty. This season brings life to the surroundings, creating a picturesque and vibrant atmosphere. Just pack your umbrella, and you'll be ready to enjoy the unique charm and refreshing ambiance of Davao City's wet season.

How to Get to Davao City

By Air

The most convenient way to reach Davao City is by air. The city is served by Francisco Bangoy International Airport, which connects to major cities in the Philippines and some international destinations. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights to and from Davao City, ensuring accessibility for travellers.

By Sea

For those who prefer a scenic journey, traveling to Davao City by sea is an option. The city's Sasa Wharf serves as a major port, welcoming passenger ships and ferries.

Several shipping companies offer regular services connecting Davao City to nearby islands and other coastal destinations. While sea travel may take longer than air travel, it provides a unique and relaxing experience, allowing passengers to enjoy the coastal views before arriving at the bustling port of Davao.

By Car / Bus

If you're exploring the Philippines by land, reaching Davao City by car or bus is a viable and adventurous option. The city is well-connected by road networks, and several bus companies operate long-distance services to and from Davao. Highways and scenic routes provide an opportunity to enjoy the diverse landscapes of the Philippines.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Navigating Davao City is convenient and efficient with the availability of taxis and ride-sharing services. Taxis are readily available throughout the city, and you can easily flag one down or find them at designated taxi stands. Ride-sharing services also operate, providing an additional option for reliable and comfortable transportation.

By Car / Motorcycle

Exploring Davao City by car or motorcycle offers flexibility and freedom. Several car rental companies operate in the city, providing options for self-driving adventures.

Motorcycles, locally known as "habal-habal," are a popular and cost-effective means of transportation for short distances or navigating through traffic.

What to Eat

Local Food

Delight your taste buds with the diverse and flavorful local food scene in Davao City, showcasing a fusion of indigenous flavors and culinary influences. Head to iconic establishments like Luz Kinilaw Place for a taste of the freshest seafood prepared in the local kinilaw style. For a unique dining experience, try Malagos Farmhouse, where you can indulge in artisanal cheeses and chocolates produced right in Davao. Savour the city's distinctive fruit offerings by trying the renowned Durian and Pomelo at Magsaysay Fruit Stand.

For a caffeine fix, immerse yourself in Davao's coffee culture at places like Mt. Apo Highland Resort's Coffee Shop, offering a serene setting to enjoy a cup of local brew.

Explore Davao's take on traditional Filipino dishes with a twist at Huckleberry Southern Kitchen & Bar, blending local ingredients with modern culinary techniques.

Fresh Seafood

Davao City's coastal towns and beachside areas feature a vibrant seafood scene, offering travellers a diverse range of ocean-fresh delights. Notable establishments like Blue Post Boiling Crabs, Marinatuna Seafood Restaurants, Ahfat Seafoods Plaza and Shrimps and Marina Tuna.

Western Food

Davao City's culinary landscape embraces a diverse Western food scene, offering a delightful contrast to local flavours. Several restaurants cater to Western cuisine enthusiasts, such as Tiny Kitchen Bakery + Cafe and Bondi & Bourke, both known for their Australian-inspired dishes. The city also boasts establishments like Jack's Ridge, where you can enjoy a mix of international cuisines with a stunning view of the city.

For Italian-inspired fare, head to Pizzamo, a popular spot for pizzas and pasta. Meanwhile, Bondi & Bourke introduces the taste of Australian steaks and dishes.

What to Buy

When shopping in Davao City, seize the opportunity to bring home distinctive and flavorful souvenirs. Delve into the world of durian with unique treats like candies, pastries, and durian coffee, capturing the essence of this local delicacy.

Indulge in the rich taste of Malagos Chocolate, a premium cocoa delight sourced from Davao's finest beans. Immerse yourself in the city's cultural tapestry by acquiring T'nalak fabrics, a traditional art form by the T'boli tribe, or explore indigenous crafts like handwoven baskets and woodcrafts.

Where to Stay

In Davao City, accommodation options cater to various preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for every traveler. For those seeking luxury and tranquility, high-end hotels such as Marco Polo Davao and Seda Abreeza offer top-notch amenities and stunning views. Budget-friendly choices like Red Planet Davao and The Pinnacle Hotel provide convenient and comfortable stays without breaking the bank.

Nature enthusiasts may prefer beachfront resorts such as Pearl Farm Beach Resort, offering a serene escape. Additionally, boutique hotels like The Bourke Hotel showcase a blend of modern comfort and local charm. Davao City's diverse range of accommodations ensures that whether you're looking for luxury, affordability, or a unique experience, you'll find the perfect place to call home during your stay in this dynamic city.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

When packing for your visit to Davao City, consider the tropical climate and dress accordingly. Lightweight and breathable clothing, such as cotton or linen, is recommended to stay cool in the warm temperatures. Comfortable footwear, preferably sandals or sneakers for exploring, is essential.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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