Places to visit in the Philippines are like a paradise. There are 7641 beautiful tropical islands in the country. It would take years if you tried to see them all. I have visited this beautiful country 5 times. Still, I will probably travel there once again. Why do I want to go there again? The answer to this is obviously in the list below. In addition to its natural beauties, the Philippines nightlife is one of the reasons that make this country different. If you wonder where to go or where the beautiful destinations are in the Philippines, you should read this travel guide and blog.
- 1 The Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.1 1- Manila (Capital of the Philippines)
- 1.2 2- El Nido, Palawan
- 1.3 3- Boracay Island
- 1.4 4- Angeles City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.5 5- Batad Rice Terraces and Banaue View Points
- 1.6 7- Coron Island, Palawan
- 1.7 8- Siargao, Mindanao
- 1.8 9- Bohol – Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.9 10 – Puerto Princesa, Palawan
- 1.10 11- Puerto Galera, Mindoro
- 1.11 12- Hundred Islands, Pangasinan
- 1.12 13- San Juan, La Union
- 1.13 14- Siquijor Island
- 1.14 15- Batanes – Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.15 16- Camiguin Island
- 1.16 17- Malapascua Island
- 1.17 18- Mayon Volcano
- 1.18 19- Taal Volcano
- 1.19 20- Davao City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.20 21- Donsol – Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.21 22- Vigan City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
- 1.22 23- Cotabato City
- 1.23 24- Sumilon Island
- 1.24 25- Baguio City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
The Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
If you want to create a route for the most popular Philippines attractions, you should visit Coron, El Nido Islands, Boracay Island, Bohol, and Cebu first. I suggest you stay in each destination for at least 3 days. However, there are many beautiful places. If you have much time you should see most places as you can.
1- Manila (Capital of the Philippines)
Manila is the most populous and capital city of the country. If you travel to the Philippines, probably you will land at the Manila International Airport (NAIA) first. So, I suggest you see tourist spots in Manila.
Places to visit in Manila are generally located in the historical Intramuros region. You can visit Rizal Park, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Natural History in Intramuros. Although the weather is too hot, you can easily visit this area on foot in a day.
Apart from Intramuros, Manika nightlife is the most colorful and active in the country. There are 3 places where you enjoy Manila nightlife. These places are Makati, Malate, and Taguig (BGC). Especially P.Burgos Street, also known as the ‘Red Light District’ in Makati, is the most famous place in the city.
2- El Nido, Palawan
Palawan Island, which was selected as the most beautiful island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, was chosen as the most attractive island in Southeast Asia by National Geographic Traveler magazine in 2007. As such, Palawan Island is a must on the list of places to visit in the Philippines. The most popular place on Palawan Island is El Nido.
Make sure you have at least 3 or 4 days for El Nido. So that you can join different daily boat tours. There are 4 popular hopping island tours. First of all, I suggest you do the Tour A and Tour C. Because, El Nido islands are like a paradise. Apart from these tours, you may want to rent a motorbike and then see Nacpan Beach or local villages near El Nido.
El Nido is also very fun and lively in terms of nightlife. There many good bars and restaurants for foreign tourists. For more details, you should definitely read this article about El Nido.
Where’s El Nido? You can travel by ferry or plane to get to El Nido. If you go by plane, you may need to fly to Puerto Princesa first, and then from Puerto Princesa, you have to take a bus or van. It takes 5 hours by road. You can book transfer service via GetYourGuide. Also, you can book El Nido hotels by using booking.
3- Boracay Island
Boracay Island is a small island that is among the most beautiful holiday destinations in the list of places to visit in the Philippines. Because White Beach on Boracay Island is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Boracay Island consists of three regions; Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3.
Moreover, Boracay Island has a vibrant nightlife. Since it is a popular travel destination, eating and drinking are a bit expensive compared to other places. But there are really good quality restaurants, bars, and cafes. Also, don’t forget to have a massage on the beach.
If you ask where to stay in Boracay, I suggest you choose hotels where are close to White Beach. There are also cheap and safe hostels for backpackers aside from luxury accommodation in Boracay. I think it is enough to stay on Boracay Island for 3-4 days. Boracay Island is good for the honeymoon for just married couples as well.
4- Angeles City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
Angeles City is 2-3 hours away from Manila. Many foreign tourists visit Angeles City but there is nothing except nightlife. People call Angeles Ciy ‘Pattaya in the Philippines’. Angeles City nightlife is vibrant around Walking Street. Because it is a famous place for sex tourism.
As far as I have observed, in addition to western tourists, many Koreans also visit this place. If you want to visit and see this place, staying one day here is enough. Because there is no important place to visit in the city. But if you like the nightlife here, of course, you can stay as long as you want. Click for cheap Angeles City hotels.
How to get to Angeles City? You can ride intercity buses from Cubao in Manila or ‘Point to Point Bus’. You can also fly directly to Clark International Airport where is near Angeles City.
5- Batad Rice Terraces and Banaue View Points
Batad Rice Terraces are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is also known as the eighth wonder of the world. It has an amazing view. To get to Batad, you have to get a bus to Banaue from Sampaloc, Manila. It takes 8-9 hours. Banaue is a very small city but when I went there, almost half of the people on the bus were foreign tourists. I strongly recommend you to read the Batad Rice Terraces Travel Guide for detailed information.
To get to Batad Rice Terraces, you have to find a tricycle from Banaue. If you stay in Banaue, the tricycle driver will drop you off at Batad and then take you back to Banaue after you finish your trip. Another option is staying at guest houses at Batad Village with a beautiful and unique view.
It is almost impossible to see Batad Rice Terraces without a guide. I have been told some tourists lost their way without a guide before. So if you take a tricycle and when they drop you off in Batad, they will give you a guide. You do not have to pay him but they expect some tips from you. For me, I paid the tricycle driver around 1500 pesos. But first, he told me to pay a very high price. So you should definitely bargain.
Apart from the Batad rice fields, the observation terraces called “Banaue View Points” located in this region are among the must-see places. These viewpoints have beautiful views of different rice fields. If you have enough time, I suggest you take a tricycle and visit these places. 2 days are enough to stay in Batad or Banaue. To book a nice hotel or guest house, you can use this booking website.
6- Cebu City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
One of the most fantastic activities in the country is swimming with whale sharks Cebu Oslob. It takes about 30-40 minutes to swim with these huge fishes. If you are planning a trip to the Philippines, this activity definitely should be on the list of things to do in this country.
Apart from swimming with whale sharks, There are many awesome waterfalls in Cebu. They are like paradise. The most famous of these waterfalls is Kawasan Falls. In addition, many beautiful waterfalls such as Aguinid Waterfall, Tumalog Waterfall, Binalayan Waterfall are also located in this region. So Cebu must be in your list of places to visit in the Philippines.
Where are Oslob and Cebu City? They are in the Visayas island group. The distance between Cebu City and Oslob is 4-5 hours. I can say 3-4 days stay in Cebu is enough. Also, Cebu City is one of the nice cities with vibrant nightlife in the Philippines. Click this link to book Cebu hotels.
7- Coron Island, Palawan
Coron is one of the popular places on the list of places to visit in the Philippines. Because it is one of the famous destinations of Palawan Island. For example, many backpackers and travelers visit Kayangan Lake. Some people think Kayangan Lake is the most beautiful lake in the world. The clarity of the water and the unique magnificent view of the lake are really awesome.
Coron Island is ranked among the top 10 diving spots in the world by Forbes Travel Magazine. You can even see some sunken ships by diving. Because Japanese ships were hiding in this area during World War II. But they were bombed and sunk by the Americans.
If you love zoos, there is a zoo in Coron where you can feed giraffes with your own hands. I did not go, but local and foreign tourists find it interesting.
I think staying in Coron for 3 days is enough during the Philippines trip. Check out the list of Coron hotels for a cheap stay.
8- Siargao, Mindanao
Siargao Island is an idyllic island within the Mindanao island group. It is getting to become a more popular destination in the country and waiting to be discovered. It takes only 1 hour from Cebu and about 2 hours from Manila to get to Siargao.
Siargao has beautiful beaches for surfing as well as white sandy beaches. You can also have a pleasant walk in very green forests. There are a lot of coconut trees in the forest. Siargao Island should definitely be on your list of places to visit in the Philippines. Spend 2-3 days here.
9- Bohol – Places to Visit in the Philippines
Bohol is a very touristic tropical island in the Visayas. The most famous place in Bohol, which should be on the list of places to visit in the Philippines, is Chocolate Hills. It is called Chocolate Hills because the hills take the color of chocolate in the dry season.
Another must-see spot in Bohol is the Tarsier Conversation Area. Here you can see Tarsier Monkey that is the smallest primate in the world.
To get to Bohol, you need to fly to Tagbilaran Airport. Or you can take ferries from Cebu to Bohol Island. If you are on a trip to the Philippines, it is enough to spend 2 days on Bohol Island. Click here to make cheap reservations from accommodation in Bohol.
10 – Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa, which is on the list of places to visit in the Philippines, is one of the popular destinations of Palawan Island. Even if you want to go to El Nido, you may need to fly to Puerto Princesa Airport first. Actually there are direct flights to El Nido but it is expensive. So many travelers visit Puerto Princesa before El Nido.
One of the things to do when you come to Puerto Princesa is doing the Puerto Princesa Underground River tour. Becuase it is one of the longest underground rivers in the world. And it also is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. This river is located in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. If you are traveling to the Philippines, take 1 day to Puerto Princesa. You can choose a hotel on this link to stay.
11- Puerto Galera, Mindoro
Puerto Galera is located on the island of Mindoro. It is only 4 hours from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. It is a holiday destination mostly preferred by Filipinos living in other cities, especially in Manila, for the weekend. Foreign backpackers also visit Puerto Galera, but not many. The most popular place here is White Beach.
The most popular activity in Puerto Galera is to take boat tours and snorkeling. There are also places that do scuba diving. At night, you can sit in restaurants or bars in White Beach to spend time, or head to Sabang, where there are many nightclubs. Philippine nightlife is vibrant here as well.
There are ferries departing from Manila to go to Puerto Galera. Another option is departing from Batangas Port and take boats to Puerto Galera. 1 or 2 days stay in Puerto Galera, which is among the places to visit in the Philippines, is sufficient. Click for Puerto Galera available hotels.
12- Hundred Islands, Pangasinan
Hundred Islands National Park is a place consisting of islets in Pangasinan. It is 6 hours away from Manila by bus. It is a destination generally preferred by Filipino people. But backpackers also go to the Hundred Islands to see its beautiful nature. If you want to see place, you can spend 1-2 days here.
13- San Juan, La Union
La Union is Filipinos’ favorite place for surfing on Luzon Island. Many local people visit here, especially at weekends.
To get to La Union, you need to travel 6-7 hours by bus. Buses depart from the Cubao bus terminal in Metro Manila. For surf lovers who plan to make a trip to the Philippines, San Juan should be on your list of places to visit in La Union.
14- Siquijor Island
Siquijor Island is a small island in the Visayas. The island is also known as ‘Isla del Fuego’ (Island of Fire). Because Siquijor was under the Spanish colonial rule. Also, people say this island has magic and mystery.
There are fascinating white sand beaches in Siquijor Island. The total length of the white beaches on the island is 102 kilometers. The most beautiful and popular beaches are Paliton and Kagusuan Beach. Cambugahay Falls is also another place you should see in Siquijor Island. Its nature is breathtaking.
How to get to Siquijor Island? You need to take a ferry from the Dumaguete Port. If you want to stay in Siquijor, 1 or 2 nights will be enough. You can check the safe hotels out by using booking application.
15- Batanes – Places to Visit in the Philippines
Batanes is a province of very small islands in the north of the country. Batanes is very famous with its greenery. It is a kind of virgin place. Because Batanes does not have even famous fast food and coffee shops like Jollibee, McDonald’s, and Starbucks.
Many travel agencies in Manila organize tours to Batanes. Morong Beach and Tayid Lighthouse are the most famous places to see here.
16- Camiguin Island
Camiguin Island is a volcanic island in Northern Mindanao. Although it is volcanic, it has idyllic white beaches. You can also do some outdoor sports activities such as trekking. If you decide to travel to Camiguin Island, there are two options to get to this place. You can ride ferries or planes from Manila or other cities.
17- Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island is a small island in the north of Cebu. The most important feature of this island is to swim with thresher sharks by scuba diving. So mostly local people and diving lovers live or come to this island. Therefore, most of the hotels here offer stuff about diving. Aside from diving, you can swim at Bounty Beach. You can stay on this island for at least 1-2 days.
18- Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It is in the South of Luzon. The summit of Mayon Volcano is 2463 meters. Its last erupted in January 2018. It was a very strong eruption, so residents and tourists had to escape from this area temporarily.
Mayon Volcano has a very unique view. It is really a wonder of nature. There are also trekking tours on the volcano.
Mayon Volcano, which is on the list of places to visit in the Philippines, actually deserves to be seen. Although its location is very far from other destinations. But it is still a must-visit place for travelers who have much time. For transportation, first, you must come to Legazpi City by plane or bus. The bus ride takes about 11-12 hours from Manila.
19- Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano is an active volcano with an altitude of 311 meters. The last eruption of Taal Volcano was on January 12, 2020. The geographic shape of the volcano is also very interesting. People define it ‘a lake on an island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island’. The volcano really has a magnificent view. I am sure you will like the view while coming from Tagaytay.
You have to change much transportation to get here. First, you need to come from Tagaytay to Manila by bus. And then you need to ride a tricycle to Talisay village from Tagaytay. After that, you will take a boat to Taal Island. Once you arrive at Taal, you can walk to the summit. But it is a tiring hike. Eventually, a beautiful view awaits you here, too.
Taal Volcano is about 60-70 kilometers away from Manila. You can take a bus from Buendia. You can also come here with daily tour organizations. There are nice hotels with an amazing view here. So you might want to stay here for a couple of nights. If you want to stay here, make a reservation on this site.
20- Davao City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
Davao City is one of the largest cities in the country. It is the capital city of Mindanao Island. According to some people, Davao City is the safest city in the country.
The most significant place is Mount Apo in Davao City. Because it is the highest mountain in the country. The height of the mountain is 2954 meters. An attractive mountain for mountain hikers.
Actually there are not many places to see in the city. But you can travel to Samal Island for sea tourism. It is sort of near Davao City. Also, Davao City nightlife is cheaper than in other cities. If you decide to go to Davao City, I suggest you stay at the hotels on this list.
21- Donsol – Places to Visit in the Philippines
If you want to experience swimming with whale sharks, Donsol is another option like Oslob Cebu. Donsol is really a good alternative to Cebu.
To get to Donsol, you can take a bus or airplane from Manila. It is around 500 kilometers from Metro Manila. Also, you will get a chance to see Mayon Volcano if you get here.
22- Vigan City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
Vigan City is a very unique city. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Because Vigan was designed with the Spanish colonial-era architecture in the 16th century. And it has been preserved until today without any deterioration even during World War II. The architecture of the street and houses makes you feel like you are in Spain.
23- Cotabato City
Cotabato City is a city in Mindanao where Moro Muslims mostly live. The city joined the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BARMM), according to the result of the referendum in January 2019.
Catholics are also in large numbers in the city. When I went to Cotabato City, I was a guest of a Catholic family. They hosted me very well.
The Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque is one of the places to visit in Cotabato City. The mosque is also known as ‘The Grand Mosque’. Because it is the largest mosque in the Philippines.
24- Sumilon Island
Sumilon Island is a very small island that is barely visible even on the Philippines map. It is not well known since there is no settlement on it. But you can also reach the island from the Dumaguete port or Cebu Oslob.
There is no settlement on the island, but there is a very nice hotel called Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. It is a great destination for people who are wondering where to go for their honeymoon. It is a calm and peaceful place. The sandbar at Sumilon Island makes you feel like you are in heaven. In addition, it is one of the top destinations for diving lovers with its extraordinary diving spots.
25- Baguio City – Places to Visit in the Philippines
Baguio City is the coldest spot on the list of places to visit in the Philippines. Although the tropical climate is dominant in the country, the temperature drops to even 10 degrees from time to time in the winter season. Baguio City deserves to be seen with its wonderful nature, delicious strawberries, friendly Filipino people, cheap life, and modest nightlife.
You can go to Baguio City from Manila by bus. Buses of Victory Liner company depart every hour in the Cubao Arenata bus terminal. The journey takes around 4-5 hours. But it may take longer due to the traffic during the day. For those who ask where to stay in Baguio City, check the hotel list is on this link. In addition, you can book via Couchsurfing and Airbnb applications.