The Philippines is an archipelago in South-East Asia of more than seven thousand islands located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea at the very eastern edge of Asia.
Many wonderful beaches are just part of one of the world’s longest coastlines and it takes about 20 years to spend a day on every island. Since Spanish colonial times, the country has been Asia’s largest Catholic country. Over a hundred ethnic groups, a mixture of foreign influences and a fusion of culture and arts have enhanced the uniqueness of the Filipino identity and the wonder that is the Philippines. Following are the 10 most beautiful cities of Philippines tour:
Dumaguete is a city on Negros Island, in the southern Philippines. The lush, waterfront Rizal Boulevard is backed by bars and restaurants. The Silliman University Anthropology Museum displays prehistoric artifacts from local indigenous groups. Nearby is the 1900s wooden Silliman Hall. Opposite the leafy Quezon Park is the 19th-century St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral and its belfry, the Campanario de Dumaguete.
Dumaguete is a gateway to nearby diving destinations like the protected Apo Island marine reserve, known for its extensive coral reefs and endangered sea turtles. Northwest of the city, near the town of Sibulan, is the Twin Lakes Natural Park, where Danao and Balinsasayao lakes are popular for fishing and kayaking. Farther north is North Bais Bay, an area inhabited by dolphins. Across the bay is the long Manjuyod Sandbar. West of Dumaguete are the towering Casaroro Falls, set in a narrow, rocky cleft amid thick foliage.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Dumaguete:
- Rizal Boulevard
- Silliman University Anthropology Museum
- Quezon Park
- St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral
- Silliman Hall
Best time to visit Dumaguete: Peak travel is Apr–May. Dumaguete has a tropical climate, with hot temperatures year-round. There are two seasons: the wet season (Jun–Nov), marked by high rainfall, and a dry season (Dec–May). Major annual events include the Buglasan Festival (Oct), with dance and music competitions. Sandurot Festival (usually Sep/Nov) celebrates the city’s history of welcoming cultures from all over the world with dance performances, games and a food expo.
9. Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa is a coastal city on Palawan Island in the western Philippines. It’s a base for boat trips through the massive limestone caves and underground river of the biodiverse Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Dive sites are dotted around Puerto Princesa Bay, home to long-nosed dolphins, turtles and rays. Close to the port is the 19th-century Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral.
In the center, the Palawan Museum displays exhibits on the city’s history and people. South of the city, the Irawan Eco Park has hiking trails and ziplines through the forest canopy. A boat ride away off Palawan’s eastern coast, the islands of Honda Bay are dotted with white-sand beaches and resorts. The bay’s clear waters and coral reefs are home to a rich variety of marine life, including starfish on Starfish Island. There are more secluded beaches on Palawan’s west coast, including Nagtabon, known for its shallow waters.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Puerto Princesa:
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
- Honda Bay
- Ugong Rock Adventures
- Puerto Princesa City Baywalk Park
- Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm)
Best time to visit Puerto Princesa: Beach season is Dec–May, usually the driest months of the year. The weather’s warm and humid year-round. Palawan Cherry trees are in bloom for the Balayong Festival (Mar 4). Pangalipay sa Baybay (Apr) is a bayside festival including sports competitions, a parade and fireworks. The Karagatan Festival (May 1) celebrates the sea with activities including beach volleyball contests and a concert.
8. Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro, officially the City of Cagayan de Oro or simply referred to as CDO, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. It is the capital of the province of Misamis Oriental where it is geographically situated but governed administratively independent from it. Also known as the “City of Golden Friendship”, it is popular for whitewater rafting and is the gateway to Northern Mindanao.
The City of Cagayan de Oro is located along the north central coast of Mindanao island facing Macajalar Bay and is bordered by the municipalities of Opol to the west, Tagoloan to the east, and the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte to the south of the city. According to the 2015 census, the city has a population of 675,950, making it the 10th most populous city in the Philippines.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Cagayan de Oro:
- Mapawa Nature Park
- Seven Seas Waterpark and Resort
- Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village
- Kagay Whitewater Rafting
- Capitol University Museum of Three Cultures
Best time to visit Cagayan de Oro: The climate is tropical, with hot, humid and rainy weather year-round. Jan–Apr is the driest part of the year. The multicultural Kadayawan Festival (Davao City, Aug) is a traditional celebration of the harvest and thanksgiving. Kasadya Street Dancing (Iligan City, Sep) is a reenactment of Biblical scenes performed in colorful costumes.
7. Iloilo City
Iloilo City is on Panay Island in the Philippines. It’s known for its Spanish colonial churches and old houses. On Jaro Plaza, Jaro Cathedral has a shrine to the local patron saint, Our Lady of the Candles. Nelly’s Garden is an iconic 1920s mansion. Museo Iloilo explores local history. The Iloilo Esplanade is a pathway along the Iloilo River. To the west, the 18th-century Miagao Church has an ornate sandstone facade.
Beautiful city is a tourist hub where the best restaurants, museums, hotels, shopping districts, and heritage sites in the city await. It is most known for the annual Dinagyang Festival. Apart from its own collection of tourist attractions, Iloilo serves as a gateway to Western Visayas region and a favored stopover for tourists heading to the beaches of Boracay and the nearby Guimaras , Antique, Capiz, Aklan,Bacolod , and Negros Occidental.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Iloilo City:
- Jaro Cathedral
- Senator Efrain Trenas Boulevard
- Camina Balay Nga Bato
- Molo Church
- Museo Iloilo
Best time to visit Iloilo City: Iloilo City has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and rainfall throughout the year. Dec–Apr are the driest months, and Jun–Oct are the wettest. The annual Dinagyang Festival (Jan) includes religious and cultural events, street parties and parades. Traditional boats with colorfully painted sails race in the channel between the city and Guimaras Island at the Paraw Regatta (Feb). The Feast of Our Lady of Candles, or Candelaria (Feb), sees religious ceremonies at Jaro Cathedral, plus cockfights, parades and a pageant.
Bohol is a province of the Philippines, in the country’s Central Visayas region. It comprises Bohol Island and numerous smaller surrounding islands. Bohol is known for coral reefs and unusual geological formations, notably the Chocolate Hills. On the main island, near the town of Carmen, these 1,200 or so symmetrical mounds turn cocoa-brown in the dry season, contrasting with the surrounding jungle’s greenery.
Offshore from the southwestern capital, Tagbilaran, is Panglao Island. The island’s has beach resorts and renowned dive sites around south-coast Alona, as well as diving schools and opportunities for dolphin-watching. Inland, the forest of the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape is popular for bird-watching and trekking. The Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella helps preserve the endangered Philippine tarsier, a tiny, bug-eyed primate. Wooden boats serve traditional buffets as they follow the Loboc River to Busay Falls. Around Antequera are caves and waterfalls.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Bohol:
- Chocolate Hills
- Panglao Island
- Hinagdanan Cave
- Alona Beach
- Loboc River Cruise
Best time to visit Bohol: Peak travel to Bohol’s dive sites and hiking trails is Dec–May, the driest part of the year. Wet season is Jun–Nov, though rain is common year-round given the island’s warm, humid tropical climate. Key events include the Christian celebrations of Holy Week and Easter (dates vary, Mar/Apr), as well as Christmas (Dec). The Sandugo Festival (Jul) has parades and music concerts to commemorate a 17th-century pact between the Spanish and a Bohol chief.
5. Vigan City
Vigan is a city in the Philippines, on the west coast of Luzon island. It’s known for its preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. Calle Crisologo dominates the Mestizo district, with its cobblestone streets, malecón, horse-drawn carriages and rustic mansions. Near the white baroque Vigan Cathedral are Plaza Salcedo, offering fountain light shows, and Plaza Burgos, known for its street-food stalls.
Next to the cathedral, the 18th-century Archbishop’s Palace is distinguished by its sliding capiz windows. Inside the palace, the Museo Nueva Segovia contains religious relics from various churches in the region. Formerly the home of the Crisologos, a powerful political family, the Crisologo Museum displays personal memorabilia and period furnishings. A branch of the National Museum, Padre Burgos House features regional artifacts and artworks, including a series of paintings of the 1807 Basi Revolt against the Spanish.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Vigan City:
- Calle Crisologo
- Baluarte Zoo
- Syquia Mansion Museum
- RG Jar Factory
Best time to visit Vigan City: Vigan has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year round. The monsoon season (Jun–Sep) is hot and humid with heavy downpours and a chance of typhoons. Nov–Apr is the dry season. Peak travel months are Dec–Jan and Apr–May. Major events include the Vigan City Fiesta (Jan), with colorful parades held in honor of St Paul, the city’s patron saint. Around the same time, the Vigan Longganisa Festival (Jan) focuses on spicy sausages. The Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts (May) is a celebration of the city’s traditional culture.
4. Davao City
Davao City, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, is a coastal commercial center near 2,954m-high Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak. In the city center, People’s Park is known for its colorful indigenous sculptures and lighted fountains. It’s also home to Durian Dome, named after the pungent, spiky fruit that grows in abundance on Mindanao. The Davao River cuts through the city.
Along the river banks are green spaces and the Davao Crocodile Park, a zoo with a variety of wildlife. Upriver are rapids for rafting. Elsewhere, the Philippine Eagle Center provides a rainforestlike home for the endangered giant raptors. Notable cultural institutions include the Museo Dabawenyo, exploring the region’s heritage, and the Davao Museum of History and Ethnography, focusing on the Mindanao tribes. The large Lon Wa Buddhist Temple is known for its statues and elaborate wood carvings. Samal Island, just off the coast, is a resort area with beaches and snorkeling.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Davao City:
- Mount Apo
- Crocodile Park
- Philippine Eagle Centre
- People’s Park Davao
- D’ Bone Collector Museum
Best time to visit Davao City: Peak travel is Dec–May, when trekking, diving, and river-rafting are popular activities close to the city. The tropical climate ensures warm temperatures and relatively high humidity year-round. Rainfall is greatest May–Oct. Hotel rooms can be harder to find during the weeklong Kadayawan Festival (Aug), a traditional celebration of the annual harvest.
Baguio, on the Philippines’ Luzon island, is a mountain town of universities and resorts. Called the “City of Pines,” it’s particularly popular in summer due to unusually cooler weather. At its center is Burnham Park, with gardens and a lake. Nearby, Baguio Cathedral, completed in 1936, has a rose-hued exterior. The main thoroughfare is Session Road, lined with shops, restaurants and entertainment options.
Former U.S. military facility Camp John Hay is a hillside holiday complex with a golf course and forest trails. The expansive Botanical Garden neighbors Wright Park, home of the picturesque Pool of Pines, and The Mansion, the presidential summer residence. Elsewhere, the BenCab Museum exhibits the work of Benedicto Cabrera and other Filipino artists amid landscaped grounds. Tam-Awan Village is an artists colony with traditional huts and views out to the South China Sea. Overlooking Baguio, 2,000m-high Mount Cabuyao has hiking and biking trails.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Baguio:
- Burnham Park
- Mines View Park
- Baguio Cathedral
- The Mansion
- Session Road
Best time to visit Baguio: Peak travel to the hiking and biking trails is Dec–May, which mostly falls during the driest part of the year. Rainy season is May–Oct. Temperatures are warm year-round, with mild nights. Baguio is in full bloom for Panagbenga (Feb–Mar), a city flower festival with parades, competitions and exhibitions.
2. Cebu City
Cebu is a province of the Philippines, in the country’s Central Visayas region, comprising Cebu Island and more than 150 smaller surrounding islands and islets. Its prosperous port capital, Cebu City, retains landmarks from its 16th-century Spanish colonial past, including the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño church and triangular Fort San Pedro. Tops, an observation deck on Mt. Busay, has sweeping views over the city.
Cebu City is also a gateway to the region’s renowned dive sites and beach resorts. Throughout the province, divers and snorkelers can see whale sharks, turtles, hammerheads and rays among coral reefs, caves and steep walls. The west-coast town of Moalboal has several dive sites, modern resorts, nightlife in Panagsama and the sandy White Beach. Off the north coast of Cebu, tiny Malapascua Island has laid-back beaches and simple resorts, with renowned diving among thresher sharks offshore. Northwestern Bantayan Island focuses on beach life, centered around the village of Santa Fe.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Cebu City:
- Magellan’s Cross
- Fort San Pedro
- Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu
- Cebu Taoist Temple
Best time to visit Cube: Dec–Jun can be a popular time to visit Cebu’s many beaches and dive sites. The climate is warm and humid year-round, with a rainy season Jun–Nov. Typhoons are most likely Oct–Dec. Sinulog (Jan) features Christian processions, traditional dance and colorful parades in honor of a relic brought to the Philippines by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Christian holidays including Holy Week and Easter (dates vary, Mar/Apr) and Christmas (Dec) are also widely celebrated.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a densely populated bayside city on the island of Luzon, which mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern skyscrapers. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and former military prison.
Just north of Intramuros is Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, established in the 1500s and bustling with shops and restaurants. Rizal Park is Manila’s main public space, a vast mall with fountains, gardens and monuments honoring national heroes. The Museum of the Filipino People focuses on ethnographic and archaeological exhibits, while the Metropolitan Museum of Manila displays contemporary art. The blocky, modernist buildings of the Cultural Center of the Philippines house various performing arts organizations. Roxas Boulevard is a palm-lined waterfront promenade with hotels, restaurants and views of Manila’s famed sunsets.
Following are the 5 Best Places to visit in Manila:
- Rizal Park
- Fort Santiago
- San Agustin Church
- National Museum of the Philippines
- Manila Ocean Park
Established: 13th century or earlier
Best time to visit Manila: Peak travel is during the tropical dry season (Dec–May), when the weather’s hot but relatively dry. It’s warm and humid during the rainy season (Jun–Oct). The Christian holidays of Holy Week and Easter (varies Mar/Apr) and Christmas (Dec) are also busy periods. Cinemalaya (Aug) is a festival of independent Philippine cinema.