Best things to do in Philippines
Find out more about those top places in Philippines
Welcome to the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Founded by Spanish Explore Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, it is one of the oldest cities in the world with a proper blend of urban and traditional sites.
Located on the Eastern shores of the Manila Bay, the city has invested a lot into its tourism, which has in respond see a rise in visitors. Some sites to see in Manila include, the Rizal Park, Mind museum and Fort Santiago.
Widely known across the Philippines as Luneta Park, this is one of the best leisure spots in the city; visited by both the old and young of Manila. Situated at the northern terminus of Roxas Boulevard, the park is one of great history being the site of various mass protests and celebrations. Look out for the park’s main attraction, the monument of Jose Rival – who was executed by the Spanish colonial authorities in the country’s fight for independence.
Situated on Padre Burgos avenue, the Metropolitan is more than just a theater – its more of a symbol of Manila and its people. Inaugurated on December 10, 1931, it was designed by Juan M. Arellano who was one of the top architects in the country. The art deco has a lot of history attached to it, from surviving the famous Battle of Manila to hosting great shows such as the Wolfgang concerts in 2017.
If you are a lover of science, then this is the place for you. Located in the J.Y. Campos Park in Bonifacio Global, it is one of manila’s popular tourist spots with thousands of visitors annually. The museum is very much as attractive on the inside as on the outside - it has five main galleries namely; universe, life, atom, earth and technology. The Mind Museum was awarded the 2014 THEA Awards for Outstanding Achievement for the Science Museum Category.
The Ocean park is arguably the most exciting place in the city of manila, with a wide range of attractions and activities to keep you engaged. Its oceanarium is the star attraction – made using water from the Manila Bay, it is home to 14,000 marine animals of about 227 species all of which are found in Southeast Asia. It other attractions include the Trails to Antarctica mainly for penguins and Birds of Prey Kingdom – if interested you can get up close and personal with the sea creatures with some underwater diving.
Set up by Spanish navigator and governor Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to defend the city against intruders, the Fort is one of the still standing buildings of the old Manila. Asides from its beauty, its history is unrivaled, being a former prison where several of prominent names of the Philippines died during the Spanish Empire World War II including Jose Rizal. There is also a Shrine setup to honor Rizal which displays some of its personal collections and footsteps embedded in to the ground as a representation of his final walks from the cell to his execution point.
In the heart of the tropical Visayas, the island paradise of Cebu has something to please every visitor. Most tourists to the island head straight for the region’s famed white sand beaches that encircle the rugged interior. The most popular, although by no means the best, are near the Philippines’ second largest metropolis Cebu City while those further afield, such as those on Malapascua and Bantayan, are completely unspoiled. Beyond the beaches, Cebu offers some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling in Asia. However, while Cebu’s natural wonders are the island’s main attractions, Cebu City is a vibrant metropolis with a host of excellent restaurants and energetic bars waiting to be explored.
Cebu is a city that has a lot of water hence, many islands. You can go on a tour from one island to the other by boat. That is exactly what this tour is all about, hopping from one island to another. The islands have their unique and exquisite features and all have a gorgeous landscape. While hopping from island to island, have a taste of the local delicacies which are native to these islands.
Kawasan Falls is a 3-stage waterfall and a place you shouldn't miss. The whites waters splashing on the base of the waterfall combines well with the beautiful scenery around to make this location very picturesque. You can also swim in the falls to cool off.
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime swimming experience with whale sharks. Your private guide will take you on a scenic journey from Cebu's East Coast to the town of Oslob to capture a sight of this magnificent fish. Snorkel and swim alongside these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
Mactan Island can be found Southeast of the Philippines lying across the Mactan Channel. Although it is a pretty modern place, it still retains some great spots for diving, its lush green and a number of beautiful sandy beaches. Mactan Island also has its share of history, one of which is the Battle in Mactan in 1521 that killed Ferdinand Magellan who was a Portuguese born explorer.
El Nido is the bustling gateway to the Philippines’ largest marine sanctuary, the mesmerizing Bacuit archipelago. El Nido itself is a refreshingly low-key town buzzing with the typically Philippine sounds of diesel boat engines, tricycle horns and gently lapping waves. Hemmed between a set of gigantic limestone cliffs, the setting of El Nido is also one of the country’s most spectacular and makes for an enchanting base to explore the offshore wonders, namely the Bacuit archipelago. One of the most iconic landscapes in the country, the archipelago is a collection of over forty jungle-clad limestone islets defined by precipitous limestone cliffs and jaw-dropping perfect beaches.
Access to the Big Lagoon is limited to about 500 people per day, and the reason for this is not far-fetched. Apart from the fact that the lagoon is one of the premium sites in that area, the beauty of the lagoon is one that should be preserved for as long as possible. This is why tourists are advised to book a tour of the lagoon in advance.
This beautiful lagoon is hidden away and can only be reached by going through a tiny cave entrance. Nature rightfully hides this site as it is filled with so much beautiful sights that will remain with you for a very long time. The clear lagoon reflects the sun rays so beautifully that it looks like paradise out there.
The Cudugnon Cave has a long and remarkable history due to its strategic use in the second world war. This is the cave where Japanese soldiers hid during the time of war. Today, this cave is very much open to tourists. While taking in the sights of the cave's interior, tour guides are always near to fill your ears with tales of the action that went down there.
Just two hours by boat from the buzzing metropolis of Cebu City, Bohol is the Philippines’ hidden gem. While the island’s beaches around Panglao receive their fair share of tourists, the rest of the island remains completely unspoiled with bug-eyed tarsier swinging from trees and rainforest-clad Chocolate Hills creating a landscape unlike any other. The best place to view the elusive tarsier up-close is at the sanctuary in the Canapnapan where jungle trails let visitors catch a glimpse of this stunning primate. Beyond the wildlife, the rounded perfectly Chocolate Hills are spread over a large area in the center of the island and are best seen in dry season when the vegetation turns a brown color and the hills take on a resemblance to chocolate drops.
Although they are not yet on the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, they are definitely on their way to making the list. The chocolate hills are a collection of about a thousand and two hundred breathtaking green hills.
Tourists are offered the thrill of paddling themselves out on the Bohol River to go sightseeing. The scenery around the river is always serene and interesting to watch. Watching the sun set from the river is always a sight to behold as the setting sun reflects beautifully.
Cruising on the river of Loboc that winds around Bohol, there are a number of interesting tourist attraction sites present here. These sites include places like the Blood Compact Site, the museum and church in Baclayon among others. While on your cruise, you can sight the Tarsier which is the smallest monkey species in the world.
Another place that is worth visiting on a tour of Bohol is the Hinagdanan Cave. The beautiful cave has a lagoon inside while stalactites and stalagmites rise and fall inside as well. The sunlight that filters in through a hole in the room makes the interior of the cave look somewhat like a concert stage. This cave also has some history due to the fact that it was used to escape Japanese forces during the 2nd world war.
These little creatures are most concentrated in this part of the world. Tarsiers are the smallest living monkey species in the world. Go on to take a closer look at these little creatures, offer them little candies and see how they get giddy with excitement. With Bohol being an ecotourism city, there are a number of other interesting sights and sites to see and visit.