Davao Travel Guide: What to expect in one of the Philippines’ best cities
Davao is a city governed as mayor by now Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. It is situated in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, about 2 hours plane ride away from the country’s capital city, Manila. Just like Manila and the rest of the Philippines, Davao gets pretty humid especially during the months of April and May. If you’re thinking of exploring one of the country’s best cities, continue reading our Davao travel guide and know why you should plan a trip to the city which is the home of the durian and the Philippine Eagle!
City Hall of Davao
One of the places to visit in Davao and a must-see city landmark is the City Hall of Davao. Located in San Pedro Street, the City Hall of Davao, which was built as a municipal hall in 1926 was, later on, declared as a historical site by the National Historical Commission in 2012. While the city mayor holds office here, right beside it is the Sangguniang Panlungsod, which houses the vice-mayor and city councilors.
Address: San Pedro Street
San Pedro Cathedral
Photo Courtesy: Davao City Tourism
Often featured in many Davao travel guides is the San Pedro Cathedral – the oldest church in the city built in 1847. Situated right across the Sangguniang Panlungsod in San Pedro Street, San Pedro Cathedral is regarded as the ecclesiastical seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Davao. Since it was built over a hundred years ago, it has undergone 2 renovations. As seen in its current state today, the San Pedro Cathedral has a curved roof – mimicking the shape of a vinta (a traditional boat from Mindanao) which gives recognition to Davao’s Catholic and Muslim roots.
Address: San Pedro Street
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
An odd-looking, Durian-shaped dome, People’s Park is a public park open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. The 4-hectare park is home to about 1,000 species of plants which can only be found in Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia and South America. When you explore this sprawling park, you’ll find statues of Bagobo (one of the largest indigenous people of Southern Mindanao) children by Kublai Millan, a Mindanao art icon. It is also a popular jogging spot so if you don’t want to miss out on your workout routine, sneak in some exercise here!
Address: Pelayo Street corner Palma Gil Street
Opening Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. & 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel
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For some arts and cultural highlights, make your way to Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel – a Davao tourist place located in a quiet residential village in Bajada, Davao City. Step inside and get ready to be in awe as the gallery of this Davao hotel is filled with paintings, sculptures, photos and other artistic creations of Kublai Millan, a popular art icon who is a son of Min Ponce – the hotel owner. You don’t necessarily need to check-in to get a glimpse of the art gallery, you can simply go inside and explore.
Address: Corner Roads 3 and 4, Dona Vicenta Village, Bajada
Things to do in Davao
Visit the Philippine Eagle Center
Photo Courtesy: Philippine Eagle Foundation Facebook Page
Just an hour’s drive away from the city centre, is one of the places to visit in Davao, the Philippine Eagle Center. The Philippine eagle is regarded as one of the three largest and strongest eagles in the world. However, they are critically endangered and the people behind the Philippine Eagle Center does everything they can to help save its population and protect the eagles’ natural habitats. Aside from rescued and captive-bred Philippine eagles, you can also find other birds, reptiles, and mammals here.
Address: Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City
Entrance Fee: P150 Adults; P100 Kids
Eden Nature Park
Photo Courtesy: Eden Nature Park
For travellers who are up for some fun and adventure while enjoying nature’s best, make your way to Eden Nature Park and gear up for an afternoon of SkyCycling! Eden Nature Park is an 80-acre mountain resort that is 95% man-made. Developments started in 1871 and today, it is one of the popular places to visit in Davao that is just an hour away from the city centre. People usually do day trips here but as it is a resort, you can also choose to stay overnight to enjoy the rest of what it offers such as horseback riding, swimming, skyrider, skyswing, skycycle, fishing village and the Indiana Jones which is like a mini-zipline for kids, but adults can try as well.
Address: Eden Bayabas Toril, Davao City
Taste fresh durian at Bankerohan Market
It’s not a complete Davao travel experience without tasting the famous durian, right? And there’s no better place to do so than Bankerohan Market, Davao City’s main market. Be sure to find the Puyat brand which is said to have the best taste of the creamy, strong-flavoured durian.
Address: Building No: 2, Marfori Street, Barangay 5-A, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Plan a side trip to Samal Island
Featuring the country’s best island destinations in our recent Philippines travel guide, Samal Island is one of the must-visit most especially for travellers in Davao City – as it is a quick 20-minute ferry ride from the city centre. Samal Island’s stunning marine life, beautiful shoreline and famous attractions like Hagimit Falls, Monfort Bat Sanctuary, Mount Putting Bato and Maxima Aqua Fun will ensure an adventure-filled trip to the popular island!
We hope our Davao travel guide inspired you to book your flight to this city! Want to know other places to visit in the Philippines? Let our travel guides show you what else there is to explore in this Southeast Asian country!
*Featured image from Jojie Alcantara as seen here: Way to go
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