Travel Ideas For First Time Visitors to Davao City


Davao has been hailed as one of the most urbanized and well-developed cities in the Philippines. Whether or not it is because of Mayor Duterte’s leadership or not, we can’t deny the fact that, in Davao, life really does begin here.

Let’s start with the superficial things; clean roads, 119 services (similar to 911 to the US), NO Smoking ordinance and most importantly, local businesses blooming. These are only some of the things that you can look forward to going to Davao besides the food and good people.

For those of you who are planning to visit the city on vacation you should take into consideration many things such as when, how and where to go. Good things though that we listed some of the things that you might want to consider in planning your trip to the City of Davao.

Davao is a part of the Philippines and is quite hot especially to those of you are not accustomed to hot weather. The hottest months are April and May and after that are followed by the monsoon season from May to October. If you are not a fan of extreme weather, it is advisable that you avoid these and make your visit between December to February which is the coolest and the driest time of the year. There are also many festivals in Davao and if you want to witness firsthand the annual Kadayawan Festival, visit there in August. It is the most popular time to visit Davao so be prepared to spend extra money on hotels and to reserve hotel room months in advance.

Davao is two hours away from Manila via airplane arriving at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport. There are local airlines with direct flights from Manila like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and PAL Express and also international airlines like SilkAir that offers direct flights from Singapore.

From the airport, you can take a taxi to your hotel but make sure that you take a metered taxi and not take ‘set fares’ which can cost you twice as much. The cost for your taxi would range from PHP150-200 depending on the amount of traffic and the location of your hotel.

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It would probably take 4 nights to see the sights in Davao and even visit the Samal island. Just make sure that you arrive as early as possible the go straight to Samal island then explore the island for the rest of the day. Then you can check out at your hotel in Samal then check in your hotel in the mainland. On your third day, you can go around the city and explore its popular tourist destinations like Malagos Garden Resort, Philippine Eagle Center, Eden Nature Park and Jacks Ridge.

Travelling around Davao is pretty cheap in comparison to Manila. Jeepney rides would cost you PHP8 at least whole a hotel room would be PHP1,500 a night and less if you’re getting a single room. If you don’t want to commute, you can rent a car for the entire day for PHP3,500.

PHP3,000 budget per day would be enough especially if you are going to share a room with someone. If you are going to spend time in Samal you should add more to this considering the accommodation in Samal is more expensive.

Using TripAdvisor in looking for a hotel to stay in is a reliable website to look for where to stay when you’re in Davao. Look for a hotel that is in the middle of the city or at least, near a mall or, better, a tourist attraction. Also it wouldn’t hurt if the reviews of the hotel are good. There are hotels in Davao that has free continental breakfast available for all room rates and has coffee toast, jam and yogurt.

1. SkyCycling at Eden Park
2. Eat some Locally-Produced Cheese at Malagos Garden
3. Enjoy Fresh Durian
4. Explore Samal

1. Gusteau’s Fud Haus
2. Jet G
3. Jack’s Ridge
4. Toryano’s Chicken Haus