2019 Travel Guide to Davao City for First-time Travelers

Davao City offers so much more than the Durian fruit, Mount Apo, and the Philippine Eagle. It comes with a good mixture of both manmade and natural attractions that are constantly being visited by foreign and local tourists. It is also among the safest and largest cities in the country and is usually made the gateway to other beautiful places in Mindanao.

Davao City Travel Guide
Davao City Travel Guide

In this Davao City Travel Guide blog, we listed helpful DIY Davao travel tips and advice on how to get there, get around, great activities, restaurants, best hotels, tour packages and more.


Looking for a Place to Stay? Visit Agoda for a wide range of accommodation options with great hotel deals and best price guarantee.

Important Facts

Languages

Davaoeño Cebuano, a sub-variant of Mindanao Cebuano, is the most widely spoken language in the city and its satellite cities and towns. English is the medium of instruction in schools and widely understood by residents. Aside from Davaoeño Cebuano, Davaoeño Chavacano and Mindanao tribal languages such as Tagabawa-Bagobo, Manobo-Bagobo, and Mandaya are also spoken, as well as a localized form of Tagalog.

Best time to visit Davao

The rainy/wet season in Davao is between May and October, during which time the summer monsoon brings lots of heavy rain to the area. The best time to visit Davao is during the dry season which is between December and February when there is less precipitation and the weather is colder.

How to Get There

Via Plane:

Manila to Davao Flights
Manila to Davao Flights

You can fly into Davao City from Manila, Clark, Palawan, Caticlan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod or Zamboanga. There are around 20 flights every day that ply the Manila-Davao route, which takes around 90 minutes.

Also Read: AirAsia Introduces New Flights from Davao to Clark, Cebu, Palawan, and Boracay

Via Boat/Bus:

Another popular way to visit Davao City is by taking a boat ride (P980 from Cebu via TransAsia) to Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental then taking a 7-8 hour bus ride (P600) afterward.

How to Get Around

From the airport, Davao City downtown proper is a mere 15-minute ride. Metered taxi cabs and car rentals are available at the airport. Once in downtown proper, public transportations like jeepneys are very accessible to get around the city. If going to the provinces, there are integrated van and bus terminals conveniently located at the different malls including SM City Davao, Victoria Plaza, and Gaisano Mall. The Ecoland Bus Terminal also has a variety of bus companies that can take you to various locations in the region.

Festivals and Events in Davao City

Kadayawan Festival

Kadayawan sa Dabaw
Kadayawan sa Dabaw

Its name derives from the friendly greeting “Madayaw”, from the Dabawenyo word “dayaw”, meaning good, valuable, superior or beautiful. The festival is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. It is held every third week of August.

Araw ng Dabaw

Araw ng Dabaw (every March) is an annual month-long event in Davao City in celebration of its charter anniversary.

Where to Stay

My Hotel Davao

My Hotel Davao City
My Hotel Davao City

This humble hotel is about 2 minutes away from a bus stop and 7 minutes away from People’s Park. They boast of wooden floors, cable TV and hot and cold showers. Their cafe also serves American, continental and Filipino breakfast although this is not included in their room rates. Air-conditioned room prices are from P800 to P1800 while fan rooms are available at P250 per night.

Book via Agoda
Address: San Pedro Street, Davao City

Green Windows Dormitel

Green Windows Dormitel in Davao
Green Windows Dormitel in Davao

Green Windows is the ultimate backpacker accommodation. If you love traveling solo, you can avail of a bed at their dorm type room for just P188 per night. They also offer rooms for families and barkadas traveling in a budget with room rates starting at P1608 a night.

Book via Agoda
Address: 5F FTC Towers, Mt. Apo Street, Davao City

Ponce Suites

Ponce Suites
Ponce Suites Source: Bro Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ

This gallery hotel offers a different kind of stay in that its rooms are filled with paintings and sculptures by local artists. It is located 20 minutes from the Davao International Airport and about 10 minutes from the Abreeza Mall. Room rates start at P975 a night.

Book via Agoda
Address: Corner Road 3 and 4, Doña Vicenta Village, Davao City

Seda Abreeza Hotel

Seda Abreeza Davao
Seda Abreeza Davao

Located adjacent to the Ayala Abreeza Mall, this urban lifestyle hotel is located right in the heart of the city’s commercial district. It also has a pool, a lounge, a restaurant and even a fitness gym.

Book via Agoda
Address: Abreeza Ayala Business Park, JP Laurel Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City

Royal Mandaya Hotel

This mid-range hotel is just a few minutes’ walks away from the Davao City Hall, the People’s Park and the Museo Dabawenyo. It is popular among business travelers and offers free parking, shuttle buses and airport transportation and a business center.

Book via Agoda
Address: Palma Gil St., Poblacion District, Davao City

Marco Polo Davao

Spacious Premier Room
Spacious Premier Room

This luxury hotel is located right in the heart of Davao City’s business and commercial district. It is located around 20 minutes away from the Davao International Airport and is close to city attractions. Also Read: Experience the Heart of Davao at Marco Polo Hotel

Book via Agoda
Address: Claro M. Recto Street, Davao City

Also Read: 

Where to Eat

Penong’s BBQ

Considered as the number 1 barbecue house in Davao, Penong’s has not opened its doors to opening other branches in the country which is why it is a must to get a taste of their specials when you visit the city.

Jack’s Ridge

taklobo
taklobo Via Jack’s Ridge

When it comes to dining in Davao City, another well recommended place is Jack’s Ridge, which does not only offer a great dining experience but also boasts of among the best views of Davao City and the Gulf.

Lachi’s

Another Davao City treasure is Lachi’s, which boasts of mouthwatering desserts including the Sans Rival and cheesecakes. They also serve meals including Chinese pork belly, laing, callos and many more.

Popular Attractions

Philippine Eagle Center

Philippine Eagle Center
Philippine Eagle Center Via Hey, Miss Adventures!

Want to see the national bird of the Philippines? Located around 45 minutes away from the city center, the Philippine Eagle Center is operated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to conserve the famous bird and its habitat. Entrance fee is at P150.

The best way to get here is to take an air-conditioned L300 to Calinan (P40) then a habal-habal or tricycle to Philippine Eagle Center.

Also Read: Davao City: Home of the World’s largest Eagle

Address: Baguio District, Calinan-Baguio-Cadalian Road, Davao City

Malagos Garden Resort

Malagos Garden Resort
Malagos Garden Resort

If you have more time to spare, you can also visit the Eagle Center’s next-door neighbor, the Malagos Garden Resort. The place is best known for its orchid garden but they also hold regular bird shows to entertain guests of all ages. You can check their complete rates here.

Also Read: Davao’s Famous Malagos Garden Resort

Address: Baguio District, Calinan-Baguio-Cadalian Road, Davao City

Eden Nature Park

Eden Nature and Park Rooms
Eden Nature and Park Rooms

Eden has all sorts of adventure for the nature lovers. For starters, they have a mini zoo and a mini playground but you can also join in for a tour around the 80-hectare property full of more than 100,000 pine trees, most of which were planted by hand. Other attractions include the SkyCycle, SkySwing, and SkyRider.

Address: Bo. Toril, Davao City

GAP Farming Resort

GAP Farming Resort
GAP Farming Resort Via Hey, Miss Adventures!

GAP has all sorts of concrete statues that showcase the Filipino culture. Upon entering the resort, you will be welcomed by a huge carabao and farmer statue. The whole place is huge, with a swimming pool and a playground, and you can find busts of the Philippine presidents and other great Filipinos. It also has a short Japanese tunnel at the bottom of the hill. Entrance is at P50 for the resort and P10 for the tunnel.

Address: Green Meadow, Maa, Davao City

Davao Crocodile Park

Davao Crocodile Park
Davao Crocodile Park

If you want to check out crocodiles, tigers, butterflies and the Tribu K’Mindanawan, you should not forget to visit the Davao Crocodile Park. They also offer animal petting, crocodile feeding and different types of shows that are sure to entertain guests both young and old. Entrance fee for adults is at P250. Read more about Davao Crocodile Park.

Address: Gadi Road, Talomo, Davao City

Japanese Tunnel

Davao Japanese Tunnel
Davao Japanese Tunnel

A longer and bigger Japanese tunnel is this one located in a resort. The tunnel has served as the hideout of the Japanese soldiers and their belongings during the Second World War. Entrance fee is at P50 per person. Read More about Davao Japanese Tunnel

Address: AH26, Talomo, Davao City

People’s Park

People’s Park
People’s Park Source: Robert Ryan U. Ong (Wikimedia)

If you want to kill time in the city center, you can also hang out People’s Park for free. Founded in 2007, it is a sprawling 4-hectare property featuring more than 1,000 plant species coming from all over the world.

Address: Palma Gil St., Poblacion District, Davao City



Museo Dabawenyo

Museo Dabawenyo photo by Wikimapia.org
Museo Dabawenyo photo by Wikimapia.org

Looking for another free thing to do in Davao? Well, check out the city’s colorful history when you visit the local museum, Museo Dabawenyo. Here you will get to know more about the different Muslim groups in Mindanao as well as the political history of Davao.

Address: Andres Bonifacio Rotunda, Poblacion District, Davao City

D Bone Collector Museum

If animal bones intrigue you, a visit to D’ Bone Collector Museum is a must. This place boasts of more than 700 specimens of bones, skulls, and skeletons — among the biggest in the country! The museum is actually owned and curated by American Darrell Dean Blatchley who has spent more than half of his life in Davao City.

Address: San Pedro St., Poblacion District, Davao City

Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

Davao Museum of History and Ethnography
Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

The Davao Museum holds hundreds of artifacts and artwork created by ethnic groups in this region. Through this museum, Davaoenos and all Filipinos are able to preserve and protect remnants of their important historical heritage. Read More: The Davao Museum: Davao’s Little Cultural Gem

Address: Zonta Building, 113 Agusan Circle, Insular Village 1, Lanang, Davao City
Phone: (082) 233 1734

Shopping in Davao City

Aldevinco Shopping Center

Pasalubong Shopping in Aldevinco Davao City
Pasalubong Shopping in Aldevinco Davao City

Address: Claro M. Recto Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur

Aldevinco is the best place to buy local handicrafts, products from Mindanao and other Southeast Asian Countries like Batik Malong and other imported clothing.

Magsaysay Local Fruits Stands

Golden Pomelo - Davao Travel Guide
Golden Pomelo – Davao Travel Guide

Location: Magsaysay Park Davao City

A famous place to buy local fruits like Durian, Pomelo, Mangosteen, and Marang.

This Davao City Travel Guide is a work in progress article 🙂 We will constantly update this post as soon as we have new details to add. Please feel free to suggest new things to do, places to see and food to try in Davao City by posting a comment below. Thank You!

Originally Published: October 9, 2016
Updated: July 25, 2018

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Originally Published on July 25, 2018, this Davao City Budget Travel Guide was last updated in September 2018.

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