Zamboanga City Travel Guide: Tourist Spots, Places to Eat, How to get there and More

Is Zamboanga City safe for tourists?

Travel Guide to Once Islas in Zamboanga City


Zamboanga City (Ciudad de Zamboanga) is Asia’s “Latin City” and a modern city inhabited by more than eight hundred thousand people as of the 2015 Census.  It is situated on the island of Mindanao with abundant natural resources which is why it is often called the “Sardines Capital of the Philippines” because the majority of the country’s canning companies are located there.

Zamboanga City Hall
Zamboanga City Hall

If you’re interested in seeing boat races which make use of boats that have bright sails that glow as the sun hits them, then visit Zamboanga City and experience other activities in the city of the Chavacanos.

When You Should Go

You can visit Zamboanga City at any time of the year but if you’re looking to see the famous Zamboanga La Hermosa which is a month-long event then you must go in October.

How To Get There

By Air: Zamboanga is an accessible place; there are direct flights to Zamboanga City from Manila, Cebu, and Davao City.

By Boat: 2GO ferries have one ferry a week sailing to/from Manila via Dipolog and Dumaguete. Aleson Shipping lines have a ferry going to and from Sandakan Malaysia. The Port of Zamboanga is an international port of entry. It has a scheduled passenger trip to Sandakan, Malaysia and several shipping lines offer regular trips from and to Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City.

By Land: Traveling to Zamboanga City by land is also an available option but this takes about 3 days from Manila via RORO. Rural Transit Buses to/from Dipolog or Cagayan de Oro are also available.

Early Morning in Zamboanga City
Early Morning in Zamboanga City

Getting Around Zamboanga

Once you reached the City, you can ride a jeepney, Taxi, or tricycle to roam around.

What You Need To Wear And What You Should Bring

It’s always advisable to bring comfortable clothes, a change of clothes and extra sets of underwear and a lightweight towel. You can also bring lightweight night wears in case you’re planning to attend an event. The best shoes to wear during travel are rubber shoes and one semi-formal shoes or sandals.

Make sure to wear pants and a full covered top if you plan to visit Mosques and religious places in the City.

Little Sta Cruz Island
Little Sta Cruz Island

What You Will Experience

Aside from La Hermosa, you can enjoy a limitless amount of time under the sun thanks to the pink sand beach of Sta. Cruz Island. There’s actually another island which is called Little Sta. Cruz but it’s not open to the public because it is being used as a camp for the military.

Pink Sand Beach in Sta Cruz Island
Pink Sand Beach in Sta Cruz Island

You can also visit mangroves that are already a hundred years old at the Lagoon in Sta. Cruz where you can also see beautiful birds while you ride a paddle boat.

These Badjao grave markers are also called Sundok
These Badjao grave markers are also called Sundok

Burial Places are not for everyone but if you’re one of the few who are intrigued by it, then head on to Badjao Burial grounds in Sta. Cruz Island where the local tribes Badjao and Bangingi put their dearly departed to rest.

Yakan Weaving Village
Yakan Weaving Village

Zamboanga is known for its small community which produces woven yakan clothing and other woven accessories and no visit to the city will be complete without going to Yakan Weaving Village. Their unique designs are bright and everything they make is handmade, thanks to old traditions that they’ve been practicing for a long time.

Tourist Spots to Visit

You can visit Taluksangay Mosque, a more than a century old Muslim place of worship which happens to be the oldest mosque in Western Mindanao.

Taluksangay Mosque Zamboanga City Travel Guide
Taluksangay Mosque – Zamboanga City Travel Guide

Drop by the 17th Century citadel of Fort Pilar, Marian Shrine where devotees flock regularly and the newly transformed National Museum of the Philippines local branch.

Colorful Vinta in Santa Cruz Island
Colorful Vinta in Santa Cruz Island

And of course, Zamboanga La Hermosa, their most celebrated feast of Nuestra Senora del Pilar. This is also one of the oldest Philippine festivals so don’t miss all the parades, regatta, and street dance contests with participants from various schools in the city when you’re visiting.

Visiting Santa Cruz Island Lagoon
Visiting Santa Cruz Island Lagoon

You can talk a stroll at Cawa Cawa Boulevard after a day of exploring the city and just watch the beautiful sunset.

Hock Chuan Temple
Hock Chuan Temple

List of Top Activities and Tourist Attractions in Zamboanga City

  • Visit Fort Pilar Shrine and Museum
  • Zamboanga City Hall
  • Checkout Plaza Pershing
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception
  • Pasonanca Park
  • Taluksangay Mosque
  • Experience Vinta Ride at Paseo del Mar
  • Watch Sunset at the Paseo del Mar
  • Visit the pink sand beach of Santa Cruz island
  • Bird Watching in Sta Cruz Island
  • Eat Curacha
  • Island Hopping in Once Islas
  • Eat spicy Satti for breakfast
  • Visit Rio Hondo Village
  • Shop at Yakan weaving village
  • Shop at Canelar Barter Trade Center
  • Visit Climaco Freedom Park
  • Visit Hock Chuan Temple
Zamboanga City Travel Guide
Zamboanga City Travel Guide

Also Read: Things to do and see in Zamboanga City

Where to Eat in Zamboanga City

La Vista del Mar Resort - Where to Eat in Zamboanga
La Vista del Mar Resort – Where to Eat in Zamboanga

Hacienda de Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant
Address: Pasonanca Road, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
Phone: (062) 991 3284

Alavar Seafood Restaurant
Address: Don Alfaro St, Zamboanga, 7000 Zamboanga Sibugay
Phone: (062) 991 2483

Greenfields Mano-Mano Resto
Address: Blue Ridge Lane, Gov. Ramos Ave, Zamboanga
Hours: 8AM–12PM
Phone: 0935 488 6387

La Vista del Mar
Address: Labuan-Lampara National Road, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
Hours: 8AM–5PM

Barcode Zamboanga
Address: Rizal Street 7000 Zamboanga City
Phone: (062) 991 9068

Jimmy’s Satti Haus
Address: Pilar St, Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay

Dennis Coffee Garden
Address: Labuan-Limpapa National Road, Zamboanga
Hours: 11AM–10PM
Phone: (062) 957 1131

locot locot
locot locot

See Also: Chavacano Cuisine: Discovering the Flavors of Zamboanga

Where to Stay in Zamboanga

Garden Orchid Hotel Zamboanga
Book Online via Agoda
Address: 7000 Gov Camins Ave, Zamboanga, Zamboanga del Sur
Phone: (062) 991 0032

Cityinn Hotel
Book Online via Agoda
Address: Gov Alvarez Ave, Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay
Phone: (062) 955 4058

Lantaka Hotel
Book Online via Agoda
Address: N S Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, N S Valderosa St, Zamboanga
Phone: 0908 488 8033

Marcian Business Hotel
Book Online via Agoda
Address: Mayor Cesar C. Climaco Avenue, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Brillantes St, Zamboanga
Phone: (062) 991 0005

Pasalubong Shopping in Zamboanga

Canelar Barter Trade Center
Canelar Barter Trade Center

And before you head home, don’t forget to go to Canelar Barter Trade Center (Zamboanga Barter) and buy some pasalubongs for your loved ones. You can haggle it out and go home with multi-colored and woven bags and accessories that are uniquely made. If you live in Manila, you will be happy that it is not too common to see people using these kinds of tribal designs.

Souvenir from Pink Beach Zamboanga
Souvenir from Pink Beach Zamboanga

Apart from Canelar Barter Trade Center, there are also barter centers inside Sta. Cruz Commercial Complex, Baliwasan Commercial Complex, and Zamboanga City Public Market.

Being in Zamboanga brings you closer to nature while also experiencing the city so what are you waiting for? Pack your things and book a flight now!

See Also:
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  2. […] malls and a plethora of cuisines from the Philippines and around the world. Mindanao province like Zamboanga, Ilocos Region, Baguio and other parts of Benguet produces ethnic fabrics which are made into bags, […]

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