The city of Manila is a place that is both old and modern. With its rich history, almost all areas have become great tourist spots in Manila that everyone wants to visit. From the preserved architecture brought by Spanish colonialism to outstanding Filipino culture, Manila has everything you’d ask for!

And because these Manila tourist attractions are just oh-so-beautiful and very historic, you might think that everything comes at a price. But whether you are on a tight budget or if you’re just naturally a sucker for free things, there are tourist spots in Manila that you could actually visit for free!

15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Manila this 2021

From old to modern attractions, Manila tourist spots won’t disappoint you. Here’s a list of the best places in Manila that you can explore alone or with someone.

  1. Baluarte De San Diego
  2. Fort Santiago
  3. Casa Manila
  4. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  5. Escolta
  6. National Museum of the Philippines
  7. Rizal Park
  8. Manila Baywalk
  9. San Agustin Church
  10. Manila Cathedral
  11. Binondo
  12. Manila Ocean Park
  13. Dessert Museum
  14. SM Mall of Asia
  15. Seaside Dampa

To guide you on your Manila trip, we’ve listed 10 best places to visit in Manila that you should not miss!

1. Baluarte De San Diego

intramuros makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

One of the most historical places in Manila is Intramuros. When you see Intramuros, it will have you second-guessing whether you are still in the Philippines because of its cobbled streets and preserved establishments with Spanish-inspired architecture. Among the most popular Intramuros, Manila tourist spots is Baluarte de San Diego.

Baluarte de San Diego used to be a drowning chamber during the Spanish era. It was built and designed by the Jesuit priest Antonio Sedeno in the late 1580s. Its main feature is the circular dungeon called Fort Nuestra Señora de Guia. Today, Baluarte de San Diego is surrounded by beautiful gardens, adorned with lush plants, pathways, fountains, and an attractive pergola that will remind you of fantasy land. That is why it has become a popular place for weddings, family parties, and other special occasions.

2. Fort Santiago

One of the must visit places in Manila is Fort Santiago in Intramuros. It is the oldest Hispanic stone fortress in the Philippines. There are kalesas or carriage, old dungeons, an old theater, gardens, and more to keep your eyes and ears busy as you take in all the history.

The great news here is, the government has opened its dungeons for the public so visitors can explore the dungeons that were used as storage vaults and powder magazines of the Baluarte de Santa Barbara, a stone structure constructed in 1592. During World War II, the dungeons were used by Japanese troops to imprison resistance fighters and political prisoners. This Manila tourist spot is definitely a must-visit!

3. Casa Manila

intramuros luzon tourist spots

At Casa Manila, you’ll find out how the rich lived during the Spanish era in the Philippines. Its main attraction is a fully-furnished home-turned-museum that shows how Filipinos lived during the colonial era. While every corner is beautiful and Instagrammable, visitors are not allowed to take photos. When inside, walk only on the carpeted areas so that you do not damage the wooden floors. Of all the luxurious furniture in Casa Manila, the most notable are the toilets. Apparently, in the old days, toilets were built in twos or more to allow people to sit beside each other and chat while they did their business. Casa Manila is surely a great place to visit in Manila.

4. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant

barbaras restaurant intramuros

If you’re looking for places to visit in Manila that will satisfy your hungry tummy, dine in at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. Intramuros never disappoints our history and sightseeing cravings but other than these, it’s also a good place to find the top restaurants in Manila. One of these is Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. If you’re looking for authentic Filipino food to add to your historical day trip, Barbara’s is the perfect place to go to. Try all of the dishes from their grand buffet, while enjoying cultural dance performances. Plus, Barbara’s is a perfect place for a romantic date that will give you the best vibe of Intramuros at night.

5. Escolta

Escolta is one of the most underrated tourist spots in Manila. Although it looks greatly damaged and forgotten after World War II, it’s actually those factors that make Escolta so interesting. That’s why it’s easy to see why millennials and photographers love to visit it. Now, Escolta is not just a famous photography subject but also a great place to experience good food, arts, crafts, and music festivals. Make sure to visit this place in Manila for a trip to remember.

6. National Museum of the Philippines

If you’re into history and culture, the National Museum of the Philippines is the perfect Manila tourist spot to visit. It is home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium—a gigantic painting more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide, making it the Philippines’ largest painting. Another great thing about this museum is that admission is free! So don’t miss this best tourist spot in Manila!

7. Rizal Park

The city of Manila has a lot of parks to visit. One of these is the Rizal Park where the monument of Philippines’ National Hero Jose Rizal is. This is considered one of the most historical places in Manila because this is where Jose Rizal was executed.

You can experience peace and a calm environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The park has also become a favorite leisure spot in Manila. You can also have a picnic there while enjoying Rizal Park’s greenery and calming ambiance. Apart from Rizal’s monument, there are also artworks and museums, fountains, and other statues found within the park. Don’t miss Rizal Park as it’s one of the most beautiful Manila tourist attractions.

8. Manila Baywalk

Another most frequented tourist spot near Manila is the Manila Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard. It is famous for all ages because everyone can walk, bike around, or just sit there while enjoying the majestic views of the sunset and Manila Bay. The good thing here is, you don’t have to pay to enjoy the amazing views, that’s why it’s one of the most popular Meteo Manila tourist spots! There are also many restaurants near the SM Mall of Asia by the Bay where you can eat at. Once you get there, it’s very easy to access other places to visit near Manila as there are many transportation terminals in the area.

9. San Agustin Church

One of the best places to visit in Intramuros is the San Agustin Church. This tourist spot in Manila is the oldest church in the Philippines and the only church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila. You’ll be amazed at the masterpiece painted on its ceilings. And one amazing fact to know about San Agustin Church is that the Philippines’ first governor-general, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, is buried there.

10. Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral, one of the most historical places in Manila, is the Premier Church of the Philippines as it was the first-ever cathedral in the country. The Cathedral we see today is not the original structure. Actually, the cathedral has been through a lot but stands still. It has been a witness to a history that is worthy to tell to every generation—from ups and downs to wars and love stories. The Manila Cathedral is surely one of the best places to visit in Manila.

11. Binondo

When in Manila, you can never consider yourself a real foodie until you have been to Binondo. Not only Binondo offers a great food adventure but it is also home to the oldest Chinatown in the world. From fried siopao, dim sum, and roast duck to adventurous eats like frog legs, Binondo has just about everything your tummy could ever crave. Don’t miss the Beef Lamien in Lan Zhou La Mien and Hakaw in Wai Ying Fastfood. They’re not famous to foodies for nothing, that’s why this tourist spot in Manila is a must-visit!

12. Manila Ocean Park

If you want a sea adventure, why not visit Manila Ocean Park? It is one of the most popular Manila tourist attractions. Manila Ocean Park has regular aquatic performances and chances to get up close to some beautiful tropical fish. Everyone, especially the kids, will love this adventure! Manila Ocean Park also offers one of the most exciting things to do in Manila— the Aquanaut experience. It allows you to wear an oxygen-filled space helmet and walk underwater. This ocean park surely is a great place to visit in Manila.

13. Dessert Museum

Photo credits to The Dessert Museum

If you’re looking for quirky and colorful NCR tourist spots, the Dessert Museum is your best bet where you can have the sweetest trip in Pasay. It consists of 12,000 square feet of dessert play area with 8 mouthwatering themed-rooms of sugar-filled happiness. This is the only museum you’ll ever slide into! And as you slide and play, you will also be treated to samples of desserts especially curated to fit the themed room. The Dessert Museum is definitely a must-visit tourist spot in Metro Manila.

14. SM Mall of Asia

Located in Pasay City’s Bay City, SM Mall of Asia is the third-largest shopping mall in the world. There are four interconnected main buildings that house hundreds of retail outlets and restaurants. More than shopping and food, SM has incorporated expansive entertainment activities around it. These include an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, an IMAX theater, an entertainment arena, MOA Eye Ferris wheel, EXPLOREUM Science Center, and the SMX Convention Center. You can also enjoy a fresh seafood buffet by the bay while watching the sunset. SM MOA is the best place in Manila to experience all things you want: sightseeing, adventure, and food tripping.

15. Seaside Dampa

line of fresh seafood at seaside dampa pasay

This is the largest seafood place in Manila can be found in an avenue of hotels, shopping malls, and casinos. This market offers a variety of fresh seafood, where one can shop and have the food cooked in one of the nearby restaurants. Simply choose a restaurant, check their menu for seafood dishes, and decide how you want your dish to be served and prepared. From buttered shrimp to crabs in salted egg sauce, this seafood heaven is perfect for family gatherings and celebrations! Grab yourself a ton of seafood and enjoy the wonders of this marketplace. You buy, you feast! It’s as simple as that! Dampa is not just a tourist spot Metro Manila but it’s also a place where you experience the best seafood in the metro.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Spots in Manila

Q: Is there an entrance fee in Intramuros?

A: There is no admission fee to enter the Intramuros district, but note that some attractions in Manila, such as Fort Santiago and San Agustin, charge a small entrance fee.

Q: What are the best places to go in Manila?

A: Here’s a list of the must-visit places in Manila Philippines:

  • Baluarte De San Diego
  • Fort Santiago
  • Casa Manila
  • Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  • Escolta
  • National Museum of the Philippines
  • Rizal Park
  • Manila Baywalk
  • San Agustin Church
  • Manila Cathedral
  • Binondo
  • Manila Ocean Park
  • Dessert Museum
  • SM Mall of Asia
  • Seaside Dampa

Q: Is Intramuros open at night?

A: Intramuros is open at night and in fact, offers a romantic vibe. But note that some attractions are closed from 6pm onwards.

Q: Is Manila open for travelers?

A: As of writing, Manila is still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) so not all tourist spots are open. However, some Manila places like Intramuros, are now open again.

Q: What are the best places to visit in Intramuros?

A: Intramuros is a beautiful place every traveler must visit. Here are some of the best Intramuros tourist spots to check out: 

  1. Fort Santiago
  2. Manila Cathedral
  3. San Agustin Church
  4. Casa Manila
  5. Silahis Center
  6. Baluarte De San Diego
  7. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  8. Light and Sound Museum
  9. Museo de Intramuros
  10. Bahay Tsinoy

Q: What is the Walled City in the Philippines?

A: Intramuros. The Intramuros Manila description is “The Walled City”

Q: What is the LRT station near Intramuros?

A: The LRT station near Intramuros is Central Terminal Station. From there, it’s just a five-minute walk to the walled city Philippines.

Q: How much is the Kalesa ride in Intramuros?

A: A Kalesa ride in Intramuros costs around PHP 350 to PHP 500 for 30 minutes. The trip will take you to the best tourist spot in Manila, and a number of historical landmarks in the former seat of government of colonial Philippines, including Baluarte de San Diego, Plaza Mexico, and Puerto Real.

Now that you’ve seen all the best tourist spots in Manila, it’s time to look for your hotel! Book budget hotels in Manila at www.zenrooms.com and enjoy high-quality accommodation at a very affordable price!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Some spots might be closed or there might be travel restrictions placed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please keep the government mandate in mind.

With over 7,000 beautiful islands, it’s not surprising that you’ll have a hard time deciding which Philippines tourist spots to visit first. 

From the most pristine beaches that, mind you, where recognized as some of the world’s best islands, to the unbelievably stunning man-made attractions, the Pearl of the Orient Seas never fails to amaze its visitors.

70 Most Beautiful Philippines Tourist Spots to See

Whether you’re planning a relaxing vacation or an adventurous getaway, you’ll never run out of tourist spots in the Philippines to check out. Here we’ve rounded up the most beautiful places in the Philippines from Luzon to Mindanao.

  1. Kayangan Lake – One of the cleanest lakes in Asia
  2. Banaue Rice Terraces – Man-made wonder
  3. Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon – Popular spots in Palawan
  4. Racuh A Payaman – Breathtakingly beautiful
  5. Hidden Beach – Among the world’s best islands
  6. Intramuros – A historical landmark in the Philippines
  7. Vigan – One of the world’s best-preserved Spanish colonial towns
  8. Puerto Princesa Underground River – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  9. Picnic Grove – A perfect picnic Tagaytay tourist spot for families
  10. Tinipak River – For hikers and water-lovers
  11. Sagada – Famous for breathtaking views of the mountain and sea of clouds
  12. Mines View Park – A tourist spot in Baguio that offers the best view of nature
  13. Boracay – One of the world’s best islands
  14. Bantayan Island – A place of calm and peace with a view
  15. Chocolate Hills – Jaw-dropping cone-shaped hills in Bohol
  16. Panglao Island – One of the best Visayas tourist destinations when it comes to beaches
  17. Cambugahay Falls – A majestic waterfall in Siquijor
  18. Oslob – A famous diving spot because of the whale sharks there
  19. Kalanggaman Island – The smaller version of Boracay
  20. The Ruins – Taj Mahal of the Philippines
  21. Moalboal – The place where you can dive with millions of sardines
  22. Sirao Flower Farm – Cebu’s Little Amsterdam
  23. Kawasan Falls – A famous waterfall in Cebu where you can go canyoneering
  24. Loboc River – Buffet lunch on the river
  25. Island Garden City of Samal – Popular for pristine beaches
  26. Cloud 9 – A famous surfing spot in Siargao
  27. Magpupungko Rock Pools – Natural rock pools perfect for cliff jumping and swimming
  28. Hinatuan Enchanted River – A stunning tourist spot in Mindanao that is a clear blue saltwater river hidden in the jungle, and flawlessly flowing into the Pacific Ocean
  29. Naked Island – A completely bare beach in Siargao
  30. Guyam Island – One of the most beautiful island-hopping destinations
  31. Daku Island – A beach in Siargao where there are a lot of coconut trees, and the usual lunch spot of tourists
  32. Sugba Lagoon – A popular diving spot in Siargao
  33. Camiguin – The Island Born of Fire
  34. Tinuy-an Falls –  The Crown Jewel of  Surigao del Sur
  35. Mt. Apo – The highest mountain in the Philippines and among the highest in Southeast Asia standing at 10,311 feet
  36. Tinago Falls – A hidden but majestic waterfall in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte
  37. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary – Boasts of a beautiful pygmy forest, and hosts rich biodiversity and endemicity of flora and fauna
  38. Aliwagwag Falls – The highest waterfall in the Philippines 
  39. Lake Sebu – One of the Philippines’ most important watersheds and a major provider of irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato
  40. Nacpan Beach – Creamy sand beach in El Nido
  41. Malapascua Island – Home of the unspoiled white sand beaches, beautiful coral gardens, and rich marine life
  42. Anawangin Cove – A great camping site in Zambales
  43. Gigantes Island – A set of islands that make up a paradise of pristine beaches, clear water, and huge rock formations
  44. Malcapuya Island – A stunning white sand beach in Coron
  45. Masasa Beach – A stunning island in Batangas
  46. Siete Pecados – A marvelous coral garden
  47. Mayon Volcano – A perfect cone-shaped volcano in Bicol
  48. Mt. Pinatubo – A beautiful volcano in Pampanga and Zambales
  49. Taal Volcano – Small but deadly volcano
  50. Hinagdanan Cave – It features a pool of clear water where you can swim under the stunning stalactites and stalagmites. 
  51. Sirao Flower Garden – A garden full of colorful flowers.
  52. Ayala Triangle Gardens – Perfect to appreciate nature in the city
  53. Bangui Windmills – A famous tourist spot in Luzon that has a greater purpose
  54. Sky Ranch Tagaytay – An amusement park for the kids and kids at heart
  55. San Agustin Church – The only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Metro Manila
  56. Manila Ocean Park – Where you can experience the underwater world
  57. Echo Valley Hanging Coffins – A remarkable Sagada tourist spot
  58. Aguinaldo Shrine – Where the first Philippine flag was waved for the first time 
  59. Bagumbayan – The place where Dr. Jose Rizal was executed
  60. Fort Santiago – Where Dr. Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution
  61. Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte – Where Dr. Jose Rizal stayed for four years for his exile
  62. EDSA Shrine – Where EDSA People Power Revolution took place to oust the then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos
  63. Barasoain Church – Three significant events in Philippine history occurred in the church.
  64. Mactan Shrine – The site of the Battle of Mactan
  65. Calle Crisologo – The famous cobblestone streets in the country and one of the world’s best-preserved Spanish colonial towns
  66. Blood Compact Shrine – This Bohol tourist spot depicts the famed Sandugo moment
  67. Shrine of Valor – A memorial to all of the soldiers who died bravely in the battle against the Japanese forces and those who died during the Bataan Death March in World War II
  68. University of Santo Tomas – The oldest university in the Philippines
  69. Binondo – Home to the world’s oldest Chinatown
  70. Cagsawa Ruins – The place with a tragic history
  71. Daraga Church – A historic Albay tourist spot

Read this Philippine travel guide to discover the most beautiful places in the Philippines to add in your bucket list. 

What’s inside this blog?

Luzon Tourist Spots

Here’s a list of the most beautiful places in Luzon you should visit.

1. Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake coron palawan

Mention the best tourist destinations in the Philippines and Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan is surely in the list. It is dubbed as the “cleanest lake in the Philippines” and some consider it as the cleanest lake in Asia. The water here is clean so it’s perfect for swimming and diving. 

Kayangan Lake is bordered by tall limestone formations and if you want a view of the entire place, you can just climb up a 300-step hill for a picture-perfect view. It might be a bit of a trek to reach this Coron Palawan tourist spot but the views are worth the effort. 

Read also: Get a Taste of a Little Paradise With These Stunning Coron, Palawan Tourist Spots

Highlights: Clean waters, good for freediving, limestones everywhere, picturesque views

Best time to visit: All year round. But we recommend you visit Kayangan Lake as early as possible to avoid the crowd.

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight bound for Busuanga. Travel time is 1 hour. Upon arrival at the Busuanga airport, ride a van or tricycle going to Coron town proper. From the town proper, you can join a group tour or rent a private boat to Kayangan Lake.

2. Banaue Rice Terraces

banaue rice terraces tourist spot in the philippines

The Banaue Rice Terraces, locally known as the Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan, are undoubtedly a source of pride not just for the Ifugaos but also for Filipinos across the world. Because of its magnificence, it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.

Located at the foot of the Cordillera mountain ranges, this tourist spot in Luzon will definitely take your breath away as you get lost by the astounding view of these rice paddies. 

Related article: Banaue Rice Terraces: The Magnificent Man-Made Cultural Heritage

Highlights: Several rice paddies made by locals thousands of years ago, friendly locals, great food, cool climate

Best time to visit: June-July to see Banaue Rice Terraces at its greenest

How to get there: There is only one way to reach the Banaue Rice Terraces and it is by bus. From Cubao or Sampaloc in Manila, you can ride a bus bound for Banaue. There are two buses that go straight to Banaue: Coda Lines and Ohayami Trans. The travel time will take about 9 hours at the minimum. Upon arrival in Banaue bus terminal, you can ride a tricycle going to your hotel or just tour the area directly.

3. Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon

big lagoon el nido magagandang tanawin sa luzon

Unsurprisingly, El Nido always makes it to the top list of beautiful places in the Philippines. Don’t miss the Big and Small Lagoons as these are the best El Nido Palawan tourist spots. You can go kayaking, paddle boarding, or swimming in these lagoons while digesting its majestic views. 

Related article: The Paradise on Earth: Glorious Palawan Tourist Spot That Will Make You Fall In-Love With Nature

Highlights: Clear waters perfect for swimming and diving, towering limestones and rock formations

Best time to visit: April-May

How to get there: As of writing, only one airline (Air Swift) flies to El Nido directly but it’s a bit expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can book a flight to Puerto Princesa then ride a van to El Nido. Travel time from Pueto Princesa is around 5-7 hours. Upon arrival in El Nido, book tour A.

4. Racuh A Payaman

racuh a payaman philippines tourist spots

At Racuh A Payaman, also known as Marlboro Hills, there are rolling hills and knolls everywhere, surrounded by a carpet of the greenest grass you’ll ever see, that you’ll notice even the tiniest grass is swaying as Batanes wind blows. You could almost imagine being in the 1965 film Sound of Music and hear Julie Andrews sing “the hills are alive…” So, if we’re to describe Racuh A Payaman in Batanes in one word, it’d be magical. 

From this Batanes tourist spot, you can also see Mt. Iraya, Diura Beach, Tayid Lighthouse, and the Pacific Ocean. All in one place. Racuh A Payaman is definitely one of the most breathtaking tourist spots in the Philippines so don’t miss it.

Must-read: 12 Batanes Tourist Spots You Can’t Say No To

Highlights: Surrounded by greenery, views of the Pacific Ocean and other Batanes tourist spots, perfect for photoshoots and picnic

Best time to visit: April-May (summer); June (for Batanes Day Festival)

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight to Batanes. You can rent a van, tricycle, or motorbike to reach Racuh A Payaman.

5. Hidden Beach

hidden beach in el nido philippines tourist spots

Contrary to its name, Hidden Beach in El Nido is not-so-hidden anymore especially since (and maybe even before) Condé Nast Traveler named it as one of the world’s 30 best beaches. The Hidden Beach hides behind tall natural stone walls, with only a tiny break from which to enter and exit. It’s perfect for swimming, chillaxing, and picture-taking! If these are not enough to convince you it’s amazing, we don’t know what else will. If you’re looking for a beach, this is the best tourist spot in Luzon to see.

Related article: Palawan Hidden Gems: 5 Unspoiled Places You Must Discover Now

Highlights: White sand beach, clear waters, picturesque landscapes, recognized as one of the world’s 30 best beaches

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: As of writing, only one airline (Air Swift) flies to El Nido directly but it’s a bit expensive. If you’re on a budget, you can book a flight to Puerto Princesa then ride a van to El Nido. Travel time from Pueto Princesa is around 5-7 hours. Upon arrival in El Nido, book tour C to enjoy Hidden Beach.

6. Intramuros

intramuros manila philippines tourist spots

Known as the “Walled City,” Intramuros is a place rich in history and culture. With its cobblestone streets and preserved architecture dated hundreds of years ago, it will have you thinking whether you are still in the Philippines or not. It’s not just a popular place to visit in Manila but also one of the most historical places in the Philippines because of the many remarkable events that happened here.

Suggested article: A Guide to Intramuros Tour: 10 Places That Will Let You Travel Back in Time

Highlights: Casa Manila, Fort Santiago, Baluarte De San Diego

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: You can either take the LRT-1 or the jeepney going in.

If you’re traveling by LRT-1, alight at the Central Terminal Station, then walk five minutes to Manila City Hall. From there, walk to the pedestrian underpass that takes you across Padre de Burgos Street. Immediately upon exiting the underpass, you’ll see Victoria Street, which curves right through the Intramuros walls.

The easiest way on how to go to Intramuros is by taxi or Grab; however, it’s pricier than commuting. When inside Intramuros, it will be easy to explore it as most of the sights are within a 10- to 15-minute walk away. You can do an Intramuros tour by riding a horse carriage, pedicab, walking, or bamboo bike Intramuros.

7. Vigan

calle crisologo in vigan philippines tourist spots

Visiting Vigan is like traveling back in time because of its preserved Spanish Colonial town that even the world considers as one of the best. Aside from the magnificent Vigan tourist spots, what makes this tourist destination in the Philippines well-loved is its historical and cultural significance that feeds not just wanderlust but also a traveler’s mind and soul. 

Related article: Calle Crisologo: Walking Through A Tale of War and Love

Highlights: A UNESCO World Heritage Site; Calle Crisologo, Vigan Cathedral

Best time to visit: December-April

How to get there: From Manila, you can either take a plane for faster travel or a bus. But the cheapest way to travel to Ilocos Province is by bus. Some of the buses that have direct trips daily are Partas, Dominion Bus Lines, Viron Transit, and St. Joseph/Aniceto Transit, while Philippine Rabbit Bus Line, Fariñas, Maria de Leon, Florida, Baliwag, and RCJ Transit have regular trips that pass by Vigan via the Manila-Laoag route. Bus travel time is around 8-10 hours while plane travel is only 1-1.5 hours.

8. Puerto Princesa Underground River

puerto princesa underground river palawan philippines tourist spots

One charming treasure of Palawan that truly stands out is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. It is one of the longest underground rivers in the world that outflows directly to the sea, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River, you will see karsts—natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone—loom in every direction. With its magnificence, Puerto Princesa Underground River is surely the best tourist spot in the Philippines to see a wonder of nature.

Suggested article: 3-Day Palawan Itinerary: 13 Must-Try Things to Do in Coron for a Memorable Trip

Highlights: Unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: From Manila, you have to travel to Puerto Princesa City first via land, sea, or air. Upon arrival in Puerto Princesa, you have to travel to Sabang. There is a lot of public transportation available to go to Sabang town: jeepneys, bus, and vans. It will take about 2 to 3 hours of travel time from Puerto Princesa Airport to Sabang.

From Sabang Port, you’ll board a small boat bound for Sabang Beach, which is the entry point to the cave.

9. Picnic Grove

picnic grove tagaytay philippines tourist spots

Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons

If you’re planning a staycation in Tagaytay, we suggest you visit Picnic Grove, a beautiful place in Tagaytay City, perfect for families and couples to come for a picnic or just enjoy the stunning view. Aside from having a picnic, there are other activities here that you can enjoy such as horseback riding, ziplining, swimming, shopping, and cable car riding. Picnic Grove is definitely one of the best Tagaytay tourist spots to see.

Must-read: 12 Tagaytay Tourist Spots Perfect for Refreshing Staycation

Highlights: Cottages with a view of the Taal Lake and Volcano; a perfect spot for picnic

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From Manila, Cubao, or Pasay, ride a bus bound for Tagaytay and tell the driver to drop you off near the Olivarez Jeepney Terminal. Upon arrival, head to Olivarez Jeepney Terminal and ride the jeepney with a sign of “People’s Park”. Ask the drive to drop you off at Picnic Grove. There’s a big signage of Picnic Grove at the right side of Tagaytay-Calamba Road so you’ll know you’re there.

10. Tinipak River

tinipak river tanay rizal philippines tourist spots

Just two hours away from Manila, you’ll discover a rocky paradise that will make your jaw drop. Tinipak River used to be a hidden gem but has now become one of the most popular Rizal tourist spots thanks to its picturesque beauty. It boasts turquoise waters surrounded by white marble rocks that make every corner Instagrammable. You can also explore a cavern with an underwater river named Tinipak River and Cave through a small canoe. Don’t miss this beautiful spot in the Philippines if you want to see a one-of-a-kind wonder of nature.

Highlights: Clean waters; near Mt. Daraitan

Best time to visit: March-June

How to get there: From EDSA Starmall or Megamall in Mandaluyong, ride a van or jeep bound for Tanay. Alight at the Tanay Public Market. Upon arrival, ride a tricycle to Barangay Daraitan then ride a balsa and a tricycle to the registration area.

11. Sagada

sea of clouds in sagada | Photo credits to Dale Diaz
Photo credits to Dale Diaz

Sagada, home to spectacular views and breathtaking natural wonders, remains one of the top tourist destinations in the country especially for the backpackers and “soul searchers.” It’s a popular soul-searching destination as the place offers sunny but cool weather, lush natural landscapes, and a sea of clouds that will let you think whether you’re still on Earth. 

Related article: 10 Must-Visit Spots in Sagada Philippines for an Ultimate Adventure

Highlights: Hanging Coffins, Rice Terraces, Various Waterfalls and Caves

Best time to visit: November-February

How to get there: Getting to Sagada Mountain Province can be a bit tricky. You have to take a 9-hour bus ride to Banaue, hop on a van to Bontoc and travel for two hours, then go on a 45-minute jeepney ride to Sagada—which may or not be a top-loader (a.k.a. you might have to sit on the roof, which we think is fun). For a more detailed guide on how to travel from Manila to Sagada, here are some ways to commute.

12. Mines View Park

minesview park philippines tourist spots

Ask someone what’s the most famous tourist attraction in Baguio, and the first place that usually comes to mind is Mines View Park. 

In the early 20th century, Baguio was a mining town. Mines View Park sits on a ridge of the northeast side of Baguio where you can see a stunning view of the Cordillera Mountains and Benguet’s old copper and gold mines. While you’re there, you can also try on the Ifugaos’ traditional clothes and take a photo. Make sure to visit Mines View Park as it’s one of the most stunning Philippines tourist attractions.

Read also: A Complete Travel Guide for a Memorable Staycation in Baguio

Highlights: Stunning views of the Cordillera mountain ranges, cheap souvenir shops, great ambiance

Best time to visit: February-May

How to get there: From Manila or Cubao, ride a bus bound for Baguio. Upon arrival at the terminal, you can hail a taxi and go straight to Mines View Park. If you want a cheaper option, ride a jeepney from Session Road with Mines View Park signs.

Where to stay in Luzon

Whether you explore various tourist spot sa Baguio, tourist spot sa Nueva Ecija, or any other Luzon best tourist spots, make sure to end the day with a trusted hotel that will give you comfort that’s affordable. Here are the best budget hotels in Luzon to book:

Budget hotels in Manila

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Budget hotels in Tagaytay

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Budget hotels in Baguio

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Budget hotels in Sorsogon

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Visayas Tourist Spots

From Boracay tourist spots to Bohol tourist spots, Visayas has a lot in store for you. 

13. Boracay

boracay magagandang tanawin sa pilipinas

Famous for its oh-so-fine white sand beaches, amazing nightlife, and fun water activities, Boracay is the best tourist destination in the Philippines to enjoy all the things you want in one place. In fact, it’s always on the list of the world’s most beautiful islands by international travel magazines. Whether you’re just aiming to get a tan at the world-famous beach or planning to try the heart-pounding water activities, Boracay tourist spots will give you everything you need.

Suggested read: Travel Hacks: Guide to Boracay Budget Trip Under PHP 8000

Highlights: White Beach, Crystal Cove Island, Bulabog Beach, Diniwid Beach, Puka Shell Beach, D’Mall, Ariel’s Point, Willy’s Rock; and fun water activities

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight bound for Caticlan or Kalibo. The nearest airport is Caticlan. Upon arrival at the airport, ride a tricycle to the port where you’ll board a ferry to bring you to Boracay.

14. Bantayan Island

bantayan island cebu magagandantang tanawin sa pilipinas

Bantayan Island is a place where you can find calmness and serenity in spite of the numerous tourists who travel there every day. Once you step out of your boat and walk to Bantayan’s fine white sand, you’ll be welcomed by fresh air and crashing waves of its clear blue waters that become a perfect harmony letting you hear the sound of nature. Because of these, Bantayan is considered as one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.

Must-read: Bantayan Island: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling the Paradise of North Cebu

Highlights: Fine white sand beaches, stunning turquoise waters

Best time to visit: November-May

How to get there: To reach this Cebu tourist spot, book a flight to Cebu and take a bus from the North Bus Terminal heading to Hagnaya Port Cebu. upon arrival at Hagnaya Port, ride a ferry going to Bantayan Island. The travel time from Cebu to Bantayan Island is approximately 4 hours. If you have budget, you can opt for the Air Juan that will drop you off directly to Bantayan. 

15. Chocolate Hills

chocolate hills bohol

Situated in Bohol, Chocolate Hills is one of the famous places in the Philippines which continues to draw attention for its unique and majestic characteristics. There are more than 1,000 symmetrical mounds, conical and dome-shaped that most people liken to Hershey’s Kisses. It is called the Chocolate Hills not because it’s made of chocolate but because of its color. Don’t miss Chocolate Hills as it’s one of the most remarkable Bohol tourist spots.

Must-read: 15 Best Bohol Tourist Spots Every First-Timer Should Visit

Highlights: 1,000 symmetrical mounds, conical and dome-shaped

Best time to visit: January-May (chocolate brown color); June-December (lush green color)

How to get there: Bohol is accessible as there are direct flights to Tagbilaran. Usually, tourists book a flight to Cebu and explore the city first then ride a ferry to Bohol which is one and a half hours of travel time.

By boat, access points are in Tagbilaran, Tubigon, Jagna, Ubay, Talibon, and Jetafe, connected to Cebu, Manila, Leyte, Mindanao, Siquijor, and Negros.

16. Panglao Island

panglao island bohol visayas tourist spots

If you’re the type of traveler who loves the beach, Panglao Island is a catch. Known for its white-sand beaches, islands, and diving sites, Panglao Island never disappoints its visitors. In fact, it’s dubbed as Bohol’s very own piece of Boracay. Aside from the stunning beaches, its marine life makes it a great snorkeling and diving spot as well making it among the Philippines best places for water-lovers.

Highlights: White sand beaches

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: From Manila, ride a plane going to Bohol and head straight to Tagbilaran ferry pier. Upon arrival, get a tricycle to Dao bus terminal. From there, take the Southern Star Bus which is bound for Panglao Airport and Alona Beach. Travel time takes less than an hour.

17. Cambugahay Falls

cambugahay falls siquijor tourist spots

Located at the town of Lazi, Cambugahay Falls is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines. This tourist spot in Siquijor is a sure-hit for tourists because of its turquoise clean and warm water originating from natural springs. 

Highlights: Turquoise waters, natural springs, giant swing

Best time to visit: November-April

How to get there: From Manila, you can book a flight to Dumaguete. Once in Dumaguete, hire a tricycle or motorcycle to take you to the port. Upon arrival at the port, ride a ferry bound for Siquijor.

18. Oslob

oslob cebu tourist spot in the philippines

One of the best places to visit in Cebu is Oslob. Perhaps you’ve already heard about it because of what it offers to its visitors. People can watch the gentle giants also known as whale sharks or if you’re adventurous enough, you can also swim with them to get a closer encounter. This Cebu tourist spot is a must-visit if you want an unforgettable experience.

Read also: 7 Best Places for Cebu Island Hopping

Highlights: Best spot for diving, swimming with the whale sharks, and island-hopping

Best time to visit: November-May

How to get there: From Cebu to Oslob, you can take a 3.5-hour bus from Cebu Southern bus terminal, take a 3-hour public van, or hire a taxi (about 2.5 hours). Taking the taxi is the most expensive option, but has the advantage that you can travel straight from Cebu Airport to Oslob.

19. Kalanggaman Island

kalanggaman island leyte

Kalanggaman Island in Leyte is said to be a smaller version of Boracay. What sets it apart from other beaches are its charming sandbars and the lack of crowds. The island is an ideal place to lounge around or take a dip in the water. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboards. No wonder it’s one of the most-visited Visayas tourist spots.

Highlights: Long white sandbar, not too crowded

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight to Ormoc City. Upon arrival at the airport, go to the Ormoc van and bus terminal found across Ormoc City Park and head to Palompon. Once you arrive at Palompon, go to the Town Ecotourism office and pay the necessary fees. Then, rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island.

20. The Ruins

the ruins bacolod tourist spot in the philippines

Another famous place in the Philippines worth your time is The Ruins. Here you’ll discover the love story of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and Maria Braga beyond the walls of a mansion that was burned during the war and now turned into a famous historical place in Bacolod City. It is the Philippines’ version of Taj Mahal. Don Mariano built the mansion in honor of his beloved wife. And as proof of his unwavering love for Maria, he had their initials molded on every post of the mansion. You’ll see the two Ms, facing each other, that stands for Mariano and Maria. Because of its story, The Ruins is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.

Related article: Top 8 Bacolod Tourist Spots Every Traveler Must Not Miss

Highlights: An Instagrammable old mansion; stunning nature views

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From the Talisay airport, take a tricycle to Silay City downtown. From there, take a jeepney going to Bacolod. Upon arrival, you can ride a jeepney to Bata-Libertad or a tricycle to drop you off directly to The Ruins. 

21. Moalboal

moalboal cebu visayas tourist spots

Just around 2-3 hours south of Cebu City, Moalboal is a favorite destination of ocean-lovers. This Cebu tourist spot is best known for its amazing sardine run, wherein millions of sardines form bait balls. What makes this spectacle magical is that the sardines don’t leave the shallows of Panagsama Beach.

You can see them year-round, whether you’re diving deep or just snorkeling. A lot of sea turtles can also be spotted in this famous tourist spot in the Philippines.

Must-read: 7 Best Places for Cebu Island Hopping

Highlight: Sardine run

Best time to visit: November-May

How to get there: From Cebu City, ride a Ceres Bus going to Moalboal. The bus will drop you off at the Moalboal bus stop. From there, ride a tricycle going to Moalboal Beach (White Beach or Panagsama Beach)

22. Sirao Flower Farm

sirao flower farm cebu temple of leah

Sirao Flower Garden is one of the top Cebu attractions. You can find different kinds of flowers on the farm like Celosia. There’s an entrance fee of PHP 20. Although the flowers are worth checking out, be prepared as the place can get crowded due to flocking tourists who wish to have a good photo at the farm, too. Nevertheless, this Visayas tourist attraction is a must-visit.

Highlights: Huge farm with thousands of flowers, mostly Celosia, an overlooking view

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From the Ayala Cebu PUV Terminal, ride a v-hire going to Sirao. Tell the driver to drop you off near Sirao Flower Garden. From there, ride a habal-habal going to the flower garden.

23. Kawasan Falls

kawasan falls cebu visayas tourist spots

Another breathtaking and famous tourist spot in the Philippines is Kawasan Falls. It  is a three-stage cascade of clear turquoise water from the mountain springs of Mantalongon mountain range and one of the top Cebu tourist spots. Aside from its natural beauty, Kawasan Falls has also become famous because one of the most popular activities in Cebu is done there—Canyoneering.

The canyoneering adventure starts at Canlaob river downstream going to Kawasan Falls. There are local accredited guides who accompany all tourists and facilitate activities such as walking, jumping, swimming, climbing and abseiling through the streams.

Suggested read: Kawasan Falls: A Spectacle of Nature’s Grandeur and Charm

Highlights: Canyoneering adventure, turquoise waters, amazing views

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From Cebu South Bus Terminal, take the bus going to the town of Badian. The trip will take around two hours depending on the traffic. Bus fare is P130, one way.

Tell the bus conductor that you’re headed to Kawasan so that they can drop you off at the national highway. From the highway, you will walk around 15 minutes to get to the Kawasan Falls. 

24. Loboc River

loboc river cruise bohol visayas tourist spots

Your Bohol itinerary wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the Loboc River Cruise. Tour guides usually bring their guests here for lunch while exploring the Loboc River. In the middle of the tour, your cruise will stop by at a place where the locals will play musical instruments and perform traditional dances. Loboc River is definitely one of the stunning places to visit in Philippines.

Suggested article: 10 Most Fun Things to Do in Bohol You Must Experience

Highlights: Buffet lunch while cruising the river, live traditional performances of locals

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From Tagbilaran airport or seaport, ride a bus or jeepney to Dao Bus Terminal in Tagbilaran City. Ask the driver to drop you off at Camayaan Intersection going to Loboc River Resort.

Where to stay in Visayas

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Mindanao Tourist Spots

Whether you want to explore Camiguin tourist spots or some places in Siargao, we’ve listed all the beautiful places in Mindanao.

25. Island Garden City of Samal

Island Garden City of Samal davao philippines tourist spots

If you’re craving the sun, sand, and sea, a perfect tourist destination in Mindanao to check out is the Island Garden City of Samal. Here you’d find some of Davao’s most pristine beaches including Samal Island and Talikud Island. These places will definitely give the relaxation you need while enjoying a great view of the ocean. It’s one of the best Davao tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss for an awesome beach getaway.

Must-read: 10 Must-Visit Davao Tourist Spots Perfect for All Types of Travelers

Highlights: Various pristine beaches

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: From Manila, take a flight bound for Davao International Airport or Francisco Bangoy International Airport. Upon arrival, you will have to take two jeepney rides to reach your preferred port, either Sasa Wharf or Santa Ana Wharf. Once at the port, take the ferry bound for Samal Island. 

26. Cloud 9

cloud 9 siargao philippine tourist spots

Another postcard-like tourist spot in Mindanao is Cloud 9 in Siargao. Cloud 9 is a perfect setting to experience the best Siargao waves. If you’re not game to surf, you can just go to the boardwalk and watch pro surfers. Its three-story wooden pier lets you pick the best spot to get a view of the huge waves while feeling the cool breeze of the air as you wait for the sun to set. And by the way, this is one of the best spots to see the beautiful Siargao sunset.

Must-read: A Complete Guide to Siargao Surfing

Highlights: Has Siargao’s best waves, best sunset views, amazing restaurant and cafes nearby

Best time to visit: August-November

How to get there: Take a flight bound for Siargao. Upon arrival at the airport, you can rent a motorcycle to go straight in Cloud 9. It’s near General Luna and very easy to spot. Or you can just ride a tricycle to drop you off in Cloud 9. 

27. Magpupungko Rock Pools

Magpupungko Rock Pools siargao tourist spots in mindanao

Magpupungko Rock Pools is a great spot for cliff jumping, swimming, and exploring. From General Luna, where most of the tourist accommodations are, it’s just a 45-minute motorbike ride. Its formation is unbelievably beautiful but there is a catch though. Some days, Magpupungko is closed to tourists so be sure to check before you make the trip there. And before going there, make sure what you prefer more because the area gives unique experiences during the low tide and high tide. 

Highlights: Clear turquoise waters, various natural swimming pools

Best time to visit: All year round but if you want to see its best, go there during the low tide

How to get there: From General Luna, it’s a 45-minute drive by motorcycle. The roads in Siargao are smooth so don’t worry about driving there. If you want a more comfortable trip, you can also rent a van that will take you there.

28. Hinatuan Enchanted River

hinatuan enchanted river philippines tourist spots

Arguably the most magnificent tourist spot in Mindanao, and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Philippines, Hinatuan Enchanted River is a magically clear blue saltwater river hidden in the jungle, and flawlessly flowing into the Pacific Ocean. 

Highlights: Its diving blue waters and mysterious depth that up to know, no one knows how deep

Best time to visit: December-April

How to get there: From Manila, you can reach Bislig City by riding a plane going to Davao City, Butuan City, or Surigao City. From there, you can ride a bus going to Mangagoy, part of Bislig City. The fare costs PHP 250 to PHP 300 one way. The travel time depends on where you’re coming from. From Butuan City, the trip takes about 3 to 4 hours; while from Davao City, it takes 5 to 6 hours. 

When you’re in Bislig already, ride a bus to Hinatuan Terminal. Upon arrival, ride a tricycle that will take you to the Enchanted River.

29. Naked Island

Naked Island siargao tourist spots in mindanao

If it’s not that too obvious with its name, Naked Island is a famous tourist spot in Siargao that is totally naked—no shades, cottages, stores—only the fine white sand, the hot kiss of the sun, and the tantalizing cerulean waters. This Siargao tourist spot has nothing but an amazing beach and an unobstructed 360° view of the island.

Related article: Siargao Travel Guide: What Every First-Timer Should Know Before Going to Siargao 

Highlights: Unobstructed view of the island, fine white sand, clear blue waters

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: From General Luna, you will just have to board a rented boat. It’s usually part of the three-island tour in Siargao where you’ll visit Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island. 

30. Guyam Island

guyam island siargao philippines tourist spots

If Naked Island is completely bare, Guyam Island offers a lush clump of vegetation for tourists. It is secluded and uninhabited, except by the island’s caretakers, with a sandy beach on one side and a rocky beach on the other. Guyam Island covered in palm trees is small enough to walk around in just a few minutes. There are few huts available on the beach so you can just chill out and enjoy your solitude. You’ll regret it if you don’t visit Guyam Island as it’s one of the most remarkable tourist spots in the Philippines.

Highlights: White sand beach, relaxing spots, several swings for kids and adults

Best time to visit: March-May

31. Daku Island 

Daku Island siargao tourist spots in mindanao

Another beautiful place in Mindanao you should visit is Daku Island. It is mostly the place where tourists eat lunch during the three-island-hopping tour in Siargao. You can indulge yourself in a sumptuous meal that includes the freshest seafood and refreshing buko (coconut) juice. Your local Siargao guide will help you find the best cook on the island. You can ask locals to cook fresh seafood and enjoy it on a boodle fight! And unlike the other two beaches mentioned, there are a lot more things to do in Daku Island from kayaking to fishing so don’t miss this as it’s one of the most fun Siargao tourist spots to visit.

Highlights: Great beach, lots of water activities available

Best time to visit: March-May

32. Sugba Lagoon

Sugba Lagoon siargao tourist spots in mindanao

If you want an Instagrammable diving spot, make sure to go to Sugba Lagoon. It’s not just a popular diving site in Siargao but also known for its breathtaking surroundings and diving blue waters. If you’re not too brave to dive, you can just sit at the edge of the board and just have your picture taken. You can also go kayaking to have a great time. No doubt, Sugba Lagoon is one of the best places to visit in Philippines.

Highlights: Best for diving, kayaking, and picture taking

Best time to visit: March-May

How to get there: There are two ways to reach Sugba Lagoon: First is taking a one hour boat ride from Del Carmen, and second, an hour and a half boat ride from General Luna. 

33. Camiguin 

White Island Camiguin tourist spot

What was once an offbeat destination is now among the most-visited places in the Philippines. With so many Instagrammable Camiguin tourist spots, this island-province has become so popular. From the pristine beaches and jaw-dropping waterfalls to the glorious underwater world, Camiguin definitely makes up the ultimate feed goal that every ‘grammer aims for! Some of the best Camiguin tourist spots you should check out are White Island Camiguin, Mantigue Island Nature Park, Sunken Cemetery, Tuasan Falls, and Katibawasan Falls.

Must-read: Camiguin Island: A Travel Guide to the Island Born of Fire

Highlights: Great beaches, more volcanoes than its towns, amazing waterfalls

Best time to visit: April-November

How to get there: As of writing, there is no direct flight from Manila to Camiguin. Cagayan de Oro City is the gateway to Camiguin. What you can do is book a flight from Manila to CDO. From CDO to Camiguin, the travel time is approximately over two hours including the land and sea travel.

34. Tinuy-an Falls

tinuy-an falls

Dubbed as the Crown Jewel of Surigao del Sur, Tinuy-An Falls has this breathtaking beauty that never fails to charm its visitors. Unlike other waterfalls, Tinuy-an Falls has natural pools where you can swim. The natural pool of the second waterfall of the three layers⁠ is the biggest. It is wide enough to accommodate bamboo rafts to take guests closer to the falls where the waters drop.

Many people describe this tourist destination in Mindanao as the “Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of its curtain of water cascading down a four-tier drop. The waterfall is 95 meters wide and 180 feet high. 

Related article: Tinuy-an Falls: The Little Niagara of the Philippines

Highlights: Gorgeous natural pools perfect for swimming

Best time to visit: All year round but go there early in the morning to see a magnificent rainbow

How to get there: From Manila, you can reach Bislig City by plane going to Davao City, Butuan City, or Surigao City. From there, you can ride a bus going to Mangagoy, part of Bislig City. The travel time depends on where you’re coming from. From Butuan City, the trip takes about 3 to 4 hours; while from Davao City, it takes 5 to 6 hours. 

Upon reaching Mangagoy, go to the terminal and ride a jeep going to Barangay Borboanan, the location of Tinuy-an Falls. Motorcycles are also available, which can be paid 100-150 pesos per person.

35. Mt. Apo

mt. apo philippines mountains

Known as the “King of Philippine Peaks,” Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and among the highest in Southeast Asia standing at 10,311 feet. This tourist destination in Mindanao is a must-visit especially if you’re looking for a thrilling adventure. There are different trails you can take and there are seven different peaks at the summit where you can see scenic views–from the majestic sunrise and sunset, to the magical sight of seeing the ground touching the sky.

Suggested read: 10 Must-Visit Davao Tourist Spots Perfect for All Types of Travelers

Highlights: Challenging trails, amazing views at the peak, has various species of plants and animals

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight bound for Davao City. From the city proper, ride a van bound for the jump-off point. It will take around 4 hours to reach Kapatagan.

36. Tinago Falls

Tinago Falls tourist spot in mindanao
Photo source

Tucked within a ravine in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte lies Tinago Falls, a majestic waterfall that’s not just a stunning tourist attraction but also serves as a water source for residents near the area. The name is derived from the Filipino word “tinago” which means “hidden” that perfectly fits its location that one can only reach by descending some 500 steps.

This 240 feet high waterfall is surrounded by colossal rock structures dotted by thick masses of trees and natural foliage. Its basin features a stunning blue-green pool of cold water perfect for swimming, similar to Palawan’s jaw-dropping lagoons. The water comes from the outflow of the man-made Lanao Lake flowing to the Agus River that cuts into two channels before going to Iligan Bay. One channel goes to Tinago while the other goes to the famous Maria Cristina Falls, also in Iligan City. 

Read also: Discovering the Enchanting Hidden Beauty of Tinago Falls

Highlights: Blue-green waters like Palawan’s lagoons, colossal rock formations

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight to Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro. It is the nearest airport to Iligan City. Travel time is approximately one hour and 20 minutes.

From the airport, get a taxi to take you directly to Iligan, or ask to drop you off at Bulua Bus Terminal (Cagayan). At Bulua Bus Terminal, you can find buses going to Iligan. Travel time from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan is approximately one and a half hours.

37. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Forest in Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (1)

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of a beautiful pygmy forest, one of the very few all over the world, and hosts rich biodiversity and endemicity of flora and fauna, an embodiment of ecological balance, which in this age and time, we can seldom see and behold. 

Read also: Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary: Davao Oriental’s Most Treasured Natural Jewel

Highlights: Great for hiking and research, has a rich biodiversity

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: From Manila, you can book a flight bound for Davao City. From Davao Ecoland Terminal, take the bus going to the Municipality of Governor Generoso which will usually take 3.5 hours at most.

Another option is to ride the bus heading to Tagum City and from here, ride a jeepney bound for Governor Generoso or Sigaboy. Tell the driver to drop you off at the junction leading to the museum, where you can ride a habal-habal motorcycle.

38. Aliwagwag Falls

Aliwagwag Falls tourist spots in mindanao

Aliwagwag Falls is one of the Philippines best places that will make your jaw drop for its otherworldly beauty. Known for its staircase-like boulders, Aliwagwag Falls is among the top tourist destinations in the province. This picturesque 84-tiered falls with more than 130 cascades stands at 1,110 feet making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines. 

Highlights: Staircase-like boulders and clear waters

Best time to visit: All year round

How to get there: There are direct flights from Manila going to Davao City and Aliwagwag is seven (7) hours away from Davao City. From Davao, take a bus to Mati City. Then ride a van going to Cateel town proper. From downtown Cateel, ride a habal-habal going to the highway where Aliwagwag is nearest. It’s about a 30-minute ride.  

39. Lake Sebu

lake sebu tourist spot in mindanao

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

You know it’s in Lake Sebu when you see a photo of a lake filled with lotus plants, a view of a mountain, and a boat. What makes this South Cotabato tourist spot a stand out is that you can connect with nature without anything bothering you as the place is serene. But more than being a beautiful tourist destination in Mindanao, it serves a greater purpose because Lake Sebu is one of the Philippines’ most important watersheds and a major provider of irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.

Highlights: IG-worthy background, boat-ride on a lake full of lotus

Best time to visit: December-March

How to get there: From Manila, book a flight bound for General Santos City. ride a tricycle going to General Santos City’s Bulaong Terminal and from there, you can ride a van that is directly going to Lake Sebu.

Where to stay in Mindanao

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ZEN Rooms Garden Beach Siargao 

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Best Beaches in the Philippines

From the pristine beach places in Batangas to Cebu City tourist spot, we’ve rounded up all the stunning tourist spots in the Philippines perfect for the sun, sand, and sea lovers.

40. Boracay

boracay christmas in the philippines

Boracay needs no introduction anymore. With its oh-so-fine and oh-so-white sand and stunning cerulean waters, it’s not surprising that it’s considered one of the best islands in the world. 

41. Hidden Beach

hidden beach in el nido luzon tourist spots

This El Nido tourist spot is not so hidden anymore especially when it was named as one of “the most beautiful islands in the world” in Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The Hidden beach in El Nido hides behind tall natural stone walls, with only a tiny break from which to enter and exit. Who wouldn’t want to visit this concealed delight?

42. Bantayan Island

paradise beach bantayan island

Believe us when we say Bantayan Island will captivate not just your heart but your soul. Its beauty is beyond imagination enough to make you want to live there for a long time.

Suggested article: Cebu Itinerary Guide: Best Places to Go & Must-Try Activities

43. Nacpan Beach

nacpan beach el nido palawan camping sites in the philippines

While it does not have the white sand that Boracay takes pride in, Nacpan Beach offers an equally notable island experience. From the 4-kilometer stretch of cream-colored sand, hundreds of swaying coconut trees, a fishing village, clear aqua water with small surfable waves—it’s the kind of paradise you’ve imagined. What travelers love about this El Nido tourist spot is that it doesn’t get too crowded. And if you’re lucky, you can have the beach all to yourself. 

Also read: Nacpan Beach: A Guide to Visiting El Nido’s Most Beautiful Beach

44. Malapascua Island

malapascua island cebu visayas tourist spots

Home of the unspoiled white sand beaches, beautiful coral gardens, and rich marine life, Malapascua Island is far from giving you a bad experience. It is a great destination for both divers and non-divers. You won’t get disappointed upon seeing its unspoiled white sand beaches, beautiful coral gardens, and rich marine life. That’s why it has caught the attention of travelers across the world and eventually gained the title of being one of the Philippines’ best diving spots.

45. Panglao Island

panglao island bohol visayas tourist spots

If you’re the type of traveler who loves the beach, Bohol is a catch. Known for its white-sand beaches, islands, and diving sites, the province never disappoints its visitors especially if we’re talking about the Panglao Island—Bohol’s very own piece of Boracay. Aside from the stunning beaches, its marine life makes it a great snorkeling and diving spot as well.

46. Anawangin Cove

anawangin cove magagandang tanawin sa luzon

Another top tourist destination in the Philippines that will delight campers and beach-lovers alike is Anawangin Cove in Zambales. Its crescent shape, fine white sand beach, and secluded island vibe capture its visitors’ hearts. There are no hotels here. You can only sleep in the cove on a tent or by renting a cottage. There’s also no electricity and low signal, that makes your trip to Anawangin Cove perfect—no distractions.

Suggested article: 13 Most Popular Zambales Tourist Spots Perfect for Solo and Group Travelers

47. Gigantes Island

gigantes island philippines tourist spots

Also known as Islas de Gigantes, Gigantes Island is a set of islands that make up a paradise of pristine beaches, clear water, and huge rock formations. But what truly sets it apart are its stunning, secluded beaches. From the city proper, Gigantes Islands is a five-hour trip. It’s untouched beauty is one of Iloilo’s best kept secrets making it the best tourist spot in the Philippines for island-goears.

48. Malcapuya Island

Malcapuya Island coron palawan

One of the best places to visit in Coron is Malcapuya Island. You can enjoy the sun and just laze all day on the fine white powdery sand of the island. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to enjoy Malcapuya Island all to yourself! This Coron Palawan tourist spot is surely one for the books.

49. Masasa Beach

masasa beach batangas

Located in the southern part of Tingloy, Batangas, Masasa Beach has become a favorite weekend destination of city dwellers looking for off-the-beaten tracks. This Batangas tourist spot offers a quiet and calming ambiance with its long stretch of stunning beach and clear waters perfect for swimming.

Related article: 10 Batangas Tourist Spots Perfect for Quick Getaways

Natural Attractions in the Philippines

Here’s a list of the natural attractions in the Philippines every traveler should not miss. These wonders of nature will truly take your breath away!

50. Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake coron palawan

Kayangan Lake is among the top natural attractions in the Philippines that never disappoints. It’s a favorite diving destination in Coron because of its clean waters and beautiful limestones underneath.

51. Big Lagoon

tourists kayaking at big lagoon

Another stunning natural attraction in the Philippines is the Big Lagoon in El Nido. Like other Palawan tourist spots famous for its absolutely beautiful waters surrounded by rock formations, Big Lagoon is no different. This majestic lagoon lets you see a different world like it’s straight out from a postcard. This is the best tourist spot in the Philippines to appreciate nature.

52. Small Lagoon

tourists kayaking at small lagoon

Another El Nido tourist spot you shouldn’t miss is the Small Lagoon. Together with the Big Lagoon, both are included in Tour A when booking a palawan tour package. Here you can go kayaking, swimming, or diving while being mesmerized by its surroundings.

53. Siete Pecados

Siete Pecados coron palawan philippines tourist spots

Photo courtesy: Club Paradise Palawan

Another site where you can see the best of Coron’s marine life is Siete Pecados Marine Park. You’ll be amazed at how glorious this place is because beyond its cool and clear waters, lies a diverse of corals and tropical fishes you can only discover through snorkeling. You shouldn’t also miss the 7 limestone formations where the place was named.

54. Mayon Volcano

a carabao near mayon volcano

Mayon Volcano is both a stunner and a killer—renowned for its beauty as it is feared for its destructiveness. It is admired for its majestic beauty that never fails to attract travelers across the world that’s why it’s among the Philippines best places to visit. Mayon is the country’s most active volcano. Its symmetry and perfect cone shape draws attention across the world but what lies beyond its beauty is its deadly nature: an enormous chamber, churning with molten rock and toxic gas that could blow anytime.

Read also: Beyond the Beauty of Mayon Volcano Natural Park

55. Mt. Pinatubo

mt. pinatubo magagandang tanawin sa luzon

Often called the “beautiful disaster”, you’ll stand in awe once you see Mt. Pinatubo. To witness its magnificent crystal clear waters of Crater Lake, you will have to ride the 4×4 or an ATV. The ride will be a rocky one but once you see the view, all the bumps you’ve gone through are worth it! What makes this trip even better is that you can interact with one of the oldest indigenous tribes in the Philippines, the Aetas, and experience their culture. Because of its breathtaking beauty, it became one of the most popular tourist spots in Luzon.

Suggested article: 10 Best Pampanga Tourist Spots Not to Miss for a Fun-Filled Trip

56. Taal Volcano

taal volcano luzon tourist spots

Mention Tagaytay and Taal Volcano will automatically come to mind. Even at its most devastated state, Taal Volcano remains as one of the most eye-catching places in Luzon. It has become a must-visit destination for every traveler across the world because of its picturesque features like no other. 

You can see the volcano from one of the Philippines’ most visited destinations, Tagaytay. The city has a postcard-perfect view of the volcano that everyone loves. There are many hotels and restaurants that offer the best view of it while indulging in sumptuous meals.

Related article: Taal Volcano: Everything You Need to Know About This Beautiful But Deadly Volcano

57. Hinagdanan Cave 

Hinagdanan Cave bohol visayas tourist spots

Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful Bohol tourist attractions is Hinagdanan Cave. It features a pool of clear water where you can swim under the stunning stalactites and stalagmites. 

Located in Dauis, it is said to have been accidentally discovered by a farmer who built a ladder to access the cave, thus the name. The light filters through the cave entrance, filling the whole area with a soothing and otherworldly glow. Don’t miss Hinagdanan Cave as it’s one of the undiscovered beautiful places in the Philippines.

58. Hulugan Falls

hulugan falls waterfall in the philippines

One of the most popular falls in Laguna is the Hulugan Falls. It’s recommended to go here early in the morning so you can see the rainbow that’s always there around 9am. Going here from the main town just takes about 30 minutes but it’s climbing back up that’s quite the challenge. Nevertheless, this Laguna tourist spot is indeed nothing short of amazing.

Man-made Attractions in the Philippines

If you want to explore different man made attractions in the Philippines, we got you covered!

59. Banaue Rice Terraces

a photo of the hungduan rice terraces

Photo credits to The Girl Behind the Pen

Topping our list is none other than the Banaue Rice Terraces. What makes it impressive is that Banaue Rice Terraces were made by hand by the Ifugaos thousands of years ago. To fully see its beauty, you must hike there but all your efforts will be worth it.

60. Sirao Flower Garden

sirao flower farm cebu temple of leah

Sirao Flower Garden is one of the top Cebu attractions. You can find different kinds of flowers in the farm like Celosia. There’s an entrance fee of PHP 20. Although the flowers are worth checking out, be prepared as the place can get crowded due to flocking tourists who wish to have a good photo at the farm, too. Nevertheless, this Visayas tourist attraction is a must-visit.

61. Ayala Triangle Gardens

ayala triangle gardens makati luzon tourist spots

Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati is a must-visit if you want to take a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a huge garden park perfect for chilling, walking, jogging, and even food tripping. If you want to see it at its best where everything goes alive, visit it during Christmas season where Ayala Triangle Gardens Makati is filled with lights and sounds. Because of its popularity, it becomes one of the most-visited tourist spots in Metro Manila.

62. Bangui Windmills

Bangui Windmills pagudpud beach ilocos

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Bangui Windmills are not just a popular tourist destination in Ilocos but they serve a greater purpose providing sustainable energy. You’ll see around 15-20 windmills in the area along the beach of this Pagudpud tourist spot.

Suggested: Pagudpud Beach Guide: Best Places to Visit in this Northern Paradise

63. Sky Ranch Tagaytay

sky ranch tagaytay pasyalan

Photo credits to Sky Ranch Philippines

Bring back your childhood with Sky Ranch’s wide variety of rides such as the Sky Eye, the second tallest Ferris wheel in the Philippines, Super Viking, and Sky Cruiser, as well as smaller rides fit for kids. This amusement park does not only offer fun rides but also a good view of the Taal Volcano. You’re hitting two birds with one stone at this Tagaytay tourist spot!

64. San Agustin Church

san agustin church manila

San Agustin Church is not just a place for worship but also a masterpiece that every traveler looks forward to visiting in Manila. Built in 1595, San Agustin Manila, officially known as Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin, is the oldest church in the Philippines and the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila. It exhibits remarkable features such as retablos (altars) of high Baroque style and wall buttresses separating cripto collateral chapels. What makes it unique is its ceiling paintings in the tromp l’oeil style.

Must-read: San Agustin Church Manila: A Place That Stands Witness to Philippine History

65. Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park staycation in manila

Manila Ocean Park, the first Oceanarium in the Philippines!, boasts 14,000 sea creatures in its 10 different attractions, you’ll be able to get up close with the wonders of the sea. Be amazed with what the deep sea can offer— from fishes and sea lions to sharks and stingrays. Kids will surely love this tourist spot in Manila.

66. Echo Valley Hanging Coffins

hanging coffins in sagada philippines

The most iconic spot in Sagada Mountain Province is the Hanging Coffins at Echo Valley. Igorots in Sagada follow a unique burial ritual. Instead of burying underground, the coffins are hung either inside the caves or on the face of the cliffs, near the hanging coffins of their ancestors. This Sagada tourist spot is a must-visit.

Suggested article: Sagada Philippines: A First-Timer’s Guide to Traveling Sagada

Historical Places in the Philippines

Fancy history and culture? Here we’ve listed the historical Philippines tourist spots that will take you back in time.

67. Aguinaldo Shrine

aguinaldo shrine makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Located in Kawit, Cavite, the Aguinaldo Shrine was the home of the first and youngest president of the Republic of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo. It’s a historical place in the Philippines because it’s where the first Philippine flag was waved that symbolizes the country’s independence in 1898. What makes this place interesting is that you’ll realize how intelligent Aguinaldo was through the architecture of his house, revealing some secret hideouts and passages that were relevant during the time of war.

68. Bagumbayan

luneta park manila

Also known as Luneta Park, Bagumbayan is one of the most historical attractions in the Philippines. This is because the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was executed here in 1896 after he fought for the country’s freedom from the Spaniards through his articles, essays, and novels.

69. Fort Santiago

fort santiago intramuros

One of the most notable and important historical sites in the Philippines is Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. It was the place where Dr. Jose Rizal was held in prison before his execution. Hundreds of lives were lost in this Intramuros tourist spot during Spanish Colonial Period and World War II. Today, Fort Santiago is one of the major historical places in Manila.

70. Intramuros

intramuros luzon tourist spots

As if Intramuros still needs introduction, it’s one of the most historical places in Manila. Known as the Walled City, you can find some of the preserved Spanish colonial buildings just like in Vigan.

71. Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte

Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte philippines tuorist spots

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte is one of the most historical places in Mindanao. This is where Dr. Jose Rizal spent four years of exile when he was accused of planning the revolution against Spanish rule. 

72. EDSA Shrine

edsa shrine manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

EDSA Shrine, formally known as the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA), is no doubt one of the most historical tourist spots in the Philippines. 

This is where the historic and world-renowned People Power Revolution took place in 1896 to oust the then dictator Ferdinand Marcos and stop the Martial Law. The People Power Revolution is one of the world’s most historic events because the uprising was peaceful, bloodless, and successful.

73. Barasoain Church

Barasoain Church makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Barasoain Church is not just an ordinary place for worship but also one of the most historical Philippines tourist attractions because three significant events in Philippine history occurred in the church: the convening of the First Philippine Congress on September 15, 1898; the ratification of the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899; and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899.

74. Mactan Shrine

Mactan Shrine cebu

Photo credits to Gary Todd via Flickr

Mactan Shrine in Cebu has played a huge role in Philippine history. This is the site of the Battle of Mactan where Datu Lapu-Lapu defeated the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. The Mactan Shrine was built in honor of Lapu-Lapu.

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

When talking about historical Philippines tourist spots, Vigan is always in the list. And among the popular Vigan City tourist spots is the Calle Crisologo where you can see cobblestone streets, intricate architecture, and horse carriages commonly known as kalesa. It’s one of the few Hispanic towns surviving in the Philippines and one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial towns in the world.

Must-read: Vigan City Guide: Traveling to The World’s Best-Preserved Spanish Colonial Town

76. Blood Compact Shrine

blood compact shrine bohol

The Sandugo or Blood Compact Shrine monument in Tagbilaran is a landmark at the site of the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. This Philippines tourist attraction depicts Sikatuna and Legazpi at the famed Sandugo moment. 

77. Shrine of Valor

shrine of valor bataan

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Also known as the Mount Samat National Shrine, the Shrine of Valor in Bataan is a memorial to all of the soldiers who died bravely in battle against the Japanese forces and those who died during the Bataan Death March in World War II. Don’t miss this place as it’s one of the most beautiful Bataan historical places.

78. University of Santo Tomas

University of Santo Tomas historical places in philippines

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Founded on April 28, 1611, the University of Santo Tomas is one of the oldest universities and holds the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia. UST has produced four Presidents of the Philippines, namely Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Jose P. Laurel, and Diosdado Macapagal; produced three Philippine Vice Presidents and six Chief Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court; and of course, the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal where he studied medicine.

79. Binondo

binondo manila historical places in philippines

Not only Binondo offers a great food adventure but it is also home to the oldest Chinatown in the world. Aside from the Chinatown, Binondo is also home to the historic Binondo Church built in the late 1600s. It was destroyed during World War II, in which only the facade, including the belfry and the Ongpin Street side, remained standing, and was reconstructed after the war. Binondo surely is a great place to visit in Manila.

80. Cagsawa Ruins

cagsawa ruins bicol tourist spots

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Cagsawa Ruins is a result of the most violent eruption of Mayon Volcano in recorded history. Thousands of people were killed in the disaster, including those who sought refuge in this stone church during the eruption that were engulfed by the fast-flowing volcanic matter. This belfry is all that remains of the town during that 1814 eruption.

81. Daraga Church

Daraga Church bicol tourist spots

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Among the most notable and must-visit churches in the Philippines is Daraga Church. Also known as Church of Nuestra Señora de la Porteria, this Albay tourist spot has witnessed numerous historic events like the 1814 Mayon eruption and World War II. Add this 18th-century baroque church in your itinerary for a memorable trip.

Frequently Asked Questions About Philippines Tourist Spots

Q: What is the Philippines known for?

A: The Philippines is known for its pristine beaches, breathtaking mountains and hills, great diving spots, jaw-dropping lagoons and lakes, and great traits and culture. 

Q: Why is it more fun in the Philippines?

A: It’s more fun in the Philippines because you get to enjoy over 7,000 islands! And what makes it really more fun is the kind locals that are happy to welcome you 24/7.

Q: Is the Philippines open for tourists? 

A: As of writing, the Philippines is not open for tourists coming from abroad. However, some destinations are open for local tourists.

For more Philippine travel updates, read this blog: Latest Philippines Tourism News: PH Includes Austria in Travel Ban Due to Threat of New COVID-19 Variant

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Being a melting pot of cultures and people, it’s no doubt that the historical places in Philippines captivate not just local travelers but also explorers across the world. 

From century old churches to bloody war zones, the historical sites in the Philippines never fail to amaze its visitors as they let us stroll through history.

20 Most Historical Sites in the Philippines

If you want to understand the country’s past beyond the history books, make sure to include these famous landmarks in the Philippines that will surely take you back in time.

  1. Aguinaldo Shrine – Located in Kawit, Cavite, this is where the first Philippine flag was waved for the first time. 
  2. Bagumbayan – The place where Dr. Jose Rizal was executed.
  3. Fort Santiago – This is where Dr. Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution. It’s also where some soldiers were held.
  4. Intramuros – The oldest and the historic core of Manila and built with defensive walls against foreign invasions, hence being called the Walled City.
  5. Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte – The place where Dr. Jose Rizal stayed for four years for his exile.
  6. EDSA Shrine – Where EDSA People Power Revolution took place to oust the then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
  7. Leyte Landing Memorial Park – The place where Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed and promised that he will help in freeing the Philippines.
  8. Biak na Bato – This is the place where Emilio Aguinaldo and other revolutionaries established the Biak-na-Bato Republic to be free from Spaniards.
  9. Barasoain Church – Three historical events in the Philippines occurred in the church.
  10. Mactan Shrine – This is the site of the Battle of Mactan, one of the most historical events in the Philippines.
  11. Corregidor Island – It was once the headquarters of allied Filipino and American forces who fought against the Japanese during World War II.
  12. Calle Crisologo – The famous cobblestone streets in the country and one of the world’s best-preserved Spanish colonial towns.
  13. Blood Compact Shrine – This Bohol tourist spot depicts the famed Sandugo moment, one of the most historical events in the Philippines.
  14. Shrine of Valor – It is a memorial to all of the soldiers who died bravely in the battle against the Japanese forces and those who died during the Bataan Death March in World War II.
  15. Fort San Pedro – The oldest fort in the Philippines.
  16. Plaza Cuartel, Puerto Princesa – It served as a World War II garrison for Filipino and American soldiers
  17. Binondo, Manila – Home to the oldest Chinatown in the world.
  18. University of Santo Tomas – The oldest university in the Philippines and among the most famous landmarks in the Philippines.
  19. Limasawa, Southern Leyte – This is where the first documented Catholic mass in the Philippines was held.
  20. Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur – It was the site of the 1899 Battle of Tirad Pass during the Philippine-American War. 

Read on to learn more about the Philippines’ history through these historical places.

1. Aguinaldo Shrine

aguinaldo shrine makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Located in Kawit, Cavite, the Aguinaldo Shrine was the home of the first and youngest president of the Republic of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo. It’s a historical place in Philippines because it’s where the first Philippine flag was waved that symbolizes the country’s independence in 1898.

Now, it’s a famous tourist spot and houses some of Aguinaldo and his family’s memorabilia. What makes this place interesting is that you’ll realize how intelligent Aguinaldo was through the architecture of his house, revealing some secret hideouts and passages that were relevant during the time of war.

Highlights: 

  • It houses historic artifacts that are useful for research and educational purposes
  • The many secret passages and hiding places in the house

Entrance fee: Free, but donations are encouraged

2. Bagumbayan

luneta park historical places in philippines

Also known as Luneta Park, Bagumbayan is one of the most historical attractions in the Philippines and national historical shrines in the Philippines. This is because the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was executed here in 1896 after he fought for the country’s freedom from the Spaniards through his articles, essays, and novels.

Highlights:

  • The Rizal monument
  • A great place for strolls and picnic
  • A colorful dancing fountain

Entrance fee: Free

3. Fort Santiago

fort santiago intramuros

One of the most notable Philippine landmarks and important historical sites in the Philippines is Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. It was the place where Dr. Jose Rizal was held in prison before his execution. Hundreds of lives were lost in this Philippine landmark during Spanish Colonial Period and World War II. Today, Fort Santiago is one of the major tourist spots for historical places in Manila and in the Philippines.

Highlights: 

  • View of scenic ruins caused by World War II
  • The dungeon of Fort Santiago

Entrance fee: P75 for adults; P50 for students, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.

4. Intramuros

intramuros makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

A walk in and around Intramuros is like a stroll through history where you’ll see amazing cultural attractions in the Philippines, that’s why when talking about the top 10 historical places in the Philippines and historical places in Manila, Intramuros never misses the list. 

It’s the oldest and the historic core of Manila and built with defensive walls against foreign invasions, hence being called the Walled City. Here you can see the preserved Spanish colonial structures from government offices to residential areas and souvenir shops. 

Suggested article: A Guide to Intramuros Tour: 10 Places That Will Let You Travel Back in Time

Highlights: 

  • Lots of preserved Spanish colonial structures
  • Surrounded by other historic places like Fort Santiago
  • Can tour via bamboo bicycle, kales (horse carriage), or by foot.

Entrance fee: Free. But note that some tourist attractions in the area have entrance fees.

5. Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte

rizal shrine dapitan zamboanga

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte is one of the most historical places in Mindanao. This is where Dr. Jose Rizal spent four years of exile when he was accused of planning the revolution against Spanish rule. Rizal Shrine in Zamboanga del Norte is one of the important landmarks in the Philippines.

Highlights: 

  • The Mi Retiro Rock where Rizal watched sunsets and where he wrote one of his most beautiful poems Mi Retiro.
  • Also perfect for nature-lovers

Entrance fee: Free

6. EDSA Shrine

edsa shrine manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Located at the crossroads of EDSA Avenue and Ortigas Avenue in Quezon City, EDSA Shrine, formally known as the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA), is no doubt one of the most historical places in Luzon and among the landmarks in the Philippines that truly made a mark. 

This is where the historic and world-renowned People Power Revolution took place in 1896 to oust the then-dictator Ferdinand Marcos and stop the Martial Law. The People Power Revolution is one of the world’s most historic events because the uprising was peaceful, bloodless, and successful. You’ll see a few notable monuments in the Philippines in and near the EDSA Shrine.

Highlights: 

  • The 35 ft. tall image of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Near shopping malls

Entrance fee: Free

7. Leyte Landing Memorial Park

macarthur Leyte Landing Memorial Park

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Leyte Landing Memorial Park, also known as the MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park is one of the most famous monuments in the Philippines. It is a protected area of the Philippines that commemorates the historic arrival of General Douglas MacArthur in Leyte Gulf to free the Philippines from Japanese occupation on October 20, 1944.

He also became famous for his lines “I shall return” and later on fulfilled his promise to the Philippines.

Highlight: 

  • The statues of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his troops in the exact location where they landed

Entrance fee: Free

8. Biak na Bato

biak na bato

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Another historical place in Philippines is the Biak na Bato in San Miguel, Bulacan. This is the famous landmark in the Philippines where Emilio Aguinaldo and other revolutionaries established the Biak-na-Bato Republic to be free from Spaniards. 

Highlights: 

  • A hanging bridge
  • A clear river
  • Several caves including the exact place where the revolutionaries secretly established a republic

Entrance fee: P20

9. Barasoain Church

Barasoain Church makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Barasoain Church is not just an ordinary place for worship but also one of the most historical attractions in the Philippines because three significant events in Philippine history occurred in the church: the convening of the First Philippine Congress on September 15, 1898; the ratification of the Malolos Constitution on January 21, 1899; and the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899. This is perfect if you’re looking for historical places in Philippines near Manila.

Highlight: 

  • The Museo ng Republika ng 1899 where you can enjoy several galleries that feature the historic events in town and the country.

Entrance fee: Free

10. Mactan Shrine

Mactan Shrine cebu

Photo credits to Gary Todd via Flickr

Mactan Shrine in Cebu has played a huge role in Philippine history. This is the site of the Battle of Mactan where Datu Lapu-Lapu defeated the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. The Mactan Shrine is one of the famous Philippines landmarks and was built in honor of Lapu-Lapu.

Highlight: 

  • The 65 ft. bronze monument of Datu Lapu-Lapu

Entrance fee: Free

11. Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

Photo credits to cisc1970 via Flickr

Corregidor is a small rocky island located at the entrance of Manila Bay. It was once the headquarters of allied Filipino and American forces who fought against the Japanese during World War II, and a witness to the braveries of these soldiers. While the Japanese had occupied lots of places in the Philippines, they avoided Corregidor because of the fear of the huge canyons surrounding the place. This is definitely one of the must-visit cultural attractions in the Philippines.

Highlights: 

  • The beautiful and historic ruins like Middleside Barracks and Batter Way
  • You can also see here Corregidor’s Longest Gun, Battery Hearn

Entrance fee: P200

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

The list of famous historical landmarks in the Philippines isn’t complete without Vigan in it. And among the things that Vigan is well-known for is the Calle Crisologo where you can see cobblestone streets, intricate architecture, and horse carriages commonly known as kalesa. It’s one of the few Hispanic towns surviving in the Philippines and one of the best-preserved Spanish colonial towns in the world.

Must-read: Vigan City Guide: Traveling to The World’s Best-Preserved Spanish Colonial Town

Highlights: 

  • Cobblestone streets
  • Preserved Spanish colonial town
  • Many antique shops
  • Great food spots

Entrance fee: Free

13. Blood Compact Shrine

blood compact shrine bohol

The Sandugo or Blood Compact Shrine monument in Tagbilaran is a landmark at the site of the first international treaty of friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. This Bohol tourist spot depicts Sikatuna and Legazpi at the famed Sandugo moment. 

Highlight: 

  • The iconic statue of men performing the traditional sandugo with an ocean view

Entrance fee: Free

14. Shrine of Valor

shrine of valor bataan

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Also known as the Mount Samat National Shrine, the Shrine of Valor in Bataan is a memorial to all of the soldiers who died bravely in the battle against the Japanese forces and those who died during the Bataan Death March in World War II. Don’t miss this place as it’s one of the most beautiful Bataan historical places.

Highlights: 

  • The shrine consists of a large memorial cross and a colonnade
  • Accessible to and from the popular Las casas Filipinas de Acuzar

Entrance fee: P20

15. Fort San Pedro

fort san pedro cebu

Fort San Pedro is the oldest fort in the country and one of the most visited Cebu City tourist spots. Similar to Manila’s Fort Santiago, Fort San Pedro served as a military defense structure during the 17th century. Spanish conqueror Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who founded the earliest settlement in Cebu, had the initiative to put up this. At Fort San Pedro, you’ll discover the history of Cebu, the Spanish government, and well-preserved Spanish artifacts. About 14 cannons can still be found in what has become a leisure park today. Make sure to visit Fort San Pedro as it’s one of the historical places in Philippines you’ll enjoy exploring. 

Must-read: Cebu Itinerary Guide: Best Places to Go & Must-Try Activities

Highlights: 

  • There’s a museum inside
  • Near other famous Cebu tourist spots

Entrance fee: P30

16. Plaza Cuartel, Puerto Princesa

Plaza Cuartel Puerto Princesa historical places in philippines

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Aside from being one of the world’s best islands, Palawan is also home to some famous landmarks in the Philippines like the Plaza Cuartel in Puerto Princesa. 

Then, it served as a World War II garrison for Filipino and American soldiers and now, the landmark serves as a memorial for prisoners of war who were burned alive in an underground tunnel. 

Highlights: 

  • Spots where soldiers were suffered and killed
  • A huge park perfect for a good walk

Entrance fee: Free

17. Binondo, Manila

binondo manila historical places in philippines

If you want to go on a food trip while seeing historical places in Manila, go to Binondo. Not only Binondo offers a great food adventure but it is also home to the oldest Chinatown in the world. From fried siopao, dim sum and roast duck to adventurous eats like frog legs, Binondo has just about everything your tummy could ever crave. 

It’s a popular tourist spot because of the amazing food spots in the area and affordable shopping places. 

Aside from the Chinatown, Binondo is also home to the historic Binondo Church built in the late 1600s. It was destroyed during World War II, in which only the facade, including the belfry and the Ongpin Street side, remained standing, and was reconstructed after the war.

Highlights: 

  • Lots of great food spots
  • Authentic Filipino and Chinese food
  • Instagrammable spots
  • Binondo Church
  • Chinatown 

Entrance fee: Free

18. University of Santo Tomas

University of Santo Tomas historical places in philippines

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The list of old historical buildings in the Philippines is never complete without the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611, the University of Santo Tomas is one of the oldest existing universities and holds the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia. UST has produced four Presidents of the Philippines, namely Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Jose P. Laurel, and Diosdado Macapagal; produced three Philippine Vice Presidents and six Chief Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court; and of course, the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal where he studied medicine.

Highlights: 

  • The Arch of the Centuries
  • The UST Church

Entrance fee: Free

19. Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur

Tirad Pass is not just a great spot for adventure-seekers but it’s also one of the most  historical places in Philippines as it was the site of the 1899 Battle of Tirad Pass during the Philippine-American War. 

Highlights: 

  • Amazing mountain views
  • Lush hills 

Entrance fee: Free

20. Limasawa, Southern Leyte

The town of Limasawa in Southern Leyte is one of the historical sites in the Philippines you shouldn’t miss. The first documented Catholic mass in the Philippines was held here on March 31, 1521 officiated by Father Pedro de Valderrama.

Highlights: 

  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Dakdak Beach
  • Limasawa Island Lagoon

Entrance fee: Free

They say past is past but we can’t and shouldn’t forget the past that shaped our present. The historical places in the Philippines show us how life is then and teach us how to shape the future through the learnings they have left.

If you want to have a staycation near these historical sites in the Philippines, make sure to book budget hotels at www.zenrooms.com to enjoy quality accommodation at an affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions About Historical Places in Philippines

Q: What are the most historical places in Philippines?

A: If you want to understand the country’s past beyond the history books, make sure to include these historical buildings in the Philippines that will take you back in time.

  • Aguinaldo Shrine
  • Bagumbayan
  • Fort Santiago
  • Intramuros
  • Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte
  • EDSA Shrine
  • Leyte Landing Memorial Park
  • Biak na Bato
  • Barasoain Church
  • Mactan Shrine
  • Corregidor Island
  • Calle Crisologo
  • Limasawa, Southern Leyte
  • Blood Compact Shrine
  • Shrine of Valor
  • Fort San Pedro
  • Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur
  • Plaza Cuartel, Puerto Princesa
  • Binondo, Manila
  • University of Santo Tomas

Q: What are the historical events in the Philippines?

A: Here are some of the most important historical events in the Philippines:

  1. 1542 – Spanish expedition claims the islands and names them the Philippines after the heir to the Spanish throne.
  2. 1872 – Execution of GomBurZa (Gomez, Burgos, Zamora-the three martyrs)
  3. 1889 – Founding of La Solidaridad
  4. 1896 – Dr. Jose Rizal was executed
  5. 1897 – Pact of Biak-na-Bato
  6. 1898 – Proclamation of Philippine Independence
  7. 1902 – Philippine-American War formally ends as US civil government replaces military rule
  8. 1941 – Japan seizes the Philippines
  9. 1942 – Fall of Bataan
  10. 1944 – US forces retake islands
  11. 1946 – Islands granted full independence and renamed Republic of the Philippines
  12. 1972 – Marcos declares martial law. 
  13. 1977 – Opposition leader Benigno Aquino sentenced to death, but Marcos delays execution
  14. 1983 – Aquino returns to the Philippines, but is shot dead as he leaves the plane amid suspicions of official military involvement
  15. 1986 – People Power Revolution to oust Marcos and stop the martial law

Q: What is famous in the Philippines?

A: Philippines is famous for its pristine beaches that led them to being named among the world’s best islands. The country is also known for the historic places, wonders of nature, and man-made creations.

Q: What is the oldest place in the Philippines?

A: Cebu is said to be the country’s oldest city. It was the first Spanish settlement and the first capital of the Philippines and the city is considered the birthplace of Christianity in the Far East.

Q: Who really discovered the Philippines?

A: Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines in 1521 and colonized by Spain from 1565 to 1898.

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