The Philippines has long been a popular destination among travelers and nomads looking for an affordable, exotic country to move to. Friendly, English-speaking locals, perfect weather, breathtaking scenery, not to mention the low cost of living, all make the Philippines a very appealing choice. Many only consider Manila whenever thinking of the country. Still, the truth is, the capital city is getting more and more crowded. In contrast, other smaller cities around it are equally or more beautiful, full of life, and more family-friendly. Manila also isn’t the only place where you’ll find eco hotels and luxury villas! Keep reading to explore the best places to live in the Philippines, from lush and exotic Tagaytay City to coastal Subic.
Don’t know where to go, what to do for the weekend? Head to Tagaytay! Located in the province of Cavite, Tagaytay City is a hidden gem south of Manila. The landscape in and around Tagaytay is breathtaking, with Taal Lake and Taal Volcano situated south from the city, Laguna Lake an hour drive away, and Manila Bay an hour-and-a-half drive away. The city itself is full of nature, with parks and green ridges. At the same time, the restaurants and shopping centers are built around the lush vegetation. The volcano remains the main attraction of the area. Travelers can also come here to visit the many churches, immerse in Filipino culture, eat the local food, and explore this natural paradise.
Baguio City is not only a great honeymoon spot, but it’s also the perfect place to live for outdoor adventure, exotic cuisine, and local culture and history. The mountain town is a popular summer destination for its cooler weather and variety of outdoor activities, from strawberry picking to boating on the lake. Baguio City is great for families with children as it features lots of parks, including Burnham Park, Mines View Park, and Wright Park. Other fun activities you can do here include ziplining, trekking, and ghost-hunting tours.
Home to skyscrapers and luxury hotels, Makati is another great city in the Philippines to live in. It is the country’s financial hub and hosts multinational companies, offering lots of business and job opportunities, making it excellent for a long-term commitment. Living in Makati, you’ll also be close to a rich and diverse shopping scene and a multicultural, vibrant lifestyle. Apart from business and shopping, the city is a great place for foodies to try various authentic local dishes. Many locals also come here for a fun staycation due to its proximity to parks.
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Lipa City in Batangas is one of the up-and-coming cities in the Philippines that offers a great quality of life. With Manila becoming overcrowded in recent years, Lipa City is an excellent alternative as a place to live. The city is close to Manila, yet is more relaxed and has a laid-back vibe. It boasts a rich and diverse food scene, scenic vistas, and colorful local culture. The province of Batangas has seen a boom of shopping centers, restaurants, and theme parks so that entertainment options are plentiful.
Bacolod is one of the most family-friendly cities in the Philippine and is a place with a great local community along with up-and-coming suburbs. Also known as the City of Smiles, Bacolod boasts a rich history, culture, and a flavorful food scene. It is very welcoming, not to mention much more affordable than busy Manila. Locals love food and you can see that in each local restaurant, where you’ll return to order their staple desserts and chicken dishes.
Iloilo City is all about sustainable, affordable living and flavorful food. The first thing people coming to Iloilo City notice is the sense of community and how kind and welcoming the locals are. The roads are paved and look extremely well for the countryside region, making traffic fluid and swift. Surrounding the city are a variety of exotic white-sand beaches that will surely have you spending most of your time outdoors.
Injap Tower Hotel - Multiple Use Hotel
Address: West Diversion Road, Mandurriao, Iloilo City
Parking Restaurant Meeting/banquet facilities 24-hour front desk Fitness centre Non-smoking rooms Airport shuttle Business centre
A coastal city and a commercial hub, Davao City is a great choice for living in the Philippines as it’s one of Asia’s cleanest, safest, and most livable cities. With Mount Apo on one side and pristine beaches plus the sea on the other, nature is quite abundant in the area, turning Davao City into an excellent destination for lots of fun activities and outdoor recreation. The city itself abounds in colorful sculptures, lighted fountains and boasts a vibrant community spirit.
Capital O 461 Asrodel Hotel
Address: 78 Artiaga Street Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines, Davao
Parking Room service 24-hour front desk Non-smoking rooms Free parking Internet services Lift Express check-in/check-out
Subic is a coastal municipality popular for its sandy beaches, bay area, and hidden underwater gems. It is an excellent spot for diving, as the waters in Subic nestle various coral species and shipwrecks from when the city was a Spanish naval base. Other attractions that make Subic a great place to live in the Philippines include Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure theme parks, golf courses, and casinos. Situated on the other side of Subic Bay, towering over the beach, are the mountain peaks of Mt. Balingkilat and Cinco Picos, with a plethora of trekking trails, steep slopes, and splendid views.
ACEA Subic Beach Resort
Address: Former Dungaree Beach, San Bernardino Road, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales
Parking Restaurant Meeting/banquet facilities Bar 24-hour front desk Fitness centre Garden Non-smoking rooms
Cebu City, the port capital of Cebu Island, is a former Spanish port dating back to colonial times in the 16th century. Culture and history trickle from the city’s most prominent landmarks, including Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, Fort San Pedro, and Krus ni Magellan. The surrounding landscape is quite spectacular, making it a strong point for staying here. If you want to see it for yourself, the observation deck on Mt. Busay will convince anyone with the sweeping city views it offers. This city is a must-add on your Philippines travel bucket list!
Rumah Highlands Hotel
Address: Nivel Hills, Busay, Cebu City
If you’re looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of big-city life, why not trade life in hectic Manila for a quieter suburban alternative such as Sta. Rosa City, Laguna? Originally a rustic town, it is slowly but steadily transforming into an up-and-coming destination for businesses, shops, and residential communities. People choose to move to Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, for healthy living, fresh air, high-end restaurants, and easy access to local attractions.
Techno Park Hotel
Address: Paseo Business Park, Laguna
Packed lunches 24-hour front desk Non-smoking rooms Free parking 24-hour security VIP room facilities Air conditioning Business centre
Enjoying sustainable, healthy living and flavorful cuisine in the Philippines
While big cities like Manila are home to shopping malls and theme parks, there are so many other lesser-known urban and suburban destinations in the Philippines that are definitely worth living in. From Iloilo’s friendly community to Bacolod’s cuisine and cultural heritage, we’ve gathered the 10 best places to live in the Philippines. Which one is your favorite?
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