A Royal Welcome: 15 Things To Do In Davao, The King City Of The South

best things to do in davao
| 5 min read

Miles away from the capital of the Philippines lies the second most populous and largest city of the country, Davao. Once dubbed as the cleanest and safest city in the country and even the world - it’s not hard to see why the city has become a rising star in the tourism scene. Though it’s a popular tourist spot, plenty of locals love to explore the city too. Residents looking for a tranquil urban escape will find plenty of top staycation spots in Davao City to choose from. Visiting tourists will find various accommodations as well, including hotels with pools in Davao City. As for sightseeing, there’s an almost endless list of things to discover - from nature, museums, modernity, and even architecture; but don’t let that intimidate you. Check out these 15 things to do in Davao, the king city of the south.

Tip from tour guide



Davao has four main celebrations of the year:

1. Araw ng Davao or the founding day of the City: March 1.

2. Feast Day of St. Peter - this is in accordance with the first Mass in Davao after it was conquered by the Spanish. It is celebrated every June 29.

3. The Kadayawan Festival is almost a month-long celebration, and this is the most celebrated festival of the whole year.

4. Another month-long celebration is the Pasko Fiesta, a Christmas festival.

Davao's best attractions are located outdoors, so visiting during the dry season is highly recommended, which usually begins in December and ends in June. These months also have lower chances of rainfall, making it easier for you to get from one attraction to the next.

1. See Mount Apo

The Ring of Mt. Apo
Source: Photo by user Bro. Jeffrey Pio... used under CC BY 2.0

Mount Apo is certainly one of the most popular Davao tourist attractions. Recently reopened to the public after much effort, Mount Apo is now ready to take thrill seekers on a challenge of a lifetime. Other than being one of the icons of the region, the mountain is also the country’s highest peak. A hike in this massive mountain is not for the faint-hearted, but is perfect for those who seek for an adventure to keep adrenaline pumping.

Mount Apo

Address: Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

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2. Take a trip to the Philippine Eagle Center

Dr. Bo Puentespina, Malagos Garden
Source: Photo by user David Quitoriano used under CC BY 2.0

Located far from downtown, the center is in Baguio District and is home to over 30 of Philippines’ national bird and other bird species. The primary purpose of this facility is to not only save and preserve these beautiful animals, but to also educate people on the importance of taking care of wildlife.

Philippine Eagle Center

Address: Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, Philippines

Contact Number: Mobile +63 9178627146; Landline +63 823241860

Website: Philippine Eagle Center

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3. Get some fresh air in Eden Nature Park

Source: Photo by user David Quitoriano used under CC BY 2.0

One of the best things to do in Davao is to engage in exciting activities at Eden Nature Park. East of Mount Apo lies this mountain resort in Toril, which provides you the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park houses a great number of flora and fauna which attract many nature lovers, and even offers some outdoor activities like zip line, cycling, and swimming.

Eden Nature Park

Address: Matina Town Square, McArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City, Philippines

Contact Number: Office +63 822991020; +63 822960791; Day Tour Center +63 822860383, Front Office +63 822860385

Operating Hours: Mondays to Sundays from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Website: Eden Nature Park

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4. See the crocodiles

Davao Crocodile Park 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Teemu Väisänen used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Crocodile Park is one of the most-visited Davao City tourists spots. It is not only a place for watching the majestic animals up close, but it is also a place for education and discovery. The main purpose of the park is to inspire people to respect and appreciate nature. Although the park’s crocodile population outnumbers the other inhabitants of the zoo, the other exotic animals are also a must-see when visiting.

Crocodile Park

Address: Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway, Ma-a, Davao City, 8000 Philippines

Contact Number: +63 822868883 or +63 822217749

Operating Hours: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm everyday

Website: Crocodile Park

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Davao Tour Guide

Jonathan Engbino

Jonathan Engbino

5. Be part of the tribe

Tribal fire dance- beginning to warm up
Source: Photo by user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

Just a few meters away from the Crocodile Park lies this lively village of the Mindanaoan tribes. Here we can see the diversity of Mindanao’s tribes in their culture and architecture. The tribes people offer visitors special performances like the Singkil and Fire Dancing at various times in the day.

Tribu K Mindanawan

Address: Davao Crocodile Park, Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway, Ma-a, Davao City, 8000 Philippines

Operating Hours: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm everyday

Website: Tribu K Mindanawan

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6. Shop in Abreeza

Abreeza Mall in Davao City
Source: Photo by user Rebecca Dongallo used under CC BY 2.0

Davao, like Cebu, houses all four of the mall giants namely Ayala, SM, Robinsons, and Gaisano. Although not the largest, Abreeza Mall, like its Northern counterpart Trinoma, shares the same unique and praise worthy interior design and architecture. The three-story mall offers premier retail, dining, entertainment, and anything that can satisfy your shopping needs.

Abreeza Mall Davao

Address: Abreeza Ayala Business Park, J.P. Laurel Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, Philippines

Operating Hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm everyday

Website: Abreeza Mall Davao

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7. Discover something new in D'Bone Collector Museum

D' Bone Collector Museum Inc., Davao City, Philippines
Source: Photo by user Bro. Jeffrey Pio... used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re wondering where to go in Davao City, then make your way to D'Bone Collector Museum. Located in Bucana and just in front of the City Hall of Davao, the D'Bone Collector Museum is not to be missed if you’re ever in the area. Not only is it the first of its kind, this museum also has the largest collection of bones in the country, with a whopping 700 specimens. The museum is owned by Darrell Dean Blatchley, whose collecting hobby started way back when he was a teenager and up until present.

With an ever growing collection, the museum is expected to continually expand in order to spread more knowledge and info to the people in regards to the animals featured in the museum. The museum is a good educational stop for families with kids or even for those who would want to sate their curiosity.

D'Bone Collector Museum

Address: San Pedro, Bucana Barangay 76-A, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Contact Number: +63 9196240744

Operating Hours Weekdays 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Saturday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Website: D'Bone Collector Museum

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8. Hear mass at San Pedro Cathedral

San Pedro cathedral
Source: Photo by user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

Located just in front of the City Hall, this uniquely shaped cathedral is a must-see not just for the religious visitors, but also for those who appreciate good architecture.

San Pedro Cathedral

Address: San Pedro Street, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Contact Number: +63 822264740 / 2272317

Mass Schedule: Monday to Saturday 6:00 am to 6:30 pm; Sunday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

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9. A chocolate lover's fantasy at Malagos Chocolate Museum

Bubo philippensis -Malagos Garden Resort, Davao City, Philippines-8a
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Raymund James Bare used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re ever in the Malagos Garden Resort, don’t miss out on their chocolate museum. Certainly, a chocolate lover’s paradise - allow yourself to indulge in the treat by tasting the many varieties available, but also by making chocolate on your own. Malagos Chocolate Museum is the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Malagros Garden Resort

Address: Brgy. Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, 8000 Philippines

Contact Number: +63 9176252467; +63 9228791240; +63 9998848659

Operating Hours: 6:00 am - 11:55 pm

Website: Malagros Garden Resort

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10. Spend an afternoon in People's Park

Davao May 2010 (110 (12)
Source: Photo by user Constantine Agustin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This park is littered by sculptures of Davao artist Kublai Millan. Families with children are sure to find this spot perfect for picnics, and also for outdoor bonding with each other.

People's Park

Address: Palma Gil St, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday 5:30 am - 10 am, 2 pm - 11 pm; Friday to Sunday 5:30 am - 10:30 am, 1 pm - 11:30 pm

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11. Swim and surf at Dahican Beach

Dahican Beach, Mati City 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user I Travel Philippines used under CC BY 2.0

Spend some time in the sun by visiting Dahican Beach. This beautiful beach is fringed by palm trees and offers soft sands and azure waters that are perfect for swimming as well as surfing. Read a book, watch the surfers or work on your tan at this lovely public beach in Davao. You can even learn surfing here. Some local fishermen can provide affordable meals to you and a few cottages are available for rent at Dahican Beach.

Dahican Beach

Address: Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines

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12. Explore the exhibits at Museo Dabawenyo

Painting made from spiky Durian skin
Source: Photo by Flickr user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

Offering visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural history of Davao is Museo Dabawenyo. It houses a large number of artifacts, photographs and artworks that are exhibited in various different galleries. Interesting art pieces like an arresting painting at the top of a staircase, a painting made from spiky durian fruit skin, and more will catch the visitor’s attention. Conveniently located, Museo Dabawenyo is a must-visit spot in Davao.

Museo Dabawenyo

Address: Andres Bonifacio Rotunda, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines

Website: Museo Dabawenyo

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

Price: free

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13. Take a trip to Kopiat Island

island in the Philippines
Source: Pixabay

The Philippines comprises a large number of small and big islands. Though all the islands here are very charming, Kopiat Island is one spot that definitely deserves a mention. It is the perfect place to escape the hectic life of Davao and relax in a calm setting surrounded by nature. A short boat ride will take you to Kopiat Island that has a few beautiful resorts where you can expect a hospitable service. You can spend your time swimming, jet skiing, sunbathing or generally lazing around on the beach here.

Kopiat Island

Address: Kopiat Island, Davao

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14. Sample some Civet coffee

Cluster of coffee beans as excreted by the animal, prior to clearing and roasting
Source: Photo by Flickr user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

Civet coffee is a highly sought-after coffee that is valued for its distinct taste. It is made from the animal, Philippine civet’s, droppings that are collected and roasted. The animal chews on the best coffee cherries and its droppings are then converted to coffee for humans. Many places in Davao offer you a chance to sample Civet coffee. The cafe at Crocodile Park serves genuine Civet coffee. You can also order it from the coffee store, Kafe Balos Project, or try it at one of the many cafes in Davao.

Kafe Balos Project

Address: 843C Atis, Juna Subdivision, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines

Website: Kafe Balos Project

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15. Marvel at the butterflies at Davao Butterfly House

Source: Pixabay

Combine your visit to Crocodile Park with a trip to Davao Butterfly House. Though small, this park has hundreds of colorful butterflies that you can feast your eyes on. A visual treat for everyone, kids will enjoy learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly through beautiful slides and posters. The park houses several species of butterflies and beautifully preserved specimens of other insects.

Davao Butterfly House

Address: Riverfront Drive, Corporate City, Diversion Highway Ma-a, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines

Website: Davao Butterfly House

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 5 USD

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Beauty in diversity

Davao has never been one to conform to trends in regards to their tourism, which makes it such a diverse tourist destination. It’s always going to be a mix of old and new so expect a wide variety of options to be laid readily on your plate. Whether you’re an adventurous thrill seeker, nature lover, foodie, shopaholic, or just a curious traveler, Davao is sure to have something for you. So what are you waiting for?

Celebrate life at Kadayawan Festival

Contributed by Tour Guide, Jonathan Engbino

Kadayawan Festival

Kadayawan Festival is Davao City’s annual festival, which celebrates life and thanksgiving for nature’s bounty, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living. The festival’s name is taken from the Mandaya word “Madayaw” which means “valuable,” “good” and “beautiful.” We celebrate Kadayawan festival every 3rd Sunday of August. However, we already have different activities starting from the very first week of August, and some of the events go till the end if the month.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Also a cartoonist/writer at her college's official newspaper, multi-lingual, and is finishing her bachelor's in legal management. Loves studying various cultures, languages, and travelling.

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