10 Best Things To Do In Olongapo, Philippines

things to do in olongapo philippines

A major city province of Zambales in the Philippines, Olongapo has a growing population of 230,000 as per the 2015 census. Metro Olongapo, along with the municipality of Subic, is one of the twelve metropolitan areas in the Philippines. Though it has a notorious red light district reputation brought by the presence of night clubs catering to American servicemen, the city has gradually shifted into a more wholesome image. Olongapo is known for its culturally relevant sites – Marikit Park, Olongapo Lighthouse, Kalapati (The Dove Monument) along with Olongapo’s City Hall, Convention Center, Museum, Public Library, and Public Market. When in the city, check out these best things to do in Olongapo, Philippines.

1. Take the entire family to Subic Fun Land

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Subic Fun Land on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Let your scenic trip to Olongapo with the family begin at Subic Fun Land. This water park in Subic Bay is one of the top places to visit in the city, with attractions like inflatable slides, floatie rides, and obstacle courses. You can sign up for rides like banana boat jetski, and Great Mable. Who says you can only have fun in the water in the summer? Subic Fun Land welcomes you all year round, so gather ‘round the whole gang and make this place your next excursion spot!

Subic Fun Land

Address: Barrio, 116 RH 5 National Hwy, Olongapo, Zambales

Website: Subic Fun Land

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

2. Snap a photo at Ulo ng Apo Monument

OlongapoCityjf9265 13
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Need a quick photo op to have a small remembrance from your trip to Olongapo? Make a short stop at Ulo ng Apo Monument intersection in the city. The monument is of a village leader named Apo, who was highly regarded for his immense care and dedication to his tribe. He was a fair leader and a well-loved one.

Like all good things, Apo was taken by evil men and was later beheaded. This act was to scare the villagers but instead, they were enraged. This incident inspired the naming of the village “Ulo ng Apo” which then morphed into Olongapo.

3. Shop at SM City Olongapo Downtown

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by SM City Olongapo Downtown on Saturday, August 7, 2021

Need a place to scratch that retail therapy itch? SM City Olongapo Downtown comes to your rescue. For all your splurging needs, this is the place to be. Formerly known as Olongapo City Mall and located next to the Subic Bay Freeport, the mall is your one-stop shop for clothing, groceries, and food. Your dining options include fast food chains like Jollibee, Mang Inasal, Chowking, and Classic Savory. This family-friendly mall is also home to other entertainment options like SM Cinema.

SM City Olongapo Downtown

Address: Magsaysay Drive cor. Gordon Avenue, Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines

Website: SM City Olongapo Downtown

Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)

4. Have fun at the Inflatable Island

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The newest Olongapo tourist spot that beckons young visitors, mostly those coming from Manila, Olongapo’s Inflatable Island has been dubbed as the ‘Biggest Inflatable Water Park’ in Asia. A playground for adults, experience a maze, monkey bars, kiddie slides, trampoline, human launcher, jumping pillow, rock climbing, and much more. Moreover, at the end of the Floating Playground, experience the BFB or 'Big Freaking Blob’, coming soon at Olongapo’s Inflatable Island. This installation of inflatable toys in the middle of a nice beach makes this “island” a must-visit when in Olongapo. To top it all off, the beachfront is lined with bean bags and parasols for the ultimate beach party.

Inflatable Island

Address: Subic Bay Waters, National Highway, Lower Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Zambales

Website: Inflatable Island

5. Reflect by Hellships Memorial

Hellships Memorial
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elmer B. Domingo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Olongapo played a major role during the Second World War with some remnants still present and part of the city’s landmarks. Hellships Memorial, as tourists would say, is a place of quiet reflection and the feeling can get overwhelming. The location was made available to the Hellships Memorial Committee by the Subic Bay Municipality Authority (SBMA). This tourist spot was built to remember the thousands of prisoners of war sent to Hellships by Japanese invaders. The prisoners of wars were captured in their home countries – Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore – and placed in Hellships to be transported to Japan and Dutch East Indies as slaves. The Hellship Memorial was built to commemorate the lives of POWS who died of starvation, murder, and neglect along the way.

Hellships Memorial

Address: Subic Bay, Zambales, Philippines

Website: Hellships Memorial

6. Stop by the World Peace Memorial

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Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Judgefloro used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Another landmark that mirrors the significance of the city in war history is the World Peace Memorial. This Olongapo City tourist attraction features the ‘Kalapati’ or Dove monument that was built in memory of the lives lost during the tragic battle at Zigzag Pass. The battle is said to be one of the longest and most tragic battles during the World War II. The monument was built at the junction of the national highway and entry road to New Cabalan.

7. Observe local life at Marikit Park

Best Things To Do In Olongapo, Philippines
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daryll Malicsi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Don’t know what to do in Olongapo with your family? Marikit Park is one of the earliest parks of Olongapo and still a local hangout place. The word Marikit means “beautiful” in the local language. This park’s distinct feature is the body of a U.S. Navy plane, originally displayed at the Subic Naval Base and acquired by the city of Olongapo from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). The plane fragment is preserved and displayed as a historical and heritage artifact to the city.

For tourists, Marikit Park is a historical haven perfect for leisurely walks. Locals come to this downtown park, mostly those with children, for an afternoon of playtime. This park is a youth and children’s park complete with a playground and wide open spaces. Visitors coming to Olangapo can also come and observe or mingle with the locals.

Marikit Park

Address: Hospital Rd, Olongapo, Zambales

8. Spend a day or two at the city's beach resorts

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Today’s forecast: % chance of sunshine and a boatload of fun. . . . . . Activities are endless as the sun. Call us to...

Posted by Mangrove Resort Subic on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Its beaches are one of the highlights, specifically for out-of-town guests. Notable beaches in Olongapo include the Blue Beach Resort, Treasure Island Beach Resort, and Mangrove Resort Hotel. Enjoy a sun-kissed experience in Olongapo’s well-loved beaches. Olongapo’s sandy shores are right in the city with scenic views of the mountains.

Blue Rock Resort

Address: Baloy Long Beach Road, Olongapo City

Website: Blue Beach Resort

Treasure Island Beach Resort

Address: Baloy Long Beach Road, Olongapo City

Website: Treasure Island Beach Resort

Mangrove Resort Hotel

Address: Baloy Long Beach Road, Olongapo City

Website: Mangrove Resort Hotel

9. Olongapo Night Market

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Of course, who wouldn’t want a midnight shopping spree with the finest merchandise offerings of Olongapo. Olongapo’s Night Market begins at 5 pm until midnight. Find trinkets and taste local delicacies; night markets are fun and a respite from the scorching heat of the sun in a tropical country like the Philippines. More than a night market, this place to visit in Olongapo also serves local nightly festivities with food stalls and a mini fair complete with rides for kids.

10. Shop and hangout at Harbor Point

Harbor Point,Subicjf7562 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located at the heart of Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales, Harbor Point is Olongapo’s premier mall, owned by Philippines’ mall developers. The presence of Harbor Point in the city signals the chic and cosmopolitan destination Olongapo wants to evolve into, leaving its notorious past. Locals and tourists can come for retail, dining, and even entertainment.

Harbor Point

Address: Rizal Highway, Olongapo

Website: Harbor Point

A family-friendly weekend getaway

Shopping, dining, beaches, and various venues for fun and entertainment, Olongapo with its proximity to major cities, especially the capital city of Manila, offers a destination to temporally take a break and have fun. It’s no wonder this city will always be the choice among families and groups of friends for a wonderful weekend trip. Weekend warriors never fall short when it comes to attractions and activities either. Far from its notorious past, Olongapo has achieved a renewed reputation as a destination.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Valerie Caulin is a travel and lifestyle writer and runs her own blog, www.valcaulin.com. She loves writing about hotels, family travel, and anything related to history and culture.

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