Travel Guide: Davao Part 1

For a beer-loving, nightlife-seeking traveler like me, Davao was one destination that I didn’t expect to fall in love with. Everyone knows how stringent the rules are in its capital city, where parties end at a little past midnight and smokers who puff away in prohibited areas get fed with their own cigarette butts; but the safety and cleanliness of the neighborhood, the honestly of the people (yes, you will get exact change in cabs), the beauty of preserved nature, and the tastiness of the local cuisine endeared the Durian Capital of the Philippines to me.

view from Jack's Ridge
Some say that there’s not much to do in Davao, but in fact, if you’re an adventure seeker, there’s so much to explore in and out of the city. Moreover, if you like going to new places for the food, you will enjoy the culinary delights that Davao has to offer—especially the fresh seafood, sweet fruits, and hearty soup dishes. Nevermind that I have to walk for what seems like forever just to smoke one stick. Just give me my bulcachong, and I’ll shut up.

grilled tuna belly from Banana Beach Resort
Below, I have come up with a simple travel guide that caters to all kinds of travelers—from nature lovers and hardcore foodies to city explorers and history buffs. The purpose of this guide is for the Davao visitor—first timer or not—to maximize his trip and pick the places and activities that suit his personality and traveling style the most. Don’t forget to check out the orange links for the individual features of some of the things mentioned here. Suggested itineraries are at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!


Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia fly to Davao City daily. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get there from Manila, and about 1 hour from Cebu.

Best time to go: December to February will be relatively cooler (was with the rest of the Philippines). Every third week of August though, Davao City celebrates the Kadayawan—a festival to celebrate life and be thankful for bountiful harvest.



Red Planet Hotel (as low as PhP1,590/night)
J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City

The 155-room hotel is centrally located and is near major commercial hubs (Abreeza Mall, Victoria Plaza) and dining destinations. Rooms are minimalist yet comfortable, complete with complimentary Wi-Fi, high-quality beds, air-conditioning, and flat screen TV. Perfect for leisure travelers on a budget.


Marco Polo Davao (starts at PhP4,500)
P.O. Box 81540 CM Recto Street, Davao City
Tel. +6382.221.0888 / Fax. +6382.225.0111

Boasting of 245 well-appointed rooms and suites, the 5-star hotel offers both luxury and accessibility with its modern amenities and exquisite dining options. Ideal for couples and travelers who like to relish their time in the city, the hotel also has a spa, swimming pool and fitness center.

Seda Abreeza Hotel (starts at PhP6,000)
Abreeza Ayala Business Park, J.P. Laurel Ave., Davao City

Seda Abreeza offers 186 guestrooms for leisure and business travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay in Davao City. Situated across Abreeza Mall, the hotel is accessible to entertainment, shopping, and dining hotspots. A notable feature of the property is its art pieces made my respected local artists, all incorporated seamless into the sleek interiors.



1 | Blugre Coffee

2 | Aling Foping’s Halo-Halo


3 | Penong’s

4 | Outback Grill

5 | Cafe Tavera

Late-night Drinks

6 | Matina Town Square




Fresh fruits like durian, marang, and mangosteen

For a more detailed list of Davao's foodie destinations, check out this story.

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