10 Best Things to Do in Davao City Philippines – Eat Durian and Meet the World’s Largest Eagle!

10 Best Things to Do in Davao City Philippines | Budget Itinerary

In the Southern part of the Philippines in Mindanao lies Davao City which not a lot of tourists actually visit. However, recently after producing the 16th President of the Philippines as well as being hailed as Numbeo’s second safest city in Southeast Asia, Davao has gained popularity and more locals want to visit the city, and tourists are starting to gain interest.

Despite not being a top tourist destination in the Philippines, Davao actually has a lot of beautiful tourist spots that you can visit. There are museums that showcase the city’s heritage, markets filled with stalls serving family-inherited recipes, and white sand beaches that you can enjoy on a sunny day!

Davao City is also the only place you’ll find the Philippines’ National Bird, the Philippine Eagle. It is also where you can visit the astounding active stratovolcano, Mt. Apo. And if you’re adventurous enough, you can taste local delicacies here like the King of all fruits, Durian!

Let’s look into the things you can do and the places you can visit here in Davao City!

1. Davao Crocodile Park

Quite a popular tourist destination, the Crocodile Park in Davao City is one that offers you more than just crocodile watching.

A chubby crocodile at Davao Crocodile Park
A chubby crocodile at Davao Crocodile Park, credit: Davao City Tourism Website

Yes, there are thousands of crocodiles in this park from saltwater crocodiles to freshwater crocodiles born and bred in this very area. Most of them are for display but some of them are used for other things like the Lechon Buwaya or Roasted Crocodile in English. It sounds kind of weird but a lot of people actually like to eat crocodile meat in Davao. They describe the taste to be similar to chicken and fish.

You don’t have to worry about the crocodiles’ conditions though because these crocodiles are well taken care of and the Crocodile Park has state-of-the-art equipment to help in maintaining the health of these crocodiles. You can visit the incubator room to make baby crocodile friends and see the crocodile eggs!

You’ll also find exotic animals like tigers and orangutans in the Crocodile Park, so you’re not just in there solely for the Crocodiles.

Location: 3HWX+RMH, Gadi Road, Talomo, Davao City, Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: Php350 or $6.50 per person.

Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM, daily.

2. Philippine Eagle Center

The next tourist spot you might want to visit is where you’ll meet the largest eagle in the world!

A Philippine Eagle with its caretaker
A Philippine Eagle with its caretaker, credit: National Audobon Society

The Philippine Eagle is a monkey-eating eagle that can measure up to 39 inches or more than 3 feet! The Philippine Eagle Center works hard to protect these eagles from extinction, making sure that every single one of them is monitored and kept away from poachers.

Visiting the 8.4-hectare Philippine Eagle Center allows you to see the magnificent creature up close, feed meat to it, and learn a lot about its life. There are only 400 pairs of Philippine Eagles left in the world so meeting one in person should be a memorable experience.

You can also find other animals on the premise like snakes and monkeys. The center itself is designed to resemble a forest so you’re basically surrounded by nature. And all of the profit the center makes will be used towards the preservation, conservation, and maintenance of the Philippine Eagles and the center.

Location: Malagos-Baguio Road, Brgy, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: Php150 or $3 for adults and Php100 or $2 for children.

Opening Hours: 8 AM to 3 PM, daily.

3. Jack’s Ridge

Jack’s Ridge is a great vantage point in Davao City. Opened in 2001, this spot is great for people who simply want to relax and see the city from above.

The overlooking view at Jack's Ridge
The overlooking view at Jack’s Ridge, credit: VisMin.ph

The history of Jack’s Ridge dates back to the 1940s during the second world war. It was originally a headquarters used by the Japanese to accommodate fleeting soldiers. There are man-made caves in the area where war projectiles can still be found. Some people say that there are still some pieces of gold hidden somewhere in Jack’s Ridge but that hasn’t been proven yet.

There’s not much to do in Jack’s Ridge adventures but it’s still a nice place to chill out after a day of touring. This place is especially beautiful to visit in the evening because from up here, you’ll get to see the city lights of Davao. And if you’re looking for a romantic escape from the bustling city, Jack’s Ridge is also the place because it

Location: 117 Shrine Hills Rd, Talomo, Davao City, Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: FREE

Opening Hours: 8 AM to 9 PM, daily.

4. Roxas Avenue Night Market

The Roxas Avenue Night Market is a food traveler’s dream spot! Situated at the center of Aldavenco shopping center and the ADD University, the Roxas Avenue Night Market comes to life at night, offering different Filipino street foods and cuisine.

Food stalls at Roxas Night Market
Food stalls at Roxas Night Market, credit: City Government of Davao

Stalls at the night market sell fresh produce and cooked food like barbecued meats, grilled and fried seafood, fruits, vegetables, and different snacks. This is where locals typically hang out at the end of the day to chat or catch up with some friends. So, this is a great place to immerse yourself in the local food scene and culture!

Don’t be surprised to find tables so close to each other and you might brush elbows with others as you navigate through the crowd or as you’re eating. This setup is quite normal in the Philippines. You’ll probably be eating with your hands too since vendors don’t usually offer eating utensils due to a lack of space for washing dishes. It’s for this same reason that your plate will be covered with plastic to make it easier for cleaning plates.

Location: 3JC6+PW7, Roxas Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: FREE

Opening Hours: 5 PM to 11 PM, daily.

5. Mount Apo

Are you into mountain climbing? Mount Apo is one hell of a climb you should take!

Mount Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines
Mount Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines, credit: Encyclopedia Britannica

This active stratovolcano in Davao is called “The King of Philippine Peaks” since this is the highest mountain in the country, peaking at 10,311 feet or 3,144 meters above sea level. At the top is a crater lake measuring up to 500 meters wide which formed due to volcanic activity. Tudaya Falls is also situated on top of the mountain as well as a rubber plantation.

Trekking and climbing up this mountain are some of the popular activities at Mt. Apo. There are at least four trails you can take but all of them lead to the peak of the mountain which has a gorgeous panoramic view of the province as well as South Cotabato’s Mt. Matutum. The view is exceptionally beautiful during sunsets however, climbing up can be difficult for some. The weather is sunny but cool so bring a jacket with you or wear warm clothes.

Location: Davao City

Entrance Fee: FREE

Trip’s Start Time: 5 PM to 11 PM, daily.

6. Durian in Davao

Considered to be the smelliest fruit in the world, the Durian is not something that tourists might want to eat! However, there’s no other place to eat the best Durian than in Davao City because they grow the fruit here locally.

Big Durians on display in Davao
Big Durians on display in Davao, credit: BusinessWorld Online

The smell of Durian is a literal turn-off because it is very pungent, but the taste of it is actually quite good! If you get past the rotten smell of it, you’ll find that it has a creamy texture and a sweet taste. This fruit is also popular in different forms such as candy, ice cream, drinks, and many more! All of them are delicious!

If you live in a western country, you should try Durian here in the Philippines which is inexpensive as this can be expensive and hard to find in European countries and the Americas.

Where is the best place to eat Durian in Davao City?

Davao City is where Durians are grown so it is quite easy to find a place that sells the fruit.

People’s Park has some vendors that sell Durians so, when you visit the park, you can buy some at those stalls. You’ll also find Durian sellers at the night market as well as in other parks. These are just some of the best places to eat Durian.

Location: Davao City

Price: Php48 or $1 per kilo.

7. Davao Chinatown

The most popular Chinatown in the Philippines is in Binondo, Manila which is one of the places we featured in our blog, “11 Best Things to Do in Manila”, which you can read here.

Entrance to Chinatown in Davao
Entrance to Chinatown in Davao, credit: Vigattin Tourism

However, Davao City’s Chinatown is the largest of its kind in the country. This Chinatown has a land area of 44 hectares and was officially established in 2003 by then-Mayor turned President, Rodrigo Duterte. But the structures found here date back to the 1950s like the Santiago Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in the city, which was built in 1957.

This is where the Chinese-Filipino families reside in the city and you’ll find a number of Chinese temples here like the one mentioned above as well as the Long Hua Temple which is home to Kung Fu Monks.

You can check out some of the malls here that sell different Chinese products but also do try the food at the restaurants too!

Location: 3JFF+PVP, Ramon Magsaysay Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: FREE

Opening Hours: Always Open.

8. Eden Nature Park and Resort

The paradise where Adam and Eve were tempted to eat the forbidden fruit… Just kidding, this is not the place! But Eden Nature Park is a paradise in itself as the name suggests!

A cabin surrounded by nature at Eden Nature Park and Resort
A cabin surrounded by nature at Eden Nature Park and Resort, credit: Agoda

This 80-hectare nature park is nestled at the foot of Mt. Talomo and boasts over 200,000 forest trees and pine trees! The environment here is simply relaxing and peaceful with all the greenery you’ll see. There are some fun activities you can do here like going on zip lines, bike zips (like zip lining but you ride a bike mid-air), and swimming!

The Eden Nature Park and Resort also offer accommodations if you want to spend a day or two relaxing in the arms of mother nature! Prices range from Php700 to Php12,000 or $12 to $220. There are restaurants here that use ingredients harvested directly from the surrounding gardens.

This is a laid-back place better spent with loved ones or by yourself if you detach yourself from the chaos of urban life! You can go around the park and explore but you can also take the 45-minute shuttle tour of the park too!

You can find deals for this paradise resort on one of these websites! We’ve curated these websites to make sure that you get all the best discounts and the lowest prices!

Location: 29HX+MPJ, Toril, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: Php350 or $6.50 for adults and Php300 or $5.50 for children.

Opening Hours: Mondays – Saturdays 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sundays 8:00 AM – 12:00 NN.

9. San Pedro Cathedral

The San Pedro Cathedral is a National Cultural Treasure and the oldest church in Davao City, constructed in 1847.

Inside the San Pedro Cathedral
Inside the San Pedro Cathedral, credit: Davao Catholic Herald

The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Peter and its official name is actually Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral. It is the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Davao.

The Cathedral is designed in a Neo-Gothic architectural style but its curved roof makes it distinct from other cathedrals in the city. Its appearance now is far from the original design where it started as a small chapel but was renovated in the 1960s. It can’t be denied that the interior is beautiful and is perfect for weddings!

Location: 3J75+WMV, San Pedro St, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: Php350 or $6.50 for adults and Php300 or $5.50 for children.

Opening Hours: 8:30 AM to 6 PM, daily.

10. Davao People’s Park

Davao People’s Park is a favorite by both locals and tourists as this park is the best place to go to catch some fresh air in the middle of the urbanized city. This park was built under the administration of then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte back in 2007 and is 4 acres big!

The Durian Dome at the People's Park
The Durian Dome at the People’s Park, credit: City Government of Davao

It is a tropical rainforest that also has a pond, waterfalls, trees, and a variety of other flora and fauna. Locals come here to relax, take a walk, and revel in nature’s beauty but it has become a favorite spot for tourists because it also has some sculptures around the area. The replica of the Philippine Eagle is, of course, the most important sculpture.

Every Sunday, a Zumba class is held at People’s Park and is attended by hundreds of locals of all ages! Aside from that, there are other activities in the park. Children can play at the playground and you can visit the Durian Dome which is the most photographed structure in the premise because of its roof that resembles the shape of the Durian fruit!

Location: Uy Building, 49 Jln Palma Gil St, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur

Entrance Fee: FREE

Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday- 5:30 to 10 AM, 2 to 11 PM. Friday to Sunday- 5:30 to 10:30 AM, 1 PM to 12 AM

Final Thoughts on Davao City…

Davao City may not be the first to pop up as a top travel destination but it surely is quite a great one as it offers beautiful natural sceneries as well as fun experiences like eating the smelliest fruit on the planet!

It’s also one of the safest cities that you could go to and is perfect for first-time travelers! Also, the city has gone through rehabilitation in the past years and may not look like any other city in the Philippines, especially with the absence of the intertwining electric cables that are common in pretty much every place in the country!

So, don’t hesitate! Life is here in Davao!

Have you ever tried Durian before? What can you say about it? Follow us @budgetitinerary for more travel content or read more about other tourist spots in other countries here!

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