The Philippines is a country that boasts of an abundance of natural beauty, rich history, and diverse culture. It is no wonder that it has become one of the most sought-after destinations for travelers across the world. If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, then you cannot miss visiting some of its iconic landmarks.
From historical churches to natural wonders, we have curated a list of must-see landmarks that will make your trip unforgettable. In this blog, we will take you on a visual journey across the country and share with you everything you need to know about these top landmarks. So pack your bags, grab your camera and get ready to explore the best of what the Philippines has to offer!
Top Must-See Philippines Landmarks
From the oldest rice terraces in the world at Banaue to the stunning coral reefs at Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, the Philippines boasts an array of must-visit destinations. Explore Bohol’s distinctive Chocolate Hills or Albay’s perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano.
Discover historical landmarks like Fort Santiago or San Agustin Church in Manila. Immerse yourself in nature with a visit to Palawan’s underground river or Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Don’t forget to add Vigan City’s cobblestone streets and Cebu City’s Basilica del Santo Niño to your bucket list.
San Agustin Church – Historical Philippines Landmark
Built-in 1589, San Agustin Church stands as a testament to Philippine history. A UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Manila, it’s the oldest stone church in the country with a mix of Baroque, Mexican, and Chinese architectural styles. Its interiors feature intricate wood carvings, murals, and stained glass windows that will leave anyone mesmerized.
It was also the official residence of several Spanish governors and archbishops during Spain’s colonial rule over the country. Discover Philippine heritage by taking a guided tour of this national cultural treasure.
National Museum of the Philippines – Historical Philippines Landmark
Featuring a vast collection of artifacts from prehistoric times to contemporary art, the National Museum of the Philippines is a must-visit for those who want to explore the diverse cultures and traditions of this country.
You can learn about the Philippine art history through interactive displays and multimedia presentations at this historical landmark. Housing national treasures such as Spoliarium by Juan Luna adds to its significance. A visit to this museum will take you on an extraordinary journey through time while celebrating its rich culture.
Chocolate Hills – Natural Landmark in Bohol
Nestled in Bohol, the Chocolate Hills are one of the most stunning natural landmarks in the Philippines. The hills boast over 1,000 mounds covering an area of approximately 50 square kilometers. The grassy terrain turns a rich brown color during the dry season resembling tempting chocolate delicacies that give them their name.
They are a National Geological Monument awarded by the Philippine government and provide a geological wonder for visitors to explore. Take advantage of guided tours to view and gain insights into this fascinating piece of land’s history and significance.
Banaue Rice Terraces – Ifugao Historical Landmark
The breathtaking Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines are a 2,000-year-old engineering marvel that covers an area of approximately 10,360 square kilometers. Carved into the slopes of the Cordillera Mountains without any modern tools or machinery by the Ifugao people, this historical landmark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered as the Eighth Wonder of the World. A guided tour will give you an opportunity to learn about its rich history and culture while admiring its beauty.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park – Natural Landmark in Palawan
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan, Philippines is a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts of an underground river flowing through a limestone cave system, making it one of the longest navigable underground rivers globally.
The stunning rock formations and diverse wildlife make it a must-visit place on any traveler’s bucket list. To enter this natural wonder, visitors need to secure permits from the park’s management office. Experience nature’s beauty like never before at this world-renowned destination.
Siargao – Must-Visit Island in Mindanao
Discover the tropical paradise of Siargao in Mindanao! This must-visit island boasts crystal-clear waters and beautiful beaches that are perfect for relaxation or water sports like surfing. Don’t miss exploring the famous landmarks like Magpupungko Rock Pools or taking a dip in Sugba Lagoon!
Siargao has something for everyone with island hopping, snorkeling, and diving options available. There are many accommodation options available ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. Plan your visit now and add this bucket-list destination to your travel plans!
Samal Island – Must-Visit Island near Davao City
Nestled in the Davao Gulf, Samal Island should definitely be on your bucket list of must-visit Philippines landmarks. With its crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches, this island paradise attracts tourists looking for adventure or relaxation. You can take a dip in the Sulu Sea’s coral reefs with snorkeling or scuba diving here.
Or visit Hagimit Falls with lush greenery surrounding several cascading waterfalls. Among other things to see are spas, restaurants & beachfront bars in resorts or hotels that offer various amenities.
Coron Island – Must-See Island in Palawan
Nestled in the beautiful province of Palawan in the Philippines, Coron Island is every traveler’s dream destination. With its breathtaking natural beauty and crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, this paradise island is a must-visit on any Southeast Asia travel itinerary. Its WWII shipwrecks offer a glimpse into history that attracts not just divers but also history buffs. Don’t miss out on adding Coron Island to your bucket list!
Tagaytay – Must-Visit City in Luzon
Located in Luzon, Tagaytay is a must-visit city that offers stunning views of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. Popular attractions include the Picnic Grove, Sky Ranch amusement park, and famous bulalo (beef shank soup) restaurants. Hiking enthusiasts will find plenty of trails and nature reserves to explore nearby. With its cool climate and proximity to Manila, Tagaytay is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. Don’t miss out on this amazing destination on your next trip to Asia!
Donsol – Must-Visit Spot for Whale Shark Watching in Bicol
Donsol in Bicol is one of the best places to experience an unforgettable encounter with whale sharks. Visitors can revel in swimming alongside these gentle giants and admire their peaceful behavior up close. Moreover, kayaking or paddleboarding amidst the serene surroundings is also an excellent option.
Exploring nearby waterfalls is another way to make most of your visit to Donsol. This quaint fishing village calls out to adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Swimming with whale sharks at Donsol is a bucket list-worthy experience that should not be missed when in the Philippines.
Manila Bay – Historical and Natural Landmark in Manila
Located in Manila, the capital city of Philippines in Asia, Manila Bay is a beautiful natural harbor known for its magnificent sunsets. This harbor holds immense significance in Philippine history as it witnessed significant events like World War II and the Battle of Manila Bay. Tourists can either board a sunset cruise or take a leisurely stroll along the baywalk to soak up some local culture while marveling at the beauty of this landmark.
Batan Island – Must-Visit Island in Batanes
Nestled in the northernmost part of the Philippines lies Batan Island, one of the best places to visit in Asia. Batan Island is one of the gorgeous islands that form part of the Batanes group of islands. This island boasts stunning landscapes and unique stone houses built to withstand frequent typhoons and earthquakes. To experience its beauty and culture fully, explore natural wonders like Valugan Boulder Beach or Mount Iraya. For those looking to learn more about the local Ivatan culture, Sabtang Island Heritage Village is a must-visit spot.
Apo Island – Must-Visit Island for Snorkeling and Diving in Negros Oriental
With its crystal-clear waters and rich marine life, Apo Island should be on every traveler’s bucket list when visiting the Philippines. This small island located in Negros Oriental boasts over 650 fish species and more than 400 types of coral, making it an underwater paradise. Apart from snorkeling and diving, visitors can lounge on the pristine beaches and soak up the sun. Don’t forget to take part in the sustainable tourism practices that have made Apo Island a world-renowned destination while you’re there! (84 words)
Ayala Museum – Must-Visit Museum in Makati City
Located in Makati City, Ayala Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of not just Manila but all of Asia. The museum showcases an extensive collection of artifacts that include pre-colonial gold, ceramics, and textiles. Its most popular exhibit, “Diorama Experience,” uses intricate 3D models to showcase significant events in Philippine history. As a must-visit attraction on any Filipino bucket list, Ayala Museum should be on your itinerary when visiting Manila.
Danao Adventure Park – Must-Visit Adventure Park in Bohol
Located in the province of Bohol in the Philippines, Danao Adventure Park offers a unique outdoor adventure that thrill-seekers will surely enjoy. Experience zip-lining through lush forests or rappelling down towering cliffs. Kayak through pristine rivers amidst breathtaking scenery.
Marvel at natural attractions such as waterfalls and caves while taking in stunning views of the countryside. With expertly trained staff ensuring safety standards are met at all times, visitors can enjoy their adventure without any worries. Don’t miss out on this must-visit adventure park during your trip to Bohol.
Nalusuan Island – Must-Visit Island for Snorkeling and Diving in Mactan, Cebu
Located in the Sulu Sea near Cebu, Nalusuan Island is among must-visit Philippines landmarks for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. This small island boasts crystal-clear waters that teem with diverse marine life including sea turtles and vividly-colored fish species.
Discover the fascinating underwater world by exploring Nalusuan’s mesmerizing coral reefs that surround the island. In addition to water activities, visitors can enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, beach volleyball or simply relax at the resort located on the island. Accessible via private boat rentals or nearby resorts.
Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary – Must-Visit Sanctuary for Butterfly Watching in Cebu
Experience the beauty of nature at Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, a must-visit destination in Cebu housing over 50 rare and endangered species of butterflies and moths. Witness the different stages of butterfly development and explore various butterfly specimens and their habitats showcased in the sanctuary’s museum.
This popular attraction offers a unique experience for nature lovers and tourists looking to add something new to their Philippines landmarks bucket list. Nestled amidst Cebu’s lush greenery, this sanctuary is one of Asia’s best places to witness breathtaking butterflies up close. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness this untouched beauty.
Fort Santiago – Historical Philippines Landmark in Manila
Located in Manila and built during the Spanish colonial period, Fort Santiago served as a military defense fortress that played a significant role in Philippine history. Its various chambers offer visitors the chance to explore its rich cultural heritage which includes a museum dedicated to national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. The fort’s beautiful architecture, walls, and gardens make it one of the most famous landmarks in the Philippines that should not be missed by any tourist visiting Asia.
Vigan City – Must-Visit Historical City in Ilocos Region
Located in the Ilocos region of the Philippines, Vigan City boasts of well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture that makes it one of the best places to visit in Asia. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, Vigan City has numerous historical landmarks that serve as an official residence showcasing the Spanish rule’s influence.
Some famous landmarks include the Bantay Church Bell Tower and St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral. When visiting Vigan City, taking a horse-drawn carriage tour or exploring on foot is recommended to experience this beautiful place best.
Mayon Volcano – Natural Landmark in Albay
Located in Albay, Philippines, Mayon Volcano is one of the most famous landmarks in Asia. This active natural landmark’s perfect cone shape attracts tourists worldwide. Hiking and camping are popular activities in the area around the volcano. Tourists can also visit nearby attractions like Cagsawa Ruins and Lignon Hill to admire the stunning views of Mayon Volcano.
Basilica del Santo Niño – Religious Philippines Landmark in Cebu City
Located in the bustling city of Cebu in the Philippines, the Basilica del Santo Niño is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and religion. This iconic religious landmark is renowned for housing the oldest religious relic in the country – the revered Santo Niño de Cebu.
Since its establishment in 1565 during Spanish rule and subsequent reconstruction and renovation over centuries, this world-renowned shrine has become synonymous with Filipino Catholicism. Visitors can witness its splendor and pay homage during significant events such as the annual Sinulog Festival held to honor the Holy Child.
With so many stunning landmarks to explore, the Philippines is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves history, nature, and adventure. From the historical San Agustin Church in Manila to the breathtaking Chocolate Hills in Bohol, there is something for everyone.
Whether you are interested in exploring natural wonders like the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or diving into culture and history at Vigan City, there is plenty to see and do. Don’t miss out on these unforgettable experiences! Share this blog with your travel buddies and start planning your next trip to the Philippines.