Top things to do in the Philippines
Discover all the adventures you can experience in the Philippines
If you are looking for the next family holiday getaway, the Philippines has a lot of destinations for you to choose from.
Whether someone in your family is a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, a fan of staycation, or on the lookout for the best eats, you can trust that there are spots and tours in the Philippines that offer what your squad is looking for.
Many of these places are accessible by car or by plane with short travel time, so you can have more bonding moments with the fam while making sure that the destination is also kid-friendly.
It’s a hard task, but we’ve listed 21 family-friendly places that are found in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and which allow for a hassle-free trip for the whole family. Take your pick among these wonderful places—or, if your family is up to it—turn it into a checklist to complete.
Situated just a couple of hours away from Manila is the province of Batangas. It’s the best quick beach getaway for you and the family. Take your pick from high-end resorts as well as budget-friendly accommodations.
Many of the resorts found in Batangas offer a variety of fun water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, island tours, and multiple inflatable water parks! You can also find a number of spa treatments if you just want quiet time at the beach and feel the breeze.
Don’t forget to get a taste of Batangas staples like lomi, goto, and the world-famous kapeng barako to complete your quick beach trip.
Just a stone's throw away from Manila is the verdant city of Tagaytay. Treat your family to the gentle cool air of this city and marvel at the stunning view of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.
Tagaytay packs a lot of activities and places that are great for the whole family. You can go visit several well-known landmarks in Tagaytay like the Picnic Grove, Sky Ranch, and People's Park or go to the country’s only puzzle museum with the kids. All these, in the heart of Tagaytay.
Dine with a view along its many road-side restaurants that offer well-loved Tagaytay delicacies like bulalo and fried tawilis.
These restaurants are super easy to access since most are found along the main road, have ample parking, and offer different transportation options to get around the city. So for that quick getaway from the heat of the metro, take the family and try excursions in Tagaytay.
Photo by the Philippine Department of Tourism
Roughly a two-hour drive east of Manila is the quaint province of Rizal, the art capital of the Philippines. Take the family to an art appreciation trip along the streets of Angono or spend a quiet afternoon inside the serene space of Pinto Art Gallery.
You can also find several spas and resorts in Antipolo, Rizal with a stunning view of the Sierra Madre. There’s Boso-Boso Highlands Resort that’s great for the family with its many amenities—including a playground in the pool.
Loreland Farm Resort is also a great place for the family, with many pools and slides that the kids can enjoy. There’s also a treat for the adults as the resort houses Luljetta’s Hanging Garden Spa—a mountain-side spa that offers a stunning view of the Sierra Madre and Manila skyline.
A lot of restaurants also showcase art and food only found in Rizal. For a unique dining experience, head out to Wawa Dam and have a picnic with the family on floating cottages. Swimming is allowed there too!
A little over an hour via plane is one of the country’s best—the province of Bohol. Filled with rich history, picturesque landscapes, and home to diverse wildlife, Bohol has no shortage of fun activities you and your family can enjoy.
There are many Bohol tours to choose from for a hassle-free trip. These include transportation, food, and all the fun things in between.
Country tours will bring you around natural and cultural spots in Bohol. You'll get to see the Chocolate Hills, one of the natural wonders of the world. The tour will also bring you around historical sites in the province.
You and the family shouldn't let pass the Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park package where you and the gang can hop on Loboc River Cruise tours and enjoy a buffet of local food fair while being treated with a one of a kind view of the river.
You can also visit the tarsiers, small nocturnal beings endemic to this region of the Philippines. Just be mindful of the dos and don’ts since they are sensitive creatures.
Beat the heat of the Metro and drive a few hours up north to the city of pines, Baguio. There are several bus liners with multiple trips a day that you can hop on for a hassle-free trip.
In the city proper alone, there are already a handful of family-friendly places you should see and experience like the classic Burnham Park and Mines View Park.
Kids and kids at heart will have a magical time when you come during the Christmas season and experience Baguio's annual Christmas Village. Cap the night off with a steaming hot cup of pure Chocolate de Batirol or find one-of-a-kind treasures at Baguio’s night market.
Photo by The Inflatable Island
Found in the heart of Olongapo City, Subic is just a few hours’ drive away from Manila. It packs a lot of activities that are great for the whole family. Let the kids and the kid in you have some fun under the sun in Subic’s Inflatable Island. Or get to know wildlife at the Zoobic Safari. Nearby is the Funtastic Park where kids and kids at heart get a chance to play to their heart’s content.
Head on over to the Subic Bay Yacht Club for high-end accommodation and family-friendly activities. For relaxed activities for the whole family, visit Magaul Bird Park for a fun and educational day with the children.
We all know it, great things come in small packages — that’s what Boracay is. This small beautiful island with a long stretch of white beach is accessible in an hour via plane with two nearby airports, Caticlan and Kalibo.
There are several transportation options from there to the island readily available. You can also take a longer route via ferry—and it’s as hassle-free since there are multiple schedules to Caticlan. All the bookings and transfers are doable online to save you the trouble.
Named as one of the best beaches in the world and one of the best beaches in the Philippines, this small island has a lot to offer: from Boracay tours like water activities that include parasailing, snorkeling, and Boracay helmet diving; Boracay island-hopping excursions; a slew of restaurants that line its shores; and a captivating night scene to boot.
For accommodation, there are a variety of Boracay hotels and resorts all throughout stations 1, 2, and 3. Experience Boracay’s white sands and turquoise waters with the family.
Cebu might be the oldest city in the Philippines, but the places and activities it has to offer will never grow old. You can reach Cebu via ferry from the port of Manila with trips available six times a week.
A day at the sea with comfortable on-board accommodation and amenities for the family is definitely one for the books. It’s also accessible via plane with multiple flights a day from Manila. Just over an hour in the sky, and you’ll arrive at Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Have a taste of the food offerings along Tabo sa Banay in downtown Cebu and feast on local delicacies like balbacua and SuTuKil—and don’t miss their world-famous lechon.
This province has a wide array of Cebu tours and activities perfect for the family—from a calm stroll among the beautiful flowers at the Terrazas de Flores to an exhilarating walk on the edge on a high-rise building brought by Crown Regency Sky Walk Extreme experience. Remember to stop by for more goodies at Taboan public market before heading home.
Palawan in itself is a great travel destination for anyone, but within it is another world’s best lister, Puerto Princesa. It is world-renowned for the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With preservation in mind, visitors are strictly limited so it’s best to check and book necessities early for your trip. You can reach Puerto Princesa from major airports or by ferry via Coron.
Your family can make the most of your visit by booking a package tour that includes food, guide, and of course, the tour that stretches through Sabang Beach.
You and your kids will be treated with stunning views of these natural wonders. Aside from its stunning beaches, Puerto Princesa tours also have stops at Palawan Wildlife Rescue Center, Mitra’s Ranch, and many more.
Iloilo International Airport is just over an hour away from major airports in Manila. Upon landing, there are several transportation options that will take you to the city. Iloilo is packed with things to do.
You can go visit the beautifully designed Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art that has a fine collection of valuable works of art from local and foreign artists.
Head on to the city’s La Paz market and treat yourself to the best and original La Paz Bachoy at Netong’s or try the well-known Madge Cafe.
The city is already packed but the family shouldn’t miss some the best Iloilo tours. Head on to Guimaras if you want a taste of the sweetest mango in the world or breathe in the view on Gigantes Island.
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage City, this entrancing old town is definitely a must-visit for the family. You can reach Vigan through an 8-10 hour drive either by car or comfortable sleeper bus that has regular trips every day.
Alternatively, you can book a flight to Laoag and take a shorter, two-hour bus ride to Vigan.
Photo by the Philippine Department of Tourism
Go on Calle Crisologo tours, probably the most recognizable street in the country, and let it captivate you with its charm any time of the day. Embrace the history of the town through city tours; find antiques, get to know the Abel weavers, or visit Pagburnayan and try your hand at pottery.
The kids are encouraged by the locals to have a hand at it too and let them experience an age-old, undying craft. What’s not optional is for you to get your hands on local eats. Longganisa, empanada, and bagnet are just some of the mouth-watering goodness you can get when doing Vigan tours.
The lush forests of Misamis Occidental are a significant producer of oxygen for the country. Only an hour-long travel via plane and you’ll find yourself in Labo airport, Ozamiz City. The airport is just a few minutes away from the market and transport terminals.
Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, a declared ASEAN Heritage Park, makes for a great family experience that instill the virtue of preservation among children. Relax and reflect with the family in the presence of MisOcc's sacred Lake Duminagat.
Head on to Hoyohoy Highland Park and embark on a thrilling adventure that includes zip lines, horseback, and ATVs. They also have a hotel with stunning views of MisOcc's lush greens.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy natural wonders, or wanting to visit historical landmarks with the family, Laguna tourist spots have no shortage of both. You can reach the town a couple of hours on the road from Manila.
The iconic Pagsanjan Falls is the quintessential place to be when you’re in the province. Visit another well-known waterfall, Majayjay, or bathe and rejuvenate in the cold waters of Bato Springs.
Teach the young ones what enjoyment meant back when smartphones weren’t a thing by visiting Sta. Elena Farm, or head on and introduce them to the surviving artistry that is wood carving in Paete. Visit the Rizal Shrine and sneak in a quick history lesson while on vacation.
Looking for a place where kids (and adults) can be just kids? Then Pampanga is the place to be. Also just a few hours’ drive away from Manila and you'll get to enjoy the different activities and facilities with the family in Pampanga’s one-of-a-kind outdoor attraction, SandBox.
It has a variety of activities you can do like kart racing, aerial walk, archery, and many more. Once you’re done, cool down in the province’s newest and biggest waterpark, Aqua Planet.
If those types of adventures aren’t your thing, then let Pampanga treat you to Kapampangan staples like sisig, morcon, and kamaru.
Before you head home, stop by the beloved Atching Lilian and get your hands on San Nicolas Cookies made by the culinary icon. Check other tourist attractions in Pampanga that might also interest you.
Take a break with the family and head on to the city of smiles, Bacolod. The province is accessible via plane in only over an hour through major airports.
One of the most popular tourist spots in Bacolod is The Ruins, a perfect photo-op any time of the day. You can also go on a city walking tour that will take you through the town’s popular stops.
Less than an hour away from Bacolod proper is another popular tourist go-to, which is Mambukal Resort. Within the resort, you can take a pick at various activities that the whole family will definitely enjoy.
The mere mention of Elyu, and you hear the waves of the country’s surfing capital calling you. La Union can easily be reached by boarding on direct buses from Manila.
Take the family on a fun day at the beach and enjoy different water activities-surfing, snorkeling, or just relaxed sunbathing to your heart’s content. There are plenty of La Union resorts that you can choose from.
La Union also offers non-beach-related attractions like Gapuz Grapes where you can pick grapes and taste wine at an affordable price.
There are also several tourist spots like La Union’s Botanical Garden, Pagoda Hill, and Pindangan Ruins. Experience Elyu’s nightlife and visit San Fernando’s night market lined with local delicacies.
Davao is one of the highly urbanized cities in Mindanao, easily accessible via plane with daily flights from Manila. Home to the Philippine Eagle and thousands of crocodiles, you and your family can marvel at these wondrous creatures at the Philippine Eagle Center & Malagos Garden Resort and The Crocodile Park, respectively.
Both places offer educational and interactive tours as well as cultural shows that the whole family will enjoy. The city also prides itself on all the natural beauty that surrounds it. In Samal Island, you can also experience one of the best island hopping in the Philippines. From its serene beaches to majestic mountains, Davao tours deserve its recognition as it has something for everyone.
Easily reach Bataan in under an hour via Ferry from the Esplanade Seaside Terminal in Pasay or spend a couple of hours on the road via bus or private car. Bataan is teeming with locations that highlight the province's colorful contribution to Philippine history during World War 2.
Take a history stroll at Mt. Samat National Shrine, or travel back in time and marvel at the architecture of Plaza Mayor de Ciudad and the popular Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.
Don't miss out on Bataan beaches and Bataan tours when you come visit! If you're looking for something fancy, then Anvaya Cove is up your alley. If you’re looking for extreme adventure, there’s a dive cliff waiting for you at Five Fingers Cove.
When you need a break from the hustle of the city, Cagayan De Oro might be the spot for you. Just an hour away via plane with multiple flights a day to and from Manila, and you and your family can plunge in on different water activities and other fun Cagayan de Oro adventures found in and around the province.
Take a dip in the pool at the Seven Seas Waterpark and enjoy its many activities, or face the rapids of the Cagayan River with your gang. If you don't want water activities, then head on to Dahilayan Forest Park where they offer family-friendly activities and attractions.
There's also Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Eco Farm, a Bali-esque (and reminiscent of The Shire) attraction—a perfect photo op.
Lanao Del Norte might not be your usual top-of-the-list places to visit, but give this province a chance and it will surprise you.
You can reach Lanao Del Norte via plane in just over an hour. In the city of Iligan alone, you can find several beautiful waterfalls including the majestic Ma. Cristina Falls. Tinago Falls also is worth mentioning, but be ready because it will make you work to see its beauty with a 300-step staircase to reach it.
If you're looking for grub, Lanao Del Norte has no shortage of this either. It boasts of its fresh seafood, Cheding's peanuts, and the divisive fruit that is the Durian.
And finally, Manila, the heart of the metro! Extremely near the airport, surrounded by a lot of hotels and accommodations, tourist spots all over, and food offerings wherever you go—all the ingredients of a fun family adventure.
A nice start is for the whole fam to go to the National Museum. You can then head on to nearby attractions like the Ocean Park, Planetarium, and Rizal Shrine.
You can join Manila excursions that will tour you inside the walled city of Intramuros or take part in Binondo Chinatown tours! You can also visit Escolta and witness how young artists teamed up and gave its once-dirty streets a new life through art and music.
The Philippines is truly a destination fit for the whole family. It’s just a matter of knowing what you want to do. So get a hold of the gang, pack your bags, and gear up! Take your pick at the many places and experiences you can have in the Philippines for that ultimate family holiday. Check out other reasons why you should visit the Philippines.