The Ultimate Travel Guide to the Philippines

Are you ready to tick a tropical paradise off your bucket list? Look no further than the Philippines! This Southeast Asian country is home to more than 7,000 islands and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But as much as the beaches are worth the trip alone, the Philippines has so much more to offer. I’m also personally biased because my husband is Filipino. With its rich history, diverse cuisine, and welcoming culture, the Philippines deserves a spot on every traveler’s itinerary. In this ultimate travel guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about traveling to the Philippines and why it should be at the top of your travel list!

Things about about in this post:

List of the most commonly visited places in the Philippines:

  • Manila
  • Boracay
  • Palawan
  • Bohol
  • Cebu
  • Baguio

Itineraries for the Philippines:


Sand castle on the beach of Boracay, Philippines

First things first, let’s talk beaches! The Philippines is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. Many can be found on the islands of Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao. Boracay’s White Beach is voted the best beaches in the world. Not to mention it’s because of its white sand and crystal-clear waters. I absolutely loved Boracay because it’s great for families to stay in Station 2, but Station 1 has the best hostels for young and solo travelers. Also, it’s very safe to travel to as a solo-female traveler.

Palawan’s El Nido, on the other hand, boasts towering limestone cliffs and turquoise lagoons. More remote than some of the other Island that have become tourists hot-spots, you definitely need to visit here, even for a few days. El Nido has also easily become an Instagram-able photo worthy place. Also, Siargao is known for its surf scene and island-hopping tours. Don’t forget to pack your swimwear and sunscreen! No ultimate travel guide to the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without visiting these beautiful beaches.


The Philippines is a country rich in history. Surprisingly, Spain colonized the Philippines for more than 300 years.

Memorial dedicated to Jose Rizal

For this reason, the architecture in the country today is influenced by the Spanish. As a result, some of the famous Baroque-style churches found in Manila and elsewhere. Jose Rizal is one of the founders in fighting for Philippine independence from the Spanish, and he’s an icon the in the very heart and soul of Filipinos. For that reason, many statues and parks are dedicated in his honor.

The Philippines was also occupied by the United States, and its impact can be seen in the country’s love for American culture, including sports and fast-food chains. Not far from Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial. It sits on over 150 acres and consists of the graves of those who lives were lost during WWII in the operations in New Guinea and the Philippines.


Feast laid out on banana leaves during Filipino celebrations

Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of influences from Malaysia, China, and Spain. A must-try is adobo, a dish that consists of marinated meat (usually chicken or pork) that’s been simmered in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. Lechon, or roasted pig, is a popular dish at celebrations and festivals.

Another popular dish for celebrations is a called a Boodle Fight, and it’s different types of food laid out on banana leaves. For snacks, try balut, a fertilized duck egg, or halo-halo, a dessert made of shaved ice, milk, and different types of sweet beans and fruits.

Some Filipino food that I’ve made myself and should be first on your culinary adventure in the Philippines:

  1. Chicken Adobo
  2. Lumpia Shanghai (Filipino egg rolls)
  3. Pancit Bihon
  4. Pork BBQ

Filipino food can best be described as sweet and sour. The dishes taste foreign and yet very similar at the same time. Filipino Bistec has become a comfort food for me now, and I wish more people would try Filipino food.


The currency used in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP). As of the time of this

A Image of what Filipino currency looks like

writing, $1 USD is approximately 50 PHP. It’s always a good idea to have cash on hand, but many establishments, especially in tourist areas, also accept credit cards. Keep in mind that tipping is common in the Philippines, particularly in restaurants and for service providers such as drivers and tour guides. Tipping an average of around 50-100 PHP is very generous, but some restaurants that have many American tourist do expect you to tip a percentage of the bill, just the the US.

Culture and Language:

Guard and myself grabbing a selfie

The Philippines is known for its friendly and hospitable people. With more than 100 dialects spoken in the country, the official language is Filipino, which is based on Tagalog. Tagalog is very influenced by the Spanish language, so many Filipinos can understand a little Spanish. Examples of Spanish influence Berde vs Verde and Como estas vs Kamutsa.

English is also widely spoken and taught in schools, so getting around won’t be a problem. When greeting someone, it’s customary to say “magandang araw” which means “good day” in English. Filipinos are also big on festivals and traditions, with festivities held throughout the year to celebrate everything from religious events to cultural celebrations.


With its stunning beaches, rich history, delicious cuisine, and welcoming culture, the Philippines should be at the top of every traveler’s bucket list. Hopefully this helpful ultimate travel guide for the Philippines is worth it. Whether you’re a family on vacation or a solo backpacker, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Pack your bags, get your passport ready, and head to the Philippines for an adventure you won’t forget! Philippines is re-opened from Covid, and everyone is excited to be out an about again. Make sure to put this country on your radar.

Have you been to the Philippines? Where was your favorite place? Is the Philippines on your bucket list? Tell me now, I love hearing from my readers.

Happy Travels 🌏✈️

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