Davao City has evolved into a true urban destination, but that doesn’t mean that it has forgotten its roots. Aside from establishments like SM, Abreeza Mall, and Starbucks, you will find more attractions that showcase the city’s heritage. Despite the rising number of buildings within the city’s boundaries, the majestic Mt. Apo still looms over everything – a reminder that the past is still alive in the city.
When you visit this beautiful city, it’s best to stay in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. In addition to saving money, booking an Airbnb will give you a friendly environment with a personal touch from your hosts. In this guide, you’ll learn about the city’s best neighborhoods and what to do in each one. Learn about the top-rated vacation rentals on Airbnb (from residential condominium units to entire homes) and get answers to frequently asked questions to ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.
In this Airbnb guide to Davao:
- Is Airbnb legal in Davao?
- Where should I stay in Davao?
- Best Airbnbs in Davao
- Is Airbnb cheaper than hotels in Davao?
- FAQ about Davao
Is Airbnb legal in Davao?
Yes! As of this writing, Airbnbs are entirely legal in Davao City. However, aspiring hosts in the Philippines’ cleanest city should note that they must first acquire a business permit and then pay occupancy taxes before operating.
Where should I stay in Davao City?
If accessibility to various locations around the city is a major concern, Obrero (1) would be an excellent choice. Samal Island (2), on the other hand, is known as the largest resort city in the Philippines. Go to Poblacion (3) if you want to stay close to shopping malls and fantastic eateries like the Roxas Night Market. Finally, for gastronomic delights and Davao’s thriving nightlife, look no further than Matina Crossing (4).
- Near shopping malls and similar establishments
- Accessible from different areas
- Cheap transportation
- Heavy traffic
- Prone to floods
Obrero is easily one of the most convenient areas in this list. Establishments are just a few minutes away from each other so there’s no need to hire taxis. Just take tricycles or jeepneys instead because the fares are incredibly cheap! For food and nightlife, you can go to F. Torres Street and Brick Lane Square where you’ll find trendy foodie restos. If you want to go shopping, there are popular malls such as Abreeza Mall and Gaisano Mall. Then, make sure you visit the Agdao Public Market, which is widely considered to be one of the city’s cleanest wet markets.
- Tranquil and pristine
- Considered “the largest resort city in the Philippines”
- An hour and thirty-minute drive from the city center
- Transportation around the island can be difficult
Looking for a peaceful location as your perfect getaway? Samal Island might just be for you. This Island Garden City is the largest island in the Davao Gulf and is known to be the go-to place for a relaxing time. You and your travel companions can go island hopping to see iconic sights like Isla Reta, Coral Garden, and Starfish Island. Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Hagimit Falls and laze around on the white sands of Kaputian Beach. Transportation around the island can be a challenge, but there are plenty of taxis and jeepneys that charge reasonable fares to take you around.
- Close to the city’s best tourist spots
- The heart of the city
- Traffic is common
- Can get tourist-heavy
As the heart of the city, Poblacion is home to tourist spots, restaurants, and even local universities like Ateneo De Davao and the University of Mindanao. Here, you can exercise at People’s Park and see artworks in Museo Dabawenyo. During the evening, explore Roxas Night Market for local delicacies and charming thrift shops. If that doesn’t satiate your inner shopaholic, visit the Aldevinco Shopping Mall where you’ll find handmade souvenirs and antique items. In case you fall in love with Poblacion, you can book an Airbnb at Avida Towers Condotel so you can stay within the district for the entirety of the trip.
- Balances relaxation and urban excitement
- Accessible fast-food chains and coffee shops nearby
- Can get crowded
Whether during the day or the evening, you can always find something fun to experience in the neighborhood of Matina Crossing. It offers an eclectic mix of daytime and nightlife spots. Learn about Philippine history while savoring authentic Japanese cuisine at the Japanese Tunnel and check out Tulip Drive, the city’s food boulevard. When the sun goes down, go to Matina Town Square with your friends for a night of live entertainment and mouth-watering delicacies. Indulge your sweet tooth at Lola Abon’s Original Durian Candy Factory, and pay a visit to the Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague.
Best Airbnbs in Davao
Best Airbnb apartment
Avida Towers Davao Condotel
Avida Towers is known for its clean, convenient, and affordable condo units. Strategically located in Poblacion District, Avida Towers Condotel is just within a short walking distance to places like People’s Park, San Pedro Cathedral, and the City Hall. With this brand new unit, you get clean furniture, kitchen appliances, and air conditioning units to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Guests also get access to unli Wi-Fi, the swimming pool, and the recreational area. When you choose to book this unit, just make sure to take note of the house rules: no smoking, no pets, and no parties/events.
Best Airbnb house
Modern Property Near SM and Jack’s Ridge
After a long day of exploring Matina Crossing, come home to this cozy and clean accommodation at Shrine Hills. Situated in a quiet and safe neighborhood, it’s only a few minutes away from establishments like SM City and SNR so you can easily do some last-minute shopping. With four bedrooms, this is a treat for homebodies as it includes amenities like a full kitchen, free and safe parking, Wi-Fi, and a workspace optimized for productivity. Drive to Jack’s Ridge nearby to dine while enjoying unmatched views, then come home to relax with Netflix!
Best Airbnb for families
Seaview Studio Overlooking Davao at Castle View
Castle View is sure to delight the entire family. This studio condo unit has spacious and secure grounds for the kids to play around in, plus an infinity swimming pool that overlooks the sprawling city. There’s also a shared garden in the area where you can cook some barbecue. With five large studios and one large two-bedroom unit, there is more than enough space for a good night’s sleep. When you need to buy goods, you won’t need to run out to a convenience or grocery store because there’s a store within the property. The rental also includes essential amenities like air conditioning and Wi-Fi.
Best Airbnb for Couples
Abreeza Place Condo Unit
This semi-furnished condo unit has everything that couples need for the perfect staycation. It has a smart TV, cooking utensils, and a window with some excellent views. Its queen size bed and the couch offer plenty of space for you to cozy up while watching some Netflix. Since it’s within walking distance to Abreeza Mall, you won’t have to worry about transportation if you need to shop for groceries. You can also take a dip in the pool at a small price of 150 pesos. Privacy is a priority here, so it is never crowded with guests and tourists.
Best Airbnb for Large Groups
Big Residence Near SNR and Ateneo
It can be challenging to look for an Airbnb that can host large groups. Luckily, this property provides a luxurious haven for groups of up to 16! it has five bedrooms equipped with amenities air-conditioners, a comfy living room, and a spacious dining area. Outside is a big lawn where you can host barbecue parties for your friends. Additionally, it’s very close to commercial establishments like Matina Town Square, so you won’t have to worry about getting home safely after a fun night out.
Is Airbnb cheaper than hotels in Davao?
You get more bang for your buck when you book an Airbnb instead of a hotel room. Rooms at Marco Polo Hotel and Seda Abreeza, for example, cost roughly the same as an entire property on Airbnb.
In Airbnbs, you also get accommodations that are more personal, making for a friendlier environment for weary travelers. While most hotels charge extra for Wi-Fi, many of the listings that you’ll find on Airbnb offer it (as well as other certain amenities) for free.
One of the possible downsides of booking Airbnbs is the lack of the comforts that you would normally get from hotels. Unless it’s a listed inclusion, you won’t have bellboys and cleaners that you can just call 24/7. However, if you’re only staying for one night, that shouldn’t be a big problem. House rules are another downside, as they can be stifling for others. However, that’s a small price to pay when you consider the price of these vacation rentals. At the end of the day, Airbnbs are still the better choice.
FAQ about Davao
Tagaytay City is the perfect road trip destination if you want to lay back, relax, and enjoy the amazing views of the lush greenery of the mountains coupled with the refreshingly cool breeze of the famous Taal Lake. Whether you want a more luxurious stay in an exclusive Scandinavian chalet or stay in an affordable studio unit to simply enjoy the view of land and sea, there’s always a place in Tagaytay you can call home.
If you’re traveling for business, you will need the following: a company ID, a Certificate of Employment, a medical clearance certificate, a company travel order, a round-trip ticket, an RT-PCR negative test result for COVID (taken 24-72 hours before the date of arrival), and a confirmed hotel or Airbnb booking.
if you’re only traveling for business, all you need is your plane ticket. In both cases, your temperature will be checked, your accomplished locator form will be collected, and you can get an RT-PCR test at the airport directly upon arrival.
Davao is famous for being a very strict city, resulting in its cleanliness and safety. Citizens follow an anti-smoking local ordinance so you certainly won’t be inhaling second-hand smoke or seeing littered cigarette butts. Crime rates are also low here, and back in June, it was reported that it reduced to 55%. Many people even feel comfortable roaming the city on foot, so if your destination is within walking distance, feel free to do so.
You can find a wide range of cuisines in this city. For fresh seafood, make sure to dine at Marina Tuna Restaurant where they serve tuna in ten ways. If you’re craving for international flavors, go to Claude’s Le Cafe De Ville for French dishes and Zabadani for their Mediterranean and halal delights. Tired of run-of-the-mill dining experiences? Then go to Kaonanan sa Tribu K’Mindanawan for exotic dishes and traditional performances of Mindanao’s indigenous tribes.
To avoid the heat, it’s best if you visit anytime between December and February. These are the city’s driest and coolest months. However, if you want to experience its annual Kadayawan Festival, then you shouldn’t definitely book a flight and an Airbnb for August.
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