Philippines Key Facts
300, 000 km²
100, 617, 630
For Philippines travel insurance, select Asia Region
International Calling Codes
80.579% Roman Catholic
2.682% Evangelical Christian
Get current exchange rates from
In Philippines they drive on the right side of the road
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit the Philippines is between the months of March and October.
Airports (11 international,73 domestic ), boats and ferries, highways, bus, railways, ports and harbours.
World Heritage Sites
- Baroque Churches of the Philippines, a group of four churches built in the 16th century famous for being a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen
- Historic Town of Vigan, the best preserved example of a Spanish colonial town in Asia
- Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, which stand for the harmony between humankind and the environment
- Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, home to many endemic and endangered species and a unique location to observe terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different elevations
- Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National park, a stunning limestone karst landscape with an underground river and a full 'mountain-to-sea' ecosystem
- Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, an pristine atoll reef with a high density of marine species
Average Annual Temperature
Average Annual Rainfall
The Philippines enjoy a tropical maritime climate that is characterized by three seasons: from March until May is summer (i.e. hot and dry), from June until November is the rainy season, and from December until February is the cool dry season. From May until October tends to be monsoon season and from November until April the trade winds from the northeast bring little to no rainfall.
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- January 2 - Additional special non-working day
- February 19 - Chinese New Year
- February 25 - EDSA Revolution anniversary
- April 2 - Maundy Thursday
- March | April - Good Friday
- March | April - Black Saturday
- April 9 - Araw nk Kagitingan
- May 1 - Labor Day
- June 12 - Independence Day
- August 21 - Ninoy Aquino Day
- August 31 - National Heroes Day
- November 1 - All Saints Day
- November 30 - Bonifacio Day
- December 24 - Additional special non-working day
- December 25 - Christmas Day
- December 30 - Rizal Day
- December 31 - Last day of the year
Why Visit Philippines?
The Philippines remain a bit off the beaten track, with most visiting tourists coming from South Korea. It offers fantastic value for money for budget travellers, a huge diversity of activities ranging from eco tourism to high end beach resorts, and some spectacular landscapes.
Things To Do In Philippines
- Intramuros in Manila, Boracay island.
- Diving with whale sharks in Donsol.
- See the iconic rice terrace landscape in Banaue.
- Eat some adventurous foods.
- Hang out with the friendliest locals in Asia.
Travel Tips For Philippines
Make sure to save some of your money for the departure tax which is collected at the airport before you leave.
Traditional Filipino cuisine is similar to that of neighboring Thailand and Vietnam, with the main difference being that it uses a lot less spices and relies more on garlic and different cooking methods to infuse flavor. However, what you will find in the Philippines are traces not only from the neighboring countries, but also from every nation that occupied these islands. You are likely to find the national dish adobo, which is a garlic and soy sauce stew with pork and chicken, on the same menu as camaron rebusado, which is the Filipino version of tempura, and arroz de Valenciana, a FIlipino paella. So if you like Chinese, Thai, Portuguese, Mexican, and other European foods, you will be in good hands in the Philippines. Hands down the most interesting and fun way to try local food is through the street food. Adidas, which are barbecued chicken feet, are popular, as are isaw, which are barbecued chicken intestines, and banana cue, deep fried and caramelized bananas. Make sure to try the fantastic range of sorbets sold as sorbetes made from a wild mix of many tropical fruits.
Philippines Travel Safety and Warnings
The Philippines are not necessary the safest place for travellers, and it is wise to always use common sense and be street smart. Avoid flashing any expensive items, fancy equipment, or money for that matter. Pickpockets and petty theft are common. Avoid walking down any lonely alleyways, especially at night. The island of Mindanao in the south has a long standing problem with organized crime. While the groups usually leave tourists alone, it is important to be aware that drive by shootings and kidnappings are becoming more and more common. There have also been problems with terrorism by insurgency groups. Ensure you have travel insurance for the Philippines. Make sure to have a good travel pharmacy with you, including antimalarials. Check with your local GP about any vaccinations you may need before embarking on your journey.
From beautiful 2000-year-old rice terraces to some of the best islands and beaches in the world, from the busy hub of Manila to spectacular diving sites, the Philippines is a destination with a lot to offer. While still not the most stable or safe region, tourism has helped the Philippines develop over the last few years and that has made travellers very welcome on these gorgeous islands. Make sure to bring a sun hat with you, get the appropriate travel insurance for Philippines, and go jump on an airplane because 'it's just more fun in the Philippines.'
The Philippines is a must-see destination that offers a spectacular amount of culture, heritage and activities. Unfortunately many travellers are a little apprehensive about visiting the Philippines, as the islands have seen their fair share of conflict, organized crime can be a problem and the area is also prone to natural disaster. After your first day in Manila though, you shed all your fears, worries and doubts and go about exploring one of the most diverse places on the planet.
The people of the Philippines are what makes this a truly great place. Everyone is friendly without being overbearing, everybody just loves to connect with people, and everyone seems really quite happy that you showed up, as if they were waiting for you. Filipinos are famous for their hospitality and their big smiles, and that makes travelling around here very special!
Manila is the busy capital city. It is the financial hub of the Philippines and there is a lot going on here. Walking through the city you will see buildings from every occupying colonial force making for quite the mix of architectures. An interesting site to explore is the ruin of a walled, Spanish settlement called Intramuros. Around here you will also find a lot of interesting museums and buildings with stories of a time long gone. This is also home to the Manila Cathedral, which is arguably the most important church in the country!
Just outside the walled city is where you will find Rizal Park, as well as the National Museum, a stunning orchidarium and a Chinese-Filipino garden. The gardens are dedicated to José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. While you are strolling outside, do make sure to try the street food!
Food in the Philippines is a wonderful mix of any and all influences, and you are just as likely to find Spanish paella, next to the Filipino version of tempura, next to barbecued chicken feet. Traditionally, Filipino cuisine is similar to that of its neighbors, only a lot milder. But you will find very good Mexican, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, American and even Italian food here, and often fully integrated into the local menus. For adventurous eaters there are also lots of opportunities to indulge: from the aforementioned chicken feet, you will also find barbecued chicken hearts and intestines, and barbecued pig's blood.
About an hour's flight from Manila is the island of Boracay. Voted as the best island destination in the world in 2010, this beautiful island offers kilometre after kilometre of unspoilt, pristine white beaches. While many people just come here to lounge and relax there are a lot of activities for the more adventurous travellers: you can go snorkeling, which is especially nice at the smaller beaches such as Puka or Baling Hai, you can visit the Bat Cave which is home to small insectivorous bats, you can go scuba diving as there are many wall dives in the area, you can go cliff jumping, or you can start kite boarding. Boracay is just the most famous of the islands, you could also choose to go to Amanpulo, Coron, or Cagbalete islands, or any of the other 7107 islands that make up this country! Before doing anything too adventurous though, make sure you have the right travel insurance for all your planned activities.
Not far from Manila is the small town of Banaue, which is home to the country's iconic rice terrace landscape. These rice terraces have been farmed for over 2000 years now, with knowledge passed down from generation to generation. This landscape is absolutely spectacular and a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can catch a lift from town to the terraces, but there is also the option of walking (around 2-3 hours), which will allow you to stop and take some stunning pictures.
It’s important to look into taking out appropriate travel insurance before you travel, and to check Smartraveller for official travel advice for the cities that you’re planning on travelling to. Your travel insurance may not provide cover should you travel to areas with a ‘Do Not Travel’ or ‘Reconsider Your Need To Travel’ warning on Smartraveller. Also, make sure you have a valid passport so you can explore, discover and enjoy this truly remarkable destination!
For more information on the Philippines, visit the Philippines tourism website.