Davao City, officially known as the City of Davao, is a highly urbanized city in the island of Mindanao, Philippines.
With a land area of 2,443.61 km2, it is actually the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area.
It’s also the third-most populous city in the Philippines after Quezon City and Manila.
It is said that this city is somewhat dangerous because of the terrorist attacks that have been happening in the past couple of years on Mindanao Island.
However, the situation is not that grave and the city is actually a lot safer for tourists and foreigners than it is rumoured.
Warnings & Dangers in Davao City
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
The criminal activity in Davao City has increased greatly during the past couple of years. However, this criminal activity, for the most part, doesn't concern tourists. You should be careful in tourist hotspots because these are the places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur, and that violent crime exists, too.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transport is not the most reliable in Davao City, and can get annoying, but for the most part is safe. Count on taxi drivers trying to rip you off, extremely annoying traffic jams the Philippines are notorious for, intolerant and reckless drivers, and taxi drivers working without meters.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Though the risk of petty theft exists due to the popularity of this destination, and there are many pickpockets operating around the beaches and popular tourist hotspots, the level of petty crime is low compared to many European capitals.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
The Philippines are somewhat susceptible to typhoons, floods, landlines, tsunamis, while volcanic eruptions are also becoming a serious issue in the country.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
While petty crime is lacking, violent crime exists in Davao. Assaults, robberies and kidnappings are extremely common all over the islands but mostly don't affect the foreigners.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
There have been numerous terrorist attacks in this part of the Philippines recent history. Davao has been targeted by bomb blasts in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017. Apart from that, there are deadly battles being fought between terrorists and the Philippine army outside of the city of Davao.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Always carry small bills with you. Vendors will try and make you buy more things by saying they have no change for large bills. Apart from that, be wary of people lurking around ATMs or anyone trying to distract you. Taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
It is advised that women avoid walking alone after dark. Apply all precaution measures at all times and avoid dark and empty streets and locations. If you avoid these situations, it's mostly safe in Davao for women.
So... How Safe Is Davao City Really?
Although the Philippine people are known as friendly and welcoming, you should keep in mind that although this country is mostly safe, it’s known to be a target for terrorists and that many countries advise against travelling there.
This applies to Davao City, too.
Drive-by shootings pose another threat in Muslim part of Mindanao Island as well (where Davao City is located), and as of the 2010’s the criminals started performing more drive by shootings than kidnappings, so be very careful when in public, whether by day or night.
Christian and Muslim areas of Mindanao are also notorious for being home to organized crime groups and gangs involved in the drug and weapons trade, gambling or armed robberies.
However, they shouldn’t pose a threat to tourists.
As for other types of crime, Davao is mostly safe.
As an experienced traveler, you know that you should keep your belongings in a safe place, not to flash your valuables, especially parts of expensive technology, in public places, and not to carry all your money with you.
People in Davao City are mostly friendly, warm and welcoming.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, unfortunately, you cannot rely of police. In many cases, you should be wary of them as they can be easily bribed and might even try to scam you.
- Visas - U.S. residents do not need a visa for any stays shorter than 90 days. All other nationals will need to acquire a visa in order to enter the Philippines. If you are not sure about your visa status, you should visit your local Philippine embassy.
- Currency - The Philippine peso is the official currency of Davao City. Tourists are advised to exchange their money at the official establishments such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands or Banco De Oro.
- Weather - The climate in Davao City is tropical, with the hottest season lasting from March to May. The rainy season lasts from June to October and during this season you can expect strong typhoons. The coolest months are from November to February,
- Airports - Francisco Bangoy International Airport, also referred to as Davao International Airport, is the main airport serving Davao City and Davao Region in the Philippines. It is, actually, the busiest airport on the island of Mindanao and the third busiest on the Philippines.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Davao City, because it would cover not only medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Davao City Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|