TOP PICKS: 30 Best Things to Do in Zamboanga City (Tourist Spots, Attractions and Things To Do and Experience) PART 1

Top Best Things to Do in Zamboanga City Philippines

Zamboanga City is indeed a majestic place and it is full of astonishing places to visit. The city is quite big and it would require you several days to really visit most of the famous tourist spots and attractions in Zamboanga City. You can find many places and do many things in Zamboanga City. For first-timers or even if you're going for a re-visit, I listed here some of the most popular attractions, tourist spots and things to do in "Asia's Latin City!". There’s a bucket of fun and adventure to do, but here is the first part my top 30 ways to enjoy your stay.

Best Things to Do in Zamboanga City

1. Visit the historic City Hall of Zamboanga

For me, one thing to consider when travelling into a place is to visit their city hall. Somehow, seeing their city hall will give you the idea of what to expect in the area. And guess what? The Zamboanga city hall building is already more than a hundred years old! After visiting the city hall, one thing is for sure – you'll realize that the place is undeniably historic.

Best Things to Do in Zamboanga City

2. Visit Rizal Park and Plaza Pershing

Yes, Zamboanga City has its own Rizal Park. It is just in front of the city hall so I recommend you to visit this after taking a photo of the imposing and beautiful city hall. They also have this old plaza called Plaza Pershing. It is named after the late Governor John “Blackjack” Pershing. It was built in honor of Governor John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing’s triumph against Muslim insurgents during the early times. The plaza offers a very nice place to hangout for kids and also for adults.

SEE ALSO: Bienvenidos Ciudad de Zamboanga!, a DIY Walking Tour

3. Pray at the Zamboanga Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception or commonly known as the Zamboanga City Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga (created in 1910 as diocese and elevated in 1958 as an archdiocese). It is known as one of the most modern cathedrals in Asia, built in 1998-2001. The design is quite eye catching since it looks like a candle light. The marble statue of the Immaculate Conception designed by Napoleon Abueva is also interesting piece of art you shouldn't miss.

Zamboanga City Tourist Spots

4. Beach bum at the Great Sta. Cruz Islands

The pink sand beach of great Sta. Cruz Island is famous among locals and touristsfor its pink coralline sand. Yes, another Instagram worthy shots are waiting. These pinkish sand make them stand out among other islands in Zamboanga City. It is actually made up of 2 islands, the other one is called the Little Sta Cruz island which is a protected area and the public are restricted to visit it since it is being used as a military camp. This is one unique beach in the Philippines that must be added to your bucket list!

SEE ALSO: The Pink Sand Beach of Sta. Cruz Island (with Boat Fares and How to Get There)

2nd Zamboanga City Bird Festival

5. Explore the Lagoon in Sta. Cruz Island

If you love mangroves, then this place is for you. They claim that some of the mangroves you can see here are hundred years old. Preserving the natural beauty of our nature. You can ride a paddle boat and explore the beauty of the lagoon while enjoying different species of birds living the abundant life of the lagoon.

SEE ALSO: Exploring the Lagoon on Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City

Sta Cruz Island Zamboanga City

6. Visit the old badjao burial graves in Sta. Cruz island

Avid fan of historic places? Visit the ancient badjao burial grounds on Sta. Cruz island. You can do this after visiting the lagoon or after swimming at the pink sand beach. Local tribes used some parts of the island as a graveyard. It was used by the local tribes, Badjao and Sama Bangingi to be exact.

SEE ALSO: Visiting the Old Badjao Burial Grounds on Sta Cruz Island

Zamboanga City Tourist Spots

7. Pay homage to Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa at Fort Pilar Shrine

Fort Pilar Shrine is dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the patroness of Zamboanga City. It is a quiet place where you can find your inner peace. Great for those who are looking for a plcae to just sit down for a while, talk to Him, and pay homage.

Fort Pilar Zamboanga City

8. Learn history at Fort Pilar and Museum

The fort is one of the regional museum of the National Museum of the Philippines. It is now a major landmark of the city and attracts tourist at the same time. Expect to feel the warmth of their cultural heritage and prepare to go back into the time where Spanish colonial government built the 17th century military defense fortress in the exact area you are standing.

SEE ALSO: Bienvenidos Ciudad de Zamboanga!, a DIY Walking Tour

Zamboanga City Tourist Spots

9. Stroll and eat at Paseo del Mar

Paseo del Mar is perfect for strolling, a great view of the sunset too. Paseo has a long walkway along the shoreline that will give you a picturesque image of the sunset. There are some locals too that are selling some good stuff and food to eat along the area. At night, don't miss the dancing musical fountain which everyone loves.

Rio Hondo Village Zamboanga City

10. Immerse yourself at the community of Rio Hondo Village

You might be asking what does "Rio Hondo" means? So here’s a little trivia for you. Rio means river and Hondo means deep. So technically, Rio Hondo means it is a deep river overflowing the village. To tell you honestly, Rio Hondo is not really a tourist spot because first and foremost, it is a villageof family carrying and suffering the poverty. You might want to visit them for you to experience how hard it is to live in a place like that and in that way, you can appreciate life more. Talk to them, mingle with them, and you'll be amazed how warm and accommodating they are.

Zamboanga City Tourist Spots

11. Watch masterpieces being created in Yakan Weaving Village

Just to add some knowledge, Yakan is one of the many indigenous tribes living around Zamboanga city. You can visit them to see how they weave their yakan cloth which comes in vibrant colors and intricate designs. They are also claiming that all of their designs are unique – giving me a reason to love them more. This is also a good place to buy some souvenirs. They have table runners, malong, bags, wallets, among many others.

Taluksangay Mosque Masjid Zamboanga City

12. Visit Taluksangay Mosque

Taluksangay Mosque is considered as one of the gems of Zamboanga City. It is a treasure worth keeping since they don’t want to be forgotten as the generation passes by. It is also wealthy in tourists because of it's striking red dome and for being considered as one of the oldest mosques in Zamboanga Peninsula

Sunset in Zamboanga City

13. Watch the sunset at the Cawa-Cawa boulevard

Cawa-Cawa boulevard also known as the R.T Lim Boulevard is another recreational place by the sea where you can jog along the pathway. Since it is an open area, sunset is indeed a great view from here.

Zamboanga City Tourist Spots

14. Shop at barter trade markets

Canelar Trading Center is one of the famous barter trade markets in Zamboanga city where you can buy pasalubongs. Items here are incredibly cheap, you can even haggle. Of course, every cent counts!

SEE ALSO: Bienvenidos Ciudad de Zamboanga!, a DIY Walking Tour

Pasonanca Park Zamboanga City

15. Visit the tree house and teepees in Pasonanca Park

Pasonanca Park has lots to offer like their Pasonanca park swimming pools, tree house, and butterfly park. The park has three public pools. The first one is the Olympic size pool, second is the natural flowing pool and the last is the children’s pool with water slides. You can also climb into the tree house and enjoy being a kid again.

Zamboanga City Tourist Spots

There are really a lot of things you can do and experience when visiting Zamboanga City. I highly suggest that you visit these tourist spots and attractions and make your first Zamboanga City trip a memorable one.

TRAVEL GUIDE: Zamboanga City - How To Get There, Accommodations, Transportation, Itinerary, Expenses and Contact Details

Continue Reading: Part 2


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Ian | Going Places said...

I really want to visit Zamboanga and your post made me long to visit it. But my drawback here is the city is still red alert recently that my mom won't allow to visit it anytime soon.

Lawrence Dela Pena said...

I think you just need to be vigilant sir.:) And pray.

Anonymous said...

safe naman sa city. nakaka-joyride pa nga around sa city sa gabi.

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