8 BEST NEIGHBORHOODS To Live In Davao City Philippines 2024

best neighborhoods to live in Davao City Philippines

Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Live in Davao City Philippines Introduction πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­

We will help guide you through the Best neighborhoods and areas to live in Davao City Philippines!

We lived in Davao City Philippines and only spent $900 – $1,150 per month for the two of us while Living in Davao City, and we also have articles that further cover how much we spent while living in Davao City as well as Manila, Siargao, El Nido, Coron, Boracay, and Bohol.

Known as the β€œCity of Royalties”, Davao City is the largest city in the Philippines by land area. This sprawling metropolitan is not only an economic hub but also a top tourist destination thanks to its amazing beaches, lush parks, yummy cuisine, and friendly locals. As an economic hub, jobs are plenty in fields like IT, BPO, manufacturing, and agriculture.

If you’re planning a trip here, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is where to stay. Davao City has a diverse range of neighborhoods and areas, each with its unique vibe and attractions.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the best places for visitors to stay in Davao City, whether you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations, want to be close to key attractions, a bit of luxury, or a local neighborhood experience.

From bustling city centers to laidback coastal communities, we’ve got the inside scoop on the most appealing areas that should be on your Davao City accommodation wishlist.

Let’s get started!

Table Of Contents

10 Top Reasons to Live in Davao City Philippines

Explore the unique reasons Davao City Philippines should be your next home away from home.

Here are 10 unique reasons to move to Davao City, Philippines:

  1. Low Cost of Living – The cost of living in Davao is much lower compared to other major cities in the Philippines like Manila and Cebu. Necessities, housing, and utilities are very affordable.
  2. Improved Law and Order – Davao has strict policies against smoking, littering, traffic violations, etc. This makes it one of the safest and most disciplined cities.
  3. Mild Weather – Davao enjoys a tropical climate but is spared from typhoons. Temperatures range from 24Β°C to 32Β°C, making outdoor activities pleasant year-round.
  4. Abundant Job Opportunities – With new businesses and investments, Davao has seen rapid economic growth. This creates plenty of employment options across different areas.
  5. Gateway to Nature – Davao is surrounded by majestic mountains, hills, rivers, and beaches. You’re never too far from scenic getaways like Eden Nature Park.
  6. Multiculturalism – Davao has a diverse mix of cultures. The city celebrates weekly cultural nights showcasing music, dance, and cuisine.
  7. Excellent Healthcare – Davao has top-class medical facilities and some of the best doctors in the country. Healthcare is easily accessible and affordable.
  8. Delicious Local Cuisine – From fresh seafood to exotic fruits, experience authentic Durian, Marang, and other local flavors unique to Davao.
  9. Rich History – As an old settlement, Davao has historic landmarks like the Japanese Tunnel to explore and learn about its past.
  10. The Davaoeno Hospitality – Known as the Land of Promise, DavaoeΓ±os are very welcoming. Expect smiles, warm conversations, and help from locals.

Cultural Considerations in Davao City Philippines

  • Respect local customs and dress appropriately – DavaoeΓ±os tend to dress modestly. Avoid revealing clothes when going to churches or remote villages.
  • Remove shoes before entering a home – Filipinos often take shoes off inside homes to keep the space clean. Don’t be surprised if your host may have a sign for you to remove your shoes before entering the apartment you are renting like in other areas in Asia, in our experience.
  • Use your right hand for eating and handing things – The left hand is considered unclean. Use utensils or your right hand only when dining.
  • Avoid public displays of affection – Kissing or other intimate gestures in public are frowned upon. Keep things modest.
  • Be punctual for appointments – Filipinos value punctuality. Avoid showing up late as it is impolite.
  • Elders are respected – Use po/ho when addressing older Filipinos. Allow elders to be seated and served first.
  • Family comes first – Understand that Filipinos prioritize family over work/social obligations.
  • Observe silence in places of worship – Churches in Davao follow strict rules. Keep noise minimal and avoid taking photos.
  • Try local delicacies – Partake in Durian, Pomelo, and other unique DavaoeΓ±o foods to appreciate the culture.
  • Smile and maintain good humor – DavaoeΓ±os appreciates friendliness and positivity in social interactions.

General Cost of Living in Davao City Philippines Breakdown

Cost of living in Davao City For Expats Breakdown by CategoryMonthly Cost in USDMonthly Cost in PHP
Housing in Davao City Philippines
Basic 1-bedroom apartment (city center)$200 – $400β‚±11,000 – β‚±22,000
2-bedroom apartment (city center)$300 – $600β‚±16,500 – β‚±33,000
3-bedroom apartment (city center)$400 – $800β‚±22,000 – β‚±44,000
3-4 bedroom villa (compound living)$800 – $1,500β‚±44,000 – β‚±82,500
(electricity, AC, water) for a family$100 – $200β‚±5,500 – β‚±11,000
Food in Davao City Philippines
Local and imported groceries for your family$300 – $600β‚±16,500 – β‚±33,000
Dining out 2-3 times a week$100 – $300β‚±5,500 – β‚±16,500
Cheap street food and fast food per meal$2 – $5β‚±110 – β‚±275
Transportation in Davao City Philippines
Bus per 5 km ride$0.20 – $0.40β‚±10 – β‚±20
Taxi per 5 km ride$1 – $2β‚±55 – β‚±110
Grab (car) per 5 km ride$2 – $3β‚±110 – β‚±165
Angkas (motorcycle taxi) per 5 km ride$0.50 – $1β‚±25 – β‚±55
Tricycle per 5 km ride$1 – $2β‚±55 – β‚±110
Ferry boat ride$1 – $3β‚±55 – β‚±165
Intercity bus ticket$5 – $15β‚±275 – β‚±825
Plane (local) ticket$50 – $100β‚±2,750 – β‚±5,500
Total Monthly Cost of Living in Davao City Philippines for Expats$960 – $3,00052,800 PHP – β‚±165,000

You can Also Check out more information from our article Cost of Living in Davao City Philippines

Pros and Cons Of the Best Neighborhoods and Areas in Davao City Philippines

Best Neighborhoods/Areas to Live in Davao CityProsCons
Agdao– Close to malls, restaurants, nightlife
– Urban vibe in the city center
– Good for young professionals
– Can be noisy
– Heavy traffic
Lanang– Quiet and less crowded
– Near the airport and seaport
– Lots of open spaces
– Limited nightlife
– Far from downtown
Matina– Close to schools and universities
– Access to public transportation
– New residential developments
– Prone to flooding
– Traffic congestion
Calinan– Fresh air and mountain views
– Away from city crowds
– Affordable housing options
– Far from the city center
– Limited amenities
Catalunan Pequeno– Tight-knit village feel
– Near scenic coastline
– Good for families
– Fewer restaurants/malls
– Flooding during rains
Toril– Industrial zone with job opportunities
– Increasing development
– Lower cost of living
– Pollution from factories
– Traffic and congestion
Mintal– New suburban community
– Modern amenities and shops
– Access to public transit
– Far from downtown
– New/under development
Bajada– Quiet hillside neighborhood
– Near parks and attractions
– Good for retirees
– Distant from businesses
– Limited dining options

Top Neighborhoods to Live in Davao City for Expats

Top Neighborhoods to live in Davao City for ExpatsDescriptionEst. Monthly Rent (USD)Est. Monthly Rent (PHP)
AgdaoUrban city center neighborhood near malls, restaurants, nightlife$200 – $800β‚±11,000 – β‚±44,000
LanangQuiet, less crowded area near the airport and seaport$300 – $1,000β‚±16,500 – β‚±55,000
MatinaResidential area close to schools, transport, new developments$150 – $600β‚±8,250 – β‚±33,000
CalinanFresh, affordable area away from downtown crowds$80 – $300β‚±4,400 – β‚±16,500
Catalunan PequenoTight-knit village near the coastline$100 – $400β‚±5,500 – β‚±22,000
TorilIndustrial zone with job opportunities$50 – $200β‚±2,750 – β‚±11,000
MintalNew suburban community with modern amenities$200 – $800β‚±11,000 – β‚±44,000
BajadaQuiet hillside neighborhood good for retirees$150 – $600β‚±8,250 – β‚±33,000

Health Insurance While Living in Davao City Philippines

Having comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended when visiting Davao City Philippines to protect against any unexpected incidents. SafetyWing is an excellent option tailored to global travelers and digital nomads.

Why Choose SafetyWing?

SafetyWing makes travel insurance easy and affordable at just $45 – $250/month. Here are some key reasons to consider it:

  • Global coverage including exotic destinations
  • Flexible policies fit nomadic lifestyles
  • Easy sign-up and claims from phone/computer
  • Covers medical, evacuations, disruptions, baggage, etc.
  • 24/7 customer support anywhere
  • Customizable coverage amounts and add-ons

Other Travel Insurance Options

While SafetyWing is a top choice, companies like WorldNomads, Cigna Global, and IMG also offer comprehensive travel insurance for Davao City Philippines. Typical policies range from $45 – $500 for 2 weeks to a month of coverage. Compare coverage and premium costs.

Some key considerations for finding a good insurance policy:

  • Emergency medical and evacuation
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Lost/delayed baggage
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Altitude sickness coverage
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Philippines Insurance Cost Estimates

Insurance PlanTrip DurationEstimated Cost
SafetyWing1 month$45 – $250
WorldNomads2 weeks$100-$200
Cigna Global1 month$150-$300
IMG2 weeks$150-$250

Living in Davao City for Expats

Overview: Davao is considered one of the safest cities in the Philippines thanks to strict local laws. Its lush forests and mountains are perfect for hiking and adventure. There’s a thriving expat community that was called to Davao City because of its chilled-out pace of life.

The people of Davao, known as DavaoeΓ±os, are very welcoming of foreigners. English is widely spoken. With an efficient transportation system and modern malls, grocery stores, and amenities, Davao can feel easy to get settled into. Healthcare is affordable, but specialized care requires going to nearby cities.

Cost of Living

  • Expats can expect a monthly budget between $1,000 – $2,000 or β‚±55,000 – β‚±110,000.
  • Basic utilities cost around $100 – $200 or β‚±5,500 – β‚±11,000 per month.
  • Groceries are around $300 – $600 or β‚±16,500 – β‚±33,000 for one or two people.
  • Eating out costs $2 – $10 or β‚±110 – β‚±550 per meal at local restaurants.


  • Rent for nice 1-2 bedroom apartments averages $300 – $800 or β‚±16,500 – β‚±44,000 per month.
  • Upscale 3-4 bedroom serviced apartments or houses cost $800 – $1,500 or β‚±44,000 – β‚±82,500 per month.
  • Short-term accommodations are $20 – $50 or β‚±1,100 – β‚±2,750 per night.

Healthcare and Hospitals in Davao City

  • While Davao City itself doesn’t have internationally accredited hospitals, nearby cities like Iloilo and Cebu provide such facilities.
  • Davao City has local clinics and medical centers catering to basic healthcare needs.
  • Public healthcare is relatively affordable in Davao City, but for specialized treatments or emergencies, patients might need to be transported to neighboring cities.
  • Private healthcare and insurance run $45- $300 or β‚±2,475 – β‚±16,500 per month, depending on coverage and services.
  • Consider travel insurance like Safetywing or World Nomads with plans starting at just $45 USD or β‚±2,475 PHP per month, especially if planning extended stays.

Lifestyle, Culture, and Recreation in Davao City

Davao City is renowned for its tropical beaches, bustling nightlife, rich heritage, and adventure activities.

  • Beach Activities: Island hopping, snorkeling, paddle boarding, surfing – $10 – $30 or β‚±550 – β‚±1,650
  • Nightlife: Pubs, bars, clubs, live music – $10 – $50 or β‚±550 – β‚±2,750
  • Local Culture: Indigenous village visits, cultural shows, museums – Free to $10 or Free to β‚±550
  • Recreational Activities: Hiking, ziplining, rafting, cycling – $5 – $30 or β‚±275 – β‚±1,650

Groceries for Family of 4

Around $400 – $800 or β‚±22,000 – β‚±44,000 for basics plus some imported items.

Dining Out

The average meal cost is $5 – $15 or β‚±275 – β‚±825 per person at inexpensive restaurants.

Can dine out affordably 2-4 times per month.

Transportation in Davao City

Public Transit

  • Buses – $0.20 – $0.40 per ride
  • Jeepneys – $0.20 – $0.50 per ride
  • Taxis – $1 – $5 per 5km Fares start at PHP40 (around $0.75 USD) for the first 500 meters and go up from there.
  • Tricycles – $1 – $3 per 5km
  • Habal-Habal (motorcycle taxis) – $0.50 – $2 per 5km

Gas costs around $1.20 – $1.50 or β‚±66 – β‚±83 per liter.

Owning a Vehicle

  • A basic small sedan from Toyota, Mitsubishi, or Suzuki would cost around PHP500,000-800,000 (approximately $9,500-$15,000 USD).
  • You can find cheaper second-hand/used cars for PHP200,000-400,000 ($3,800-$7,600 USD).
  • Monthly financing payments would be around PHP10,000-20,000 ($190-$380 USD) depending on the downpayment.

Pros and Cons of Living in Davao City

Pros: Low cost of living, improved safety, tropical climate, job opportunities, natural attractions

Cons: Limited international healthcare, pollution, flooding, traffic congestion

Best Neighborhoods in Davao City for Families, Singles, Retirees

Tailored recommendations for different lifestyles, catering to families, singles, and retirees.

Best Neighborhods in Davao By GroupBest Places in Davao City Philippines
FamiliesToril, Mintal, Matina, Calinan
SinglesAgdao, Lanang
RetireesCatalunan Pequeno, Bajada, Calinan

Additional tips:

  • For families: Focus on safety, schools, and kid-friendly amenities. Compound-style villas provide security.
  • For singles: Pick areas with nightlife and a social scene. Condo-living offers convenience. Stay central.
  • For retirees: Seek a slower pace of life, cost savings, and access to healthcare.

Tips on Moving Banking and Finding Housing in Davao City Philippines

Here are some resources for finding accommodations, navigating the housing market, and making the most of your budget.

Tips for Moving to Davao City PhilippinesTips for ExpatsResources
Finding HousingSearch Facebook groups, online classifieds, real estate agents. Visit neighborhoods before deciding.Davao Rentals Facebook Group
Shipping BelongingsUse door-to-door container shipping. Avoid customs issues declaring high-value items.
Banking and Money TransfersOpen a local account after securing residency. Use Wise for international transfers.Wise
VisasApply for retirement or investor’s visas. Most nationalities get 30-day tourist visas.Philippine Embassy Singapore

Here is a list of local apartment rental websites, Government resources for Visas, Facebook Groups, Tourism Boards, and more to help you with your potential move here.

Expat Facebook Groups:

Philippines Tourism Board:

Philippines Data Sites:

Ministry of Culture and the Arts:

Embassy of Siargao Philippines:

Government of Philippines:

Philippines Local Rental Websites:

  • MyProperty
  • Airbnb
  • Hostelworld
  • For exchanging money use Wise Which is the best option if you are a digital nomad and Expat. a cheaper option to send and receive money internationally rather than exchanging money through other platforms like Paypal, Payoneer costs a lot of money for exchange fees and rates
    • Booking Flights: To Find insane flight deals, search on Google Flights, and Skyscanner and choose the monthly option to find the best day to fly.

Conclusion on the Best Cities and Places to Live In Davao City Philippines

Davao gives expats the best of urban living while being close to nature. Monthly costs for a couple range $1,000 – $2,000. Rent for nice apartments averages $300 – $800.

Overall, Davao offers a high quality of life for expats in the Philippines.

From bustling commercial hubs to serene residential areas, each area carries its unique charm and advantages.

Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant energy of downtown or seeking the peaceful ambiance of suburban life, Davao City offers many options to suit varied needs.

While the best neighborhood ultimately depends on your specific desires β€” its proximity to amenities, safety, affordability, and cultural richnessβ€”should also be included in your decision-making.

The city’s neighborhoods are proof of its dynamic evolution, where tradition blends with modernity, creating a space that resonates with both locals and expats alike.

Related Articles to Davao City Philippines:

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