The Philippines never fails to be a hot topic in the travel community; the archipelago of 7,640 islands is filled with so much diversity, and when combined with inviting tropical weather, it's no surprise so many visitors return time and time again to discover the nation's food, culture, attractions, landscapes, wildlife, and robust roster of incredible activities on offer.
With influencer-esque photo opportunities at every turn, it's not necessary to look too hard to find somewhere Instagram-worthy. From Luzon and El Nido to the Visayas, there's no shortage of unique photogenic spots to include on one's Instagram feed. However, some aren't quite as obvious as others, and many on this list of Instagrammable things to do in the Philippines, people don't even know about.
10 Behold Beautiful European-influenced Buildings In Intramuros, Manila
Intramuros, also known as "The Walled City," is one of the oldest districts in Manila, and features Spanish-era landmarks like Fort Santiago with its large stone gate and shrine to national hero José Rizal. It's also home to the ornate Manila Cathedral, which boasts beautiful stained glass windows and bronze carvings, while the San Agustin Church museum invites visitors to appreciate religious artwork and historic statues.
Not just for history buffs, for Instagram bunnies Intramuros is the tranquil retreat away from new age Manila's hectic energy, and is a place not only to take photos of its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and charming old architecture, but also to discover and admire what historic Manila used to be.
9 Satisfy That Sweet Tooth at The Dessert Museum, Manila
Add a dose of sweet sugar to Instagram by popping down to the sweetest place in the Philippines - the mouth-watering Dessert Museum in Manila. A sweet-a-holic's dream, this entire sugary wonderland boasts eight vibrant sweet-themed zones featuring all manners of sumptuous treats, such as marshmallows, donuts, sprinkle slides, and a delicious gummy bear bathtub. Hungry visitors can also savor the thought that complimentary sweets and chocolate are dished out throughout the tour - which leaves one questioning if life truly gets any better than free candy.
8 Enjoy Vibrant Street Art At Bonifacio Global City, Manila
Also called "BGC", Bonifacio Global City boasts bounties of beautiful and striking street art that could make any Instagram influencer drool. Since 2015, local and international artists have been invited to contribute their installations and graffiti to the city’s walls. The art pieces range from small human-sized murals to massive works strewn across the sides of walls, buildings, and skyscrapers, and the best way to gawk at and snap them all is by downloading a BGC art map of the city and taking a tour.
7 Visit Greece At Fortune Island, Batangas
Once a premier exclusive luxury resort sat atop Fortune Island in Nasugbu, Batangas, but now, the island serves as a unique photography-worthy gem decorated by temple ruins that wouldn't look out of place in Roman times. Resting on the top of the island's limestone cliff, the stunning Grecian acropolis ruins are the star of the show, and although somewhat aged today, it yet reminds visitors of its past grandeur.
Posting photos of this majestic spot will make one's followers instantly think of Greece, not the Philippines, but it is indeed only a couple of hours from the hustle and bustle that is Manila - much to many people's disbelief. The temple isn't the only Instagrammable attraction either; the nearby cliffs are prime for jumping off into the glimmering turquoise sea below, offering a further adventurous reel of photos in contrast to those that capture the ruins' timeworn beauty.
6 Stroll Through time At Las Casas Acuzar De Filipinas, Bataan
Adorned with Spanish influences channeled through cobblestoned streets and 18th-century mansions, including 40 original Spanish-Filipino Colonial structures, this historic resort is the vision of Jose Acuzar - a man who collects and restores the history and heritage of the Philippines. Visitors can almost literally time travel as they walk (and snap the ultimate Instagram photos) through the property that's the only one of its kind in the Philippines, with its jaw-dropping European-style architecture and divine mansion interiors that could rival the castles of any royal family on Earth.
5 Waltz Through Historic Streets At Calle Crisologo, Ilocos
Calle Crisologo's charming atmosphere takes visitors back in time to the 16th century during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. The well-preserved horse-and-cart riddled cobblestoned street is lined with ancestral houses built centuries ago, depicting Spanish-influenced architecture that has helped this historic and culturally significant place be awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Perfect for vintage pics exuding a feel of history, Calle Crisologo's enchanting aura and echoes of the past are a must for any Philippines traveler who wants to snap something special to share with their followers.
4 Get Lost In Remote Paradise In El Nido, Palawan
It goes without saying that the beaches in the Philippines are all worthy of Instagram. Nevertheless, there's something remarkable about El Nido that ticks a few extra boxes. Situated at the northern end of Palawan Island, El Nido is renowned for its serene remoteness and natural beauty, which put the place on a whole other level.
The castaway-like, untouched paradise offers a delightful menu of stunning lagoons, pristine white sand beaches, staggering limestone cliffs, rocky islets, and transparent waters overflowing with marine life. And naturally, all this translates to hundreds of Insta-photos that could, quite likely, break the internet.
3 Reminisce A Tragic Love Story At The Ruins, Negros Occidental
When wandering through the polished gardens and sensational buildings, it's easy to forget that The Ruins has a tragic backstory. Nicknamed the “Taj Mahal of Negros" due to its similar history and reason for being as the one in India (although is nobody buried in it or its grounds), this lavish house was built in the early 1900s to memorialize the love that husband and wealthy sugar baron Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson had for his Portuguese wife - Maria Braga Lacson.
Tragically, she passed away during the birth of their eleventh child, leaving a hole in Mr. Lacson's heart, which the stately Italianate mansion serves as a testament to today. In spite of its heartbreaking history, it can't be argued that The Ruins and its 400-hectare garden do deliver plenty of exceptional photography opportunities.
2 Gaze At Mother Nature's Artwork At The Chocolate Hills, Bohol
A world-famous site and regularly photographed it may be, but Bohol's Chocolate Hills is one of the most unique attractions in all of the Philippines, with no other geographical wonder that can quite compare; undulating giant mounds of land are covered in tropical greenery and stretch as far as the eye can see. They're breathtaking to behold at any time of the year, and make for a one-of-a-kind backdrop for any Instagram pic, but to see them in the glorious chocolate brown shade, visit towards the middle or end of the dry season, which runs from November to May.
1 Get The Most Stunning Underwater Photos At Apo Island, Negros
This tiny little budget-friendly island just off Negros Island feels very off-the-radar. Small bangka fishing boats abound, electricity is switched off at night, and only a tiny population calls the place home. And whilst the landscape and beach are stunning, the real treasure lies beneath the surface; Apo Island boasts one of the most colorful, bustling coral reefs in the entire Philippines, with massive hard and soft corals that make for picture-perfect underwater photography. Combine this with crystal clear water, and getting idyllic underwater shots for the Instagram reel is effortless.
There's also a sizeable community of sea turtles thriving in the island's waters too, and most of them are so accustomed to divers' presence that they allow people to get up close for once-in-a-lifetime intimate encounters. No touching though - there are strict guidelines when snorkeling and diving around Apo Island, and for good reason; it's a protected marine reserve, with the purpose of maintaining species populations and to preserve the reefs for generations to come.