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Nestled in the heart of the Philippines, Dumaguete is a hidden gem that often escapes the radar of tourists, but it’s a destination that’s truly worth exploring. Known as the “City of Gentle People,” Dumaguete exudes a laid-back charm and offers a delightful blend of culture, nature, and of course, adventure. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation, Dumaguete has something special for everyone. Let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in Dumaguete.


Stroll Along Rizal Boulevard

As the heart of Dumaguete, Rizal Boulevard beckons with its palm-fringed promenade. Enjoy an evening walk while soaking in the stunning views of the sea. This strip also boasts a lively atmosphere with numerous cafes and restaurants to savour local delicacies.

Rizal Boulevard in Dumaguete
View of Rizal Boulevard, photo courtesy of Canva

Visit Silliman University

Delve into the city’s academic heritage by exploring Silliman University’s historic campus. The Silliman Anthropology Museum is a fascinating glimpse into local culture and history. When planning things to do in Dumaguete, don’t miss the iconic Silliman Hall, an architectural masterpiece.

Exterior of Siliman University
Exterior of Siliman University, photo courtesy of Canva

Discover Dumaguete Cathedral

Immerse yourself in history and spirituality at the Dumaguete Cathedral. Also known as St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, this place offers serene ambiance and beautiful architecture. It’s an ideal spot for quiet reflection.

Exterior of Dumaguete Cathedral
Exterior of Dumaguete Cathedral, photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Go Island Hopping

Embark on unforgettable island-hopping adventures to Manjuyod Island and Apo Island. Discover the playful dolphins at Manjuyod Island and swim with majestic turtles at Apo Island. This is one of the must-try things to do in Dumaguete.

Aerial view of Apo Island
Aerial view of Apo Island, photo courtesy of Canva

Experience the Malatapay Market

On Wednesdays, Malatapay Market springs to life, showcasing an array of fresh produce, local crafts, and mouth watering street food. It’s an immersive way to engage with Dumaguete’s vibrant culture.

malatapay market dumaguete
Malatapay Market, photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Dive into Dauin Marine Sanctuary

Dauin Marine Sanctuary beckons scuba enthusiasts with its exceptional underwater biodiversity. Explore the thriving coral reefs and unique marine life that make Dumaguete a diving paradise.

For more information on diving, check out our article on Best Diving Spots in Dumaguete.

sea turtle dauin apo island
Sea turtle in Dauin’s waters, photo courtesy of Giachen’s World

Explore Casaroro Falls

For an adventure in nature, trek through lush rainforests to reach the enchanting Casaroro Falls. The waterfall cascades into a pristine pool, offering a refreshing respite amidst the wilderness.

Casaroro Falls in Dumaguete
Casaroro Falls in Dumaguete, photo courtesy of Canva

Indulge in Local Delicacies

Savor Dumaguete’s culinary delights, including silvanas, sans rival, budbud kabog, and a range of fresh seafood. Local bakeries and seaside eateries offer these treats to tickle your taste buds.

Check out our recommendations in our article on the ‘Where to Eat in Dumaguete: Top 10 Restaurants‘.

filipino street food
Filipino street food, photo courtesy of Alessandra Sio

Visit Twin Lakes

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and head to Twin Lakes – Balinsasayao and Danao. Surrounded by verdant forests, these crater lakes are perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking. The tranquil setting is a haven for nature lovers.

View of Dumaguete's Twin Lakes
View of Dumaguete’s Twin Lakes, photo courtesy of Canva

Enjoy Dumaguete’s Nightlife

As the sun sets, Dumaguete comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene. Explore the entertainment options near Rizal Boulevard and nearby streets. Live music, mingling with locals, and unforgettable nights await.

For more information on nightlife, check out our article on ‘Nightlife in Dumaguete: A Guide‘.

mad monkey dumaguete
All smiles at Mad Monkey Dumaguete

10 Things to Do in Dumaguete: Final Thoughts

Dumaguete is an oasis of culture, natural beauty, and adventure in the Philippines. Whether you seek relaxation, outdoor exploration, or cultural immersion, this city promises a memorable experience. Your journey in Dumaguete is bound to be an exciting and enriching one, especially when you opt for hassle-free tours. So, pack your bags and immerse yourself in the warmth and charm of the “City of Gentle People.”

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About the Author

Nicole Basri is the Junior Marketing Assistant at Mad Monkey Hostels. When she's not working, you'll find her buried in a good book, or on a hunt for the perfect Matcha Latte.