Puerto Princesa is the capital city of Palawan and the second most popular holiday destination in the province, behind El Nido. Recognised as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines, it offers a pleasant urban environment nestled in splendid natural surroundings that include great beaches and pristine forested hills.
Puerto Princesa is the main arrival hub by plane and ferry to Palawan Island. Manila is just a one-hour flight away. Even before the development of international tourism that started during the ‘90s in Palawan, Puerto Princesa was already a sought-after weekend or holiday destination for wealthy Manilans.
Things to See and Do in Puerto Princesa
The Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracts many visitors to Puerto Princesa City, though it is located a good two-hour’s drive northeast of the city. However, the city itself, and its immediate surroundings, also offers a good range of pleasant options for things to see and do. Nearby Honda Bay provides a great range of thrilling leisure activities with everything from island-hopping to snorkelling. At the Butterfly Garden children and adults alike can get up close to a variety of fascinating species. The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre introduces visitors to the local fauna. Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is a notable religious edifice situated in the heart of the old town and makes for a worthwhile bit of sightseeing.
Puerto Princesa Nightlife
As a rather animated place, Puerto Princesa features a pretty decent choice of venues for partying and clubbing. From the long-established Tom Tom Bar, which attracts a mixed crowd of locals and visitors with their unpretentious lounge-style atmosphere, to Balay Tubay, a vibrant beach bar featuring a live band where you can dance the night away. Or if you want to exercise your lungs there’s Jukebox Family KTV, a Karaoke bar with private rooms where your singing won’t be disturbed or, perhaps more importantly, your singing won’t disturb! There are many other venues to hand here, including discotheques and restaurants and you’ll certainly find a suitable spot to while away the wee hours in Puerto Princesa.
Puerto Princesa Dining
The Puerto Princesa dining scene features a good choice of restaurants able to please almost any palate whatever the cuisine craved for. You can sample genuine Filipino food at Kalui Restaurant, Middle Eastern specialities at Yosek’s Restaurant, Italian favourites at Olio E Basilico Ristorante, or Japanese delicacies at Tadzmaki Sushi Restaurant, just to give but a few examples mentioning some of the wide range of dining venues in the city.
As a seaside city, Puerto Princesa is also the perfect place to sample fresh seafood. It’s widely available throughout the area, cooked to suit the style of each restaurant’s cuisine.
Puerto Princesa Shopping
A stop-off at Puerto Princesa for a bit of shopping could be a good idea before setting off to the more remote destinations located on Palawan Island. The city features a lively shopping scene that features boutiques, markets, and even a shopping mall. Robinson’s Place is the main shopping complex in Puerto Princesa and hosts a movie theatre and restaurants. If you are looking for souvenirs and gifts to bring back home, interesting arts and crafts shops such as Asiano, Binuatan Creations, and Kaingud, just to name a few, can also be found in Puerto Princesa.
Getting to Puerto Princesa
Getting to Puerto Princesa by plane is the easiest way to arrive in the capital city of Palawan Province. As its name implies, Puerto Princesa International Airport is not only served from Manila and most major cities in the Philippines, but also from several cities abroad, such as Taipei in Taiwan.
Puerto Princesa also boasts a ferry terminal from which you can travel to and from Manila, Coron, as well as many other destinations throughout the island country.
Puerto Princesa Hotels
Well developed for tourism, Puerto Princesa and the neighbouring beaches feature excellent accommodation choices ranked from two- to five-star. Travellers of any budget can find a hotel here to suit their pocket. Whether you are looking for a cheap bungalow on the beach, a villa on the hillside, or a modern suite in the city centre Puerto Princesa has it covered.