While the world has been opening back up for globe-trotters, we can’t deny that there are still plenty of restrictions that hinder us from freely backpacking our way to our dream destinations, especially in Europe. However, if it’s the picturesque European backdrop that you’re after, you don’t have to look far as there are a lot of places right here in the Philippines that make you feel like you’re in a European town.
With these local destinations, we feel like we’ve touched down in Europe!
Venice, Italy: Venice Grand Canal Mall, Taguig City
Venice Grand Canal — the mall at Mckinley Hill, that is — offers a quick and easy dating spot for couples, a nice alternative to one of the world’s most romantic cities located in Italy.
The mall has its own versions of the famed Rialto Bridge and the Venetian Grand Canal, where visitors can take a gondola ride while serenaded by musicians live.
Location: McKinley Hill Dr., Taguig City
Facebook: Mckinley Hill
Cathedral in Spain: Simala Shrine, Cebu
Simala Shrine in Cebu resonates as much architectural wonder as some of the most prominent cathedrals and castles in Spain.
Built in 1998, the religious pilgrimage site features an intricate combination of Baroque and Gothic architecture, most prominent in its arches, intricate stairways, and spires pointed toward the sky.
Location: Brgy. Simala, Natalio B. Bacalso South National Hwy, Sibonga, Cebu
Zaanse Schans, The Netherlands: The Old Grove Farmstead, Batangas
Other than the capital Amsterdam, it’s the beautiful nature and small-town scenery that attracts people to The Netherlands. And you can get a feel of that charm in Old Grove Farmstead in Batangas, a Dutch-inspired estate with its quaint red barn and windmill surrounded by a refreshing green landscape.
Location: Purok 5, U. Mojares St., Brgy. Lodlod, Lipa City, Batangas
Keukenhof, The Netherlands: Sirao Garden, Cebu
With its vast colorful flower fields and rustic windmills, Sirao Garden takes you to another top spot in The Netherlands: Keukenhof, the largest flower park in the world. Dubbed as Little Amsterdam, Sirao Garden sprawls across 1.2 hectares designed with Dutch-style barns and windmills as well as pictorial corners.
Location: Canada Dr., Tawagan 1, Sirao, Cebu City
Facebook: Sirao Garden Little Amsterdam
Athens, Greece: Fortune Island, Batangas
Fortune Island takes the Parthenon of Athens and puts it on a remote island off the coast of Nasugbu. Here, you can enjoy not just the abandoned vibe of Grecian-like ruins but also the solitude of a little-developed island surrounded by the deep blue ocean.
Camping, snorkeling, and scuba diving are famous activities at Fortune Island.
Location: Nasugbu, Batangas
Facebook: Fortune Island Resort
Santorini, Greece: Vitalis Villas, Ilocos Sur
Aptly dubbed as the Santorini of the North, Vitalis Villas flaunts the same whitewashed buildings with blue accents, built on a sloping hill, characteristic of the fabled Greek island. It’s a great staycation spot in Ilocos Sur, featuring elegant rooms and romantic views of Santiago Cove.
Location: Sabangan, Santiago, Ilocos Sur
Facebook: Vitalis Villas
Swiss Alps, Switzerland: Crosswinds Tagaytay
At Crosswinds Tagaytay, you can fully live the Swiss life, from dining and shopping to staycation. This 100-hectare luxury estate replicates the Swiss countryside and alpine villages with its lush landscape, the scent of pine trees permeating the cool air courtesy of the Tagaytay climate.
Location: Brgy. Iruhin Central, Calamba Rd., Tagaytay City
Facebook: Crosswinds Tagaytay (Official)
Whether it’s the Philippines or Europe or both on your bucket list, find the best experiences to fill your itinerary on KKday!
*Featured image via Vitalis Villas, The Old Grove Farmstead, Crosswinds Tagaytay