Manila

Travel Guide
Baywalk showing a city, boating and a high-rise building

The capital of the Philippines is a fast-paced and hectic city filled with cultural and historic gems, from old ruins to national museums and lively promenades.

Manila is continually expanding outwards and upwards. Scores of skyscrapers and business centers are rising up across the city and Filipinos from rural areas pour into the capital everyday looking for opportunities. This is one of the largest cities on the planet.

Manila can be overwhelming at first glance. The sprawling metropolis is a collection of 16 towns with no discernible center. The streets are busy, crowded and loud, but it’s this energy and chaos that gives the city its charm.

To really get to know Manila you need to understand its past. The city has been bombed, devastated by fires and earthquakes and occupied by the Spanish, British, Japanese and Americans.

Start your trip in Intramuros, the oldest part of Manila. It’s surrounded by fortifications and moats that were built by the Spanish in the 16th century. Most of the fortifications were destroyed by bombs during World War II. What was left has been rebuilt and restored. Walk around and on the walls and visit some of its key defensive structures such as the Baluarte de San Diego and the Baluarte de San Andres.

Go to the defensive centerpiece the Fort of Santiago, a large citadel and park, then visit Manila Cathedral. The present structure dates from the mid-20th century. Close to Intramuros is Rizal Park, a green expanse with ornamental gardens, lawns and monuments.

Pay a visit to the National Museum of the Filipino People to learn about the history and culture of the Philippines, and visit Casa Manila Museum, a reproduction of a Spanish colonial house.

Manila captivates with some of its modern charms. Take a ferry along the Pasig River and enjoy the nightlife of the Baywalk, a seaside promenade.

Like many Asian cities traffic is a huge problem. Fortunately, taxis are plentiful, cheap and air-conditioned. A good way to get around is on the light rail and metro. The main forms of public transport are the jeepneys, small brightly colored buses. If you travel by road it may take you longer to get to your destination than you planned. Allow plenty of time and do as the Filipinos do, just go with the flow.

Where to stay in Manila

Kabayan Hotel
Kabayan Hotel
2.5 out of 5
347 EDSA, Pasay
The price is CA $55 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 18
Located in the heart of Pasay, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Department of Foreign Affairs, SMX Convention Center, and SM Mall of Asia. World Trade Center ...
3.7/5Good! (993 reviews)
"You will love to stay in their newly renovated building. The staff was all attending to your needs right away, very friendly and courteous! Actually, I am already recommending Kabayan Hotel to my friends who are also planning to visit the Philippines."

Reviewed on Sep. 17, 2021

Kabayan Hotel
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is CA $107 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
This family-friendly Makati hotel is located near the airport, within a 5-minute walk of SM Makati and Glorietta Mall. Ayala Center and Ayala Museum are also ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,061 reviews)
"Excellent! Service was great. Room was wonderful and very clean."

Reviewed on Sep. 22, 2021

Dusit Thani Manila
The Mini Suites - Eton Tower Makati
The Mini Suites - Eton Tower Makati
3 out of 5
128 Dela Rosa St., Ayala South, Makati, NCR
Fully refundable
The price is CA $66 per night from Oct 9 to Oct 9
Located in Legazpi Village, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Makati Medical Center and RCBC Plaza. Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Ayala Center are also ...
3.9/5Good! (770 reviews)
"Good customer service."

Reviewed on Jul. 24, 2021

The Mini Suites - Eton Tower Makati
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
JMM Grand Suites
JMM Grand Suites
3 out of 5
1622 Jorge Bocobo Street, Manila, Manila
The price is CA $54 per night from Sep 30 to Sep 30
Located in Malate, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place and Manila Bay. Philippine International Convention Center and Quiapo Church ...
3.6/5Good! (404 reviews)
"The staff are very accommodating and they smile at you every time they saw you , keep it up"

Reviewed on Jun. 9, 2021

JMM Grand Suites
Y2 Residence Hotel
Y2 Residence Hotel
3.5 out of 5
4687 Santiago St., Corner B. Valdez And Singian Street, Makati, Manila
Located in Makati Downtown, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Makati Museum and Power Plant Mall. Makati Stock Exchange and Ayala Center are also ...
4/5Very Good! (407 reviews)
"Very nice modern room with a full kitchen at a very reasonable price. I got the food plan and it was substandard - lots of rice for all meals and small portions of meat. But the price and location were great for quarrantine."

Reviewed on May 22, 2021

Y2 Residence Hotel
Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
3 out of 5
36th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Located in Bonifacio Global City, this condo building is within a 15-minute walk of Uptown Parade and St Luke's Medical Center Global City. Fort Bonifacio and ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (11 reviews)
"Overall our stay was satisfactory. Pros:-rooms and area where clean - condo was in vicinity of upscale mall, restaurants and grocery store. -"

Reviewed on Mar. 1, 2020

Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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