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Manila
Travel Guide

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

Top Hotels in Manila

Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
3 out of 5
Coral Way Avenue Corner of, Seaside Boulevard, Pasay, Manila
The price is CA $100 per night from Mar 5 to Mar 6

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manila Bay, SM Mall of Asia, and SMX Convention Center. City of Dreams Manila and Mall of Asia ...

4/5Very Good! (984 reviews)

"Good food Service and cleanliness ands location access to to mall of Asia"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 21, 2021

Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
The price is CA $157 per night from Mar 7 to Mar 8

Located in Barangay 76, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Arena, and SM Mall of Asia. World Trade Center Manila ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (997 reviews)

"Excellent hotel, excellent service, excellent staff. The desk staff are super helpful and accommodating. The room service is also excellent and staff are super courteous. My room has excellent view and I love the nespresso coffee in my room, too. The food is superb. I will definitely come back and ..."…"

Reviewed on Jan. 29, 2021

Conrad Manila
Manila Lotus Hotel
Manila Lotus Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1277 A Mabini cor Padre Faura, Manila
The price is CA $46 per night from Mar 12 to Mar 13

Located in Ermita, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place, Manila Bay, and Rizal Park. U.S. Embassy and Manila Doctors Hospital are also within ...

3.9/5Very Good! (186 reviews)

"Over all the place was beyond my expectation and the staff are awesome"…"

Reviewed on Feb. 22, 2021

Manila Lotus Hotel
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.

Vacation Rentals in Manila

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 Mall, St Luke's Medical Center Global City, and Bonifacio High Street. ...

4.4/5Excellent! (10 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
Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila
The price is CA $200 per night from Mar 5 to Mar 6

This family-friendly Makati aparthotel is located in the business district, just steps from Glorietta Mall and SM Makati. Ayala Center and Greenbelt Shopping ...

4.3/5Excellent! (711 reviews)

"I stumbled upon this hotel as I needed a last minute booking for my trip in the Philippines. I hoped for a clean, spacious hotel with easy access to get around places. I really didn’t have a lot of expectations BUT they had amenities I did not even think I would need! I loved our 3 night stay in ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 17, 2020

Ascott Makati
Makati Diamond Residences
Makati Diamond Residences
5 out of 5
118 Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, Manila
The price is CA $128 per night from Mar 17 to Mar 18

Located in San Lorenzo, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Legazpi Active Park. Ayala Center and Fort Bonifacio ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (1,152 reviews)

"Traveling during a pandemic has been"…"

Reviewed on Sep. 19, 2020

Makati Diamond Residences
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.

Popular places to visit in Manila

Top things to do in Manila

Reviews of Manila

3.6

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
14
5 - Excellent 16.27906976744186%
4 - Good
40
4 - Good 46.51162790697674%
3 - Okay
22
3 - Okay 25.58139534883721%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 5.813953488372093%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 5.813953488372093%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Mar 15, 2020

Nice to go around

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Mar 5, 2020

Broken sidewalks, stupid crazy traffic.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Feb 26, 2020

Roads need improvement and traffic is horrible.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Feb 9, 2020

As can be expected, very noisy and polluted big city. Parts in very bad repair

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 31, 2020

No

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Dec 1, 2019

Love this city. So much fun.

Cities near Manila