Travel advisory

Please be aware of any coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories and review updates from the World Health Organization (WHO). Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds may take up to 30 days to process.

ManilaPhilippines

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

Ermita showing a hotel

Ermita

3.5/5Good!(100 area reviews)

Ermita
Alabang featuring a garden

Alabang

4/5Very Good!(20 area reviews)

Alabang
Ortigas Center which includes a city and a garden

Ortigas Center

4/5Very Good!(45 area reviews)

Ortigas Center
Malate showing religious aspects, a statue or sculpture and a church or cathedral

Malate

4.5/5Wonderful!(18 area reviews)

Malate

Top Hotels in Manila

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Belmont Hotel Manila
Belmont Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay
CA $179
per night
Apr 18 - Apr 19

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Resorts World Manila, Fort Bonifacio and City of Dreams Manila. Venice Grand Canal Mall and ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,669 reviews)

"Clean and beautifully decorated front desk with highly trained front desk staff who are very professionally courteous. Wardroom staff were equally trained in a near 24/7 feeding function; operating from breakfast, lunch and dinner Flawless effecciency and elegant service true indication of a well-managed ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 23, 2020

Belmont Hotel Manila
Savoy Hotel Manila
Savoy Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Andrews Avenue, Newport City, Pasay

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Resorts World Manila, Fort Bonifacio and City of Dreams Manila. Venice Grand Canal Mall is ...

4.2/5Excellent! (822 reviews)

"Everything was good property clean me and my wife had a great time will stay again in the future"…"

Reviewed on Mar. 23, 2020

Savoy Hotel Manila
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
3 out of 5
1 Jasmine Drive, Pasay, Manila
CA $113
per night
May 1 - May 2

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Resorts World Manila and Fort Bonifacio. City of Dreams Manila and Venice Grand Canal Mall ...

3.6/5Good! (2,916 reviews)

"Close to airport."…"

Reviewed on Mar. 17, 2020

Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City

Popular things to do in Manila

Manila Bay
Image for Manila Bay

Manila Bay

4/5(128 reviews)

Drift around the tranquil waters of a sheltered bay and watch a colorful sunset from the shores of Manila city.

Rizal Park
Image for Rizal Park

Rizal Park

4/5(81 reviews)

Relax in one of the largest urban parks in Asia, home to gardens, orchids, tropical plant species and a monument to a Filipino hero.

Top activities in Manila

Taal Volcano Full-Day Trekking Adventure
Image for Taal Volcano Full-Day Trekking Adventure

Taal Volcano Full-Day Trekking Adventure

94% of travellers recommend
CA $218
Per adult
Old & New City Half-Day Tour
Image for Old & New City Half-Day Tour

Old & New City Half-Day Tour

CA $67
Per adult
Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure
Image for Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

CA $248
Per adult
Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour
Image for Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

88% of travellers recommend
CA $164
Per adult
Full-Day City & Museum Tour
Image for Full-Day City & Museum Tour

Full-Day City & Museum Tour

84% of travellers recommend
CA $206
Per adult
Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls
Image for Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls

Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls

82% of travellers recommend
CA $234
Per adult

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.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Manila

Image for Beaches of the Philippines

Beaches of the Philippines

Be enchanted by the beaches and islands of the Philippines
Beaches of the Philippines

Other places like Manila