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

City Garden Suites Manila
City Garden Suites Manila
3 out of 5
1158 A. Mabini St. Ermita, Manila, Manila
The price is CA $61 per night from Dec 9 to Dec 9
Located in Ermita, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rizal Park, U.S. Embassy, and Manila Bay. Robinson's Place and Manila Ocean Park are also within ...
3.9/5 Good! (935 reviews)
"The staff gave an outstanding customer service. They have accommodated us even we arrived early at the hotel. The room was clean, good AC, and comfortable bed. Quick response for all the things we need except for the food. It was cold, small portion of meat/fish, vegetables, desserts and no fresh ..."

Reviewed on Dec. 1, 2021

City Garden Suites Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is CA $116 per night from Dec 26 to Dec 26
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 ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (986 reviews)
"Great to stay! Friendly staff"

Reviewed on Nov. 28, 2021

Dusit Thani Manila
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $188 per night from Dec 28 to Dec 28
Located in Barangay 76, this luxury hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Arena, and SMX Convention Center. World Trade Center Manila ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (999 reviews)
"The location of the property was perfect right along Manila Bay. The views from the hotel were amazing. It was very clean and modern looking that had a very relaxing feeling to it."

Reviewed on Nov. 25, 2021

Conrad Manila
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 $47 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 6
Located in Malate, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Robinson's Place and U.S. Embassy. Manila Bay and Manila Ocean Park are also within 1 mi (2 ...
3.6/5 Good! (407 reviews)
"Amazingly friendly staff. Love staying here."

Reviewed on Sep. 22, 2021

JMM Grand Suites
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 2 mi (3 km) of Uptown Mall, St Luke's Medical Center Global City, and Fort Bonifacio. Venice ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (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
Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila
The price is CA $196 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 6
This family-friendly Makati aparthotel is located in the business district, just steps from Glorietta Mall and SM Makati. Makati Medical Center and St Luke's ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (714 reviews)
"The staff was very responsive and quick to assist on some minor problems."

Reviewed on Sep. 30, 2021

Ascott 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.

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