ManilaPhilippines

Image for Quiapo Church which includes heritage architecture, a church or cathedral and religious elements

Visit Manila

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

Alabang featuring a garden

Alabang

4.5/5Wonderful!(19 area reviews)

One of the most modern corners of Metro Manila, this sleek region of Muntinlupa City is known for its vast malls and stylish skyscrapers.

Alabang
Ortigas Center which includes a city and a garden

Ortigas Center

4/5Very Good!(37 area reviews)

Visit one of Metro Manila’s shining business districts to see the modern side of the Philippines. Join locals in its chic malls and entertainment venues.

Ortigas Center
Ermita showing a hotel

Ermita

3.5/5Good!(87 area reviews)

In the heart of Manila lies a compact district packed with museums, malls and parks, making it a sightseeing hub in the Filipino capital city.

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

Malate

4.5/5Wonderful!(14 area reviews)

Explore one of the tourist centers of Manila in an oceanfront district lined with markets, museums and family-friendly attractions.

Malate

Top Hotels in Manila

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Manila
Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Manila
5 out of 5
Ayala Street and Makati Avenue, Makati, Manila
CA $147
per night
Feb 1 - Feb 2

This family-friendly Makati hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Ayala Center, Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Glorietta Mall. SM Makati ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,107 reviews)

"Fantastic hotel... disappointed that the Expedia description did NOT mention the pool closure"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 17, 2020

Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Manila
Fairmont Makati, Manila
Fairmont Makati, Manila
5 out of 5
1 Raffles Drive, Makati Avenue, Makati, Manila
CA $142
per night
Jan 22 - Jan 23

This family-friendly Makati hotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 10-minute walk of Ayala Center, Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Glorietta Mall. ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,145 reviews)

"The hotel is very nice with very good security… The location is OK"…"

Reviewed on Jan. 16, 2020

Fairmont Makati, Manila
The Heritage Hotel Manila
The Heritage Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Roxas Boulevard, Corner Of Edsa, Pasay, Manila
Free Cancellation
CA $74
per night
Feb 15 - Feb 16

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Baclaran Church, SM Mall of Asia and City of Dreams Manila. Manila Bay and SMX Convention Center ...

3.8/5Good! (2,210 reviews)

"Great location and walking distance to the Mall of Asia. Friendly staff, great service. Huge room."…"

Reviewed on Jan. 17, 2020

The Heritage Hotel Manila

Popular things to do in Manila

Rizal Park
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Rizal Park

4/5(78 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.

Baywalk
Image for Baywalk

Baywalk

4/5(50 reviews)

This is a lively seaside promenade where you can wine, dine, watch live music and join the locals for a daily fitness class.

Manila Bay
Image for Manila Bay

Manila Bay

4/5(120 reviews)

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

Top activities in Manila

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

Taal Volcano Full-Day Trekking Adventure

CA $205

Hike up one of the Philippines' second-most-active volcano on this full-day tour. Take a scenic boat ride on Taal Lake, ride on a horseback across spectacular black lava flows and look down on the stunning vista from the summit of Taal Volcano.

Old & New City Half-Day Tour
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Old & New City Half-Day Tour

CA $62

Take a journey through Manila and explore its rich history, fascinating architecture and ancient buildings. Discover the Philippines' financial capital in bustling Makati City, the historic American Cemetery & Memorial, and the ancient walled-city of Intramuros—a remnant of Manila's colonial past.

Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion
Image for Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion

Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion

CA $188

Escape to a historic World War II island fortress on this full-day tour to Corregidor Island. Explore major battle sites & barrack ruins, visit the Pacific War Memorial, discover Malinta Tunnel, and enjoy scenic views of Manila Bay from the island's historic lighthouse.

Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour
Image for Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

CA $153

Begin the day with a drive to the picturesque city of Tagaytay. Located on a ridge 2,250 feet (686 m) above sea level, it offers a panoramic view of Taal Lake and Volcano. After lunch, return to Metro Manila, visit bustling Makati, and see San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Full-Day City & Museum Tour
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Full-Day City & Museum Tour

CA $140

Discover Manila's rich history, cultural heritage and architectural grandeur on this full-day tour. Stroll through the ancient walled city of Intramuros, explore the Philippines' financial capital in Makati City, and visit ancient churches and historic museums.

Manila Tour A (manila Old & New)
Image for Manila Tour A (manila Old & New)

Manila Tour A (manila Old & New)

CA $94

09:00AM: Pick Up in Manila (pick up point should be Commercial Establishments/Hotel) 09:30AM: Start of City Tour highlighting: Nielsen Tower (outside picture taking only), The American Cemetery and Memorial Park, Rizal Park, San Agustin Church, Walled City of Intramuros, San Diego Gardens, Plaza Roma, and Fort Santiago 02:00PM: Tour will End in Mall of Asia.

Reviews of Manila

3.6

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
12
5 - Excellent 16.216216216216218%
4 - Good
35
4 - Good 47.2972972972973%
3 - Okay
17
3 - Okay 22.972972972972972%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 6.756756756756757%
1 - Terrible
5
1 - Terrible 6.756756756756757%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 1, 2019

Love this city. So much fun.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 29, 2019

You can get from the airport, terminal 3, to your down-town hotel for less than 1USD. Take the white bus from terminal 3 to the LRT station for 20PHP then the train to Pedro Gil for 15PHP.

2/5 - Disappointing

MLee

Nov 2, 2019

The air pollution was terrible but it's very safe and the people are nice.

3/5 - Okay

RedsTravelPlace

Oct 1, 2019

Still the traffic condition a horrible!

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Sep 26, 2019

The traffic issues detract from the enjoyment of the area. If there were other viable options (CRK too limited) for flights I would avoid Manila entirely.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 17, 2019

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