Manila is a thriving cultural center located in the mid-northern heart of the Philippines. It is one of the busiest cities in the country and visitors will never run out of things to do and attractions to see.
The city is rich in history. There are more than just a couple of sites for people to visit that will not only guarantee amusement and entertainment, but will also enlighten visitors of the country’s colorful past.
Intramuros, in the center of Manila, was once the walled capital of the Philippines during the Spanish occupation. You can tour the area while riding a Kalesa (horse-pulled carriage) and visit its many antiques shops, museums and restaurants, which are preserved in their historical grandeur.
There is a historical church and museum in almost every corner of Manila. There are also specialty museums such as the Marikina City Footwear Museum. The Coconut Palace, among other historic homes, is a famous guesthouse made of coconut shells and wood.
When in Manila, there is always a place to visit and enjoy. Things never get boring, day or night.
What To See:
- Santiago Fortress
- Taal Lake and Volcano
- Manila Bay
- Rizal Park
- St. Augustin Church (San Agustin)
- Malate Church
- Ortigas Center
- Philippines National Museum
- American Memorial Cemetery (World War II)
- Paco Park
- Malacanang Palace (May Lakan Diyan)
- Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo)
- Manila Cathedral
- Villa Escudero
- and much more...
Shops and Restaurants
From shopping to dining, Manila offers choices that will satiate every individual’s mood, taste and lifestyle. Shops and markets surround the city. Almost every district of Manila has its own bargain shops or flea-markets such as the famous Divisoria shops and the Quiapo district, which is popular with shopping enthusiasts because people can haggle in the shops in these areas (which makes the shopping more fun). Here, you can buy native Philippine products and crafts for half the price! You must also visit shops in Binondo, which is located in Manila’s China Town, and the Tutuban Mall, which is an old train station that has been restored and transformed into a shopping center.
Manila is also surrounded by numerous malls and department stores that provide specialty shops and boutiques. There are the Ayala Town Centers located in Makati and Alabang, and the series of SM (Shoemart) Supermarkets located all over the country.
Restaurants such as Kamayan, Max’s, Gerry’s and Sentro are some of the many famous restaurants that serve Filipino delicacies. Sentro is located in Greenbelt 2, in Makati, while Kamayan, Max’s and Gerry’s have branches all over Manila and even some branches outside the city. The city is also home to a great and growing number of restaurants offering Japanese, Chinese, Italian and other cuisines. Anywhere in Manila, there will be a restaurant guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.
Nightlife in Manila
If there’s one thing Filipinos love, it is music. Who does not love singing karaoke? Karaoke bars such as The Library makes karaoke more memorable with its stand-up comediennes performing for their nightly visitors. Bars, restaurants and cafes such as Blue Onion in Quezon City does not only provide a wide variation of good food and drinks served in a very cozy atmosphere, but also provides live music performed by bands on certain nights.
Manila is also surrounded by clubs playing all sorts of music, while In the mood, located in the Malate district, is an alternative for those who are interested in ballroom dancing.