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Manila Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in Manila

8.7 /10
Intramuros thumbnail

Intramuros, located along Pasig River's southern bank, refers to the inner part of the walls of Manila, Philippines.

When the Spanish came to Manila, they built the walls of Manila and the authorities themselves were responsible for defining the importance of the interior of the walls. Only the Spanish and mestizos, or people with Spanish blood running in their veins, are allowed to live inside the walls. These people belonged to the upper or ruling classes of society.

The walled city of Intramuros is the oldest district in Manila as it was built in 1571. It served as the center for the rule of the Spanish colony and was then once called and believed to be Manila itself. The Spanish cultural influence is evident in every corner of this walled city. The architecture is screaming its Spanish influence as the roads and buildings are of the finest style and design.

The whole Intramuros is so rich in history that it has been said that each and every stone and grain of sail has its own story to tell... read more arrow

7.3 /10
If you want to leisurely explore Manila and have enough time to walk around architectural structures that date back to the Spanish colonial period, visit Intramuros and Fort Santiago. Another site to visit is the University of Santo Tomas, which is located along Manila's university belt in the area of Espa┼ła in Sampaloc. Finding this university is quite easy as it is located along one of Manila's national highways.

History of the University of Santo Tomas

The University of Sto. Tomas is one of the world's biggest Catholic universities in terms of its huge student population. As a private Roman Catholic university, it is primarily run by Manila's Order of Preachers. The University of Santo Tomas date back in the 1600s. It was founded by the Spanish Reverend Miguel de Benavides on April 28, 1611. The university has the oldest extant charter in the country and is also known as the largest university in the city of Manila... read more arrow
7.3 /10
Paco Park had hosted numerous musical events and wedding receptions since its restoration during the Marcos presidency. You can consider holding your wedding or musical event here as the area provides a romantically and culturally artistic backdrop for your special occasion. But, before Paco Park became popular as a venue for weddings and musical events, the park had been part of Manila's turbulent history.

The Paco Park's area of 4,114.80 square meters had witnessed several historical high and low points of the Philippines. The park was initially built as a cemetery for the municipality of Manila during the Spanish colonial period. During this time, the Spanish intended Paco Park as a cemetery for wealthy Spanish families who were residing in Intramuros at that time. Many wealthy Spaniards interred their loved ones' remains inside the park after it was built in the late 1700s... read more arrow
7.2 /10
A visit to the Philippines' capital city is not complete if you do not revisit Manila's rich cultural history. The city's past is primarily dominated by the remnants of the Spanish colonial era which can be quickly toured without any problems. You just have to visit Manila's Intramuros where you can leisurely walk around numerous ruins, churches, schools and mansions such as the Casa Manila. These structures date back to the Spanish colonial times, with few sites faithfully restored to its former glory and other building sites just lay in ruins. A walled city, Intramuros houses several museums which showcase works of art and various types of furniture, giving you an idea on what it was like living within the walled city centuries ago. Among these museums is Casa Manila, which is located just beside the San Agustin church which also maintains its own church museum.

Exploring Intramuros for a day will take you back to the old Manila which is reminiscent of the 16th century... read more arrow
7.2 /10
The San Agustin Church is one of the old buildings located inside the walls of Intramuros in Manila. It was founded by the Augustinians and was constructed between the years 1587 and 1604.

The building has survived wars, including the Manila-liberating war between the Americans and Japanese that destroyed the walls of Intramuros and almost every structure inside it. It has also survived natural forces like major earthquakes that turn even the tallest buildings into ruble.

The church, designed with Spanish Baroque architectural style, is the first European church to be made of stone ever built in the Philippines. The San Agustin Church is home to countless historical artifacts in itself. It has been in existence during the earliest parts of the formation of the Philippines history and culture... read more arrow
7.2 /10

If you are looking for an idyllic place to hold your debut or wedding reception, you can consider the Coconut Palace in Manila. Its location provides wide-open, beautifully landscaped grounds that face the magnificent Manila Bay. Located within the wide complex of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the Coconut Palace also provides open parking spaces for your guests.

The Coconut Palace is a prime example of one of the Philippines' opulent structures. Designed in the traditional Filipino salakot (a signature Filipino hat shape) by Francisco Manosa, the palace primarily showcases the versatility, different uses, and export potential of the coconut tree. The construction of the Coconut Palace was commissioned by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos. The palace's main goal was to be a guesthouse for Pope John Paul II in his 1981 visit to the country. However, the Pope declined and opted not to stay at the Coconut Palace during his visit... read more arrow

6.2 /10
If you want to explore the Philippines' rich cultural heritage, go to the National Museum of the Philippines. You can spend one whole day walking around the museum's various rooms exhibiting paintings, sculptures and other artifacts dating back to pre-Hispanic settlement. The museum is conveniently located near the Manila City Hall within the area of Rizal Park. So, finding the building of the National Museum of he Philippines is quite simple and a visit to it ensures that you learn and appreciate the country's heritage at your leisure.

Preserving the Philippines' Heritage

The vision of the National Museum of the Philippines focuses in its commitment in the preservation and protection of the Filipino nation's legacy, common identity, national patrimony and cultural heritage. Its goals primarily comprise diverse fields of knowledge emphasizing cultural, educational and scientific activities... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite Manila sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Manila by visiting the individual Manila attraction pages.