Manila Bay is often described as one of the best natural bays in the world. Explore it on foot or by boat to see the bright lights of Manila. Come here for a quiet escape away from the bustle of the city center.
The bay is sheltered from the elements, which means that all 770 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) stay fairly shallow and resist large tidal changes. Enjoy the calmness of the water here by taking a sailing trip around the vast, beautiful bay.
Manila Bay’s proximity to the Southeast Asian mainland made it an important port throughout history. As you pull into Manila Harbor, picture the Spanish ships landing here in 1571 and imagine war ships fighting the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898.
Set sail at sunset for a twilight cruise around the bay. Dinner cruises leave from Manila Harbor. Dine on delectable Filipino cuisine and admire views of the city’s gleaming skyscrapers. Listen to local bands serenade you as you watch the landscape drift past. Choose a night cruise to see the city sparkle with thousands of lights.
Appreciate Manila Bay’s famous sunsets from the land. Head to Manila Baywalk, a pedestrianized stretch of the bay in Malate and Ermita. Stroll along the path, stopping by open-air cafés and listening for the sounds of the musicians who may be playing in bandstands on Friday and Saturday nights.
Harbor Square, where many of the boat trips depart, features some of Manila City’s best bay-facing attractions. Feel the rush of adrenaline in the funfair rides of Star City, among them roller coasters, log flumes and swinging ships. Watch dance, orchestral and jazz performances in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, a striking modernist complex that looks out over the bay.
The best way to access to Manila Bay is via the metropolitan area of Manila City. Hop on a bus to the districts of Malate or Ermita to reach some of the best views of the bay.