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ManilaPhilippines

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

Ermita showing a hotel

Ermita

4/5Very Good!(868 area reviews)

Ermita is highly notable for its popular shops, and you might want to visit top sights like Rizal Park and Manila Ocean Park. See more of Manila by jumping on the metro at United Nations LRT Station or Pedro Gil LRT Station.

Ermita
Alabang which includes a garden

Alabang

4.5/5Wonderful!(182 area reviews)

Travelers come to Alabang for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like Starmall Alabang and Alabang Town Center while you're in town.

Alabang
Ortigas Center showing a city and a garden

Ortigas Center

4/5Very Good!(266 area reviews)

Ortigas Center is known for its popular shops, and with sights like Asian Development Bank Headquarters and Ayala Malls The 30th, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Pasig.

Ortigas Center
Malate featuring religious aspects, heritage architecture and a church or cathedral

Malate

3.5/5Good!(52 area reviews)

Travelers choose Malate for its abundant dining options. Hop aboard the metro at Quirino Avenue LRT Station or Vito Cruz LRT Station and check out top sights like Manila Bay.

Malate
Baywalk showing a city, a statue or sculpture and outdoor art

Ermita Night District

Ermita Night District is beloved for its popular shops. Take some time to explore sights in the area like Manila Bay and Baywalk.

Ermita Night District
The American Cemetery at Fort Bonifacio is the largest outside of the USA. This cemetery is incredibly well maintained, provides in-depth history and information about the World Wars, and honors the men and women who lost their lives from the USA as well as the Philippines. There are over 17,000 graves. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the impact of WWII in this region of the world and proud to have such a great memorial for our countrymen.

Bonifacio Global City

4.5/5Wonderful!(83 area reviews)

If you're spending some time in Bonifacio Global City, Fort Bonifacio and Bonifacio High Street are top sights worth seeing.

Bonifacio Global City

Top Hotels in Manila

Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is ¥9,576 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 4

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 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,281 reviews)

"Despite of pandemic restriction all the staff are very professional. I was able to stay very comfortably."…"

Reviewed on Sep 27, 2020

Dusit Thani Manila
Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Copacabana Apartment Hotel
3 out of 5
264 EDSA Extension, Pasay City, Pasay, Manila
Free Cancellation
The price is ¥5,255 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 2

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Baclaran Church, SM Mall of Asia, and City of Dreams Manila. Cuneta Astrodome and Mall of Asia Arena ...

3.8/5Good! (997 reviews)

"Its nice and clean perfect for all kind of travellers."…"

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2020

Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Alicia Apartment
Alicia Apartment
2.5 out of 5
11 Begonia Street, Rivera Village, Brgy. 199 Zone, NAIA 1, Parañaque, NCR
The price is ¥3,925 per night from Oct 13 to Oct 14

Located in the heart of Parañaque, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Manila Bay, City of Dreams Manila, and Resorts World Manila. Mall of Asia Arena is ...

3.9/5Good! (136 reviews)

"Decent place near the airport. Located in a tight street"…"

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2020

Alicia Apartment
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.

Vacation Rentals in Manila

Alicia Apartment
Alicia Apartment
2.5 out of 5
11 Begonia Street, Rivera Village, Brgy. 199 Zone, NAIA 1, Parañaque, NCR
The price is ¥3,925 per night from Oct 13 to Oct 14

Located in the heart of Parañaque, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Manila Bay, City of Dreams Manila, and Resorts World Manila. Mall of Asia Arena is ...

3.9/5Good! (136 reviews)

"Decent place near the airport. Located in a tight street"…"

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2020

Alicia Apartment
Makati Diamond Residences
Makati Diamond Residences
5 out of 5
118 Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, Manila
The price is ¥11,018 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 9

Located in San Lorenzo, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Legazpi Active Park. Ayala Center and Fort Bonifacio ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (1,152 reviews)

"I love this property, mostly the staff. The team always make me feel welcome, I always stay here when I visit the Philippines and they remember me and make me feel so welcome. It's clean, room is spacious, breakfast option is great. The lounge is amazing. I can't say any bad things about this place. ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2020

Makati Diamond Residences
Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
3 out of 5
The Gramercy Residences, Makati Avenue, Makati
The price is ¥7,948 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 9

Located in Downtown, this condo building is steps from Century City and A. Venue Mall. RCBC Plaza and Ayala Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). Ayala Station ...

3/5 (2 reviews)

"まずホテルにチェックインする方法を自分でホテルに問い合わせてとの事だったので問い合わせたところ フィリピンのローカルナンバーやwhatapp(lineのような会話アプリ)を取って連絡してこいだの言われ、パスポートのID写真がないと予約が取れた事にならないからと言われemailで送ったもののチェックイン方法を教えてくれず、 エクスペディアのお問い合わせに電話して対応してもらったにもかかわらず 当日ホテルについたらemailして、そしたら鍵を渡すと言われたので 空港に着いた後すぐとホテルに着いてからすぐ連絡をしたが応答がなく、ずっとホテルのロビーで待たされました。 英語が少しわかったために対応できたと思うが、英語が全く出来なかったらどうするんだと思いました。 ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2019

Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
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.

Popular places to visit in Manila

SM Mall of Asia
Image for SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia

4.5/5(1,612 reviews)

You can browse for souvenirs when you visit SM Mall of Asia, a popular shopping spot in Pasay. Check out the churches and top-notch restaurants in this culturally rich area.

Manila Ocean Park
Image for Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park

4/5(672 reviews)

Make time to visit the sea creatures you'll find at Manila Ocean Park and learn why this is a favorite attraction in Manila. Visit the churches and shops in this culturally rich area.

SM North EDSA
Image for SM North EDSA

SM North EDSA

4/5(413 reviews)

You can enjoy some retail therapy when you visit SM North EDSA, a favorite shopping spot in Quezon City. Discover the great live music and stunning cathedral in this culturally rich area.

Manila Bay
Image for Manila Bay

Manila Bay

4/5(813 reviews)

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

Fort Bonifacio
Image for Fort Bonifacio

Fort Bonifacio

4.5/5(407 reviews)

Fort Bonifacio is just one of the places to see in Taguig, so why not enjoy the other things to explore during your travels? Make time to visit the area's shops, or simply enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Venice Grand Canal Mall
Image for Venice Grand Canal Mall

Venice Grand Canal Mall

4.5/5(385 reviews)

You can browse for souvenirs when you visit Venice Grand Canal Mall, a favorite shopping spot in Taguig. Check out the stunning cathedral and top-notch restaurants in this culturally rich area.

Top things to do in Manila

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

Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

¥19,017
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Old & New City Half-Day Tour
Image for Old & New City Half-Day Tour

Old & New City Half-Day Tour

¥5,128
Per adult
Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls
Image for Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls

Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls

¥20,619
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Las Casas Filipinas Heritage Tour
Image for Las Casas Filipinas Heritage Tour

Las Casas Filipinas Heritage Tour

¥14,530
Per adult
Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure
Image for Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

¥19,230
Per adult
Intramuros: History of Old Manila | Manila Walking Tours (with transportation)
Image for Intramuros: History of Old Manila | Manila Walking Tours (with transportation)

Intramuros: History of Old Manila | Manila Walking Tours (with transportation)

¥10,958
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Manila

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
170
5 - Excellent 26.771653543307085%
4 - Good
284
4 - Good 44.724409448818896%
3 - Okay
152
3 - Okay 23.937007874015748%
2 - Disappointing
20
2 - Disappointing 3.1496062992125986%
1 - Terrible
9
1 - Terrible 1.4173228346456692%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Apr 15, 2020

Keep up the breakfast deals and the evening roof top restaurant. Your day time restaurant staff are outstanding. I wonder if the young lady and man who work there did fall in love. I am the one who took the photo of 4 of your staff with my son.

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

It can be crowded but the people are friendly. I cannot say that the government handle the COVID 19 situation. They are still letting people leave Manila if you have a private vehicle and they’re making the spread of the virus worse with checkpoints

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Mar 17, 2020

Negotiate your van ride van from the airport, or any vehicles without meter. The van from the airport charged me $3000 pesos from the airport to city garden hotel. Which should’ve only charge me 230 pesos.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 17, 2020

Manila is a great place to vacation in if traffic and heat are not out of control.

5/5 - Excellent

traveller

Mar 17, 2020

Manila had improved a lot since the kast time I have been there

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 9, 2020

Lots of traffic, bustling city full of exotic life

Cities near Manila

Makati which includes street scenes and modern architecture

Makati

Mandaluyong which includes a high rise building and a city

Mandaluyong

Pasay featuring modern architecture

Pasay

Quezon City showing a square or plaza and a garden

Quezon City