Manila is calling! Discover its cathedral, monuments, entertainment, and more.

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.

Known for

Shopping, Cathedrals and Churches

Explore map

Where to stay in Manila

Ortigas Center
Ortigas Center showing a city and a garden

Ortigas Center

Known for Shopping, Dining, Live Music

4/5(224 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.

Alabang
Alabang which includes a garden

Alabang

Known for Shopping, Cafes, Dining

4.5/5(136 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.

Ermita
Ermita showing a hotel

Ermita

Known for Shopping, Monuments, Dining

4/5(712 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.

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

Malate

Known for Universities, Sports, Baseball

3.5/5(28 reviews)

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

Bonifacio Global City
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.
trover photo by Just Our Passports

Bonifacio Global City

4.5/5(39 reviews)

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

Downtown
Went Mexican this time
trover photo by John Binalla

Downtown

Known for Culture, Festivals, Churches

4/5(347 reviews)

Travelers come to Downtown for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like A. Venue Mall and Century City while you're in town.

Top Hotels in Manila

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
3 out of 5
1 Jasmine Drive, Pasay, Manila
¥7,614
per night
Oct 22 - Oct 23

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Resorts World Manila and Fort Bonifacio. City of Dreams Manila and Venice Grand Canal Mall ...

3.5/5Good! (3,127 reviews)

"Great property in a great location. It is super clean and very close to the airport. Lots of restaurants nearby and amazing casino right next door."…"

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2019

Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
¥10,998
per night
Nov 1 - Nov 2

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

4.2/5Very Good! (2,054 reviews)

"always an excellent accomodation in Makati good food great rooms and excellent staff"…"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2019

Dusit Thani Manila
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
5 out of 5
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, Manila
¥13,926
per night
Nov 15 - Nov 16

This family-friendly Pasay hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 5-minute walk of Manila Bay and Philippine International Convention Center. SM Mall of ...

4.2/5Very Good! (1,560 reviews)

"The pool is great and so is the breakfast buffet. The staff are very helpful and polite."…"

Reviewed on Oct 8, 2019

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Popular things to do in Manila

Rizal Park
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Rizal Park

4/5(487 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(237 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(682 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
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Taal Volcano Full-Day Trekking Adventure

¥17,125

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

¥5,203

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
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Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion

¥15,716

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
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Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

¥12,790

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

¥11,706

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.

Private Guided Tour of Old Manila
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Private Guided Tour of Old Manila

¥6,070

Explore the historic center of Manila on a private tour, discovering important public spaces and the stone Fort Santiago. Then, venture into the narrow street of Ongpin, known as Manila's Chinatown, before covering some of the city's pre-World War II history with your friendly guide.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Manila

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