Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

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

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
The price is ¥14,528 per night

Located in Barangay 76, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Arena, and SM Mall of Asia. World Trade Center Manila ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (999 reviews)

"Staff are friendly and professional. The hotel design is extra ordinary."…"

Reviewed on Mar 14, 2020

Conrad Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is ¥11,928 per night

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! (1,319 reviews)
Excellent hotel..... but avoid the bacon :(

"Hotel, staff and facilities were very good. Breakfast choice was good but avoid the bacon. For this standard of hotel they should really be able to serve bacon that doesn't resemble cardboard. It was inedible. Apart from this it was very good."…"

Reviewed on Mar 20, 2020

Dusit Thani Manila
Hilton Manila
Hilton Manila
4.5 out of 5
1 Newport Blvd, Newport City, Pasay, Metro Manila
The price is ¥11,928 per night

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Fort Bonifacio, City of Dreams Manila, and Venice Grand Canal Mall. Mall of Asia Arena ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (342 reviews)

"We stayed during the lockdown the night before our flight back to Australia. They took care of us as if we were their family. Courtesy private transport to the airport, extended checkout time to 5pm as they understood our dilemma with having to wait with 2 small kids at the airport for 7 hours, and ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 25, 2020

Hilton Manila

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 stunning cathedral 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 shops and stunning cathedral in this vibrant 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 churches 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 churches and top-notch restaurants in this vibrant area.

Top things to do in Manila

Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion
Image for Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion

Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion

¥15,562
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls
Image for Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls

Villa Escudero with Lunch at the Waterfalls

¥20,713
Per adult
82% of travellers recommend
Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure
Image for Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

¥19,318
Per adult
Full-Day Anilao Scuba Diving Tour
Image for Full-Day Anilao Scuba Diving Tour

Full-Day Anilao Scuba Diving Tour

¥24,629
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Private Guided Tagaytay & Manila City Tour
Image for Private Guided Tagaytay & Manila City Tour

Private Guided Tagaytay & Manila City Tour

¥39,899
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Skip the Line: Art In Island Museum Admission Ticket
Image for Skip the Line: Art In Island Museum Admission Ticket

Skip the Line: Art In Island Museum Admission Ticket

¥1,089
Per adult

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

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Manila

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