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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 Paco 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 Alabang Town Center and Starmall Alabang 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
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
Chinatown, Manila #LifeAtExpedia

Santa Cruz

3.5/5Good!(34 area reviews)

Noted for its shopping and restaurants, there's plenty to explore in Santa Cruz. Top attractions like 168 Mall and Manila North Cemetery are major draws, and you can hop on the metro at Tayuman LRT Station or Blumentritt LRT Station to see more of the city.

Santa Cruz

Top Hotels in Manila

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Belmont Hotel Manila
Belmont Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay
Free Cancellation
¥13,669
per night
Apr 26 - Apr 27

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

4.2/5Excellent! (1,674 reviews)

"Clean and beautifully decorated front desk with highly trained front desk staff who are very professionally courteous. Wardroom staff were equally trained in a near 24/7 feeding function; operating from breakfast, lunch and dinner Flawless effecciency and elegant service true indication of a well-managed ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2020

Belmont Hotel Manila
Savoy Hotel Manila
Savoy Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Andrews Avenue, Newport City, Pasay

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Resorts World Manila, Fort Bonifacio, and City of Dreams Manila. Venice Grand Canal Mall is 2.8 ...

4.2/5Excellent! (823 reviews)

"Everything was good property clean me and my wife had a great time will stay again in the future"…"

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2020

Savoy Hotel Manila
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City
3 out of 5
1 Jasmine Drive, Pasay, Manila
¥8,746
per night
Apr 16 - Apr 17

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 ...

3.6/5Good! (2,907 reviews)

"Close to airport."…"

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2020

Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City

Popular things to do in Manila

SM Mall of Asia
Image for SM Mall of Asia

SM Mall of Asia

4.5/5(1,611 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 stunning cathedral and shops in this culturally-rich area.

Manila Bay
Image for Manila Bay

Manila Bay

4/5(812 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(406 reviews)

You can learn more about the history of Taguig when you make a stop at a well-known site like Fort Bonifacio. Attend a sporting event or simply enjoy the top-notch restaurants while you're in the area.

SM North EDSA
Image for SM North EDSA

SM North EDSA

4/5(412 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 vibrant area.

Venice Grand Canal Mall
Image for Venice Grand Canal Mall

Venice Grand Canal Mall

4.5/5(383 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 activities in Manila

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

Corregidor Island Full-Day Excursion

84% of travellers recommend
¥15,271
Per adult
Old & New City Half-Day Tour
Image for Old & New City Half-Day Tour

Old & New City Half-Day Tour

¥5,335
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

82% of travellers recommend
¥21,451
Per adult
Subic Bay & Zoobic Safari Adventure
Image for Subic Bay & Zoobic Safari Adventure

Subic Bay & Zoobic Safari Adventure

86% of travellers recommend
¥15,338
Per adult
Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour
Image for Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

Tagaytay Ridge & Manila City Tour

88% of travellers recommend
¥19,784
Per adult
Filipino Cultural Dance Show & Dinner
Image for Filipino Cultural Dance Show & Dinner

Filipino Cultural Dance Show & Dinner

88% of travellers recommend
¥9,447
Per adult

Reviews of Manila

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
169
5 - Excellent 26.65615141955836%
4 - Good
284
4 - Good 44.79495268138801%
3 - Okay
152
3 - Okay 23.974763406940063%
2 - Disappointing
20
2 - Disappointing 3.1545741324921135%
1 - Terrible
9
1 - Terrible 1.4195583596214512%

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

4/5 - Good

Aldophus

Feb 14, 2020

The location was close to my family and business partner plus alot of opportunities

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