Manila

Travel Guide
Quiapo Church showing night scenes, heritage architecture and a city
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

Bonifacio Globe City Fort which includes outdoor art

Bonifacio Global City

4.5/5(83 area reviews)

Financial district BGC boasts residential condos, corporate offices, and retail spaces, with attractions like Bonifacio High Street and Uptown Mall. Enjoy Track 30th's urban park and easily navigate pedestrian-friendly roads.

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

Malate

3.5/5(52 area reviews)

Serving as Manila's commerce and tourism hub, Malate offers promenades and parks by Manila Bay, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex. Accessible via main roads and LRT-1, the district features small hotels, specialty restaurants, and cafes.

Malate
Makati

Makati Central Business District

Vibrant commercial district, Makati CBD boasts premier shopping at Ayala Center and cultural experiences at Filipinas Heritage Library. Enjoy Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Community Market, and easy access to public transportation.

Makati Central Business District
Ortigas Center showing a city and a garden

Ortigas Center

4/5(266 area reviews)

Central business district boasting shopping malls like SM Megamall and Shangri-la Plaza, office skyscrapers, and vibrant nightlife. Explore attractions such as EDSA Shrine and St. Francis Square.

Ortigas Center
Ermita showing a hotel

Ermita

4/5(868 area reviews)

Civic center of Manila, Ermita boasts cultural landmarks like Rizal Park and National Museum of Fine Arts. Accessible via LRT-1 stations and Pasig River Ferry, it's perfect for exploring museums and attractions.

Ermita
Alabang which includes a garden

Alabang

4.5/5(182 area reviews)

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

Alabang
Savoy Hotel Manila
Savoy Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Andrews Avenue, Newport City, Pasay
The price is $102 per night from May 20 to May 21
$102
$115 total
includes taxes & fees
May 20 - May 21
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Pasay. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
8.4/10 Very Good! (1,025 reviews)
"It was quiet, friendly staff.. the room was nice and cleaned.. would love to come back here soon."

Reviewed on May 19, 2024

Savoy Hotel Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is $89 per night from Jun 3 to Jun 4
$89
$110 total
includes taxes & fees
Jun 3 - Jun 4
Book a stay at this luxury hotel in Makati. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our reviews. ...
8.6/10 Excellent! (1,595 reviews)
Upgrade your beds and pillows
"The softness of the beds and pillows are not the greatest. Something the hotel should look into especially with people traveling expecting to get a good nights rest."

Reviewed on May 16, 2024

Dusit Thani Manila
Belmont Hotel Manila
Belmont Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay
The price is $92 per night from May 27 to May 28
$92
$104 total
includes taxes & fees
May 27 - May 28
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Pasay. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast (surcharge), and room service. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool ...
8.6/10 Excellent! (1,078 reviews)
"This hotel has very convenient location, close to naia terminal 3 where you can also find a lot of dining options. Hotel staff are very respectful to all guests and one staff called us to make sure we got all what we need and we’re comfortable during our first 2 days. The only thing I was not pleased ..."

Reviewed on May 16, 2024

Belmont Hotel Manila
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.
Citadines Salcedo Makati