Manila

Travel Guide
Baywalk which includes a city, boating and a bay or harbor
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

The Heritage Hotel Manila
The Heritage Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Roxas Boulevard, Corner Of Edsa, Pasay, Manila, 1300
The price is $42 per night from Jul 19 to Jul 20
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in Pasay. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the spacious rooms ...
3.9/5 Good! (962 reviews)
"Great hotel to stay."

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2022

The Heritage Hotel Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila, 1223
The price is $84 per night from Jul 17 to Jul 18
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Makati. Enjoy free WiFi, 3 restaurants, and 3 bars/lounges. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (959 reviews)
"Housekeeper, Ramon Acuesta, delivered excellent service along with the people from the front desk, Benjarong and the Japanese restaurant. Super friendly and professional"

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2022

Dusit Thani Manila
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
5 out of 5
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, Manila, 1300
The price is $96 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Pasay. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (961 reviews)
"The staff were very accommodating, friendly and helpful. We managed to avail their room service and it was a wonderful experience, the food was fantastic."

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2022

Sofitel Philippine Plaza 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.
Seda Residences Makati
Seda Residences Makati
4 out of 5
Ayala Ave corner Amorsolo and Salcedo St, Legazpi Village, Makati, 1229
The price is $96 per night from Jul 28 to Jul 29
Stay at this 4-star aparthotel in Makati. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our reviews. Popular ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (43 reviews)
"Awesome in every way"

Reviewed on Jun 26, 2022

Seda Residences Makati
Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila
Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila
4 out of 5
28th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Manila, 1634
The price is $167 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly aparthotel in Taguig. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the comfy beds ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (212 reviews)
"The staff and the cleanliness of the hotel.. the team there truly goes above and beyond customer service. I have already booked our next trip there."

Reviewed on Jun 27, 2022

Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila
Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila, 1224
The price is $140 per night from Jul 6 to Jul 7
Stay at this 5-star luxury aparthotel in Makati. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the pool and the comfy beds in our reviews. ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (728 reviews)
"Excellent accommodation. Shout out to Ms. Aldey for a very warm accommodation. Great job ! Kudos team Ascott Makati. We’ll definitely go back.."

Reviewed on Jun 28, 2022

Ascott Makati
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.

Getting around Manila

There are numerous options when it comes to getting around Manila on public transit. An urban rail system criss-crosses the city, with most of the tourist attractions sitting on or near the Yellow Line. A uniquely local way of getting around is on a jeepney, a modified jeep with destinations written on the windshield. You can also jump on a motorized tricycle, good for quick city-center journeys. Visit the Department of Transportation website.Browse Manila rental cars.

Best time to visit

Manila, like the rest of the Philippines, is subject to wet and dry seasons, which might influence when you want to visit the city. The rainy season is between June and October, and while there can be torrential thunderstorms they rarely last for long, so it’s possible (and quieter and cheaper) to visit at this time. The best time to visit, though, is during the dry season between December and April.

Popular places to visit in Manila

Top things to do in Manila

Cities near Manila