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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

Top hotels in Manila

Belmont Hotel Manila
Belmont Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay
The price is ฿3,194 per night from 30 Jan to 31 Jan

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

4.3/5Excellent! (1,075 reviews)

"Good customer service skills staff.. Accomodated us very well.."…"

Reviewed on 14 Dec 2020

Belmont Hotel Manila
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
The price is ฿3,536 per night from 1 Feb to 2 Feb

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! (1,003 reviews)

"All very good except I found the public spaces and restaurants too cold...."…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2021

Conrad Manila
Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
3 out of 5
Coral Way Avenue Corner of, Seaside Boulevard, Pasay, Manila
The price is ฿2,132 per night from 28 Jan to 29 Jan

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manila Bay, SM Mall of Asia and SMX Convention Center. City of Dreams Manila and Mall of Asia ...

4/5Very Good! (997 reviews)

"Good food Service and cleanliness ands location access to to mall of Asia"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2021

Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
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.

Top Holiday Rentals in Manila

Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila
The price is ฿4,802 per night from 27 Jan to 28 Jan

This family-friendly Makati aparthotel is located in the business district, just steps away from Glorietta Mall and SM Makati. Ayala Center and Greenbelt Shopping ...

4.3/5Excellent! (711 reviews)

"I stumbled upon this hotel as I needed a last minute booking for my trip in the Philippines. I hoped for a clean, spacious hotel with easy access to get around places. I really didn’t have a lot of expectations BUT they had amenities I did not even think I would need! I loved our 3 night stay in ..."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020

Ascott Makati
Citadines Salcedo Makati
Citadines Salcedo Makati
4 out of 5
148 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati, Manila
The price is ฿2,944 per night from 27 Jan to 28 Jan

Located in Bel-Air, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Canadian Embassy Philippines, RCBC Plaza and Greenbelt Shopping Mall. Glorietta Mall and Makati ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (218 reviews)

"Courteous staff , Clean, good amenities and very good location"…"

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2020

Citadines Salcedo Makati
Makati Diamond Residences
Makati Diamond Residences
5 out of 5
118 Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, Manila
The price is ฿3,683 per night from 8 Feb to 9 Feb

Located in San Lorenzo, this luxury aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Legazpi Active Park. Ayala Center and Fort Bonifacio ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (1,153 reviews)

"Traveling during a pandemic has been"…"

Reviewed on 19 Sep 2020

Makati Diamond Residences
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.

Popular places to visit in Manila

Top things to do in Manila

Reviews of Manila

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
8
5 - Excellent 18.6046511627907%
4 - Good
25
4 - Good 58.13953488372093%
3 - Okay
7
3 - Okay 16.27906976744186%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 6.976744186046512%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

2 Feb 2020

Overrated. Get your money's worth elsewhere. Staff need retraining with customer service for sure esp at secuity.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

27 Nov 2019

Manila is a really busy city so takes a few days to adjust. Once you start to get used to it you start to uncover the quirky and interesting places to visit.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Nov 2019

Love the Old Manila. Barbara restaurant is a must to visit

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

14 Jul 2019

All taxi drivers believe that you must feed their families for the whole year. They decide how much tip must be given to them! Always have change and "forget" to tip them in order to teach them that the tip is not a requirement!!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Jul 2019

Hectic.

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

27 Jun 2019

very dirty city, over crowded, very very conguested, beggers and homless sleeping on the streets. terrible city

Cities near Manila