The captivating capital of the Philippines, Manila houses many treasures inside its sprawling neighbourhoods. Ancient monuments stand by soaring skyscrapers, as this culturally diverse city evolves into a thriving metropolis. From the intriguing walled city Intramuros to the beautiful Manila Bay, this contrasting city has countless attractions the whole family can enjoy.
Here are our top five attractions in Manila.
Tour of Intramuros
Manila’s historic walled city, Intramuros is certainly worth exploring. A unique neighbourhood steeped in history, Intramuros features striking colonial architecture and prominent Spanish influences. While you can simply roam the ancient streets at your own pace, joining a guided tour will help you to appreciate the history and culture of the city. Many notable landmarks can be found here including the beautiful Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, the Plaza de Roma and the Agustin Church.
Rizal Park is one of Manila’s most beloved attractions. Spread out over 130 acres, this pretty park is situated next to Intramuros and acts as a peaceful haven for local city dwellers. The gardens attract many families eager to enjoy a picnic lunch, while tai chi enthusiasts diligently practise in the pretty surrounds. The gardens are home to a variety of unique landmarks including the prized Rizal Monument and also the Manila Hotel which is famed for its colonial architecture.
Binondo Food Tour
Often touted as being one of the oldest and largest Chinatowns in the world, Binondo is a renowned food destination. This fascinating neighbourhood is famed for its authentic Chinese cuisine. Join a local food tour and let an expert guide you through the streets to experience Binondo’s best. Sample crisp lumpia and fresh steamed dumplings as you explore this intriguing Chinatown. From tasting mouth watering cuisine to admiring the beautiful temples, Binondo is a feast for the senses.
Sunset at Manila Bay
Celebrating the spectacular Manila Bay is the city’s seaside promenade known as the Baywalk. A popular hangout for locals, the esplanade is home to many colourful street performers and artists, and boasts an assortment of restaurants and cafes. Many wander along the Baywalk in the afternoon to witness one of the city’s legendary sunsets. On the other hand, enjoy the picturesque views from onboard a romantic Manila Bay cruise.
Shop for Bargains
Shopping in Manila is a popular pastime time for locals and visitors alike. Manila has an impressive selection of modern shopping malls including the giant SM Mall of Asia. Keen shoppers can retreat from the heat and browse the fashion boutiques in the air conditioned shopping centres. However, for a more local experience, try hunting for a bargain at the Divisoria Markets. This large flea market is home to all kinds of treasures from jewellery and clothing to handmade souvenirs.