Metro Manila is the nation’s financial, political and cultural capital. And it’s chaotic in the best way possible. From the colourful, roaring jeepneys to the dancing traffic enforcers, to the karaoke machines blasting 80s ballads in the streets, everywhere you go is teeming with life.
Published date: | Updated:31 October 2021,12:23
Culture & Food
This compact city packs a lot of culture - many of the major attractions are in the walled Intramuros, including the Spanish-era Fort Santiago and its museum honoring José Riza, UNESCO-listed Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church (the Philippines’ oldest church), and Casa Manila museum of Spanish colonial furniture and art, Ayala Museum of Filipino history and artifacts, Bahay Tsinoy Museum of Chinese history, National Museum of Anthropology, are other venues for learning about Filipino history, culture, and art, a presidential museum, the National Museum of Fine Arts, is available to adults, while children have the Exploreum science museum, the Museo Pambata children’s museum, and the National Museum of Natural History.
A cosmopolitan city with many cultures and influences, Manila is unsurprisingly lively all year round. There are religious processions, concerts, theatres, and speakeasies and karaoke bars aplenty.
There is no shortage of Filipino, Spanish and Chinese cuisine in Manila, but for a little more variety, California diners, Japanese food and global food are big favorites. –Having a breadth of choices and flavours to enjoy, everyone will find something they like and which is superbly affordable. You can purchase ingredients to be cooked at an on-site restaurant at dampas such as Pasay, where you can get seafood made to your liking.
Tropical Manila is hot and humid year-round, with daytime temperatures averaging 19-39°C.
The coolest months are January to February and the hottest are March to May.
The dry season lasts from late November to early March; the wet season the rest of the year features short intense spells of rainfall.
Things to Do and Places to Visit in Manila
For first time visitors, Manila may seem overwhelming to explore. But it’s quite manageable once you have a well-planned travel itinerary.
You’re bound to fall in love with Manila thanks to its interesting tourist spots, foodie destinations, and fun activities. Read on to find out the best things to do and places to see in the bustling capital of the Philippines and its neighboring cities
Travel Back in Time at Intramuros
Intramuros, known as the “Walled City,” is the oldest district and historic core of Manila. Intramuros tours are a must-try for history buffs because it’s packed with trips to interesting attractions.
This iconic Manila landmark is actually a walled area within the modern city. It was the seat of government and political power when the Philippines was still under the Spanish rule.
Intramuros is Manila’s only district where travelers can see complete architectural remnants of the Spanish Era. A day trip in Intramuros is enough for you to go sightseeing in this well-preserved historical attraction.
Wander along paved roads and visit historical monuments and sculptures. You can even join a bambike tour (bamboo bike), or by riding a kalesa or horse-drawn carriage experience. Here are some of the must-visit attractions in Intramuros.
This is the religious center of the Archdiocese of Manila. It was the location of the Spanish Archbishop of Manila, who had jurisdiction over the whole archipelago during the Spanish colonial period. You can visit this tourist spot any time of day, which is why a bambike night experience can also be a fulfilling thing to do.
Located in the heart of Manila is Rizal Park, a landmark full of historical significance. The park is a homage to the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal.
He was a doctor and novelist who was shot by firing squad at this site on December 30, 1896, on charges of fostering local rebellion against the Spanish government.
Rizal Park features monuments, squares and gardens, large stadiums, observatories, an open-air concert hall,s, sound and light theaters, shops, food kiosks, playgrounds, and many fountains.
The park is split into three areas, starting with the 16-hectare Agrifina Circle adjacent to Taft Avenue. It’s where the Department of Tourism and the National Museum of Anthropology are situated.
Then there’s the northeastern segment; followed by the 22-hectare park extending down to Roxas Boulevard. Lastly, the central section finishing at the southwestern part contains Burnham Green. Join a Rizal Park tour with Intramuros to get the full experience of this local favorite destination.
Explore the National Museum Complex
The National Museum of the Philippines has several sections included in National Museum trips: Art, Anthropology, Natural History, and Planetarium.
All are within the same building complex and is made up of permanent collections representing the various facets of art, culture, and history of the country. Joining a National Museum tour will take you around the best of the museums in the area.
Sample the city’s famous street food at venues including Shipyard in Malate, discover the authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurants of Binondo Chinatown, or go on a food and pub crawl of the trendy Poblacion neighbourhood in Makati. Another foodie hotspot is the Mercato Centrale in BGC, Taguig.
Shop ’till you drop, whether at the vast Bayfront SM Mall of Asia or the many artisan outlets.
Experience The Ocean Park
Inaugurated in March 2008, the park is famous for its most massive drawing–the Oceanarium in the Philippine Archipelago. The Oceanarium contains more than 13000 ocean animals of approx.
Two hundred seventy-seven species that are native to Southeast Asia and comprises 3,000 cubic meters of ocean waters split into seven parts.
The water used in this attraction is obtained from the newly upgraded Manila Bay. To make the water ideal for marine animals, the center must filter it through a variety of techniques.
The park is also highly informative and instructional, especially for sightseeing activities.
Spend a Day at Roxas Boulevard
Roxas Boulevard in Manila is a famous bay walkway. The boulevard, which extends along Manila Bay’s coasts, is well-known for its landscapes and coconut trees.
It has become a trademark of Philippine tourism, famous for its country club, restaurants, eateries, commercial properties, parks, and gardens. It’s also the location of the CCP Complex, Baywalk, Star City, and a famous museum attraction, the BSP Money Museum.
BSP Money Museum
The BSP Money Museum, located in central Bangko in the Philippines, shows the development of the Filipino economy and its past. The displays are chronologically arranged from the Pre Hispanic Period, Spanish and Revolutionary Periods to the American, Japanese and present-day Republics. The museum is full of elegant barter coats, gold rocks, gold barter chains, old paper money, envelope bills, and silver two-world banknotes.
Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex
The CCP Complex is an 88-hectare sport, cultural and art playground. The National Theater, Folk Arts Theater, CCP Library, and Archive, Philippine International Convention Center, Manila Film Center, and many more dominate the complex.
The Baywalk is a popular seaside promenade and beachfront overlooking Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard in the Manila, Philippines. The Baywalk is a two-kilometre stretch from the US Embassy near Rizal Park up to the Cultural Center of the Philippines just past the Manila Yacht Club.
Explore the Modern Cities of Metro Manila
One of the most exciting things to do in Manila is to visit its aesthetic and modern business districts. What way to discover its relevance than joining a Modern Manila trip?
There’s much to learn from the remnants of the past, and how it’s incorporated in the present, which is why it’s also great to join a Manila tour with modern and historical attractions. After all, the Philippines is a progressive country. Here are some of the modern cities of Manila you can visit during your trip:
In addition to being one of the significant financial, academic, and business institutions in all Asia, it is the economic core of the Philippines. It has a remarkable multicultural culture and notoriety as the central amusement hub of the region of Manila.
Bonifacio Global City
More known as BGC, It’s a leisure district in Metro Manila, Philippines. Besides the high structures, you’ll most probably see, you’ll also love the high-end retail stores. You can dine in world-class hotels, and be amused by multiple activities.
It’s primarily considered to be a component of the University Belt, with several of Manila’s leading colleges and universities nearby.
This plus its closeness to primary forms of travel provides Taft Avenue, the youthful atmosphere and accessibility that has drawn an exciting combination of institutions.
Filipino’s love to party! With their passion for singing and dancing, and coupled with excellent feelings of humor, you’re bound to encounter some exciting and enjoyable events when visiting Manila’s hot food and nightspots.
There are various places throughout Manila, Makati, and Quezon City, where you can encounter all types of bars and restaurants to eat, drink, and chill. Naturally, it’s based on whether you want something lowkey or a full-on club scene. Here are some locations you should visit:
This is Makati’s famous nightlife district, with a wide variety of beautiful hotels and bars to let individuals unwind from stress.
BGC is a region renowned for its high-quality lounges and cocktail clubs. Whether you spend the evening in one of the super bars in the area or want to rest on a hard day at a job, you will undoubtedly discover one that suits your plan
Cove Manila is Southeast Asia’s newest entertainment space with its indoor beach club and nightclub, boasting some of the most advanced audio, video and ambient lighting technologies that promise an unparalleled world-class experience.
Visit Fun Modern Museums
Modern museums should be on your list if you’re the type of traveler who wants to experience something new. It’s a way for curators to present their artworks in a different form but is still reflective of tradition. They give comparable feelings and thrill from antique collections but through fresh perspectives. Here are some museum trips you can try in Manila:
The Dessert Museum
This is a great spot to see desserts, eat them and take artistic pictures as well. Buying an admission ticket in Dessert Museum is worth it as it’s unique and different from other museums.
It’s recognized as the first cultural interactive museum that showcases different cultures and tribes in the Philippines. A Lakbay Museo admission ticket brings you on an unforgettable journey through the island through displays and activities that catch the essence of Filipino society as a whole.
Upside Down Museum
The idea behind Upside Down Museum is to create opportunities for really weird photos. Everyday offices, kitchens, bedrooms and even cars have been flipped upside down or to an angle, to create an illusions in camera of you standing on your hands, or balancing in impossible positions. Bring your own camera or phone and ask one of the many staff wandering around the place to take your pic. They will know all the best angles.
Source: Jerny Destacamento
Art in Island
In some museums you are not allowed to take pictures, or only after turning your flash off. Well, this museum is different. They want you to take as many photos and videos as you like. Art in Island is a great interactive 3D museum for all ages. Artists have created numerous 3D art paintings and you are allowed to be part of the art!
Visit the website
Event lists in Metro Manila
Alanis Morissette - 2021 World Tour
Dec 7th, 2021 22:00 to Dec 7th, 2021 03:00 GMT+8
Music fans are in for a treat as seven-time GRAMMY winner Alanis Morissette returns for a one-night concert
Mall of Asia Arena J.W. Diokno Blvd, Pasay
Okada Manila sets the new gold standard for five-star luxury. Lavishly executed in every detail
Manila Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula Manila is a five star luxury hotel, located in Makati City, Manila’s central business district
Diamond Hotel Philippines
A luxury hotel in Manila with a sunset view, Diamond Hotel is only minutes away from the international and domestic airports, and from the Makati business district
Recommended Accommodations in Manila
What people say about Metro Manila
Topic: Metro Manila
A vibrant city and full of activities
Metro manila is vibrant and an interesting place to visit. We enjoyed our rather short trip in manila before heading to Boracay. I think many visitors are skipping manila before heading to other destinations, and have no idea what they are missing.
My girlfriend is a doctor in the Philippines. She always tells me stories about what it’s like to live and work there. I decided to give her a visit for vacation and experiencing the Philippines for the first time has been amazing. She taught me how to refer to the taxi driver as Kuya while cooling off in the hot weather with my halo-halo. Before I came to the Philippines, I already knew that I loved Pauline. But I left loving her people as well.
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