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ManilaPhilippines

From the hectic pace of its high-rise business district to the tranquillity of its flower-filled parks, Manila is a city of strong contrasts.

Vast and sprawling, Manila at first sight can be daunting. One of the largest cities in the world and still growing, this metropolis of sixteen towns seems impossible to navigate. With no obvious centre, the new visitor can find themselves bewildered by the crowded streets, dense traffic and frantic pace. But spend a little time among its friendly people, learn a little of its fascinating but volatile history, and its charms will soon get under your skin.

Manila has been under occupation by the Spanish, British, Japanese and Americans, and has been destroyed many times by natural disasters including fires and earthquakes. More recently, the tragic devastation wrought by bombing raids during the Second World War brought the city to its knees. Now, thanks to an ambitious programme of reconstruction, many of the city’s historic buildings have been preserved for posterity.

Intramuros is the oldest area and one of the main focuses for tourism. This ancient walled city is surrounded by sturdy fortifications built by the Spanish in the 16th century to repel hostile invaders. Most of the walls were left in ruins by wartime bombing, but the remaining parts have been sympathetically restored. Follow the walkways to the Baluarte de San Andres and the Baluarte de San Diego to appreciate their strategic position overlooking Manila Bay and the Pasig river. Nearby Fort Santiago houses the Rizal Shrine, dedicated to national hero Dr José Rizal, who lost his life in the struggle for independence. See the place of his execution in Rizal Park, one of the largest recreational spaces in Asia.

Learn about the fascinating archaeology and anthropology of the region in the National Museum of the Filipino People, or visit Casa Manila Museum for a close-up view of the domestic life of an affluent Filipino family during the colonial era. Believers and non-believers alike can’t fail to be moved by the sight of faithful pilgrims flocking to Quiapo Church to pray to the Black Nazarene, one of the most important icons in the country. Take time to visit Manila Cathedral, still proudly serving the Catholic community despite being destroyed many times.

Getting around on foot is hard in this huge metropolis, but taxis are cheap and plentiful and the light rail links most of the main sites. For the authentic Manila experience, hop on a colourful jeepney and hold on tight!

Where to stay in Manila

Ermita showing a hotel

Ermita

4/5Very Good!(348 area reviews)

Ermita is highly notable for its popular shops, and you might want to visit top sights like Rizal Park and Manila Ocean Park. See more of Manila by jumping on the metro at United Nations LRT Station or Pedro Gil LRT Station.

Ermita
Alabang featuring a park

Alabang

4/5Very Good!(72 area reviews)

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

Alabang
Ortigas Center which includes a park and a city

Ortigas Center

4/5Very Good!(102 area reviews)

Ortigas Center is known for its popular shops, and with sights like Asian Development Bank Headquarters and Ayala Malls The 30th, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of Pasig.

Ortigas Center
Malate featuring a statue or sculpture, heritage architecture and religious aspects

Malate

3.5/5Good!(29 area reviews)

Travelers choose Malate for its abundant dining options. Hop aboard the metro at Quirino Avenue LRT Station or Vito Cruz LRT Station and check out top sights like Manila Bay.

Malate

Top hotels in Manila

Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is P4,400 per night from 2 Oct to 3 Oct

This family-friendly Makati hotel is located near the airport, within a 5-minute walk of SM Makati and Glorietta Mall. Ayala Center and Ayala Museum are also ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,281 reviews)

"Despite of pandemic restriction all the staff are very professional. I was able to stay very comfortably."…"

Reviewed on Sep 27, 2020

Dusit Thani Manila
Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Copacabana Apartment Hotel
3 out of 5
The price is P2,415 per night from 1 Nov to 2 Nov

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Baclaran Church, SM Mall of Asia and City of Dreams Manila. Cuneta Astrodome and Mall of Asia Arena ...

3.8/5Good! (997 reviews)

"Its nice and clean perfect for all kind of travellers."…"

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2020

Copacabana Apartment Hotel
Alicia Apartment
Alicia Apartment
2.5 out of 5
The price is P1,623 per night from 2 Oct to 3 Oct

Located in the heart of Parañaque, this aparthotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Manila Bay, City of Dreams Manila and Resorts World Manila. Mall of Asia Arena ...

3.9/5Good! (136 reviews)

"Decent place near the airport. Located in a tight street"…"

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2020

Alicia Apartment
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.

Vacation Rentals in Manila

Alicia Apartment
Alicia Apartment
2.5 out of 5
The price is P1,623 per night from 2 Oct to 3 Oct

Located in the heart of Parañaque, this aparthotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Manila Bay, City of Dreams Manila and Resorts World Manila. Mall of Asia Arena ...

3.9/5Good! (136 reviews)

"Decent place near the airport. Located in a tight street"…"

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2020

Alicia Apartment
Makati Diamond Residences
Makati Diamond Residences
5 out of 5
118 Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, Manila
The price is P5,062 per night from 8 Oct to 9 Oct

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! (1,152 reviews)

"I love this property, mostly the staff. The team always make me feel welcome, I always stay here when I visit the Philippines and they remember me and make me feel so welcome. It's clean, room is spacious, breakfast option is great. The lounge is amazing. I can't say any bad things about this place. ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2020

Makati Diamond Residences
Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
3 out of 5
The price is P3,652 per night from 8 Oct to 9 Oct

Located in Downtown, this condo is steps away from Century City and A. Venue Mall. RCBC Plaza and Ayala Center are also within 1 mile (2 km). Ayala Station is ...

3/5 (2 reviews)

"まずホテルにチェックインする方法を自分でホテルに問い合わせてとの事だったので問い合わせたところ フィリピンのローカルナンバーやwhatapp(lineのような会話アプリ)を取って連絡してこいだの言われ、パスポートのID写真がないと予約が取れた事にならないからと言われemailで送ったもののチェックイン方法を教えてくれず、 エクスペディアのお問い合わせに電話して対応してもらったにもかかわらず 当日ホテルについたらemailして、そしたら鍵を渡すと言われたので 空港に着いた後すぐとホテルに着いてからすぐ連絡をしたが応答がなく、ずっとホテルのロビーで待たされました。 英語が少しわかったために対応できたと思うが、英語が全く出来なかったらどうするんだと思いました。 ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2019

Gotophi at The Gramercy 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

Manila Bay
Image for Manila Bay

Manila Bay

4/5(1 review)

Drift around the tranquil waters of a sheltered bay and watch a colorful sunset from the shores of Manila city.

Rizal Park
Image for Rizal Park

Rizal Park

4/5(1 review)

Discover the uplifting story of the Philippines’ national hero in this lovely park renamed in his honour.

Manila Cathedral
Image for Manila Cathedral

Manila Cathedral

This important centre of worship has remained at the spiritual heart of Manila for over five centuries.

Top things to do in Manila

Old & New City Half-Day Tour
Image for Old & New City Half-Day Tour

Old & New City Half-Day Tour

P2,349
Per adult
Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure
Image for Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

Mount Pinatubo Full-Day Adventure

P8,828
Per adult
Filipino Cultural Dance Show & Dinner
Image for Filipino Cultural Dance Show & Dinner

Filipino Cultural Dance Show & Dinner

P4,160
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
Full-Day City & Museum Tour
Image for Full-Day City & Museum Tour

Full-Day City & Museum Tour

P7,732
Per adult
84% of travellers recommend
Tagaytay Ridge Full-Day Tour
Image for Tagaytay Ridge Full-Day Tour

Tagaytay Ridge Full-Day Tour

P7,732
Per adult
78% of travellers recommend
Intramuros: History of Old Manila | Manila Walking Tours (with transportation)
Image for Intramuros: History of Old Manila | Manila Walking Tours (with transportation)

Intramuros: History of Old Manila | Manila Walking Tours (with transportation)

P5,020
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Manila

3.8

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
66
5 - Excellent 21.85430463576159%
4 - Good
143
4 - Good 47.35099337748344%
3 - Okay
71
3 - Okay 23.509933774834437%
2 - Disappointing
14
2 - Disappointing 4.635761589403973%
1 - Terrible
8
1 - Terrible 2.6490066225165565%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

24 Feb 2020

Our purposes in going to Manila were all achieved; US visa granted, attended an international conference, visited an imprisoned senator, went to Supreme Court, & toured Fort Santiago.

4/5 - Good

emeeny

21 Feb 2020

It's walking distance to Rizal Park which is a must to visit esp. during night time: fountain show, cool breeze to walk around the area, snacks are available. You may also dine in Harbor View for fresh seafood options. Go to Intramuros.

4/5 - Good

Krisha

19 Feb 2020

Manila is quite crowded and heavy traffic. However if you plan to visit manila you must choose a better hotel to stay that’s near to the place you want to visit for a hassle free and time saving trip. Manila has so much to offer and to showcase views

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

17 Feb 2020

hope that the reservation open's early on weekend as we check in we want to get tickets but it's close at 9am

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

12 Feb 2020

All

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

12 Feb 2020

Very friendly people.

Makati featuring modern architecture and street scenes

Makati

Mandaluyong featuring a high rise building and a city

Mandaluyong

Pasay which includes modern architecture

Pasay

Quezon City which includes a garden and a square or plaza

Quezon City