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Manila
Travel Guide

Baywalk featuring a city, boating and a high rise building

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

Bayview Park Hotel Manila
Bayview Park Hotel Manila
3 out of 5
1118 Roxas Boulevard, corner United Nations Avenue, Manila, Manila
The price is P3,217 per night from 14 May to 14 May
Located in Ermita, this hotel is steps from U.S. Embassy and Rizal Park. Manila Bay and Manila Ocean Park are also within 10 minutes. United Nations LRT Station ...
3.9/5Very Good! (999 reviews)
Good hotel!
"My room was clean. My only concern was it smells cigs. It said it’s non-smoking. I don’t smoke, never smoke. I hate the smell of it. It lingers and hard to get rid of. The rug was looking old and stained. The service is great. The breakfast is fantastic. I would recommend it to others and really ..."

Reviewed on Oct 28, 2020

Bayview Park Hotel Manila
Nichols Airport Hotel
Nichols Airport Hotel
3 out of 5
484 Quirino Avenue, Baclaran, Parañaque, Manila
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is P1,894 per night from 29 May to 29 May
This family-friendly Parañaque hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia and Embassy of Japan. Cuneta Astrodome ...
3.4/5 (725 reviews)
Friendly
"Friendly and great service for my family to stay overnight."

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2021

Nichols Airport Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
1 Jasmine Drive, Pasay, Manila
The price is P4,085 per night from 12 May to 12 May
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Resorts World Manila, Fort Bonifacio, and Venice Grand Canal Mall. SM Makati is 3 mi (4.8 km) ...
3.9/5Very Good! (1,429 reviews)
"Me and my son stayed here for 7 days to comply with the government quarantine procedures for returning filipino citizen. So we don't have a choice but to be in the room for 7 days, fortunately the place is nice and the room is clean."

Reviewed on Mar 21, 2021

Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City, an IHG Hotel
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.
Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
3 out of 5
36th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Located in Bonifacio Global City, this condo building is within a 15-minute walk of Uptown Mall, St Luke's Medical Center Global City, and Bonifacio High Street. ...
4.4/5Excellent! (10 reviews)
"Overall our stay was satisfactory. Pros:-rooms and area where clean - condo was in vicinity of upscale mall, restaurants and grocery store. -"

Reviewed on Mar 1, 2020

Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Makati
Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Makati
4 out of 5
Waterfront Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati, Manila
The price is P4,675 per night from 17 May to 17 May
Located in Makati Downtown, this aparthotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Power Plant Mall and within 3 mi (5 km) of Makati Medical Center and SM Megamall. Fort Bonifacio ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (435 reviews)
"Ease of booking Quite centrally located Connected to the Power Plant mall"

Reviewed on Apr 17, 2021

Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Makati
JMM Grand Suites
JMM Grand Suites
3 out of 5
1622 Jorge Bocobo Street, Manila, Manila
The price is P1,741 per night from 18 May to 18 May
Located in Malate, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place, Manila Bay, and Baywalk. Rizal Park and U.S. Embassy are also within 15 minutes. ...
3.6/5Good! (398 reviews)
"Location in relation to St. Luke and free parking."

Reviewed on Jan 30, 2021

JMM Grand Suites
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

3.8

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.