What to do in manila?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 9, 2024

Manila, the bustling capital city of the Philippines, is a melting pot of cultures, history, and modernity. Whether you're a history buff, foodie, or just looking to explore a new city, Manila has something to offer for everyone. Here's an in-depth guide on what to do in Manila, ranging from historical landmarks to culinary adventures.

Explore Historical Sites


Intramuros, also known as the "Walled City," is the oldest district in Manila. Built by the Spanish in the late 16th century, this historic area is a must-visit for those interested in the colonial history of the Philippines. Key attractions within Intramuros include:

  • Fort Santiago: A citadel that played a significant role during the Spanish Colonial Period. It's also where national hero Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution.
  • San Agustin Church: The oldest stone church in the Philippines, a UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its stunning Baroque architecture.
  • Casa Manila: A museum that offers a glimpse into the colonial lifestyle of Filipinos during the Spanish era.

Rizal Park

Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is one of the largest urban parks in Asia. It is dedicated to Jose Rizal, a national hero, and features a monument in his honor. The park is a great place to relax, have a picnic, or just enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Experience Cultural Attractions

National Museum Complex

The National Museum Complex in Manila is composed of several museums that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. The most notable ones are:

  • National Museum of Fine Arts: Home to the famous "Spoliarium" painting by Juan Luna, along with numerous other artworks by Filipino artists.
  • National Museum of Anthropology: Offers insights into the diverse cultures and traditions of various indigenous groups in the Philippines.
  • National Museum of Natural History: Features exhibits on the country's biodiversity, including the skeleton of the largest crocodile ever captured in the Philippines.

Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)

The CCP is the premier venue for performing arts in the Philippines. It regularly hosts events ranging from ballet, theater, and concerts to film screenings and art exhibitions. Check the schedule to see if there are any performances during your visit.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

Binondo: The World's Oldest Chinatown

Binondo is a food lover's paradise. Established in 1594, it is the oldest Chinatown in the world. The area is filled with restaurants and street food stalls offering a wide array of Chinese-Filipino dishes. Don't miss out on:

  • Eng Bee Tin: Famous for its hopia (bean-filled pastry) and tikoy (glutinous rice cake).
  • President Grand Palace: A popular spot for dim sum and other Chinese delicacies.
  • Dong Bei Dumplings: Known for its freshly made dumplings and noodles.

Local Markets

For a more authentic Filipino culinary experience, visit some of Manila's bustling local markets. Notable ones include:

  • Salcedo Saturday Market: Offers a variety of gourmet food stalls, fresh produce, and artisanal products.
  • Legazpi Sunday Market: Similar to Salcedo, but with a wider range of international cuisines and unique handicrafts.

Enjoy Modern Attractions

Bonifacio Global City (BGC)

BGC is a modern, upscale district known for its high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Key attractions include:

  • SM Aura Premier: A luxury shopping mall with a rooftop garden offering panoramic views of the city.
  • Mind Museum: An interactive science museum perfect for families and curious minds.
  • Bonifacio High Street: A pedestrian-friendly shopping area with a mix of local and international brands, as well as various dining options.

Roxas Boulevard

Roxas Boulevard is famous for its stunning sunsets and vibrant nightlife. Take a leisurely walk along the Manila Baywalk, where you can enjoy street performances, local food vendors, and the cool sea breeze. Nearby attractions include:

  • Manila Ocean Park: An oceanarium and marine theme park that offers various attractions and activities, including a spectacular musical fountain show.
  • Star City: An amusement park with a variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages.

Unwind in Green Spaces

Ayala Triangle Gardens

Located in the heart of Makati, Ayala Triangle Gardens is a peaceful oasis amidst the city's hustle and bustle. The park features well-maintained gardens, art installations, and several dining options. It's a great spot to relax and unwind after a day of exploring.

La Mesa Eco Park

For nature lovers, La Mesa Eco Park offers a refreshing escape from the urban environment. The park features lush greenery, walking trails, and various recreational activities such as boating, zip-lining, and swimming. It's an ideal spot for a family outing or a day of outdoor adventure.

Shop Till You Drop

Greenhills Shopping Center

Greenhills is a popular shopping destination known for its wide range of products, from electronics and fashion to jewelry and souvenirs. The center is particularly famous for its extensive collection of affordable pearls and other gemstones.

Divisoria Market

If you're looking for bargains, Divisoria Market is the place to go. This sprawling market offers almost everything under the sun at incredibly low prices. Be prepared to haggle and navigate through crowded stalls to find the best deals.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Poblacion, Makati

Poblacion is the go-to area for nightlife in Manila. With its eclectic mix of bars, clubs, and restaurants, there's something for everyone. Notable spots include:

  • Polilya: A trendy bar known for its craft beers and creative cocktails.
  • Z Hostel Rooftop: Offers stunning views of the city skyline and a lively atmosphere.
  • Tambai: A popular spot for grilled skewers and cold beer, perfect for a casual night out.

Resorts World Manila

For a more upscale entertainment experience, visit Resorts World Manila. This integrated resort complex features a casino, luxury hotels, a shopping mall, theaters, and various dining options. It's an all-in-one destination for a night of entertainment and leisure.

Manila's vibrant tapestry of experiences offers something unique for every traveler. Whether you're delving into its rich history, sampling its diverse culinary scene, or simply soaking in the city's dynamic energy, Manila promises an adventure that's uniquely its own.