Despite the busy streets in Manila, you can’t ignore the fact that the city holds a lot of interesting, posh, and cultivated places. From the diverse cuisine, rich culture, and joyful activities, this city are more than what people conclude. It’s either you see tall buildings piled up the boulevard or swaying palm trees next to the twinkling waters of the bay. There also historical sites and Hispanic gardens one ride away from modern places with high-end bars and shopping arcades. Manila has it all. It is a perfect combination of modern architecture and Spanish colonial structures. If you’re the type to make your travel sentimental or you belong to the group who simply wanted to have fun, this city is the perfect place for you. Here’s a travel guide to make your Manila trip full of beautiful memories.
List of 15 things to do in Manila :
15. Romantic Date in Manila Baywalk
If you’re traveling with your special someone, it is a must to watch the romantic sunset in Manila Baywalk. Have a peaceful and relaxing time with your loved ones while admiring the perfect view of the iconic sunset while listening to the music of the street performers. You can also buy food along the streets. Since Filipinos are friendly and hospitable, you can easily make friends in the place because the locals love to spend their late afternoons walking by the bay. It is located at Roxas Boulevard, Manila. You can go here at any time of the day but it is best during the late afternoons.
14. Foodtrip in the World’s Oldest Chinatown
If you are a big eater and you are most likely to be adventurous trying different kinds of food, there’s a haven for you in Binondo Manila. It is known to be the world’s oldest Chinatown. Experience a wide range of Chinese-Filipino authentic food in the restaurants and make-shift food stalls lined along the alleyway. It is the home of culinary history filled with a selection of fried food, noodles and Chinese snacks that are loved by the locals. Ready your stomach to be filled with sinful mouthwatering food that your tastebuds will remember forever. Chinatown begins right behind Sta. Cruz church at Binondo, Manila. You can visit here as early as 6:00 am to 2:00 am since the stores have different operating hours.
13. Quiapo Market Streetfoods
Since you are traveling to know more about the place and the culture of Manila, experience the famous street foods in the city. Introduce your tongue to the unique taste of these foods and enjoy conversing with the kind vendors. Make sure to taste the famous balut that you can literally buy all over the streets of Manila. Don’t miss the skewers that are grilled over the charcoal and the fish balls, squid balls, and kwek-kwek (fried quail eggs covered with orange batter. that are deep-fried in a skillet. There are also various choices of sauces for the streetfoods. Poke everything you want on the stick and never worry about the price because these are cheap. Quiapo Market is the best place for this because it offers everything. It is located in Palma St., Quiapo, Manila. They are open 24 hours a day.
12. Bargaining in Divisoria
Of course, you can’t forget shopping! Divisoria famous place in Manila where the whole street is covered with malls and countless stalls. The alleyways are filled with cheap finds. Still, don’t miss your chance to bargain so you can get much lower prices. If possible, go on the weekdays and arrive earlier to avoid the crowds. Wear comfortable clothes since the place is huge. Fill your bags with cheap clothes, shoes, and bags. You can literally find everything in Divisoria. Never miss the opportunity to buy great finds in this place without spending much money. This is located in Commercio St., Binondo, Manila and the stores are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm every day.
11. The Luxury of Makati
If you are more into the designer brands, visit the Makati area. The place is filled with luxury boutiques and well-known high-end products. You can probably get the items at a cheaper price than those sold abroad. Ride a taxi to Ayala Center to find the malls. They are mostly open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm.
10. Chilling in BGC Highstreet Bars
You might want to hit up the BGC Highstreet Bars located in Taguig if you are looking for bars or pubs to spice up your nightlife. One of the best ways to relieve stress is to dance and feel the loud music booming from huge speakers in a pub. Taste the cocktails and mixed drinks made by the local bartenders. Enjoy the company of the strangers and make sure to dance like no one’s watching. These bars can be found on 9th Avenue, Taguig, Manila. Mostly, they would be open in the late afternoons until 2 am.
9. The Walled City; Intramuros
Since Manila is also known for its rich culture, book a day tour in Intramuros. Be amazed by the walled city and admire the beautiful Hispanic architecture inside. Rent a horse-carriage while taking photographs of the preserved buildings and churches in the place. Don’t forget to enter the local stores and beautiful gardens in Intramuros. There is so much to see and the most famous among them are the Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, and San Agustin Museum. You can enjoy walking down the pavement or you can also ride the motorized bikes inside. You can always visit the city anytime and it is along Padre de Burgos Street.
8. Historic Rizal Park
It is also important to educate yourself about the country or city. Rizal Park is the top attraction in Manila. You can drop by here after visiting the Intramuros. It is a wide park that holds the remains of Jose Rizal– the national hero of the Philippines. You can see the exact place where he was executed. Locals especially students love to have a picnic in the breezy place. Take a taxi to Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila to get there. The park is open from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm on Sundays- Thursdays.
7. World-Class Manila Ocean Park
Manila has its own ocean park. It is a world-class marine park. You will not regret visiting this place because aside from seeing the sea creatures, you can also enjoy watching the sealion show and fountain lights. There is also a swimming activity where they will provide a mermaid tail so you can experience being one. If you are traveling with kids, this is the perfect place to bring them. They can also enjoy feeding the penguins and visiting the stores filled with sea creature stuffed toys. The theme park is in Quirino Grandstand, Ermita, Manila. On weekdays, the park is open from 10:am to 6:00 pm while 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekends.
6. The National Museum of Fine Arts
You can go around and ask the locals about their favorite place in the city and the most answer you can probably get is the National Museum of Fine Arts. Appreciate the beauty of paintings and sculptures made by the noble Filipino artists in the Philippines. Don’t miss the chance to have a picture with the famous Spolarium made by Juan Luna. Whether you are artistic or not, you will not forget the serenity and extravagant beauty of this museum. You can find the museum at Padre Burgos, Ermita, Manila. It is closed on Mondays while you can visit on Tuesdays- Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
5. Star City
There is an amusement park in Manila called Star City. If you just want to spend the whole day having fun and trying different rides, hurry and get your tickets! Try all of the scary rides and don’t be ashamed of shouting for you are just having the time of your life. Collect a lot of pictures and videos to capture the fun memories. Also, enter the souvenir shops inside and bring them home so you have a constant reminder about all the fun that you had in the amusement park. It is located in Roxas Boulevard, Pasay and the operating hours are from 4 am to 10;30 pm.
4. The Beauty of Manila Cathedral
If you are religious just like most of the Filipinos, stop by the churches around Manila. Manila Cathedral is one of the most visited churches in the city. The rich heritage of the country can also be seen through the majestic and breathtaking beauty of the churches. Whether you just simply want to see some of the worship places in the city, they are worth the visit. Dress modesty and take your time to pray because the entrance is free. The church is located at Cabildo St., Intramuros, Manila. It is closed on Mondays so make sure to drop by from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm during Tuesdays- Saturdays. While on Sundays, the church is open from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm.
3. Volunteering in Greenpeace Manila Philippines
There are places where you can volunteer in Manila. There is nothing more rewarding than helping out and joining an organization even just in the meantime. Leaving a good deed behind the place you visited will be definitely fulfilling. Greenpeace Philippines is an organization that promotes taking care of the environment. The city is in need of environmental peace and care. Support and commit to their values to help the city’s future. In volunteering, visit the charity’s site online to join.
2. Lemon Box Family KTV
It is probably best if you know any Filipino families or you have relatives in the city. It is true that the people in this country are obsessed with singing. If you are able to make friends on your visit, go and invite them to have a mini party. Rent a video and buy alcohol and snacks. Enjoy the whole night singing and drinking while having life talks. Manila has also a lot of Karaoke Television bars. Make sure to bring some friends along because singing in a group is a lot of fun. Lemon Box KTV is a famous hang-out place in Binondo, Manila. The operating hour of the KTV is 4 pm to 3 am on weekdays while 2:00 pm to 3:00 is during weekends.
1. Riding the Jeepney
Of course, when you are in Manila, you definitely have to ride the jeepney. It is the locals’ main mode of transportation. These jeepneys are always available 24/7. You can see jeepneys everywhere. It might be a little shocking for the first-timers but riding this can get you closer to their culture. It is a long vehicle that can accommodate 15 to 20 passengers. This iconic vehicle is called the king of the road. If you are traveling to a near place, just ready some coins and brace yourself for the most interesting ride ever.
The Philippines is best known for its beautiful beaches and islands. Manila is normally just a stop-over for some of the tourists. Little did they know that behind the busy life in the city, this place holds a lot of stories. There are a lot of things to do in this little city; from being immersed in the beauty of their history to having a lot of fun while making new friends. You will surely love this place not just because of the attractions and activities mentioned above but also because of the people. Filipinos have the warmest and kindest hearts. They will welcome you with open arms and wide smiles. Even though your country is miles away, the city will give you the feel of a home.