Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is located in Luzon Island. It is one of the most visited cities in the Philippines, and no Philippines tour is complete without visiting the amazing city of Manila. The primary advantage of Manila is that it has an international airport, which has amazing connectivity to almost all major countries in the world, which makes Manila the first point of visit for people entering the Philippines. You also have great connectivity from Manila to other prominent islands in the Philippines, which makes island-hopping quite easier. And not to mention the amazing variety and exclusivity Manila has to offer, which entices more tourists into this capital city.
Manila is an amalgamation of culture, art, history, towering skyscrapers, neon red lights, buzzing nightlife, local markets, shopping malls, souvenir shops, food streets, and many more. Manila has something to offer for all age groups of travelers, and also for any traveling group, be it solo, or honeymooners, or a family vacation.
Although Manila has enough to offer to keep you interested and engaged for weeks, if you are running short of time, it is ideal to visit the top attractions to get the maximum value out of your Philippines tour.
Here is the list of top 7 things you can do in Manila\
Image credits: wikimedia
- San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church, a UNESCO site, was built back in the end of the 16th century and is the oldest stone-built church in the country. It is one of the most visited spots by tourists and is also very famous amongst the locals and tourists. The church is renowned for its baroque-style architecture, marvelous interiors, and other beautiful intricate details that make this church a haven for architecture and culture lovers. Ensure you visit this church either early in the day or towards late evening, as the church closes out to the common public when there are any weddings held.
- Manila American Cemetery
Built in 1960, and spanning over an area of 152 sqft, the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is one of the most famous attractions in the Philippines. There are 17,184 graves in this cemetery, which makes it containing the most number of graves of American military dead of World War II, most of them predominantly losing their lives in operations in the Philippines and New Guinea. Besides the entry of the cemetery, stands a chapel, which is a white masonry building embedded with sculpture and mosaic. This is something history lovers shouldn’t ever give a miss!
Chinatown, also known as Bindondo, is the bustling and busy street which is filled with shops and local eateries. A Chinese trading presence in this region is prevalent since the 800s, and thus came the name Chinatown. The best way to explore Chinatown and embrace is its culture is by walk or jeepneys. You can visit the local market shops, Buddhist temples, herbal shops, souvenir shops, local eateries, and a lot more. And there is no better place to have dim sum in Manila than in Chinatown.
- Manila Baywalk
A late evening stroll along the waterside promenade on Manila Bay during the sunset is one of the top experiences you can get in Manila. Truly a sight to behold, this baywalk attracts tourists of any and every age group to spend some quality time with their near and dear ones. These waters were the ground for the Battle of Manila between the US Navy and Spain in 1988, which ended over a 300-year-old Spain rule in the Philippines. This is a very lively area with cheerful locals and live street performances keeping the spirit up and high throughout the day!
- Jeepney Rides
The best and the most authentic way to embrace the Filipino culture while you tread through the busy streets of Manila is through a Jeepney ride. These colorful hulks don the streets of Manila, adding to the glory and heritage of the city. These American jeeps are painted in vibrant colors that attract people of all age groups. This is also one of the most affordable ways to navigate around the city.
- Filipino cuisine and local delicacies
No trip to the Philippines is complete without tasting the local cuisine and delicacies that will leave you asking for more. The food scene in the Philippines is pretty vibrant and there are a lot of offerings for people throughout the city. Halo-Halo is one of the top local delicacies you can taste in Manila. Apart from that, you can consider tasting roast pork, balut, kwek-kwek, caramelized banana, and many more.
The cosmopolitan city of Manila is a haven for shoppers and is arguably the best place to shop in the Philippines. There is a wide variety of shopping spots in Manila, right from local markets where you can bargain your way out to steal the best deals, to the fourth largest shopping mall in the world, SM Megamall. Located in the Ortigas’ business district, the mall houses brands right from the mid-fashion segment, to top fashion brands you can find across the world.
Most likely, Manila is going to be the first city you’d visit in your Philippines tour, and to have a great start to your Asian vacation, it is better to make the best value out of Manila. Travel companies like Pickyourtrail, Yatra will curate the best itineraries according to your liking through their Philippines tour package. Scoot your way to the island destination to have the best time of your life!