"Simply no place like home, Manila!" Top 5 Page for this destination City of Manila by yellowbell

City of Manila Travel Guide: 3,126 reviews and 8,868 photos

Whenever Manila is mentioned, the speaker unknowingly refers to a vast conglomeration of 12 cities and five municipalities. This conglomeration is called Metro Manila. Foreigners would normally confine themselves to Makati (Central Commercial Business District), Mandaluyong and Ortigas (next to posh Makati in terms of aggregation of offices of large corporations), and Quezon City (former capital of the Philippines).

Foremost among the attractions in the heart of Manila is Intramuros (Walled City) where Fort Santiago (including Rizal Shrine), San Agustin Church/Museum, Manila Cathedral, and Palacio del Gobernador can be found. Next to Intramuros is Malate/Ermita Area where you can find the newly-cleaned up Roxas Blvd (now called Baywalk with its al fresco restaurants), Rizal Park, Metropolitan Museum, Cultural Center of the Philippines, and Coconut Palace.

Popular routes
Day tour - Corregidor and Tagaytay
Easy 2-3 day beach destination - Puerto Galera (3 hours by bus and 1 hour ferry from Manila)
2-3 day mountainous route with cool pine scent - Baguio (6-7 hours by bus from Manila or 45 minutes via a small commercial plane)

If you have a week:
Less frenetic city life and beach resorts - you can opt to directly fly to Cebu (an international hub).
Touristy and white-sand beach - Boracay Beach (50 minutes by plane from Manila)
Well-preserved Spanish churches/village - Vigan and Laoag (10 hours by bus or 50 mins by plane from Manila)

Sunset at Manila Bay

If you're in an archipelago like the Philippines, better go island hopping. You can go via a ferry, a yacht or an outrigger boat!

As Manila Bay is famous for it sunset, walk along that strip, enjoy the music of local bands and dine al fresco in the restaurants that lined the bay area. Since it's usually busy on weekend nights, at least spend your morning viewing the joggers and kids on bikes. Some of the restaurants by the bay offer breakfast.

Soak in the sun and the sea air!

The only Catholic country in Southeast Asia

Churches are just as ubiquitous as the jeeps in Manila. On the picture is the all-steel Gothic church of San Sebastian in Quiapo, Manila. The church has for its patron, the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Notice the rose stained glass windows, the spires and ribbed vaults (roof).

Check out my article "How to beat the heat in Manila"

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:historic churches, Manila Bay sunset, fortified walls, jeeps, vibrant Bohemian life
  • Cons:slums
  • Intro Updated Mar 23, 2009
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Reviews (21)

Comments (10)

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2007 at 1:18 AM

    I liked your Manila pages, brought back many memories.

  • i-s-a's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 6:08 PM

    great new travelogue jing! di ako nakavisit sa mt. samat this year kasi sobrang daming bakasyonista. sana madala kita minsan dun para lalo mong maapreciate yung heroism noong ww2.

  • zephyrgurl108's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2006 at 2:25 AM

    i love manila! :)

  • bike_packer's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2006 at 12:37 AM

    thanks jing for dropping on my cebu page! bohol and cebu really got plentiful of mervelous churches. >> the jeepney really rocks. i love the sailboats by the SM Asia. because...., i use to sail at the bay w/ my friends when i get the chance.

  • shintarojon's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2006 at 2:52 AM

    ate jing...maganda nga dito sa Jaipur...nag eenjoy naman ako sa tourism nila...naiinis lang ako sa mga annoying touts...

  • freddie18's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2006 at 7:20 AM

    Hi Jing. Thanks for visiting my Pisa page. I did not realize that there is Jumbo in Manila. I'd been to HK Jumbo though. Will also visit Max Resto (my fav) when in Manila next year. Thanks for the tips, you deserve a 5. Regards from Freddie of Toronto

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2006 at 5:56 PM

    Nice Manila page! very interesing and useful

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2006 at 9:06 PM

    Very informative. Excellent tips.

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2006 at 11:41 PM

    Good tips on Manila! We have a lot of Filipinos in Israel these days.

  • ukirsari's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2006 at 7:06 AM

    an outstanding manila page, jing :) welldone!! mabuhay filipino!!!

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