9 Best Tourist Spots & Top Things To Do In Manila
MANILA – This article will provide you with additional information concerning the sightseeing spots and things to do for locals and tourists in Manila.
Prepare for a whirlwind because Manila is not slowing down. The vibrant capital of the Philippines is an exhilarating fusion of Filipino, Spanish, and American cultures and influences that will leave you astonished. All you need to do is embrace the experience and get ready for something truly extraordinary. In a previous article, we featured facts about the Philippines you probably don’t know.
Exploring Manila’s wonders encompasses everything from its rich history to its present-day financial prowess, with a mix of outstanding restaurants, lively bars, water parks, and churches in between. Manila is truly one-of-a-kind.
Here Are the Best Things To Do In Manila
1.The Walled City
It is the remnants of Spain’s past colonial empire preserved in a European-style walled city. Why visit? The Walled City, also known as Intramuros, will make you question if you’re still in the Philippines. Once a colonial outpost of the Spanish empire, the cobbled streets, grand churches, and colonial-style villas create a European ambiance. In stark contrast to the surrounding skyscrapers, exploring Intramuros on foot is the best way to immerse yourself in the country’s history. While wandering aimlessly is an option, a guided walking tour offers a deeper insight into the nation’s past. Traverse through Baroque churches, administrative buildings, and colonial villas. Seeking refuge from the heat? Head to Casa Manila, an elegant spot with a shaded courtyard and a restaurant.
2. Locavore Kitchen x Drinks
The place is the ultimate destination for sampling Filipino cuisine. Why visit? Chef Mikel Zaguirre’s menu showcases Filipino comfort food prepared with contemporary French culinary techniques. Emphasizing farm-to-table and sustainable approaches, the extensive menu includes a variety of pulutan, Filipino finger food snacks. Embark on a culinary journey, beginning with the kinilaw sampler—an equivalent to ceviche—offering a blend of healthiness and delectability. Don’t miss out on the bicho bicho doughnuts with fresh bananas. The drinks menu features an array of outstanding local craft beers, but the standout favorites are the signature cocktails infused with locally grown calamansi, pineapple, and the fiery labuyo wild chili.
3. San Agustin Church and Museum
It is the oldest and most important church in the Philippines. San Agustin Church within Intramuros stands as a vital religious site in the Philippines, a country ranking among the world’s top five Catholic nations. Damaged during World War II and subsequent earthquakes, the current museum marks the fourth iteration on this site. The attached museum boasts a collection of opulent religious artifacts and paintings. The impressive halls, adorned ceilings, and serene courtyard gardens enhance the visit. Certain parts of the church might be inaccessible during services or weddings, but this rule is seldom enforced.
4. Bonifacio Global City
It is a somewhat contrived urban oasis that attracts expatriates and stylish locals for shopping, dining, socializing, and notably, an immersive 4DX cinema adventure.
When the bustling atmosphere of Manila becomes a bit overwhelming, find respite at Bonifacio Global City. Art sculptures embellish meticulously tended gardens, and substantial pieces of street art by both local and international artists adorn the vicinity. Bonafacio 4DX cinema presents Hollywood movies transformed to incorporate water, light, and smoke effects, all while viewers experience motion in their seats. For a satisfying lunch, the Wholesome Table stands out as one of the trendiest cafes on the street, offering a delectable health-conscious menu and robust coffee.
5. Fort Santiago
What is it? A historical Spanish fortress that has been held by the British, Americans, and Japanese, now functioning as a museum.
Why visit? The fortified stronghold known as Fort Santiago was constructed in the 14th century by a Spanish conqueror. Throughout its history, each occupying force utilized its advantageous military position, expansive moat, army barracks, and prison cells. The museum premises also include charming gardens for relaxation. The fort holds significance for Filipinos because it was the place of confinement for the national hero José Rizal before his execution. Consequently, the museum places a strong emphasis on Rizal’s incarceration, trial, and also features narratives about his life along with a shrine dedicated to his memory. Be prepared for a considerable number of visitors throughout the week.
6. Manila Baywalk
It is a waterfront pathway and a popular location for observing sunsets. Why visit the place? Particularly enjoyable during the evening when the sun dips below the horizon and the weather cools down, Manila Baywalk spans two kilometers of pedestrian-friendly walkways shaded by palm trees. Live music, street performers, and food vendors are a constant presence, along with groups of friends and young couples. Arriving just before sunset offers the opportunity to sample various street foods. Don’t miss out on trying Halo-Halo, a well-liked shaved ice dessert topped with evaporated milk, sweet beans, mixed fruits, sago, jelly, and yam ice cream.
7. Manila Ocean Park
It is an amusement park centered around an aquarium theme, coupled with a hotel. Manila Ocean Park hosts regular aquatic performances and opportunities to closely observe enchanting tropical fish. The “aquanaut” encounter enables you to don an oxygen-enriched helmet and stroll underwater. For those seeking an extended experience, H2O Hotel offers marine-themed hotel rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling aquarium walls, allowing you to immerse yourself in the aquatic environment even during your stay.
8. Star City
What is it? An amusement park that offers entertainment for both adults and children, making it an enjoyable destination for all. Why visit? Seek refuge from Manila’s heat at this partially indoor theme park. With its assortment of roller coasters, carousels, rides for children, and classic arcade games, Star City provides several hours of amusement. A notable highlight is the snow room, featuring ice sculptures resembling famous global monuments and a toboggan slide. While the park may have seen better days, its central location, affordable admission fee, air conditioning, and diverse range of attractions make it a worthwhile option to spend a few hours.
9. Upside Down Museum
What is it? An opportunity to view everyday objects from a different perspective, as they are affixed upside down to the ceiling, creating intriguing photo opportunities. Why visit? The Upside Down Museum aims to generate a collection of peculiar photos. Ordinary settings like offices, kitchens, bedrooms, and even cars have been inverted or positioned at angles to create camera illusions, enabling you to appear as though you’re standing on your hands or defying gravity. Bring your camera or smartphone and solicit assistance from the numerous staff members present to snap your picture. They’re well-versed in capturing the best angles. The museum temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remains shuttered. Once the virus situation improves, visitors will resume their ventures into the world of topsy-turvy photography.