The 10 km long Roxas Boulevard is a popular waterfront promenade on Manila Bay and famous for its beautiful sunsets and its well-lined stretch of coconut trees. The area is not only a good place to take walk, but also where to find restaurants, parks, and government buildings including a huge shopping mall.
This Spanish fortress, with cannons trained on the sea to deter pirates and invaders, is more than striking medieval architecture. It is also the “Shrine of Freedom,” to Filipinos tortured and killed here during the Spanish and Japanese eras. It is now a park with a resident theatre company for traditional and modern plays.
Club Intramuros Golf Course is an amazing, but somewhat short, 18-hole course in the heart of the city and surrounding Fort Santiago. You can completed the course in less than two hours. Enjoy a good game while admiring the excellent scenery and if the hunger kicks in, there is a restaurant in the area.
The oldest surviving church in the Philippines completed in 1604 was the only building intact in Intramuros after the battles of World War II. San Agustin Church, originally known as "inglesia de San Pablo" is a Roman Catholic Church. Check out the large collection of historic artefacts presented here and don´t forget this is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Enjoy the Filipino people’s cultural and historical treasures from the 17th century and onwards. The museum consist of two buildings, one housing most of the paintings and one that features Filipino artefacts. You can easily spend a few hours here and it is truly a good place to learn about the country's culture and history. Don´t miss out the "The Story of the Filipino People" movie and the largest painting in the Philippines (4.22 meters x 7.675 meters), called the Spoliarium by Juan Luna.
Corregidor is a small rocky island with a location about 48 kilometres west of Manila. Because of its strategic location, the island was defending the entrance of Manila city. Today it stands as a memorial for those fighting against the invasion of the Japanese during World War II. There are tours to this historical site with Sun Cruises.
For a breath-taking view, head over to this beautiful volcano. The volcano is located about 70 kilometers south of Manila on the "volcano island" and surrounded by a lake called Taal Lake, or Lake Taal. Called as the smallest active volcano, but in fact, this is one of the largest volcanoes in the world. This is a very popular tourist attraction and for sure deserves a visit.
Bahay Tsinoy display wide selections of pictures and artefacts that explain the history and cultural heritage of Filipino and the Chinese society in the Philippines. This museum will give you a better understanding about Filipino-Chinese community from the first migrants, to the colonial period and to the present time.
Manila Ocean Park is the ultimate attraction for individuals, couples, groups and families who are seeking for marina life adventure. Here you can visit the penguin park, admire 5,000 marine creatures or get closer to the sharks in the safety of a metal cage. Other attractions you should not miss are the jellyfish exhibit or why not discover the underwater world as you navigate in a glass bottom boat. This park is a very popular tourist attraction and it is located right in the city centre.
If you like art, you have come to the right place. Metropolitan Museum of Art is full of cultural treasures, artifacts and pre-colonial, modern and contemporary Philippine art. When the hunger kicks in, there is a café inside where you can have a drink or eat some food.
Kashmir is a friendly Indian tandoori restaurant offering all the familiar curries, tikkas, breads and chutneys. Also offers a menu for Malaysian and Middle Eastern Cuisine. This restaurant is actually the first fine-dining Indian restaurant in the Philippines so come and see what it is all about.
Looking for some Spanish cuisines in Manila? Order your reservations online and try the fascinating Spain's regional dishes here. With a large variety of choices in their menu, you will definitely find something that will suit your taste, or why not try their signature dish : Paella Valenciana.?
Best service when it comes to authentic Filipino cuisines for affordable prices. Food that is prepared according to family recipe that has been passed down through several generations. With its high popularity among locals, Trellis provides local signature cuisines, like "sisig" and "burong hipon" for you to enjoy in joyful and casual environment.
At this restaurant, you can enjoy a large 'all you can eat' buffet (called smörgåsbord in Swedish) with various Swedish, European and Filipino food. You should come here with an empty stomach and be ready to dig into the yummy food. Also serving pizza, steaks and vegetarian food.
Banana Leaf is a multi-awarded International restaurant chain serving delights of modern Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and Indonesian cuisine. At this restaurant, they present the food on a banana leaf! The highly skilled master chefs ensures that every dish is made with perfection and high quality.
T.G.I. Friday's is an American restaurant chain, which you can find all over the world. This family-friendly restaurant provides a menu with a wide selection of dishes, everything from steaks, ribs to pasta and burgers. Fun atmosphere and attentive service are some of the reasons that makes T.G.I so popular.
Well-known for serving some of the best Singaporean cuisine in Manila. However, if you are craving for authentic Chinese cuisine, don´t worry, they have Chinese dimsum, hot pot and noodle dishes, all served by attentive staff. The Hainanese chicken rice is a popular dish here.
This restaurant is not only about authentic high quality French food for a reasonable price, but also about culture. The restaurant host art exhibitions by renowned artists making it a great place to enjoy yummy food in an artsy and relaxing atmosphere. Pop in on a Monday when they have mussels and fries specials or on a Tuesday when offering fondue Bourguignonne (reservation is needed one day before).
Situated at the Oasis Paco Park Hotel, My Kitchen by Chef Chris offers superb European dishes, everything from pasta, pizza to meat and fish meals are beautifully presented and flavourful. It is more on the expensive side but truly worth it due to the quality of the food and the terrific service.
Nobu is a well-known restaurant chain with location across the world and one is at the Nobu Hotel Manila. From the menu, you can pick innovative Japanese cuisine cooked to perfection by the expert chefs. It attracts a hip crowd and celebrities. Signature dishes includes black cod miso and lobster with wasabi pepper sauce as well as sushi.
Another chain of restaurants, Aristocrat is famous for its chicken barbecue with Java rice among other Filipino comfort food like kare-kare (Filipino stew) and crispy pata (crispy deep-fried pork leg). This Filipino-owned family corporation has a reputation as “The Philippines’ Most Popular Restaurant” and has become a landmark that inspired the development of the restaurant industry within the country.
Experience great country cooking in a chic bistro setting at Bistro Remedios. It is the best dining experience foreign guests should try if they are looking for local home cooking. The restaurant also has a trio who serenades clients with Tagalog and regional songs. For those who prefer private dining, Bistro Remedios has function rooms that can accommodate 12 to 50 persons. Bistro Remedios is located at the Remedios Circle in Malate, Manila.
This café is located inside the Hotel Intramuros, you need to enter through a courtyard. The service is excellent and they offer a menu with Filipino, American and Continental influences. Breakfast and food like soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers are served, including fruits.
This place is a Philipino classic and it will provide you with all the little pastries and sweets your heart may desire. Here you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a cup of coffee, all served by the friendly staff. Try out the Ensaymadas, a sweet and tasty bread that is just to die for!
This is the perfect place if you have a sweet tooth or want a light dessert. Here you can eat lovely cupcakes for a good price. Try the yummy red velvet and chocolate cupcake when here! Cupcakes By Sonja have three locations in Manila: G/F Serendra Piazza, Ayala Center and G/F Mega Fashion Hall.
With several branches across Manila, Mary Grace is another coffee shop with a successful story. A place where family and friends are gathering over hearty meals or just relaxing with a cup of coffee or Mary Grace Hot chocolate (with Belgian chocolate) pair with their signature Ensaymada and Cheese Rolls.
One of the largest privately-owned, family-run coffee and tea companies in the world, The Coffee Bean truly knows the model for a successful coffee house. This American coffee chain have seven locations in Manila and one is on Adriatico Street - a favourite hang out for coffee lovers!
If donuts are your thing, then for sure you should pay a visit to J. CO Donuts & Coffee. Everything you ever wish in donuts you will find it here, unique flavours that will slowly melt in your mouth. Alcapone, a donut covered with Belgian white chocolate and Californian almonds is one of the top favourites or try the heavenly good tiramisu donut.
For aeropress-brewed coffee and great espresso, Habitual Coffee is the place to head for. The coffee is served by young and passionate baristas who really knows what they are doing. This sleek coffee shop also serves limited but very delightful light meals including pastries.
At this quirky and modern venue, you can do your laundry while having a cup of coffee and a small bite on the side. They have two branches where they offer various laundry services and each houses a cosy cafe area where to hang out. If craving for something sweet, they serve cookies, cakes and pastries too.
Since opening in 2015, Catabolic Cafe has quickly become a local favourite. The four owners all share the same passion for quality dining and great coffee, which is so noticeable on the menu. When here, try the popular chicken waffle and just enjoy the relaxing and welcoming vibe.
The Sage Bar has introduced a new line of original cocktail drinks with unique flavours and the freshest ingredients. Every night the bar host live band and DJs and on Saturday, you will need your dancing shoes when the DJ plays electronic dance music. The dress code is smart casual.
This is Philippines' first and largest integrated resort and casino. Resorts World Manila is an entertainment complex and has the country's largest casino. Here you can enjoy events, shows and tournaments. There is also two bars housed here where to get your favourite drink.
At this old English inspired pub with dark timber ceiling and plush armchairs, you can have a relaxing time in a unique soulful and friendly ambiance. From the extensive drink menu, you can pick alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to complement some delights from the sumptuous bar menu.
Sit down and relax with a refreshing cocktail while listing to cool music played in the background at the intimate Bar Rouge. Cigars and single malts are on focus and the experienced bartender truly knows how to cater the most demanding tastes with stylish, fresh and innovated creations of drinks.
Revel is a luxurious nightclub and lounge, attracting the most beautiful and trendy people in Manila, including the most discerning international travellers. With an upscale and intimate ambiance, quality drinks and the most requested DJs, Revel, is the place to party with class and style.
World class clubbing day or night, The Palace Pool Club host some of the biggest artists and DJs from around the world. This is also the country’s first pool club, featuring two swimming pools, several bars with a wide selection of drinks, a Satellite DJ booth, a stage, twelve lavish cabanas and a steam room. Part of The Palace, Manila’s biggest destination, The Palace Pool Club for sure offers a great experience.
Another venue located at The Palace, Valkyrie, claimed to be Manila´s biggest nightclub with space for over 2,000 people and currently one of the hottest clubs in the city that is always packed. Many famous DJs have performed here to get the place pumping and many more are to follow.
Relax with a fresh cocktail while admiring the 360 degree views of the entire city including the beautiful sunset at Sky Deck View Bar at The Bayleaf hotel. The menu offers an extensive wine list, local beers and cocktails but also provides a food menu. On weekends, Sky Deck host live entertainment.
12 Monkeys, one of the best live entertainment venues in Manila where to listen different music genres. Not only serving good cocktails but also authentic Filipino cuisine including pizzas. The atmosphere is vibrant but yet with a relaxed attitude. Check out the gig guide on the website before stopping by.
SM Mall of Asia is one of Asia´s biggest malls with more than a hundred stores and several restaurants under one gigantic roof. Local brands sit alongside international ones such as Mango and Zara, which have appeared in Manila for the first time thanks to the scale of the mall. In all, a great setting with amazing architecture and commanding views of Manila Bay.
Greenhills is often referred to as a permanent flea market minus the dust. There are plenty of bargains, especially with pearls and other jewellery. Prices are negotiable so start haggling. This is for sure a place where you will not break your wallet and when the hunger kicks in, head over to one of the restaurants or cafes housed here.
This famous wholesale market, Divisoria, is a unique shopping experience featuring ready-to-wear clothing, jewellery and house wares for a very good price. Although it is crowded with people, it is worth a visit. Divisoria Market has not only stalls along the street but there is also an air-conditioned building where to find even more bargains.
Shangri-La Plaza is one of Manila’s most upmarket malls with a striking eight-storey atrium and high-end stores with international brands such as Calvin Klein and Polo. Not only does the mall provide vibrant and pleasurable shopping but also host events and performances, which creates a dynamic environment.
When asking the locals where to buy the best fruit, everyone points to San Andres Market. With plenty of exotic fruits both local and imported fruit, this famous market is truly full of colourful displays and it is very eye-catching. You will find this market on San Andres Street, a block away from Quirino Avenue.
Seaside Market is famous for seafood and located near the Baclaran church in Pasay. This is quite a small market with only 40 vendors, but the selection is nice and fresh. This place is truly a great experience; first, you pick your choice of seafood and then go to one of the restaurants nearby who will cook your food for a reasonable price.
Balikbayan Handicrafts has been in business for the past 40 years and you will find two big stores located in Makati City and Pasay City. These stores stocks an amazing variety and assortment of quality Philippine handicrafts such as wood furniture pieces, sculptures, picture frames, jewellery boxes, home decors, cutlery, pearls and much more.
A convenient wholesale and retail shopping mall, 168 Shopping Mall houses various stalls offering all kinds of items such as cloths, bags, shoes, toys, hardware and others for a bargain price. When you are feeling hungry there are some good food stalls where to grab a bite to eat.
If you are looking for awesome curios and thoughtful stuff, then you should go to this museum and gift shop called The Manila Collectible Co. Here you will find hand-woven textiles, crafts and accessories, all produced in Philippines. They also sell Fairtrade organic coffee, local wines and pure cacao.
The Philippines can be visited visa-free for up to 30 days by citizens of Schengen countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. A valid return or onward ticket and a passport that is valid upon entry and for at least six months beyond the period of stay are required to enter the Philippines. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country.
The dry period between November and April is the peak tourist season in the Philippines. Hidden areas and remote islands are fully accessible, and temperatures are very mild, especially from December to February. During the wet season, May to October, you still have the chance to enjoy sunny days, but bear in mind that typhoons can occur. The months of May and November are considered low season, which means fewer crowds and lower prices for flights and accommodation. However, the weather is still pleasant and you can experience the Philippine way of life in its entirety.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is 7 km from the centre of Manila, located south of the city, and southwest of Makati City's Central Business District. From Manila airport, you can take the bus to various points in Manila. There are nine bus routes; eight of them go via Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), and one through Circumferential Road 5 (C-5). The bus departures once every 30 minutes. Taxi is for sure the quickest and most efficient way to travel to and from the airport. You can book a taxi at an official desk at the airport or grab a taxi outside the terminal. The journey can take between 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the time of day and the traffic. There are two types of taxis: yellow and white. The yellow taxis are the official registered and certified taxis at the airport and one of the best and safest means of transportations. The white taxis (street taxi) are not allowed inside the airport's arrival (only arriving on the departure level) and if you decide to take one of these, be careful, the driver can give you a higher fixed price without using the meter. Another option is to arrange for a hotel transfer to pick you up. This you should arrange in advance but it is one of the most expensive options.
Manila has a rail system comprising the two lines of the Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT) and the single line of the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT), also known as the Metrostar Express or Metrostar. The LRT is open 5am-9.30pm, the MRT for one hour later. Pricing is different for each line and you can buy your tickets at the ticket booths. The rail system is the cheapest way to travel in Manila and easiest way to avoid the traffic but be aware during rush hours the trains are usually packed and there will be long queues to the ticket booths.
Taxi in Manila is a very inexpensive way of getting around. You can flagging a taxi in the street or book by phone but make sure to take a registered and metered taxi. If the taxi driver says that the meter is not working then find another. Also make sure to have small peso notes to pay for the taxi fare, otherwise it could end up you paying too much because they tell you that they don´t have the change, even if they do.