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Manila
Travel Guide

From the hectic pace of its high-rise business district to the tranquillity of its flower-filled parks, Manila is a city of strong contrasts.

Vast and sprawling, Manila at first sight can be daunting. One of the largest cities in the world and still growing, this metropolis of sixteen towns seems impossible to navigate. With no obvious centre, the new visitor can find themselves bewildered by the crowded streets, dense traffic and frantic pace. But spend a little time among its friendly people, learn a little of its fascinating but volatile history, and its charms will soon get under your skin.

Manila has been under occupation by the Spanish, British, Japanese and Americans, and has been destroyed many times by natural disasters including fires and earthquakes. More recently, the tragic devastation wrought by bombing raids during the Second World War brought the city to its knees. Now, thanks to an ambitious programme of reconstruction, many of the city’s historic buildings have been preserved for posterity.

Intramuros is the oldest area and one of the main focuses for tourism. This ancient walled city is surrounded by sturdy fortifications built by the Spanish in the 16th century to repel hostile invaders. Most of the walls were left in ruins by wartime bombing, but the remaining parts have been sympathetically restored. Follow the walkways to the Baluarte de San Andres and the Baluarte de San Diego to appreciate their strategic position overlooking Manila Bay and the Pasig river. Nearby Fort Santiago houses the Rizal Shrine, dedicated to national hero Dr José Rizal, who lost his life in the struggle for independence. See the place of his execution in Rizal Park, one of the largest recreational spaces in Asia.

Learn about the fascinating archaeology and anthropology of the region in the National Museum of the Filipino People, or visit Casa Manila Museum for a close-up view of the domestic life of an affluent Filipino family during the colonial era. Believers and non-believers alike can’t fail to be moved by the sight of faithful pilgrims flocking to Quiapo Church to pray to the Black Nazarene, one of the most important icons in the country. Take time to visit Manila Cathedral, still proudly serving the Catholic community despite being destroyed many times.

Getting around on foot is hard in this huge metropolis, but taxis are cheap and plentiful and the light rail links most of the main sites. For the authentic Manila experience, hop on a colourful jeepney and hold on tight!

Where to stay in Manila

Top hotels in Manila

Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
3 out of 5
Coral Way Avenue Corner of, Seaside Boulevard, Pasay, Manila
The price is £67 per night from 4 Mar to 5 Mar

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manila Bay, SM Mall of Asia and SMX Convention Center. City of Dreams Manila and Mall of Asia ...

4/5Very Good! (984 reviews)

"Good food Service and cleanliness ands location access to to mall of Asia"…"

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2021

Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
Manila Lotus Hotel
Manila Lotus Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1277 A Mabini cor Padre Faura, Manila
The price is £36 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Located in Ermita, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place, Manila Bay and Rizal Park. U.S. Embassy and Manila Doctors Hospital are also within ...

3.9/5Very Good! (185 reviews)

"Over all the place was beyond my expectation and the staff are awesome"…"

Reviewed on 22 Feb 2021

Manila Lotus Hotel
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
The price is £109 per night from 3 Mar to 4 Mar

Located in Barangay 76, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Arena and SM Mall of Asia. World Trade Center Manila ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (997 reviews)

"Excellent hotel, excellent service, excellent staff. The desk staff are super helpful and accommodating. The room service is also excellent and staff are super courteous. My room has excellent view and I love the nespresso coffee in my room, too. The food is superb. I will definitely come back and ..."…"

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2021

Conrad Manila
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Manila

Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
3 out of 5
36th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Located in Bonifacio Global City, this condo is within a 15-minute walk of Uptown Mall, St Luke's Medical Center Global City and Bonifacio High Street. Fort ...

4.4/5Excellent! (10 reviews)

"Overall our stay was satisfactory. Pros:-rooms and area where clean - condo was in vicinity of upscale mall, restaurants and grocery store. -"…"

Reviewed on 1 Mar 2020

Gotophi at One Uptown Residence
Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila
The price is £135 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

This family-friendly Makati aparthotel is located in the business district, just steps away from Glorietta Mall and SM Makati. Ayala Center and Greenbelt Shopping ...

4.3/5Excellent! (711 reviews)

"I stumbled upon this hotel as I needed a last minute booking for my trip in the Philippines. I hoped for a clean, spacious hotel with easy access to get around places. I really didn’t have a lot of expectations BUT they had amenities I did not even think I would need! I loved our 3 night stay in ..."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020

Ascott Makati
JMM Grand Suites
JMM Grand Suites
3 out of 5
1622 Jorge Bocobo Street, Manila, Manila
The price is £32 per night from 1 Mar to 2 Mar

Located in Malate, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place, Manila Bay and Baywalk. Rizal Park and U.S. Embassy are also within 15 minutes. ...

3.6/5Good! (397 reviews)

"Location in relation to St. Luke and free parking."…"

Reviewed on 30 Jan 2021

JMM Grand Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Manila

Top things to do in Manila

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