A Guide to the Best Attractions in Manila
Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is a bustling cosmopolitan hub that blends modern and historical charm together. It is a city that speaks of its rich past and diverse culture amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life. From historical landmarks to a vibrant nightlife, from colorful shopping spots to pristine white sandy beaches, Manila has a lot to offer. Here is a guide to the best attractions in Manila that you should not miss during your stay.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Manila
1. Intramuros – Known as the “Walled City”, Intramuros is the heart of old Manila that boasts a rich history dating back to the Spanish colonial era. Visitors can explore the intricate architecture and discover the cultural significance of this iconic landmark. A must-visit historical attraction in Manila.
2. Rizal Park – This sprawling green oasis is dedicated to the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The park is an ideal place to enjoy a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of Manila city life. It features lush greenery, a man-made lake, and statues of the country’s great personalities.
3. Fort Santiago – Located inside Intramuros, Fort Santiago is a military fortress that traces its history back to the Spanish colonial era. Visitors can explore its various exhibits, learn about the life of the famous martyr Jose Rizal, and enjoy stunning views of the Pasig River.
4. San Agustin Church – This impressive 16th-century church is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. Its beautiful interiors are sure to take your breath away, while its intricate architecture will leave you in awe. The San Agustin Church is a UNESCO Heritage site and a must-visit attraction in Manila.
5. National Museum of the Philippines – This museum is home to a range of exhibits that showcase the country’s rich culture and history. Visitors can explore the collections spread across various floors and learn about the Philippines’ diverse traditions, art, and culture.
6. Manila Ocean Park – Located along Manila Bay, the Manila Ocean Park is a popular family attraction that offers a range of activities for all ages. Visitors can enjoy marine animal shows, aquarium tours, and even try diving with the sharks.
7. Quiapo Church – The Quiapo Church is one of the most popular religious sites in Manila. It is known for its Black Nazarene, a statue believed to have miraculous powers. Thousands of devotees visit the church every year to seek blessings.
8. Binondo – Known as Manila’s Chinatown, Binondo is a bustling area that offers a mix of history, culture, food, and shopping. Visitors can explore the traditional shops, walk along its narrow streets, and indulge in the scrumptious Chinese cuisine.
9. Bonifacio Global City – This modern commercial district is a magnet for business, shopping, and entertainment. Visitors can explore the high-end shopping malls, catch a movie or a theater show, and enjoy a night out at its trendy bars and restaurants.
10. SM Mall of Asia – One of the largest shopping malls in the world, the SM Mall of Asia is a shopper’s paradise. It features over 600 shops, dining outlets, entertainment zones, and a giant ferris wheel with stunning views of Manila Bay.
FAQs – Most Asked Questions and its Answers
1. How do I get to Manila from the airport?
Manila has two airports – Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Clark International Airport. From NAIA, you can take a taxi, shuttle bus, or train to reach the city center. From Clark International Airport, you can take a bus or a taxi to Manila.
2. What is the best time to visit Manila?
The best time to visit Manila is between November and April, when the climate is dry and pleasant. Avoid visiting during the rainy season (June to October) as the city is prone to typhoons and heavy rains.
3. Is Manila safe for tourists?
Like any other big city, Manila has its share of crime, and tourists should take precautions while traveling. Avoid carrying valuables, stay aware of your surroundings, and be cautious while using public transport.
4. What is the currency used in Manila?
The currency used in Manila and the rest of the Philippines is the Philippine peso (PHP).
5. What are the top things to buy in Manila?
Manila is known for its handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs such as key chains, ref magnets, and t-shirts with Philippine-themed prints. You can also buy locally-made products such as dried mangoes, coffee, and chocolate.
In conclusion, Manila is a city that offers a mix of history, culture, and modern lifestyle. With its array of attractions, visitors are guaranteed a memorable experience. From exploring historic landmarks to indulging in gastronomical delights, Manila has something for everyone. Plan your trip to this vibrant city and discover all its hidden gems.