Manila is a bustling city with plenty to see and do. From the museums and historic relics of Intramuros to the culinary delights of Chinatown and the up and coming Makati district, there's something for everyone here.
The city is also known for its thriving nightlife, with rows of bars and restaurants sprouting along the streets that nurture a culture of backpacking. Here, you can take in a sunset cruise across the bay or witness the evening lights at the Manila Baywalk.
Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden
Originally opened in 1959, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is a popular attraction and a great place to visit with the family. It features a variety of animals from different parts of the world, including the Asian elephant Mali, tigers, hyenas, and birds.
The zoo is also home to a wildlife rescue center that takes in sick and abandoned animals. Its 14 acres of land are packed with animals, reptiles, and bird species.
It also houses a botanical garden that is bursting with rare plants. It is a beautiful site that you cannot miss.
The zoo has recently been renovated, and the facilities are new and better. The zoo is well-monitored and the animals are given the best care possible.
A popular seaside promenade, the Manila Baywalk is a two-kilometer stretch along Roxas Boulevard that overlooks the bay and is a popular site to watch the sunset. The area is also peppered with open-air cafes, local buskers, and food stalls.
Runners will love taking in the views of the ocean while on a jog on this coconut-lined boardwalk. The path is separated from traffic and runs about a mile (1.6 km) long and is a great way to get in a workout without feeling too close to the action.
Another popular place to visit in Manila is Intramuros, a historic walled city. This former Spanish colonial stronghold is a must-see for any visitor, and a great way to immerse yourself in Filipino culture. You can take an ecotour in a bamboo bike to explore the city and learn about its history and heritage.
The walled city of Intramuros is a popular tourist spot within the metro. It was built in 1571 by the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
During the Spanish colonial period, it was the seat of power in Manila. Its thick walls and moats fended off invasions from the outside world.
Today, Intramuros is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its historical attractions. This historic district is also home to several old churches, ancient monuments, and lush gardens.
There are also several museums to visit such as Casa Manila which is a reproduction of an 1850’s house. The museum showcases expensive furniture and antique interiors.
Another place to check out in Intramuros is the Belfry Cafe, a newer restaurant that boasts of a unique setting. This al fresco restaurant offers a range of coffee and other beverages. It also has snacks, mains, and desserts.
Fort Santiago is a historic site in Manila. This citadel was built by Spanish navigator Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1593 as a defense fortress inside Intramuros, the walled city of Manila.
- A trip to this historical landmark is a must for anyone who visits the Philippines. It features beautiful gardens, elaborately carved gates and plazas, as well as fountains.
- It also has a museum dedicated to national hero Jose Rizal, who was imprisoned in the fort prior to his execution in 1896.
- This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see for travelers to the Philippines, whether they're looking to gain insight into Spanish colonial history or learn more about Filipino heroes like Rizal. The site's many attractions can be visited on a half-day tour from the cruise ship port in Manila.
- A visit to the dungeons of this fort is a somber experience, but it's worth it to commemorate the many people who died in its prisons during the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, Spanish rule, American colonial times and WW2. The dungeons feature a marble cross, which signifies the mass grave where 600 prisoners of war were buried.