Top 10 Things to See and Do in Manila

Festive Philippines

Founded in 1571 by a Spanish conquistador, Manila is a sprawling metropolis with soaring skyscrapers, historic neighborhoods, leafy parks, baroque churches, ancient forts, and stunning coastlines.


Manila Cathedral is situated in Intramuros, the old Walled City of Manila. Photo Credit: Jason Ian Yap.

You will find commerce, shopping, entertainment, and dining throughout Manila. And not only that …

If you are into culture, Manila is home to several museums with both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.

If you are into fitness, you can jog in leafy parks or along the shores of Manila Bay.

If you you’re into indulgence,  you can indulge yourself at one of the many luxurious day spas.

If you are into nightlife, you can party until dawn.


Jeepneys are a popular and inexpensive form of transportation. They were originally fashioned from army jeeps that were left behind by the American military after World War II. Photo Credit: Manila Bloggers Network.


Kalesa are horse-drawn carriages, which were introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. They remain popular with tourists. Photo Credit: Photophilia.

Manila should not be confused with Metropolitan Manila, usually referred to simply as Metro Manila, a megalopolis that  comprises six cities, of which Manila is one. There are also 12 towns.

Here is a short list of things to see and do in Metropolitan Manila.

  1. Jeepney – Rub shoulders with the locals in this popular, colourful, and cheap form of public transportation.
  2. Kalesa – Have yourself driven through the streets of Manila in an elegant horse-drawn carriage.
  3. Intramuros – Explore the historic heart of Old Manila, site of Manila Cathedral and other historic structures that are situated “Within the Walls” of the former Walled City.
  4. Mall of Asia – Shop till you drop at the world’s third largest shopping mall.
  5. Rizal Park – Take a selfie in front of the statue of National Hero Jose Rizel in one of Asia’s largest public parks.
  6. Jollibee – Try an Amazing Aloha Champ, a mouth-watering hamburger with a thick slice of pineapple at this popular chain of Filipino fast food restaurants.
  7. Marikina Shoe Museum – Find out what happened to the hundreds of pairs of footwear worn by former  First Lady Imelda Marcos at this quirky museum.
  8. Manila Ocean Park – Meander through Asia’s largest underwater viewing tunnel at this magnificent marine park.
  9. Whitemoon Bar – Watch the sun set into the sea over cocktails at the cocktail lounge of Hotel H2O in Manila Ocean Park.
  10. Café Juanita – Feast on oven-roasted Lechon at this popular eatery serving home-style Filipino fare.

Where to Eat and Stay in Manila

Find the perfect place to eat in Manila …

Find the perfect place to stay in Manila …

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