The Manila Travel Guide

Written: The Top Thing Staff | July 6, 2023

Go back in time at the old city of Intramuros

Explore Manila‘s walled city, known as Intramuros, and delve into its rich history. Here are some highlights to explore:

  • Historic Fort Santiago: Step into this iconic citadel that has witnessed centuries of Philippine history. Learn about its role during the Spanish colonial period and its significance during World War II.
  • Ancient Walls and Cobblestone Streets: Take a leisurely stroll along the well-preserved walls and cobblestone streets. Feel like you’ve been transported back in time as you admire the architectural remnants of Manila’s past.
  • San Agustin Church: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage site, which stands as one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. Explore its intricate Baroque architecture and immerse yourself in centuries-old religious artifacts.

Intramuros, neighborhood, offers a captivating blend of historical significance and architectural beauty, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in Manila’s past. It provides an enriching experience for history enthusiasts while offering picturesque settings for photography enthusiasts in the area.

The walled city neighborhood also hosts various cultural events, art exhibits, and traditional performances that showcase Filipino heritage. Visitors can witness reenactments of historical events or partake in guided tours to gain deeper insights into Intramuros’ storied past.

Go on a food crawl around Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown

Binondo is a vibrant neighborhood in Manila known for its rich Chinese heritage and mouthwatering cuisine.

  • Indulge in traditional Chinese delicacies like dumplings and noodles. You can find authentic dim sum restaurants offering an array of steamed or fried dumplings filled with various meats, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Try the famous fried siopao and hopia. These fluffy buns filled with savory meat or sweet bean paste are iconic snacks that you shouldn’t miss during your food crawl.
  • Visit Eng Bee Tin for delectable tikoy and other treats. This renowned bakery is famous for its tikoy (Chinese New Year cake) available in different flavors such as ube (purple yam) and pandan. Don’t forget to explore their selection of pastries and sweets too!

In addition to these highlights, there are numerous other restaurants serving up delectable dishes showcasing the fusion of Filipino-Chinese flavors.

Exploring Binondo’s culinary scene offers not just a gastronomic adventure but also insights into the history and culture of Manila’s Chinatown.

Get a breathtaking view of the Manila Bay sunset

Witnessing the stunning sunset views from the Baywalk is an absolute must-do when in Manila. The golden hour paints the sky with vibrant colors, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that reflects beautifully on the water. Locals and tourists alike gather to enjoy this daily natural wonder, making it a quintessential Philippine experience.

For those looking to capture memorable moments at the iconic Manila Bay sunset, arriving around 5:30 PM is ideal. This timing allows for ample opportunity to find a good spot along Roxas Boulevard or at one of the nearby restaurants where you can relax and savor this breathtaking sight.

The general area around General Luna Street offers various vantage points for enjoying the sunset, each providing its own unique perspective of this picturesque scene. Visitors may also opt to take a relaxing stroll along the bay’s promenade while taking in all its beauty.

Explore this urban park dedicated to Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero

Discover a piece of history at Luneta Park, where you can find the iconic monument and museum dedicated to Jose Rizal. The park serves as a tribute to his role in shaping the Philippines’ identity.

Luneta Park offers an oasis within the bustling city, with its lush greenery providing a serene escape for locals and tourists alike. It’s an ideal spot for relaxation amidst historical landmarks, offering visitors a tranquil environment away from the urban hustle.

Strolling around the park allows you to soak in its peaceful ambiance while admiring various statues and sculptures that pay homage to significant moments in Philippine history. The well-maintained gardens are perfect for leisurely walks or picnics with family and friends.

Moreover, Luneta Park hosts cultural events, concerts, and gatherings that celebrate Filipino heritage. These activities provide an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in local traditions while enjoying the scenic surroundings of this historical site.

Visiting Luneta Park is not only about experiencing nature but also about understanding the profound influence of Jose Rizal on Filipino culture and society. It’s a place where people can connect with their roots while appreciating the beauty of one of Manila’s most treasured landmarks.

See your aquatic dreams come to life at Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park offers a captivating experience, allowing visitors to marvel at diverse marine life in immersive underwater tunnels. The park boasts an impressive 25-meter long Acrylic Underwater Tunnel, providing an up-close encounter with mesmerizing sea creatures like sharks, rays, and colorful reef fish.

Aside from the breathtaking underwater views, visitors can catch entertaining dolphin and sea lion shows that showcase the intelligence and agility of these remarkable marine mammals. These shows not only entertain but also educate guests about the importance of conservation and protection of these animals.

For those seeking more adrenaline-pumping experiences, the park offers thrilling encounters with sharks and stingrays through its interactive programs. Visitors have the opportunity to get up close with these fascinating creatures under professional supervision, creating unforgettable memories while promoting awareness about marine life conservation.

The Manila Ocean Park’s dedication to education, entertainment, and conservation makes it a must-visit destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and animal lovers alike. With its wide array of attractions catering to various interests and ages, it stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity of aquatic life while advocating for their preservation.

Go bargain hunting at Divisoria’s 168 Shopping Mall

Explore a wide array of wholesale goods and street market finds at Divisoria’s 168 Shopping Mall. This bustling shopping destination offers an extensive range of affordable clothes, accessories, and souvenirs for visitors to purchase.

Haggling for great deals is a common practice in this vibrant marketplace. Visitors can engage in the art of negotiation with local vendors to secure budget-friendly prices on various items. The experience of bargaining adds an element of excitement to the shopping excursion.

The mall is renowned for its partner promotions and discounts, providing shoppers with even more opportunities to save money while indulging in retail therapy. The diverse selection ensures that there is something for everyone, from trendy fashion pieces to unique trinkets.

Immerse yourself in amazing art, history, and architecture at the National Museum

The National Museum is a treasure trove of Filipino art and history. Visitors can admire priceless artworks by Filipino masters such as Juan Luna’s “Spoliarium” and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo’s “La Inocencia.” These masterpieces offer a glimpse into the rich artistic heritage of the country.

Delve into Philippine history through fascinating exhibits that showcase various aspects of the nation’s past. From pre-colonial artifacts to relics from the Spanish colonial period, visitors can gain a comprehensive understanding of the country’s diverse cultural tapestry.

The museum complex itself is an architectural marvel. It comprises several buildings, each with its own unique design and historical significance. The Old Legislative Building, for instance, boasts neoclassical features and served as the seat of government during the American colonial period. Meanwhile, the Fine Arts Building showcases elegant Art Deco architecture.

Spend the night at the Manila Hotel, the country’s oldest premier hotel

Experience luxury and elegance in a historic setting. The Manila Hotel is renowned for its rich history and timeless grandeur, offering guests an unparalleled experience of opulence and sophistication.

Enjoy impeccable service and world-class amenities. From personalized butler service to exquisite dining options, every aspect of the Manila Hotel is designed to provide guests with an extraordinary level of comfort and convenience.

Revel in breathtaking views of Manila Bay from your room. The hotel’s prime location allows guests to indulge in stunning vistas of the iconic Manila Bay sunset, creating unforgettable moments against the backdrop of this natural wonder.

The ambiance exudes a sense of exclusivity that resonates with those seeking a refined escape from everyday life. Whether it’s savoring a cocktail at sunset or unwinding in one of their luxurious suites, every moment at the Manila Hotel is crafted to leave a lasting impression on its visitors.

Witness this life-size toy collection at Yexel’s Toy Museum

At Yexel’s Toy Museum, visitors are treated to an extensive display of pop culture toys and memorabilia. The museum boasts a vast collection that includes life-sized superhero replicas, movie characters, and various iconic figures from popular culture.

The museum offers a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the world of their favorite childhood heroes and fictional characters. From Star Wars to Marvel superheroes, the collection is a testament to the enduring impact of these cultural icons.

Visitors can marvel at meticulously crafted displays that bring these characters to life in stunning detail. The experience provides an insightful look into the evolution of pop culture through the lens of beloved toys and collectibles.

Yexel’s Toy Museum serves as a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many guests while also offering an educational perspective on the influence of pop culture on society.

This attraction is not only entertaining but also presents opportunities for engaging discussions about the significance of these iconic figures in contemporary society. It’s an ideal destination for families, friends, or individuals looking to relive cherished moments from their past or gain insight into modern-day entertainment phenomena.

Experience Manila’s buzzing nightlife scene at Bonifacio Global City

Manila’s Bonifacio Global City (BGC) offers a vibrant and diverse array of experiences, making it an essential stop for anyone seeking the best of Manila’s nightlife. From trendy rooftop bars to lively nightclubs, BGC has something for everyone.

The area is home to top attractions such as The Palace Pool Club, a renowned day-to-night clubbing destination where visitors can enjoy poolside parties during the day and electrifying music events at night. Revelers can also explore craft cocktail bars like Bank Bar or speakeasies such as Finders Keepers for a more intimate experience.

Beyond its nightlife offerings, BGC encapsulates the richness of Manila’s culture through its blend of modernity with traditional Filipino hospitality. Visitors are encouraged to explore these diverse activities in order to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s dynamic character.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Manila?

The best time to visit Manila is during the dry season, from November to April, when you can enjoy pleasant weather and outdoor activities without much rainfall.

How can I explore Intramuros effectively?

To explore Intramuros effectively, consider hiring a knowledgeable guide who can provide historical insights and take you through the significant landmarks within this old city.

Is it safe to go bargain hunting at Divisoria’s 168 Shopping Mall?

While Divisoria’s 168 Shopping Mall offers great bargains, it’s important to be cautious of your belongings and surroundings due to its bustling nature. Keep an eye on your valuables while enjoying the shopping experience.

What are some must-try dishes in Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown?

When in Binondo, don’t miss trying out authentic Chinese delicacies such as dumplings, noodles, and traditional desserts like hopia and tikoy for a truly immersive culinary experience.

How do I make the most of my visit to Manila Ocean Park?

To make the most of your visit to Manila Ocean Park, plan your day around scheduled animal encounters and shows. Consider purchasing tickets online beforehand for convenience.