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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

TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia Manila
TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia Manila
3.5 out of 5
The price is RM276 per night from 9 Dec to 10 Dec

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Arena and SMX Convention Center. City of Dreams Manila and Philippine ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,144 reviews)

"I like that its walking distance to Mall of Asia, free bottle water, Refrigirator in room, i love the seaview from my room! I dont like that theres no 24 hours front desk service and hotel restaurant close early at 8pm. I dont like very limited towels provided, very old and color white it not white ..."…"

Reviewed on 9 Nov 2020

TRYP by Wyndham Mall of Asia Manila
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
The price is RM462 per night from 8 Dec to 9 Dec

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! (999 reviews)

"Staff are friendly and professional. The hotel design is extra ordinary."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar 2020

Conrad Manila
Hilton Manila
Hilton Manila
4.5 out of 5
The price is RM349 per night from 8 Dec to 9 Dec

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Resorts World Manila, Fort Bonifacio and City of Dreams Manila. Venice Grand Canal Mall ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (364 reviews)

"Our check in was smooth and fast, we arrived there at 9pm. We had a good night rest before our international travel the next day . However, we didn't got the chance to roam around the hotel coz we arrived late and checked out early."…"

Reviewed on 13 Oct 2020

Hilton 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.

Vacation Rentals in Manila

Alicia Apartment
Alicia Apartment
2.5 out of 5
The price is RM122 per night from 5 Jan to 6 Jan

Located in the heart of Parañaque, this aparthotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Manila Bay, City of Dreams Manila and Resorts World Manila. Mall of Asia Arena ...

3.9/5Good! (137 reviews)

"Super close to the airport and the free wi-fi in the lobby is fast! Very friendly and knowledgeable staff!"…"

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2020

Alicia Apartment
Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
3 out of 5
The price is RM309 per night from 10 Dec to 11 Dec

Located in Downtown, this condo is steps away from Century City and A. Venue Mall. RCBC Plaza and Ayala Center are also within 1 mile (2 km). Ayala Station is ...

3/5 (2 reviews)

"まずホテルにチェックインする方法を自分でホテルに問い合わせてとの事だったので問い合わせたところ フィリピンのローカルナンバーやwhatapp(lineのような会話アプリ)を取って連絡してこいだの言われ、パスポートのID写真がないと予約が取れた事にならないからと言われemailで送ったもののチェックイン方法を教えてくれず、 エクスペディアのお問い合わせに電話して対応してもらったにもかかわらず 当日ホテルについたらemailして、そしたら鍵を渡すと言われたので 空港に着いた後すぐとホテルに着いてからすぐ連絡をしたが応答がなく、ずっとホテルのロビーで待たされました。 英語が少しわかったために対応できたと思うが、英語が全く出来なかったらどうするんだと思いました。 ..."…"

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2019

Gotophi at The Gramercy Residences
JMM Grand Suites
JMM Grand Suites
3 out of 5
The price is RM152 per night from 7 Dec to 8 Dec

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! (396 reviews)

"the room i stayed were very much equip for a couple who loves cooking. over all for me.the room is high above standard, the only downside is the airconditioning unit. it needs to be replqce with a much unit which can give a relaxing room to have a good sleep."…"

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2020

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

Reviews of Manila


Guest rating

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 18.6046511627907%
4 - Good
4 - Good 58.13953488372093%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 16.27906976744186%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 6.976744186046512%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

2 Feb 2020

Overrated. Get your money's worth elsewhere. Staff need retraining with customer service for sure esp at secuity.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

27 Nov 2019

Manila is a really busy city so takes a few days to adjust. Once you start to get used to it you start to uncover the quirky and interesting places to visit.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Nov 2019

Love the Old Manila. Barbara restaurant is a must to visit

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

14 Jul 2019

All taxi drivers believe that you must feed their families for the whole year. They decide how much tip must be given to them! Always have change and "forget" to tip them in order to teach them that the tip is not a requirement!!!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

6 Jul 2019


2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveller

27 Jun 2019

very dirty city, over crowded, very very conguested, beggers and homless sleeping on the streets. terrible city