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Manila
Travel Guide

Baywalk which includes a high rise building, a city and boating

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

Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams
Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams
5 out of 5
Belle Avenue, Entertainment City, Parañaque, Manila
The price is RM468 per night from 22 Jun to 22 Jun
Located in Tambo, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Baclaran Church, City of Dreams Manila and Mall of Asia Arena. SM Mall of Asia and Manila Bay ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,000 reviews)
"Overall experience is great. Staff are very hospitable and friendly"

Reviewed on 14 Apr 2020

Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams
City of Dreams - Nobu Hotel Manila
City of Dreams - Nobu Hotel Manila
5 out of 5
Corner Asean Avenue & Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque, Manila
The price is RM650 per night from 23 Jun to 23 Jun
Located in Tambo, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Baclaran Church, City of Dreams Manila and Mall of Asia Arena. SM Mall of Asia and Manila Bay ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (858 reviews)
"It was my first time and it didn’t disappoint. Great staff and prompt attention to service needs. Facility Maintenance team quickly came up upon my call at 2AM when the room’s AC didn’t work and quickly fixed the issue. I’d say superb service overall."

Reviewed on 25 May 2021

City of Dreams - Nobu Hotel Manila
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
The price is RM485 per night from 24 Jun to 24 Jun
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! (997 reviews)
"All employees were so polite and were smiling when entering the premisses. All have an excellent customer services."

Reviewed on 9 Jun 2021

Conrad 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.

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