Where to Go and What to See in Manila

Have you ever been to Manila? If you have visited the Philippines you will probably have traveled through the capital, and if you plan to visit the country this is one city you need to stop off in. Manila offers color, life, culture, fun, and history – and plenty of interesting things to do.

Manila is a vibrant city with a diverse culture. It provides lots of opportunities for cultural activity, shopping, sightseeing, and active outdoor pursuits. Manila is one of the must-see destinations in the Philippines – here are a few things to see and places to go when you visit Manila.


Check out What’s Under the Water at Manila Ocean Park

Manila Ocean Park is an aquarium in Rizal Park, and at a size of 8,000 square meters, it is a worthy tourist destination for people visiting Manila. There is also a 25-meter tunnel made from clear plastic which takes you under the water for a close-up view of the sea creatures.

Relax in Paco Park

This relaxed and peaceful little place was once the cemetery in Manila and now has a variety of pathways and an inner fort to explore. There are places to sit and it makes for a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the inner city.

Walk the Historic Setting of Intramuros

Meaning “within the walls”, Intramuros is a city within a city – collected within walls. These were originally constructed as a means of defense against invaders, and give a real sense of history to the city. You must visit this area to feel the past come alive in the modern city of Manila.

See the Monument to a National Hero at Rizal Park

This park is located right in the heart of Manila and it is also called Luneta Park. This is where the national hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose Rizal, was buried. The park is a good place to visit to get a sense of the importance of this national figure as well as to take some time out in one of the largest urban parks in Asia.

Visit Fort Santiago and Find Out About Jose Rizal

Fort Santiago is within the historic area of Intramuros and it was constructed in 1571. Also within Fort Santiago is the Rizal Shrine, which marks where Jose Rizal was kept a prisoner in 1896 before he was executed. Inside the Fort, you will find various artifacts and photos from historic Manila.

Watch the Sunset at Manila Bay

Manila Bay comes alive in the late afternoon and early evening, and strolling here at these times you get a wonderful sense of the city and its life. Manila Bay forms a natural harbor and it also encompasses the port which serves as a hub for trade and development.

Go to the National Museum of the Philippines

The Philippine National Museum is run by the government and serves as a hub for culture, science, and education. The National Museum also encompasses the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of Anthropology, which are all worth a visit when you are in Manila.

Visit Museo Pambata

Museo Pambata is located in the district of Ermita in Manila, and it is a children’s museum with a large interactive element. The museum is designed to allow children to learn through using all their senses and getting involved in different activities and games.

Look for Books at the National Library of the Philippines

The National Library of the Philippines is also located in Ermita and it is run by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). You’ll find more books than you can imagine at this place.

Visit the Cultural Center of the Philippines

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is a performance venue and also an exhibition center which hosts different local and international acts and shows. Visit here to see what is happening during your visit to Manila.

Go to Star City

The amusement park Star City is the ideal destination for families. There are many attractions here including rides for the smallest kids, trains, roller coasters, different “lands” like the Snow World with its ice sculptures and slides, and a large playground.

Take a Look at Malacañang Palace

Malacañang Palace is the main residence of the President of the Philippines and it is located beside the Pasig River.  You can also get a good look at the Palace from a boat on the river.

Travel Tips Manila

There’s plenty more to explore in Manila. Take a look at PhuketOn for more information about Manila, the Philippines, and other popular Asian countries. PhuketOn is your destination for travel tips and travel information for Thailand, Japan, Cambodia, Laos and more.


Photo credits: travel-oriented and Ree Dexter

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