Manila is a vibrant, fast-paced and extremely exciting place to travel. It is full of possibilities – restaurants, cafes, bars, activities, tourist sites and more. You’ve got everything you need in Manila for an unforgettable vacation or short trip.
The more you know, the more you can get out of your trip to Manila and you will also better able to avoid some of the common problems that come with traveling to this part of the world. Check out our guide to Manila in the Philippines and learn about its highlights and attractions.
All About Manila
You probably already know that Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is an extremely densely populated city and the term Manila can also be used to refer to the wider metropolitan area and its other neighboring cities. Manila may not be the most traditionally attractive city in the world but it has a lot of charm and a great deal of spirit.
When Is The Best Time to Visit Manila?
As with the rest of the Philippines, it is good to be able to visit Manila between December and February. These months are the coolest months of the year. In the hot season, between March and May, the temperature can reach into the 90s, and the rainy season arrives between June and November. But if you visit at any time of the year you will always find attractions open and reasons to appreciate this city.
Budget for Travel in Manila
Your Manila travel budget will depend on how much you like to spend on accommodation, food, and activities. But if you budget for around PHP 2,500 per person per day then this should be enough to cover all your essentials. Of course, if you then start to add tours on top this will make the costs mount up.
What To Do in Manila
One of the most popular and important places you can visit in Manila is Intramuros. You can tour this area on your own bike or by walking tour. It is a great place to visit to pick up some local culture and history.
Take a Food Tour
If you want to experience the city from a different perspective then there is no better way than tasting it. You can take a cookery class or a food tour that will take you to the markets and hidden food stalls of the city. It is an interesting way to learn more about Manila while sampling some really tasty food.
Visit the National Museum
This is the most popular and the most acclaimed museum in the city. There are a variety of rooms to visit housing excellent artwork and artifacts from ancient cultures. There’s so much to see that you could easily spend a whole day exploring in this place.
Visit the Mall of Asia
This is a huge shopping center and a great place to come for retail therapy – but it is also ideal for relaxing, watching the sunset, and having a drink. There are a string of outdoor bars that look across Manila Bay – the prime places to position yourself for a sunset view while relaxing with a cold beer.
Visit the Mind Museum
The Mind Museum in Manila is particularly great if you are traveling as a family, since kids love this place. It is the perfect space to learn and enjoy. A variety of exhibits and features teach about science and the world in a fun way.
Benefit from a Manila Massage
One of the best things to do in Manila is to enjoy a relaxing massage. There are many nice places for getting a good massage, and there should be recommendations in your hotel.
Where to Eat in Manila
There are so many different places to eat in Manila you are spoiled for choice. It goes without saying that all budgets are catered for, and that you can find everything from street food to high-end four-course dinners.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy Manila food is to eat a boodle feast. This is where the grilled, traditionally-prepared food is set out in the center of the diners on banana leaves. You just dig in and eat with your hands, choosing the best items that will really tantalize your taste buds.
There are also some excellent Filipino restaurants serving traditional food, which have stood the test of time and continue to attract many customers. Abe is one example; a long-standing restaurant that serves traditional Filipino food which is always tasty and high quality. Mesa is another example.
And when you eat in Manila you can’t miss the seafood restaurants. There is an excellent seafood market where you buy your seafood fresh and raw, and then have it prepared at one of the restaurants close to the market.
For more Philippines tips and travel advice visit the PhuketOn blog. Get all your Asia travel advice and ideas at PhuketOn.