Manila is home to a vibrant mix of cultures. Reminiscent of its Spanish colonial past, Manila’s architecture bears witness to this diversity; foreign influences are evident through Roman Catholicism and an American-style educational system.
Intramuros, also known as Manila’s Walled City, is one of the city’s most notable landmarks, offering museums that showcase Philippine art, history and anthropology. And everything the city has available can be accessed through Cathay Pacific flights on routes like Shanghai to Manila.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History in Manila is an indispensable stop for visitors looking to gain more knowledge about Philippine flora and fauna. Its collection boasts the replica of Lolong, one of the longest crocodiles ever held captive, along with petrified wood exhibits and taxidermy Philippine Eagles – not forgetting an entire gallery dedicated to biodiversity in the country!
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM and admission is free for all visitors. However, due to space limitations of 100 people per session it is advised that visitors book in advance online in order to guarantee visiting at their preferred date and time.
Manila Metropolital Cathedral Basilica is an UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the early 1600s. This magnificent church’s exquisite Renaissance facade and ornate interiors will surely draw your eye, not to mention its stunning vaulted ceiling decorated with breathtaking tromp l’oeil paintings!
One of the top things to do in Manila is taking a stroll along its waterfront and admiring the sunset view from its breathtaking bay views. Take pictures or just relax with family or friends while admiring this picturesque view from one of many waterfront restaurants along its route.
SM City Manila is an ideal spot for souvenir and gift shoppers. The large complex features an easily-identifiable mega globe structure. Inside you will find an array of stores favored by both locals and international chains alike.
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Binondo, Manila’s oldest Chinatown, dates back to the 15th century when Spanish colonizers consolidated Chinese merchants there for protection during an uprising (within cannon range in case an uprising should happen). Today, Binondo remains an epicenter for commerce, food and culture that never fails to capture visitors’ hearts with its lively streets and cultural and historical attractions.
Binondo offers many top activities, but one of the top is visiting Chinatown Museum, which transports visitors back in time with its exhibitions and interactive features. Furthermore, it offers valuable insight into Philippine commerce history.
Binondo offers many other popular sights such as Seng Guan Temple, Lucky Chinatown Mall and Escolta Street which will pique Instagrammers’ interest with their picturesque structures and architectural designs. Visitors will also discover an abundance of restaurants serving Chinese as well as Filipino dishes in this neighborhood.
Tourists can explore a wide selection of restaurants and hawker-style eateries on Ongpin Street, known for its affordable eats and Chinese herbal stores. Additionally, Divisoria public market provides tourists with traditional products and trinkets.
Binondo is the ideal place to mark Chinese New Year, as its population boasts a significant concentration of Filipino-Chinese residents. Here, you can witness different rituals and traditions celebrated during this occasion while feasting to your heart’s content!
Binondo’s streets are known for offering delicious Chinese-Filipino restaurants, cafes and noodle houses that can’t be found elsewhere in the country. Visitors and locals alike enjoy going on food crawls through this district to sample its finest cuisine; tourists come especially for crunchy lumpia and sweet hopia – delicious authentic flavors all await them here!
National Museum of Fine Arts
Visitors interested in Filipino art should make time for a stop at the National Museum of Fine Arts. Its impressive collection encompasses pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary pieces; housed within an historic neoclassical building. Entry is free; furthermore, this museum is split into various divisions that each provide their own perspective of Filipino culture: Fine Arts features paintings and sculptures while Anthropology looks into cultural objects such as traditional clothing, food items and tools used throughout daily life.
The Museum of Philippine History is an essential stop on your Manila itinerary. This museum chronicles its long and varied history from its humble origins as a trading port to modernity as a multicultural nation. Situated within Intramuros’ walled city walls, the exhibits contain historic artifacts from past Philippine histories as well as exhibits that feature many rare artifacts.
Are you looking for an interesting way to experience Manila? A guided bike tour may be just what’s needed. These tours provide a wonderful opportunity to see more while supporting environmental sustainability efforts while supporting sustainability initiatives as well. Tours may be available throughout Manila but for further details please check with your hotel or local tourist information center.
Manila Ocean Park is one of Manila’s most beloved family activities, featuring aquatic creatures from across the globe and offering exciting educational programs. Here you can get close to fish and other sealife, even swim in their shark tank!
Quiapo Church or Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila is widely revered and beautiful, serving as an oasis for devotion and pilgrimage for many people and offering stunning baroque architecture that many find sacred and reverenced. As both a National Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quiapo is unmissable on your visit!
The Philippines’ premier museum is the National Museum of Fine Arts, housed within an historic neoclassical structure. Entry to this free-entry institution is unlimited and its collections range from ancient tribal art to contemporary masterpieces.
Robinsons Place Mall
Robinsons Place Mall in Manila is one of the premier shopping destinations, featuring numerous shops and dining options as well as family entertainment centers that make this an excellent option for families. Situated near Philippine General Hospital and University of the Philippines Manila in Manila City, Robinsons Place Mall also provides access to two high-rise condominium complexes – Robinsons Place Residences and Adriatico Residences – where high-rise residents reside.
Arroceros Forest Park offers visitors an idyllic getaway from Manila’s hectic urban life, boasting more than 60 species of birds that call this peaceful green lung home. Tourists visiting Manila should definitely stop by here!
Rizal Shrine is one of Manila’s must-see attractions, dedicated to national hero Jose Rizal and revered landmark of Manila city. Built using exquisite Spanish colonial architecture, this shrine will impress any history enthusiast who visits. It must not be missed!
For art lovers in Manila, the National Museum of Fine Arts should be top of their itinerary. Boasting artwork by some of the country’s leading Filipino artists and one of its most-visited museums. Offering everything from painting to sculpture exhibits – this experience promises to leave visitors mesmerised!
After touring all those historic attractions, it’s time for some relaxation and fun! Star City Amusement Park is an excellent option for travelers who want an exciting time, featuring rides and attractions like an illuminated Ferris wheel with sparkling lights at night.
If you want a bird’s-eye view of Manila from above, head straight for Manila Baywalk; this promenade provides scenic views over its bustling metropolis and provides great people-watching. Plus! Relax while listening out for street musicians performing live!