The capital city of the Philippines is a place everyone should visit at least once in their life. Many tourists have fallen in love with the city and its vibrant and culturally rich atmosphere. While some people just use Manila as a jumping-off point to get to the more remote locations that the Philippines has to offer, not spending some time in the capital city itself is a huge mistake. Here are a few of the things you must see during your time in Manila.
Manila Ocean Park
Many travelers opt to arrange a Manila airport pick up to ensure that they can get to their hotel from the airport quickly, easily, and safely. Once you’re ready to explore, make your first stop at the Manila Ocean Park. This aquarium will give you an up-close and personal view of the ocean life that calls the Philippines home and is celebrated as being a world-class experience. Not only are there many fish and other sea creatures on display, but there’s also an amusement park for the kids to enjoy. You’ll be able to watch penguins being fed, and if you’re looking for a unique experience, pay a visit to the fish spa to have small fish clean your feet of dead skin – one of the most interesting pedicures you’re ever likely to have.
Divisoria 168 Shopping Mall
If you love shopping, you simply have to go to the 168 Shopping Mall. It’s where the locals come to find bargains on just about anything you can imagine at incredibly low prices. Here you’ll find clothing, shoes, tools, stationary, and anything else you might imagine. You’ll also find the widest range of souvenirs at the best prices in the city, so if you want to bring something back for your friends and family, this is the place to go. Expect it to be busy no matter when you go, though, so be sure to be patient as you navigate the mall. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, stay alert for pickpockets, bring cash, and be prepared to haggle and negotiate with the shopkeepers to get the best prices. It’s worth the trip, especially if you can go early on a weekday when it’s at its quietest.
No trip to Manila would be complete without a visit to Chinatown. Binondo is the world’s oldest Chinatown and is full of narrow streets, markets, and temples. It’s the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs, try some delicious street food, or simply soak up the atmosphere. Be sure to visit the Ongpin Street Market for a huge range of goods at great prices and be sure to haggle with the shopkeepers – it’s expected!
San Agustin Church
One of the most iconic buildings in the city, San Agustin Church, is a must-see. It’s one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, having been completed in 1607, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautiful baroque architecture is sure to impress, as is the stunning interior, with its intricate wood carvings and intricately painted ceiling. While you’re there, take some time to explore the nearby museum, which houses artifacts from throughout the church’s history.
Rizal Park is one of the largest parks in Asia and covers nearly 62 hectares. It’s a beautiful green space in the heart of the city and is perfect for a picnic, a game of frisbee, or simply a stroll. It’s also home to many monuments and memorials, including the Rizal Monument, which honors the country’s national hero. The park is particularly beautiful at night when it’s lit up and makes for a romantic setting or a great place to simply relax after a busy day exploring the city.
Art In Island
If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy photos from your trip, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to take them at Art in Island, Asia’s biggest 3D art museum. Here you’ll find more than 200 artworks created specifically so you can insert yourself into them and give the illusion of being in a 3D space when you photograph them. The entire premise of the museum is for you to be the center of each piece. It’s a fun experience, and kids will love the resulting photographs, so if you’re traveling with your family, it’s an essential stop on your tour of Manila.
La Meso Eco Park
La Meso Eco Park is the perfect place to visit if you love being surrounded by nature. It’s an enormous park, covering more than 30 hectares of land, filled with some of the most wonderful scenery and outdoor activities. If you’re spending a few days in Manila, La Meso Eco Park can be the perfect breakaway from the hustle and bustle of Manila and let you spend some time in the peace that only nature can provide. Enjoy a ride on one of the cycling routes or a hike along one of the many trails in the park, along with a picnic in this most wonderful natural setting.
End Your Day with a Manila Bay Sunset
As the sun begins to set over the city, make your way to Manila Bay, where you’ll find one of the most incredible views to watch the sun sink over the horizon. Spend an hour walking down the Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard as the sun sets, then stop at one of the various cocktail bars or al fresco restaurants and enjoy a sundowner or dinner while you watch the reds, pinks, and oranges of one of the world’s most amazing sunsets. If you want the best views, look for one of the rooftop bars that are popular near Manila Bay.
Manila is filled with sights and sounds that you simply must experience. From the incredible food and drink to the historical landmarks and areas of the city. The more time you have in Manila, the more you’ll be able to experience it. Start or end your trip to the Philippines with a few days in Manila and you won’t regret it.