13 Most Visited Places in Manila, Philippines

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Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, which is an archipelago consisting of more than 7000 islands surrounded by the South China Sea, Celebes Sea, and the Philippines Sea. Manila is known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, due to the presence of numerous tourist attractions. It is a safe place to travel around with family, which is another plus point for the growth of its tourism industry. There are direct flights from Dammam to Manila, due to which many people from the Middle East visit this city to spend their vacations.

Top places to visit in Manila

Manali is a beautiful place with picturesque scenery comprising beaches and many interesting surprises for tourists. Here are the best places to visit in Manali.

1Take an Intramuros tour

Intramuros is the walled city within Manila, which is a historic site of this country. Hence, a tour of this place is a must for all history-lovers. It was the administrative seat when this country was ruled by Spain. So, visitors can see the Spanish influence in monuments, sculptures, and even many ruined buildings of this place. Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Fort Santiago, Case Manila, Plaza de Roma, Bahay Tsinoy, and Baluarte de San Diego are the prominent tourist attractions of Intramuros. Tourists can hire horse-drawn carriages called ‘kalesa’ or bamboo bikes called bambike.

2National Museum Complex

This museum has several sections dedicated to anthropology, fine arts, natural history, culture, and also a planetarium. The National Museum of Fine Arts contains paintings and sculptures done by famous Filipino artists of the old and modern eras. Anthropology displays various artefacts related to archaeology and some memoirs of native Filipino culture. Natural History shows some special features of the biodiversity of this land, like the skeleton of the longest crocodile Lolong and the Tree of Life.

3Rizal Park

This park is a historic landmark in Manila, built for paying homage to Jose Rizal, who was a national hero leading the Filipino rebellions against the Spanish government. It is divided into three parts, containing multiple monuments, gardens, observatories, stadiums, and an open-air auditorium. Agrifina Circle spreading over a 16-hectare area is the first part housing the Department of Tourism and the National Museum of Anthropology.  The second part spreads on 22 hectares of land to the northeastern side extending up to Roxas Boulevard. The central area is the third part that houses Burnham Green in this park.

4Quiapo Church

This church is a notable Filipino building that houses a unique statue of Jesus Christ carved from dark ebony and named Black Nazarene. Thus, the church is also called the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, which was further beautified in the 1980s retaining the original dome and façade. There is a four-storied bell tower decorated with balustrades and huge scrolls on its top floor.

5The Ocean Park

This unique park was inaugurated in March 2008 and is famous for housing the huge Oceanarium. It contains 13000 marine creatures of 277 native species, which provide much knowledge about the marine life of this region to viewers. This Oceanarium is divided into 7 sectors where 3000 cubic metres of filtered water taken from Manila Bay is filled to make it a suitable home for these creatures.

6Roxas Boulevard

It is a walkway along the coast of Manila Bay, which is famous for its beautiful landscape lined with coconut trees. It is also popular among tourists due to the presence of several restaurants, bars, gardens, and other commercial hubs. The Cultural Complex of the Philippines Complex is a notable centre of art and culture located here, housing the National Theater, CCP Library and Archive, Folk Arts Theater, Manila Film Center, and Philippine International Convention Center. BSP Money Museum in central Bangko and 2-Km long Bay Walk are two other tourist attractions here.

7Malacanang Palace

This is the office and residence of the President of the Philippines, connected to Mendiola Street. It was originally built as a Spanish colonial residence, with several wooden houses. Later, Americans renovated these architectural structures, by replacing some wooden parts with concrete and adding more exterior features. Now, it is considered a source of historical facts for tourists.

8Modern Museums

There are also some museums in Manila that provide lots of entertainment to tourists. People can see and taste different kinds of desserts in the Dessert Museum. Lakbay Museo is an interactive museum that displays various cultural traits and activities of local Filipino tribes. The Mind Museum holds 250 educational displays to show the use of science in everyday life. Upside Down is a museum where visitors can take pictures in a unique upside manner. Art in Island is a large museum showcasing animated 3D art specimens and tourists can take their photos with large life-like statues here.

9Modern Manila day trip

Tourists can go for a day-long trip from Manila to other nearby places. They can go to Corregidor to visit the national sanctuary where the joint US and Filipino forces faced the Japanese army during World War II. Tagaytay is another tourist spot near Manila, where people can visit several restaurants and admire the stunning scenic beauty. Passionate trekkers can walk up to the top of Mount Pinatubo from where they can have a breathtaking view of the entire province.  Taal Lake on Taal Volcano is the third largest lake in the Philippines where tourists love taking photos of the surrounding landscape.

10Cubao Expo

This place is famous for art galleries, aesthetic institutions, footwear shops, and thrift shops.  People can buy different kinds of artefacts from the shops in this place. Food lovers can indulge in tasting different types of local or exotic cuisines here. They may also participate in interesting events, like recitation, music concerts, skating on roads, and geek performances in this place.

11Food trip

Food lovers are sure to visit Binondo, which is the first Chinatown in the world that was established in 1594. People love visiting bakeries, roadside eateries, and hole-in-the-wall food joints here, to taste various Chinese delicacies. Maginhawa Street is the place housing many restaurants that initially started as roadside joints. Jolly Jeep is the name attributed to the affordable food trucks available in various points of Makati. Kapitolyo is famous for many cheap and popular eateries on East Drive and West Drive, two major roads of this vibrant place.

12Shop in Manila stores

Shopaholics can satisfy themselves by visiting Divisoria, which is a prominent low-cost shopping mall in Manila. Baclaran is a large shopping centre with plenty of shops selling different kinds of products. SM Mall of Asia is the largest shopping mall while SM Megamall is the second largest mall in the Philippines. There are also some weekend markets in Manila where local products are available.

13Nightlife

Poblacion is the most vibrant place for enjoying the nightlife in Makati, with many hotels and bars open for serving guests. Bonifacio Global City (BCG) and Tomas Morato are other places in Manila where people can visit cafes, discotheques, bars, karaoke clubs, lounges, and comedy clubs for relaxation. Quezon City is also famous for its charming nightlife in various restaurants and nightclubs.

Therefore, a trip to Manila can be memorable for foreign tourists when they choose it as the destination to spend family vacations. Above are listed some of the most attractive places you must visit in Manila.

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