Planning to visit the Philippines? In this page, I’ve listed the top and 25 best places to go and visit Manila, Philippines. Actually, I made them more than 25 since I added some more after I first published this. They are the updated and latest hot spots in the capital of the country. They are considered as the favorite hangouts in the metro, the best and popular tourist spots in Manila, Philippines, too.
Before you plan your itinerary, you must know the most visited landmarks in Manila because you will be in the place once your plane landed. List all your target attractions prior to your plans to visit the remaining parts of the country such as Cebu, Palawan, Bohol, Boracay and much more. Start your adventure in Manila.
The best places to go and visit Manila, Philippines are easy to reach. If you have maps or related apps installed on your gadgets and phones, you’ll know their directions and information of each tourist attraction easily. Taxis are cheap too so transportation is not a problem.
Many foreigners visit the country for its stunning beaches and hospitable culture. Visiting the Pearl of the Orient is a sure unforgettable experience. Many tourists stay in Manila upon arrival for few more days to explore the heart of Manila, the business district of Makati, Manila Ocean Park, the historical places such as the Rizal Park, Intramuros and the National Museum, one of the biggest Mall in the world (Mall of Asia), the nightlife in the pubs of Eastwood, The Fort and Ortigas. After Manila, it’s cool to visit the rest of the islands (like Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Boracay, Vigan and many more) up to the length of your stay.
Rizal Park or Luneta Park is the most famous landmark in Manila. The country’s national hero and genius, Jose Rizal’s monument stands in the facade of the park across the Roxas Boulevard and the Manila Bay. Many tourists and locals go there every day to have some photos taken in the famous statue and park. No entrance fee in the park so chillax.
One of my favorite places to visit in Manila is Fort Santiago, also part of the famous Intramuros. If you love visiting historical places and seeing vintage stuffs, you’ll surely enjoy this place. Fort Santiago was where Jose Rizal spent his last days before his execution. He also had written some of his writings here. Seeing Fort Santiago mirrors the life and culture of the country during the Spanish times and the sixteenth century. You’ll see here some Rizal’s anecdotes, novels, attire, the room where he was a prisoner, the room where he used to write, his table, his pens, lamps, and yeah I remember seeing a part of Rizal’s spinal bone preserved in the museum there. I think the entrance fee in Fort Santiago and Intramuros cost around 75 pesos. There are also Kalesa or carriage around the area in case you want to tour around riding it. Only 250 for 30 minutes I think. I made a virtual fieldtrip of it in this page.
The National Museum is also an extraordinary place to visit in Manila. Juan Luna’s famous and stunning masterpiece, The Spoliarium will greet you at the entrance. The painting is superb, huge and enigmatic. Of course, that’s only a warm up. Walking through the museum, you’ll see more of Philippines’ archives and treasures. I think it’s free to take pictures, just don’t touch a thing. The entrance fee for groups is much cheaper, for adults it’ll cost you 80 pesos and 25 for children. Regular price for individuals are 100 and 30 for children when not in groups. (Price may increase after I posted this article)
Of course, don’t miss going to one of the biggest malls in Asia (yeah dude, not only in the Philippines), the Mall of Asia a.k.a. MOA. The huge mall is owned by the SM supermalls group. Big concerts and events are usually held here. Just recently, the popular Justin Bieber had his first concert in the country in MOA. Known celebrities and icons also performed here like Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, and many more. Fantastic fireworks displays are seen every Saturday night and during some special occasions in MOA. International Pyro Musical Competition is also held every year. Experience the best IMAX theater here as well. Totally one of the best tourists spots and places to visit in Manila.
This one is one of the most favorite hotspots in the metro. The Manila Ocean Park shows amazing aquatic and marine life in awesome facilities and high technology tools to let children and marine lovers experience the best trip and see other aquatic species. Some activities are also available for visitors – dive and swim with the sharks, fishes and cute adorable creatures into the deep…
In line with the Manila Ocean Park and the US embassy, is the Manila Bay, usually called as Baywalk, too. Perfect venue to chill and watch the ships, yachts and the sunset.
Spend the night in the popular amusement park in the heart of Manila, the Star City. With only few hundred of pesos, you’ll have the pass to ride all the rides you can and want. Roller Coasters, Wild River and xtreme fun are available to everyone.
Just across the Star City, another amusement park (Boom na Boom) awaits everyone to add some thrills and adventure. Your night will be totally exciting and magical.
You can watch plays, concerts, theater arts and other presentations in the Cultural center of the Philippines (CCP) Spend the night watching a concert or music event, CCP is just along Star City and Boom na Boom.
Want more fun and games? Visit some casinos and entertainment clubs in the Resorts World Manila. This elegant place has been developed to compliment the entertainment, leisure, and other events. Republiq, a famous elite club is here too. If you love the Sentosa in Singapore, you’ll love the Resorts World Manila. Maxims and Marriott Hotel are in this area also.
Why not drop by and visit the Malacanang Palace. It’s where the many ex-presidents of the Philippines lived.
The business and finance district of the Philippines is Makati. Visit the country’s skyscrapers and famous malls along the streets. The Philippine Stock Exchange, Manila Peninsula, Shangri-la Hotel, Dusit Thani and other high class hotels can be found along the Ayala and Makati avenue. A worldclass residential tower is also here – Trump Tower. Go shopping and visit fashion shops like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Banana Republic, Hermes and many more in Greenbelt and Glorietta. Everything else is in Makati.
Turn around the loop and visit The Fort in Bonifacio Gloabal City in Taguig. It’s like Makati, but BGC is a newly developed business and high-class business and residential city. Who knows you’ll love to buy your won condo or unit somewhere here. Be my neighbor.
Have a little Hollywood experience in Eastwood City, Libis. Another elite place in the metro, here you’ll find business and commercial buildings, malls, restaurants, and cozy atmosphere. There’s a place there similar to Hollywood’s stars walk of fame. Check it out.
Churches in Manila
- Manila Cathedral
- Quiapo Church
- Manila Hotel
- Hotel H2O (just beside Manila Ocean Park)
- Manila Peninsula
- Maxims Hotel
- Marriott Hotel
- Trump Tower at Century City
Restaurants in Manila
- The Red Crab
- Old Manila (in Manila Peninsula Hotel)
- Restaurants in The Fort, Greenbelt and other business hubs
Nightlife – Best Bars and Clubs in Manila
- Republiq (at Resorts World Manila)
- Hard Rock Café
- Encore Superclub
- Resorts World Manila
- SM and Robinsons Malls
- Mall of Asia
- Trump Tower at Century City
Hope you enjoyed the best places to go and visit here in the Philippines. Some from the list are also my favorite hangouts and spots to go in Manila. Stay tuned, subscribe for free to receive newsletters and latest articles from Philpad.