Manila is the capital city of the Philippines and is located on the island of Luzon along the eastern shore of Manila Bay. Manila is considered one of the most densely populated cities in the world. What are the best things to do in Manila Philippines?

In Manila, you can start visiting historical sites such as the Rizal Monument and the city of Intramuros or see some of the amazing churches around Manila. There are also amusement parks, shopping, visit the local evening markets, nightlife, and more.

In this post, we will go through things to do in Manila Philippines. Let’s get started!

Learn More About The Philippines

Is Manilla Worth Visiting?

Manila is a concrete jungle so if you are more interested in beaches and jungles then Manila may not be worth visiting. While on the other hand if you like visiting historical sites, shopping, evening markets, and dining then it’s worth a stopover for a few days.

Is Manila Dangerous For Tourists?

When traveling using common sense is the best way to avoid any problems. Manila is no more dangerous than other cities but Manila is not rich and there are petty crimes. Tourists are an easy target for theft so don’t show wealth by wearing expensive watches and jewelry. And not walk alone at night.

Manila Philippines

Things To Do In Manila Philippines

Manila is located on the island of Luzon along the eastern shore of Manila Bay. There are fun things to do in Manila that will keep you busy for a couple of days.

Here is our list of fun things to do in Manila Philippines.

Go Sightseeing

There are a lot of famous historical sites in Manila that should try to see. There is the well-known walled city of Intramuros, which literally means inside the walls. The place has a fort built by Spaniards back in the late 1500s during their reign in the Philippines.

Although the Fort was destroyed in 1945 during the American-Japanese war, it has gone through renovations and has been transformed into a museum. The Philippines just does not have the money to complete the renovations.

Rizal Monument in Rizal Park

When in Manila you should try to visit Rizal Park. It is where you will see the monument of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. This park was built in honor of Rizal as this is the place where he was killed by Spaniards in the late 1800s.

Large crowds are seen in the park almost every day. Particularly during Sundays and holidays, Filipino families enjoy their picnics around the park.

Take A Walk Along Manila Baywalk

The Baywalk is a seaside promenade overlooking Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard. It is 2 km in length. It stretches from the US Embassy near Rizal Park up to the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Manila Baywalk Sunset

A morning or evening walk on Baywalk while watching the sunrise or sunset. Manila Bay has a stunning sunset. On the downside, it’s generally the beach area, and the water is not clean. You can not swim it.

Checkout Manila North Cemetery

The Manila North Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Manila and is one of the largest at 54 hectares. Today, it’s a city within the cemetery with Mausoleums used as homes, there are small shops, communal washing machines, and basketball courts.

Tomb at Manila North Cemetery

There, is a history attached to the Manila North Cemetery. For example, during World War 2, while Japan occupied the Philippines, led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita brutally killed more than 2,000 unarmed non-combatants in the cemetery from October to November 1944.

It’s worth a visit and would recommend hiring a guide at the entrance of the cemetery for 300 pesos.

Visit The Local Churches

Manila is also the home of many famous churches such as the Manila Cathedral which is often filled with both locals and tourists every day.

San Agustin Church in Manila

There are so many churches worth visiting but you should see include the Quiapo Church and San Agustin Church.

Here is a short list of a few worth considering.

  • San Sebastian Church.
  • Manila Cathedral.
  • Santa Ana Church.
  • Parish of the Holy Sacrifice.
  • Saint Andrew the Apostle Church.
  • Malate Church.

Go Shopping

You will surely not miss out on a shopping spree in Manila where you can find lots of shopping centers offering all kinds of items and products you can ever imagine.

You can find almost everything when you stroll around the city. The sidewalks are also dotted with easy-to-find bargain chains where they sell different items at crazily cheap prices.

Here is a short list of a few shopping centers.

  • SM Mall Of Asia.
  • Power Plant Mall.
  • Gateway Mall.
  • Robinsons Galleria.
  • SM City Fairview.
  • SM City North EDSA.

Visit Fort Santiago

It was a military base for the Spanish government, that was built in 1593. Its was the first built by Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi. And was in the northwest corner of Intramuros.

Fort Santiago in Manila

The fort is only a few meters away from the Manila Cathedral. The fort was part of the Philippines’ independence movement. Where the national hero José Rizal was incarcerated here before his execution. You can see where he was imprisoned.

Enjoy The Amusement Parks

Manila is also best known for its amusement parks which are crowded with tourists and locals, young and old alike, enjoying the fun rides and lively night out.

An example of some of the amusements in Manila is Ocean Park. Is an all-weather park where you can pet the sharks and stingrays as you walk around the park or Mermaid Swim Experience. There are a lot more attractions at Ocean Park.

Here is a short list of amusement parks in Manila.

  • Manila Ocean Park.
  • Star City.
  • Avilon Zoo.
  • Kidzania Manila.

Visit The National Museum Of The Philippines

The National Museum runs the National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, and National Planetarium, all located in the National Museum Complex in Manila.

It also operates numerous branch museums throughout the country. It was originally meant to be a public library, designed by Ralph Harrington Doane in 1918, but it was used for legislature instead until the war.

You will see a hundred years of Filipino heritage when walking through and seeing the carvings, paintings, and statues.

Here is a shortlist of museums in Manila.

  • Armed Forces Of The Philippines Museum.
  • Museo Muntinlupa.
  • Pasig City Museum.
  • The Presidential Museum And Library.
  • Museo Pambata.

Wrapping Up

Finally, you can start visiting historical sites such as the Rizal Monument and the city of Intramuros or see some of the amazing churches around Manila. There are also amusement parks, going shopping, visiting the local evening markets, and more.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the things to do in Manila Philippines has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Things To Do in Manila Philippines