things to do in manila philippines

Fun Things To Do in Manila Philippines You Should Try

The Philippines is considered as one of the more underrated destinations in Southeast Asia. But, the Philippines has loads of things to do and offers some of the best beaches in the world.

Checkout our travel tips to Philippines and things to do in Cebu City before going.

Travellers from different parts of the world visit the Philippines, hoping to see and experience the wonders of the place.

And get to know more about the very welcoming and friendly Filipino people.

Fun Things To Do Manila Philippines

As the capital of the Philippines, Manila happens to be the first stop. And the most visited place in the country.

And the best way to kick off your Philippine visit is to check out its capital city before anything else.

Here are some of the fun things to do in Manila that you will not be able to resist!

Simply Go Sightseeing

There is a lot of famous historical sites in Manila that you wouldn’t want to miss out. 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 been gone through renovations, and is transformed into a museum.

Rizal Monument in Rizal Park
Rizal Monument in Rizal Park

Your Manila visit will never be complete if you don’t go to Luneta Park or 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 late 1800s.

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

Go For a Walk Along Manila Baywalk

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

Manila Baywalk Sunset
Manila Baywalk Sunset

A morning or evening walk on Baywalk while watching the sunrise or sunset. As Manila Bay has a stunning sunset.

On the down side, it’s generally the beach area and not the water are 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.

Tomb at Manila North Cemetery
Tomb at Manila North Cemetery

Today, it’s a city within the cemetery with Mausoleums are used as homes, there are small shops, communal washing machines and basketball courts.

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

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

Visit the 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
San Agustin Church in Manila

There is so many churches worth visiting but you should definitely 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 to miss out on a shopping spree in Manila where you can find lots of shopping centres 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 centres.

  • 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
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.

Try the Rides At 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 that you can pet the sharks and stingrays as you walk around the park or Mermaid Swim Experience.

There is 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.

See hundred years of Filipino heritage when walk through and seeing the carvings, paintings and statues.

Here is a short list of museums in Manila.

  • Armed Forces of the Philippines Museum
  • Museo Muntinlupa
  • Pasig City Museum
  • The Presidential Museum and Library
  • Museo Pambata

Enjoy The Night Life in Makati

The city is also filled with cafe’s and bars where you and your friends can watch band gigs and jam all night long.

You can even watch foreign and local bands as they perform live on stage.

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Free Things To Do Printable Planner

Download, Manila things to do printable list.


Where To Stay in Manila Philippines

Manila has a good variety of guest houses, hostels and hotels. Here are a few places to check out and give you an idea of what is available in Manila if you are planning to visit Manila Philippines.

Remember to check the reviews and book a place that suits you interests while traveling.

OYO 106 24H City Hotel
Rating 8.3, Prices start from $29 for Double room

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 24h Apartment Hotel features a swimming pool and a business centre. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

Air-conditioned accommodation at 24h is fitted with cable TV and a telephone.

Red Planet Makati, Manila
Rating 7.8, Prices start from $38 for Double room

Red Planet Makati features a 24 hour front desk and a on-site restaurant and bar. All rooms at Red Planet Makati, Manila are air-conditioned. It comes with a flat-screen cable TV, a personal safe and an en suite bathroom.

Wrapping Up

Finally, these are only a few of the many things to do in Manila that will surely make your visit to the city the best experience you can ever have! Like any trip, you’ll get the most out of it by learning all you can before you arrive.

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

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