Also known as the Pearl of the Orient, the capital city of the Philippines has a rich and complex reputation. This is where everything happens— Manila is the seat of the Philippines’ history, economics, politics, and culture. It’s the perfect marriage of old and new, tradition and modernity, and East meets West.
Because Manila is also home to the country’s largest international airport, it’s more likely that your trip to the Philippines will include a visit to the city. That doesn’t mean you should brush Manila aside to get to the country’s famous beaches, however. The capital city has its own charm, one that you’ll regret missing out on.
This city is the Philippines’ heart of culture, history, economics, and much more. One tour around will show you that there are a million and one things to do in Manila, for every kind of traveler.
Manila has everything to offer you, if you just know where to look. Not only is it a great place to stay and explore the richness of Philippine culture, it’s also the perfect jumping off point for a longer trip. Get a taste of city life and stock up on supplies before you head out to the beaches, or use it as your base for longer roadtrips to the North, South, or East of the capital.
Interested in the Philippines’ history, art, and natural wonders? Head on over to the National Museum Complex to learn more about what makes the country so special. Need a little retail therapy? The sprawling Mall of Asia is close by, filled with everything a shopaholic could dream about.
Manila is dense and lively, full of a million and one sights to see and things to do. Not only does the city by itself have a host of different activities and sites, but it’s also nestled in the heart of the wider Metro Manila. Once you’ve had your taste of the best of Manila, you can immediately hop on over to nearby Makati or even Quezon City to explore more of what the region can offer.
Need a bite to eat after you’ve explored the city? There’s no shortage of options for where to eat in Manila. The Philippines has a long, rich history of interaction with different cultures, and that’s definitely reflected in the food.
Manila is a foodie’s paradise, home to everything from fine dining to family buffets to delicious street food. Whether you’re the adventurous type, or want to go with more subdued cuisine, Manila has got it for you.
Tired after a long day of enjoying Manila? If there’s one thing a weary traveler needs, it’s a place to rest. Luckily, there’s no shortage of options in Manila.
If you need to figure out where to stay in Manila, then all you need is a budget and the rest is easy. Manila is home to hundreds of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. Want a sophisticated stay? Try out the City of Dreams, a five-star hotel that promises only the best. Looking for comfort and flexibility? Try an extended stay at somewhere like Condo R Us for that homey feel.
All of this sound right up your alley? Then don’t hesitate— start planning your trip now. The first step is to look up how to get to Manila. Once you’ve got your tickets booked, you can start building the itinerary that works best for you.
If there’s one thing for certain about Manila, it’s that there’s never a dull moment. Why not capture that excitement for yourself, and jump into all the best experiences that the Pearl of the Orient can offer you.
James Gonzales is a Filipino-American travel enthusiast and writer currently based in the Philippines. After living and working in New York for 10 years, James decided he wanted to see more of the world and leave the city behind. In the course of saving up for what would become an epic trip across Asia, he wrote about previous traveling experiences for various travel websites and publications based in the Lower East Side.
James focused on journeying through the Philippines in the hopes of understanding his roots, and began Daydreaming in Paradise to share his thoughts and experiences. He’s always looking for like-minded travelers to trade stories and swap tips with, and he hopes you’ll join him on his journey.