Manila

Travel Guide
Baywalk showing boating, a bay or harbour and a city

Manila is a chaotically colourful city, ripe with history and culture, from ancient ruins to lively nightlife.

Manila has a distinct vibrancy and energy that is the product of ongoing economic expansion and a continuously growing population. It is one of the biggest urban areas in the world – a fusion of 16 different towns – and a place where hustle and bustle energy are the order of the day.

Manila's history is one of instability, from being invaded by the British, Japanese and Spanish, to being partially destroyed by fires, earthquakes and wartime bombing. As a result, it has a unique character with residents full of charming survival instinct and fascinating local stories – as well as a mishmash of architectural styles.

Some of the most ancient sites can be seen in the city’s oldest quarter – Intramuros – where the defences built by the Spanish in the 16th century felt the force of the bombs of World War Two, and have now been rebuilt. Here you will find the Baluarte de San Diego, one of the oldest stone fortifications in the city, as well as the Baluarte de San Andres – built to protect the old Puerta Real.

Learn more about the history of Manila’s walled city at Spanish-built Fort Santiago, and admire the resilience of the Filipino people and their enduring faith in the rebuilt Manila Cathedral.

There are numerous attractions in the vicinity of Intramuros, including the ornamental gardens of Rizal Park and the National Museum of the Filipino People where visitors can learn more about this compelling country and its culture, including ancient discoveries, trading history and traditional burial rites. Casa Manila Museum is a reproduction of a Spanish colonial house full of period furniture and overflowing with history.

Manila is a city that has survived and thrived by its vicinity to the Pacific Ocean, s there are plenty of water-focused activities to enjoy – from taking a ferry ride along the Pasig River to exploring the buzzing bars and nightlife of Baywalk.

Manila is a busy city, and the light rail and metro are usually the best transport options. Travel by road tends to take a little longer but there are plenty of inexpensive, air-conditioned taxis, so if you do get stuck in a jam then take lesson from the locals and just sit back and relax.

Where to stay in Manila

City Garden Suites Manila
City Garden Suites Manila
3 out of 5
1158 A. Mabini St. Ermita, Manila, Manila
The price is NZ$77 per night from 25 Oct. to 25 Oct.
Located in Ermita, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rizal Park and Casino Filipino. Manila Doctors Hospital and Robinson's Place are also within 10 minutes. ...
3.9/5 Good! (930 reviews)
"I spent 9 nights, good location, friendly stuff, good food but little portion."

Reviewed on 18 Oct. 2021

City Garden Suites Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
Dusit Thani Manila
5 out of 5
Arnaiz Ave, Ayala Center, Makati, Manila
The price is NZ$142 per night from 26 Oct. to 26 Oct.
This family-friendly Makati hotel is located near the airport, within a 5-minute walk of SM Makati and Glorietta Mall. Ayala Center and Ayala Museum are also ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,034 reviews)
"Close to grocery and safe area."

Reviewed on 14 Oct. 2021

Dusit Thani Manila
Sheraton Manila Hotel
Sheraton Manila Hotel
5 out of 5
80 ANDREWS AVENUE, Pasay
The price is NZ$211 per night from 26 Oct. to 26 Oct.
This family-friendly Pasay hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Resorts World Manila and Fort Bonifacio. Venice Grand Canal Mall and Baclaran ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (31 reviews)
"Great service all around."

Reviewed on 6 Oct. 2021

Sheraton Manila Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
JMM Grand Suites
JMM Grand Suites
3 out of 5
1622 Jorge Bocobo Street, Manila, Manila
The price is NZ$71 per night from 4 Nov. to 4 Nov.
Located in Malate, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place and Baywalk. Philippine General Hospital and University of the Philippines-Manila ...
3.6/5 Good! (406 reviews)
"Amazingly friendly staff. Love staying here."

Reviewed on 22 Sep. 2021

JMM Grand Suites
Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila
The price is NZ$252 per night from 26 Oct. to 26 Oct.
This family-friendly Makati aparthotel is located in the business district, just steps away from Glorietta Mall and SM Makati. Ayala Center and Greenbelt Shopping ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (714 reviews)
"The staff was very responsive and quick to assist on some minor problems."

Reviewed on 30 Sep. 2021

Ascott Makati
Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Makati
Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Makati
4 out of 5
Waterfront Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati, Manila
The price is NZ$182 per night from 4 Nov. to 4 Nov.
Located in Makati Downtown, this aparthotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Power Plant Mall, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Makati Medical Center and SM Megamall. Philippine ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (437 reviews)
"Ease of booking Quite centrally located Connected to the Power Plant mall"

Reviewed on 17 Apr. 2021

Aruga Apartments by Rockwell Makati
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Manila

Top activities in Manila

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