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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

Top hotels in Manila

Belmont Hotel Manila
Belmont Hotel Manila
4 out of 5
Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay
The price is NZ$167 per night from 17 Feb. to 18 Feb.

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Resorts World Manila, Fort Bonifacio and City of Dreams Manila. SM Mall of Asia and Venice ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,075 reviews)

"Good customer service skills staff.. Accomodated us very well.."…"

Reviewed on 14 Dec. 2020

Belmont Hotel Manila
Conrad Manila
Conrad Manila
5 out of 5
Seaside Boulevard, Corner of Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay, Manila
The price is NZ$202 per night from 26 Jan. to 27 Jan.

Located in Barangay 76, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Arena and SM Mall of Asia. World Trade Center Manila ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,002 reviews)

"Staff are friendly and professional. The hotel design is extra ordinary."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar. 2020

Conrad Manila
Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
3 out of 5
Coral Way Avenue Corner of, Seaside Boulevard, Pasay, Manila
The price is NZ$116 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.

Located in Barangay 76, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manila Bay, SM Mall of Asia and SMX Convention Center. City of Dreams Manila and Mall of Asia ...

4/5Very Good! (996 reviews)

"I loved that I got 3 meals a day.. most of the time anyway. Some meals were missed without warning, but no big deal there. Worst part was the negative attitude I got from the operator/front desk a lot! I’m not mad, but such hostility makes anxious guests like me afraid to ask for basic quarantine ..."…"

Reviewed on 16 Jan. 2021

Microtel by Wyndham Mall of Asia
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.

Holiday Rentals in Manila

Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati
5 out of 5
Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati, Manila
The price is NZ$265 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.

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 ...

4.3/5Excellent! (711 reviews)

"I stumbled upon this hotel as I needed a last minute booking for my trip in the Philippines. I hoped for a clean, spacious hotel with easy access to get around places. I really didn’t have a lot of expectations BUT they had amenities I did not even think I would need! I loved our 3 night stay in ..."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar. 2020

Ascott Makati
Somerset Millennium Makati
Somerset Millennium Makati
4 out of 5
No 104 Aguirre Street, Legaspi Village, Makati, Manila
The price is NZ$164 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.

Located in San Lorenzo, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Greenbelt Shopping Mall and Makati Medical Center. Glorietta Mall and Ayala Center are ...

4.1/5Very Good! (383 reviews)

"Professional staff made it easy to stay 10 days. Breakfast was well-prepared, offered some variety with either menu or buffet, and even catered to vegetarian customers, I noticed. Easy to get a coffee refill and a smile. Suite was comfortable and clean. Not a brand-new establishment, but they offered ..."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar. 2020

Somerset Millennium Makati
JMM Grand Suites
JMM Grand Suites
3 out of 5
1622 Jorge Bocobo Street, Manila, Manila
The price is NZ$63 per night from 22 Jan. to 23 Jan.

Located in Malate, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place, Manila Bay and Baywalk. Rizal Park and U.S. Embassy are also within 15 minutes. ...

3.6/5Good! (396 reviews)

"the room i stayed were very much equip for a couple who loves cooking. over all for me.the room is high above standard, the only downside is the airconditioning unit. it needs to be replqce with a much unit which can give a relaxing room to have a good sleep."…"

Reviewed on 24 Aug. 2020

JMM Grand Suites
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

Reviews of Manila


Guest rating

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 16.666666666666668%
4 - Good
4 - Good 37.878787878787875%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 33.333333333333336%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 7.575757575757576%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 4.545454545454546%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

8 Mar. 2020

An eye opener for sure.. so much activity

4/5 - Good


28 Nov. 2019

Good for a short trip to visit the National Museum, Old Manila and even Jones Bridge as it6 Christmas lights were magnificent with Parisian undertones! Just need trusted car/ van or Grab taxi to go around for convenience.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Nov. 2019

Manila is a hot tropical place, full of lots of traffic and people. Be prepared where every you go there, always smile and say hello to people.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

12 Nov. 2019

Not the safest place to go, especially in Makati. Keep your wallet and phone safe.

1/5 - Terrible


10 Nov. 2019

Really terrible traffic congestion. If you plan to visit, go outside of Metro Manila but do your shopping in the metro.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Nov. 2019

I am from Australia and my wife and I live in the Philippines. I love the Philippines.

Cities near Manila