View Map

Overview

The capital of the Philippines doesn't deserve its dubious international reputation. At first glance, Manila can seem hectic, crowded and polluted, but take a few days to explore the old Spanish city at Intramuros and the bustling bars and restaurants around Adriatico Circle and the city will grow on you. Curving around a sweeping bay, Manila is famous for vivid sunsets, best observed from Roxas Boulevard or the old city walls. The old part of town is centered on peaceful Rizal Park, and the "tourist belt" districts of Intramuros, Malate and Ermita. Southeast of the old town is Makati, a ritzy business district dominated by skyscrapers, ...

The capital of the Philippines doesn't deserve its dubious international reputation. At first glance, Manila can seem hectic, crowded and polluted, but take a few days to explore the old Spanish city at Intramuros and the bustling bars and restaurants around Adriatico Circle and the city will grow on you. Curving around a sweeping bay, Manila is famous for vivid sunsets, best observed from Roxas Boulevard or the old city walls. The old part of town is centered on peaceful Rizal Park, and the "tourist belt" districts of Intramuros, Malate and Ermita. Southeast of the old town is Makati, a ritzy business district dominated by skyscrapers, swish restaurants and giant shopping malls. Highlights for visitors include historic Fort Santiago, some excellent bars and museums and the curious Chinese Cemetery, famed for its ostentatious tombs. However, the sex industry is a significant black mark. For a quieter island experience, buses, ferries and flights fan out from Manila across the Philippines.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

view full overview

Joe Bindloss for Triporati

Must See, Do

Save It for Next Time

info

If time is short, save these attractions for a second visit.

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Manila is located on the shores of Manila Bay, and lies on an isthmus between Manila Bay and Laguna de Bay in southern Luzon.
  • Language: Filipino, Tagalog, English
  • Currency: Peso and Piso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December to May, for dry weather and minimal risk of typhoons