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About Manila

The city of Manila is the Philippines’ largest metropolis, and even though it is not often considered a popular tourist destination, the city welcomes many millions of visitors each year. It has a unique culture that’s been heavily influenced by Spanish colonialism and American expansionism. Nowadays, gorgeous Catholic structures are intertwined with modern skyscrapers and bustling streets to create the chaotic yet vibrant city that is Manila.

Don’t Miss

A visit to Manila would be incomplete without venturing into Intramuros. Meaning ‘within the walls’, this district of the capital city is where tourists will find the oldest remnants of Manila. The former military stronghold of the colonial Spanish, Fort Santiago, is home to plenty of historical relics and has a fascinating history. Several churches of note are found here too, including Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the Spanish-Baroque-built San Agustin Church.

The major museum in Manila is the National Museum of the Philippines, as it features a range of exhibits, including art work, zoology and archaeological relics. Art lovers will find the Metropolitan Museum of Manila to be even more inspiring as it hosts traditional and modern art from artists across Manila and the Asian region. There is even a fascinating children’s museum known as Museo Pambata. This interactive complex has been operating since 1994, and includes a seemingly endless list of fun-filled attractions for youngsters.

Restaurants and Bars

Most of the sit-down dining options are mid-range restaurants, and can be found in most commercial parts of the city. The massive Chinatown district has a range of Chinese-inspired establishments and cheap street-vendors. Fast food is very popular in Manila, but the most widespread dining option is the many street-side stalls selling local delicacies. These food stalls are inexpensive and provide a wide range of food, from hotdogs through to dimsum, sushi and breakfast dishes. Places like Ermita, Malate and working-class districts like Quiapo have a range of beer gardens. Malate is also home to a vibrant nightlife hub.

Shopping

There are plenty of cheap places to shop in the city. The most affordable shopping experiences are the market areas, in places like St Francis Square, Greenhills, and Tiendesitas. Of course, shopping lovers will also get their fix at one of Manila’s Western-style malls. The largest is SM Mall of Asia, one of the biggest in the world. Visitors will need at least a day to see the entire mall.