Fun things to do in Manila

  • lots of shops
    lots of shops
    by machomikemd
    by davidjo
  • Fort Banifacio, Makati, Manila, Philippines
    Fort Banifacio, Makati, Manila,...
    by TrendsetterME

Most Viewed Things to Do in Manila

  • davidjo's Profile Photo


    by davidjo Written Sep 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will find the burnt out shell of the Treasury Building next to Immigration, but it was destroyed by fire in 1972. Surprised that nothing has been built on this lot, the real estate must be worth a fortune.

    burnt out treasury building

    Was this review helpful?

  • davidjo's Profile Photo


    by davidjo Written Sep 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Near the Immigration Office you will find a small square where there is a statue of the Mexican President and a plaque commemorating 400 years since the expedition by boat from Mexico arrived in the Philippines. 1564-1964

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    Nice to look at.

    by planxty Written Jan 28, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Readers of my other pages on VT will know that I like to research what I write carefully in order to give the best information I can, and sometimes this research leads to interesting discoveries. Such is the case with the Manila City Hall. I was looking at the attached website for information about the building and stumbled upon this quite wonderful quote,

    "Ready or not, some day it will come to an end.
    There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
    All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten,
    Will be passed to someone else.

    Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
    Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
    So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, to-do-list will expire.
    The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
    It won't matter where you came from,
    Or on what side of the tracks you live at the end.

    It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
    Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
    So what will matter?
    How will the value of your days be measured?
    What will matter is not what you bought,
    Not what you got,

    What will matter is not your success, but YOUR SIGNIFICANCE.
    What will matter is not what you learned, but what YOU TAUGHT.
    What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage,
    Or sacrifice that will enrich, empower, or encourage others
    To emulate your example.

    What will matter is not your competence, but YOUR CHARACTER.
    What will matter is not how many people you knew.
    But how many will feel a LASTING LOSS WHEN YOU'RE GONE.
    What will matter is


    Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
    It's not a matter of circumstance but of CHOICE.
    Choose to live a life that matters.

    The capitals are not mine but I think that this stands as a very good description of the Philippines in general. A relatively new country in itself, and with what appears nto be a fairly young populace, it is looking to the future whilst remembering the past, specifically that of about 60 years ago.

    To the tip itself, the City Hall is an extremely busy place and I am of the impression that you cannot access it unless you have business there. Interestingly, at the side of the building I saw a number of people with folding tables and plastic chairs offering btheir services as "notaries", basically second class lawyers. It pleased me to see the parasitic group generically called lawyers cast out in the street here they belong. My hatred of the legal profession is long, abiding and well-documented.

    The building itself, even from the3 outside, is impressive and large, to the design of Antonio Toledo. Apparently, in it's early days, it was disliked by the local people but has now come t be much loved and a landmark in central Manila. It is certaqinly worth a look.

    The other images are of a memorial to the front of the building documenting the liberation of the city from the invading Japanese in the Second World War.

    City Hall, Manila, Philippines. Memorial, City Hall, Manila, Philippines. Detail, memorial, City Hall, Manila, Philippines.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sanggano's Profile Photo

    The Philippines in 3 weeks

    by sanggano Written Jan 20, 2010

    In Manila, do the Intramuros walking tour of Carlos Celdran (google it for schedule and rates), visit the National Museum beside Luneta Park. You could do a leisurely drive up north : bird-watch at dawn in Candaba, Pampanga; proceed to Subic - stay 2 nights; from Subic, stay 1 night at the beach in La Union; from La Union, you can go to Baguio (1 hour) or proceed to Vigan, Ilocos Sur and then to Pagudpud.

    You can take a 3-day side-trip to Batanes from Laoag. Seair has flights from Laoag.

    Sorsogon (whale shark watching in Donsol), Bohol and Davao are my favorites but the latter 2 will also entail flying.

    Take note that June is the start of the rainy season. Just factor it in, bring appropriate gear and the rains won't dampen your spirits.

    Have fun!

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • travelingcebuano's Profile Photo

    Ride the Rails

    by travelingcebuano Written Dec 10, 2009

    The railway known as LRT (which has routes to specific areas) and the MRT (also has specific routes), is a good and fast way to get around the huge city of Manila. It is quite affordable and convenient. It can be a bit crowded during rush hours, but if you travel during off peak hours, it could be a better alternative to see most areas of Manila.

    Railway system
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • JaneCajuguiran's Profile Photo

    Side Trip

    by JaneCajuguiran Written Aug 30, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You have enough time to see SOME places in Manila. I would suggest you go to Subic up north for several reasons. First, because there's construction going on at the expressway at the south. I think it's still unfinished up to now and thus will eat up much of your time. Second, because there's not much to do in Tagaytay during the rainy season. You might not be able to see the lake when it rains and the clouds hover over the volcano. Third, because there's a variety of things to do in Subic. Fourth, because travelling up north is more scenic and you get a good view of our countryside. and the list goes on and on. Besides, there are stores in Subic where you can get some souvenirs already. Thus, you hit two birds with one stone. I suggest you do this on your first day. Btw, which Manila airport are you referring to?

    I think you mean dinuguan (pronounced Dee-noo-goo-an) and bulalo (pronounced boo-la-lo). These you can get from Trellis in MarketMarket at the Fort in Taguig City which is also a place to get your souvenirs and even your Levi's jeans. Although it is in Taguig city, it is very close to Makati since it is right at the boundary between the two cities. MarketMarket is recommendable because it is also close to several beautiful shops at the serendra and high street. Also, there's one cluster of shops (whose name has escaped me) just a few blocks away from High Street. I think you'd want to see these places.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Nayong Pilipino near the airport

    by jumpingnorman Updated Jun 5, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is actually just a cultural park that has been beside the airport since I was a small boy. I remember seeing the mini-rice terraces here and I think it still has a small scale version of the Mayon Volcano. I also enjoyed watching the planes flying over the site --- I'd like to thank my parents for bringing me here often and making my imagination grow and want to see so many places!!! Sometimes, I think I've overdone it though, hehehe...

    It has a collection of mini-villages which will expose you to the different cultures in the Philippines -- from the thatched huts of the Ifugao village to even muslim mosques. Open 0600-2100 (but check if times have changed)

    On Sundays, there is an interesting dance number at the Mindanao Village. Don't tell anybody, but I did do a Minadanao-Ifugao Folk Dance number while I was in college (yikes, hehehe...and I also had to her the infamous ifugao g-string, surprising comfortable, hehehe)

    There is also a walk-through aviary but I don't think they have the famous Monkey-eating eagle...

    See me so small beside my Mom at Nayong Pilipino
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • bulldogtwo's Profile Photo

    Day trip out of Manila

    by bulldogtwo Written May 24, 2009

    You might try Hundred Islands, about 2-3 hours north of Manila. There is also Taal just south of manila where you can see the volcano, not active, and the lake area is nice to see as well. Just keep in mind that travel in PI takes time and patience!! so plan accordingly

    Was this review helpful?

  • iclee's Profile Photo

    Sleeping in NAIA

    by iclee Written Jan 10, 2009

    Sadly, I do not think you'll be safe nor comfortable in the old Ninoy Aquino Airport (NAIA). The new Terminal is cleaner and nicer looking.

    Who told there were 50% extra fee for off hours? This is absolutely unofficial and a rip-off. Do not pay it. Pay the meter rate plus an optional tip for the driver. That's it.

    Personally, given your scenario, I'd rather crash in 24Hour coffee shops (Starbucks) in Makati rather than nap in our NAIA. Safer and cleaner than NAIA. At 3:45am, Makati is a ten minute cab ride would probably cost you less than PHP50 (roughly US$1.20). However, this option depends on what you plan to do come sun up. Other side of the city means another plane trip domestically?

    I hope this helped.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • limledi's Profile Photo

    La Mesa Ecopark

    by limledi Updated Nov 10, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For those looking for nature & cool air, La Mesa Ecopark is a good place to visit. Inside one can enjoy plenty of activities such as biking, swimming & boating. It's better to bring your own food coz there's nothing much to choose from. One can also find a lagoon, mini-forest, orchidarium, pavilions. I can also see people bringing tents for camping. If you are fit enough, you can climb a couple of steps up to view the dam. The flowers were really beautiful. Overall a place worthy of your time & visit if you don't mind the distance.

    La Mesa Ecopark La Mesa Ecopark La Mesa Ecopark La Mesa Ecopark La Mesa Ecopark
    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • limledi's Profile Photo

    Manila Hotel

    by limledi Updated Nov 10, 2008

    Manila Hotel is an upmarket place to stay. All manners of heads of state, actors and military men have stayed at this historic hotel which was opened in 1912. General MacArthur even made it his headquarters for several years. Very impressive lobby with beautiful chandeliers. Live performance featuring musicians playing soft music can be seen for the guest to enjoy.

    Manila Hotel
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • asianbelle's Profile Photo

    The CCP Complex

    by asianbelle Updated May 26, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Who would have thought that this sprawling piece of land was once part of Manila Bay? Yes, the entire CCP complex was land reclaimed from the bay, thanks to the ambitious project of then First Lady Imelda Marcos to introduce and bring the "Culture and Arts" to the Filipinos.

    In 1969, the Cultural Center of the Philippines was the first structure to rise in the area. Being the pioneer, the name stuck and the place became known as CCP Complex. CCP is the choice venue for ballet performances, classical concerts, and theatrical plays/musicals.

    In 1974, the Philippines hosted the Miss Universe pageant for the first time. For this purpose, another structure was built in the complex - the Folk Arts Theater which later was re-named Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas after a famous local poet - in a record speed of 77 days. Folk Arts is a popular venue for pop and rock concerts.

    In 1976, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) was constructed within the complex for the IMF-World Bank meeting. The then state-of-the-art PICC became the first convention center in Asia. Since then, it has hosted several international trade exhibitions, conferences, concerts, corporate parties, commencement exercises, and other special events.

    Aside from these landmarks, the complex is also home to the following: Film Center of the Philippines, Design Center of the Philippines, Coconut Palace, Star City, Aliw Theater, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, and Harbor Center. Reclamation stretched farther to the south and with it, more buildings were added: World Trade Center, Philippine Trade Training Center, Senate of the Philippines.

    Presently, the CCP Complex is connected to the biggest mall in Asia - Mall of Asia - via Macapagal Boulevard. Incidentally, the boulevard as well as the mall are both standing on reclaimed land.

    CCP Complex
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Check out LOCAL BLOGS for insider's tips!!

    by shantungbay Written Mar 9, 2008

    Local blogs will tell you where the best restaurants, places and areas are!

    Here are a few of my favorite blogs to browse: --> Slice of Manila's Hidden Places. Food and Travel Secrets through Word-Of-Mouth. Shared through our Awesome Family Adventures. --> A Guide To Manila (sort of like an online directory too) --> As a budding food photographer, reluctant food stylist, and a passionate home baker, I traverse the city and bond with fellow foodies for food finds of the sweet kind and places to have that one great latte. --> A Food Blog --> Philippine Travel Blog --> Fashion Blog --> Shopping Blog that reveals sales, discounts etc.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Singles
    • School Holidays

    Was this review helpful?

  • hulahula46's Profile Photo

    Bonifacio High Street

    by hulahula46 Written Jan 20, 2008

    This area has a quaint peaceful get-out-of-the-city feel. It's lined with little restaurants: some pricy, some average, all very good. Lit up and set with water sculptures and low music or bands, it has the best setting and atmosphere at evening or night. I personally recommend Gaudi restaurant and ordering the jumbo shrimp or a paella with a shirley temple or shake. It's a spanish-style restaurant with a wide variety of delicious foods and numerous beverages. It has just the right lighting even if sitting outdoors and the staff and waiters are friendly and accurate. Just walking around this place creates a certain mood and can make you tranquil from the busy busy city life.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • limledi's Profile Photo

    Eastwood Citywalk

    by limledi Updated Nov 8, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the Eastwood Citywalk complex in Libis there is not only a large selection of restaurants, but cafes, pubs and music bars. Quite near the Marikina River, this 1.5 hectare mini-city and car free zone is where pedestrians and not vehicles rule the streets.

    Eastwood Citywalk Eastwood Citywalk Eastwood Citywalk Eastwood Citywalk Eastwood Citywalk
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Manila Hotels

See all 158 Hotels in Manila

Latest Manila Hotel Reviews

Cherry Blossoms Hotel
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 12 Reviews
Palm Plaza Hotel
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Astoria Plaza
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Edsa Shangri-La
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 7 Reviews
Best Western Hotel La Corona Manila
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Bayview Park Hotel
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 5 Reviews
CityState Tower Hotel
Pleasant (2.5 out of 5.0) 5 Reviews
Linden Suites
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 5 Reviews
Makati Shangri-La Manila
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 16 Reviews
Makati Palace Hotel
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Pan Pacific Manila
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 6 Reviews
The Pearl Manila
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Manila Hotel
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 19 Reviews

Instant Answers: Manila

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

16 travelers online now


Manila Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Manila locals.
Map of Manila