Dad's Top Tips

Exploring Manila: The Top 5 Must-Do Activities

Welcome to the vibrant and bustling city of Manila! If you have just relocated to Manila and are wondering where to explore first, you’re in good hands, we’ll guide you through our top five must-do activities in the capital! 

Take a trip Intramuros:

1. To kick-start your city tour, head straight to Intramuros!. Step back in time as you explore this well-preserved Spanish colonial district. Walk along cobblestone streets, marvel at the impressive architecture, and visit landmarks such as Fort Santiago & San Agustin. If you want a more relaxed view of this beautiful walled city then take a calesa (horse-drawn carriage) ride, but be prepared to haggle with the local tour guides for the fair. The price will depend on the length of your tour but on average you should expect to pay around PHP 500 for a 30 miniature tour.

Visit the Cultural Hotspots.

2. Manila is home to numerous cultural attractions that showcase the country’s heritage. The National Museum of the Philippines should be on top of your list, featuring a vast collection of art, artifacts, and historical treasures. For an evening of entertainment, catch a performance at the Cultural Center of the Philippines or the historic Manila Metropolitan Theater. For those Art enthusiasts, you will appreciate a visit to the Pinto Art Museum, a stunning contemporary art space nestled in the hills of Antipolo (about 45 mins outside of Manila’s city center.)

Explore the Colorful Markets:

3. To experience the vibrant local culture and find unique souvenirs, exploring Manila’s markets is a must. Head to Divisoria, a bustling flea market based in the heart of Chinatown where you can shop for everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and crafts at bargain prices. For a more relaxed shopping experience, visit the weekend markets in Salcedo Village and Legazpi Village, where you can find organic produce, local handicrafts, and delicious street food. Haggle with the friendly vendors, soak up the atmosphere and accustom yourself to Manila’s vibrant spirit.

Wander the grounds of Rizal Park:

4. A visit to Rizal Park is a must! This rare green space offers you a chance to relax and take stock in the heart of the city. Take a stroll through the gardens, admire the lawns, and visit the iconic monument of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. You can also rent a bike or have a picnic with friends and family. Rizal Park is not only a place to unwind but also a significant historical site that holds great importance in Filipino history.

Indulge in Filipino Cuisine & hit the Nightlife:

5. Manila boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. From street food stalls to trendy restaurants, you’ll find an array of mouthwatering dishes to indulge in. Don’t miss getting stuck in to the iconic Filipino delicacies such as sisig (crispy, tangy fried pork), sinigang (hot & sour soup), and halo-halo (a refreshing dessert). Check out the bustling nightlife in Poblacion, nestled in the heart of Makati. You will find an array of bars and restaurants in a winding maze of small streets with partiers hopping from one bar to the next! For a more relaxed scene you can visit some of Poblacions famous rooftop bars, watch the sunset and take in the vast & colorful landscape the city has to offer.

Manila is a city that never fails to captivate and charm its visitors with its unique blend of history, culture, and vibrant energy. We hope that you enjoy these hotspots and can pass on these recommendations to friends and family visiting or relocating to Manila!

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