10 Fabulous Things to Do in Manila


Do you have a trip to the Philippines coming up? If so, visiting the capital city of Manila may be on your itinerary. The city is a melting pot of history, culture and people in the Philippines. Nowadays Manila has grown to be a wonderful destination for both locals and tourists. Find out which attractions you need to check out during your trip.

1. Seafood Dampa

If you are a seafood aficionado, the Seafood Dampa extravaganza in Manila is something you won’t want to miss. This market allows visitors to purchase the day’s freshest seafood. Then, you take your purchase to the restaurant next door to have it transformed into a delicious meal. Some of the most appetizing dishes include stir fried prawns, ginger fish, and chili crab.

2. Greenbelt Chapel

Photo: greenbeltchapel.org

Situated in the middle of the luxury shopping complex Greenbelt 3, the Greenbelt Chapel is a prominent domed church. This architectural gem sits like a jewel in the center of the well-manicured grounds, and it offers mass three times a day.

3. Corregidor Island

While Corregidor Island may be a 1.5 hour ferry ride from the city, it is still one of the most notable attractions in and around Manila. Located on Manila Bay, this island offers spectacular views and features a variety of historical monuments and ruins. The Pacific War Memorial and Filipino Heroes Memorial are both located on the island.

4. San Agustin Museum

San Agustin is a church located within the walled city of Intramuros within Manila. Formerly a monastery, this museum consists of two floors that are connected by a grand staircase. The various hallways and rooms display religious statues, painting, ornaments, altars, chests, and liturgical vestments. This museum is an artistic treasure that works to illustrate Philippine culture and history.

5. Binondo

This 400 year old Chinatown has been given the distinction of the world’s oldest Chinatown, and it is bustling with vendors and pedestrians. Some of the best buys in the community include pastries like mooncakes, and exotic ingredients like ginseng, deer horn, shark fin cartilage, and dried snake can also be purchased in local shops. Street cart vendors also sell jewelry, chestnuts, and sugarcane.

6. Fort Santiago

Constructed in 1590, Fort Santiago is a citadel that was first built by the Spanish as a defense fortress. It is one of the most important and prominent historical sites in Manila, and visitors can view the fort, prison dungeons, and bastions. A horse-drawn carriage tour is also available in order to take in the sites at the fort, and visitors also enjoy the gardens that surround the structure.

7. SM Mall of Asia

The Mall of Asia is the third largest shopping mall on the continent, and it is within the top ten largest malls on Earth. The mall features over 1000 shops, including about 360 dining establishments. Other features include an open-air music hall, an ice skating rink, and an IMAX Theatre.

More: 10 Best Shopping Destinations in Asia

8. Manila Ocean Park

Photo: manilaoceanpark.com

The Manila Ocean Park is an 86,000 square foot oceanarium featuring an 82 foot long underwater acrylic tunnel. Visitors can learn about coral reefs and underwater life while viewing a variety of fish and other sea plants and animals. The penguins, sharks, and sea lions are some of the most popular exhibits, so this destination is a great attraction for families with young children.

9. Malacanan Palace

The Malacanan Palace is the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Tours throughout the palace are available, and guides teach visitors about the history of the presidency in the Philippines. Tours need to be booked in advance, and in many cases, prior approval is needed one month before arrival.

More: 10 Most Beautiful Palaces in the World

10. Rizal Park

Rizal Park is a historic urban park located on Roxas Boulevard. It is one of the most popular leisure destinations in Manila, and many people visit it on national holidays and weekends. The park is home to a variety of martial arts groups and features a children’s playground, Chinese garden, and Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument.

Manila is a historic city that is full of cultural attractions, shopping, and dining opportunities. By visiting some of the city’s most popular destinations, you can experience everything that Manila has to offer. Have you ever visited Manila?