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Manila Attractions

What to See in Manila

Manila's architectural attractions have taken a battering over the years; the city was second only to Warsaw in terms of bombing destruction in WW II. Nevertheless, there remain some insightful reminders of the country's economic, political, religious and social history lined along Manila Bay, an attraction in itself.

Manila was once Asia’s star attraction and it continues to shine with its east-meets-west colonial architecture. Prior to the war the city was known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, and was rich in culture and natural resources, none better manifested than in its architecture.

Manila's attractions are not exclusively man made; natural beauty is abundant around the city with various parks and the famous ‘Manila sunset’. The star attraction of the city is undoubtedly the people, so get out and about, amongst them.

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Most Popular Attractions in Manila

Binondo - Manila Chinatown

Binondo - Manila Chinatown

Most countries have their own Chinese communities, though it is in the Philippines that you will find the oldest Read More...

Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago

This solid stone structure has an Italian-Spanish architectural style and was built in the 16th century. Miguel Lopez de Read More...

Manila Baywalk

Manila Baywalk

Manila Baywalk is a popular leisure centre for city dwellers. Just along Roxas Boulevard, past Manila Yacht Club and Read More...

Manila Cathedral

Manila Cathedral

The present Manila cathedral was constructed from 1954 to 1958 under the supervision of Filipino architect Fernando H. Read More...

Manila Intramuros

Manila Intramuros

Intramuros, or the ‘Walled City’, was built by the Spaniards, more specifically by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, in 1571, is Read More...

Taal Volcano and Lake

Taal Volcano and Lake

Taal Volcano, situated amidst the freshwater Taal Lake, in the Batangas province, in the Luzon islands in the Read More...

Other Attractions in Manila

City Marikina Shoe Museum

This museum is the first of its kind in the Philippines and one of only a handful around the world. Housed in an artistically restored former rice mill (built circa 1860), the museum traces the history of the shoe industry in Marikina, the Philippines' shoe-making capital. Among the shoe exhibits is the infamous collection of 1,500 pairs that once belonged to Imelda Marcos. Other displays of historical value and human interest are shoes of former Philippine presidents and their first ladies. Enjoy a trip to the past on foot at this museum!

  • Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 10:00 - 19:00
  • Address: J. P. Rizal Street, Marikina
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Manila Zoo

Opened in 1959, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Park is one of the oldest zoos in Asia. Home to more than 800 animals, one of the main attractions is Mali, a 24-year old Asian elephant who arrived at the zoo as an orphaned calf. Other animals include Bengal tigers and local crocodiles. The zoo attracts thousands of visitors each week and promises a fun and educational day for the family.

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 - 17:00
  • Address: Quirino Avenue, two blocks from Roxas Boulevard, an area well known to taxi drivers.
  • Price Range: P40 (less than one dollar)
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Ocean Park

A state-of-the-art oceanarium to rival any other in Southeast Asia – Ocean Park is home to a plethora of exotic marine life including seven species of shark and an open-water marine habitat where visitors can go snorkeling or diving. Another unique attraction of this site is a marine-themed shopping mall, featuring 30 shops and over 20 varied restaurants and the Concourse Plaza, where concerts and shows take place.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 on weekdays and 09:00 on weekends. Closes at 21:00
  • Location: Just a short walk from Rizal Park. There are two points of entry: One at the intersection of the Manila Hotel and the other at the intersection where the Museo Pambata is found. It is under five minutes from the US Embassy.
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Rizal Park

Originally called Luneta Park due to its moon-like shape it was later named Rizal Park in honour of the country's national hero, Dr Jose Rizal. Situated in the heart of Manila at the northern end of Roxas Boulevard, overlooking Manila Bay, it’s conveniently situated close to other attractions. The site of some of the most significant events in the Philippines' history, it is guarded by soldiers 24/7. Rizal Park is mostly frequented by families and couples enjoying picnics on national holidays and weekends. Other nearby attractions include a man-made lake replicating the Philippines archipelago, Japanese gardens and a planetarium.

  • Address: Northern end of Roxas Boulevard
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