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Things to do in Manila

Many Manila attractions cluster around its Spanish heart on the bay. Start with the 15th-century walls of Intramuros and Fort Santiago, along with Manila Cathedral, for an introduction to the colonial city. For pre-Hispanic art and history, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and National Museum of the Filipino People, both close to Rizal Park. Boats tour Manila Bay's Second World War sites while contemporary Manila is best seen in Makati and Malate.

Museums and Galleries

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  1. 1. Intramuros - Attractions

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    Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. Courtesy of The Philippines Department of Tourism

    Located in Old Manila, the walled city of Intramuros, built by the Spanish in 1571, was considered to be Manila itself during colonial times. Fort Santiago is one of the main attractions inside the walls. Don't miss the cell where national hero José Rizal spent his last days in 1896.Show this on map

    Cost

    P77

    Opening hours

    Daily 8am-6pm

    Address

    Old Manila, Manila

    Transport

    LRT1 at either United Nations Avenue or Central

  2. 2. National Museum of the Filipino People - Museums and Galleries

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    National Museum of the Filipino People, Manila. Courtesy of the Philippines Department of Tourism

    The National Museum of the Filipino People in Rizal Park reveals the rich cultural diversity of the Philippines. Exhibit highlights include anthropology and archaeology collections as well as precious artefacts from the Spanish galleon San Diego.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 9am-5pm

    Address

    Padre Burgos Street, Rizal Park, Manila 1000

    Telephone

    +63 (0) 2 527 1215

    Transport

    LRT1 to United Nations Avenue

    Website

    National Museum Website

  3. 3. Rizal Park - Attractions

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    Rizal Park, Manila. Courtesy of The Philippines Department of Tourism

    Rizal Park was built as a tribute to nationalist hero José Rizal, who was executed here in 1896. Today it is a more tranquil place with a monument to the hero at the centre, as well as Japanese and Chinese gardens. Open-air concerts are held throughout the year.Show this on map

    Cost

    P100

    Opening hours

    24 hours daily

    Address

    Roxas Boulevard to Taft Avenue, Manila

    Transport

    LRT1 to United Nations Avenue

  4. 4. Metropolitan Museum of Manila - Museums and Galleries

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    Manila. Courtesy of WOW Philippines

    The Metropolitan Museum of Manila in Malate exhibits a range of delicately engraved pre-Hispanic jewellery and pottery dating from the 8th-13th centuries. There's also a fine collection of Old Masters, and contemporary works by Filipino artists are in the Catwalk and Stairwell galleries.Show this on map

    Cost

    P100

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 9am-6pm

    Address

    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila 1004

    Telephone

    +63 (0) 2 521 1517

    Transport

    LRT1 to Quirino

    Website

    Metropolitan Museum of Manila Website

  5. 5. Corregidor Island - Special things to do

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    Corregidor Island, Manila. © GN Wright

    Corregidor Island is one of a series of small islands scattered in Manila Bay. Take a boat trip to see the remnants of this heavily fortified last outpost of US and Filipino resistance to the Japanese in World War Two.Show this on map

    Cost

    P1999

    Opening hours

    Tour leaves 8am daily

    Address

    CCP Terminal A, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Manila 1004

    Telephone

    +63 (0) 2 831 8140

    Transport

    Walk through CCP or take LRT1 to Vito Cruz

    Website

    Corregidor Island Website

  6. 6. Manila Cathedral - Attractions

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    Manila Cathedral, Manila. Courtesy of The Philippines Department of Tourism

    Since it was first built in Intramuros in 1571, Manila Cathedral has been repeatedly ravaged by war and earthquake. It has been rebuilt several times; the Romanesque cathedral that stands here today was only completed in 1951. Look out for the ornate Italian statuary and an elegant cupola.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free (donations welcome)

    Opening hours

    Daily 6.30am-5.30pm

    Address

    Cabildo (and the corner of Beaterio Street), Manila 1002

    Telephone

    +63 (0) 2 527 3093

    Transport

    LRT1 at either United Nations Avenue or Central

    Website

    Manila Cathedral Website

Attractions

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  1. 7. Anilao ScubaBro Resort - Special things to do

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    Anilao, Manila. Courtesy of Asia Dive Site

    Anilao is a marine park sanctuary in Batangas with some of the best underwater life in the Philippines. This is a good opportunity to scuba dive in flashing coral among cheeky parrot fish and greedy angel fish, and see new coral, sea slugs and sponges.Show this on map

    Cost

    Basic day snorkelling packages start at P700

    Opening hours

    Various

    Address

    Brgy, Solo, Mabini, Batangas, Manila 4213

    Transport

    Anilao shuttle bus from airport

    Website

    Anilao ScubaBro Resort Website

  2. 8. Roxas Boulevard - Special things to do

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    Roxas Boulevard Baywalk, Manila. Courtesy of the Philippines Department of Tourism

    The Roxas Boulevard Baywalk in the City of Manila is the best place for sea views. Locals like to feast on snacks from the food shacks and browse the wooden and glass crafts. Stop to watch the sun drop down over Manila Bay, sending streaks of psychedelic colour across the water.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    24 hours daily

    Address

    Roxas Boulevard, Manila

    Transport

    LRT1 stations around United Nations Avenue

Special things to do

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  1. 9. People Power Monument - Attractions

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    The People Power Monument in Quezon City is topped by a mammoth bronze statue of the Virgin Mary. This poignant landmark commemorates the 1986 People Power Revolution that overthrew authoritarian Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos.Show this on map

    Cost

    Free

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    White Plains Avenue, Quezon City, Manila

    Transport

    MMDA EDSA-Connecticut Bus Terminal Southbound

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