Manila is the capital of the Philippines and a great place to visit. While staying in your Manila vacation rental , you can experience quite a bit of city life in the most densely populated city in the world, and when you want a break from the city, there are plenty of beaches and tourist spots near Manila that you can visit.
Top Things to do in Manila
Some of the best tourist spots in Manila are located right in the city proper. Whether you are looking to go shopping, experience some thrills, or simply relax in a park, there are plenty of Manila tourist spots that you can explore. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Explore Manila Ocean Park
One of the tourist spots in Manila that is great for families is the Manila Ocean Park. It is a true highlight for anyone who loves the sea.
There are glass tunnels that take you below pools where sting rays and sharks inhabit the waters. There is a delightful jellyfish exhibit, a penguin exhibit, and even a sea lion show that you can enjoy.
You can even let the fish nibble on your toes at the fish spa, and if you want to see other animals while you are visiting, there is a bird and barnyard exhibit as well.
Check Out – Guide to Manila Ocean Park by Adrenaline Romance
Check Out the Attractions at Star City
Star City is an amusement park with more than just rides for the kids. There are several thrill rides here that you can enjoy as well like the Time Tunnel, the Scream Adventure, and the Star Dome.
There is also an Adventure zone where you can play miniature golf, zip line through the air, or test your balance on the rope course. If you enjoy winter, then snow world will catch your eye as well; here you can find ice castles, ice statues, and even ice slides that you can enjoy.
Check out – Guide to Star City By PH Tour Guide
Visit the SM Mall of Asia
If you like shopping, then one of the tourist spots in Manila that you want to visit while you are in the city is the SM Mall of Asia. It is the third largest mall in the country, and if you take it to a global scale, it still takes the prize for the 10th largest mall. Aside from all of the shopping opportunities that this mall has to offer, there is also a large indoor arena where you can catch concerts and an Imax theater where you can see new movies on the big screen.
There is also an Olympic-sized skating rink that is open to the public and a 180-foot Ferris wheel that allows you to see the surrounding city. If you are here at night, the sunset over Manila Bay is well worth experiencing.
Explore Historic Rizal Park
Some of the best tourist spots in Manila are actually historic sites where you can pay tribute to national heroes who have lost their lives. Rizal Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in Asia, is located in the center of Manila, and it is the location where Dr. Jose Rizal was executed.
Learn more – Guide to Rizal Park by Lonely Planet
Top Things to See in Manila
Though there are a lot of things to do in the city of Manila, there are also a lot of tourist spots near Manila that have things that you will want to see before your vacation in the city comes to an end.
This is actually one of the most unique tourist spots in Manila because it is actually an old part of the Spanish city that had been walled in to protect it from invasions when it was built.
The area has a lot of Spanish architecture and feel, so when you visit, you can easily forget that you are in the middle of the Philippines. It is the oldest district in Manila, and it also houses Fort Santiago, which is one of the most historic Manila tourist spots to visit.
Binondo is the world’s first Chinatown. It is actually a location that was first established in the year 1594, and it still remains one of the most unique tourist spots near Manila to visit.
You can explore the Chinese-Filipino culture here as you take in the merchandise that the vendors have to offer as well as enjoy some of the cuisines in this part of the city.
Check Out: Binodo Food Tour By Restless Pinoy Traveler
The Unique Architecture of Churches in the City
If you like to see unique architecture from the past, then there are quite a few churches in Manila that you will want to see; in fact, you may even wish to get a picture of the unique design for your scrapbook memories. Here are a few of the most interesting locations to explore:
- San Sebastian Church – This is a church that was built in 1891 with a gothic revival architecture. It has stain glass windows and it is actually one of the only all steel churches in Asia.
- San Agustin Church – This is a church that was built in 1586, and it is actually one of the few buildings that remained following the earthquake of 1863.
- The Malate Church – This is a Baroque-style church that is known as one of the oldest churches in Manila. It has been damaged and rebuilt several times, but the original foundation still remains.
Check out: Manila City Churches Tour
Food to Try in Manila
While you are visiting the best tourist spots in Manila, you will want to find some great places to eat as well. Let’s explore some of the dishes that are worth trying out while you are visiting Manila.
Check Out: Manila Food Guide By Thanis Lims
If you ever tried lumpia that you can get pre-frozen, then you know how delicious this dish can be. If you happen to be near the Legazpi Sunday Market, then make sure that you try the fresh variety, which is very similar to a burrito in looks. If you want to stick to the fried lumpia that you have grown accustomed to, it can be purchased here as well.
Balut is one of the most famous and popular Filipino foods. It is an egg embryo that is either boiled or deep-fried. If you are looking for an exotic dish, you can find this delicacy as well as deep-fried day old chicks in Manila.
Another popular Filipino dish is called Sig Sig which is dish of chopped pig ears and jowls, first boiled, then braised and fried before being seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers.
Facts and Statistics of Manila Philippines
- The city of Manila is made up of 14 different districts.
- Manila was originally called MayNilad, which translates to where the blossoming water plants grow.
- There are only seven gates that connect Intramuros to the world outside of the walls.
- All of the distances within Manila are measured from the flag pole that is located in Rizal Park.
- Manila holds the world record for the largest papal crowd, which it obtained in 1995 when five million individuals attended the mass held at Luneta Park.
- Manila is considered to be one of the top shopping destinations in Asia.
Manila is a beautiful city that is rich in history and culture. You can explore the many parks and museums that are located within the city, visit some of the historical sites surrounding the area, get your shopping in at the SM Mall of Asia or one of the other great shopping venues available in Manila, or get some thrills at one of the other attractions.
There are so many things to see and do in this city, so why not make a trip to Manila your next vacation destination; if you want, you can even stay in the City of Dreams so that you have entertainment nearby throughout your entire stay.