What to do in Manila – City Getaways

Sunset at Manila Bay

Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is actually called Metropolitan Manila or Metro Manila because it is such a big city composed of other small cities. There are roughly about twenty million people living in Manila.

During my last visit there, I was able to enjoy the holiday season in Manila. Christmas for Filipinos is a very important event. It is a very busy season. The places become lit with colorful lights and Christmas decorations. It is also important to remember that this is the season when people in Manila have loads of money to spend. There are many places to go to shop, eat, and party. I would suggest that it is one of the most exciting seasons to visit the place.

Let me describe Manila in different time frames, for you to be able to enjoy the right place at the right time.

Start your morning with a hearty breakfast at one of these restaurants. Gerry’s Grill, Café Adriatico, Aristocrat, Dad’s, and Harbor View are the one of the bests in Manila. After having breakfast, it is very important to stroll around Rizal Park. It is one of the highlights of the place, and it would be a shame if you miss visiting it. You can learn a lot about the history of the place through this park because of the displays and monuments. You can also enjoy the fresh morning air watching the fountains and the people having their exercise in the park.

When it starts to get hot, you may want to go to places that are covered to avoid sunburn and smoke from vehicles. If you are a lover of sea creatures, the Manila Ocean Park is the place to be. It is an oceanarium, with live animal shows, and souvenir boutique in one.

If you prefer to go shopping, the SM Mall of Asia, SM City North Edsa, and SM Megamall are the largest malls in Manila. Actually, these malls are included in the list of largest malls in the world. You can also have your lunch here. Local and international food are served everywhere for a very good price.

In the afternoon, it is nice to go visit Intramuros. It is a historical site. There are many old Spanish building and fortresses because it used to be a walled city. There are also old cathedrals, museums, and art galleries. There is also a park and museum here that used to be place where the Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal was imprisoned by the Spaniards. Overall, the place will give you the thrill of the old Manila times.

And finally, of course you wouldn’t want to miss the night life in Makati. Ayala Green Belt is packed with bars of different kinds. It all depends on your taste. Some bars require a dress code and you may want to dress in appropriate attire before going there. The bars are very high-class, the lights are amazing, and the DJs are hired from different parts of the world. The most popular and decent night spots are Café Havana, Ice Bar, Absinth, Cena, Gaudi Bar, and a lot more! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the drinks, bar chow, music, and people in these places!

If you’re not the party type of person, and still want to go around at night with nothing to do, people watching at Roxas Boulevard is the thing for you. This is a very nice and relaxing place. Many people come here to enjoy the scenery, the sunset, and the diversity of people passing by. There is also a floating restaurant in the bay, where you can take your loved ones for a romantic dinner by the sea.

So there it is, one big day in Manila for you! But I doubt if you can do all of these in one day.  You will need more time in able to enjoy every bit of it. I advise you to stick to the right place at the right time to avoid traffic, excess heat, and too much crowd. Manila is such a busy city, but don’t forget that you are in the Philippines, a place full of hospitable people, excited to welcome visitors like you.

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Profile photo of loredana valles
A lover of health science, travel, adventure, and heart pumping activities. A freelance writer and photographer that documents amazing and boring things of life through words and depicting pictures.

3 thoughts on “What to do in Manila – City Getaways

  1. Profile photo of EJ Juen JrEJ Juen Jr

    Hi Dana, you’re right about Christmas here in the Philippines. Some people are so excited in this holiday that they put Christmas lights in their houses as early as September. They say that we have the longest Christmas in the world. :)
    EJ Juen Jr recently posted..Travel Bloopers and InjuriesMy Profile

  2. Profile photo of TiffanyTiffany

    Nice insight on the things to do in Manila. I recently did a guest post about going on the Manila Bay Dinner Cruise and when I was researching it I found the place so interesting so I’m glad to see I found this article on here :)

    Lol and EJ speaking of long Christmases my Mom has this ‘brilliant’ idea of having a ‘seasonal tree’ and no lie all year she decorates this tree to match the holidays and surprisingly she finds a way to decorate just about every month and I mean EVERY month I just can’t look at Christmas trees the same :/ LOL
    Tiffany recently posted..Ready, Set, SKI!!My Profile

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