Manila Travel Guide & Information
The city of Manila, popularly known as "Manila" and "Maynila", is the capital city of the Philippines and one of the cities that make up the greater metropolitan area of central Manila. Located on the west coast of the island of Luzon, Manila is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Asia. The country's multifaceted culture and contrasts make Manila a vibrant metropolis.
Travel to Manila, a city that was founded in 1571. Flights to Manila are your tickets to a city that was colonized by Spain for nearly three centuries and left a great architectural heritage throughout the city, especially the cathedrals, monuments, forts and other colonial buildings. A premier gateway to the many islands and tourist destinations north and south of the Philippines, Manila has lots of attractions to suit every type of traveler.
The city, once a tiny settlement has blossomed into the political, economic, social, educational, cultural and recreational hub of this vast archipelago called the Philippines. Malls, boutiques, flea markets and antique shops offer endless surprises for shoppers and souvenir-hunters. Posh restaurants and sidewalk eateries entice gastronomic adventurers. All of this combined with friendly people, colorful festivals and more makes Manila a world class destination for all types of travelers.
Things to do in Manila
Manila is home to many renowned museums that promise to entice visitors with their variety of exhibits on display.
Bahay Tsinoy: The Bahay Tsinoy is a museum located in the Intramuros section of Manila. The museum attractions are divided into 14 main sections, like the "Early Contacts" section, which shows that the first Chinese traders arrived long before the Spanish explorer Magellan who discovered and claimed the Philippines for Spain. The museum also features life size replicas of Chinese houses in the 18th century, depicting how the Tsinoy’s lived.
Light and Sound Museum: chronicles the Filipino’s pursuit for freedom under the leadership of Dr. Jose Rizal and other revolutionary leaders like, Lapu-Lapu, Rajah Soliman and Andres Bonifacio. The dioramas and exhibits are accompanied by video clips projected onto walls and various lighting techniques to match the mood of each particular scene.
National Museum of the Philippines: is the repository and guardian of the Philippines' natural and cultural heritage. It houses such national treasures as the Manunggul Jar, Juan Luna's Spoliarium and artifacts recovered from the sunken galleon, the San Diego, as well as other valued artworks and artifacts. The Museum's goal is to instill cultural consciousness and a sense of pride and nationalism among Filipino citizens through its collection and activities.
Manila is home to several famous landmarks, monuments, parks and attractions for visitors.
Rizal Park: Today, the Park has become a local spot for families to picnic on weekends and holidays, as well as a major tourist attraction. It has a small man-made lake with a replica of the Philippine archipelago in the middle. The park features lots of recreational activities to participate in; bands, orchestras and other sorts of entertainment are provided for free in the open-air auditorium, aptly called "Concert at the Park". The Japanese and Chinese gardens are other primary attractions.
Malacanang Palace: Malacanang Palace is the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Located on the bank of the Pasig River in the Manila suburb of San Miguel, the palace was originally built in the late 18th century by a Spanish nobleman. Malacanang is an ornate Spanish colonial palace replete with arches, patios, balconies, grilles and sliding windows with panes made of capiz shells.
Tiendesitas: is a shopping complex located along the C-5 road in Manila. Tiendesitas offerings include food, fashion and accessories, furniture, antiques, handicrafts, accessories and novelty items, plants and other products made in the Philippines. The market has an overall fiesta like atmosphere, with its colorful streamers.
Where to Stay in Manila:
Being a premier destination, visitors will find cheap hotels, 4-Star Hotels Under $99 and other types of quaint Inns in Manila.
The Tourist Belt: The two districts traditionally known as Manila's tourist belt are, Ermita and Malate. Both areas are packed with brand-new or renovated hotels, restaurants, cafes, antique shops, souvenir stores and more. Ermita is filled with all types of hotels. Rates run from high end to incredibly modest, to well known international hotel chains and boutique hotels with character and history, as well as no-frills lodgings with basic services.
The Historic Center: Intramuros is the historic center and oldest district in Manila. Except for a small open stretch near the River Pasig, Intramuros is completely surrounded by massive stone walls that gave the district its name. The area is home to landmarks like, Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral and Casa Manila Museum. Just outside Intramuros' walls lies Rizal Park, where many important historical events have taken place. Being a premier district, the area boasts numerous hotels for relaxation and more.
Passport & Visa Requirements
For US Citizens:
As per the latest travel information available to Manila, here are the following passport and visa guidelines to assist you further.
* U.S. citizens may enter the Philippines without a visa for tourism purposes upon presentation of their U.S. passport,
* Passport should be valid for at least six months after the date of entry into the Philippines. Also, it’s required to have a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country.
* Please check the Embassy of the Philippines website for visa requirements and regulations.
For Canadian Citizens:
* A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit the Philippines.
* The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the country.
* Canadians must also be in possession of an onward or return ticket.
This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.
We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Manila.
*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.
When to visit Manila
The perfect time to book cheap flight to Manila is between November and February; the high tropical temperatures drop, as does the rainfall.
The period of June to October experiences typhoons and high temperatures; travelers will find cheaper hotels and airfares during this period.
Planning your Visit:
High season: (November to February)
Low season: (June to October)
Manila has a tropical wet and dry climate that borders a tropical monsoon climate. Its proximity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small.
* Typhoons and tropical storms are a common occurrence during the rainy season, particularly in the northern part of the Philippines, occurring from late May until early November.
* The dry season begins late November and lasts through late April.
Currency and Language:
ATMs are available throughout Manila – be sure to inform your bank before travelling abroad and let them know your dates of travel. Similarly, find out what the fees are for cash withdraws during your trip.
* Filipino is the national language.