Exploring Manila in just a weekend? You bet! From historic neighborhoods to its vibrant nightlife, just follow this handy 2-day tour and you’ll be fine!

How to Spend 48 hours in Manila


Dedicate your first 24 hours to getting intimate with Manila’s rich history. Here’s how to do it!


Wake up bright and early and start your day in the heart of Manila, Intramuros. Here you will get a feel of old Manila to better appreciate the many other wonders the city has to offer. Intramuros (“city within walls”) is the oldest district in Manila and the true heart of Philippines history. Built in 1571 by Miguel López de Legazpi, Intramuros bears Spanish architecture and vibes everywhere. Ride a calesa (horse-drawn carriage) or walk along the cobblestone streets to learn more about the country’s turbulent history during the Spanish Colonial Period.

And while you are there don’t forget to visit Fort Santiago, a citadel which was witness to deadly battles during the Spanish colonial era. Also worthy of mention is the baroque beauty of the Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church.

Finally, get a hearty breakfast in one of Manila’s most popular restaurants, Illustrado. Conveniently located in Intramuros, it serves authentic Filipino cuisine.


Continue your trip through Manila’s turbulent history paying your respects at the Shrine of Jose Rizal, dedicated to the life and work of this national hero of the Philippines who was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896. On this same site stands a collection of statues depicting the moment he was executed by a firing squad.

The Shrine is located in Rizal Park- a historical urban park and favorite leisure spot that’s just perfect for late afternoon strolls. Here you are also likely to come across different dance groups who use this space to practice. Join them and learn some moves yourself!

Time to experience Manila’s culinary side! And there is no better place to do that than Dampa Market Seafood Feast. The idea here is very simple: you pick and purchase your best catch of seafood and bring it to a nearby restaurant. They’ll have it cooked for you in any way you want!

Location: Roxas Blvd Ermita, Barangay 666 Zone 72, Manila (along Roxas Boulevard, adjacent to the old city of Intramuros).


Enjoy a cultural night out with the locals at a well-known restaurant: Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant, at the very heart of Intramuros, serves quality food in a real Filipino atmosphere. One of the main highlights of this place is its live entertainment and music, plenty of Philippine culture during their performances.


Spend your last 24 hours in Manila enjoying the fun and vibrant side of the city!


The Early Bird Breakfast Club

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0Ellaine Cruz

Enjoy a mouth-watering breakfast at this peaceful and cozy restaurant serving both Filipino and western type breakfast in a quiet environment.

Location: GF Fort Pointe 2 Building, the Fort Complex, 28th St, Taguig, Kalakhang Maynila

Website: https://www.earlybirdbreakfastclub.com/

Breakfast hours: Sun-Thu 7 am-10 pm; Fri-Sun 7 am-10 pm (non-stop service)

Star City

Or start your day with a thrill instead! Grab a cab and head over to Star City, Manila’s leading amusement park. Enjoy a wide variety of rides ranging from kid-friendly to extreme ones at affordable rates. Check out their top attractions such as Snow World, Pirate Adventure, and the horror-themed attraction Gabi ng Lagim (Night of Terror) and find out why these have been must-visits on any tourist’s list for years.

Location: Vicente Sotto St, CCP Complex, Pasay, Metro Manila



Manila Ocean Park

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0shariz_barnette

Change the pace of the day and feel relaxed seeing the numerous underwater creatures at this world-class marine theme park.

Website: https://www.manilaoceanpark.com/


Dinner at Sky Deck at Bayleaf Hotel

Dine in style at the Sky Deck Restaurant at Bayleaf Hotel, the perfect place to put the cherry on top of your stay in Manila. The name itself gives you an idea of what to expect, providing a stunning bird’s eye view of Manila. You better make your reservation in advance!

Location: Muralla corner Victoria Streets, Intramuros, Manila

Website: https://www.thebayleaf.com.ph/intramuros/restaurant/sky-deck/

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