Top Manila Attractions: A Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems

If you’re considering a trip to Southeast Asia, be sure to include Manila in your itinerary. This vibrant city serves as a fantastic tourist destination, boasting a plethora of historical and picturesque sites. Let’s explore some of the must-visit Manila attractions!

Manila Attractions

Is Manila worth a visit? Absolutely. Manila often finds itself overshadowed, and that’s truly unfortunate. This Philippine capital offers far more than just jungles and underground rivers. Look beyond the typical travel hotspots, and you’ll find that Manila harbors a distinctive charm waiting to be explored.

While the city’s concrete streets may appear busy, hidden gems near Manila make the hustle and bustle entirely worthwhile. On the downside, don’t be deterred by the chaotic traffic, as amidst the commotion lie affordable and even free Manila attractions that won’t dent your budget.

Manila Attractions: Places to Visit

Check out these famous Manila attractions for an unforgettable vacay!

1. Fort Santiago

Is Manila worth visiting?

The Philippines was once under Spanish rule, leaving enduring remnants across the country, such as Fort Santiago. Originally a part of a Muslim kingdom, the Spaniards repurposed it into a fortress, now showcasing relics from the Spanish era.

Prepare to explore dungeons and underground chambers and bear witness to the Rizal Shrine, a poignant tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal. Undoubtedly, this spot is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts.

Where: Soledad Promenade, Ermita, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 8 AM to 10 PM
Admission Fee: PHP 75 (USD 1.34) for adults, PHP 50 (USD 0.89) for children

2. Manila Cathedral

Manila heritage sites

Prepare yourself to be captivated by the breathtaking medieval charm of Manila Cathedral, renowned for its unique architecture. One of the best Manila heritage sites, it was constructed in 1571, half a century after the introduction of Catholicism in the Philippines.

Despite enduring natural disasters, the cathedral has maintained its original allure through several renovation efforts.

Where: Cabildo cor. Beaterio St., Intramuros, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 8 AM to 4.30 PM; Sunday, 8 AM to 11.30 AM
Admission Fee: Free

3. San Agustin Church

famous attractions in Manila

For those who can’t get enough of the enchanting Manila Cathedral, a visit to the San Agustin Church is a must. As the oldest church in the country, it radiates a distinctive ambiance shaped by five centuries of dedicated service to the community.

Beyond marveling at this World Heritage Site, take a stroll through the San Agustin Museum, which houses a diverse collection of church ornaments and paintings.

Where: General Luna St, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 8 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 6 PM
Admission Fee: Free

4. National Museum Complex

op Manila attractions

If you’re still in the mood to delve into the past, make sure to include the National Museum in your must-visit list of top Manila attractions. The museum boasts well-preserved collections that span a diverse range, from anthropology to arts and beyond.

Just a heads up, the place is expansive, housing three distinct museums under one roof. The best part? Entry to all these museums is free for all visitors, so make the most of your visit and fully immerse yourself in the rich history!

Where: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
Admission Fee: Free

5. Baluarte de San Diego

best tourist attractions in Manila

Another picturesque spot in Manila that’s ideal for enhancing your Instagram feed is Baluarte de San Diego. Regarded as one of the best tourist attractions in Manila, this ancient fort boasts a remarkable history dating back to the 16th century. Thanks to dedicated restoration efforts, the fort was meticulously revitalized, with the final touches being completed in 1992.

Apart from its rich historical significance, Baluarte de San Diego offers a stunning backdrop for your photoshoots. Whether you’re updating your Instagram followers or capturing precious pre-wedding moments, the fort’s charm and beauty provide the perfect setting.

Where: 368 Sta. Lucia, Intramuros, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 8 AM to 5 PM
Admission Fee: PHP 75 (USD 1.34) for adults, PHP 50 (USD 0.89) for children

6. Casa Manila

top attractions in Manila

Wondering why Casa Manila stands out as one of the top attractions in Manila? It’s not your ordinary 19th-century Spanish mansion replica; it’s something truly extraordinary! The architecture seamlessly blends various influences, marrying Asian and European elements to craft a uniquely distinctive experience.

Step inside and transport yourself to a bygone era, where you can envision the daily lives of people from another time. Picture leisurely moments in the exquisite anteroom, engaging study sessions in the expansive library, or a leisurely stroll through the patio adorned with enchanting flowers

Where: Plaza San Luis Complex, Cor. Real & Gen. Luna Sts. Intramuros, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 AM to 6 PM
Admission Fee: PHP 75 (USD 1.34) for adults, PHP 50 (USD 0.89) for children

7. Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach

top attractions in Manilla

No trip to Manila is complete without a visit to its beaches! One of the most popular Manila attractions at night, Manila Baywalk is packed with fun activities for solo travelers or families. 

First, try local food at various stalls. Then, enjoy live performances by talented local artists. If you have little ones, let them play at Dolomite Beach, the newest attraction in Manila.

Where: Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Monday-Friday, 6 AM to 8 AM and 4 PM to 6 PM
Admission Fee: Free

8. Quiapo Shops & Church

manila attractions at night

Have you ever pondered the origin of the name Quiapo for this area? Interestingly, it’s a local term referring to water cabbage, although you won’t spot any of those around here! Rather, the Quiapo district in Old Downtown Manila boasts a variety of shops providing everyday necessities and unique souvenirs.

Furthermore, immerse yourself in the mystical allure of Quiapo with fortune-telling and traditional remedies readily available. Be sure not to overlook Plaza Miranda, the district’s largest shopping destination, conveniently situated across from the must-visit Quiapo Church.

Where: Quiapo, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free

9. Binondo

cultural attractions in Manila

Up next in cultural attractions in Manila is Binondo, renowned as the most famous Chinatown in the entire country. Annually, both locals and foreigners converge here to immerse themselves in the authentic vibes of the Lunar New Year.

Even if you happen to miss the celebration, Binondo has much more to unveil! Delve into the rich history of the Binondo Church, founded in the late 16th century, or peruse the Lucky Chinatown Mall for an array of unique souvenirs.

And don’t forget to explore the Kuang Kong Temple. Indulge in the best culinary delights at the numerous Chinese restaurants that eagerly await to serve you.

Where: St. Binondo, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free

10. Roxas Boulevard

newest attraction in Manila

After a delightful visit to Manila Baywalk, continue your exploration along Roxas Boulevard. This isn’t merely an extended stretch lined with numerous coconut trees; it stands out as the ideal location to witness the most breathtaking sunset in Manila.

What might catch you by surprise is its close proximity to a vast 8-lane highway. Adjusting to the striking contrast between the tranquility of nature and the bustling city life may take some time, yet this paradox only enhances the boulevard’s allure.

Where: Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free

11. Maginhawa Street

indoor attractions in Manila

Wrap up your Manila adventure with a visit to Maginhawa Street, affectionately known as “Maginhawa Food Park,” a true haven for food enthusiasts. With new restaurants constantly emerging to cater to the burgeoning demand, it has become a paradise for those who relish trying novel and diverse culinary delights.

Whether you yearn for Western flavors, authentic Asian cuisines, or local delicacies, Maginhawa Street offers an extensive selection to satisfy every palate. However, amidst the plethora of options, it’s important not to become overwhelmed by the sheer variety available!

Where: Maginhawa Street, UP Vilage, Quezon City
Opening Days & Hours: Daily, 24 hours
Admission Fee: Free

Manila Traveling Tips

indoor attractions in Manila

To enhance the enjoyment of your holiday in Manila, be sure to adhere to these guidelines:

  1. Manila experiences a dry season, particularly from March to May, which can bring about intense heat. If your visit coincides with this period, exploring indoor attractions in Manila is a good idea to stay cool.
  2. Numerous travelers suggest that the optimal time to visit is from December to February, when the weather is delightful. During this period, you’ll find a plethora of enjoyable activities to choose from.

That’s it for 11 must-visit Manila attractions! Eager to jet off there without delay? Secure your flight with Airpaz today! We’ve helped thousands of satisfied travelers realize their dream vacations, so be sure to explore our website!


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