Manila, the capital of the Philippines and a confederation of 17 different cities and municipalities, knows how to coalesce the grandeur of bygone era with glory of modern world. The city features inescapable contemporary draws sharing stage with the remnants of its past, progressive lifestyles with a dash of quaint traditions and customs of its warm, hospitable and curious denizens espousing rich cultural heritage and a unique multicultural character.
Enlivening sightseeing, the beautiful historical relics of Intramuros – the ancient walled colonial quarter, the dazzling skyscrapers, spectacular views of the manila Bay sunset, verdant parks and gardens, an unrivalled shopping scene with enormous malls that outsize many in the world as well as lively outdoor markets throughout Metro Manila, swanky hotels and restaurants, museums and much more add to the city’s joie de vivre and enamours one to the hilt.
All quarters of this Asian megalopolis infused with a unique charm offer something for everyone to relish in Manila’s riveting splendour. Holidaymakers from all over the world book flights to Philippines for immersing in Manila’s distinctive flavour and taking back a collage of moments filled with awe and ecstasy.
Best Time to Visit Manila
Manila sees two distinctive climatic seasons. Most areas experience a dry season and a wet season. The drier season around November to April with balmy and generally dry days is undoubtedly the best time to visit Manila. The cooler months of December to February (around 21°C (70°F)) are ideal for sightseeing and the colourful processions of Christmas and Easter add zing to ones visit. Besides, the months between May to October are the typhoon seasons and experience heavy rain and high humidity. For budget holidaymakers it may be the best time to visit to save on cheap flights and accommodation.
Top Tourist Spots in Manila
The captivating array of tourist destinations are scattered across the length and breadth of Manila. The megalopolis is a treasure trove of enchanting museums, intriguing churches, ethnic-Islamic inspired mausoleum and monuments, lush parks and much more. The experience of sightseeing in the city leaves indelible imprint on the mind and definitely make good the money spent on flights to Philippines. Here are some of the city’s best tourist destinations to visit during one’s holiday in the city.
- Ayala Museum
- Chinese Cemetery
- Fort Santiago
- Rizal Park
- San Agustin Church and Museum
- SM Mall of Asia
Shopping Attractions in Manila
Manila is the ineluctable shopping destinations of South East Asia. The contagious love of Manileños for shopping and the endless shopping attractions in the city impress even most discerning shopaholics. The vibrant markets and breathtaking array of sprawling malls overwhelm with countless stuff and items including handicrafts, jewellery, high fashion apparels, souvenirs and furniture. Some of the spectacular shopping attractions that lavish holidaymakers and budget travellers hopping on cheap flights can hit include:
- Robinsons Place
- Street Market
- Glorietta Mall
- SM Mall of Asia
- Duty Free Fiesta Mall
- Ayala Center
Eating Out in Manila
Manila ticks all the right boxes for the epicureans and gorging on scrumptious food is one of the most loved and inevitable activities here. With myriads of small food stalls, ambulant food sellers and fine dining restaurants serving delectable dishes with a blend of sheer hospitality, epicureans booking flights tickets to Manila are sure to have a whale of time. For most travellers, dining out in Manila means facing a dilemma of making a choice from hundreds of posh restaurants and easily affordable eateries. Try out the following places for some gastronomic delights when you visit Manila.
- Aresi Restaurant and Bar
- The Aristocrat
- Hok Chiu House
- La Tienda
- Mario’s Kitchen Tiendesitas
Hotels in Manila
Manila boasts an ocean of choices for travellers with different tastes and budgets. Low-priced guest houses, low star rated basic cheap hotels, mid-range hotels make for a great accommodation option for shoestring travellers taking cheap flights to Philippines while the luxury 5 star hotels and resorts cater to sybarites booking flight tickets to the destination. Here are just some of the popular hotels from the city.
- City Garden Hotel Makati
- Bianca’s Garden Hotel
- The A.Venue Hotel Suites
- Discovery Suites
- G Hotel Manila by Waterfront
- Pan Pacific Manila
- Sofitel Philippine Plaza
Airports in Manila
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport, situated at a distance of 6 km. from the Tourist Belt Areas of Malate & Ermita and 10 km. away from hotel areas of Ayala Centre in Makati City, is the prominent airport in Manila. The airport is also known as Manila International Airport and is the hub of Philippines airlines. It features four terminals and provides assorted airport facilities. The airport is served by number of airlines including the air carriers that offer cheap flight tickets to Philippines.
Getting Around in Manila
There is plethora of ways to commute within Manila. With integrated railway network, and countless buses serving to different cities, getting around in the city makes for a convenient as well as exhilarating experiences. For shorter distances, travellers can stick to tricycles and pedicabs. Ermita, Intramuros and Binondo are the places where holidaymakers can take a ride of Calesa (a traditional horse-drawn carriage).
Manila Travel Tips
A number of travellers book cheap flights to Philippines for business or leisure holidays tours and land up in manila. Here are some useful tips:
There have been several scams of deception in Manila. It is advisable for travellers to stay away from the strangers.
Pick pocketing is a common problem in Manila. Act cautiously. Use a belt bag for carrying money, passport and other valuables on the road instead of a bag and keep positioned in front. Never leave any valuables on the beach or poolside. Use hotel room instead.
Fix the rates before hopping on to any public transport and go for metered vehicles only. Always carry change while using public transport.
Carrying a voltage converter will be useful as Philippines uses 220V electricity. Most 5 star hotels 100 V outlets but they might not be available in some.
People use English language mostly next to Filipino/Tagalog.
(Note: This destination guide is based on information gathered from reliable online sources and provides only general information about the destination. Travellers must read the updated travel advice for the destination on FCO’s website www.fco.gov.uk. Southall Travel holds no responsibility for any misrepresentation of facts and shall not be in any way liable for any kind of eventuality such as damages, loss, additional costs etc arising from the use of information given in this guide).