Located on the island of Luzon, the bay side city of Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It’s usually the first point of call for most international visitors. Annually, Manila welcomes over 1 million tourists a year, however for many visitors, they never leave the airport or only stay for a night in the city, before moving on to another part of the country.
Manila is a very busy city, in fact, it is considered to be one of the most densely populated cities in the world! The city is an interesting mix of Spanish colonial architecture and modern day skyscrapers. Tourists spend their days exploring historical landmarks and attractions including the Walled City of Intramuros, Manila Ocean Park, Rizal Park, Manila Zoo, the National Museum Complex the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and more.
Those who love to shop are in for a real treat as Manila is considered to be the shopping mecca of Asia. All over Manila, you’ll find a range of great shopping malls, department stores and markets selling all kinds of products and souvenirs.
The term “Manila” is used to refer to the whole of the greater metropolitan area as well as the city centre itself. The greater region is made up of 16 districts namely Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. The Pasig River flows through the centre dividing the area into the north and south sections.
To ensure you make the most of your time in Manila and all the city offers, below you will find our best guides to this densely populated and exciting city.
There are some great historical and interesting places to visit in and around Manila. Read more about all these landmarks and attractions in Manila below.
There is a great range of accommodation in Manila from luxury to cheap hotels and every price point in between. Read our guide below to book the perfect Manila accommodation for your trip.
Most visitors arriving in the Philippines will first arrive in Manila. From Manila, it is relatively easy to reach the rest of the country with flights and ferries leaving on a regular basis. For more information, read our detailed guides below on how to travel to and from Manila.
You can find more information on other destinations in the Philippines across this site.