Blending charming Spanish colonial architecture, world-class museums and galleries and the world’s oldest Chinatown with some of the biggest and best shopping malls on Earth.
For Your Trip to the Philippines
WHAT TO PACK FOR MANILA
- Stylish face mask
- Water container/tumbler to rehydrate
- Sunscreen for skin protection
- Goggles for swimming or snorkeling
- Stylish Swimsuit
- Travel backpack / luggage
- Reusable vacuum storage packs
- Selfie stick
- Waterproof phone case
- Acion cam
- Camping tent
- WiFi kit
- Power bank
Manila Travel Requirements & Guidelines | COVID-19 New Normal
1. Who are allowed to go to Manila?
Manila hotel staycations are allowed, except for those coming from areas under Alert Level 5 and Granular Lockdown. Fully vaccinated individuals, or those who have gotten the final dose of their COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 weeks prior to their staycation, are exempted from presenting a negative COVID-19 test but must be able to present a vaccination card that shows their fully vaccinated status before they can check-in. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals need to present a negative swab or saliva-based RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to their check-in.
2. What are the entry points in Manila?
3. What travel requirements do you need to prepare?
4. What are the guidelines and protocols to follow when you're in Manila?
- Tourists must wear face masks and face shields, wash hands frequently, and observe proper social distancing, especially in public areas.
- Indoor dining is allowed but only for fully vaccinated individuals. Outdoor dining is open to anyone regardless of vaccination status.
- Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions or MICE and social events are allowed. Indoor venues for these events can operate for fully vaccinated individuals only, while outdoor venues are open to anyone, regardless of vaccination status.
- Indoor tourist spots can only entertain fully vaccinated individuals. Outdoor tourist spots can accommodate anyone regardless of vaccination status.
ABOUT MANILAManila is the capital of the Philippines. It is located in the northern island of Luzon close to Quezon City. Quezon City was once the capital, from 1948 to 1976, and is actually the most populous city.
IN PHOTO: The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, known canonically as Parish of Saint John the Baptist, and also known as the Quiapo Church, is a prominent basilica in the district of Quiapo in the city of Manila, Philippines
MANILA vs. METRO MANILA
Brief History of Manila
IN PHOTO: Old-world Intramuros is home to Spanish-era landmarks like Fort Santiago, with a large stone gate and a shrine to national hero José Rizal. The ornate Manila Cathedral houses bronze carvings and stained glass windows, while the San Agustin Church museum has religious artwork and statues. Spanish colonial furniture and art fill Casa Manila museum, and horse-drawn carriages (kalesa) ply the area’s cobblestone streets.
Transportation in Manila
IN PHOTO: The William A. Jones Memorial Bridge is a bridge that spans the Pasig River in the Philippines connecting the Manila area of Binondo on Rosario Street, with the center of city in Ermita.
Climate in Manila
Shopping and Attractions
|Robinsons Place Manila|
Sports are also popular; basketball is the main sport. Baseball, football and billiards are also popular sports. The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila is where many sporting events are held, including track, football, baseball and tennis. Professional baseball is played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium where Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig scored the first home runs.
IN PHOTO: Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park or simply Luneta, is a historical urban park in the Philippines. Formerly known as Bagumbayan in the era of colonialism under the Spaniards.
IN PHOTO: Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila, in the Philippines
Culture and Food
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
BEST TIME TO VISIT MANILA
Holiday Season | September to December
Dry Season | January to April
Climate and Weather
What to Wear
TOP EVENTS & FESTIVALS IN MANILA
- Black Nazarene Procession – 9 January and Good Friday
The carrying of the life-sized image of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ, housed in the city’s Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.
- Bamboo Organ Festival – Late February
Global musicians paying homage to Las Piñas’ iconic organ.
- Fringe Manila – February and March
Two to three-week event showcasing local artists and performers in the city’s galleries and theatres.
- Aliwan Fiesta – April and May
Dance parades and float competitions in Pasay City.
- Philippine Independence Day – 12 June
Celebrations and a parade in Rizal Park to mark independence from Spain.
- Fête de la Musique – Mid-June
Celebration of music organized by the Alliance Française, with two main stages and 30+ themed stages hosting reggae, blues, punk and more.
- Philippine Travel Mart – September
Annual event showcasing Philippines destinations
- Christmas celebrations – From 1 September
|Black Nazarene Procession|
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
BEST THINGS TO DO IN MANILA
- VISIT THE WALLED CITY OF INTRAMUROS
Tour the Walled City of Intramuros (the colonial walled city) by horse-drawn carriage or eco-friendly bamboo bicycle.
- GO FOR STREET FOOD
Sample the city’s famous street food at venues including Shipyard in Malate, discover the authentic hole-in-the-wall restaurants of Binondo Chinatown, or go on a food and pub crawl of the trendy Poblacion neighbourhood in Makati. Another foodie hotspot is the Mercato Centrale in BGC, Taguig.
- SUNSET VIEWING
Manila is one of the best places to sight perfect sunset by the bay. Stroll the waterfront Baywalk for its sunset views over Manila Bay and open-air cafés and food stalls.
- DISCOVER OLD MANILA
Take a Pasig River tour or Manila Bay cruise for a different view of Old Manila and Makati.
- TOUR AROUND RIZAL PARK
Take a walk at Rizal Park (‘Luneta’) with its open-air chess, monument to national hero José Rizal and National Museum of Natural History Philippines.
- MUSEUM HOPPING
Soak up contemporary Filipino art and the Philippine Gold Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and at 1335 Mabini Art Gallery located in Makati City.
- GO SHOPPING
Shop ’till you drop, whether at the vast Bayfront SM Mall of Asia or the many artisan outlets.
- APPRECIATE ARCHITECTURE
Explore quirky architecture ranging from the Coconut Palace (by prior booking only) to the Art Deco First United Building.
- GO TO EXPOS, MUSEUMS & CASINOS
Discover Cubao Expo, an alternative village with boutiques, bars and cheap eats. Let off steam at the Upside Down Museum of Illusions, Art In Island museum and the casinos.
- DO DAY TRIPS
Take a day-trip to Corregidor Island; Tagaytay Ridge, People’s Park in the Sky and Taal Volcano; or Mount Pinatubo crater lake.
|Sky Ranch Tagaytay|
TRY THIS: 5 Romantic Roofdecks with Amazing City-view in Metro Manila
WHERE TO STAY IN MANILA
Types of Accommodations
- Octagon Mansion Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Bayview Park Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Go Hotels Ermita - Check Rates and Availability!
- City Garden Suites Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Pearl Manila Hotel - Check Rates and Availability!
- Sunny Bay Suites - Check Rates and Availability!
Other hotels near Manila
HOW TO GET TO MANILA
|Kalesa ride in Manila|
Note that there are four terminals or airports in Manila, which are not connected by subway systems. It can be confusing for many first-time visitors, so make sure to find out which airport you're landing in before making transfer arrangements.
Getting Around Manila
From the Airport
- Regular Taxi - White metered taxi/cabs with a fixed flag down rate and per kilometer fee.
- Coupon Taxi- Blue-marked white taxi/cabs that are dispatched by airport personnel and charge a fixed price
- Yellow Airport Taxi - Metered taxi with the fixed flag down rate and per kilometer fee, but almost double than the regular taxi.
By Car Booking App
Metro Rails (MRT and LRT)
LRT1 and LRT2
SAMPLE MANILA ITINERARY
- You are a group of two, sleeping in a bunk bed in a dorm room at a hostel in Makati.
- You will be splitting transportation costs. For this itinerary, you’re using Uber for comfort and to maximize your short stay.
- Your food allowance is P200-P250 per every lunch or dinner. P250 has a big allowance, to be honest, but better overestimate than under.
- Airfare is not included.
Day 1: AYALA MUSEUM, MAKATI
Day 2: BINONDO + INTRAMUROS TOUR
Day 3, OPTION A: NATIONAL MUSEUM
Day 3, OPTION B: MALACANANG PALACE
Other Day Trip Destinations Near Manila
- Taal Heritage Town, Batangas
- Pililla Wind Farm and Pinto Art Museum, Rizal
- Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River, Rizal
- Malabrigo Beach, Batangas
- Masasa Beach, Batangas
- Hulugan Falls, Laguna
- Magdapio Falls, Laguna
- Tagaytay City
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About 2GO Travel
- Is Manila safe for tourists?
YES, Manila is generally safe. Like most cities, there are shady places that you should avoid, but these are not touristy areas. Petty, non-violent crimes like pickpocketing and snatching can happen in some districts if you’re not careful, so make sure you keep an eye on your belongings and avoid bringing out your valuables (especially mobile phones) unless necessary.
Poverty is real and obvious in Manila. Don’t be surprised if you get approached by street children or beggars. They’re not dangerous, but they can be persistent.
Your bigger concern is the heat. Manila can get really hot and humid especially in summer months.
- Where to get pesos or exchange money in Manila?
Countless ATMs everywhere; you can simply withdraw cash instead of exchanging currencies. You can also exchange at any major bank, but you will need to present documents (passport, etc.).
- What is the electrical plug used in Manila?
Socket Type A. 220V, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins. Type B is sometimes used but not that common.
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