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Manila

Practical information on Manila

  • Spa and massage
  • Park and garden
  • Place or Religious Monument
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  • Place or Historical Monument
3 / 5 - One review
How to get there
1 h from Cebu by plane
When to go
From October to May to avoid the heavy rains
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Manila

Arthur Joffrin Seasoned Traveller
38 written opinions

Capital and principal gateway to the country. A few historical facets and neighbourhoods of varied interest contrast with this gloomy and stifling atmosphere.

My suggestion:
Unless you are bent on going in search of the subtle and hidden charms of this city, two days spent in the capital are more than enough. Much better to focus your stay in the Philippines on the rest of the country.
My review

Manila is hard to appreciate at first glance. No sooner have you stepped out of the airport than you are overcome by the deafening noises, the extremely dense traffic and the greyish neighbourhoods. An atmosphere that seems to reflect the difficulty of rebuilding a (once prosperous) city, reduced to a heap of ruins in the aftermath of the World War Two bombings.  

I stayed in Malate, a town centre neighbourhood that offers a selection of cheap hotels, some bars and restaurants, while being close to the main centres of interest. It is also an area with many beggars and poverty stricken homeless.

I mostly went about on foot, in particular to discover the pleasant and imposing Rizal square, the seashore along Roxas Boulevard and even to go as far as Intramuros for a return to the Spanish colonial past. I also went through the somewhat sombre China town, as well as its surprising cemetery that I recommend you do not miss. Lastly, Makati business district has good restaurants in store for you and an ideal night-time atmosphere that is perhaps the most lively and bustling of the city.

Tours and travel ideas Manila

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