Things to Do in Manila Philippines

Manila Attractions

Discover the true spirit of Manila without the hustle and bustle of visiting a foreign place. Guide Manila is your perfect travel buddy in the capital city of the Philippines. Here you will find comprehensive information about what to do, where to go and how to get there. Whether you are on a lookout for the finest hotel in town or the hottest nightlife district in the heart of the metropolis, Guide Manila offers you a mouthful of choices. Our list includes restaurants, pubs, night clubs, bars, beauty centers, attractions, shopping districts, etc.

Take a peek of the rich history of Manila and the Philippines without reading a bunch of books rather through the local attractions you can see. By simply traveling to Manila, you can get a glimpse of its past as well as present time. All these attractions reflect the wealthy history and culture of the Filipinos.

The name Manila was based on the plant called “Nila” which is a flowering mangrove that vastly grows on the shores of Manila Bay. The earliest History of Manila was recorded back to the year of 900 AD. It was first called Ancient Tondo during the 1st millennium to 1589. However, it was then renamed the Kingdom of Manila from 1500 – 1571 and Metropolitan Manila from 1975 – present.

Guests will surely be amazed at those still-existing old buildings, dated monasteries, old streets, medieval monuments and other ancient artifacts which contain a valuable story about Manila. All of these are greatly preserved to be able to share the story of the city to the next generation. However, Manila is never behind when it comes to modern advancements. It possesses highly modernized facilities, buildings, parks, recreational areas, etc. From a very simple town to a very progressive city, Manila indeed has undergone significant changes. Some of the attractions you can find include parks, malls, galleries, museums and state of the art buildings. The best part is that most of these attractions are just walking distance. Thus, you wouldn’t have to take a cab to get to the next attraction.

Manila Nightlife

Manila nightlife is truly astounding. When the sun goes down, the city becomes livelier with each passing hour. Indeed! Manila comes to life at night as colorful and glistening lights start to encompass the entire metropolis. Nightlife districts in Manila are always filled with a fun atmosphere and absolute pleasurable feeling. Playful music and alcoholic drinks are often the prime elements to keep the party going on.

Most bars and night clubs in the city stay open until the break of dawn (5 AM). But there are several bars which close at midnight (or a couple of hours after midnight). Night owls can party in these places for as long as they want. After an amazing nightlife, party animals can feed their hungry stomach with a luxurious breakfast at restaurants operating 24 hours daily. These restaurants are a perfect place to rest your tired legs and reminisce fun memories at the night club.

Nightlife opportunities are limitless giving party animals plenty of choices to settle on. Many clubs work with professional artists or bands to perform live at the venue where guests can groove along. Artists play any genre of music which usually depend on the theme of the club. From the ethnic beat to modern, hardcore, alternative, reggae or punk, partygoers can enjoy good music until closing time. When you go out from the bars, surely, the morning sun is already up thus you might need to put on sunglasses to protect your eyes.

A typical itinerary of party animals in Manila starts with a simple dinner in a regular or fancy restaurant followed by heading out to a bar with live performers or a night club until midnight. When the clock strikes 3 AM, chances are half of the people are either hopping into another bar or going home. Between 5 AM or 6 AM, party people are either going home straight or looking for someplace to eat breakfast.

Public transport in Manila usually becomes limited after midnight, about 12 MN to 5 AM. Thus, the best way to get to any destination during this time is through taxicabs. However, it is highly advisable to be extra vigilant when going out late. Avoid walking alone in empty streets or in less crowded places. As an additional precaution, take note of the body number of the cab you take. Taxicabs in Manila have a body number for easy tracking in case of a problem.

Manila is abundant with places to check out in the evening. For those who are the craving of something to eat at a late hour, there are still good restaurants open to serve night owls. Good places to have late dinner include Borough at the Podium, Early Bird Breakfast Club at Bonifacio Global City, Cable Car in Makati City, Pancake House, and so on. Bars are almost everywhere in Manila. But here are some of the famous ones: Brewery, Conways, Giraffe, Hard Rock Cafe,TGI’s, etc. At Handlebar, guests can enjoy a big screen for sports viewing as well as pitchers of beer. Live bands play decent music as additional entertainment. Libis and Greenbelt are just two of the most popular places in Manila where you can find lots of bars. Night club-goers have plenty of options on where to go. Some night clubs have theme nights wherein they highlight certain genre such as retro, rock, electronic, etc. The best night clubs in Manila are Republiq Cabana Club, Prive, 7th High, Opus, Opus and Hyve. Soft music can also be heard at some piano bars in the city such as S Piano Bar and Whisky Bar in Makati. Manila nightlife becomes very lively with overflowing choices on where to have fun.

Weekends are usually the best time to party in Manila, starting from Friday night to Sunday. However, there are also a few people who go out on weekdays. Absolutely, Manila hosts different places to make your night enjoyable and filled with so much entertainment. Hence, it is helpful to get some information about which clubs and bars are the perfect places to head to.

With so many entertainment options, it is surefire that your Manila nightlife experience will be exciting and memorable – making you want to come back any time soon.

Getting around Manila

Public Transport:

The Philippines is widely known for its distinct mode of public transportation – jeepney. It is a public utility vehicle that looks like a small bus with one rear door and can accommodate a number of passengers. And since Manila is one of the most crowded and busiest places in the country, it is pretty normal to find several jeepneys operating within the area. Some jeepneys have operators which means a person may own several units with respective drivers. Meanwhile, other jeepneys are owned privately.

Jeepneys come in different sizes. The bigger ones can hold approximately 26 passengers while the smaller ones can carry 18 people. Many jeepneys have flamboyant decorations making them more attractive to commuters. Others even have music players to entertain passengers.

Jeepneys have their respective routes which they need to take whenever hitting the road. Drivers must follow their routes and should not go beyond these destinations to avoid penalties not unless there is a signboard hanging at the front mirror saying “Private” or “For family use.” These routes likewise determine the designated fare. As of 2013, the minimum jeepney fare is at Php 8.00 and may have an additional charge in the succeeding meters.


Taking a cab is very common for those who are in a hurry. Taxi drivers can take their passengers to any destination in Manila or outside the city with many conveniences. Before, overcharging incidence happened most of the time specifically when passengers are foreign visitors. But, the government has implemented strictly the policy against this malicious act. Any driver caught overcharging their passengers can be penalized. That is why commuters must see to it that meter is turned on whenever riding a taxicab. Minimum taxi fare is at Php 40.00 (as of 2013). Some taxis are on call which means when someone needs taxi service, they can just dial their telephone numbers to be fetched in the point of origin. There are many taxi companies in Manila which can be found in the directory.


With so many streets in Manila area, driving around can be a bit tricky. Many drivers might still get lost even if the roads have signs stating the street name because of interweaving paths and crowded sidewalks. Additionally, there is a huge number of public and private vehicles running which usually cause heavy traffic specifically during rush hours. Using a map can be of great help to aid you in directions. However, when you get off the city proper, driving can be painless since there are less traffic and vehicles.

Parking areas are generally present in most establishments. Oftentimes, malls have huge parking space for their customers which is free. On the other hand, there are parking areas in the city like in business centers which charge a certain amount of money per hour or sometimes at a fixed rate.

Car hire:

Rent a car is very helpful to travelers who do not want to commute while staying in Manila. The rate of hiring a car depends on the type of car to be rented and the duration of the contract. Brand new and branded cards often cost higher. But of course, these kinds of vehicles have special features that drivers can truly enjoy while maneuvering the car. Meanwhile, there are rent car firms in Manila that offer cheap rates. In fact, some of these firms have special promos to attract customers. To be able to hire a car, there are specific requirements needed especially if you are a foreigner. The firm might ask for a passport copy and a valid drivers license. Be sure to inquire regarding the policy and insurance coverage before signing any leasing contract. In addition, check carefully the vehicle before driving off the garage to make certain of its condition and possible damage. There are plenty of companies offering rent a car service in Manila so you have many options to decide on.

Bicycle/Bike hire:

Some car hire firms in Manila also offer bikes for rent. Big bikes are the most common types to be rented specifically by foreign men. With heavy traffic, bikes are practical options to easily get into any destination and avoid being stuck for hours on the road. Bicycle for hire is not really available in the city. However, bicycles can be rented in some parks to trail around the area.


Museums and galleries in Manila. Filipinos are known to possess such excellent skills in the field of arts. That is why it is no surprise to find numerous art galleries popping up in different areas of the metropolis. Many galleries conduct special exhibits showcasing a wide variety of visual artworks including painting, sculptures, collages, and busts crafted by local artists. On the other hand, some museums in Manila housed essential objects and pieces which reflect the wealthy history and diverse culture of the Philippines. These museums are the home of some relics and items first used way back in the Ancient times.

If you are fond of scrutinizing or even collecting antiquities, visiting museums and galleries in Manila is a perfect addition to your itinerary. We have prepared a detailed list of the most noteworthy museums and galleries in the city. Watch out for this page to be up-to-date with the new entries in our listing.

Monuments in Manila. Three of the most popular monuments in the Philippines can be found in Manila. These monuments are replicas of famous people who have made great contribution to the history of the country. Among the many monuments in Manila, Rizal monument is perhaps the most visited one since he is deemed as the Philippine National Hero. Many travelers also visit other monuments like Gabriela Silang and Ninoy Aquino. By simply staring at these monuments, you will feel like you are transported back in time.

If you are interested in learning a little history regarding the Philippines, visit these monuments during your trip in Manila. You don’t have to fret about where you must go. We have listed down the best monuments in Manila along with the exact location and other information to help you. Check out our listing so you will have a reference about the monuments in Manila.

Entertainment in Manila. Travelers will never have a dull moment or boring time while staying in Manila. There are plenty of entertainment centers in the metropolis that will lift up your spirit. During the daytime, tourists may take part in some variety shows which allow live audience. And when the sun is down, travelers can check out the lively nightlife in the city. Manila offers tons of entertainment options which might give you a hard time deciding where to go.

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