Things to do in Manila – The Philippines

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines. It is known as the city district of the country. At day time, it gets pretty busy because a lot of people are on their way to work so expect a lot of traffic. People who grew up in the provinces would go here to work because they know the pay is better. A lot of tourists go there as there are a lot of things to do and explore.

Must do

One awesome thing to do would be to take the tour at Intramuros. It will give you a history lesson so you would know what happened in Philippine history. You can choose to hire a tour guide or do the tour yourself and research about each history artifact on the Internet.

Either way, you will surely enjoy Intramuros as it is pretty big. Therefore, it won’t be a good idea to do this during summer as you will be drenched in sweat when it is over. There is no dress code here so it would be advisable to wear your most comfortable clothing attire.

What do you like most about your city?

Manila has a lot of friendly people. When you are lost, you can ask anybody and they will tell you where you need to go. In fact, everyone here speaks English well so won’t have a hard time communicating with anybody. The hospitality here is incredible and they love it when tourists love the country.

Best Walk in Manila


It would be a great idea to walk at Chinatown and check out the affordable and delicious Chinese restaurants. The place gets really crowded especially during Chinese New Year.

There are also a lot of vendors selling cheap products like shirts and other retail items. In fact, some people go there to buy items and sell them again to get profit. You won’t notice how long you’ve walked due to all the vendors there trying to convince you to buy their authentic products.

SM Mall of Asia

For those who like to go window shopping, visit the biggest mall in Asia, SM Mall of Asia. To nobody’s surprise, there are a lot of things to do here including watching movies, skating, and riding the attractions at the amusement park just in front of it.

There are also a lot of restaurants to choose from. There is also a church, a convention center, an arena, and an events place right beside the mall.

Best Restaurants in Manila

There are a lot of wonderful restaurants that have critically acclaimed food. The first is Cafe Ilang-Ilang which has a world-class buffet containing favorites such as rib-eye steak, sushi, pasta, pizza, salad, and cakes. If you don’t like buffets, try Ilustrado that is located in Intramuros.

After having a long walk at Intramuros, you will be pleased to know they serve delicious Filipino and Spanish food. If you are looking for authentic Japanese food, try Yabu as it is very popular because its Katsu meal sets. In addition, Manam is known for amazing Filipino food with a twist. All their menu items are available in different sizes so you can try a lot of them. They also have wonderful fruit shakes.

Best Music/Festival in Manila

The best Music Festival is Wanderland as it lasts for two days and contains several local and international artists. A couple of years ago, Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa performed in the festival. Tickets ran out fast and everyone had such a great time. Every year, their performers change but one thing is for sure, the quality of the music will stay the same.

There are also numerous food vendors there, so you will certainly not get hungry. The traffic going to the venue is expected to be pretty bad so better go there a bit early. Besides, when you are early, you can get a great spot at the festival grounds.

Best Nightlife in Manila

The Palace in Taguig contains 4 nightclubs that are right beside each other. The largest and oldest one is Xylo, formerly known as Valkyrie. Due to its size, a lot of celebrity DJs have performed there. Beside it is the Island formerly known as Pool Club. It contains a couple of swimming pools as it gives club goers a glimpse of the Vegas night life.

For those who want a smaller crowd, there is Revel which also has nice interiors. The cocktails at the Palace were carefully crafted to perfection. Their tables are available to be reserved at reasonable rates and they run out fast especially during weekends so better to call them and reserve early.

The parking there is pretty difficult so it would be best to go there early or take a Grab going there. There are many tourists who dance the night away here until the wee hours of the next morning. It is definitely a great place to meet new people.

Best Day Trip Out of Manila

The best day trip would be to go to Tagaytay as there are museums, restaurants, and cafes that have a nice view of the mountains. If it is safe, you can also hike Taal volcano. Tagaytay is only 3 hours away from Manila and you can go there either by bus or a private car. Either way, it would be better to leave the city early so you won’t get stuck in traffic. If you brought your kids, there is a theme park there called Sky Ranch. The weather there is pretty cold so it would be best to head over there when it is summer time.

Something that not many tourists would know about

The best street food to try in Manila is Balut or duck’s embryo. You won’t know how it tastes until you find out. Everyone has different reactions to this exotic food and it is best eaten with your hands. It is not available in the malls but a lot of street vendors sell it at affordable prices.

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