The Philippine capital of Manila was usually often overlooked by travelers who choose to explore the country’s famous islands, mountains, and other natural attractions. It’s easy to not like the place—the daily traffic alone is enough to drive anyone crazy—but if you’re visiting this side of the world, you will be surprised that this could be outweighed by the other wonderful things in store for visitors.
Here are some of the places and activities that prove that Manila is not just a stopover. We’ll focus on the three essentials (food, history, and places to stay) and give recommendations along the way.
If you love to eat, Manila is a place in the Philippines that you must not miss. We’re not just talking about Filipino food here, but dozens and dozens of international cuisines that have made their way here. Filipino, Japanese, American, Chinese, French, Persian, Indian Mexican, Spanish food—all of these could be found here.
Some of the most notable areas that both locals and visitors flock include the district of Binondo (Chinatown, the oldest in the world), Little Tokyo (located at 2277 Chino Roces Ave in Makati), and local Food Parks with different cuisines (the whole stretch of Maginhawa street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City).
If you want to learn more about the Philippines’ or Manila’s history, you can check out the following museums (some of these places also have other world-class exhibitions, so make sure you check out their websites to see what’s on):
National Museum of the Philippines – BSP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Malate, Manila
Metropolitan Museum of Manila – Taft Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Ayala Museum – Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati
The Mind Museum – J. Y. Campos Park, 3rd Ave, Taguig
Yuchengco Museum – RCBC Plaza, Corner Ayala Avenue and Senator Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati
If you want a one-of-a-kind cultural and historical tour, check out Walk This Way Tours by activist and performing artist, Carlos Celdran. This is a one-of-a-kind tour that’s most probably unlike any you’ve experienced before as Celdran uses performance art to tell the country’s history.
The hip hostels
After a tiring day exploring, you would want to unwind and come home to a place to sleep in. More and more hip and affordable hostels are opening in Manila, and some of the best ones are in Makati City. These places don’t just give you a place to sleep at night, but also great parties and events. Here are some of the places that you should check out:
Z Hostel – 5660, Don Pedro, Makati
Lokal Hostel – 5023 P Burgos, Makati
MNL Boutique Hostel – B. Valdez, Makati,
Urban Hostel Makati – 5059 P. Burgos st. Brgy. Poblacion, Makati
/// Written by Lia Tizon, The Philippines