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Top 12 Places To Visit In Manila

Manila, Philippines

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is an exciting and energetic metropolis. Hop on board any of the colorful and kitschy jeepneys to get from one place to another around town. The iconic buses that usually pack in more people than they can hold are the main form of transportation and worth at least one ride during your visit, just for the experience.

Manila is an eclectic mix of modern attractions and rich history, as evidenced by the many cathedrals and tributes to the city's 16th-century establishment and modern-day malls and amenities. The city sits on the shorefront of Manila Bay, making it a regular target for typhoons, so it is best to plan your visit outside of the rainy season (May-November).

Here are the Top 12 Places to Visit in Manila, which are worth visiting on a Manila trip:

1. Quiapo Church

The Quiapo Church is one of the oldest and most admired Catholic Churches in Manila. The more formal name of the church is the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. Depending on the time of day, the plaza surrounding the century-old church can be quite congested, which makes it an interesting place to visit to admire the devotion of the Filipino people.

Fridays are the busiest days when thousands of people pile into the square and pray at the church for the novena. Despite the large gatherings of church devotees, this is one of the top attractions in the city.

2. Casa Manila

Situated on General Luna Street in the grand Barrio San Luis area, within the walled city of Intramuros, Casa Manila is a stately museum in Manila, Philippines. Constructed in 1980 by Imelda Marcos, the regal building boasts Spanish colonial architecture and is bordered by the Calle Real, General Luna, Cabildo, and Urdaneta streets. The stone and wood museum is designed to replicate the 1850s San Nicolas House that once existed in Calle Jaboneros and depicts the colonial lifestyle of the Filipinos during the Spanish colonization of the state.

3. Rizal Park

Spread over 60 hectares, Rizal Park is a renowned national landmark and one of the best places to visit in Manila. Famous for around forty worth of visiting places in the park from ornamental gardens, ponds, monuments, and more. It is one of the most visited tourist places. Visit the Rizal Monument which is an epitome of nationalism, or the drinking fountain known as the place where Rizal studied. You can also visit the Central Lagoon and Chess Plaza as it will leave an indelible imprint in your mind.

4. Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago is one of the first places to visit Metro Manila. The fort was completed in 1593 and is located in the ancient walled city of Intramuros. The stone walls of the fort have many structures including the famous Rizal Shrine which is dedicated to Rizal. The fort has seen history shape the city right from the Spanish conquest to World War II. It is one of the best tourist places in Manila with friends as not only is the area full of history but its ancient architecture makes for great photography spots and is also included in the Manila sightseeing of every traveler.

5. Intramuros

You will likely pass through the Intramuros whether you know it or not as you explore Manila. It is the oldest section of the city and is characterized by its walled fortress. This section of Manila was once a walled city during Spanish Colonial times in the 1500s to the 1800s. Walk around inside the three-mile-long stone wall that surrounds the district. While you can walk the grounds on your own, you might want to take a guided walking tour to learn more about the walled city and its significance to Manila.

6. Manila Bay

Sprawling over an area of 769 sq. meters, Manila Bay is one of the busiest and top commercial spots in the capital city of the Philippines. Extending into southwestern Luzon Island, the bay is completely landlocked and is known for a host of activities from shipping to aquaculture, industrial, and tourism. It is one of the hot leisure spots in the city which is also known for its fabulous sunsets.

7. Manila Ocean Park

One of the most famous marine parks in Manila, this ocean park is a remarkable and fascinating holiday destination. Offering enchanting views of the vivid marine life, this park is a spectacle of diverse attractions. From various activities like the augmented reality encounter, and sea lion show to the world of creepy crawlies, neon rides, and super toy collection, the park is a treasure of joy and happiness and makes for one of the perfect places to see in Manila.

8. San Agustin Church

The San Agustin Church is one of the most important tourist spots in Manila. The Church is the oldest church in the Philippines, and though initially built-in 1586, it has seen many renovations including the latest one in 2013. The church is a National Landmark as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its striking Baroque architecture. The church is still in use and if lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of a traditional mass or wedding in progress! it is indeed one of the most visited tourist spots in Manila.

9. National Museum of the Philippines

For a true exploration of the culture of the country, the National Museum of the Philippines is one of the best places to visit. The museum has four main complexes and extensive collections and artifacts relating to art, archaeology, anthropology, zoology, biology, and natural history. The museum galleries help offer a sense of place, telling the cultural story beyond what you will find on your own visiting the city's many historical attractions.

10. Arroceros Forest Park

Situated on Antonio Villegas Street (formerly known as Calle Arroceros) in the central district of Ermita in the city of Manila, Philippines, Arroceros Forest Park is a hidden secret and a verdant oasis in the heart of the concrete jungle of the metro city. Abound with shady dense green trees, coupled with the eerie yet tranquil silence and peppered with beautiful brooks, the forest is considered to be the green lung amidst the chaos and cacophony of the hustling city.

11. Robinsons Place Mall

Situated in the heart of the city, just behind the Philippine General Hospital and the campus of the University of the Philippines Manila and St. Paul University Manila, Robinsons Place is currently the largest serving mall in Manila which became open to the public in 1997. Sprawling over a wide 240,000 sq. meters, the seven-storeyed mall has a plethora of stores with premium merchandise, apparel, shoes, cosmetics, etc. There is also multi-story parking and an enormous food court to cater to your hunger pangs after you are done shopping.

12. Divisoria Market

If you are in the mood to bargain shop, head to the lively Divisoria Market in Manila. Considered to be the "Mother of all Markets" in Manila, Divisoria is a popular flea market located right in the heart of the city in Chinatown Where you will discover overflowing vendor stalls selling everything from fruit and spices to flip-flops and beads. This is the best place to people-watch and takes in the local flavor.

The bustling atmosphere is like a flea market, and bargaining is the name of the game. You should only pay about 50 percent of the price of an item, and often you can get souvenirs for much lower.

Besides these, there is much more to see in Manila!!!

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