Best Things to See in Manila

Manila is one of the greatest cities in Asia and is the cultural, economic and transport hub of the Philippines.  There are a huge number of different things for tourists to do in and around the city.  Here are some of the must-see, top highlights for any traveller to experience during a stay in Manila.


Intramuros is an ancient walled city located in the heart of modern Manila. The walled city contains many interesting sites including Manila Cathedral, Baluarte de San Diego, Plaza San Luis Complex, Palacio del Gobernador, Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church. The district is surrounded by a three-mile-long circuit of massive stone walls and fortifications.

Rizal Park

Outside the walled city is Rizal Park, also known as the Luneta. The park is a venue for the national museum, some restaurants on the side of the bay, an open-air theatre that hosts music concerts and acclaimed international films, a planetarium and an open-air gym. It’s also a popular place for morning joggers. There are Japanese, Chinese and Filipino gardens, an orchidarium and an aquarium.

National Museum of Natural History

This museum provides a great overview of the incredibly diverse fauna, flora and ecology of the Philippine Archipelago. This is a great destination for adults and children alike. The Museum is located in a beautiful old building that was recently converted and renovated, it was opened in 2018.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia / RoyKabanlit

National Museum of the Philippines

Opened in 1901, the museum showcases large collections of art, archaeology, cultural artefacts, and more. Many of the country’s most important treasures are on show here and a visit here is highly recommended. The museum is in the vicinity of Rizal Park and entrance is free.

Chinese Cemetery

The Chinese cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Metro Manila. This is a fascinating place to visit that tells the story of the Chinese immigrants who have inhabited the city over time and there is some amazing architecture to see here. Tour guides are available.

Image courtesy of WikiMedia / Daugilas

Manila Ocean Park

The main attraction of Manila Ocean Park is the Oceanarium which houses 14,000 sea creatures from around 277 species. A walk through the curved walkway tunnel of the oceanarium is an amazing experience. Other highlights include a penguin park, shark and stingray area, a Jellyfish Exhibit, as well as non-aquatic animals including birds of prey and creepy crawlies.

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