Manila is the capital of the Philippines and offers rich history with many ancient buildings unique to the architectural design of the 16th century as well as great restaurants, nightlife and activities. Often overlooked as a travel destination, this city has much to offer, from the Manila marketplace, magnificent sunsets on the Manila Bay, ancient China Town and a bustling and culturally interesting city.
Manila is just a jump away from major cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo, you can book flights to Manila here.
Check out this great list of the top 5 spots you just can’t miss:
San Sebastian Catholic Church
Famous for its all-steel architecture, the San Sebastian Church was built in 1891.
With two imposing spires jutting high into the sky, the church is of Gothic architectural design. Its beautiful stain glass was brought to Manila from Germany, its statues were sculpted by Eusebio Garcia.
This all steel church is the only one in Asia and is a national historic landmark.
Another unique old building, the San Augustin Catholic Church, is the oldest stone church in the country, built in 1589.
Used as a concentration camp during World War II, it is now known as the wedding capital of the world.
Crowded, hot and humid, Divisoria marketplace is an experience you’ll not want to miss.
The key to an enjoyable time is to go early before the crowds arrive.
Both indoor and outdoor eateries and shops line the street and the wares are most affordable.
Another marketplace you may want to visit is Quiapo, known not only for its shops, but for its church and ebony statue depicting Christ, the Black Nazarene Statue.
During holy week and in early January you can experience their festival in the streets celebrating Jesus crucifixion and resurrection.
China Town in Binondo
Many tourists visit Binondo for its large variety of excellent Chinese restaurants.
China Town in Manila is the oldest Chinese neighborhood worldwide, established in the late 1500’s.
The history of China Town is available if you hire a tour guide while visiting the area, so take a “Binondo Food Trip” while visiting Manila.
National hero, Jose Rizal, was imprisoned here before his death by execution in the 1500’s.
You can tour Fort Santiago, Rizal Park and Paco Park by carriage or take a walking tour if you would like. Rizal wrote some of his famous anecdotes, novels and poems while living in Fort Santiago.
His memory lives on in the hearts of the people who live here.
For a look at the loveliest sunsets in the world, take a dinner cruise on Manila Bay.
The best place to visit is Harbourview with restaurants and shops along the walk way.
Although many do not appreciate its beauty because of pollution, Manila Bay is a busy trade and historical center and one of the top tourist attractions in Manila.