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Today's Featured Destination - Manila
  • Overview
  • Things to do
  • Where to Stay
  • Passport & Visa Info
  • When to Visit
  • Local Weather
  • Currency & Exchange

Manila is fashionably known as "Manila" and "Maynila" and is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the cities that make up the greater metropolitan area of central Manila. Manila is located on the west coast of the island of Luzon and is recognized as one of the most breathtaking cities in Asia. The country has a varied culture and comparatively makes Manila a vivacious metropolis.

Manila was founded in 1571. Manila is an exciting city that was colonized by Spain for almost three centuries and provided the city a great architectural heritage. There are an abundance cathedrals, monuments, forts and other colonial buildings. Manila is a leading entrance to the numerous islands and destinations north and south of the Philippines. The city has many attractions to appeal to every traveler.

The city was once a small settlement and has grown into the empire of political, economic, social, educational, cultural, and recreational leadership of this massive archipelago called the Philippines. Large malls, quaint boutiques, busy flea markets, and antique shops offer never ending amazements for shoppers and souvenir-hunters. Stylish restaurants and side walk eateries tempt culinary adventurers. All of this, combined with friendly people, colorful festivals and more, makes Manila a world class destination for everyone.

Museums

Manila houses numerous famed museums that promise to stimulate visitors with a variety of exhibits on display.

Bahay Tsinoy: The Bahay Tsinoy is situated in the Intramuros section of Manila. The attractions are divided into 14 main sections, such as the "Early Contacts" section, which displays the first Chinese traders had arrived long before Magellan, who is famous for discovering the Philippines and claimed it for Spain. The museum also exhibits life size replicas of Chinese houses from the 18th century, portraying how the Tsinoy’s lived.

Light and Sound Museum: This museum accounts the Filipino’s pursuit for freedom under the leadership of Dr. Jose Rizal and other revolutionary leaders such as, Lapu-Lapu, Rajah Soliman and Andres Bonifacio. The exhibits are paired with videos shown on the walls and various lighting techniques that match the mood of each scene.

National Museum of the Philippines: This museum is the facility and shielder of the Philippines' natural and cultural heritage. It is home to such national treasures as the Manunggul Jar, Juan Luna's Spoliarium and artifacts rescued from the sunken sailing ship, the San Diego. It also displays other valuable artworks and artifacts. The Museum's purpose is to impart cultural awareness, a sense of pride and loyalty among Filipino citizens through its exhibits and activities.

Prominent Attractions

Manila provides many famous landmarks, monuments, parks and attractions for visitors.

Rizal Park: The Park is a local favorite spot for families to picnic and is a leading tourist attraction. It has a small man-made lake with a reproduction of the Philippine archipelago in the center. The park hosts many recreational activities to participate in. Just a few examples are: bands, orchestras and other exciting entertainment are provided for free in the open-air auditorium, appropriately called "Concert at the Park". The Japanese and Chinese gardens are other primary attractions.

Malacanang Palace: Malacanang Palace is the official home the President of the Philippines. It is located on the edge of the Pasig River in the Manila suburb of San Miguel. The palace was built in the late 18th century by a Spanish nobleman. Malacanang is an adorned Spanish colonial palace brimming with arches, patios, balconies, grilles and sliding windows with panes made of capiz shells.

Tiendesitas: This is a major shopping complex located along the C-5 road in Manila. Tiendesitas contribution includes scrumptious food, trendy fashions and accessories, hand-crafted furniture, antiques, handicrafts, novelties, plants and other products crafted in the Philippines. The market has a party-like ambience, with its brilliant streamers.

Visitors will find inexpensive hotels, as well as 4-star hotels and quaint inns, all starting under $100.

The Tourist Belt: There are two districts known as Manila's tourist belt. They are Ermita and Malate. Both areas are filled with brand-new and renovated hotels, restaurants, cafés, antique shops, and souvenir stores. Ermita offers visitors all types of hotels within a budget. Rates run from high end to incredibly modest, but also houses world-famous hotel chains and boutique hotels with unique charm and Filipino history. These areas also provide low cost lodging with the most basic of services.

The Historic Center: Intramuros is the most historic and oldest district in Manila. It offers visitors with a breathtaking view of the River Pasig as well as being almost completely surrounded by massive stone walls that gave the district its name. This area houses landmarks like, Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral and Casa Manila Museum. On the outside of Intramuros' walls lies Rizal Park, where many crucial historical events have taken place. Being the major district in the city, the Historic Center boasts many fine hotels for relaxation and more.

US Citizens

- U.S. citizens can visit the Philippines without a visa for tourism purposes upon presentation of their U.S. passport,

- Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date of entry into the Philippines.

- It’s required to have a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country.

- Please check the Embassy of the Philippines website for visa requirements and regulations.

Canadian Citizens

- A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians who visit the Philippines.

- Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the country.

- Canadians must also be in possession of an onward or return ticket.

These requirements apply to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

It is highly recommended that you check the current travel alerts, you airline baggage policies, and international travel safety tips.

The perfect time to travel to Manila is between November and February when the tropical temperatures drop and the rain ceases.

Between June to October, Manila experiences typhoons and high temperatures. Travelers will find inexpensive hotels and airfares during this time of year.

High season: (November to February)

Low season: (June to October)

Manila has a tropical climate with both wet and dry periods that borders a tropical monsoon climate. Its vicinity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small.

- Typhoons and tropical storms are common during the rainy season, usually in the northern region of the Philippines. The storms can occur from late May until early November.

- The dry season begins in late November and lasts through April.

Currency

- The currency in the Philippines is the Philippines Peso or PhP.

- ATMs are available throughout Manila. Contact your bank before travelling to Manila and let them know your dates of travel. Make sure to find out what the fees are for cash withdraws during your trip.

Languages

- Filipino is the national language.

- English is another common language, particularly in high service areas like hotels and restaurants.