Visit Intramuros, the Birthplace of Manila
Once upon a time, "Manila" referred only to the parts of the city within Intramuros' walls. Inside Intramuros, the Spanish colonial presence in Manila ruled the rest of the Philippines from a self-contained world that included seven churches (among them the San Agustin Church, still standing today), the Governor-General's Palace, and the fearsome Fort Santiago.
Today, the Walled City of Intramuros is now open for tourists; visitors can explore relics of Spanish rule in the Philippines, including museums like the Bahay Tsinoy, which is dedicated to telling the story of the Filipino-Chinese community.
See the San Agustin Church and Quiapo Church
Located in the walled city of Intramuros, San Agustin Church is the oldest church in the Philippines and the first church built in Luzon. Originally made of wood and palm, it was later replaced by stones. In 1993, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is among the very few Baroque churches across the Philippines.
On the other hand, Quiapo Church has been known as the home of the Black Nazarene, which is claimed to be miraculous. The church is the site of one of the country’s biggest cultural events each year – the Feast of the Black Nazarene. During this annual event, millions of devotees and parishioners head over to join the procession and aim to kiss or touch the statue as they believe doing so would lead to their intentions being granted.
Visit Southeast Asia's Oldest Chinatown, Binondo
The district of Binondo was founded as a home for Spanish-era Manila’s Christianized Chinese population. Today, its hodge-podge of skyscrapers and ancient shophouses nonetheless remains the cultural center of Manila's "Chinoys".
Binondo Church represents the paradox of Chinese culture in the Philippines — a Catholic Church with distinct Chinese influences, the Binondo Church caters to the spiritual needs of Filipino-Chinese Catholics.
Walk deeper into Binondo's narrow streets to experience awesome food and culture, where you can experience the unique noodle stylings of Masuki, feng shui tips at Sunrise, and the Chinese-inspired sweets and pastries of Eng Bee Tin, among others.
Watch Manila Bay Sunset
Don't leave Manila without witnessing one of its spectacular sunsets over Manila Bay. You can see it fine from the Baywalk on Roxas Boulevard overlooking the sea, or you can see it right on Manila Bay itself, on a Manila Bay dinner cruise.
From the sheltered open-air upper deck of the ferry, guests can watch the sunset happen, and see the twinkling lights of the Manila skyline as the night settles in. Onboard dinner and entertainment complete the Manila Bay cruise experience.
Have fun in one of Manila’s amusement parks
As one of the heavily-visited cities around the country, there are a number of amusement parks perfect for families such as the Manila Ocean Park, DreamWorks DreamPlay, Star City, and SM Mall of Asia’s (one of the country’s best malls for shopping) By the Bay Amusement Park. You can get a 360-degree view of the mall establishment and the nearby areas of Pasay when riding on SM MOA’s 55-metre-tall ferris wheel called the MOA Eye.