With over 8 million tourists in 2019, Manila has become an international destination for tourists. Besides hosting some of the Philippine’s most incredible beaches, islands, and unique natural wonders, Manila is a beautiful city you are bound to fall in love with.
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Top 5 tourist spots to visit in Manila
If it’s your first time visiting Manila, it may be overwhelming to decide what places to visit. In this article, I’ll highlight the top 5 must-visit destinations you must add to your travel itinerary.
- Rizal Park
Also known as Luneta Park, Rizal Park is an iconic historical park that spreads over 58 hectares of land. With over 3,500 trees and 112 tree species, Rizal Park is considered as one of Asia’s largest urban parks. The RizalPark was dedicated to a Filipino nationalist and freedom fighter Jose Rizal.
It features square and gardens, monuments, observatories, open-air concert halls, sound & light theaters, food kiosks, large stadiums, playgrounds, fountains, and much more. The central Rizal Monument is a home to the mortal remains of Jose Rizal.
Also known as the Walled City, the Intramuros is a 64 hectares stone citadel that dates back to 1571, during the Spanish era. For historical enthusiasts, Intramuros is a must-visit destination in the Philippines. The iconic Manila is packed with fascinating architectural remnants and fun activities, including;
- Visit the Fort Santiago – it’s among the oldest Hispanic fortresses in the country. It houses a museum shop, chapel, Rizal Shrine, a visitor’s centers, Royal story houses, and other picnic parks and areas.
- Visit The Baroque San Agustin Church- it’s one of the main 4 churches in the Philippines.
- Take a tour to the ancient walled city
- Ride a Kalesi as you visit the site– it’s a traditional horse-drawn carriage.
- Dine and watch the best cultural shows at the Barbara’s Restaurants
- Quiapo Church
Also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, the Quiapo church is a significant historical and religious monument in Manila. The church is located near Rizal Park and houses the Black Nazarene and an image of Jesus Christ that is believed to be miraculous, among other historical models.
Thousands of people gather in the church to pray each day, Fridays being the busiest. Outside the church is a stroll of market strands where you can buy fresh fruits and necklaces from local vendors.
- National Museum of the Philippines
The national museum is the archive of Filipino history and culture. The museum is run by the government, and it serves as a scientific, educational, and cultural institution. The museum holds a variety of documents in different categories, including ethnographic, archaeological, anthropological, visual arts, and national history.
Furthermore, the museum is free of charge to enter, making it convenient for visitors on a budget. The complex includes the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Art Gallery, the National Planetarium, the National Museum of Anthology, and much more.
Established in 1595, Binondo is considered the world’s oldest Chinatown. Initially, it was built for settlement off Chinese colonists who converted to Christianity. It was sponsored by the Philippine martyr, San Lorenzo Ruiz. The town is packed with churches, traditional bakeries, pocket-friendly streetside shops, and restaurants. Here, you will enjoy the best authentic Chinese foods, including century eggs and Peking ducks.
Thanks to its countless tourist spots, Manila is, by all means, an ideal place to go for a vacation. If you have more time, you can explore other historical, modern, and amusement tourist attractions such as the Manila Ocean Park, the Manila Zoo, the Malacanang Palace, the San Agustin Church, Bonifacio Global City, and much more.
While you may hear a few complaints about traffic, it shouldn’t prevent you from witnessing the best of the Filipino history and culture. Once you have made up your mind to visit Manila, Just call Cathay Pacific, and they will get you there in no time.