Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Manila
Manila truly is one of the busiest cities in the country. With this list of hotspots to visit, you will never have to ask why.
Divisoria is a bargain hunter’s haven. Filipinos visit Divisoria all year round to scour each nook for great bargain finds and to buy needed business supplies in bulk. The crowd gets heavier come Christmastime, especially when most of the streets in the place are converted into Night Market areas. For those who seek a cooler shopping place, malls such as 168 Mall, Meisic Mall, and Divisoria Mall are available.
Pinoy private drivers are often advised not to use Quiapo’s main thoroughfares on a Friday. Devotees of the Black Nazarene fill the area around Quiapo Church to hear mass and seek the services of fortune tellers and herbal medicine peddlers. Aside from this, the whole stretch of R. Hidalgo Street is packed with shoppers buying from its many street vendors and legitimate establishments.
Ongpin Street is where Pinoys and Tsinoys troop to find anything Chinese, as it is found in Chinatown itself. The ten-block-long street is rich in jewelry shops selling high-carat gold, as well as Chinese fast food joints, hardware shops, and Chinese herbal drugstores. Its close proximity to Divisoria and Quiapo makes it a favorite shopping destination come Christmas gift-buying season.
Intramuros, the Walled City, is the oldest district of Manila and is rich in culture and tradition. Spanish-era churches, convents, schools, and other old buildings speak of historical value. Presently, the district is maintained by the Intramuros Administration Office. The agency oversees the maintenance and operation of the place and its many museums.
Rizal Park, also called the Luneta, is located next to Intramuros. It was built as a tribute to the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who was shot in the same place in 1896. The park is divided into the Agrifina Circle along Taft Avenue, the 22-hectare park covering the block in between Taft Avenue and Roxas Boulevard, and the Quirino Grandstand fronting Manila Bay. On normal days, visitors crowd the place to relax or visit the smaller areas such as the Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion. During special events, Quirino Grandstand transforms into a theater with a sea of people facing it.
The Manila Baywalk is the long stretch of beautifully paved and lighted sidewalks covering the area between the US Embassy and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. In the morning, the area is often full of joggers, walkers, and bicycle riders going through their exercise routines. As the sun sets, people stop and sit by the benches or on the sea wall to appreciate the sight.
The seawall along the area of the Cultural Center of the Philippines is also a favorite spot for Filipinos who want to enjoy a cleaner sea air. Fitness enthusiasts do their early morning exercise rituals along the seawall. During the weekend, it is common to find crowds watching the Philippine Dragon Boat Team in training.
In the 1950s, Avenida Rizal was the place where the elite went since well-known shopping establishments and movie theaters were located there. The present-day Avenida may not have maintained its reputation as a shopping haven, but the place can still be crowded even on normal days. The shopping establishments and movie theaters are now replaced with smaller shops catering to the budget-conscious. Students also frequent the place in search of second-hand textbooks.
Malate is another spot in Manila that is rich in history. During the American Period, Malate was developed as a prime residential spot for American families, which accounts for the proliferation of buildings displaying American architecture. Present-day Malate is known for its colorful nightlife. Night clubs and bars are situated along M. H. del Pilar, Mabini, M. Adriatico, and Remedios to cater to those in search of a fun night out.
On 25 July 1959, the Manila Zoo was opened to the public to serve as a venue for educational trips geared towards discovering the Philippines’ various flora and fauna. The zoo covers 5.5 hectares of land and has a population of over 500 animals. Aside from viewing the animals in the zoo, visitors also get to enjoy the place’s souvenir shop and playground, and may rent a boatin order to go on the lagoon.
- “Travel Guide: top 10 things to do in Manila.” Essortment. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Ongpin Street cramped, noisy but an experience.” Philippines Travel Guide. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Manila Baywalk, sunsets, restaurants what more do you want!” Philippines Travel Guide. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Divisoria Mall.” Shop Crazy. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Divisoria – Pre-Christmas Lunacy.” Market Manila. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Manila: Quiapo, heart of Manila.” Ivan About Town. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- Intramuros Administration. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Rizal Park.” Manila.ph. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Ideal Messabout Venue: Harbor Square in CCP.” Pinoyboats.org Forum. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Avenida Rizal.” Wish You Were Here. (Accessed 16 December 2009).
- “Manila Zoo.” My Zoo Volunteer Group. (Accessed 16 December 2009).