Things to do in Manila

Manila is full of exciting historic and modern tourist attractions. It has everything you are looking for – from Spanish colonial architecture and horse-drawn carriages to modern architectural marvels and an exciting nightlife. Due to its location in the south pacific it is one of the busiest and most diverse places in the world.

Below are just a few things that should be on your must see list when visiting Manila.


The old walled city of Intramuros was the centrepiece of Spanish Manila and is one of the best preserved historic cites in the city, as it stands much as it did 400 years ago. Intramuros is on top of the many must see in Manila lists and it’s easy to see why; it has wide streets, leafy plazas and beautiful colonial houses.

Find out more about its historic background and things to see by visiting the Intramuros website.

Quiapo Church

One of Manila’s best known landmarks, the Quiapo Church was rebuilt in 1933 after fire destroyed the original structure. The Church is home to the Black Nazarene, a dark figure of Christ carved by a Mexican artist from black wood that is believed to be miraculous. The life size statue was brought to Quiapo in 1767 and twice a year it is carried on the shoulders of thousands of devotees during the Black Nazarene Procession, one of Manila’s biggest festivals.

Find out more about Quiapo Church and the Black Nazarene Procession.

Rizal Park

One of the major tourist attractions of Manila, Rizal Park spans over 60 hectares making it one of the biggest urban parks in Asia. The best time to visit the park is in the late afternoon, early evening or on the weekends.

The Concert at the Park is an open air auditorium that entertains the locals and tourists every Sunday from 5.30pm. Best of all, it’s a free weekly event.

If you are after something for the body and mind, the park is your go to place at dawn. You’ll find groups practising t’ai chi, local martial art of armies, or arnis de Mano, a pre-Hispanic style of stick fighting.

At the western end of the park is the Quirino Grandstand, where Philippine presidents take their oath and address the nation for the first time.

Find out more about Rizal Park and its activities.

Manila Ocean Park

The Manila Ocean Park was opened in 2008 and currently houses 14,000 creatures belonging to 277 species, all indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The park is made up of seven sections including- Flow (freshwater fish), The Reef (corals), Fishing Ground (big fish and Eagle-spotted rays), Living Ocean, The Deep (marine animals from the deepest parts of Philippine waters), Stingray and Shark.

The aquarium is sprawled over 8,000 square metres and features an amazing 25 metre underwater acrylic tunnel where you can feel like you are underwater.

To find out more or to purchase tickets visit the Manila Ocean Park website.

For an extended list and to read reviews of tourist attractions in Manila, visit Virtual Tourist.