8 Things To Do in Manila

The Philippines holds a very special place in our hearts as one of our favourite countries in the entire world. Their deserted beaches straight out of paradise are only out-shined by their warm-hearted, lovely people. Anyone whose visited heavenly places like El Nido, Siargao or Boracay will confirm what I'm saying - heaven on earth.

But Manila doesn't have that same reputation, at best it's seen as a convenient layover between island hops, at worst it's seen as a dangerous and scary. We spent two weeks in Manila and whilst it's of course not a beach paradise, there's still lots to see and do, we had a good time there and think it has loads of potential - don't dismiss it until you've checked out these 8 things:

1. Go Clubbing

Manila might soon surpass Bangkok as the place in South East Asia to go clubbing - the drinks are cheaper, the music is better and whilst the Thais and Filipinos are both very friendly - most Westerners give Filipinos bonus points, simply because their English is so much better (in general).

2. Eat All the Food!

Filipino cuisine isn't exactly world-wide famous like it's neighbours of Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, which is a shame because there are some great things to be said about Filipino food. Especially when it comes to Manila - you will find many first class restaurants here and it's one of the only vegan friendly places in the Philippines!

3. Check Out the Sunsets

You don't have to venture far outside of Manila to see those jaw-dropping sunsets - in fact you don't even have to step outside of Manila! Beautiful sunsets can be found all over the city, our top tip? Get up as high as possible - think rooftop bars, rooftop restaurants.. or just good old rooftops.

4. Take a Dip in the Swimming Pools

What Manila lacks in gorgeous beaches and crystal clear seas, it makes up for with fantastic swimming pools - fancy hotels in Manila, nice apartments they'll all come with at least one outdoor swimming pool to die for.

5. Marvel at the Street Art

One of our favourite things about Manila was the street art - some of it was absolutely stunning, in fact it was some of the best we've seen anywhere in the world!

6. Go Shopping

If there's one thing Manila doesn't want for, it's malls - Filipinos seem to love malls and with cool shops and pleasant temperatures (as opposed to the heat and humidity outside) we can hardly blame them. In fact, if you're ever in need of a respite in Manila from the weather - head into a mall.

7. Museums

The best way to learn more about a new culture is with a trip to the museums - Manila is no exception and they have an abundance of museums there, from the National Museum of the Filipino People, to the Money Museum, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and not to forget the Ayala - where you can learn about the history of the Philippines and even the whole Southeast Asian region.

8. Day Trips

We've already established that Manila is a great layover spot for flights to Palawan/Boracay/Siargao etc, but Manila is also a great spot for much closer adventures. In fact you can use Manila for a number of awesome day trips. This includes to Mount Pinatubo - just a few hours in the car from Manila is an active stratovolcanic caldera that looks like it's straight out of Canada - has to be seen to be believed!

Wrap Up: 8 Things To Do in Manila

So there you have it, 8 things you have to try out in Manila. From culture, to cuisine to shopping and more - we hope we've covered something for anyone and everyone's tastes! We love the Philippines and can't wait to return there soon - if you have any questions about it, don't hesitate to drop a comment below! Also, here is a vlog we made about the Philippines, enjoy :)

P.S.: If you're interested in a way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply, you might wanna check out house sitting. Trustedhousesitters.com was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, feel free to click on the link to use it :)

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Travelling through the kyriarchy and weaselling our way out of the rat race - a female travel blogger writing about socially and politically conscious travelling.


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