Must-see attractions in Manila

  • Main gate of Fort Santiago in Manila, Philippines.

    Fort Santiago


    Guarding the entrance to the Pasig River is Intramuros' premier tourist attraction: Fort Santiago. Within the fort grounds is an oasis of lovely manicured…

  • San Agustin Church at Intramuros, Manila, Philippines.

    San Agustin Church


    The San Agustin Church was the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros in WWII. Built between 1587 and 1606, it is the oldest church…

  • Artwork on display inside the Pinto Art Museum.

    Pinto Art Museum


    This fantastic museum in Antipolo, in the hills just east of Metro Manila, showcases some of the Philippines' best contemporary artists. There are six…

  • Chinese Cemetery in Manila, Philippines.

    Chinese Cemetery


    As in life, so it is in death for Manila’s wealthy Chinese citizens, who are buried with every modern convenience in the huge Chinese Cemetery. It's far…

  • The Ayala museum at Makati city, Metro Manila, Philippines.

    Ayala Museum


    This gleaming museum features four floors of superbly curated exhibits on Filipino culture, art and history. At the heart of the collection is a brilliant…

  • The National museum of Anthropology, Manila, Philippines.

    National Museum of Anthropology


    Within a resplendent neoclassical building, this superb museum houses a vast and varied collection, including the skullcap of the Philippines’ earliest…

  • Graves at Manila American Cemetery.

    Manila American Cemetery


    A poignant and peaceful spot, this sprawling war cemetery on a grassy, beautifully manicured plot is the resting place of 17,206 soldiers killed in battle…

  • 500px Photo ID: 133312595 - Established in 1976, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is the first Philippine art institution to offer a bilingual and pedagogical program. It is partially subsidized by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP or the Central Bank of the Philippines). In 1979 the 'Met' was incorporated into a foundation known as the Metropolitan Museum of Manila Foundation, Inc. officially changing the status of the Museum to an independent, private, nonsectarian, non-political and non-profit cultural foundation...The Museum is responsible for the conservation of some of the country's national treasures. The basement gallery showcases pre-Hispanic gold and pottery artifacts--proof of a flourishing pre-colonial Filipino society actively engaged in international trade and showcasing hallmarks of Filipino art and culture from the 8th to 13th centuries.

    Metropolitan Museum of Manila


    The 'Met' is a world-class gallery tracing the evolution of Filipino art from the early 20th century to the present. Virtually all great Filipino painters…

  • 500px Photo ID: 136281609 - The main industry that Marikina is famous for – shoemaking – began in 1887 through the pioneering efforts of Don Laureano “Kapitan Moy” Guevarra. Kapitan Moy started experimenting with shoemaking when the soles of his own imported shoes broke. For want of a shoe repair shop nearby he tried to fix his shoes. At that time only the Chinese located in Manila were engaged in shoe repair and manufacture. Marikenos were already engaged in the limited production of slippers and clogs, or bakya, even before the coming of the Spaniards...Kapitan Moy separated the different parts of his shoes, studying closely the intricacies of how the shoe was put together. Tiburcio “Busyong” Eustaquio, a wooden clog maker, made a pair of shoe lasts for Kapitan Moy to help him in his experiments. The tools used in making the first Marikina shoes were borrowed from blacksmiths in Marikina and Pasig. Kapitan Moy, after several unsuccessful attempts, succeeded in making the first pair of Marikina shoes.

    Marikina Shoe Museum


    A must for Imelda Marcos junkies is the Marikina Shoe Museum. There's the footwear of various Filipino luminaries on display here, but it's Imelda’s shoes…

  • MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2014/03/11: Casa Manila Courtyard and Fountain - Casa Manila is housed in a Spanish era building that shows the colonial lifestyle during the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. Casa Manila is an imposing stone structure circa 1850, one of the grand houses in Barrio San Luis of Intramuros and across the street from San Agustin church. (Photo by John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    Casa Manila


    This beautiful reproduction of a Spanish colonial house offers a window into the opulent lifestyle of the gentry in the 19th century. Imelda Marcos had it…

  • MANILA - FEB 14: Jose Rizal Monument on 14 Feb, 14 in Manila. The monument dedicated for Jose Rezal, he is widely considered the greatest national hero of the Philippines.; Shutterstock ID 181608902; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; GL account no.: 56530; Netsuite department name: Online Design; Full Product or Project name including edition: Digital Content/Sights

    Rizal Monument


    Fronted by a 46m flagpole and guarded by sentries in full regalia, the Rizal Monument contains national hero José Rizal’s mortal remains and stands as a…

  • Bamboo Organ of Las Piñas


    This famous organ, designated a national culture treasure, was built between 1816 and 1824 in the St Joseph Parish Church of Las Piñas on the southern…

  • Rizal Shrine


    The building where José Rizal was incarcerated has been turned into a shrine-museum dedicated to his life. There's a re-creation of his cell block, the…

  • Rizal Monument in Rizal Park.

    Rizal Park


    Still widely known as 'Luneta' (its name until the 1950s), Manila’s iconic central park is spread out over some 60 hectares of open lawns, ornamental…

  • 500px Photo ID: 130869553 - The National Theater at the CCP complex

    Cultural Center of the Philippines


    The centrepiece of the CCP Complex is this bombastic building designed by noted Filipino architect Leandro Locsin. Inside attractions include the country…

  • Quiapo Church, Manila, Philippines

    Quiapo Church


    Quiapo Church is a 1933 replacement of an older structure destroyed by fire. One of Manila’s best-known landmarks, Quiapo is the home of the Black…

  • Malacañang Palace


    Perched overlooking the Pasig River, this sprawling palace complex dates to the mid-18th century, when it was built as the residence of a Spanish…

  • North Cemetery


    If you thought Manila's Chinese Cemetery was different, you clearly haven't made it to its abutting North Cemetery. While significant for being the burial…

  • Ayuntamiento


    Once the grandest building in all of Intramuros, the Ayuntamiento was destroyed in WWII and spent years as a parking lot before a faithful recreation of…

  • Metropolitan Theater


    This stunning piece of art deco opened as the city’s premier opera theatre under the Americans in 1931. Today it’s in a state of utter disrepair, but…

  • Quezon Memorial Circle


    The heart and soul of Quezon City is this vast park at the centre of a roundabout where several major avenues merge. There's all sorts of local flavour…

  • National Museum of Natural History


    As well as being an excellent, comprehensive look at the Philippines' flora, fauna, geography and geology, Manila's latest and greatest museum is an…

  • Manila Cathedral


    First built in 1581 (and rebuilt seven times since, most recently in 1951 following its destruction in WWII), Manila Cathedral's present edifice looks…

  • Karrivin Plaza


    Busy Don Chino Roces Ave (Pasong Tamo) has evolved into an art district of sorts, and this hip collection of galleries, furniture shops and design labs is…

  • First United Building


    Not only is this one of Manila's finest pieces of surviving pre-WWII art deco, but it's also the centrepiece of the Escolta St revival. Inside are…

  • Bahay Nakpil-Bautista


    Built in 1914, this beautiful ancestral home is the former residence of Perona Nakpil, the widow of Andrés Bonifacio ( father of the Philippine Revolution…

  • University of the Philippines Diliman


    If you have a spare half-day, make the trip out to the lovely, leafy University of the Philippines Diliman campus. It has a genuine American university…

  • Art In Island


    This is an art museum where you become the subject. It contains scores of three-dimensional murals and paintings designed to play tricks on your camera…

  • Site of Rizal’s Execution


    At the entrance to the site of Rizal’s execution is a black granite wall inscribed with Rizal’s ‘Mi Ultimo Adios’ (My Last Farewell). Eight tableaux of…

  • Yuchengco Museum


    A mismatch among Makati's corporate high-rises, this fantastic art and design gallery was established by prominent businessman and former UN diplomat,…

  • 1335Mabini


    This gallery in the colonial Casa Tesoro mansion features regular changing shows of experimental art and installations in its 2nd-floor gallery…

  • Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center


    This park and wildlife rescue centre (open 9am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday) runs a mini-zoo where confiscated animals and injured wildlife are nursed back to…

  • San Agustin Museum


    This museum provides access to the attached 16th-century San Agustin Church, a Unesco Heritage site. The museum itself is no slouch, offering tantalising…

  • Calvo Museum


    In the historic, beaux-arts Calvo Building (1938), this little museum houses a treasure trove of pre-WWII photographs and memorabilia. Of particular…

  • National Museum of Fine Arts


    This proud museum contains many of the Philippines’ signature works of art, including Juan Luna’s seminal Spoliarium, a colossal painting that provides…

  • Mind Museum


    This excellent science museum succeeds in balancing education with fun, with plenty of cool interactive exhibits, including a planetarium, a printing…

  • Vargas Museum


    This art museum on the leafy University of Philippines Diliman campus has a mix of changing modern and experimental art shows, and a permanent collection…

  • Baywalk


    Splendid sunset views of Manila Bay can be had from the pedestrian Baywalk that runs along Roxas Blvd. There's plenty of local colour here as well,…

  • Museo ng Sining


    A classy CCP gallery housing an extensive collection of contemporary and classic Filipino art.

  • Coconut Palace


    The Coconut Palace was one of Imelda Marcos' great white elephant projects in the 1970s. It was so named because of the extensive use of coconut building…