If you are planning a trip to the Philippines, you might be wondering what the most beautiful city is in this lovely Southeast Asian country. Well, it’s debatable as many of the cities in the Philippines are quite stunning.
We have to vote for Manila because the capital city has so many gorgeous sights, both natural and man-made, and there seems to be a photogenic spot at every turn. So let’s take a tour of Manila and give you a sneak peek into the glorious sights you will see when you visit the Philippines.
One of the most charming parts of Manila is Intramuros, once a walled city during the colonial era. Much of the city is well-preserved and you can see the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church and Fort Santiago, a large citadel and former military jail.
In Intramuros, don’t miss Manila Cathedral, which is an architectural beauty and an important holy place for Filipinos. It is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. Built in 1571, the cathedral has seen many wars and natural disasters and been reconstructed and restored many times. The cathedral has been the place of many joyous occasions, such as a papal visit from Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis. You can see gorgeous stained glass windows, a large organ with 4500 pipes which were built in the Netherlands, and statues made of Roman travertine stones as you roam around the ancient site.
Fort Santiago was a fortress built in the late 1500s by the Spanish government during the colonization of the country. It was used as storage for ammunition and as a prison for activists and the political resistance. The fort, which includes a dungeon, has been a national shrine and monument since 1951 and a national cultural treasure since 2014. It is open until 10 pm and visiting at night is quite a thrilling experience.
Nearby Intramuros step into Binondo or Chinatown, which has been bursting with activity since the 1500s. As you arrive, you will walk through the world’s largest Chinatown arch to enter the maze of streets with vibrant shops and restaurants.
It is also a great place to pick up bargains, souvenirs and sample an array of authentic local dishes. Stop off at Binondo Church, also known as the Our Lady Of The Most Holy Rosary Parish. It is one of the oldest churches in the country. As well as more shopping imaginable, there is also a museum, temple, shrine and more churches in Chinatown.
There are many tours you can take in Manila. One of our most recommended ones is a horse-drawn carriage tour through Intramuros.There are many tours you can take in Manila. One of our most recommended ones is a horse-drawn carriage tour through Intramuros.
What could be more charming (and perhaps romantic) than a leisurely ride around the quaint streets the way they did it in the old days? Food tours, walking tours and city tours are also great ways to get to know the most beautiful city in the Philippines. What could be more charming (and perhaps romantic) than a leisurely ride around the quaint streets the way they did it in the old days? Food tours, walking tours and city tours are also great ways to get to know the most beautiful city in the Philippines.
Casa Manila is a museum showcasing how Filipinos lived during the colonial era. The former home is lovely, but you will have to rely on your memories as photography isn’t permitted. Therefore you won’t find any images online or much info, but it’s worth visiting for sure.
Rizal Park is one of the largest urban parks in all of Asia, with 58 hectares including walkways, fountains, gardens, and monuments remembering national heroes. Rizal Park was formerly called Luneta Park and the National Planetarium and National Museum are both on the vast grounds. There are many birds in the park and it is a lovely sanctuary in the city to get some exercise or maybe have a picnic.
Baluarte de San Diego was a drowning chamber with a dark past during the Spanish era with a round dungeon called Fort Nuestra Señora de Guia. These days it is a gorgeous sight with beautiful gardens, walkways, fountains, and a pergola where many people stop by for photos. You might even see a wedding happening there.
The Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium near Rizal Park. You can see all kinds of sea life, including fish, seals, penguins, and sharks from around Southeast Asia and the Philippines. With a focus on education, there are many interactive displays and events, especially during school holidays. There is even an ocean-inspired hotel attached to the park so you can stay as long as you wish.
There are many nice spas in the city with signature treatments and excellent massage services. Try the Royal Hammam Treatment at the CHI the Spa at EDSA Shangri-La. The Turkish bath experience is just what you need after a long day of sightseeing. Another highly recommend spa and wellness center in Manila is The Peninsula Spa at Peninsula Manila.
Finally, Le Spa at Sofitel Philippine Plaza has the most beautiful interiors and excellent spa therapists. Indulging in the spa should be a part of everyone’s vacation because it is pleasurable and great for your health and wellness.
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