Are you planning your trip to Manila but need inspiration? Fret not, the list of fascinating landmarks worth visiting in the Philippines is lengthy and the Filipino capital is no exception. Read on to make sure you don’t miss any of the must-see attractions.
TIP: Don’t leave your country without remembering to check whether you need to apply for a Philippines visa. Not all travelers are required to do so, but those who do should apply in advance.
Read more if you need more information about the Philippines eVisa for Manila.
San Agustin Church
The construction of San Agustin Church began at the end of the 16th century. Today, the church is a UNESCO site and the oldest stone-built church in the Philippines. It features a Baroque style and a beautiful interior complete with intricate moldings. Get there early to avoid the crowds since the beauty of this tourist attraction is no longer a secret.
You might want to consider exploring Chinatown in Manila. Sounds odd? Chinese have been present in the region since the 800s. The quarter known as Bindondo was the area where Hokkien Chinese immigrants and their descendants made their home.
This bright museum has 4 floors of curated exhibits on Filipino art, history, heritage, and culture. One of the most interesting exhibitions consists of 60 dioramas that trace the country’s history and children also tend to enjoy. Another recommended stop is the indigenous textile collection on the 4th floor.
Manila American Cemetery
A peaceful location, the war cemetery has been beautifully designed. It covers 152 acres on a prominent plateau and serves as a resting place for 17,206 soldiers killed in battle during WWII. There are several open-air galleries with impressive murals and descriptive images of the war.
One of the top attractions in Manila is Fort Santiago, which is home to curated gardens, squares, and fountains that lead to a lily pond. You will also find the Rizal Shrine museum, where Dr. José Rizal, a Filipino hero, was incarcerated in 1896 as he waited for his execution. This Manila landmark is part of the structures of the walled city of Manila (also known as Intramuros) and within a short distance of the Manila Cathedral and the Palacio del Gobernador.
This historic park and plaza can be found in the southern limit of Intramuros. This is where patriot José Rizal was executed in 1896, bringing the Philippine Revolution to a head (Philippines independence was officially declared here in 1946). ‘Luneta’, the alias by which this iconic park is also known, holds Rizal’s remains and is guarded by soldiers from the Marine Corps.
This palace is the official residence of the President of the Philippines. It was built in 1750 by a Spanish nobleman and has been the residence for every Spanish and American governor, and then every Philippine president since 1935. Each room features beautiful wooden ceilings and expensive Eastern European chandeliers. If you are a fan of political history and colonial architecture, make sure to plan ahead and book a visit.
Get your luggage ready but don’t forget to check whether you need a visa to enter the Philippines and how to apply.