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Manila

Trip Planner Asia  /  Philippines  /  Luzon  /  Metro Manila  /  Manila
(3/5 based on 12,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, nature, sightseeing

Pearl of the Orient

The capital of the Philippines and the "Pearl of the Orient," Manila truly resembles a gem: rough on the outside, but glittering within. The massive, vibrant, cosmopolitan city teems with traffic, people, and buildings piling on top of each other. In one trip to Manila, you'll see fantastic, gleaming skyscrapers just blocks away from shantytowns, scores of Catholic churches, neoclassical buildings, and other remnants of 300 years of Spanish colonial rule and subsequent American colonialism. But the Manila of today is just as much about its up-and-coming music and contemporary art gallery scene. The city serves as a jumping-off point to explore the various islands of the Philippines, but don't miss the best attractions in Manila itself, including lush public parks, national museums, and an aggregation of the best Filipino food from every part of the country. Make Manila central to your Philippines travel plans using our Philippines vacation generator.
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Where to stay

Manila has the full spectrum of hospitality options, from highly affordable hostels you can book on the spot to luxury four- and five-star resorts. Opt to stay in mid-range and upscale hotels clustered around the central business district, or score sea views at the resorts facing Manila Bay. If you choose to go for the budget-friendlier hostel, note that many have large dorm rooms with many bunk beds, catering primarily to job-seekers, while others are designed for young backpackers looking to make new friends.
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