Nicknamed ‘the pearl of the orient’, Manila offers a lively atmosphere, luxury hotels, amazing shopping and a fascinating history.

Once merely a gateway to the most picturesque islands, Manila is now forging its identity as a destination in its own right. Take a full day to enjoy a city tour (allowing time to navigate the city’s traffic), and soak up the bustle, culture and history that surrounds you. Surrounding the inner city itself, Metro Manila is made up of 16 cities and one municipality.

Intramuros is the perfect place to start your exploration of Filipino history; this walled city within the wider metropolis was a key seat of government during the Spanish empire’s rule in the Philippines. Here you’ll find the grand Manila Cathedral, the impressive Fort Santiago and San Agustin Church – the only building in the city to survive the war and the oldest church in the Philippines. We recommend heading to the Sky Deck at the Bayleaf Hotel for panoramic views over the city skyline.

Filipino culture is a blend of multiple international influences, so naturally, there’s plenty of diverse cuisines to be enjoyed here. As well as some of the largest shopping malls in Asia, there are 20 world-class golf courses in and around Metro Manila.

To get away from the bustle of the city, the island of Corregidor makes for a fascinating day trip; the island played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces. The bombed ruins on the island serve as a military memorial to the American, Japanese and Filipino soldiers that lost their lives.

Mari

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect Manila holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.
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  • Time zone: +8 GMT
  • Flight time: 16-18 hours
  • Recommended airlines: Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Emirates, Qatar
  • Currency: Philippine peso
  • Tipping guideline: 10% of total bill
  • Health considerations: There is a risk of altitude illness when travelling to destinations of 2,500m or higher. There is a risk of dengue. There is a risk of Zika virus. There is a low risk of malaria in rural areas of the Philippines below 600m and on the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, and Palawan. There is no risk of malaria in cities or on the islands of Boracay, Bohol, Catanduanes, Cebu and Leyte. There is no risk of polio in the Philippines, however, proof of polio vaccination may be necessary for some travellers. There is no risk of yellow fever in the Philippines, however, yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Capital: Manila
  • Population: 119,106,224
  • National languages: Filipino, English
  • Electricity and plugs: Type A, B, & C, 220 V
  • Mobile phone coverage: Good
  • UK passport visa requirements: You don't need a visa for Philippines if you have a British passport - for a maximum of 30 days

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