Flights to Manila (MNL)

Flights to Manila unlock the overwhelming beauty of the Philippines. This capital city contends with the rest in every way.

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Flights to Manila

The best way to tackle the Philippines’ capital is to immerse yourself in it. Malay, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, American – all these influences and more are found in everything from Manila's food scene to its architecture.

As well as having some of the best restaurants and street food in Asia – beef ramen is almost an obsession – the city offers some great sightseeing opportunities. Combine these with visiting the world's oldest Chinatown, in the Binondo district – the food, specifically the Hong Kong fare sold by the hawkers, is unbelievable.

There are 16 districts in what's called Metro Manila. The City of Manila – the western part of Metro Manila – is in turn made up of eight districts. To see the best sights, spend most of your time in Intramuros. The name – intra and muros – means ‘within the walls’ in Spanish. The Spaniards left in Intramuros some beautiful colonial houses and Fort Santiago, now a museum.

Also worth a visit in this district are Manila Cathedral, Metropolitan Theatre and National Art Gallery. South of Intramuros is Ermita, which also has must-see sights – Rizal Park, the Manila Ocean Park, and Museum of the Filipino People – and is a good place for bistros, restaurants and nightlife venues.

Manila is built around its energetic nightlife, creative community, and one of Asia’s coolest indie music scenes. They all come together in the city's modern galleries and live music venues. But before you hit the town, take a jeepney – old US military jeeps used as public transport – to the Port Area to see the sunset at Manila Bay.

Shop at Salcedo Market

Manila has some of the most exciting markets in Asia. Salcedo Market runs every Saturday; its fresh produce is unbeatable, and it also attracts the city's trendsetters. Go there on an empty stomach – from local fare to crepes and baklava, there's delicious food on every stand.

L P Leviste Street
Jaime Velasquez Park
Salcedo Village

Take a jeepney tour

A jeepney is what public transport looks like in Manila – old US military jeeps painted all the colours of the rainbow. They each have their own names – Delilah, Rosa – and they're basically the boss on Manila's busy roads. Jeepney Tours' shopping and spa tour ticks many a box.

2414 Medical Plaza
San Miguel Avenue
Ortigas Center
+63 2994 6636

Tour Intramuros

A tour of Intramuros – the ‘walled city’ – is a must for anyone visiting Manila. For the best alternative guide, take a tour with the very knowledgeable, very funny, very theatrical Carlos Celdran. If he can't get you excited about the city's history, no one can.

Santa Clara Street
Fort Santiago
+63 2 484 4945

Watch sunset at Vieux Chalet

Manila is famous for having one of the best sunsets in the world, and there's no better place to see it than at Vieux Chalet. It’s a family-run, homely restaurant that serves European cuisine, the highlight of which is the cheese fondue .

Taktak Road
+63 2 697 0396

Visit the National Museum of the Philippines

It's all too easy to come away from a place without learning too much about its history and culture. The Museum of the Filipino People – part of the larger National Museum of the Philippines – offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the locals through the ages. It’s worth the trip for the incredible architecture alone.

Padre Burgos Drive
At Taft Avenue
Rizal Park
+63 2 527 1215

Hike Taal Volcano

Taal is an active volcano – the world's smallest. It is an hour or so out of Manila (depending on traffic), near Tagaytay. Once you’re there it's a brisk 30-minute hike to the top, taking in the fresh air and stunning scenery. Go with the Filipino Travel Center for an unforgettable day trip.

Filipino Travel Center
+63 2 528 4507

Peking Garden (Chinese)

Very popular with Manila's foodies in the know, Peking Garden is a fine-dining Chinese restaurant that serves the best Peking duck in town. The lunch menu is also good value, but if you're feeling flash you can reserve your own VIP room.

4/L Greenbelt
5 Phase 2,
Ayala Center,
Makati City
+63 02 729 0567

Vask Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine (Spanish/Asian fusion)

Prior to the launch of Vask, Chef J Luis Gonzales earned his stripes in the kitchens of three of the 10 best restaurants in the world. He brings all that experience to the table, mixing Spanish cooking with Asian ingredients. The highlight is a 14-course taster menu.

5th Floor
Clipp Center
11th Avenue Corner
39th Street
Bonifacio Global City
+632 217 6563

Green Pastures (International)

Combining two of Manila's favourite pastimes – shopping and eating – Chef Robby Goco proves it is possible to find great food in shopping malls. Green Pastures serves organic, farm-to-table food, from exotic pasta dishes to amazing tuna burgers. The homemade cheeses are not to be missed.

4/F East Wing
Shangri-La Plaza
Shaw Boulevard
Mandaluyong City
+632 654 3219

El Chupacabra (Mexican)

If you're looking for a relaxed place to grab a bite head to El Chupacabra, a dive bar that serves superb Mexican street food – tacos, quesadillas and lots of meat. Try the Super BBQ Stick. This is one of the best, not to mention cheapest, eats in town.

5782 Felipe
Makati City
+63 2 895 1919

Champetre (French)

Chef Marc Aubry is the main man at this authentic French restaurant. Champetre means ‘country living’, which gives you an idea of not just the food it serves, but its cosy, rustic atmosphere as well. French favourites such as lamb chops and coq au vin are paired with beverages sourced from the old country.

Fort Bonifacio G/F Net One Center
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City
+632 815 8801

Casa Bocobo

With rooms under $50, Casa Bocobo Hotel is one of the best mid-range properties in town. You're just a short walk from Rizal Park and around a kilometre from Intramuros, so all the best sites and places to eat and shop are on your doorstep.

1000 Bocobo Street
+63 2 526 3783

The Bayleaf Intramuros

This boutique hotel offers five types of rooms and five-star service, so there's something for every budget. Located in the gorgeous Intramuros district, where all the best attractions are, this makes a great base for those wanting to see the most historic sites in Manila.

Muralla St
+63 2 328 3170

Orchid Garden Suites

As you might be able to guess from the name, Orchid Garden Suites sits in its own tropical gardens. It's a little oasis off the busy streets, and because of this some locals describe it as a ‘secret hotel’. The renovated pre-war mansion is small, subtle and very stylish.

620 Pablo Ocampo Street 
+63 2 708 9401

New Miramar Hotel

The Miramar is one of the most beautiful budget hotels in Asia. This 40-room hidden gem, with its Art Deco atrium and hallways, offers all the facilities you'd expect. It's so colourful, quirky and stylish, it almost feels like you’ve stepped into a scene in a Wes Anderson film.

1034-36 Roxas Blvd corner UN Avenue
+63 2 523 4486

Manila Hotel

This five-star luxury hotel in Manila has seen a lot of famous faces during its 100-year history. Everyone – from Marlon Brando and the Beatles to Richard Nixon and the Rockefeller Brothers – has checked in over the years, and after a night in one of the grand suites you'll understand why.

Bonifacio Drive
1 Rizal Park
+63 2 527 0011

Hotel H2O

Hotel H2O invites you to ‘sleep with the fishes’. At the top of Manila Bay, part of Manila Ocean Park, its marine-themed rooms and suites come with all the mod cons, while the Aqua Rooms feature huge aquariums. Lots of fun, with excellent service.

Roxas Boulevard
Behind The Quirino Grandstand
+63 2 238 6100

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