Top 5 Manila Attractions
State: Metropolitan Manila
The city of Manila has a long colonization history, but its reputation as a sprawling, bustling, congested concrete jungle means Manila is often overlooked as a tourist destination. Because of the colonization of the Philippines by Spain, much of the culture and environments in Manila are heavily influenced by Spanish culture. The majority of attractions in Manila are located in the old walled Spanish settlement of Intramuros.
Here are the Top 5 Tourist Attractions to visit in Manila, all of which hold important cultural or historical significance. All these are permanent locations which can be visited and viewed at any time throughout the year.
1. Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago was the former Spanish colonial government headquarters, and its iconic gate features Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moor-Slayer), the patron saint of Spain. Fort Santiago is the most popular attraction in Manila, because the national hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose Rizal, was once imprisoned here. The Rizal Shrine Museum, dedicated to Dr. Jose Rizal's life and work, is also located here.
2. Rizal Park
Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is an urban park in Manila known for some of the most significant moments in Philippines history. Named after national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, whose execution here sparked the Philippines revolution, the Rizal Park was also the place where the declaration of Philippines independence was held. Rizal Park features the Rizal Monument, the Independence Flagpole, the Quirino Grandstand where the President of the Philippines is sworn in, and the Kilometre Zero Marker, the point from which all road distances in the Philippines is measured.
3. San Agustin Church And Museum
The San Agustin Church And Museum is a national landmark of the Philippines, and is located in the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Known for its baroque architecture, magnificent and intricately designed ceilings and high altar, the San Agustin Church And Museum is a popular venue for weddings in Manila. Housed here are various Spanish colonial-era ecclesiastical vestments, sacred vessels, religious art, manuscripts, and other important cultural artifacts.
4. Casa Manila
Casa Manila is a recreation of a typical upper-class home during the Spanish colonization. Filled with antique furniture, paintings, artwork, and other artifacts, Casa Manila is an insightful glimpse into how the wealthy lived in the past in the Philippines.
5. Manila Bay
The sunsets over Manila Bay are world famous, and the government of the Philippines has revitalised the area through construction of the Baywalk, a strip that features many restaurants, shops, public artwork, statues of famous political leaders, and can be used for fishing, exercising, or socialising. Manila Bay has rather poor water quality though, and swimming is discouraged.