Check out what this bustling Philippine city has to offer

In the Philippine city Manila, you can explore some great spots without a tour guide. Here are 5 attractions to check out in Manila.

Rizal Park

Rizal urban park, Manila, Philippines.
Rizal urban park, Manila, Philippines.

Formerly called Luneta in the 19th century, Rizal Park is a sprawling park with a vast lawn and a sprinkling of trees. The centerpiece is the Rizal monument in honor of the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal.

Crossing the road brings you to the Manila Ocean Park that is located inside the compound of Rizal Park. It has an oceanarium where you can see fish from down below. A small pool filled with little fish offers a unique experience. Dip your feet in and the fish will nibble on the dead skin of your feet. It is like a natural foot spa.

Another novelty is the calesa ride, a horse-drawn carriage for a sight-seeing trip of the area (although the short ride is kind of pricy). If time at the seaside is more your speed, head to Manila Bay for stunning sunsets.

Cultural Center of the Philippines

Not far from Rizal Park is the Cultural Center of the Philippines, or CCP Grounds. A short walk away is Star City, a theme park with rides and shows that all kids will love. And if you want to walk some more, go straight to the Coconut Palace for great picture opportunities.

Coconut Palace, Manila
Coconut Palace, Manila

Near the Coconut Palace is the Gloria Maris Restaurant. It boasts top-notch Chinese cuisine. There’s also a barbecue stand nearby where you can eat while enjoying the sea breeze. For a more romantic meal, take the dinner cruise in Manila Bay.

Intramuros

Manila Cathedral
Manila Cathedral

Called the Walled City, Intramuros is a short taxi ride from Rizal Park. It has 2 historic Catholic churches- the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church, which is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.

Beside Intramuros is Fort Santiago, a military fort built in the Spanish period (late 19th century) and used by the Japanese forces in the second world war as a garrison. It is a historical museum and is where Jose Rizal was incarcerated.

Manila Zoo

If you have kids who want to see the playful chimpanzee and sociable elephants then head to the Manila Zoo. It boasts a large aviary and also a man-made lagoon where you can take a boat ride. Monkey island is located on an island on the lagoon.

Corregidor Island

If you still have a day to spare, you may want to see the historic Corregidor Island. It was a military fort used to defend against Japanese forces during the second world war. Take a taxi to  the Mall of Asia (MOA) and get down to the Sea Cruises pier. You can get more details by logging in www.corregidorphilippines.com.

Corregidor Island
Corregidor Island

The ferry ride from Manila Bay to Corregidor Island is less than 2 hours long. On the island, you can walk or take the tram for the guided tour. The diorama is a sight to behold and the caves are truly enchanting. For a longer tour, the island has accommodation for an overnight stay.

Dine at the Aristocrat restaurant along Roxas Boulevard. It is a local restaurant that was established in the same spot in the early 1900s. The specialty there is chicken barbecue and kare-kare, a beef dish in peanut broth.

If you like seafood, ask the taxi driver to bring you to Dampa along Macapagal Avenue is near MOA. Dampa is a seafood market cum restaurant where you buy the fresh seafood and your chosen restaurant will take care of the rest. The food in Dampa is fresher and cheaper compared to other restaurants in the vicinity.



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After reading books about far off places as a child, Vivian was hooked on travel writing. She traveled during her college years and wrote about wine, oil painting and wild hogs. She's planning her next adventures and writing about anything and everything travel related.

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