The Thriving Capital City

Located on Luzon Island, the capital city of Manila began as a humble village to become a thriving, noisy metropolis and commercial heart of the nation. Much of the city was destroyed during World War II, with ruins still standing across the landscape. You can't miss Intramuros ('within the walls'), a well-preserved 15th century Spanish settlement where you can see colonial architecture, such as Fort Santiago, St Augustine Church (the country's oldest) and Casa Manila. Makati is at the heart of modern Manila, a place to shop, eat and drink with the locals in relaxed surroundings.

Wander Roxas Boulevard to the Cultural Centre for a show and magnificent Filipino sunset. Visit Luneta Park and watch a game of Sipa at Rizal Court, a traditional sport played with a small wicker ball. Jump on a jeepney with the locals, the quintessential Filipino transport option. Originally built from left-over military jeeps from World War II, the jeepneys are a colourful and crowded experience. Art lovers shouldn't miss Angono, 40 kilometres east of Manila and home to an extraordinary collection of art.

Insider's Tips

  1. Mad on Markets: Make sure you visit Greenhills for those market bargains. It is one of the largest indoor markets in Manilla.
  2. Break for a Skate: While you are shopping at the Mall of Asia don't forget to go ice skating.
  3. A City Haven: Edsa Shangri-La Manila has a resort feel right in the middle of the busy city, it also has a link to an SM shopping mall so you don't have to cross a busy road to get it.

More Information

For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Manila chapter in our online Asia Cities brochure click here.

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