Things to do in
Manila

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Our most recommended things to do in Manila

Manila: Old & New 4-Hour City Tour

1. Manila: Old & New 4-Hour City Tour

Come along for a tour of Manila’s past and present. The tour starts right in the heart of the country’s financial center - the City of Makati. First stop is Nielsen’s Tower along Ayala Boulevard. Drive through Forbes Park, an exclusive residential enclave fittingly dubbed Millionaire’s Row on your way to our first stop – The American Cemetery and Memorial - reputed to be the largest and most beautiful of American memorials outside the Continental United States. Then proceed to the old city of Manila via scenic Roxas Boulevard (also known as Dewey Boulevard in the recent past), passing through Luneta Park (also called Rizal Park in memory of the country’s national hero) on your way to the "Walled City" of Intramuros. Here you will see ancient walls, church ruins and other relics of the Spanish Conquistadores. Travel through the cobbled streets to San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the country. Then we wrap the tour up with a visit to Fort Santiago, a Spanish fortress that watched over the entrance to Manila’s Pasig River. It was here that our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal spent his last days and where he wrote his famous "My Last Farewell."

Full-Day Manila City, Tagaytay Taal Volcano and Lake Tour

2. Full-Day Manila City, Tagaytay Taal Volcano and Lake Tour

The tour starts with a drive up to the picturesque City of Tagaytay. Located on a ridge 2,250 feet above sea level, the city offers panoramic views of Taal Lake and Volcano, the "lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano". This view is best savored from atop the Palace in the Sky, rest house of late President Ferdinand Marcos. Enjoy a brief lunch stop at a local restaurant to enjoy some local cuisine and delicacies in an atmosphere designed for panoramic views. Then we start our drive back down to Metro Manila. First stop is the American War Memorial & Cemetery, the largest and most beautiful of American memorials outside the Continental U.S. Have a glimpse of Makati’s hustle and bustle as you drive through on your way to the capital city - Manila via scenic Roxas Boulevard (also known as Dewey Boulevard in the recent past) passing through Rizal Park (named in memory of the country’s national hero) on your way to the "Walled City" of Intramuros. Here you will see ancient walls, church ruins and other relics of the Spanish Conquistadors. Travel through old cobbled streets to San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the country. The tours wraps up at Fort Santiago, a Spanish fortress that once watched over the entrance to Pasig River. It was here that our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal spent his last days and where he wrote his famous "My Last Farewell."

From Manila: Panoramic Tagaytay Ridge Tour

3. From Manila: Panoramic Tagaytay Ridge Tour

About an hour and a half drive south of Metro Manila lies the picturesque City of Tagaytay. Located on a ridge 2,200 feet above sea level, it offers a panoramic view of Taal Lake and Volcano - a lake within a volcano. This awe-inspiring vista is best savored atop the Palace in the Sky - resthouse of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Explore Tagaytay’s freshest produce with a farm tour. See how vegetables, herbs, and coffee beans are grown and harvested. Savor this awe-inspiring vista from atop the Palace in the Sky, the abandoned “rest house” of the former President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, where you can find breathtaking views of the lake and volcano. Enter the Museo Orlina Art Museum and take the chance to view an extensive collection of glass sculptures by renowned glass sculptor, Ramon Orlina. The tour includes lunch in one of the local restaurants where you can enjoy sumptuous Philippine cuisine and delicacies popular to the region. Time permitting, you will have a short visit of Talisay at the Pasalubong Center, showcasing the process of preparing Freshly Baked Buco Pie.

From Manila: Taal Volcano Island and Pagsanjan Falls Tour

4. From Manila: Taal Volcano Island and Pagsanjan Falls Tour

Following pickup from your hotel in Manila, head straight to the Pagsanjan Falls on a 2.5-hour drive south. From there, your driver will assist you in getting to the paddle raft, which will be manned by two local guides. Experience a multiple-rapid adventure as you continue toward the falls. Swim to the cave that lies within the magnificent Pagsanjan Falls, feeling refreshed by the cold water. Set off on another two-hour drive over to the Taal Volcano ridge in Tagaytay City for the Taal Volcano eruption sightseeing tour. Taal Volcano suddenly erupted at 2:36 PM on Sunday, January 12, 2020, forcing all to flee from the island. For the next 24 hours, ashes coming from the crater traveled all the way to Metro Manila and nearby areas as 150,000 people fled from their homes. Taal Volcano is now considered the most active volcano complex after this eruption. See the devastation firsthand and take in dramatic views of Taal Lake and the steaming Volcano Island from the ridges of Tagaytay City. Enjoy lunch (at your own expense) with a view of the whole lake, in the center of which steams the Taal Volcano, the Philippines smallest but most active volcano as of today.

From Manila: Majestic Pagsanjan Falls Adventure

5. From Manila: Majestic Pagsanjan Falls Adventure

"Shoot the Rapids" in dugout canoes and experience nature’s wonder. Drive two and a half hours south of Metro Manila through the countryside to beautiful town of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Be prepared to board a native banca (canoe) skillfully driven by two boatmen and maneuvered upstream through rocks and boulders amidst steep gorges and lush tropical vegetation. Your destination - Majestic Pagsanjan Falls. Take a swim or board a bamboo raft through the falls into a cave behind the veil of water. This is an exhilarating, spine-tingling, adrenaline-pumping, two hour boat ride from the Bumbungan River to Pagsanjan Falls whose booming water cascades down from high atop a cliff to the river 300 feet below. Your ride downstream is an exciting rush through the same rocks and boulders you passed on your way upriver.

Manila: Private Transfer to/from Manila Airport (MNL)

6. Manila: Private Transfer to/from Manila Airport (MNL)

Ensure your trip is hassle-free with a convenient private transfer between Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and your hotel or accommodation in Manila. Choose from 2 suitable vehicle options that give you the comfort and space your transfer needs.  For groups of 3 passengers or fewer, choose from a sedan vehicle that can fit 3 standard-sized pieces of luggage. Alternatively, for groups of up to 5 passengers, choose the minivan option that can fit 5 standard-sized pieces of luggage. On the day of travel, meet your friendly professional driver at the airport's arrival gate or get picked up at your accommodation. Get assistance with your luggage, then board the comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as you are taken to your destination.

From Manila: Historical Landmarks and Bataan Heritage Tour

7. From Manila: Historical Landmarks and Bataan Heritage Tour

At the start of World War II in 1942 after suffering heavy losses against the Imperial Japanese Army all over Luzon, the Filipino and American soldiers retreated to Bataan Peninsula to regroup for a last valiant but futile stand. After pick up at the lobby of your hotel, head over to Bataan in 3 hour drive and see the countryside. Along the way, notice a white landmarks on the side of the road that serves a memorial of grueling and horror of an 80-mile (130 km) march to Capas, Tarlac known as the famous Bataan Death March. Upon arrival at the Mount Samat, visit the National Shrine that was erected as a fitting memorial to the heroic struggle and sacrifices of those soldiers who fought and died in this historic bastion of freedom. Inside is a Museum and a Wall that will brings you to mind the sound and the fury of battles of disorderly retreats, of stubborn defenses, the bitterness of defeat, and the humiliation of surrender. See the panoramic views of the vast countryside from the observation deck inside the tallest Cross in the Philippines. Finally, visit the Bataan Surrender Site where the exhausted, sick and starving soldiers under Major General Edward P. King surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942. Before heading back to Manila, a Heritage Walking Tour inside Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, It is an hour long led guided tour across the villages and ancestral houses that shows the origins of each home and the stories encapsulated within.

Full Day Tour Villa Escudero Plantation

8. Full Day Tour Villa Escudero Plantation

A convenient and refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, take this chance to recharge your batteries and enjoy a variety of activities in the rural setting of the Escudero Coconut Plantation. About a two hour drive south of Metro Manila, this quaint and historic estate is set amidst a pastoral grove inside a coconut plantation, a picturesque showcase of old plantation life. Guests will tour the plantation on board a carabao drawn cart while serenaded by a native band. This resort estate also has its own museum which houses the Escudero Family’s vast and interesting collection of historic, religious and cultural artifacts, some dating back to pre-Hispanic times. The highlight of your day may be sitting down to a sumptuous lunch served beneath a man made dam with your feet immersed in cool rushing waters from a nearby lagoon. A swim in Villa Escudero’s spring-fed pools will complete your memorable visit.

Manila: Private Filipino Cooking Class with a Local

9. Manila: Private Filipino Cooking Class with a Local

Get to know your local host, who learned everything about cooking from her grandmother who she watched cook fresh lunches and dinners every day growing up. Learn about Filipino cooking from her 10 years of experience as a chef and creating recipes for dairy companies and restaurants. If you would like to experience shopping for local produce, choose the option to a visit to an open-air market guided by your host. Get acquainted with seasonal produce as well as local and international cooked foods. Be welcomed into your host's home in Quezon City with a warm smile and a fresh juice. Visit the her vegetable garden where she grows lemongrass and calamansi, a distinctive Filipino citrus fruit that she uses to flavor her food. Then join her in her kitchen, where she will teach you to prepare Filipino dishes, using family recipes. Choose between a hands-on lesson and a cooking demonstration during which you will watch her prepare the meal. Just let her know your preference. After your cooking class, sit down at the dining table and enjoy the meal you helped prepare. Your menu might include dishes such as ensaladang pako (local fern salad with a calamansi and raw honey dressing), grilled shrimp in a cilantro chimichurri (an Isi creation), ginataang kalabasa at sitaw (squash and green beans in a coconut milk stew), mechado (soy-marinated beef, cooked in an onion and tomato sauce), inihaw na baboy (grilled pork chops) followed by homemade calamansi pie for dessert made by her best friend, Earnest.

Manila International Airport Private Transfer To & From City

10. Manila International Airport Private Transfer To & From City

Experience the safety and comfort of a private air-conditioned ride between Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and your hotel anywhere in the greater Manila area. Meet and greet service at the airport for arriving flights is included. Meet and greet your driver at the airport arrival hall (after immigration and baggage claim) of NAIA for your transfer from the airport. You will be able to meet the coordinator holding a sign with your name on it. If a transfer to the airport is booked, meet your driver at the hotel lobby or the entrance of your accommodation’s building. Have a comfortable ride from or to the airport in a van that can cater up to 5 people with bags.  The journey time might differ based on your accommodation’s location- Zone 1: less than 1 hour, Zone 2: 1-1.5 hour, Zone 3: 1.5-2 hours. Select the return option to arrange transfers to and from the airport in one click.

Planning Your Visit

  • When's the best time to go?

    The rainy seasons are July and August, and the temperature reaches its peak in May - over 90 degrees. January or February could be your best bets for mild weather and low rainfall.

  • How can I stay safe?

    Protect yourself from con artists by only accepting help from people you know. Exercise common sense by keeping valuables hidden and not wandering poorly-lit areas.

Good to know

  • Language
    Filipino and English
  • Currency
    PHP (₱)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+08:00)
  • Country Code
    +63
  • Best time to visit
    To avoid the rain and intense heat, plan your visit for January or February, when mild temperatures are more likely to be found.

Other Sightseeing Options in Manila

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What people are saying about Manila

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 258 reviews

Great experience, the ride to the falls on the boat is just amazing. Guide and boatmen were very friendly and helpful. The only point that could improve is the lunch, mushroom soup was really nice, good spring rolls but the fish and the chicken were a very small portion and we didn't like the vegetables.

Pagsanjan Falls was such a magical experience! Our tour guide Richard was lovely! We were well looked after the whole day! Highly recommend this tour, we had an amazing time!

Very nice, very good guide, nice valley, good food and nice old town, to be recommended!!

Very pleasant and comfortable ride. Driver was very courteous and helpful.

The guide and th tour were excellent!! Thank you so much Frank!!!