City Guide


What visitors (and most locals) commonly mean when they say “Manila” is really a 620km² megalopolis made up of no less than 16 different cities – among which, confusingly, is the city of Manila itself. The traveller is met with a dizzying array of choices – one may go from the fast-paced modernity of Taguig to the historic, romantic atmosphere of Old Manila within the same day, or compare the creative vibe of Quezon City with that of Makati.

When to go:
Except during the monsoon season (typically June to October), there are many different things to do at all times of the year. The summer months (March to May) are popular for travellers who fly in through Metro Manila on their way to one of the country’s countless beaches. The cool, dry period between November and February is underrated, while the Philippines’ famously long Christmas season starts as early as September all the way through the beginning of January. The accompanying lights are a sight to behold.

How to get around:
Metro Manila is known for its unpredictable traffic and confusing streets, so a car hire or ride-sharing service would be best. Thankfully, these options are relatively inexpensive in the Philippines.

Where To Stay In Manila

Rizal Park Hotel

Opened in 2017, Rizal Park Hotel is housed in an opulent building dating back to 1911

The Henry

Boutique appeal meets pre-war grandeur at this city oasis

I’M Hotel

A vibrant five-star hotel in the exciting Poblacion neighbourhood

Where To Eat In Manila

Grace Park

Hearty, modern dining with an emphasis on seasonal produce

Sentro 1771

Savour contemporary takes on Filipino classics like pork adobo and kare-kare

Where To Drink In Manila


A lively cocktail bar with an extended food menu and live DJ sets

The Curator

And award-winning bar with a menu featuring both classic and contemporary cocktails

Where To Shop In Manila

SM Mall of Asia

This sprawling mega mall, once the largest in Asia, still draws thousands of shoppers


Visit this city centre mall and take a stroll in the gardens after a spot of shopping

S.C. Vizcarra

A Manilla-grown brand offering exquisite handcrafted bags and accessories

Filip + Inna

Gorgeous threads made made by indigenous communities from across the Philippines