Culture of Manila. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Early morning skyline Among numerous landmarks and sights of Manila the Malacanan Palace is in the focus of attention of tourists. The age of the magnificent palace is about two hundred years. Since the first years of its establishment the palace has served as the main residence of the government. Despite the impressive age of the building, the residence has been preserved in prime condition. Today travelers have a chance not only to observe the landmark from outside but to explore its specious halls of ultimate beauty and enjoy magnificent interior decoration.
Among the upscale establishments of the city the Café Bola restaurant is best worth noticing. Its culinary experts and chef create most wanted and most ordered dishes of Philippine cuisine … Open
The oldest district of the city is Intramuros. A tour through its area will turn to a real adventure to the past times. Till 1574 the area was an innate settlement. It was totally destroyed by Spanish conquerors. In 1590 a fort was erected on the place of the former settlement. The historical area of the city has inherited the name from that fortifying construction. During the tour through ancient streets the travelers will witness the ruins of ancient churches and monasteries, massive strengthening walls and other auxiliary structures many of which are excellently preserved till nowadays.
The same significant tourist spot is the Coconut Palace. This odd building was erected in 1981 with palm tree and coconut shell as main building materials. The Coconut Palace is among the most unusual architectural landmarks of Manila. Among religious sights and landmarks the brightest and of top interest is the Manila Cathedral. It is a genuine masterpiece of architectural art. Elegant front side of the Cathedral is decorated with stained glass artworks and statues, the finest handcrafted carvings and fresco paintings depicting the significant religious facts. Copyright
Travelers visiting Manila for holiday for the first time should take into consideration some nation specific features. This will help to easily set contacts with local people and feel … Open
The interior of the Cathedral also features plenty of luxurious decorations of hundreds years old. The tour to the Fort Santiago will be of the greatest interest for tourists as this strengthening construction witnessed significant historical events. The Fort occupies a large territory which is now reequipped into the scenic majestic park. Visitors may explore a part of survived construction and enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city from the hill.
Different Faces of Makati - Sunny The park hosts an automobile museum which presents the collection of cars previously being owned by cabinet members. The Rizal Shrine Museum is set nearby. The museum is dedicated to the renowned Philippine martyr and national hero. Among the showpieces of the exhibition is the farewell poem of Rizal as well as inestimable craftworks made by the renowned person.
The Makati, Nakpil and Pasay Road Streets concentrate the most attracting entertaining establishments and shops. The life is buzzing there day and night. At nightfall the streets are … Open
One of the most architecturally impressive buildings here is Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the main building of the complex was erected in 1645, making it the oldest educational institution in Asia. It is also one of the largest Catholic universities in the world. Today, next to the old buildings can be found modern buildings-but all this does not break the harmony. It is worth noting that there are many religious attractions in the capital of the Philippines, one of which is Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (or Quiapo Church). Its main feature is the statue of The Black Nazarene, which is considered to be sacred. No less interesting is the facade of the Church in the Baroque style.
MACHO historical  view Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz (also called Binondo Church), is another beautiful monument of sacred architecture. It was founded in 1596 with the help of Dominican priests, but when the British bombed Manila in 1762, the building was almost completely destroyed. The new building, restored in 1852, also existed for a short time, suffering from bombing during the World War II and there is left only the facade and a bell tower. After the war, the building was restored again and today tourists can see this architectural masterpiece in all its glory.
1. Raining season in Manila is considered to be from June till October. During the season travelers are advised to be backed up with umbrellas as it may start raining out of a sudden. The … Open
The Church is located in Chinatown (or Binondo, for which it got its name), which is also the most colourful quarter in Manila. You will never find a silent place here-it seems that there is always noise and bustle. By the way, to get acquainted with the Chinese Diaspora (which, as you can understand from a visit to the Binondo quarter, is quite common in Manila), and to learn how the Chinese people were able to survive in the Philippines, you can visit Bahay Tsinoy, Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life. Despite the fact that the Museum is dedicated to Chinese culture, it is not located in Binondo, but in another popular area of Manila - already mentioned Intramuros.
Tondo Church Another educational institution, the building of which attracts all tourists with its elegant facade, is called De La Salle University. It was founded in 1911 in the colonial style, and today is known for its research activities in the field of Catholicism. Enterprise Center, which houses the offices of international companies, is a beautiful masterpiece of modern architecture-functional and at the same time incredibly gorgeous. However, it is worth noting that this is not the tallest building in Manila, the first position in this list deserves the skyscraper PBCom Tower, reaching a height of 259 meters, the tallest residential building is The Gramercy Residences with a height of 250 meters. The most modern district of the capital is Makati, it is here that the most elegant skyscrapers and fashionable buildings are located.
Palace of the Governor (old-fashioned called "Palacio del Gobernador"), built on the site of the former residence of the Governor during the colonial Spanish period. The destruction of the building due to an earthquake in 1863 caused the construction of a new building — which was built soon after. The current construction of the Palace acquired in 1976, today the building is also placed at the disposal of government needs. Almacenes Curtain Wall is reminiscent of the Middle Ages when the entire city (specifically, the Intramuros district) was walled. Still walking along the walls, you can find that unforgettable atmosphere of immersion in ancient times.
Cathedral Among the cultural institutions that will be of interest to those who are interested in theatrical art, you should definitely pay your attention to the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The interior of the building also deserves your attention, it is a pleasure to be here, so it is necessary to follow the poster of the upcoming events. There is also a considerable number of interesting museums in the capital of the Philippines. The most interesting cultural institution for exploring the local culture is Museum of the Filipino People, for those who want to explore flora and fauna will be useful to mention National Museum of Natural History, which presents stuffed animals that live in these parts. The National Museum Of Anthropology is also a great place to explore local history and culture.
An attractive feature of Manila is a large number of jewellery stores, you can buy here wonderful high quality items at very attractive prices. The most popular is the store Silverworks, it … Open
San Agustin Museum (which is located next to another religious landmark that deserves attention-San Agustin Church) will appeal to connoisseurs of sacred art, here you can find an invaluable collection of works of fine and sculptural art, as well as interesting artefacts, one way or another related to religion. Another place that will appeal to art connoisseurs —National Museum, where you can find a collection of works of art by Filipino artists and sculptors. If you want to explore interesting antique items, be sure to visit Museum Silahis Arts & Artifacts, where you can find a gift shop, you can buy your favourite thing at an attractive price.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Manila and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Manila and surroundings

Manila - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Iconic cultural sights of Philippines

The Saint Augustine Church in Paoay is also built as a fortification and a temple at the same time. Its distinctive feature is the squatness, massiveness of the walls, and the buttress. Construction was carried out taking into account the seismic activity of the region. The facade of the building was built under the influence of the Javanese style with Gothic elements. The materials used in the construction are very unusual. These are coral stones, a solution that includes sugar cane, mango, and leather. The distant bell tower resembles a Romanesque tower and pagoda at the same time. The legend is related to the construction of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on the island of Luzon. The statue of the Virgin Mary constantly disappeared from its place in the city of Bulle. It appeared in Santa Maria. Local residents considered this an omen. They began to build a temple. The building was built in the Baroque style. But it looks very strict and has no decorations. It is reinforced with buttresses to protect it from earthquakes. … Open

What to visit during two-day excursion in Manila

Roxas Boulevard
Where: Roxas Boulevard, Manila 1000., Manila;
Fort Santiago
Where: Santa Clara Street, Manila 1002., Manila; Telephone: +63 (0)2 527 1572;
Club Intramuros Golf Course
Where: Bonifacio Drive, Corner Aduana Street, Port Area, Intramuros,, Manila; Telephone: +63 (0)2 527 6613;
Rizal Park
Where: Roxas Boulevard, Manila; Tickets: entrance P50, guided tours P10;
Manila Cathedral
Where: Cabildo, Corner Beaterio, Intramuros, Manila; Telephone: +63 (0)2 527 3093;
San Agustin Church
Where: Calles Gen Luna and Real, Manila; Telephone: +63 (0)2 527 4060 / 61; Tickets: P80.;
The Manila Hotel
Where: 1 Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard, Manila; Telephone: +63 (0)2 527 0011;
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Manila
♥   Palace 'Malacañan Palace' , 1.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Archbishop’s Palace' Pampanga, 3.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Palacio del Gobernador' , 3.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Coconut Palace' , 4.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Manila and around
♥   Art museum 'National Museum of Fine Arts' Manila, 2.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Manila
♥   Basilica of San Sebastián, Manila, 2.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Makati City, 2.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church), Manila, 2.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin, Manila, 3.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Manila, 3.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Manila, 3.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Quezon City, 3.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Manila

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