When visiting one of the 7,107 islands the Philippines has to offer and your layover has you in Manila. I recommend spending a day or two (at most) exploring the city before jetting off to your beachside holiday.

Best Quick Guide to Manila, Philippines

When visiting one of the 7,107 islands the Philippines has to offer and your layover has you in Manila. I recommend spending a day or two (at most) exploring the city before jetting off to your beachside holiday.

This is me, Freddy Rodriguez
Posted on: 05. July 2017 at 04:34 am

This blog post was originally shared February of 2015:
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When visiting one of the 7,107 islands the Philippines has to offer and your layover has you in Manila. I recommend spending a day or two (at most) exploring the city before jetting off to your beachside holiday. Since you’ve flown all the way over, you might as well see what the Philippines fair capital has to offer.  

Lets start with accommodation and neighborhoods in Manila. I always chose AIRBNB when I am traveling for their online convenience, location diversity, and eclectic housing possibilities. For my stay I chose to stay in MANDALUYONG CITY a city suburb just a quick cab ride away from almost all attractions and right off of Manila’s MRT (metro) line in a high rise residential building that offered a pool, gym, and convenience of a mall right next door. Really the only downside here was the constant horns from Manila’s busiest road, but luckily I had aircon that quickly drowned out the sounds with sweet cool air putting me to sleep.

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Back to the Manila’s neighborhoods. There are 16 districts to chose from and what I learned the best are Metro Manila, Makati, and Mandaluyong City. The rest are a bit chaotic as Manila is a city of mass dichotomy from low to high income. 

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During my visit two local Instagrammers (@LARKVAIN & @AIZHARALIH )I found on Huntgram (an app allowing users to discover curated influencers in various countries, great for meeting locals while traveling) were nice enough to be my tour guide and thus helping in creating this blog post.

What to do:

  • Start in Metro Manila at historic Intramuros, an old fort from when Spanish colonization. An added plus, don’t miss the: I love Manila sign. Stroll down Manila’s baywalk for their stunning sunset. Must check out Mall of Asia, and take a picture of the globe. (Side note: Manila has a huge mall culture since it’s so hot many locals hang out in the malls, so to escape the heat. Do as the locals do and hit up one of their many malls.)

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Visit Makati for their many malls (did I mention Filipinos love malls?) like Greenbelt or Glorietta Mall and look in aw of the many high rises around you. If you’d like to splurge a little for dinner, I’ll recommend visit the Shangri-La for delicious sushi. 

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  • Do try the MRT and a jeepny, they are how the locals get around. MRT is best used during midday, but do beware you’ll be very cramp and similar to jeepney, but this gives you a better understanding of everyday life for a Manila locals.

Make sure to relax at your AIRBNB or hotel’s pool. It is very hot in Manila and the best way to enjoy the sun is tanning poolside with a drink in hand.

With these few tips you are sure to have an exciting day or two in Manila before you escape to your beachside holiday. Plus if you’re like me, after spending time in Manila you will appreciate nature so much more after getting away from such a chaotic yet exciting city.

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Mabuhay!


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