If you’re lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Manila, capital of the Philippines, there’s no shortage of things to do and sights to see. From adventure tours to historical sites, here are some recommendations to make the most out of your three-day stay.
Get your bearings by taking a tour of Manila, and delight in the beautiful and historic sites of this fascinating city. There are plenty of private tour companies that will show you around or, if you prefer, you can also visit these historical hotspots by yourself.
Intramuros and Fort Santiago
The palace of the president is located along the northern bank of the Pasig River, and is definitely worth a visit.
Take a day trip to Volcano Island (located near the city of Tagaytay about an hour and a half from Manila) and trek the Taal volcano. Highlights include the stunning crater lake (kayaks and banana boats are available to rent), horseback riding among the basalt rocks, and visiting People’s Park in the Sky (formerly known as Palace in the Sky Park when it was originally built for President Marcos). The nearby Tagaytay City offers plenty of sightseeing opportunities, including Calaruega Church, an historic site that’s now a retreat center managed by the Fathers and Brothers of the Dominican Province of the Philippines.
There are several local tour companies that will take you to Tagaytay from Manila, and of course you can also get there yourself, using public transportation.
It would be a shame to leave Manila without experiencing the breathtaking Manila Bay. Take a day trip (by boat) to Corregidor Island located about 48 kilometers from Manila at the entrance of the Bay. On the island there’s a memorial to the Filipino and American soldiers who fought in WWII. In addition to historical significance, the lush island also offers up plenty of natural beauty. You can also take a relaxing evening dinner cruise or boat tour of Manila Bay. Whichever option you choose, make sure you’re near the bay at sunset—it’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see.
Have you ever experienced the magic of Manila? Let us know your favorite Manila moment in the comments section below.