It comes as no surprise when the Philippines has been consecutively recognized as one of the best countries to travel to by international travel magazines. Honestly, we couldn’t pick just one if you’d ask us which are the best places to visit in the Philippines because seriously, with over 7,000 beautiful islands, it’s hard to decide.

And how can you resist the beauty of its natural wonders and ignore its pristine beaches which, by the way, has been named as some of the world’s best islands? The Philippines will never fail to amaze you. 

To help you decide, here are the 10 best places to visit in the Philippines for first time travelers.

1. Batanes

lighthouse in batanes surrounded by rolling hills

Search Batanes on Instagram and you’ll find in the geotag “Breathtaking Batanes.” It’s not a cafe, restaurant nor a hotel. You might wonder where exactly Breathtaking Batanes is. Actually, it’s the whole province! They call it breathtaking because of its jaw-dropping views of rolling hills, lighthouses and vast greenery that will make you ask yourself if you’re still in the Philippines. 

Batanes is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines because you will get to experience a one-of-a-kind adventure together with the friendliest locals ever!

2. Batad 

astounding view of the banaue rice terraces

If you’re a fan of the Avengers, for sure you’ve already seen the Batad Rice Terraces in one of its scenes. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the best tourist spot in the Philippines because it will never disappoint you. The 9-hour bus ride and hours of trekking will be so worth it when you finally see the amazing Batad Rice Terraces.

3. Vigan

a kalesa passing at calle crisologo

Want a taste of the Philippines’ old world charm? Go back in time and be mesmerized by the beauty of Vigan. See the preserved old streets of Calle Crisologo—one of the most beautiful spots in the Philippines— that’s famous across the world. You can ride a kalesa to tour the cobblestone streets while taking a snap of every spot you pass through. 

Because of its cultural beauty and well-preserved Spanish era streets, Vigan has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the best places to visit in the Philippines.

Where to stay in Vigan: 

  1. Ovemar Resort Vigan – Starts at P1,825/night
  2. Casa Rizalina Hotel – Starts at P2,440/night
  3. Escolta’s Homey Lodge – Starts at P2,778/night 
  4. Belltower CSheli Suites – Starts at P2,779/night 
  5. Casa Marita – Starts at P3,013/night

4. Manila

old buildings preserved in intramuros

Have you ever heard the saying that there’s always beauty in chaos? Manila is a living proof of that. Despite the traffic, tourists make sure to drop by or spend a day or two in this city. Manila is a best tourist spot in the Philippines because it offers you a combination of old and modern charm. Don’t miss Intramuros as this is one of the most beautiful places in Manila.

Where to stay in Manila 

  1. Victoria Mansions – Starts at P998/night 
  2. Baymont Suites & Residences – Starts at P2,043/night 
  3. Broadway Court Apartelle – Starts at P1,761/night 
  4. ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila – Starts at P912/night 
  5. Town and Country Hotel – Starts at P1,777/night

5. Palawan

girl swimming in a lagoon in palawan

If you searched the world’s best islands, you’ve probably stumbled upon Palawan. Well, it’s a regular in some international travel magazines’ lists. With Palawan’s breathtaking lagoons, crystal clear turquoise blue waters, and colorful coral reefs, it comes as no surprise at all. It is undeniably among the most beautiful places in the Philippines. 

Where to stay in Palawan

  1. Devayn’s Inn – Starts at P1,200/night 
  2. Den’gi Inn – Starts at P1,900/night 
  3. Ala Amid Bed & Breakfast – Starts at P1,543/night 
  4. South Anchorage Inn – Starts at P2,500/night 
  5. Palawan Escapes & Reef Resort – Starts at P3,332/night

6. Boracay

people flocking in boracay

Ask any Filipino about the best places to visit in the Philippines and Boracay is never missed! It is the best tourist spot in the Philippines when it comes to beaches. Just like Palawan, Boracay has been named as one of the world’s best islands consecutively. Tourists love its fine white sand and cerulean blue waters. What’s great about Boracay’s beaches is that the sand never turns hot so whether it’s 9am or 12pm, you can walk to its sand barefoot. 

Where to stay in Boracay

  1. Shore Time Hotel Annex – Starts at P2,500/night 
  2. Ralph’s Place Boracay – Starts at P2,635/night 
  3. Niu Ohana East Bay Apartments – Starts at P2,722/night 
  4. Punta Rosa Boutique Hotel – Starts at P3,888/night 
  5. 357 Boracay – Starts at P4,500/night

zen experiences boracay7. Cebu 

temple of leah

Cebu is one of the famous places in the Philippines. It is a melting pot for food, arts, culture, religion and island life in the Philippines. Cebu does not disappoint its visitors with its beautiful tourist spots and fun activities to try. Dubbed as the Queen City of the South, Cebu offers a unique travel experience as it is a place where city and paradise meet. 

Where to stay in Cebu 

  1. Papa Tasi Lakeside Hotel and Park – Starts at P750/night 
  2. Arjaymay Apartelle – Starts at P1,219/night 
  3. Alicia Tower Residences – Starts at P1,300/night
  4. Lock & Key – Starts at P1,666/night 
  5. Little Rock Resort  Starts at P1,755/night

8. Bohol 

majestic view of chocolate hills in bohol

One of the most famous places in the Philippines is Bohol because of its pristine white beaches and the stunning Chocolate Hills. Every traveler won’t be disappointed as Bohol is a treasure. Aside from the famous Chocolate Hills, don’t miss visiting the Tarsier Sanctuary, dine in the Loboc River Cruise, and watch the sunset by the beach in Panglao, Bohol.

Where to stay in Bohol 

  1. Acacia Sunset Village Inn – Starts at P444/night 
  2. A’s Azotea de Bohol – Starts at P887/night 
  3. Captain’s Lodge Panglao – Starts at P1,200/night 
  4. Coco Grove Panglao – Starts at P1,200/night 
  5. B&J Guesthouse – Starts at P1,700/night

9. Siquijor

turquoise blue water of a siquijor falls

If you’re looking for undiscovered beautiful places in the Philippines, consider visiting Siquijor! It’s a small island province located in the Central Visayas region oozing with pristine beaches, beautiful diving spots, waterfalls, and a cave. Siquijor was used to be known as an Island of Fire enveloped by mystic traditions such as witchcraft, healing, spiritual rituals. It’s an offbeat destination because some travelers are afraid to visit here because of the beliefs. But trust us, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.

You can check out the 400-year old enchanted Balete tree, Paliton beach, Kanheron Ranch, Kagusuan Beach, Cantabon Cave, Cambugahay Falls, Lugnason Falls, Marelle’s Underwater World Museum in Siquijor.

Where to stay in Siquijor 

  1. Amber Homestay – Starts at P611/night
  2. James Homestay – Starts at P6,000/night

10. Siargao

man preparing to jump on a cliff

Cloud 9 is one of the most beautiful spots in the Philippines that’s found in Siargao, the surfers’ paradise. This island is a hit not just to surfers but also to backpackers and solo travelers who are finding themselves… or love. Siargao is easy and surprisingly affordable to travel to! Don’t miss the Sugba Lagoon, Magpupungko Rock Pool, Coconut street, and chase the sunset in Cloud 9!

Where to stay in Siargao 

  1. Lotus Shores – Starts at P1,260/night 
  2. Goodlife Siargao Hostel – Starts at P1,807/night 
  3. Suyog Spaces Suites – Starts at P3,012/night

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Places to Visit in the Philippines

Q: What are the best places to visit in the Philippines?

A: There are many beautiful places to visit in the Philippines, including Batanes, Boracay, Cebu, Siquijor, Siargao, Bohol, Palawan, Vigan, and many more.

Q: What are the best places to visit in the Philippines for couples?

A: If you are planning to go on a romantic adventure with your S.O., you can visit Palawan, Siargao, Cebu, Batanes, Boracay, Iloilo, and more.

Related article: Romantic Places Philippines Guide: 12 Destinations Couples Must Visit

Q: What is the best tourist spot to visit in the Philippines?

A: The most visited tourist destination in the Philippines is Cebu. Cebu offers unrivaled beaches, delicious food, and thrilling activities among many.

 

If you’re looking for a place to stay, ZEN Rooms has the best budget hotels in these areas that offer great amenities at an affordable price. You can check them out at www.zenrooms.com!

 

 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

There are many places to check out and discover in one of the world’s best countries, the Philippines. Sure a 7-day trip might not be enough but even within a short period of time, you will likely fall in love with the beauty that the Philippine tourist spots have to offer.

From its pristine beaches, amazing islands, breathtaking rolling hills, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals, the Philippines is surely a place every traveler should visit at least once.

If you’re a foreigner planning to discover the best tourist spots in the country, here’s a 1-week itinerary that you may copy to get to know the Philippines and its tourist spots better!

Day 1-2: Mountainous Baguio

strawberry farm in baguio is a philippine tourist spot

You can begin your tour extravaganza in the Philippines by enjoying Baguio, one of the most visited places in the North of the Philippines. Most people opt to stay here because of its cool weather as it’s located in an elevated area. Aside from this, you can enjoy many fun activities like horseback riding, biking, riding the swan boats, and many more.

The travel time to Baguio takes 2-3 hours from Clark International Airport by bus. The best time to travel there is during the summer or in February so you can watch the famous Baguio Flower Festival.

Places to check out in Baguio: Camp John Hay, Mines View Park, Wright Park, Strawberry Farm, Baguio Museum, Laperal House

Where to stay in Baguio 

  1. South Drive Baguio Manor – Starts at P2800/night 
  2. Casa Bel – Starts at P1950/night 
  3. Davimar House – Starts at P2000/night 
  4. R Bed and Breakfast – Starts at P4550/night 
  5. Baguio Lefern Hotel Military Cut-off – Starts at P5000/night

Day 3: Historical Manila

intramuros is a well-known tourist spot in the Philippines

From the Summer Capital of the Philippines, we go down to Manila, the Capital of the Philippines. There are a lot of things to see and do in this Philippine tourist spot that would definitely make your stay more fun.

First on your list should be the famous Intramuros. It is also known as the Walled City during the Spanish colonization. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful the cobbled streets are, the preserved buildings, and of course, the food! You may rent a bike to go around and enjoy the historical view.

Finally, you can end your day at Manila Bay and book a dinner cruise to have a sumptuous meal while watching the beautiful sunset. You may try the 1-hour dinner cruise to see a different angle of Manila while watching the sun goes down and appreciate the city lights at night.

If you prefer to enter Manila first, you can do so via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Then ride a taxi from NAIA to Manila, which is about an hour’s worth of drive.

Places to check out in Manila: Fort Santiago, Rizal Shrine, Plaza Moriones, Alamacenes Reales, Baluarte de San Diego, Bahay Tsinoy and Baluarte de San Andres. 

Where to stay in Manila

  1. Broadway Court Apartelle – Starts at P1323/night 
  2. Princeton Residences – Starts at P2000/night 
  3. Spaces by Eco Hotel Makati – Starts at P2118/night 
  4. Poblacion Makati House – Starts at P1200/night 
  5. BCD 58 Ohana Hostel – Starts at P1400/night

Day 4-6: Island Hopping in Palawan

Palawan is a well-known Philippine tourist spot

After heading to the mountains, why not go for an island trip? And where else is better than in Palawan? Just a warning though, it might be too hard for you to leave the island as it will make you want to stay there longer!

Palawan is famous for its beaches and lagoons. If you only have a limited travel time, we recommend visiting Coron first. you’ll be amazed at how beautiful nature is. Coron will feast your eyes with breathtaking views of the clear blue-green lakes and lagoons. But if you have more time, you can also visit Puerto Princesa City where the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Underground River, is located and El Nido if you want to see more lagoons and chill at the beach.

Places to check out in Palawan: (Coron) Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, Twin Lagoons, Skeleton Wreck, Beach 91 and CYC Beach. (El Nido) Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon (Make sure to wear trekking sandals with straps as you’ll be stepping on sharp rocks). (Puerto Princesa City) Underground River, Crocodile Farm, Honda Bay.

Where to stay in Palawan

  1. Mountain Side Inn – Starts at P1250/night 
  2. Den’gi Inn – Starts at P1900/night
  3. Jeamco Royal Hotel Palawan – Starts at P2177/night 
  4. South Anchorage Inn – Starts at P2300/night 
  5. Palawan Escapes & Reef Resort – Starts at P3332/night

Day 6-7: Relax at Boracay

Boracay, a tourist spot in the Philippines known for its white san beaches

If you still want to experience Philippines’ best beaches, then head to the world’s best island, Boracay! From Palawan, you can already fly directly to Boracay. Don’t worry about feeling tired from the activities that you’ve done from the past days because Boracay is an island for you to just chill. Head over to White beach that has 3 stations to choose from.

Places to check out in Boracay: Station 1 has mostly high-end resorts and restaurants. Station 2 has the party hubs and D’Mall. And Station 3 is the least crowded, perfect for your solo moment.

Where to stay in Boracay 

  1. Shore Time Hotel Annex – Starts at P2500/night 
  2. The Tides Hotel Boracay – Starts at P5700/night 
  3. 357 Boracay – Starts at P4500/night 
  4. M&E Guesthouse – Starts at P2000/night

These are the well-known Philippine tourist spots to summarize this archipelagic country that Filipinos are proud of. You may opt for choosing this 7-day trip on an off-peak season to really embrace the beauty of this country. These places are the sure-hit topic to talk about among the Filipinos anywhere around the world. With the right amount of planning, it’s definitely going to be worth it!

 

Related article: 70+ Gorgeous Philippines Tourist Spots to Visit

ZEN Rooms are available in these areas that offer travelers the best quality rooms at an affordable price. Every property has great amenities and reliable customer service for your needs. Travel more, Pay less! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Philippines Tourist Spots

Q: What is the best tourist spot in the Philippines?

A: From Luzon and Visayas to Mindanao, here are the most beautiful Philippines tourist attractions that won’t fail to impress you.

  1. Palawan
  2. Batanes
  3. Boracay
  4. Cebu
  5. Siargao
  6. Ifugao 
  7. Camiguin
  8. Ilocos
  9. Manila 
  10. Bohol
  11. Pampanga
  12. Tagaytay
  13. Batangas
  14. Rizal 
  15. Laguna
  16. Zamboanga
  17. Sagada
  18. Baler
  19. Siquijor
  20. Bacolod 

Q: What is the most beautiful tourist spot in Luzon, Philippines?

A: Luzon is full of beautiful places to visit. Among these are:

  • Intramuros
  • Mt. Kiltepan Viewpoint
  • Anawangin Cove
  • Mayon Volcano
  • Taal Volcano
  • Tinipak River
  • Mt. Pinatubo
  • Puerto Princesa Underground River
  • Racuh A Payaman 
  • Big Lagoon
  • Small Lagoon
  • Kayangan Lake
  • Banaue Rice Terraces 

Q: What is the Philippines known for?

A: The Philippines is known for its pristine beaches, breathtaking mountains and hills, great diving spots, jaw-dropping lagoons and lakes, and great traits and culture. 

Q: Why is it more fun in the Philippines?

A: It’s more fun in the Philippines because you get to enjoy over 7,000 islands! And what makes it really more fun is the kind locals that are happy to welcome you 24/7.

Q: Why is the Philippines the best tourist attraction destination?

A: The Philippines is a great place to travel to because of its pristine islands that have been recognized as the world’s best by international travel magazines; its historical sites; delicious cuisine; and of course, the hospitable locals.

Q: Is the Philippines open for tourists? 

A: As of writing, the Philippines is open for fully vaccinated tourists coming from abroad. For more Philippine travel updates, read here and here.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

While seat sales are everywhere tempting us to hop on a plane, not all people have the luxury of having a limitless number of vacation leaves because most often than not, all that’s left on our calendar are a couple of long weekends to get out of town. Hence, we end up searching for a weekend getaway near Manila.

You don’t actually need to book a plane ticket to satisfy your wanderlust. In fact, you don’t even need to drive too far from the city at all! We know how important a quick recharge is, so we listed all the good places you can escape to if ever you need a quick weekend getaway.

Quarantine Hotels in manila

10 Best Weekend Getaways near Manila

Here are the most relaxing and fun weekend getaways near Manila:

  1. Batangas
  2. Tagaytay
  3. Laguna
  4. Rizal
  5. Zambales
  6. Pangasinan
  7. Quezon
  8. La Union
  9. Bataan
  10. Pampanga

What’s inside this blog?

Itching for a quick getaway near Manila? Let’s explore each of the fun weekend destinations near Manila that are perfect for your much-needed break.

1. Batangas

When looking for a weekend getaway near Manila, Batangas comes first to mind. From beaches and hiking to food trips, Batangas has everything that other destinations have, too. You can already enjoy white sand beaches without traveling by plane!

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Fortune Island
  • Masasa Beach
  • Malabrigo Beach
  • Matabungkay Beach
  • Taal Heritage Town

More Batangas tourist spots for a quick escape: 12 Pristine Beaches in Batangas Every Traveler Shouldn’t Miss for a Fun Getaway

Budget Accommodations in Batangas

  1. ZEN Rooms Yellowbell Batangas
    Price range: P2,500 – P7,600 per night
  2. ZEN Rooms Park B&B Batangas
    Price range: P2,000 – P2,500 per night
  3. ZEN Rooms Hacienda Darasa
    Price range: P2,500 – P9,700 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Rosario Resort Batangas
    Price range: P3,200 – P8,700

2. Tagaytay

One of the most famous destinations for overnight getaways near Manila, whether it’s summer or not, is Tagaytay. It’s basically among the coldest places in the Philippines that give its visitors fresh clean air and a pleasant atmosphere.

Some of the most famous activities in Tagaytay are trekking to Taal Volcano’s crater, dine at a restaurant with a breathtaking view of Taal Volcano, and search for the best bulalo in town. So if you want your getaway to be fun and not too far from the metro, Tagaytay is the place to be.

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Sky Ranch Tagaytay
  • Balay Dako
  • Sonya’s Garden
  • People’s Park in the Sky
  • Picnic Grove

More Tagaytay tourist spots for your much-deserved getaway: 12 Tagaytay Tourist Spots Perfect for Refreshing Staycation

Budget Accommodations in Tagaytay

  1. ZEN Rooms Cool Breeze Tagaytay
    Price range: P2,500 – P4,000 per night
  2. ZEN Premium Junction Tagaytay
    Price range: P2,700 per night
  3. Casamara Garden Tagaytay
    Price range: P1,200 – P6,900 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Titus Poison Garden
    Price range: P1,600 – P2,000 per night

3. Laguna

Not all paradise is made of pristine white beaches. Sometimes, it’s dressed as forests, hot springs, and falls. And Laguna is the obvious proof of that. Despite getting partly overlooked because it isn’t the typical summer destination, much of Laguna’s beauty is about the province’s unspoiled rainforests and waterfalls. 

Other than these, its towns radiate its glorious past as it retains its historic facade including that of Rizal Shrine, which is a replica of the original two-story house where Jose Rizal was born. 

Many people, especially those living in the neighboring provinces, often visit Laguna as it is one of the best cheap getaways near Manila. Laguna is also usually listed as a popular “staycation near me” destination if you’re from Manila.

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Majayjay Falls and Cold Springs
  • Pandin Lake
  • Hulugan Falls
  • Nuvali
  • Rizal Shrine

More awesome destinations for a quick getaway near Manila: Top 17 Laguna Tourist Spots to Visit if You Want An Ultimate Relaxation

4. Rizal

For quick weekend out-of-town trips, destinations like Tagaytay or Batangas usually come to mind. Rizal, while also close to Manila, is often overlooked. But this underrated travel destination has gems worth exploring that might even surprise you.

Rizal is rich in natural wonders such as mountains, stunning waterfalls and rivers, and art museums. And the good thing here is, Rizal is easily accessible by public transportation from Manila. There are many buses and vans that go in and out of the province

Travel time from Manila: 1-2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Daranak Falls
  • Tinipak River
  • Pililla Windmills
  • Masungi Georeserve
  • Pinto Art Museum

More awesome destinations for a fun weekend getaway: 10 Incredible Tanay Rizal Tourist Spots Worth Putting on Your Bucket List

5. Zambales

Another destination most frequented by travelers, especially solo backpackers, is Zambales. With its proximity to Manila, Zambales is one of the perfect destinations for overnight getaways near Manila. 

Although the province is just three to four hours road trip from the metro, it still gives you the feeling that you fell off the grid for the weekend. The best activities to do in Zambales are partying, camping at the beach, and island hopping.

You can enjoy the scenic views of Anawangin Cove or have the beach all to yourself at the uncrowded Capones Island. And don’t worry about the budget because Zambales is one of the most affordable getaways near Manila.

Travel time from Manila: 3-4 hours away

Recommended spots:

  • Anawangin Cove
  • Capones Island
  • Liwliwa Beach
  • Nagsasa Cove
  • Potipot Island

More Zambales tourist spots for your quick escape: 10 Best Beaches in Zambales Perfect for a Quick Beach Fix

6. Pangasinan

Pangasinan is mostly known for bangus (milkfish) and the Hundred Islands. However, there’s much more to see in this coastal province. 

If you’re hesitant to travel all the way to the North because of budget restrictions, don’t worry because, in Pangasinan, it’s possible to have a weekend getaway near Manila with the whole family without breaking the bank.

The province is blessed with hundred islands, beautiful beaches, and nature spots. It’s home to several spots that are perfect for recreational activities—from swimming and trekking to sightseeing.

Travel time from Manila: Around 5-6 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Hundred Islands National Park
  • Abagatanen and Pabrika Beach
  • Enchanted Cave
  • Panacalan Island
  • Patar Beach

For more tourist spots near me in Pangasinan for your quick getaway, read this: 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in Pangasinan Fit for a Beach-Lover’s Taste

7. Quezon

Whether you’re looking for a fun or tranquil vacation near Manila, you won’t miss out when you travel to Quezon province as it has everything you’re looking for—from stunning white beaches and delectable cuisine to lively and colorful festival. And don’t miss their delicious Pancit Habhab!

Travel time from Manila: 4 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Borawan Beach
  • Hagdan-Hagdan Falls
  • Villa Escudero
  • Jomalig Island
  • Kamay ni Hesus

8. La Union

The main reason for any tourist visiting La Union is to surf. If you’re new to this and want to learn how to surf, the beachfront is lined with surfing schools and instructors that will help you. 

But La Union is more than just a surf town. It offers a wide variety of food places, activities, and scenic spots. When in La Union, you’ll definitely experience its vibrant colors, youthful energy, and laid-back vibe to the fullest.

Travel time from Manila: 4 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Tangadan Falls
  • Luna Beach
  • Baluarte Watchtower
  • Kamay na Bato Art Gallery
  • Grape Farm

Can’t find a relaxing place in Metro Manila? Check this out instead: 12 Must-Visit Beaches in La Union for a Fun Weekend Escape

Budget Accommodations in La Union

  1. ZEN Rooms G Hotel La Union
    Price range: P1,000 – P1,700 per night
  2. Monaliza Surf Resort
    Price range: P1,600 – P6,000 per night
  3. ZEN Rooms Basic North Coast Resort
    Price range: P2,600 – P7,500 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Le Marc Beach Resort La Union
    Price range: P3,500 – P10,600 per night

9. Bataan

When someone says Bataan, the first thing that will come to mind is how it has played a big role during World War II because of the Bataan Death March and The Battle of Bataan.

While the province is rich in history, it’s also the perfect destination for anyone who wants to escape the chaos of Manila. If you feel like traveling back in time and see what Old Manila looks like, you can visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar; or if you just want to have a chill vacation, go on an island-hopping or beach trip at Five Fingers Cove.

Bataan is surely a great weekend getaway destination.

Travel time from Manila: 

  • 1 hour by ferry
  • Less than 3 hours by land

Recommended spots:

  • Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
  • Five Fingers Coves
  • Pawikan Conservation Center
  • Mount Samat National Shrine
  • Sisiman Bay and Lighthouse

Done with your vacations in Manila? Extend your getaway in Bataan: 16 Best Bataan Tourist Spots Every Traveler Will Love

Budget Accommodation in Bataan

Eva’s Paradise Beach Resort
Price range: P2,500 – P7,000 per night

10. Pampanga

While Pampanga boasts its cuisines and delicacies that have become national sensations, making them the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, it has much more to offer other than food. 

Pampanga caters to every kind of traveler—from the adventurous to laid-back tourists. When in Pampanga, you can go to Sandbox in Alviera to fix your adventure cravings with its fun rides and activities. You can also go on a laid-back trip by visiting Puning Hot Springs.

Travel time from Manila: 2 hours

Recommended spots:

  • Mt. Pinatubo crater
  • Sandbox
  • Zoocobia Fun Zoo
  • Puning Hot Springs
  • Aqua Planet

For more tourist spots in Pampanga, read this: 10 Best Pampanga Tourist Spots Not to Miss for a Fun-Filled Trip

If you’re planning to have a weekend getaway near Manila, book your budget hotels at ZEN Rooms to enjoy great rooms at an affordable price!

Frequently Asked Questions about weekend getaways near Manila

Q: Where can I go near Manila this weekend?
A: Here are the best places to go near Manila for a weekend getaway

  1. Batangas: 2 hours away
  2. Tagaytay: 2 hours
  3. Laguna: 2 hours
  4. Rizal: 1-2 hours
  5. Zambales: 3-4 hours
  6. Pangasinan: 5-6 hours
  7. Quezon: 4 hours
  8. La Union: 4 hours
  9. Bataan: 1 hour by ferry. Under 3 hours by land. 
  10. 10. Pampanga: 2 hours

Q: Where can I unwind near Manila?
A: These are the best places to unwind near Manila:

  1. Batangas: Fortune Island, Masasa Beach, Malabrigo Beach
  2. Tagaytay: Sky Ranch Tagaytay, Sonya’s Garden, People’s Park in the Sky
  3. Laguna: Majayjay Falls and Cold Springs, Pandin Lake, Hulugan Falls
  4. Rizal: Masungi Georeserve, Tinipak River, Pililla Windmills
  5. Zambales: Capones Island, Anawangin Cove
  6. Pangasinan: Hundred Islands National Park, Abagatanen and Pabrika Beach, Enchanted Cave
  7. Quezon: Hagdan-Hagdan Falls, Villa Escudero, Borawan Beach
  8. La Union: Luna Beach, Baluarte Watchtower, Tangadan Falls
  9. Bataan: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Sisiman Bay and Lighthouse, Five Fingers Coves
  10. Pampanga: Mt. Pinatubo crater, Puning Hot Springs, Aqua Planet, Zoocobia Fun Zoo

Q: Where should I go for a 2 day trip near Manila?
A: Here are 5 best options for a 2-day trip or a weekend getaway include:

  1. Pampanga
  2. Bataan
  3. Zambales
  4. Pangasinan
  5. La Union

Q: What are the best beaches near Manila?
A: The best beaches near Manila for a weekend getaway are:

  1. Masasa Beach
  2. Liwliwa Beach
  3. Abagatanen and Pabrika Beach
  4. Pundaquit Beach
  5. Burot Beach
  6. Halfmoon Beach
  7. Masasa Beach
  8. Burot Beach
  9. Nagsasa Cove
  10. Talisayin Cove Beach

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Some destinations might be closed or there might be travel restrictions placed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please keep the government mandate in mind.

While there are many beautiful churches across Metro Manila, there are those which stand out for their rich history and undeniably stunning architecture. Take for example the centuries-old Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz which is popularly known as Binondo Church. 

More than being a place for worship, Binondo Church is a symbol of the fusion of Chinese culture and Catholic faith. 

Cover photo source: Wikimedia Commons

About Binondo Church

Binondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz is located in the District of Binondo. It was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 to serve their Chinese converts to Christianity and accommodate the growing population. In 1762, British bombardment destroyed the original building of the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz and re-constructed in 1852. 

What’s inside this blog?

Explore San Lorenzo Ruiz Church Binondo with a pocket full of knowledge by reading this blog where we detail the Binondo Church history, things you can do, and what to eat in and around the district.

Binondo Church History

Interiror of Binondo Church Manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Binondo Church history started way back in the 16th century. Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz or Binondo Church as what many would call it, was built in the late 1600s. A few years later when the population grew, the church was demolished and a bigger one was constructed in the 1700s to serve the religious needs of the Filipino Chinese communities. But during World War II, the San Lorenzo Ruiz Church Binondo was destroyed, in which only the facade, belfry and the Ongpin Street side, remained standing. It was then reconstructed.

Its facade is not the only interesting part of this church in Binondo because once you enter the structure, you’ll be welcomed by an amazing work of art from top to bottom. The arches and pillars are stunning and so are the ceiling paintings depicting biblical scenes.

And to those who are really into the Binondo Church history, your heart might skip a beat when you look at the floor where you can find pieces of tombstones with Chinese and Latin texts. The same tombstones  are used as plant boxes in the nearby Sta Cruz Church Binondo.

One more interesting thing about this church in San Lorenzo Ruiz Binondo is that this was where the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz, served as a sacristan when he was young.


Binondo Church Address

The Church in Binondo also known as Minor Basilica Of San Lorenzo Ruiz is located in Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz Binondo, Metro Manila. Below is a map to keep you guided.


How to get to Binondo Church

A fountain in front of Binondo Church Manila

Photo credits to Wayne S. Grazio via Flickr

There are several ways to reach Binondo Church from different points in Metro Manila: by jeep, bus, van, or train. See below for the details:

By train

  • Take the MRT and alight at the Taft Avenue station.
  • Upon arrival at the Taft Avenue station, walk through the connecting foot bridge towards LRT-1 EDSA station.
  • Take the LRT-1 to Carriedo station.
  • Exit the station.
  • Turn left at Rizal Avenue, and walk past Sta. Cruz Church towards Bustos.
  • Turn left at Bustos, and walk about 1 block until you get to Ongpin. Chinatown begins there, right behind Sta. Cruz Church.

By jeep

From Makati

  • From Guadalupe or Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia), ride a jeep to Cartimar, and drop off at Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia) corner Taft Ave.
  • Go to the side across Atrium Suites and EGI Mall.
  • Ride an FX/jeep to Divisoria, and get off at Ongpin corner Q. Paredes. Landmark is Binondo Church.

From Paranaque/Pasay

  • From Taft Avenue, ride a jeep to Divisoria, and get off at Ongpin corner Q. Paredes. Landmark is Binondo Church.

From Quezon City

  • From North Avenue, ride a jeep/bus to Sta. Cruz, and get off at Sta. Cruz Church.
  • Turn right at Rizal Avenue, and walk past Sta. Cruz Church towards Bustos.
  • Turn left at Bustos, and walk about 1 block until you get to Ongpin. Chinatown begins there, right behind Sta. Cruz Church.

From Taguig

  • From NAMRIA, Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Gate 2, 3rd Avenue, 26th Street, 32nd Street, or 34th Street, ride a jeep to Guadalupe.
  • From Guadalupe, ride a jeep to Cartimar, and get off at Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia) corner Taft Ave.
  • Go to the side across Atrium Suites and EGI Mall.
  • Ride an FX/jeep to Divisoria, and get off at Ongpin corner Q. Paredes. Landmark is Binondo Church.

Things to do in Binondo

jeeps passing through chinatown in binondo

While Binondo has always been known as the home of the world’s oldest Chinatown, there’s more to the district waiting for every traveler. We’ve rounded up all the must-try activities when in Binondo.

1. Food trip

You can never consider yourself a real foodie until you have been to Binondo. This district offers a memorable gastronomic adventure. From fried siopao, dim sum, and roast duck to adventurous eats like frog legs, Binondo has just about everything your tummy could ever crave. Don’t miss the Beef Lamien in Lan Zhou La Mien and Hakaw in Wai Ying Fastfood. They’re not famous to foodies for nothing, that’s why this tourist spot in Manila is a must-visit!

2. Explore Chinatown

While you’re in Binondo, you must not miss Chinatown. Not only does it offer additional knowledge about history, great food, and Instagrammable spots, but it is also the oldest Chinatown in the world.

3. Pray at the Binondo Church

Make sure to add Binondo Church in your itinerary because this place is one for the books. It has an amazing architecture and interiors. And here’s more, you’ll find tombstones on the floor in some parts of the church.

4. Visit Sta. Cruz Church

Sta Cruz Church Binondo, also known as the Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church is a baroque Roman Catholic parish church in the district of Santa Cruz in Manila. The Jesuits established this church in the early 1600s for the growing community of Chinese Christians in Manila. You can also drop by the Ongpin Church when you visit Binondo and Sta. Cruz Churches to make the most of your tour.

5. Walk along the streets of Escolta

Escolta is one of the most underrated tourist spots in Manila. Although it looks greatly damaged and forgotten after World War II, it’s actually those factors that make Escolta so interesting. That’s why it’s easy to see why millennials and photographers love to visit it. Now, Escolta is not just a famous photography subject but also a great place to experience good food, arts, crafts, and music festivals. Make sure to visit this place in Manila for a trip to remember.

Frequently Asked Questions About Binondo Church

Q: When was Binondo Church built?

A: The church in Binondo was built in the late 1600s but was destroyed by British bombing in 1762 and re-constructed in 1852.

Q: Who designed Binondo Church?

A: Binondo Church was designed by Spanish architect, Domingo de la Cruz González.

Q: Where should I eat in Binondo?

A: If you’re going on a food trip in Binondo, do it right. We’ve listed all the best places to eat in Binondo.

  1. Wai Ying Fast Food
  2. Dong Bei Dumplings
  3. Shanghai Fried Siopao
  4. Lan Zhou La Mien
  5. Cafe Mezzanine
  6. President’s Tea House
  7. Awi’s Cafe & Restaurant
  8. Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant
  9. Masuki Mami House
  10. Estero Fast Food

Q: What to do in Binondo?

A: Here are some of the must-try activities in Binondo district in Manila:

  1. Food trip
  2. Explore Chinatown
  3. Pray at the Binondo Church
  4. Visit Sta. Cruz Church and Ongpin Church
  5. Walk along the streets of Escolta

Q: Is Binondo open for tourists?

A: As of writing, the National Capital Region where Binondo is located, and four other provinces are currently under ECQ which means leisure traveling is not allowed.

Q: Is there an entrance fee at Binondo Church?

A: There is no entrance fee at Binondo Church and other churches nearby like the Ongpin Church.

Q: What is the Binondo Church mass schedule?

A: The Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz holds holy masses every day.

  • 7am and 12:15pm (Monday to Friday)
  • 7am, 12:15pm, 5pm (Saturday)
  • 8:30am, 10am, 12:15pm, 5pm (Sunday)

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

The city of Manila is a place that is both old and modern. With its rich history, almost all areas have become great tourist spots in Manila that everyone wants to visit. From the preserved architecture brought by Spanish colonialism to outstanding Filipino culture, Manila has everything you’d ask for!

And because these Manila tourist attractions are just oh-so-beautiful and very historic, you might think that everything comes at a price. But whether you are on a tight budget or if you’re just naturally a sucker for free things, there are tourist spots in Manila that you could actually visit for free!

15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Manila this 2021

From old to modern attractions, Manila tourist spots won’t disappoint you. Here’s a list of the best places in Manila that you can explore alone or with someone.

  1. Baluarte De San Diego
  2. Fort Santiago
  3. Casa Manila
  4. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  5. Escolta
  6. National Museum of the Philippines
  7. Rizal Park
  8. Manila Baywalk
  9. San Agustin Church
  10. Manila Cathedral
  11. Binondo
  12. Manila Ocean Park
  13. Dessert Museum
  14. SM Mall of Asia
  15. Seaside Dampa

To guide you on your Manila trip, we’ve listed 10 best places to visit in Manila that you should not miss!

1. Baluarte De San Diego

intramuros makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

One of the most historical places in Manila is Intramuros. When you see Intramuros, it will have you second-guessing whether you are still in the Philippines because of its cobbled streets and preserved establishments with Spanish-inspired architecture. Among the most popular Intramuros, Manila tourist spots is Baluarte de San Diego.

Baluarte de San Diego used to be a drowning chamber during the Spanish era. It was built and designed by the Jesuit priest Antonio Sedeno in the late 1580s. Its main feature is the circular dungeon called Fort Nuestra Señora de Guia. Today, Baluarte de San Diego is surrounded by beautiful gardens, adorned with lush plants, pathways, fountains, and an attractive pergola that will remind you of fantasy land. That is why it has become a popular place for weddings, family parties, and other special occasions.

2. Fort Santiago

One of the must visit places in Manila is Fort Santiago in Intramuros. It is the oldest Hispanic stone fortress in the Philippines. There are kalesas or carriage, old dungeons, an old theater, gardens, and more to keep your eyes and ears busy as you take in all the history.

The great news here is, the government has opened its dungeons for the public so visitors can explore the dungeons that were used as storage vaults and powder magazines of the Baluarte de Santa Barbara, a stone structure constructed in 1592. During World War II, the dungeons were used by Japanese troops to imprison resistance fighters and political prisoners. This Manila tourist spot is definitely a must-visit!

3. Casa Manila

intramuros luzon tourist spots

At Casa Manila, you’ll find out how the rich lived during the Spanish era in the Philippines. Its main attraction is a fully-furnished home-turned-museum that shows how Filipinos lived during the colonial era. While every corner is beautiful and Instagrammable, visitors are not allowed to take photos. When inside, walk only on the carpeted areas so that you do not damage the wooden floors. Of all the luxurious furniture in Casa Manila, the most notable are the toilets. Apparently, in the old days, toilets were built in twos or more to allow people to sit beside each other and chat while they did their business. Casa Manila is surely a great place to visit in Manila.

4. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant

barbaras restaurant intramuros

If you’re looking for places to visit in Manila that will satisfy your hungry tummy, dine in at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. Intramuros never disappoints our history and sightseeing cravings but other than these, it’s also a good place to find the top restaurants in Manila. One of these is Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. If you’re looking for authentic Filipino food to add to your historical day trip, Barbara’s is the perfect place to go to. Try all of the dishes from their grand buffet, while enjoying cultural dance performances. Plus, Barbara’s is a perfect place for a romantic date that will give you the best vibe of Intramuros at night.

5. Escolta

Escolta is one of the most underrated tourist spots in Manila. Although it looks greatly damaged and forgotten after World War II, it’s actually those factors that make Escolta so interesting. That’s why it’s easy to see why millennials and photographers love to visit it. Now, Escolta is not just a famous photography subject but also a great place to experience good food, arts, crafts, and music festivals. Make sure to visit this place in Manila for a trip to remember.

6. National Museum of the Philippines

If you’re into history and culture, the National Museum of the Philippines is the perfect Manila tourist spot to visit. It is home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium—a gigantic painting more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide, making it the Philippines’ largest painting. Another great thing about this museum is that admission is free! So don’t miss this best tourist spot in Manila!

7. Rizal Park

The city of Manila has a lot of parks to visit. One of these is the Rizal Park where the monument of Philippines’ National Hero Jose Rizal is. This is considered one of the most historical places in Manila because this is where Jose Rizal was executed.

You can experience peace and a calm environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The park has also become a favorite leisure spot in Manila. You can also have a picnic there while enjoying Rizal Park’s greenery and calming ambiance. Apart from Rizal’s monument, there are also artworks and museums, fountains, and other statues found within the park. Don’t miss Rizal Park as it’s one of the most beautiful Manila tourist attractions.

8. Manila Baywalk

Another most frequented tourist spot near Manila is the Manila Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard. It is famous for all ages because everyone can walk, bike around, or just sit there while enjoying the majestic views of the sunset and Manila Bay. The good thing here is, you don’t have to pay to enjoy the amazing views, that’s why it’s one of the most popular Meteo Manila tourist spots! There are also many restaurants near the SM Mall of Asia by the Bay where you can eat at. Once you get there, it’s very easy to access other places to visit near Manila as there are many transportation terminals in the area.

9. San Agustin Church

One of the best places to visit in Intramuros is the San Agustin Church. This tourist spot in Manila is the oldest church in the Philippines and the only church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila. You’ll be amazed at the masterpiece painted on its ceilings. And one amazing fact to know about San Agustin Church is that the Philippines’ first governor-general, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, is buried there.

10. Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral, one of the most historical places in Manila, is the Premier Church of the Philippines as it was the first-ever cathedral in the country. The Cathedral we see today is not the original structure. Actually, the cathedral has been through a lot but stands still. It has been a witness to a history that is worthy to tell to every generation—from ups and downs to wars and love stories. The Manila Cathedral is surely one of the best places to visit in Manila.

11. Binondo

When in Manila, you can never consider yourself a real foodie until you have been to Binondo. Not only Binondo offers a great food adventure but it is also home to the oldest Chinatown in the world. From fried siopao, dim sum, and roast duck to adventurous eats like frog legs, Binondo has just about everything your tummy could ever crave. Don’t miss the Beef Lamien in Lan Zhou La Mien and Hakaw in Wai Ying Fastfood. They’re not famous to foodies for nothing, that’s why this tourist spot in Manila is a must-visit!

12. Manila Ocean Park

If you want a sea adventure, why not visit Manila Ocean Park? It is one of the most popular Manila tourist attractions. Manila Ocean Park has regular aquatic performances and chances to get up close to some beautiful tropical fish. Everyone, especially the kids, will love this adventure! Manila Ocean Park also offers one of the most exciting things to do in Manila— the Aquanaut experience. It allows you to wear an oxygen-filled space helmet and walk underwater. This ocean park surely is a great place to visit in Manila.

13. Dessert Museum

Photo credits to The Dessert Museum

If you’re looking for quirky and colorful NCR tourist spots, the Dessert Museum is your best bet where you can have the sweetest trip in Pasay. It consists of 12,000 square feet of dessert play area with 8 mouthwatering themed-rooms of sugar-filled happiness. This is the only museum you’ll ever slide into! And as you slide and play, you will also be treated to samples of desserts especially curated to fit the themed room. The Dessert Museum is definitely a must-visit tourist spot in Metro Manila.

14. SM Mall of Asia

Located in Pasay City’s Bay City, SM Mall of Asia is the third-largest shopping mall in the world. There are four interconnected main buildings that house hundreds of retail outlets and restaurants. More than shopping and food, SM has incorporated expansive entertainment activities around it. These include an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, an IMAX theater, an entertainment arena, MOA Eye Ferris wheel, EXPLOREUM Science Center, and the SMX Convention Center. You can also enjoy a fresh seafood buffet by the bay while watching the sunset. SM MOA is the best place in Manila to experience all things you want: sightseeing, adventure, and food tripping.

15. Seaside Dampa

line of fresh seafood at seaside dampa pasay

This is the largest seafood place in Manila can be found in an avenue of hotels, shopping malls, and casinos. This market offers a variety of fresh seafood, where one can shop and have the food cooked in one of the nearby restaurants. Simply choose a restaurant, check their menu for seafood dishes, and decide how you want your dish to be served and prepared. From buttered shrimp to crabs in salted egg sauce, this seafood heaven is perfect for family gatherings and celebrations! Grab yourself a ton of seafood and enjoy the wonders of this marketplace. You buy, you feast! It’s as simple as that! Dampa is not just a tourist spot Metro Manila but it’s also a place where you experience the best seafood in the metro.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Spots in Manila

Q: Is there an entrance fee in Intramuros?

A: There is no admission fee to enter the Intramuros district, but note that some attractions in Manila, such as Fort Santiago and San Agustin, charge a small entrance fee.

Q: What are the best places to go in Manila?

A: Here’s a list of the must-visit places in Manila Philippines:

  • Baluarte De San Diego
  • Fort Santiago
  • Casa Manila
  • Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  • Escolta
  • National Museum of the Philippines
  • Rizal Park
  • Manila Baywalk
  • San Agustin Church
  • Manila Cathedral
  • Binondo
  • Manila Ocean Park
  • Dessert Museum
  • SM Mall of Asia
  • Seaside Dampa

Q: Is Intramuros open at night?

A: Intramuros is open at night and in fact, offers a romantic vibe. But note that some attractions are closed from 6pm onwards.

Q: Is Manila open for travelers?

A: As of writing, Manila is still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) so not all tourist spots are open. However, some Manila places like Intramuros, are now open again.

Q: What are the best places to visit in Intramuros?

A: Intramuros is a beautiful place every traveler must visit. Here are some of the best Intramuros tourist spots to check out: 

  1. Fort Santiago
  2. Manila Cathedral
  3. San Agustin Church
  4. Casa Manila
  5. Silahis Center
  6. Baluarte De San Diego
  7. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  8. Light and Sound Museum
  9. Museo de Intramuros
  10. Bahay Tsinoy

Q: What is the Walled City in the Philippines?

A: Intramuros. The Intramuros Manila description is “The Walled City”

Q: What is the LRT station near Intramuros?

A: The LRT station near Intramuros is Central Terminal Station. From there, it’s just a five-minute walk to the walled city Philippines.

Q: How much is the Kalesa ride in Intramuros?

A: A Kalesa ride in Intramuros costs around PHP 350 to PHP 500 for 30 minutes. The trip will take you to the best tourist spot in Manila, and a number of historical landmarks in the former seat of government of colonial Philippines, including Baluarte de San Diego, Plaza Mexico, and Puerto Real.

Now that you’ve seen all the best tourist spots in Manila, it’s time to look for your hotel! Book budget hotels in Manila at www.zenrooms.com and enjoy high-quality accommodation at a very affordable price!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Some spots might be closed or there might be travel restrictions placed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please keep the government mandate in mind.

The city of Manila is known for so many things—cool museums, preserved Spanish structures, the world’s oldest Chinatown, and the historic sites where some of the most significant events in Philippine history took place. Mention this city and without a doubt, Rizal Park automatically comes to mind. 

While it’s popularly known for being the site where the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was executed, Rizal park is more than that.

About Rizal Park

rizal park luneta

Also known as Luneta Park, Manila’s iconic 58-hectare park is considered as one of the most historical places in Manila because this is where Jose Rizal was executed on December 30, 2896—the day that led to a revolution. 

His remains were dumped in an unmarked grave at the Paco Cemetery but in 1898, it was transferred to the Rizal Park monument in Luneta under American rule.

What’s inside this blog?

Read this blog to learn more about Jose Rizal Park for a fun and fruitful adventure.

Rizal Park History

Before it was known as the site of Rizal’s death, it began as barely habitable marshland, then became a hub of the Spanish leisure class. Originally named as Bagumbayan or the “new village,” the park’s proximity to some government offices, its accessibility from the new country homes being built in the outskirts of Manila, and the fresh air it brings from the sea is a respite from the tropical heat. That’s why it was an ideal spot for the Spanish and Manila elite seeking comforts.

The Luneta Park tagalog draws its name from the word lunette, meaning “crescent-shaped structure for defense used in fortifications in the 17th to 18th centuries.”

Luneta Park then became the capital’s killing field—the place of martyrdom of three secular priests falsely accused of leading an uprising, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (GomBurZa), and of course, Jose Rizal’s execution site.

Rizal Park Facts

To make your trip more educational, here are some facts about Rizal Park tagalog you must know.

1. Three Popes held Mass here

  • Pope Paul VI – 1970
  • Pope John Paul II – 1995 (Holding the record for the largest papal crowd in history from the Guinness Book of World Records, with an estimated 4-5 million attendees, mostly youth.)
  • Pope Francis – 2015

2. Considered as the largest urban park in Asia

3. A usual venue of various attempts to break world records

Rizal Park Location

Luneta Park location is one of the most historic sites in the Philippines. It is found in Ermita, Manila. 

How to Get There

From around Manila

Option 1: Ride a jeepney along Rizal Avenue bound for Taft Avenue and ask the driver to drop you off at T.M. Kalaw.

Option 2: Take LRT-1 going to Taft and get down at United Nations station. Upon arrival, walk towards T.M. Kalaw.

Option 3: You can ride an FX along Roxas Boulevard with a sign Sucat-Lawton then, tell the driver to drop you off at Luneta.

From Pasay

Option 1: Ride an FX or bus going to Manila City Hall or Lawton and get down at Luneta.

Option 2: From SM Mall of Asia or along Taft Avenue, take a jeepney going to Divisoria either via Taft or Mabini route. Get down at Luneta.

Option 3: If you’re coming from Makati, ride Libertad-LRT or Buendia-LRT-bound jeepneys or Ayala-Leveriza-bound buses and alight at the LRT station. Ride either an LRT or jeepney along Taft Avenue and get down at United Nations Station or Luneta Park location.

Tourist Spots Near Rizal Park

You can experience a calm environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle when in Luneta. The park has also become a favorite leisure spot in Manila. Here are some of the best tourist spots to visit near the location of Rizal Park. 

Rizal Monument

Rizal Monument at Luneta Park

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The Rizal Park monument is a 42 feet standing bronze sculpture of Rizal, set on a granite stone base which his remains are interred inside. 

National Museum of the Philippines

national museum of the philippines

The National Museum of the Philippines is the perfect location to appreciate the country’s rich culture as works of art by Filipino artists are featured in the multiple levels of this museum. Famous artworks like “Spoliarium” and “Parisian Life” by Juan Luna and artifacts from different periods in the Philippines can be seen here. Plus, it’s completely free so it’s definitely an enriching experience! 

Relief Map of the Philippines

Relief Map of the Philippines rizal park manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

It is a 3D relief map of the Philippines situated in the middle of a small lake in Luneta Park location. 

Chinese and Japanese Gardens

Chinese and Japanese Gardens rizal park manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Another attraction you can find near Rizal Park address are the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. You can stroll around the area to see beautiful gardens, small lagoons, and Chinese and Japanese-inspired structures.

Monument of Lapu-Lapu

Lapu-Lapu Monument, Rizal Park manila

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The 40 feet bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu, another Filipino hero, stands in the middle of Agrifina Circle within the eastern portion of Luneta Park.

It looks towards the sea, almost mirroring the famous Rizal Park statue of Dr. Jose Rizal. Lapu-Lapu’s monument is 400 meters away from the Rizal monument. According to Senador Richard Gordon said it symbolizes the 400-year historical distance between Lapu-Lapu and Rizal.

Where to Stay

In case you’re planning a quick getaway just around Manila, here are the places you can book for safe staycations in Manila

1. ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila

v plaza manila

Isn’t it great to have a safe hotel staycation Manila without worrying about your wellbeing, and of course, your budget? ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila is a perfect place for those looking for a cheap staycation in Manila. You’re guaranteed to have the best experience at this hotel as it offers great amenities that will totally relax you.

Address: 3003 Juan Luna St., Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila

Tourist spots near the hotel: Chinatown, Divisoria, 168 Shopping Mall, Intramuros, Escolta, Quiapo Church

Ideal for: Backpackers, Traders, Young Professionals, Business, Leisure

Amenities: 24h Security, Parking, Baggage Storage, Shared Lounge / TV Area, Designated Smoking Area, Concierge, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Flat Screen TV, Private Bathroom, Cable TV Channel, Window in the Room, Study Desk, Bath Gel/Soap, Shampoo, Bidet

Price from PHP 800/night

Check-in note: No age restriction

Book now

2. Slouch Hat Inn Manila

Slouch Hat Inn Manila

Now this one’s really perfect if you’re coming straight from Rizal Park tagalog. This hotel features a hotel bar and restaurant, rooms with complete amenities, and more. The location of the hotel is along the main street of the city, a few minutes away from historical places in the country, like Intramuros.

Address: 1112-1116 M.H. Del Pilar St., Ermita, Manila

Tourist spots near the hotel: Manila Baywalk, Manuel Roxas Monument, Museo Marino, Intramuros, Rizal Park description

Amenities: 24h Front Desk, 24h Room Service, Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Bar, Designated Smoking Area, Baggage Storage, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Flat Screen TV, Cable TV Channel, Fridge, In-Room Safe

Price from PHP 930/night

Book now

3. Baymont Suites & Residences

Baymont Suites & Residences

If you want to experience the best staycation in Manila, consider booking a stay at Baymont Suites & Residences. It’s near the airport and other attractions that’s why it makes a great destination for hotel staycation in Manila.

Address: 3992 Airport Road cor. Mactan St. Baclaran, Parañaque City

Tourist spots near the hotel: Baclaran Church, Manila Baywalk, SM Mall of Asia, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Manila Ocean Park, Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Amenities: 24h Room Service, Airport Shuttle (Extra Cost), Ironing Facilities, Baggage Storage, 24h Security, SPA (Massage), No Parking, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi, Non Smoking Room, Flat Screen TV, Private Bathroom, Cable TV Channel, Window in The Room, Bottled Water, Coffee & Tea, Kettle

Price from PHP 2,100/night

Check-in note: Valid ID and fill out health declaration form upon check-in

Book now

4. Rizal Park Hotel

rizal park hotel

Photo credits to Rizal Park Hotel

Address: Rizal Park Hotel is located at South Road Drive, T.M. Kalaw Ext., Ermita, Manila

Price from PHP 9,000/night

Frequently Asked Questions About Jose Rizal Park

Q: Why is Luneta Park important?

A: Luneta Park before and after plays a significant role. First, it was a popular leisure spot for Spanish and Manila’s elite, and second, it’s a site where some of the most significant events in Philippine History took place, like the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal and the three martyr priests GomBurZa.

Q: What can you see in Rizal Park?

A: Luneta Park features a lot of great attractions every traveler must visit. These are:

  1. Rizal Monument
  2. A 58-hectare park
  3. National Museum of the Philippines
  4. Relief Map of the Philippines
  5. Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  6. Monument of Lapu-Lapu
  7. Kilometer Zero
  8. Manila Baywalk

Q: What is the Luneta Park description?

A: The Luneta Park tagalog draws its name from the word lunette, meaning “crescent-shaped structure for defense used in fortifications in the 17th to 18th centuries.” The original name of Luneta Park is Bagumbayan.

Q: Why is Rizal Park considered historical and famous?

A: Luneta Park has been the site of the most significant events in the Philippine History. These include the execution of the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 1896 that sparked the fire of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers; the place of martyrdom of three secular priests falsely accused of leading an uprising, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (GomBurZa).

Q: What to do in Rizal Park? 

A: There are many things to do in Luneta Park at night and day. These are:

  1. Picnic
  2. Walking tour
  3. Visiting the Chinese and Japanese Gardens
  4. Learning Arts and Culture at National Museum
  5. Watching the dancing fountains in Luneta Park at night

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Beyond being a place of worship, San Agustin Church Manila is a masterpiece that every traveler looks forward to visiting in the city. 

Built in 1595, San Agustin Manila, officially known as Church of the Immaculate Conception of San Agustin, is the oldest church in the Philippines. It exhibits remarkable features such as retablos (altars) of high Baroque style and wall buttresses separating cripto collateral chapels. What makes it unique is its ceiling paintings in the tromp l’oeil style.

The centuries-old church bore witness to the 400 years of Spanish rule in the country. It has survived many bombings and earthquakes, and through its countless renovations, incorporated other influences including Filipino and Chinese designs. Clearly, the church stands witness to the rises and falls of the Philippines.

How old is the San Agustin Church?

The building of San Agustin Church in Manila started in 1571 and was only completed in 1607. As of writing, San Agustin Church is 413 years old, making it the oldest church in the Philippines.

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This famous landmark is a guaranteed must-see for anyone who wishes to learn about the rich history of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

San Agustin Church Manila being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

interior of san agustin church in manila

San Agustin Church Manila is an inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) in 1993 under the serial declaration of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, together with three churches in Paoay, Ilocos Norte; Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur; and Miagao, Iloilo. 

The Baroques Churches of the Philippines was inscribed in the WHS list because these churches established a style of building and design that was adapted to the physical conditions in the Philippines which had an important influence on later church architecture in the region. The Baroque Churches of the Philippines also represent the fusion of European church design and construction using local materials and decorative motifs to form a new church-building tradition. 

Two of the important points of the church are its bamboo organ and a hidden mausoleum, which houses the remains of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. 

San Agustin Church Manila History

antiques and other artifacts inside san agustin church manila

The building of the church started in 1571 under the auspices of the Agustinian Order. Like many structures during that time, the St Augustine Church Manila was built with nipa and bamboo. 

In 1574, the Chinese pirate, Limahong, invaded Manila. The invasion led to the burning of the city, among those burned was the San Agustin Church. This led to the first reconstruction of the church a year later. To rebuild the church, they used wooden materials which are more prone to fire. True enough, another fire caused the church’s destruction in 1583.

To avoid the same mistakes before, the Augustinian friars decided to rebuild the church using adobe stones. In 1586, they appointed Juan Macias to lead the design and construction of the church and was only completed in 1607. The new structure endured even the strongest earthquake that hit Manila from the 16th to 17th century. The only major damage was the collapse of one of the church’s bell towers, which was then permanently removed after.

Because of the church’s age of more than 400 years, it has become a witness to many significant events in Philippine history during the Spanish period. In 1762, during the Seven Years War, British forces looted the church. In 1898, San Agustin Church Manila became a venue for American and Spaniards to discuss and sign the surrender of Manila to the Americans.

During World War II, the Japanese forces turned St Augustine Church Manila into a concentration camp for prisoners. As the Battle of Manila in 1945 drew to a close, the Japanese held hostage priests and hundreds of residents inside the church. To drive out the remaining Japanese, American and Filipino forces conducted an air raid inside Intramuros. Because of that, structures in the walled city were reduced to rubbles but the San Agustin Church Intramuros Manila remained standing; one of the few that were left intact in Intramuros after the war. 

Places you can visit near San Agustin Church

Since you’re already in Intramuros, why not continue your trip by visiting other remarkable spots in the area? Here are some of the best places you can visit near San Agustin Church.

1. The San Agustin Museum

antiques and other artifacts inside san agustin church manila

The San Agustin Museum Manila is home to a collection of Spanish era artifacts, furniture, paintings, statues and other church ornaments.

2. Fort Santiago

a horse carriage in front of fort santiago

Fort Santiago is the oldest Hispanic stone fortress in the Philippines. There are kalesas or carriages, old dungeons, an old theater, gardens, and more to keep your eyes and ears busy as you take in all the history.

Visitors can explore the dungeons that were used as storage vaults and powder magazines of the Baluarte de Santa Barbara, a stone structure constructed in 1592. During World War II, the dungeons were used by Japanese troops to imprison resistance fighters and political prisoners.

3. Baluarte de San Diego

aerial view of the baluarte de san diego

The Baluarte de San Diego is a bastion in Intramuros, part of the Spanish colonial fortification in Intramuros. It is a fabulous park containing beautiful gardens and historic fort remains in Manila.

4. National Museum of the Philippines

facade of the national museum of the philippines

If you’re into history and culture, the National Museum of the Philippines is the perfect place to be. It is home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium— a gigantic painting more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide, making it the Philippines’ largest painting. What’s even more exciting is that admission is totally free!

How to get to San Agustin Church Manila

Manila is the capital of the Philippines so it’s easy to go and get around. From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), tourists can go around Manila through many options: buses, FXs, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, and pedicab. 

The city can also be easily accessed through the Light Rail Transit System (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

Make sure to book your accommodation through ZEN Rooms that offers the best budget hotels in Manila with great amenities at a very affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions About San Agustin Church Manila

Q: What is the oldest church in the Philippines?

A: The San Agustin Church, built between 1587 and 1606, is considered the oldest and longest standing church in the country. The church was the only structure left intact in Intramuros during World War II.

Q: Who built San Agustin Church?

A: San Agustin Church Manila was designed by Fray Antonio de Herrera, son or nephew of the great Spanish architect Juan de Herrera. During the 19th century the Neo-Gothic style was imported, mainly through the Philippine architect Felipe Roxas, who had traveled in Europe and England. 

Q: How old is the San Agustin Church?

A: The building of San Agustin Church in Manila started in 1571 and was only completed in 1607. As of writing, San Agustin Church is 413 years old.

Q: Where is San Agustin Church located

A: San Agustin Church is located in Intramuros, Manila, also known as the Walled City.

Q: What are the best places to visit near San Agustin Church Manila?

A: San Agustin Church Manila is located in Intramuros where there are so many historic and notable spots to see like: 

  1. The San Agustin Museum
  2. Fort Santiago
  3. Baluarte de San Diego
  4. National Museum of the Philippines
  5. Manila Cathedral
  6. Casa Manila
  7. Silahis Center
  8. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
  9. Light and Sound Museum
  10. Museo de Intramuros

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Now that most of us are stuck at home and all our supposed out-of-the-country summer vacations or road trip near Manila were cancelled due to the enhanced community quarantine brought by the pandemic crisis, we can’t help but daydream of what could have been the most summer vacay ever. 

But don’t fret! As long as we cooperate and stay at our homes for now, the crisis will be over sooner than expected.

For now, we’ll give you a list of the best road trip destinations near Manila so you can already prepare yourselves once we’re allowed to go out again!

10. Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo, Rizal

 

stunning view of hinulugang taktak waterfall

The 21-meter waterfalls used to be a popular weekend destination. But because of poor waste management and lack of proper sewage, it was closed for rehabilitation in the early 2010s, and was reopened to the public in 2015. 

Now, the renovated park features new sports facilities for the adventurous traveler who will enjoy the spider web platform, hanging bridges, and wall-climbing facility. While for those seeking a chill getaway, there are cottages which you can rent for P500 a day, and a swimming pool where you can take a dip for P50.

Address: Hinulugang Taktak is in Barangay Dela Paz, Antipolo City, Rizal

How to get there: From EDSA-Shaw Crossing in Mandaluyong, ride a jeep or van bound for Antipolo. Ask the driver to drop you off to the nearest landmark in Hinulugang Taktak then just ride a tricycle going to the park.

9. Caliraya Resort in Laguna

tourists having fun at the sky bicycle

Photo credits to Caliraya Resort Club

Caliraya is a 7.6-hectare resort in Lumban, Laguna. Just 3 hours away from the metro, this is a perfect weekend road trip near Manila.

The resort promotes a choose-your-own-adventure style of fun—from ziplines, swimming pools, rappelling walls and more, everyone will surely have a great time! Caliraya is also a great venue to do team building.

Address: Caliraya Resort Club Inc., Brgy. Lewin, Lumban, Laguna

How to get there: From Manila, take a bus going to Sta.Cruz, Laguna and get off at the Pagsawitan, Pagsanjan terminal. Once in Pagsanjan take a jeepney or tricycle ride to the Sta. Cruz terminal. The jeepney will pass through Pagsanjan, turn left through Lumban, then up the mountain road to Caliraya.

8. Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, Rizal

one of the museums in pinto art museum

If Batangas, Tagaytay, or Zambales is too far or too common for you, then consider visiting Pinto Art Museum. This museum is known for its several galleries all separated by doorways—hence the name. Just an hour away from the metro, Antipolo is a great destination for a weekend road trip near Manila. 

The museum is also a romantic place where you can take your significant other! You can both lounge in its various gardens, dine at its cafe, and wait for the sunset to complete your romantic day. Plus, Antipolo makes a great night road trip near Manila because there are many places you can visit to see a panoramic view of the metro like the Cloud 9. Even just by passing through its roads, the view is already nice. 

Address: 1 Sierra Madre St, Subdivision, Antipolo, Rizal

How to get there: From EDSA-Shaw Crossing in Mandaluyong, ride a jeep or van bound for Antipolo or Tanay. Ask the driver to drop you off to the Ynares Center. Then, ride a tricycle going to Pinto Art Museum.

7. Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan

panorama view of las casas with golden sky

Photo credits to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

If you’re looking for a different kind of road trip near Manila, go to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar where you can experience a unique heritage community that is brimming with history. You will see Old Manila’s glory from the collection of heritage houses that were transported and restored.

Packed with classic architecture, grandiose landscape, and spectacular waterworks, there is surely beauty anywhere you go. To tour the area, you can either hop on the Tramvia and traverse along cultural routes through cobblestone roads, go on a fluvial adventure by taking the balsa, and see the casas in a totally different angle, or go around the resort by taking the most common public transportation of the modern day Philippines. Whatever your choice is, it’s surely fun!

Address: Brgy. Ibaba, Bagac, Bataan

How to get there: Bataan is accessible via the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX). From Manila, take the Genesis Bus to Balanga Bus Station. From the bus station, take the jeepney going to Bagac or Morong (Bagac-bound has a limited time while Morong-bound has a longer time). Upon reaching Bagac, get down at the Filipino-Japanese Friendship Tower and go to the tricycle station. Take tricycle going to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (Gate 5 entrance)

Budget Accommodation in Bataan

Eva’s Paradise Beach Resort

Price range: P2,500 – P7,000 per night

6. Mt. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal

the beautiful river of tanay

With its proximity to Manila, Tanay has been a favorite go-to destination of those aiming for a quick getaway. Tanay boasts its many beautiful spots varying from nature to concrete. One of the most favorite road trip destinations near Manila is the Mt. Daraitan.

It’s among the most popular eco-tourism spots to date. Mt. Daraitan offers opportunities to go on an adventure in just a day through trails. The hike, where you can see the perfect sunrise views of limestone formations, commences at the Tinipak River, which is a must-visit, too! You can also consider this as a great night road trip near Manila because all the places you’ll pass through going back home are all beautiful and perfect for night landscapes.

Address: Brgy. Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal

How to get there: You can drive from Manila via the Tanay-Infanta Road through the Tanay-Sampaloc Road or Marcos Highway or Marilaque Highway (two to three hours). You can also ride a jeep or van (one hour and 30 minutes) to Tanay, then take a jeep to Sampaloc (45 minutes), and a tricycle ride to Barangay Daraitan (30 minutes).

5. Aqua Planet in Pampanga

colorful giant slides
Photo credits to Aqua Planet

Located just two hours away from the metro, Aqua Planet is a great destination for a road trip near Manila. It holds 38 different slides that you and your friends can all take. From the small ones to gigantic slides, everyone will surely have fun and you’ll keep wanting for more best road trips near Manila.

Address: Clark Freeport, Mabalacat, Pampanga

How to get there: From Cubao or Pasay terminal, ride a bus bound for Dagupan and get off at Dau-Mabalacat bus terminal in Pampanga. Walk towards MacArthur Highway and from there, you can take a jeep, hire a tricycle to SM Clark or straight to Bayanihan Terminal, or get a Grab to take you straight to Aqua Planet. From Bayanihan Terminal, take the jeep to Aqua Planet. 

Alternatively, you can take the P2P bus in Trinoma bound for SM Clark. Alight at SM Clark and take a walk to Bayanihan Terminal. Ride a jeep or book a Grab to Aqua Planet.

4. Sepoc Beach in Anilao, Batangas

empty beach in sepoc island

Itching to go on a beach trip but don’t have a lot of time to spare? Go to Anilao, Batangas instead of flying to Boracay or Palawan. Batangas never miss the list of the best road trip places near Manila because it’s just two hours away!

In Sepoc Beach, you can enjoy its deep blue waters through banana boat rides or scuba diving. Anilao is one of the best diving spots in the country, mind you. 

Address: Eagle Point Beach Resort, Brgy, Mabini, Batangas

How to get there: From Cubao, ride a bus that is bound for Batangas City Terminal. Then ride a jeep going to Mabini and ask the driver to drop you off at Anilao Port. From the port, rent a tricycle going to Eagle Point Beach Resort where you need to pay a day trip fee because they handle Sepoc Island. Then ride a boat going to Sepoc.

Budget Accommodations in Batangas

1. ZEN Rooms Yellowbell Batangas

Price range: P2,500 – P7,600 per night

2. ZEN Rooms Park B&B Batangas

Price range: P2,000 – P2,500 per night

3. ZEN Rooms Hacienda Darasa

Price range: P2,500 – P9,700 per night

4. ZEN Rooms Rosario Resort Batangas

Price range: P3,200 – P8,700

3. Inflatable Island in Subic

Girl having fun in the inflatable slide at inflatable island | Photo from Inflatable Island PH
Photo credits to Inflatable Island PH

Want to experience an extreme and out-of-this-world road trip near Manila? Then check out Inflatable Island in Subic! With over 4,000 sqm. of inflatable playground, the biggest in Asia, you will definitely enjoy it as you bring out the inner child in you. There are different kinds of inflatable slides, towers, bridges, swings, giant animals and human launchers that you and your barkada will surely enjoy. But if you’re all for a chill vibe, there are colorful and in-character daybeds to lounge at that doubles as the perfect backdrop for everyone’s Instagram feed.

Address: Samba Bluewater Resort, Subic Bay Waters, National Highway, Lower Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Zambales

How to get there: From Cubao/Pasay/Caloocan, take a bus bound for Olongapo City. alight at the Victory Liner Terminal of  Olongapo, look for the Blue Jeep Terminal located near Chowking Restaurant, around the Ulo ng Apo. Ride the jeep and tell the driver to drop you off in Halfmoon Beach and you’ll be able to see signs for Inflatable Island PH.

2. Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal

the giant web surrounded by limestones in masungi georeserve
Photo credits to Masungi Georeserve

If Masungi Georeserve’s famous sapot (spider web) still hasn’t made its way to your IG feed, you surely haven’t been staying on top of the current trendy spots. Popular for its sharp, limestone rock formations, Masungi Georeserve is a must-visit. A guide leads you in, around and through the cliffs to get to jaw-dropping, tree-filled views that’ll have you forget that you’re just a few hours away from all the hustle and bustle on the city. That’s why this is the best destination to go on a road trip near Manila.

Address: Kilometer 47, Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal

How to get there: You can drive from Manila via the Marikina-Infanta Highway or Marilaque Highway. If you’re commuting, you can ride a jeep or van going to Tanay, then take a jeep to Sampaloc and ask the driver to drop you off at Kilometer 47 Masungi entrance.

1. Cagbalete Island in Quezon Province

sandbar in cagbalete island

Cagbalete Island is famous for its powdery white one-mile sandbar that appears during low tide, often before noon. This is one of the best road trips near Manila because the beach is so beautiful. Cagbalete Island is perfect for those looking for a tranquil vacay. While you’re there with your barkada, you can also play a game or two of beach volleyball and Frisbee, or practice your skim boarding technique. 

Address: Mauban, Quezon

How to get there: From Manila, ride a bus bound for Lucena, Quezon then ride a van going to Mauban. Upon arriving, the port is just walking distance. Then ride the boat going to Cagbalete Island.

Now that you’ve seen all the best road trip places near Manila, check out www.zenrooms.com in case you plan on staying overnight in your chosen destination. 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

We all need a drink once in a while whether it’s for a good reason or bad! Good thing, there are tons of bars and lounges around the metro so Manila nightlife does not disappoint.

However, not all of them offer a combination of quality drinks, well-crafted interiors, and the right vibe for whatever mood you’re in. So, we’ll help you filter out the noise to find the best bars in the city.

In no particular order, we’ve rounded up the late-night spots you should definitely hit up!

1. Dulo MNL

Address: 4992 P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City

Photos from Dulo MNL

At the end of P. Guanzon street in Poblacion, Makati is where you’ll find Dulo MNL, hence the name. It’s a true aesthetic cafe-slash-art hub that transforms into a bar at night with its dimly lit open space layout, filled with mismatched chairs and industrial accents that’s perfect for creative minds to meet. Try their Sake Sour for an Oriental twist on a classic drink, the Canvas which is a gin-based cocktail infused with seasonal herbs and topped with Cointreau foam, or the Jagerita if you’re feeling a bit adventurous. Dulo MNL is one of the best Manila night spots to visit!

2. NoKal

Address: 8486 Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City

Photos from NoKal

You don’t need to hop on a plane to party the New York style! Just in Kalayaan Avenue, you can already take a quick trip to New York by exploring the three Big Apple-themed floors of NoKal. Have your first drink at the subway-tiled and diner-inspired first floor then head up to the neon-lit speakeasy lounge to continue your deep conversations, and finally climb up to the beer garden-esque third floor for shots you’ll be needing when you toast to friendship, promotion, and maybe a few bad decisions.

3. Versus Barcade

Address: Ground Floor, Uptown Parade, 9th Ave, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Photos from Versus Barcade

Versus Barcade is changing the Manila Nightlife scene! The bar gives a unique dining and drinking experience as the first bar + arcade in the Philippines. Its designated game room has all the basic arcade games—pinball machines, racing games, fighting games, even shuffleboard. This is a perfect after-work hangout spot to destress and have a fun night!

4. Tortuga

Address: 2F Lokal Hostel, Ebro Street, Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City

Photos from Tortuga

If you’re craving something tropical, Tortuga is the best place to be! Once a Katipunan native who calls the college crowd, Tortuga is now all grown up and graduated to a more mature scene finding its new home in Poblacion. It’s like a tropical destination in the middle of the bustling district, with island vibes plus food and cocktails that are affordable. With their island-inspired interiors, you’ll definitely feel like you’re on a beach holiday. Every corner is very Instagrammable!

5. Polilya

Address: 5658 Jacobo Street, Corner Don Pedro, Makati City

Photos from Polilya

A veteran in the Manila nightlife scene, Polilya still makes it on this list because it remains to be a hotspot for good food and made-even-better curated drinks. Because of its popularity, Polilya tends to get crowded especially on a weekend. Its exquisite interior gives a lot of feelings to its visitors— the chandelier made of bottles fits right into the stylish but fun vibe, the couches are so comfortable that you’d be tempted to take a nap on, and the tropical decor can’t help but put you at ease. Still, there’s something edgy about this place, and behind the bar, a neon purple light catches everyone’s attention as it will put you into a bit of (life) crisis asking you “Have you figured out what you want yet?” But if what you’re looking for is a well-crafted drink then the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

6. Alegria Cozinha Moderna

Address: 4F, C3 Annex, 7th Avenue cor 30th Street, BGC, Taguig

Photos from Alegria Cozinha Moderna

Another night club in Manila to check out is Alegria Cozinha Moderna. This bar offers a warm and vibrant dining experience with the unique reinvention of traditional Latin American cuisine and sangrias. They are also BGC’s first sangria bar. Alegria doesn’t offer just your regular red or white sangria because it boasts of nine carefully crafted, full-bodied sangria flavors that are perfect for your next girls’ night out. 

7. The Wild Poppy

Address: 2/F 5666 Don Pedro Street, Poblacion, Makati City

Photos from The Wild Poppy

The Wild Poppy is a rooftop bar and restaurant serving Modern Southeast Asian fare and handcrafted cocktails. At first look, you’ll think of it as a good venue for a ‘titahan’ night: it has pillows, properly dimmed lights, floral accents, breezy air, and pastel-colored drinks. But with its filling plates and more than satisfactory concoctions, even titos, dads, and big barkadas frequent this place just to have a taste of the best that Southeast Asia has to offer!

8. Lan Kwai Speakeasy

Address: 42 Esteban Abada St. Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Photos from Lan Kwai Speakeasy

If you’re looking for a laid back vibe night club in Manila, go to Lan Kwai Speakeasy. You can get a taste of Hong Kong’s hippest party destination, just right in Katipunan. Lan Kwai Speakeasy boasts unique drinks, great music, and amazing food. Its eclectic interiors are also perfect for an impromptu photo shoot. And the best thing here is, the prices are affordable!

9. Yes Please

Address: 11th Avenue corner 38th Street, Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig

Photos from Yes Please

Yes Please is far cry from other Manila night spots. With its throwback tunes, foosball table, and purposely arranged tables so that you can actually meet new people instead of staring at your phone all night—this bar is straight out of a 90s movie. And to keep the theme, their drinks are named after popular 90s icons, including Devon Sawa, Mighty Mouse, and Tommy Lee. 

10. The Island

Address: Uptown Parade, Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig

Photos from The Island 

One of the best clubs in Manila is The Island. You’ll never run out of options with their nine different food and drink establishments that is great if you’re with a big group that can’t seem to agree on what to have. Here, you can choose from barbecue to fresh seafood to burgers and pizza in one night. The Island also keeps the swimming pools of The Palace Pool Club, adding cabanas and daybeds for a laid-back, beachside vibe. Upon entering, you get a wristband which serves as your “debit card” for the night so you don’t have to fumble for cash every time you need to buy drinks. The Island will definitely give you the Manila nightlife you’ll remember!

11. Early Night?

Address: The Fort Entertainment Center, 5th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Photos from Early Night?

Early Night? is one of the best clubs in Manila and a crowd favorite for so many reasons. One, they have an instagrammable place; two, the music will make you dance all night; and three, the cocktails and drinks are cheaper than other Manila night spots. This bar can get pretty packed which means you might have to drop by, well, early.

After hopping to each best clubs in Manila and you feel pretty tired (or wasted), it’s better to book the nearest budget hotel so you can rest well and safe.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Anyone who loves to dine knows that Metro Manila’s food landscape is a mix of different cultures around the world but has its own distinction that takes Filipino cuisine to a next level. Well, that makes Manila food culture lively, communal, vibrant and oh-so-fine! So if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Manila, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are the 10 best restaurants in Manila 2020!

10. Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant

Address: Plaza San Luis Complex, Gen. Luna St, Intramuros, Manila.

Intramuros always fill our history and sightseeing cravings but other than these, it’s also a good place to find the top restaurants in Manila. One of these is Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant. If you’re looking for authentic Filipino food to add to your historical day trip, Barbara’s is the perfect place to go to. Try all of the dishes from their grand buffet, while enjoying cultural dance performances.

Cuisines: Filipino, Spanish

Average Cost: PHP800 for two

Zomato Ratings: 3.8/5

9. NIU by Vikings

Address: NIU by Vikings is located at SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Photo from NIU

Cuisine: Seafood, American, Mediterranean, Japanese

Average cost: PHP3,000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.5/5

Dive into a night of international cuisine, a world-class buffet, a romantic live piano, and indulgence that you deserve! NIU is one of the restaurants under the Vikings Group. Two words that NIU live by: fresh and intricate. Thus, they commit to bringing the finest dishes from all over the world. So expect this to be another best buffet in Manila.

8. Seoul-Sky 100 Revolving Restaurant

Address: 100 Revolving Restaurant is located at 33th Floor, MDC 100 Building, Eastwood Avenue, Bagumbayan, Quezon City.

If you want an over the top (literally and figuratively) dining experience, try Chef Jessie Sincioco’s 100 Revolving Restaurant in Quezon City. It will take you for a spin, literally because it revolves, giving you a 360-degree view of Metro Manila. Among the must-try dishes, there are the Assorted Seafood Gambas, Grilled Lamb Chops, Spicy Puttanesca, and Dark Chocolate Souffle.

Cuisine: Korean

Average Cost: PHP2,000 for two

7. Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant

Address: Lemuria is located at 5 Julieta Circle, Horseshoe Village, Quezon City.

Photo from Lemuria

If you’re looking for a place under the radar, try Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant. It is a hidden romantic restaurant in Quezon City that serves expressive French Mediterranean cuisine made from scratch using only the best and freshest ingredients. Their menu evolves to offer new discoveries of flavor combinations that challenge the adventurous palate desiring cuisine beyond the mainstream offerings.

Cuisines: French, Mediterranean

Average Cost: PHP3000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.2/5

6. Cru Steakhouse

Address: 2 Resort Dr, Pasay City.

Truly one of the most enjoyable experiences every meat lover will agree on is indulging themselves into a juicy steak. They use dry aging—a unique method that involves hanging the meat in a refrigerated cooler. The meat is kept at a specific temperature and humidity from 10-28 days and comes out with a new array of flavor and depth. 

Some of the prominent businessmen and personalities have also dined here so there’s no doubt that Cru Steakhouse has the best steak in Manila.

Cuisines: Steak, Italian, American

Average Cost: PHP4,000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.3/5

5. Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

Address: 11 Isabelo Mendoza St, San Roque, Marikina.

Photo from Rustic Mornings

If you’re a morning person and you love breakfast, don’t miss the Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. It’s one of Marikina’s hidden gems that doesn’t only serve delicious food with quality service, but also has a garden-style set up that’ll surely make your romantic date memorable as it is one of the best romantic restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: American, Filipino

Average Cost: PHP1200 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.6/5

4. Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

Address: Wildflour has several branches in BGC, Makati, and Ortigas.

Photo from Wildflour

A mainstay of the Metro Manila brunch scene, Wildflour offers experimental dishes and perfected comfort favorites. They’ve got bowls of speciality salads, a vibrant selection of smoothies, rich milkshakes, and coffee-based concoctions. In each of its branches, chef-owner Ana de Ocampo has crafted and executed this signature experience that’s been reeling in the regulars since her first in 2012. Their must-try dishes are the Wildflour Breakfast and Fried Chicken and Waffles.

Cuisines: American, Italian, Bakery, Coffee

Average Cost: PHP1,500 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.4/5

3. Blackbird

Address: Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Photo from Blackbird

One of the best fine dining restaurants in Manila is Blackbird. It is a contemporary European and Asian restaurant headed by Chef Colin Mackay. The restaurant has an aviation theme that is inspired by the Manila International Air Terminal which was built and used to stand on the same location in 1937. With Blackbird’s simplicity and sophistication, it has also become one of the best romantic restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: European, Asian

Average Cost: PHP3,100 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.6/5

2. Spiral Manila

Address: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

Photo from Spiral Manila

Enjoy a lavish meal at one of the best restaurants in Manila. Spiral is divided into 21 dining ateliers. In France, an atelier is an artist’s special workshop and in Spiral, it is where secret recipes are masterfully prepared right your very eyes. This buffet destination features a wide range of cuisine created with the focus and attention to detail by seasoned culinary artisans. Spiral is also a multi-awarded dining destination making it the best buffet in Manila!

Cuisines: European, Asian, Indian

Average Cost: PHP6,000 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.9/5

1. Manam

Address: Manam has branches at SM Megamall, Greenbelt, and others.

Photo from Manam

When it comes to places for the best Filipino food in the metro, Manam tops the list. It’s a reliable option, whether you’re treating balikbayans who are craving for a taste of home or introducing foreigners to the Pinoy cuisine. When in Manam, never miss their Crispy Pork Sisig. It’s safe to say that it could be the best food in Manila as it’s like a masterpiece made for your tastebuds. You should also try the Kansi, Crispy Pancit Palabok, and Ube + Sago Pampalamig.

Manam is definitely one of the best restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: Filipino

Average Cost: PHP700 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.5/5


Bonus! More best restaurants in Manila!

Jin Joo Korean Grill

Address: Jin Joo Korean Grill has several branches around Metro Manila.

Photo from Jin Joo

The craze with Korean restaurants, especially Korean BBQ, is all over the metro. You’ll find groups of people in long lines, waiting to have a go at these restaurants. Jin Joo Korean Grill sets themselves apart from other K-BBQ places with their playful vibe and unique take on Korean food. Take Jin Joo’s 8 Flavors, which features eight flavors of samgyupsal that comes with six kinds of unlimited banchan (side dishes) that they change every day. 

Another fun dish is the Cheese Dung Galbi that allows you to dip barbecued baby back ribs into an oh-so-good combo of melted mozzarella and cheddar. With all these offers, no wonder it’s included in the best korean restaurants in Manila.

Cuisines: Korean, Korean BBQ, Grill

Average Cost: PHP1,500 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.0/5

Shake Shack

Address: Shake Shack Philippines has branches in Taguig and SM Megamall.

Filipinos got excited when the New York based burger shop announced that they’d bring their world-class burgers to the Philippines! Shake Shack might be named for their signature shakes which are often hailed as some of the best in the industry but what people really line up for are their famous burgers. Many claim that they have the best burger in Manila! 

Cuisines: American

Average Cost: PHP900 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.1/5

China Blue by Jereme Leung

Address: China Blue is located at Conrad Manila, Seaside Blvd. cor. Coral Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Photo from Conrad Manila

As you step into the high-ceilinged dining room of China Blue, you will notice the gorgeous details of the walls, cushions, and tablescapes in dark brown, gold, and blue tones. A team of skilled chefs under the prominent chef Jereme Leung meticulously crafts innovative interpretations of classic Chinese cooking. Diners would feast upon non-traditional dishes that are rooted in classic Chinese cuisines and infused with a refreshing and contemporary twist. What sets this best Chinese restaurant in Manila is that people get to enjoy a stunning view of Manila Bay while dining.

Cuisines: Chinese

Average Cost: PHP2,200 for two

Zomato Ratings: 4.5/5

If you’re thinking of having a staycation in Manila, book your budget hotels at ZEN Rooms and enjoy the lowest rates but quality accommodation!

 

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