Official language: Filipino, English
Time zone: UTC +8
Currency: Philippine peso (PHP)
Manila is the city of traffic jams. Peak period is on Fridays. If you have to get somewhere for a given hour, for instance to the airport, book more time.
Where to go in the evening for drink or beer? Look in the district Cubao, which is full of small pubs, where in the company of citizens of Manila you can drink something and have a snack.
Makati street is classical business centre with one, unusual building. Basilica of St. Sebastian was built in the 20th century from steel prefabricates.
Back in the day it used to be called the Pearl of the Orient, nowadays it is a densely populated city with huge shopping malls and fast foods on each corner. Appeals of Manila aren’t so obvious, the city should be explored gradually. Many buildings come from the second half of the 20th century. Previous ones were demolished during the Second World War.
Intramuros – a must see point for every tourist in Manila, are remains of fortifications from the 16th century. Back in the day, it was there were the centre of the city founded by Spanish conquistadors was situated. Today it is just one of the districts, surrounded in parts by remains of a thick wall.
When you are in that district, visit the church of St. Augustin, that was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The temple was built the 15th century in original architectural style called Philippian baroque. Then go to Casa Manila, a museum in which you can see how every day’s life of citizens looked like during a Spanish domination.
What is missing in Manila? Definitely green areas. If this lack bothers you, go to Rizal Park. It has some Japanese and Chinese parks, as well as numerous worth visiting places – the National Museum, the Orchidarium or the Planetarium. Do you want to know how the Philippines Archipelago looks like? Take a walk by the park, to find a shallow pond, and in there mock-up of the Archipelago.
If you are a fan of healthy food, in Manila you can have difficulties to find restaurant for you in reasonable price. Dominating there are fast foods that Philippines love. In fast food bars there is served rice on million ways and pasta. This second one is so popular, that is sold even in McDonald’s. If you prefer some compromise, choose hamburger from street stall, made from real beef, that is very tasty in there. On a market make sure to buy mango. Local ones are very sweet.
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