Manila is a conglomerate of 18 cities that form a single metropolis. The central city is called Metro Manila. There you can dine in a restaurant on a street in the style of old Spain, under the walls of an ancient fort, then visit the glass skyscrapers and modern mega malls of business Makati, and in the evening take a walk along the promenade with national cuisine restaurants and small outdoor bars. In addition, there are at least three excellent diving sites near Manila. See CITYPOPULATIONREVIEW for weather information.
Ninoy Aquino Airport is, without a doubt, the main air hub of the country, and receives flights from all over the world. It is located 7 km from the capital and consists of four terminals. Travelers should note that Terminal 1 is considered the worst in Asia, Terminals 2 and 4 serve domestic flights operated by Philippine Airlines, and Terminal 3 serves international flights. There is a free shuttle service between the terminals. There are no direct flights from Moscow to Manila, there are only connecting flights. The time and place of transplantation must be chosen very carefully. It is believed that the best flight options from Moscow to Manila are offered by Qatar Airways.
There are many ways to get from the airport to the city. The Metro-Rail Transit train runs from Baclaran station from 5 am to 10 pm. The train can be reached from Terminal 3 by shuttle.
By taxi, which is of a characteristic yellow color, its drivers must learn basic English, so it will not be difficult to communicate with them. Taking a taxi from the terminal is more expensive than ordering one from a special counter at the airport.
Buses from the airport leave for the city center every 15 minutes, boarding them at terminals No. 1 and No. 2.
The history of Manila is about 500 years old, dating back to 1571, when the Spanish conquistador Lopez de Legazpi founded the city. Actually, Manila existed here before the arrival of the conquistador as the Muslim center of one of the principalities. In accordance with the traditions of that time, Legaspi took the city from the raja, handed it over to the Spanish king, and made the capital of the new possessions of Spain here. The Intramuros district was built, separated from the rest of the city by a high fortress wall, under the protection of which the Spanish conquerors lived with their families. Christian missionaries did not keep themselves waiting, already in the 17th century they made Manila the center of initiation to Christianity throughout Southeast Asia.
Gradually, the city became the spiritual, economic, political center of the region and the main stronghold of the Spaniards in Asia. I must say that during the possession of the city of Spain, many palaces, monasteries, temples appeared here. In the 17th century, a theological seminary was opened, and in the 18th century, the first university in Asia.
In fact, the Spaniards made Manila one of the largest cultural centers in Asia. But this is precisely what ruined the Spaniards: among the people from the university, anti-Spanish sentiments and a desire for the independence of the Philippines from the Spanish crown were very strong.
In the 19th century, these moods and aspirations were realized, but the nimble Americans intervened, they replaced the Spaniards. In the last century, Manila changed hands several times, in particular, after the Second World War, the city was captured by the Japanese. In general, the history of the city is colorful, bright, full of dramatic events. That’s why it’s interesting.
There are many hotels in Manila. It is not necessary to choose an expensive one to get a decent room, the average cost of accommodation for two per night is about 40-50 EUR. Many hotels require a deposit, which is better to pay in cash, since the procedure for returning money to a card is quite complicated and lengthy. Many hotels, even those with only three stars on the facade, offer spa services, outdoor pools, and their own restaurants.
Metro in Manila covers a fairly small part of the city, only a few densely populated areas, and connects the outlying district of Baclaran to the city center. Metro lines differ in their design:
- LRT1 – completely elevated line, runs along Rizal and Taft Avenues, the average distance between stations is just under a kilometer
- LRT2 – land line, except for one station, runs from Manila in the west through Quezon City to Passau in the east
- MRT3 – passes on the surface along Epifanio de los Santos Ave
The Jeepney is the most efficient and most spectacular vehicle in the Philippines. This hybrid of an American jeep and minibus is usually painted with unthinkable colors and painted with pictures of marvelous plots. In fact, this is a minibus that belongs to a private person. It is quite convenient, especially at short distances, to use the services of a bicycle or auto rickshaw.
As one of Asia’s most affordable metropolitan areas, Manila offers so many options for both budget and luxury shopping that it’s impossible to list them all. As a rule, it is better to buy cheap and affordable things in huge malls, and expensive branded things in boutiques. You can also buy souvenirs in the malls: standard (magnets, plates, printing), colorful (Filipino artisans and local cosmetics). For those who are going to bring pearls from the Philippines as a souvenir, Greenhills shopping center can be recommended. Bank cards are accepted in almost all stores, just like cash.
Entertainment and attractions in Manila
A special place among the sights is occupied by the historical district of Intramuros, which marked the beginning of modern Manila. The oldest churches, the most beautiful palaces, monasteries, magnificent residential buildings are located in this area. The fortified walls of Fort Santiago of the 16th century, of which a total of 4.5 km survived (after the most severe bombing of the city in 1945), now house art galleries, restaurants, shops and even an aquarium.
Impressive is the Manila Cathedral, which is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful architectural structures of the city. In the oldest district of the capital, there is also the Cathedral of St. Augustine, as well as Rojas Boulevard, given over to numerous entertainment venues for adults. Of interest are Rizal Park, the National Museum of the Philippines, the churches of Malate, San Binondo and Quiapo.
An interestingly decorated museum of the national hero Dr. Rizal and his national park, a memorial with mosaic maps of the battles for the Philippine Islands, the WOW Philippines national exhibition, an old stone church, museums.
A special place among the sights is occupied by the historical district of Intramuros, which marked the beginning of modern Manila.
The Coconut Palace is interesting – not only in name, but also in the literal sense of the word – a palace built in Manila to accommodate the Pope during his visit. The Pope refused to live in the palace, but the landmark remained in the city.
Malakanyan Palace is the official presidential palace. The exposition of the Presidential Museum is also located here, and therefore the entrance to one wing of the palace is free. For more than 200 years, this building has been the seat of power, first Spanish, and now Manila.
Rizal Park is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. National Museum of the Philippines, Planetarium, Orchid Pavilion, Butterfly Park, Philippine Heroes Monument – this is an incomplete list of attractions in this park.