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How to Spend 1 Day in Manila

How to Spend 1 Day in Manila

From grimy Malate to historic Intramuros to Makati’s skyscrapers, Manila is a city like no other. A surging megacity full of honking jeepneys, brightly colored tricycles, and an all-around crazy energy, the Philippine Manila is a sensory overload that visitors either love or hate. Here’s how to ensure you love it, even if you have one day.

Morning: City Sightseeing

Spend your first morning in Manila getting a handle on how the city fits together. You’ll likely want to start with a tour of the city’s most historic quarter, Intramuros, and 16th-century Fort Santiago: choose between walking tours or a Philippines special, a bamboo bike tour. For a more comprehensive overview of the city, consider a jeepney tour or a city tour by car or bus. Expect to cover highlights like the American Cemetery and Makati, some of the city’s significant churches, more of the waterfront, and perhaps a hint of Chinatown. 

Afternoon: Volcano Voyage

Gridlock means that most of the natural and historic charms around Manila remain out of reach if you have only one day in town. But you can still squeeze in a trip to the Taal Volcano, in a lake with its very own crater lake up top. Head to the pretty mountain town of Tagaytay to see this active volcano and to tour dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Palace in the Sky. Alternatively, if the travel feels a bit much, then discover the Philippines’ delicious, hearty fare: take a food tour of Chinatown, try a church restaurant, or book a cooking class.

Night: Bay Beauty

No trip to a coastal city is truly complete without a harbor cruise. So why not treat yourself to a sunset cruise on Manila Bay, perhaps including a Filipino dinner and live entertainment? Alternatively, prepare yourself for the myriad cultures of the nation’s thousands of islands at a cultural show, where dancers display the Philippines’ rich folklore and fiesta traditions as you feast on classic Pinoy fare. Other options for this evening: discover how Spanish, Asian, and American influences meet in Filipino cuisine on a night market food tour; or simply spend a sophisticated evening sipping cocktails in a rooftop bar.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Manila Tours

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Manila Old and New: Sightseeing Tour Including Intramuros and Fort Santiago

Manila Old and New: Sightseeing Tour Including Intramuros and Fort Santiago

star-4.5
Discover the top sights of Manila on a 4-hour sightseeing tour by coach with an expert guide. Take in the City of Makati and Old Manila, including landmarks such as Nielson Tower, American Cemetery and Memorial and the old walled city of Intramuros. Walk through Intramuros to see UNESCO World Heritage sites including San Agustin Church and Fort Santiago, and learn about the nation's history and heroes like Dr Jose Rizal. You'll gain insight into the Philippine's history, the Spanish colonial era and vibrant modern-day Manila.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.99
From
$47.99
Taking safety measures

Experience Intramuros with Bamboo Bicycle - Ecotours

Experience Intramuros with Bamboo Bicycle - Ecotours

star-5
When you’re exploring a district as historic as Manila’s Intramuros, it pays to choose a traditional form of transport. Soak up the sights, discover the history, and even ride along the walls on this small-group bicycle tour with a difference: bamboo bikes. After choosing a style and size that suits you, tour sites including Fort Santiago, Plaza Roma, and the Puerta del Parian gate, then finish with some Filipino snacks.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.90
From
$35.90

Cultural Dance Show with Dinner in Manila

Cultural Dance Show with Dinner in Manila

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the traditions of Filipino culture as you watch a folk dance performance and enjoy dinner in Manila. Dig into a delicious meal of Filipino specialties typical of a 'barrio fiesta' (community celebration) before enjoying a series of mesmerizing dance performances by dancers decked out in authentic native costumes. Once you've gotten into the groove, feel free to join in for some dancing of your own at the end of the evening. This dinner and dance performance also includes round-trip transport to your hotel, buffet dinner, and entrance fees.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.00
Price varies by group size
From
$65.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Hands-on Cooking Lesson in Manila: Learn to Cook in a Local Home

Hands-on Cooking Lesson in Manila: Learn to Cook in a Local Home

star-5
Learn how to make authentic Filipino food from the experts—a local home chef. Join Greg in his beautiful colonial-style home, and enjoy a private cooking lesson in the kitchen. He will tell you all about Filipino cuisine and the history and influences that have gone into it. After the lesson, eat the traditional dishes you’ve prepared with your host.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$67.70
From
$67.70
Taking safety measures

Private Half-Day Makati (Old Manila) with Intramuros

Private Half-Day Makati (Old Manila) with Intramuros

star-5
If you’re a history buff, Makati (Old Manila) is a must-see during your time in the Philippines. Discover historical information you may have missed on a private half-day tour of Makati (Old Manila), a great introduction for first-time visitors. Check off highlights such as San Agustin Church and Museum, Rizal Park and Shrine, Fort Santiago and Intramuros, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for added convenience.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$121.80
Price varies by group size
From
$121.80
Price varies by group size

Private Departure Transfer: Manila Hotel to Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Private Departure Transfer: Manila Hotel to Ninoy Aquino International Airport

star-4
Enjoy a stress-free finish to your time in Manila on this private departure transfer from your Manila hotel to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Meet your driver at the prearranged time at your hotel in Manila and take a seat in your private air-conditioned vehicle. Relax in comfort on route to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and arrive feeling relaxed and ready for your onward travel. This transfer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$24.00
Price varies by group size
From
$24.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Manila Super Saver: Manila Sightseeing plus Tagaytay Tour with Taal Volcano

Manila Super Saver: Manila Sightseeing plus Tagaytay Tour with Taal Volcano

star-4
Visit scenic Tagaytay and the city of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, with this guided, full-day, Super Saver combo tour. First, travel to the holiday town of Tagaytay, featuring Taal Volcano Island, an active volcano surrounded by Taal Lake. Then explore Manila, home to the baroque, 16th-century, San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and military prison. Lunch, any necessary entrance fees, plus a Manila hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$118.00
Price varies by group size
From
$118.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Arrival Transfer: Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila Hotel

Private Arrival Transfer: Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila Hotel

star-3.5
Get your Manila vacation off to a smooth start with this private transfer service. Meet your driver at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and then travel directly to your hotel or private residence in the Metro Manila area. This private transfer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$24.00
Price varies by group size
From
$24.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Manila City Tour

Half-Day Manila City Tour

star-3
Manila is a big city, but on this guided tour you can see the must-visit sites without the hassle. From the Spanish colonial-era walled city of Intramuros to sprawling Rizal Park, your local guide will explain the fascinating history behind what you’re looking at, so you come away with a greater understanding of Manila and the Philippines.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.62
From
$84.62