How to Spend 2 Days in Manila
Two days in Manila let you experience the throbbing megalopolis plus some of the wonderlands around the city. Go deep into the Philippine capital’s rich history and spectacular cuisine, then discover volcanoes such as Mt. Pinatubo or Taal, historical Corregidor Island, or epic Pagsanjan Falls. Here’s how to maximize 48 hours in Manila.
Day 1: Feast on the City
Morning: Start exploring Manila’s historic quarter in the relative cool of the day. You’ll want to visit Intramuros, the oldest part of the city, and 16th-century Fort Santiago—choose between walking tours and a unique tour on bamboo bicycles. Branch out to Makati or Chinatown for a broader view of the city.
Afternoon: Look beyond a fast-food lunch and start discovering the Philippines’ rich foodie culture, an exciting blend of Asian, Spanish, and American influences. Consider tours of Chinatown, head to a church restaurant, feast on dishes like pork knuckle or roast sucking pig, or join a full-day city tour that includes a cultural lunch.
Night: A Manila sunset is an experience not to be missed, whether you’re catching it from the harborfront or a rooftop bar. But the best way to watch the sun illuminate the boats and towers on the waterfront is a sunset cruise of Manila Bay; look for one that includes dinner.
Day 2: Day Tripping
Day: With two days in Manila, you can go deeper into one of the city’s signature surrounding attractions. Many opt for Corregidor Island, an island fortress about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Manila, which played a key role in two significant World War II battles. Alternatively, if you’re more into outdoor adventure than history, journey to one of Luzon’s natural wonders. Experience an active volcano by climbing to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo or riding a horse up Mt. Taal, or brave a bamboo raft through the flow of Pagsanjan Falls—the jungle cascade seen in Apocalypse Now.
Night: Once you’re back in the city, it’s time to prepare yourself for your travels by learning more about the rich traditions and culture of the Philippines’ thousands of islands. Soak up folklore and fiestas as you feast on local fare at a cultural dinner show