Manila, the capital is a densely populated city. Famed for its waterfront promenade, and Chinatown, Binondo.  History of the Spanish colonial architecture mixes with modern skyscrapers across the city. At the heart of the Old Manila, you’ll find the walled city of Intamuros, home to the San Agustin Church and Fort Santiago.



How to get to Manila


Flying into Manila you will land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Getting to the city can be a bit daunting but here are a few options:


  • Bus – There are 8 different bus lines that go from the terminal to different parts of the city.


  • Yellow taxi – These are the official metered taxis you can get from the taxi stand outside the airport. These taxis are the safest way to go, but there are cheaper taxis, the white ones.

  • White Taxi – These taxis are also metered but many of the drivers will want to fix a price and avoid putting the meter on. Request that the meter is turned on. They are slightly cheaper than the yellow taxis.


  • Hotel Transfer –This option is good if your hotel provides it, it’s a convenient way as a driver will be waiting for you with a sign at the arrivals lounge. Can be more expensive than just jumping in a cab.

  • Jeepney – There are old jeeps that have been extended to allow them to carry multiple passengers, they charge on a per passage basis and often have their routes written on the sides so you can see where you will end up. They will often drive slower than the rest of the traffic as they are looking for people to pick up.


  • Uber – Uber allows you to pay via your Uber account so you don’t have to worry about getting your money out. Uber also gives you an estimate on the fare and it’s pretty accurate.

  • Car Rental – Be sure to check if you can drive here prior to booking. You can also reserve a car online via Rentalcars


Where to Stay in Manila



  • Makati – A safe new trendy part of Manila, upscale apartment buildings and hotels. The safest part of the city, this place has everything from hotels to hostels. Every night here feels like a weekend with car parks turning in to food courts with live music and beer.

  • Malate – This is the tourist centre of the city, it’s full of history and older buildings. Here there are many street vendors but also malls catering to the Western market.  There are a vast amount of restaurants and bars greatly influenced by its surrounding neighbours, and offering up some incredible food.

  • Intramuros –The walled city and historic core of Manila.


We booked our accommodation through a company called Zen rooms ( and we wished we’d discovered them earlier. They work as an agent for various hotels and tend to offer a better rate.

We stayed Artium Suites hotel (Makati) by Zen rooms. The price we paid included breakfast. Excellent hotel, excellent staff!!! Large spacious rooms, good breakfast, good area.


Things to do with children in Manila


  • Century mall – Great for shopping and eating, has an extensive food section on its terrace where you can get order a range of ‘street’ styled food.


  • Intramuros (walled city) – This is the oldest part of the city, it forms the historic walled part of the city, in contrast to the modern metropolis of Manila.

  • Ritzal Park – One of the largest open spaces of park in Manila, opposite the walled city of Intramuros. Home to Rizal monument and the place where Jose Rizal was executed.


  • Fort Santiago – Within the walled city, the fort was built to defend the city of Manila.

  • Coconut Palace – Group of government buildings


  • San Augustine Church -  The oldest church in Manila, there is an entrance fee to pay however admission is prohibited if an event is taking place.

  • Tagaytay Ridge - Tour outside the city on a full or half day tour to Tagaytay Ridge. The ridge overlooks Taal volcano and lake (a lake within a volcano, within a lake) and offers a great picture opportunity.

  • Jeepney Factory – See where the Jeepneys are made.  These are old jeeps that have been extended traditionally to transport large families. Now they are used to transport people around the city along specific routes. They charge on a passenger basis and are very cheap, but without air con so can get very hot!!


  • Kidzania – A place where the kids can play and role play different jobs, like pilots, to fire fighters.


  • Ocean Park – Located opposite Rizal Park, it’s a place to go for an educational day out. Visit marine life and explore the tunnel of sharks and stingray.

  • Food Markets – Walk through the food markets and sample the local delicacies. Greatly influenced by its neighbouring countries, the food here tantalise every taste bud!

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