6 Things Not to Miss if You Only Have 24 Hours in Manila

Before we start, The Philippines in a Minute: 7 Essential Reasons Why You Should Add Philippines to Your Bucket List

“Good Morning, Manila.” You must feel your journey starting with the fresh air in the capital of the Philippines. In Metropolis Manila, the most populous and influential region among all the Philippines. It is attracting a massive amount of travelers chasing after because it is tinged with historical and modern beauty. Perhaps, because of its colonial history, the Philippines might be the first country that comes to mind when some of us think of Southeast Asia. Now, since you only get one day to explore Manila, what you ought to do is to focus on those must-visit attractions. Myproguide brings you all the must-see sites of Manila in 24hours.  

Get Your Philippines Tour Guide Here

1. Take A Good Breather And Charge Your Energy in Nature to Get Ready For A Day Full of Adventure

Photo by TripAdvisor

Customize Your Own Tour Here

Many first-time visitors will choose to stay in Makati, the business center of Manila because of its convenience. But, some might worry about the lack of natural parks and an overwhelmingly crowded area. But, there are parks around Manila, like Greenbelt Park, Ayala Triangle Gardens, or Washington SyCip Park that are perfect for a stroll. One little fact about Greenbelt Park is that it is just next to Greenbelt Shopping Mall. So, besides enjoying a nice cup of coffee in the park, you may also come here to do some shopping in the evening.

In the morning, it’s always nice to sip on a good cup of coffee while chilling out and strolling around the park. Murmuring water flows through the park surrounded by a field of green grass. It almost gives it a sense of serenity. Take a deep breath and relax, feel the nature and wonder whether you should relocate to the wildlife. Close your eyes and feel your skin soaking up the warmth of the sun, helping you release some stress and pressure from our daily life. After a stroll through a park, feel how you have refilled your energy that you’ll need for adventure later on. 

2. Connect With History in Between Walls-Intramuros

Photo by radiobj5 on Pixabay

After an excellent breakfast and a good cup of coffee, take a trip to the Walled City of Intramuros. It is a must for all Manila visitors. Intramuros, meaning “within the walls” in Spanish, was constructed by the Spanish imperial government in the 16th-century as a fort for protection. Travelers can walk around the walls, experiencing how the city was a hundred years ago and learn the history of what was once known as the “pearl of Asia.” You’ll also be able to see several churches, historic government buildings, gardens, and museums, and much more. But one of the places that will be worth a while to go to is Fort Santiago.

  • Churches:San Augstin Church, Manila Cathedral
  • Governmental Buildings:Ayuntamiento De Manila, Palacio Del Gobernador
  • Garden:Puerta Real Gardens
  • Museums:San Agustin Museum, Casa Manila, Bahay Tsinoy
Photo by TripAdvisor

With the popularity of social media nowadays, the combination of these tourist attractions has become an Instagram hit after being promoted by bloggers and media influencers. Therefore, it is a must-see place if you ever come to Manila.  

3. Savor Diversity in Filipino Cuisine

Because of the historical background, Filipino food is famous for a unique mixture of multiple cultures, from Asian cuisine to Western delicacies. Some even use the word ‘fusion’ to define their characteristics. Hence, don’t find it strange that particular Filipino food resembles one from your home country. Perhaps some of them might be derived from where you reside.

Photo by Mekong on Pixabay

For example, you may sit down at a restaurant, ordering Arroz Caldo, literally translating to ‘soup rice.’ Even though named as Spanish cuisine, it’s quite similar to Chinese-style rice porridge stewed with chicken, egg, chives, and ginger. When tasting Adobo, which is influenced by Spanish culture, you would be amazed at the multi-flavored seafood and meat that spiced with several different seasonings, like vinegar and soy sauce. And needless to say, when you travel through Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown, you’ll get more chance to observe and savor more Chinese-style Filipino foods. Remember not to miss the opportunity to taste fantastic food.

Photo by Yummy

When it comes to Filipino street foods, ‘halo-halo’ would be a must-taste during summertime. Halo-halo means ‘mixed’ in Tagalog, and it is a popular cold dessert that combines several types of ingredients. Such as sweet beans, jelly, ice cream, and fruit slices. It is then blended with evaporated milk and a few pieces of chopped ice. 

4. Explore Binondo: the World’s Oldest Chinatown

As mentioned before, if you would like to discover something antique, different, or even mouth-watering, you’re welcome to feast on gastronomic delights found in this ancient Chinatown. It dates back to 1594. Binondo is especially crowded during Chinese New Year, as tons of travelers flock here for the celebration. Several arrays of red lanterns are hung up on streets, conveying warmth and blessings.

Photo by Michael Buillerey on Unsplash

While wandering around Binondo, you’ll find it simple to observe Chinese culture crushing on Filipino’s culture. For example, travelers can buy Chinese medicine, cakes, and sweets, traditional cuisine, which is typically imported from China but used by locals.  

5. Have Fun Shopping at SM Mall of Asia(MOA)

Photo by Super Malls

Situated close to the Manila Bay, this giant department store is considered one of the most large-scale malls in the area and it caters to numerous visitors with a wide selection of shops. Sometimes, visitors are easily lost because of its spacious retail floors as well as the latest fancy stuff. Moreover, you can have your friends join some indoor activities, including karaoke, bowling and ice skating in MOA. In such a building combining leisure, fashion, and entertainment, it usually takes a long time for travelers to have fun here. Nonetheless, please don’t forget to take a laid-back walk along the seaside of Manila Bay, feeling wind breezing and listening to waves slapping.

Want to shop more? 

Manila is rich in shopping malls, so don’t waste time worrying about it. Others like Greenbelt, Market Market, Mega Mall, Robinsons Place Manila, and so forth can easily meet a variety of travelers, from high-end to budget-friendly. 

6. Embrace a Refreshing Breeze at Manila Bay

Photo by Eugenio Pastoral on Unsplash

After a shopping trip to SM Mall of Asia, you should approach Manila Bay to dor a rest. Manila Bay is a well-organized district which makes it a magnet for not only tourists but also residents and businesses. In the evening, you may notice that many office workers take off their ties and casually chat with partners by the seashore. It is an excellent place to catch some fresh air after working in a concrete jungle. It makes it a perfect date with a breathtaking sunset and a romantic stroll holding hands with your loved ones.   Here, thoroughly enjoy the so-called ‘Vida,’ away from the hustle and bustle, you name it…

You Might Find Interesting The Best Things to do in Palawan

The Philippines is a hidden paradise for traveling. To embark on your journey, Manila is super suitable with many attractions. As a result, why not search for flight ticket and local guide at once, and get ready to turn over a new leaf of your travel book. 


Hello, Yu is my middle name. Currently an full-time media editor, also lifelong traveler. Easily attracted by exotic culture. Once exploring a new place, I feel like travel spirit get refreshed thousand times. So far, have lived in Vietnam, Korea and Spain for quite a while, and been to Portugal, Japan, etc.. Journey never ends...Feel free to share with me your travel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *