Exciting and exotic capital of the Philippines
As the capital of the Philippines, Manila is an exciting and exotic Asian city located on the eastern side of Manila Bay, in the west of Luzon Island, the largest island in the Philippines. Once a quiet Malay province governed by Muslim Rajahs, it is now one of the world’s most bustling metropolitan areas. After being captured by the Spanish in the late 16th century, Manila rapidly developed over the next 400 years into the seemingly chaotic and sometimes polluted city that it is today. A blend of historic sites, fascinating culture and unforgettable experiences, Manila is especially popular with the backpacking fraternity, and the city's 24-hour excitement does not leave visitors disappointed. Situated in the heart of the tropics, Manila is a city to get you hot under the collar as you experience Asian culture at a rapid pace.
Manila is a fascinating window on the life and culture of the Philippines, where there is almost too much to take in at once. Manila is a city that will leave an indelible impression on any visitor; from the exotic cuisine to the unique photo opportunities, you will certainly come back with a smile on your face.
When to Go?
The best time to go to Manila is between January and April when the oppressive heat drops slightly, although in reality the temperature varies very little throughout the year. Booking flights to Manila in this period should mean you avoid the rainy season when typhoons and tropical storms strike the city, but you can expect hotel prices to be higher.
How to get there?
Although there are no direct flights to Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport from the UK, the city’s airport is a bustling hub of activity where charter flights to lots of other destinations in the Philippines fly out from. Connecting flights to Manila from the UK are available through places such as Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as Middle Eastern stop offs such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. KLM are one of the few European airlines offering flights to Manila, but again these are not direct.
Having been bombed in the Second World War, the modern city of Manila is a mish-mash of old and new, with examples of ruined historic buildings dotted throughout the modern re-built city. The main tourist attraction in Manila is the old Spanish walled city known as Intramuros. There are also museums and theatres to enjoy some of the cultural aspects of the Philippines, as well as some of the rather less salubrious but nonetheless exciting after-dark places such as the go-go clubs and lively nightclubs.