Explore Manila, Philippines: Ultimate One-Day Itinerary

Manila, Philippines

1 days

Fine Arts National Museum
Jeepneys public transport in Manila, Philippines
Main gate of Fort Santiago
Manila bay waterfront

About Manila, Philippines

Experience the vibrant culture and rich history of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. This bustling metropolis offers a unique blend of Spanish colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers. Visit the historic walled city of Intramuros, explore the diverse exhibits at the National Museum, or shop at the bustling markets of Divisoria and Quiapo. Savor the local cuisine, with its Spanish, Chinese, and Malay influences. Enjoy Manila's lively nightlife, with a range of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Take a relaxing stroll along Manila Bay's sunset-lit promenade or explore the city's numerous parks and gardens. With its warm, friendly locals and a plethora of attractions, Manila is a captivating destination that offers something for every traveler.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Heart of Manila


Start your day with a visit to Rizal Park, a historical urban park located in the heart of Manila. It's a great place to enjoy a morning walk while appreciating the beautiful gardens, monuments, and the central lagoon. Don't miss the Rizal Monument, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country.


Enjoy a traditional Filipino lunch in one of the local restaurants in the Intramuros area. Try some Adobo, Sinigang, or Lechon - some of the most popular dishes in the country.


Spend your afternoon exploring Intramuros, the oldest district and historic core of Manila. Visit Fort Santiago, a citadel first built by Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi. Also, take a walk around San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


For dinner, head to the Baywalk area. Here, you can find a variety of restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines. Enjoy your meal while watching the beautiful sunset over Manila Bay.


End your day with a visit to the Mall of Asia, one of the largest malls in the Philippines. It's a great place to do some shopping, watch a movie, or just relax and people-watch. Don't forget to check out the stunning view of Manila Bay from the mall's seaside boulevard.

Attractions in Itinerary (7)

Rizal Park

Rizal Park

One of the largest urban parks in Asia, featuring monuments, gardens, and a central lagoon.

Rizal Monument

Rizal Monument

The Rizal Monument is a memorial in Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines built to commemorate the executed Filipino nationalist, José Rizal.



A historic walled area within the modern city of Manila.

Cultural Experiences
Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago

A citadel used by Spanish and American military, now a historical site.

Cultural Experiences
San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila.

Religious Sites
Manila Bay

Manila Bay

A natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila (on Luzon), in the Philippines.

Mall of Asia

Mall of Asia

One of the largest shopping malls in the Philippines, featuring a wide range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities.

Food and Drink

Local Food and Drinks (12)



Adobo is a popular Filipino dish and cooking process that involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. It's a staple in Manila and a must-try for tourists.



Sinigang is a sour soup native to the Philippines. This tamarind-based soup is a favorite in Manila and is often served with pork, beef, shrimp, or fish.



Lechon is a whole roasted pig, and is often served at festive occasions in Manila. It's known for its crispy skin and tender, flavorful meat.



Halo-Halo is a popular Filipino cold dessert-drink made from crushed ice, evaporated milk, and various ingredients like sweetened beans, jello, fruits, and topped with leche flan and ube ice cream. It's a refreshing treat to beat the Manila heat.



Pancit is a noodle dish often served on birthdays and special occasions in Manila. There are many variations, but most include meat, vegetables, and sometimes seafood.



Balut is a developing bird embryo that is boiled and eaten from the shell. It's a common street food in Manila and is considered a delicacy by many Filipinos.



Kare-Kare is a traditional Filipino stew complimented with a thick savory peanut sauce. It is made from a variation base of stewed oxtail, pork hocks, calves feet, pig feet, beef stew meat, and occasionally offal or tripe.



Bibingka is a type of baked rice cake from the Philippines. It's traditionally made from galapong, baked in a special clay pot, lined with a piece of banana leaf, and topped with salted duck egg and cheese.



Taho is a Philippine street food made of fresh soft/silken tofu, arnibal (sweetener and flavoring), and sago pearl (similar to tapioca pearls). This staple comfort food is a must-try for anyone visiting Manila.

Jollibee Chickenjoy

Jollibee Chickenjoy

Jollibee Chickenjoy is a popular fast-food fried chicken meal in the Philippines. It's crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and is often served with a side of spaghetti.



Sisig is a Filipino dish made from parts of pig head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. It's a popular dish in Manila and is often served sizzling in a cast iron plate.

San Miguel Beer

San Miguel Beer

San Miguel Beer is the most popular beer in the Philippines. It's a pale lager that pairs well with many Filipino dishes. It's a must-try for beer lovers visiting Manila.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Manila, Philippines is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During these months, you can expect less rainfall and more comfortable temperatures, perfect for sightseeing and exploring the city. Among these months, January to February is particularly pleasant due to cooler temperatures. However, if you're planning to attend local festivals, January and April are the best months. Please note that December to February is the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and more crowds during this period.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

February 10


Lunar New Year's Day

February 25


People Power Anniversary

March 28


Maundy Thursday

March 29


Good Friday

March 30


Black Saturday

April 9


The Day of Valor

April 10



May 1


Labor Day

June 12


Independence Day

June 17


Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

August 21


Ninoy Aquino Day

August 26


National Heroes Day

November 1


All Saints' Day

November 30


Bonifacio Day

December 25


Christmas Day

December 30


Rizal Day

December 31


New Year's Eve

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transportation in Manila. They are known for their crowded seating and kitsch decorations, which have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art.

Tricycles are a common means of public transportation in the Philippines. They are basically motorbikes with sidecars, catering for up to two passengers at a time.

Buses are a common form of public transportation in Manila. They operate on many routes and can be a cheap way of getting around. However, they can be crowded and the traffic can be heavy.

Taxis are widely available in Manila. They are metered and can be hailed down on the street or booked in advance. They offer a convenient way to travel around the city.

Ridesharing services such as Grab are available in Manila. They can be booked via a smartphone app and offer a convenient and often cheaper alternative to taxis.

Manila has two light rail networks: the Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT) and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT). They are a fast and efficient way to get around the city, avoiding the heavy traffic.

The Pasig River Ferry Service operates in Manila, providing an alternative way to get around. It is the only water-based transportation in Manila that cruises along the Pasig River.

Pedicabs are human-powered tricycles, a common means of transportation in small neighborhoods and short distances in Manila.

Kalesa is a horse-drawn carriage that was introduced during the Spanish colonial period. It is used in some parts of Manila, particularly in the tourist areas, for a more traditional and leisurely way of getting around.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency₱ PHP

Time zoneUTC+8

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone166117

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type BPower socket type C

Voltage220 V

Things to know about Manila, Philippines as a first time visitor


Manila is the capital city of the Philippines and is very populated.


The official language is Filipino, but English is widely spoken and understood.


The currency used is the Philippine Peso (PHP). Credit cards are accepted in most places, but it's always good to have some cash on hand.


Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated. A 10% tip is usually sufficient in restaurants and taxis.


Public transportation is widely available, including jeepneys, tricycles, buses, and the Light Rail Transit (LRT).


Traffic can be heavy, especially during rush hour. Be prepared for possible delays.


The weather is tropical, with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C). It's hot and humid most of the year, with a rainy season from June to November.


Typhoons can occur between June and November. Stay updated with the weather forecast during your visit.


Dress is generally casual, but some establishments may require a more formal attire.


Be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas. Keep your belongings secure at all times.


The city is generally safe, but it's always wise to take standard precautions, especially at night.


The tap water is not safe to drink. Always opt for bottled water.


Manila operates on Philippine Standard Time, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+8).


The electrical standard is 220 volts at 60 hertz. Plugs are typically Type A or Type B.


Internet access is widely available, with free WiFi often offered in hotels, cafes, and some public areas.


Manila has a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants open late.


Shopping is a popular activity, with a range of options from high-end malls to local markets.


Street food is a must-try. Be adventurous but also cautious about hygiene.


Manila has a rich history and culture. Respect local customs and traditions.


Healthcare facilities are generally good in Manila, but travel insurance is recommended for any unexpected medical expenses.

Basic Filipino to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving or saying goodbye

Thank you



Expressing gratitude




Making a request




Agreeing or affirming




Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me



Getting attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Pasensya na

pa-sen-ya na


Do you speak English?

Nagsasalita ka ba ng Ingles?

nag-sa-sa-li-ta ka ba ng in-gles

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

Hindi ko maintindihan

hin-di ko mai-n-tin-di-han

Not understanding what was said

Where is the bathroom?

Saan ang banyo?

sa-an ang ban-yo

Asking for the bathroom

How much is this?

Magkano ito?

mag-ka-no i-to

Asking the price of something

I need a doctor

Kailangan ko ng doktor

kai-lan-gan ko ng dok-tor

In case of medical emergency

Can you help me?

Maaari mo ba akong tulungan?

ma-aari mo ba a-kong tu-lun-gan

Asking for help




Talking about food




Asking for water




Ordering a beer





I love you

Mahal kita

ma-hal ki-ta

Expressing love




Complimenting someone

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat or cap

  • Rain jacket or umbrella (for sudden rain showers)

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-size body wash or soap

  • Deodorant

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (Philippine Peso)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for your electronic devices

  • Power bank

  • Headphones or earbuds

  • Camera (if not using your phone's camera)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Travel guide or map

  • Travel pillow

  • First-aid kit

  • Tissues or wet wipes

Weather Conditions

When planning a trip to Manila, Philippines, it's crucial to consider the city's tropical climate, which is characterized by high humidity, abundant rainfall, and relatively high temperatures. The year in Manila is divided into two main seasons: the dry season, which typically runs from November to April, and the wet season, which spans from May to October. If you prefer warm, dry weather, the best time to visit would be during the dry season. During this period, temperatures can range from 79°F to 95°F (26°C to 35°C), making it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, if you're planning to visit during the wet season, be prepared for frequent and sometimes heavy rainfall. The temperatures during this season range from 77°F to 90°F (25°C to 32°C). Despite the rain, the wet season also has its charm, with lush, green landscapes and fewer tourists. Regardless of when you visit, it's advisable to pack lightweight, breathable clothing due to the high humidity. Don't forget your sunscreen, as the sun can be quite strong, especially during the dry season. Lastly, always keep an eye on the weather forecast during your stay. This is particularly important during the wet season, as the city can experience typhoons. Stay safe and enjoy your trip to Manila!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


30° / 22°

January is the coolest month in Manila, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 30 degrees Celsius. It's a great time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.


31° / 22°

February is still relatively cool in Manila, with temperatures slightly increasing. It's a good time to visit before the heat of summer sets in.


33° / 24°

March marks the start of summer in Manila, with temperatures starting to rise. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy hot weather.


34° / 25°

April is the hottest month in Manila, with temperatures peaking at 34 degrees Celsius. It's a great time to visit if you enjoy the heat and want to hit the beaches.


34° / 25°

May continues the summer heat in Manila, with temperatures similar to April. It's a good time to visit if you want to experience the city's vibrant summer festivals.


32° / 24°

June marks the start of the rainy season in Manila, but temperatures remain high. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind occasional rain showers.


31° / 24°

July is in the middle of the rainy season in Manila, with temperatures slightly dropping. It's a good time to visit if you prefer cooler weather and don't mind the rain.


31° / 24°

August continues the rainy season in Manila, with similar temperatures to July. It's a good time to visit if you want to experience the city's lush greenery after the rain.


31° / 24°

September is the end of the rainy season in Manila, with temperatures remaining steady. It's a good time to visit if you want to catch the end of the rainy season.


31° / 24°

October marks the start of the cooler season in Manila, with temperatures starting to drop. It's a good time to visit if you prefer cooler weather.


31° / 24°

November continues the cooler season in Manila, with temperatures remaining steady. It's a good time to visit if you want to experience the city's vibrant holiday season.


30° / 22°

December is one of the coolest months in Manila, with temperatures dropping to as low as 22 degrees Celsius. It's a great time to visit if you want to experience a tropical Christmas.

Did you know?

Did you know that Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is the most densely populated city in the world?

1 of 10

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