Manila - Philippines' Most Famous Districts and Their Attractions

Binondo Church in Manila

Manila has numerous attractions scattered all over its 16 territorial districts. However, you don't have to travel to every part of the city in order to have a taste of its culture. To do this, you only have to visit its 5 most popular regions that house some of its most interesting sites.

This district that has been populated by Chinese-Filipinos since the late 1500's is where you can find the world's oldest Chinatown. It's filled with stores of herbal medicine, furniture, jewelry, and more. Other than that, it's also the best place in the country to enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine. Some of the most popular treats are Wai Ying's roasted duck congee, Dong Bei's dumplings, President Tea House's crispy fried pigeon, and Masuki's beef wanton noodles.

If you're in this part of the city, you'll always find something to do. This is because Ermita is one of the most vibrant parts of Manila. You'll find attractions that every tourist will be fond of. You can take a stroll in Luneta, a park dedicated to the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Or, you can walk through Manila Ocean Park's 82-ft acrylic tunnel and be surrounded by sting rays, sharks, and other marine animals. If you feel like avoiding the humid weather for a while, then you may enter big shopping malls, such as SM City Manila and Robinsons Place Manila.

Situated right next to Ermita is Malate, an equally vibrant district. It is one of the most usual destinations for Manila's visitors, and most people say it comes alive after sunset. You may witness this yourself by taking a walk down the famous Adriatico and Nakpil streets and visiting numerous bars and restaurants to taste the city's colorful night life. However, while the sun is still up, you may also visit prime attractions, such as Manila Zoo.

Also known as the Walled City, Intramuros was the seat of government during the Spanish colonial period. Its 3-mile stone wall circuit covers various establishments that are open for visitors. There are museums, like Bahay Tsinoy, which is dedicated to the Chinese-Filipino community's history and contributions to the country. You can also enter famous churches, such as San Agustin and Manila Cathedral. In going around, you may opt to take a calesa (horse-drawn carriage) or simply go on foot.

Sampaloc is home to numerous universities and colleges. Fact is, the 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas, the oldest existing university in Asia, is here. A few streets away from the university is Recto, a good place to find second-hand books and other cheap goods. And, going a few meters further will bring you to another famous landmark in the city, San Sebastian Church, the only all-steel church in Asia. It is part of a college campus named after the same patron saint.

This array of the most interesting sites makes the Philippine capital a top destination for travelers from the world over.

Luckily, there are hotels, such as BEST WESTERN Hotel La Corona Manila, that give visitors big discounts on room rates. Now, guests can spend more time experiencing Manila's tourist attractions while enjoying comfortable and affordable accommodations.