1. Watch a play.
If your idea of a good time is to watch plays and musicals, there are a lot of local and international theater groups you can get your dose of this art form from. The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Resorts World Manila, and Solaire are a few of the places (near the airport, too!) you can experience Manila’s theater culture.
2. Visit the National Museum of the Philippines.
Get acquainted with the Philippines’ rich history through its ethnography, archaeology, fine art, and natural history collections. Entrance is absolutely free! Have your photo taken with the Spoliarium, a must-view painting by Filipino artist Juan Luna; imagine surviving your daily life using only the cultural artifacts on display; or take a selfie with the various sculptures on exhibit.
3. Go shopping in Divisoria.
If you’re a multitasker, you can hit two birds with one stone by going to Divisoria. Immerse yourself in the culture and do as the locals do, and find souvenirs and gift items for cheap, cheap prices.
4. Go on a food trip.
There are a ton of places that serve great Filipino dishes. Whether you’re in a mall, at a hole-in-the-wall, or on the street, you’re guaranteed to find something delicious to eat. Our tip? Go for the crowded stalls—there’s certainly a reason behind those long queues!
5. Watch the sunset at Manila Bay.
Manila Bay’s sunset isn’t famous for nothing, so make sure that your camera or phone has enough juice to capture the magic that is the golden hour. While waiting for the sun to set, you can walk, jog, or run, sample the slew of street food available, interact with the locals, or simply take in the city’s color and character.
6. Visit Luneta Park.
One of the biggest urban parks in Asia has a lot to offer its visitors—local and tourists alike—whether it’s to stroll or people-watch, run or join various exercise groups, or even learn a thing or two about the history and culture of the Philippines. Some even hold picnics in this area, too.
7. Ride a jeepney or a kalesa.
Feeling adventurous? Hop on a jeepney and experience what it’s like to get around by riding the country’s unofficial national vehicle. You can also opt for the kalesa, a horse-drawn carriage if you want a more leisurely ride while sightseeing and visiting different spots in Intramuros, Manila’s oldest district.
8. Go on a staycation.
Of course, Manila isn’t just best experienced outdoors. After taking in the sights and sounds of the city, kick off your shoes and relax in the comfort and privacy of a hotel room. Both Go Hotels Ermita-Manila and Go Hotels Otis-Manila offer affordable accommodation to locals and visitors alike. Spend time watching TV, surf the net with their complimentary Wi-Fi connection, or get a relaxing massage. With the promise of a good night’s sleep ahead, you’ll be ending your day in Manila on a wonderful note!