Manila reminds travellers of great joy and heaps of fun. It is hard to forget those remote, white sandy beaches, turquoise oceans, and coconut palms. It is no wonder to see Manila fast become a magnet for the tourists. One can take advantage of the Coron to Manila flights and land here in the paradise.
There are a ton of things to do and explore in Manila, but if you have just the weekend, well, then you should make the most of it. Book cheap flights and plan ahead on how you are going to spend those two days in the city, which was once known as the Pearl of Orient.
Arrive by Friday night and head towards your hotel to unpack, and relax. Sleep early so that you wake up refreshed and all geared up for the weekend ahead. Remember, you just have two days here!
Manila is incredibly rich in history, and one can spend the first day exploring the historic areas and World Heritage Sites. Visit Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, and other historical landmarks of the city. Start early as it may take time to explore those historic buildings. Walk from Intramuros via Jones Bridge just across the river and head for the oldest Chinatown in the world. Discover the 400 years old history as you stroll through the fountains at Fort Santiago and stop at one of those traditional houses at Casa Manila. It is easy to get lost in China town. With its shopping streets and art deco warehouses. According to locals, you can enjoy the best Chinese noodles here. Get a taste of real Manila in Quiapo, which is the old downtown of Manila.
As for food, you must try out the Filipino comfort food at a must-try restaurant, Manam. Greenhills Shopping Center offers excellent shopping, and the bargain-friendly market is air-conditioned and sells almost everything.
Keep the next day for the parks, museums, and entertainment. Visit the historical park Rizal Park that reminds one of the revolutions against Spain. Later, visit the National Museum to get familiar with the artworks of Filipino artists. National Museum of Natural History is another point of interest. Ayala Museum showcases the Philippine history and art and is a great venue to learn the craft culture of the 16th century. Another museum that might interest you is the Mind Museum, where you can simply hang out and enjoy a coffee or some amazing Filipino food.
It is a must to spend some time in the most expensive neighbourhood, Bonifacio Global City. As it is mostly Bonifacio Global City, or, you can enjoy a traffic-free Sunday and try out brunch at Wildflour Café and Bakery. BGC looks like a mini-Manhattan and boasts of several luxury brands and stores as well as street art scenes. Spend some time at SM Mall of Asia, which is a comprehensive entertainment complex that boasts of shops, restaurants, and an IMAX theatre. Japanese Fusion Restaurant Nikkei is a favourite spot for dinner and is immensely popular among locals and the tourists.
If you still have some time, you must explore Poblacion, which is like a rising star. It has already become a hub for artists, and there are many upcoming galleries and co-working spaces coming up. Take one of those exotic food tours in the narrow backstreets or look for child-friendly art workshops. It is indeed a perfect choice for those looking for a spontaneous night out.
Although it is not possible to cover Manila and its rich heritage over a weekend, with a fine-tuned itinerary, you can certainly make the most out of your trip.