Discover Manila
The city of eternal summer, flowers, and smiles

The capital of the Philippines warmed by the rays of the hot sun

Districts of Manila

The giant metropolis of Metro Manila consists of the city of Manila, three adjoining municipalities, and 14 satellite cities, with Quezon City being the largest. The city of Manila is divided into 16 districts. The central ones are San Nicolas, Santa Cruz, Binondo, and San Miguel. You can get a room at an attractive price in hotels located in the Ermita and Malate districts, where the picturesque Roxas Boulevard and most of the city sights are located. The most fashionable hotels and shopping centers are concentrated in Makati, the business center of the capital.

The Pasig River divides the city into two halves: Intramuros — the oldest part of town, preserving the memories of the Spanish conquistadors, and the northern half with modern architecture and industrial area, adjacent to the port.

The city center is filled with numerous restaurants, bars, open-air cafes, and huge shopping malls.


The modern inhabitants of the Philippines capital are descendants of settlers who lived in the area before the Spanish arrived. They farmed the land and were proficient with firearms. Until the XVI century, about 6,000 people had lived here. The Spanish, English, and American conquistadors all contributed to the city's demographics. The population decreased catastrophically during World War II. Japanese soldiers massacred many local civilians.

Today, the situation has changed dramatically. Modern Manila is the most densely populated city in the world. It has a high birth rate, which is not affected by natural and economic disasters. It is the largest educational center. Therefore, many young people live here during the school year.

Many residents of the capital work in industrial enterprises, widely and diversely represented in the metropolis. They are smiling and friendly. In their free time, they love to hang out at the markets and wander through the numerous shopping malls. Manila residents inherited their zest for life and optimism from their ancestors, undefeated by war and disasters.

Brief history

The history of Manila is rich in tragic events and bloody wars. The city had to rise from the ashes and recreate itself more than once. In the I century BC, the city of Tondo was founded on the site of the modern capital of the Philippine state after a bloody war with the Muslims. Later, a settlement called Maynilà appeared here (the name came from the name of the mangrove trees, which grew in abundance on the Pasig River banks).

In the early XVI century, the famous Portuguese explorer Magellan discovered the Philippine archipelago, and the Spaniards captured these places. Fifty years later, Lopez de Legazpi was attracted by the cozy bay. After a brief battle with the local raja, the city of Manila was founded here, which became the capital of the Philippines. Fortress walls were erected, and the first church was built. It got its name from the fortress of the Tagalog tribe Manila, which means "the place where the indigo plant grows." This is a kind of plant that still stains the waters of the Pasig River with an unusual green color.

At the beginning of the XVII century, the first educational institution opened here, and a new generation, the first educated inhabitants, appeared. Muslims repeatedly tried to regain power over the city, and the pirates were very interested in it. That's why Fort Santiago was built to protect it. It was an inner-city with solid stone fortifications. Manila becomes the center of trade between China and Mexico.

In the XVIII century, the Seven Years' War broke out, which resulted in the capture of these lands by the British, which brought the city to stagnation and ruin. Two years later, under the Treaty of Paris, the British abandoned Manila, and an era of peace and prosperity began, and the city began to develop actively again.

At the end of the XVIII century, an earthquake struck Manila, causing severe damage. The rebuilt capital received movie theaters, cobblestone streets, and locals learn what an elevator is.

The turn of the XVIII and XIX centuries brought new troubles. The American troops invaded the capital, and the locals had to endure the invaders' cruelty for a hundred years.

World War II was a huge tragedy for the Filipinos, and the city was destroyed to the ground. The Japanese troops killed about 100 thousand civilians. In 1944, the Americans exposed the city to fierce bombing to defeat the Japanese army's remnants. Only Warsaw suffered more in that war than Manila. But the city, scorched and devastated, survived again and found the strength to rebuild. After the devastation of World War II, the Philippines' capital was rebuilt in the North American likeness — straight wide streets and crisp lines of highways. In 1946, Manila and the Philippines became free, and the country gained its independence.

Manila of the XXI century is a modern metropolis, a cultural, industrial, the Philippines' political center, the most densely populated city on the planet. Many educational institutions are located here. It is a modern port of national importance and the center of world tourism.

The best time to visit Manila

Manila has a hot, humid tropical climate. The average annual temperature is +27ºC. The hottest time of the year is from March to May when the temperature rises above +29ºC. The rainy season begins in June and lasts until November. It is relatively cool from December to February (+25ºC). There is a strong dry wind from November to April, which the locals call amihan. The high season is in December. During this time, the thermometer does not rise above +30ºC, the weather is clear, and there are no strong winds.

Useful notes

Things to do in Manila

  • Touch the historical heritage by walking through Fort Santiago, built by Manila's founder Lopez de Legazpi and feel the breath of time;
  • Try tinola (a soup made from chicken meat, young papaya fruit, moringa leaves, and lots of ginger) at one of the home-cooked restaurants. In nasty weather, this dish will warm not only the body but also the soul. For those counting calories, Pancit Bihon, a light dish of thin rice noodles fried with meat, chicken liver, and vegetables, is perfect;
  • Visit the Binondo district, the oldest Chinese quarter in the world;
  • Get some luck and perhaps simple and straightforward answers to the most difficult questions at the Buddhist Kuang Kong Temple;
  • Count the coconut fruits in the unique candelabra of the picturesque Coconut Palace. Make sure there are exactly 101 of them, smile and make a wish for your career, and it will surely come true;
  • Enjoy paintings performed by local and international artists and admire the unique gold jewelry in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art;
  • Throw a picnic in Rizal Park on Manila Bay's shores, relaxing in the shade of the trees from the bustle of a crowded city. The park is famous for being the most beautiful place where the Philippine independence as a state was proclaimed in 1946. Admire the illuminated fountains in the evening. Visit the Japanese or Chinese gardens, the Butterfly Pavilion, the Orchid Orangery and take marvelous, colorful photos against a backdrop of magical nature;
  • Combine swimming in the warm waters of Manila Bay, sunbathing, and sightseeing on the beaches of Cebu Island. There are a variety of activities for children, and adults can have a hydromassage while lying under the waterfall streams on a bamboo raft;
  • Explore the Universe at Spaceport in the Enchanted Kingdom theme park;
  • Go shopping at the Divisoria Market in the heart of the Old Town, where you can buy everything from food to exclusive clothing from renowned designers. Experience all the colors of life in Manila.

Map Manila

Hotels in Manila