Located on the west coast of the main island in the Philippines (Luzon), Manila is a bustling and lively capital city that is one of the most populated in the world. With over three decades of Spanish colonization, Manila has some distinct architecture and heritage including churches, forts and other colonial buildings.
With a population of over 11 million in Manila alone, the city is overcrowded, which results in problems with crime, traffic and pollution. Travelers should be extra vigilant with their valuables as pick-pocketing is commonplace. The heat can be a problem for some visitors and it's advisable to drink plenty of bottled water to keep hydrated. The public transport system in the city is extensive, with a mixture of buses, trains, light rail, taxis and local jeepneys.
The city of Manila has both Spanish and America influences on its architecture, heritage and culture. The Spanish controlled the city for over three decades and built countless buildings and churches. After the WWII destruction of the city, restoration has been slow, with only some historic structures restored.
Shopping lovers will truly enjoy the amazing selection of shops, malls and markets in Manila. The city is one of the best shopping destinations in Asia for inexpensive goods.
The cosmopolitan and bustling city of Manila has a wide variety of entertainment to suit all tastes and budgets. There are shopping malls, amusement parks, discothèques, bars, outdoor activities and performing arts.
Dining in Manila is a great experience, with a wide selection of flavors and cuisines from around the world. Filipino food has been strongly influenced by the Spanish occupation of the country. Visitors will find some of the best Spanish cuisine in Asia in Manila.