Tempting Manila. Top 5 free things to do in the capital of the Philippines
- Food and drink
- Family travel
- Historic places
- Culture breaks
- Travel hacks
Manila is the capital city of the Philippines. It has an incredibly turbulent past. Many people say that a visit to this city isn’t cheap. However, that’s not a reason to steer clear of this place. For you we have picked five places that you can visit for free and have a great time in Manila.
The old district of Intramuros
Be sure to go to the oldest district of Manila - Intramuros. This area has a lot of real historical heritage. And above all, the fortress founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1590 is an architectural phenomenon.The Spanish royal family lived here for a long time. During WWII, unfortunately the fortress came under bombardment but was then restored in due course. Fort Santiago is also worth a visit, local pirates were confined here once. In addition, there are a lot of old Spanish buildings that have been restored. A walk to the Manila Cathedral is nice too. It was built during the 20th century and is one of the most important churches in the Philippines. The Church of San Agustin is another church you can visit but there is an entrance fee. This 17th century church is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.To soak up the spirit of the Philippines incredible stories and to see the old architecture and perennial stone buildings, a walk through the district of Intramuros is what you need.
Visiting Intramuros was full of the beauty and history, you should get some rest and preferably in a quiet corner of the city. Rizal Park is just the very spot and it is located right next to the oldest district of Intramuros. The size of the park is about 60 hectares and its name is in honour of a national hero - Jose Rizal, who was beheaded on the spot of the park by the Spanish conquistadors. In the park, a lot of statues and figures from historical events are placed.
In addition to the history, you can find many nature luxuries too. A lot of well-groomed trails, tree-lined avenues, picnic areas, and in the evenings there’s fountain lights. The pride of the park is the Japanese garden. It was planted in honour of the Japan-Philippine friendship. During weekends there are free concerts in the park with local singers and actors.
National Museum of the Philippines
After a visit to Rizal Park, a few meters away is the building of the National Museum of the Philippines. It’s impossible to miss. This museum is famous primarily because of the exhibitions of works by famous Filipino painters and sculptors. Due to the fact that the museum contains a planetarium, an art gallery and a museum of natural history, seeing everything will take a lot of time. But it’s worth it.
For example, the pride of the museum exhibits is the time of primitive man. Housewares, tools, jewelry, apparel, etc can be found here. Of course, there are also exhibits related to the history of the Filipino people like religion exhibits. In total, a museum and zoological and botanical collections are available to you.
Museum visits are only available on Sundays. If purchase a ticket, it will give you free access to the planetarium.
Cultural life rages in libraries
Do you like reading books? If yes, then you certainly need to go to one of the libraries in this city. It’s quite a lot and most of the time, the entry is free. In addition to these libraries, you can read the book for free. Events are held often where you can get a free copy of a book. The quiet atmosphere and different literature allow you to take a break from the bustle of the big city.
For example, the public library "Cultural Center of the Philippines" is one of the oldest institutions in the country and is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm. Or visit the library "Ortigas Foundation" which was founded on 7th November 1996. The workers here say their main goal is to promote the study of Philippine history, art and culture. In this library, you can find a lot of interesting literature and you get the chance to see the unique collection of old books. Another bonus is that free workshops are often held on Philippine culture, lectures and exhibitions of antiquities.
Chinatown - an area of contrasts
Manila has a long history of Chinese immigration and so it is logical that the city should have one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. Chinatown in Manila is also known as the Santa Cruz district. The area was founded in the 16th century as part of a plan to wrap Chinese immigrants to Catholicism. This place is primarily interesting due to the unusual contrasts: Buddhist temples, Spanish churches and Art Deco. Of course, just like all Chinatowns, you will definitely see a lot of local artisans, tea houses, street smells of Chinese food and of course the shops where they sell all sorts of incense and unusual trinkets.
Thinking about visiting the capital of the Philippines? You can find cheap flight tickets on our site!