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Where to Stay in Manila

Where to stay in Manila, the city of action and adventure

If you’re looking for the perfect vacation destination in the Philippines, Manila is the city that has it all. Amazing nightlife, rich culture and history, great food, and a bunch of fun and engaging activities make Manila one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the world. The tropical climate is obviously a huge bonus. This is a massive city, which can make your search for where to stay in Manila quite challenging. We have decided to make things easier for you with our list of the top five neighborhoods in the city.

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Transportation in Manila

Public transport in Manila will make it simple to get from one point to another. You can use the Point to Point (P2P) buses, LRT and MRT Railway lines, jeepneys, and taxis. All of these are quite affordable. It’s also possible to rent a car, but you’ll need an international driver’s license. Learn more about Manila’s public transport here.

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Five best neighborhoods to stay in Manila, Philippines

As the capital and largest city in the Philippines, Manila is huge. The city is divided into 16 different districts, each with its own charm and historical value. Things can easily get overwhelming when you’re looking where to stay in Manila, Philippines, which is why we did the work for you. Here are our top five neighborhoods for staying in Manila:

  1. Makati
  2. Poblacion
  3. Malate
  4. Quezon City
  5. Intramuros

We used the following factors for the final list:

  1. The vibe and atmosphere of the area
  2. Historical and cultural importance
  3. Fun things you can see and do
  4. Safety of the area
  5. Accommodation cost
  6. Ease of transport
Best neighborhoods to stay in Manila
Makati For a first-time visit Clean, safe, with plenty of attractions
Poblacion For a budget-friendly stay Hip, lively, and affordable area
Malate For nightlife fun Safe area with plenty of bars and clubs
Quezon City For a cool and boho vibe Creative and edgy neighborhood
Intramuros For families/long-term stay An old and historically important part of the city

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Where to stay in Manila on your first visit – Makati

Makati is a high-end, central area of the city that won’t leave you with a moment to feel bored. The area is full of great restaurants, fashionable shops, fun clubs, and historical landmarks. The green spaces are truly breathtaking and ideal for getting away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

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Where to go in Makati

  • Explore the parks and museums
  • Enjoy the partying, eating, and shopping

Best for outdoor and history lovers: Washington SyCip Park

Washington SyCip Park will leave you breathless. This gorgeous green space is ideal for relaxation and nice and mindful strolls after shopping and sightseeing. If you want to learn more about the culture and history of the city, head to the Ayala Museum.

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Best for foodies, shoppers, and party-goers: Greenbelt

The Greenbelt mall is a must-stop for everyone who wants to experience high-end shopping. Shopping enthusiasts should also visit Glorietta. Greenbelt has plenty of awesome places for everyone. Black Market is the vibrant hotspot for fun nightlife. You can’t go wrong with The Exit Bar, The Penthouse 8747, and Blind Pig either. For tasty cuisine, head straight to Sala and the Milkyway Café.

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Where to stay in Manila, Philippines on a budget – Poblacion

Poblacion may be the city’s former red-light district, but now is the lively and hip place within Makati, ideal for the budget stay. It’s also famous for its vibrant nightlife and great restaurants.

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Where to go in Poblacion

  • Treat your palate at amazing Poblacion’s restaurants and eateries
  • Enjoy some fun time at local bars, cafes, and clubs

Best for foodies: Tambai Yakitori Snackhouse

Tambai Yakitori Snackhouse is the most popular restaurant in the area for everyone who wants to taste some local specialties. Lobo also has a great Filipino menu. Asian Fare at Crying Tiger Street Kitchen and Alamat Filipino Pub and Deli are also worth your time.

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Best for partying and booze: Joe’s Brew

Joe’s Brew is the best place in the area to get refreshing craft beer. Dr Wine is also very popular, especially if you want to drink your night away in a great atmosphere. Commune is the true hotspot for all coffee lovers.

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Where to stay in Manila for nightlife – Malate

You can’t go wrong with Malate when you’re looking where to stay in Manila for some wild nightlife fun. The neighborhood is safe, which makes it easier to party all night long. Malate also has important cultural and historical sights together with fancy restaurants to complete your enjoyment.

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Where to go in Malate

  • Party, drink, and dance at popular bars and clubs
  • Eat the best food at hip restaurants and eateries

Best for party-goers: Club ZZYZX

If you don’t want the party to end, head to the Club ZZYZX and get wild from dusk till dawn. Verano Taft is also a great place to dance your night away. Local Caven Resto Bar has some of the best selection of drinks, while bar1951 is immensely popular for its live music shows.

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Best for foodies: Bourn Food Station

Bourn Food Station and Café Adriatico are some of the best places to treat your palate with delicious dishes. Purple Yam, Café Havana, and The Chillout Project Kitchen & Bar are also deservingly popular.

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Where to stay in Manila, Philippines for a bohemian vibe – Quezon City

Those of you interested in the coolest Manila neighborhood should definitely stay in Quezon City. The area is booming with creativity, youthfulness, edginess, and boho spirit. This is the place where you’ll find a bunch of hip bars and restaurants, together with cat cafes and unique boutiques. It’s also considered to be a foodie paradise in Manila.

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Where to go in Quezon City

  • Explore the national park and historical buildings
  • Party, enjoy refreshing drinks, and try delicious food

Best for outdoor and history enthusiasts: Quezon Memorial Circle

Quezon Memorial Circle is the national park in Manila, located in the traffic circle. Its elliptical shape, stunning sculptures, and picturesque greenery make it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manila. This is also the neighborhood where you’ll find one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, called the Santuario de San Pedro Bautista Parish.

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Best for foodies and party people: Off the Grill Bar

Quezon City has a lot to offer to everyone who enjoys good food and partying. Off the Grill Bar and The Nautilus Bar are popular hotspots, but you should definitely check out Ma Mon Luk, The Manor Superclub, and The Distillery Eastwood, too.

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Where to stay in Manila long-term – Intramuros

Surrounded by the Spanish 16th-century walls, Intramuros is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, perfect for everyone looking where to stay in Manila, Philippines with their families or for a longer period. This is the cultural and historical hotspot of Manila with amazing green spaces and great restaurants.

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Where to go in Intramuros

  • Explore the historical and cultural sites
  • Relax at parks and enjoy some fun activities

Best for history buffs: Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago includes a museum and a park, located within the 17th-century stone fortress. It’s a must-visit for every history fan. Make sure to check out Manila Cathedral, Bahay Tsinoy, the museum and gardens of San Agustin Church, and the fortification Baluarte de San Diego.

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Best for relaxation and fun: Rizal Park

Rizal Park is the idyllic area in Intramuros where you can rest or take a stroll to immerse yourself in the natural beauties. If you want to get some souvenirs, go to the Mananzan Handicrafts and then satisfy your sweet cravings at Cioccolata – Churros Café. You can also get a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, called calesa.

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