The Intramuros part of Manila is the most ancient area of the city. Once a Malay settlement it was taken over in 1574 and completely destroyed by the Spanish, who replaced it by a fort. These ancient walls surround the inner city, which is accessible by drawbridges across the ancient moat that has now been transformed in a golf course.
Manila cathedral is a must with its artful carvings in stone, glass mosaics. Other interesting monuments to visit include the Fort Santiago, a Spanish fort from where you can admire the Pasig River, the Coconut Palace an incredible structure entirely built in palm wood and coconut shells, which is now a Cultural Center and the Malacanang Palace, a 200-year-old palace that was the former residence of Imelda Marcos and Ferdinand.
Taking advantage of the cheap tickets to Manila will allow you to fully appreciate not only the cultural venues and historical sites but also the beautiful parks and botanical gardens in the Rizal Park and the Ayala Museum.
At 90 km from Manila, the Mount Pinatubo is ideal for those who love trekking and adventures. Here visitors will find striking natural sites, including hot springs and a huge lake formed after the eruption of the volcano in 1991.
Pristine beaches are plentiful around the Manila area, the nearest ones being Puerto Azul and Marbella Marina in Cavite. Manila is also the ideal city for shopping sprees, as the city boasts some of the most well-known shopping malls in the world, as well as local markets and handicraft stores.
Manila is renowned for its excellent cuisine and restaurant service. There are many very good restaurants throughout the city for all taste and cultures.
Budget hotels can also be found together with flights to Manila, and it is usually best to book both before leaving. By doing so, you can get both cheap tickets and excellent hotels for a very good price.
Before traveling to Manila consider that the dry season is the coolest period of the year, starting in January through to May, with temperatures varying from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. The rainy season goes from June to October and the heat and humidity can be very trying if you intend to do some serious exploration.