Got a long layover in Manila, but no idea what to do? Don’t click that return to Google button because you are precisely on the right page to learn more about that! So, you decided to skip staying in Manila for a few days because you heard terrible things about it, but you are very curious what the Philippines’ capital has to offer? Maximize that layover! Check these things you should remember, see and do when you got a layover in Manila!
Things to Remember
For the convenience of comfortably going around Manila without carrying your heavy luggage/backpacks, you can go over to Luggage&More. Luggage&More can be found at the NAIA Terminal 3, and it operates 24/7 daily. Its facilities are covered by a 24-hour CCTV system to ensure all your bags and luggage’ safety and protection whether for short or long periods of time.
There is a metered taxi lane at the airport that you can go to transport you to your desired destination. The flag down rate for taxis in the Philippines remains at P40, but the distance rate is now at P13.50 per kilometer, under the new fare scheme. Make sure your taxi is metered to avoid paying a sky-high fare. You can also use the app Grab for the convenience of getting around. There, you can already see the fare price that you will pay prior to loading the car.
Like anywhere else in the world being attentive to your surroundings and valuables is always necessary. Being vigilant does not mean that the place is dangerous or what but it is a must do for every traveler. The Philippines has friendly, accommodating, very warm and always smiling people that you will love. See it for yourself.
Places to Check Out
Mall of Asia
Metro Manila is a haven for shopping malls. Filipino families usually spend their weekends’ bonding inside malls. Mall of Asia is said to be one of the biggest malls in Asia. You can either shop, watch a movie, dine, go ice skating, enjoy resto-bars, go on rides like the MOA Eye which is a Ferris wheel overlooking the City, grab a bottle of local beers by the bay just outside the mall while enjoying a beautiful sunset!
Sunset by the bay, outside Mall of Asia.
Other malls to check out:
- Resorts World Manila
- Glorietta Malls
For seafood lovers like me, I would recommend Seaside Dampa located in Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City. A little trivia, “Dampa” basically means “hut.” It is a Filipino word that means more of a nipa hut for exact terms. Usually, we use the term “Dampa” also to connote a row of restaurants that cook fresh seafood according to the customers’ preference.
Live Giant Lobsters
Seaside Dampa Macapagal Stall
In Seaside Dampa you can shop for your fresh and alive seafood at the wet market. Seafood can always be pricey depending on the season so do not forget to bargain for the lower price. It is fine, do not be shy. After your unique and fun experience of shopping, you can afterward choose a restaurant around which you would want your seafood to be cooked. It is all up to you want kind of dish you prefer the seafood would be. If you aren’t sure about the recipes, the restaurant has a list of possible dishes seafood like shrimp, crabs, or fishes can turn into to help you decide!
Buttered Garlic Crabs and Shrimp Sinigang (Soup)
Seaside Dampa is definitely a perfect place to fulfill your gastronomic seafood needs while in the City! So, what are you waiting for? Try this unique, memorable experience and indulge yourself to some of the yummiest seafood in Asia!
Understanding a place and its culture means learning about its history as well. Manila is full of the hustle and bustle, but it is also filled with worth knowing bits of history that would inspire you more to get to see the country. Luneta Park was built to honor the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal. He is a doctor and a novelist who was shot by firing squad at this exact site on December 30, 1896, on charges of inciting local rebellion against the Spanish government. Rizal is one of the most important individuals who encouraged and helped the motherland gained its Independence.
Luneta Park with Friends
If you are fond of parks and is looking for an oasis of chill and joy, Luneta Park is the place to be. Filipinos love to have a picnic in here while simply relaxing with their loved ones. It has gardens, dancing fountains, playgrounds, historical markers, food kiosks, and restaurants and a lot more.
Intramuros: A City Within the Walls
Intramuros with Friends
Adjacent to Luneta Park is Intramuros. Built by Spaniards in 1521 to be their political and military base in Asia. This ancient ‘Walled City’ of Intramuros in Manila is a significant historical proof that we can still witness standing nowadays. It represents the Philippines itself. It was a witness of many disasters and withstood from it, may it be acts of God or wars. It modified itself under the hands of invaders and colonizers. Its mighty walls did not only toil as a defense but also as an eyewitness to the City’s disturbed years. Certainly, your Manila experience would not be complete without visiting the Walled City of Intramuros.
Have a taste of mini-adventure even when you are only on a layover. With these destinations that you can visit near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, you are surely bound to a fun-filled day and memorable escapade as you’ve never done before. Like I always say, your trip to the Philippines isn’t complete without visiting its capital, Manila. A lot of travelers are skipping Manila, but if you want to learn its history and culture deeper, it starts here. The Philippines is more than just the islands, beaches, underwater, and mountains. There you have it! Do not make your layover just be an ordinary one! Make sure to have the most out of your Manila layover! See you in Manila!