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Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Over the centuries, it has been a colonial outpost of Spain and later, the United States. Evidence of these outside influences can be seen in its architecture.
Fly to Manila with Qatar Airways and you’ll discover not a single coherent city, but an intriguing, disparate entity formed from a series of traditional towns. From the modern retail and dining space of Makati to the long-established Chinatown area, a flight to Manila is your portal to parallel worlds existing side by side.
Many of Manila’s most popular attractions are located in the bay area. The Malacanang Palace is the official home of the president of the Phillipines and was first built in the 18th century. The palace includes public gardens and a museum to explore. The Bonafacio Shrine honours national hero Andres Bonafacio, a significant figure in the struggle for independence.
Chinatown is a popular place to visit during a trip to Manila, and is one of the largest of its kind in the world. There, you’ll find all manner of Chinese foods and goods.
There are a number of large museums in Manila. The National Museum of the Philippines contains a diverse range of collections covering archaeology, culture, zoology, the arts and other subjects. To get a better understanding of the nation’s history during your trip to Manila head to the Museum of Philippine Political History, or discover the country’s great artists at the National Art Gallery.
There are a wide range of guided tours to embark on during your trip to Manila, covering the city’s history, skyscrapers and other themes.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle then head to Rizal Park, covering 60 hectares of gardens with scattered monuments. On the other hand, if you’re looking to dive head first into Filipino culture, then join in the festivities at one of Manila’s many annual events, such as the Chinese New Year Welcoming Festival, the Santacruzan Festival or the Manila Summer Sea Sports Festival.
Like Manila itself, Filipino cuisine is very much the sum of its parts. Its dishes have been inspired by a variety of influences from three continents, and contains elements of Spanish, Asian and American cuisine. One day you could be eating paella, then noodles and longganisa (a type of sausage), then American-style burger patties next.
Street food can be found in most areas of the city, while there are many restaurants in the Makati area.
During your travels to Manila, you’ll undoubtedly come across an array of traditional markets. One of the largest is Divisoria Market, which is frequented by locals more than tourists but has plenty to offer anyone wanting to discover the real Manila. Other markets include those at Greenhills Shopping Centre and St. Francis Square.
For a more familiar shopping experience, visit the SM Mall of Asia, one of the largest indoor shopping complexes in the world.
The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country. Though the official national language is Filipino, English is widely used in commerce and in schools, and so is spoken by most Filipinos. Some may speak a mix of Filipino and English words.
Qatar Airways flights to Manila land at Niquoy Aquino International Airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Manila please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
Voltage: 220 V 60 Hz
Plugs: Type A / B / C
Language: Filipino / English
International dialing code: +63