The Philippines is notorious for its holidays and long weekends. During these times, people from Metro Manila flock to either the airport or NLEX and SLEX for road trips to neighbouring provinces. In short, horrific traffic is inevitable. This is why staying in Manila is the best choice for people who don’t want to deal with long hours on the road. And rightly so, since Metro Manila is already brimming with activities and establishments for everyone!

bonifacio high street taguig
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Here’s a list of awesome things you can do within Metro Manila to avoid NLEX and SLEX traffic: from staycations to shopping areas, cultural experiences and nightlife spots, there is something for everyone.

1. Resorts World Manila

resorts world manila pasay

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If you want a luxurious time in the metro, Resorts World Manila the place to go to. It’s an integrated resort right in front of the airport with a casino, mall, cinema, and a lineup of restaurants and bars. Maxims and Marriot Hotel are within the area too! They usually host international events and shows throughout the year. Keep an eye on their schedule.

  • Address: Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay

2. Sofitel Philippine Plaza

sofitel hotel

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We highly recommend this place for either a serious staycation or a food trip since they have one of the best buffets in the amongst the hotels in Manila. It boasts of a minimalist interior, Filipino design elements, lush greenery, and a view of Manila Bay. Check and Expedia for the latest discounted rates.

  • Address: CCP Complex Roxas Blvd Brgy. 76, Pasay

3. Manila Ocean Park

manila ocean park aquanaut underwater

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For an adventure underwater with your friends or family, make sure you add Manila Ocean Park to your list. You can swim with the sharks, be a mermaid for a day, feed the penguins, get a fish spa, or watch a sea lion show!

  • Address: 666 Behind Quirino Grandstand, Ermita

4. National Museum

national museum spolarium

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Take a trip to the museum for a change, even if you’re not an art or history buff, you’ll find that the museum itself is stunning structure. It has a wide collection of fine art, archaeology, ethnography, and natural history pieces. Also, this where you can see Juan Luna’s “Spolarium” painting.

  • Address: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita

5. Greenbelt

green belt makati mall

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Within the business center of Manila is a series of malls under the Ayala group called Greenbelt. This shopping mall has a wide range of establishments, both middle to high-end names. This is where you go if you want to see and shop at Gucci, Zara, Jo Malone, Rimowa, and the like. They also have a cinema, food court, and Adora so you can fid entertainment for a full day.

  • Address: Legazpi Street, Makati

6. Bonifacio Global City

the mind museum visitors

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If you’re still undecided where to go, we suggest you go to BGC (Bonifacio Global City). There’s The Mind Museum, Shangri-La, Bonifacio High Street, Central Square, SM Aura, and the like. There’s also a roster of the best cafes and restaurants in the metro, a lineup of shops, and buildings with picturesque murals. It’s one big city filled with activities and establishments for every member of the family.  Not to mention, is very “photogenic”, perfect for the ‘gram!

  • Address: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

7. Marikina Food Parks and Museums

marikina food parks map

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If you want to experience the home-grown of Manila, go to Marikina City. Particularly, try food park hopping. There’s Crave Park, The Truck Park, Carnival Food Park, and such. If you want a break from food there’s also a lineup of museums you can visit such as the Shoe Museum, the Book Museum cum Ethnology Center, Museum of Miniatures, and Philippine Science Centrum.

  • Address: Marikina City, Marikina

8. La Mesa Watershed Reservation

la mesa watershed nature within city

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Want to do something more active while being surrounded by nature? La Mesa Watershed is literally a forest within a city. It’s perfect if you want to go on a day hike and a picnic with your kids or friends and other family members.

  • Address: 4332, Quezon City Dr, Novaliches, Quezon City

9. Intramuros

intramuros kalesa ride

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Intramuros is one big historical field trip you should take regularly. This walled city is famous for Fort Santiago, San Agustin Church, Bahay Tsinoy, Casa Manila, Rizal Shrine, and NCCA Gallery. You can park in the area and walk around or ride a kalesa to see all the places mentioned.

  • Address: Intramuros, Manila

10. Poblacion

poblacion bar manila dulo

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For nightlife, we think Poblacion is the best place to go to. It beats the bigger, fancier bars because the crowd here is more low-key and purely wants to have a good time over good food and drinks. Think hipster and hole-in-the-wall establishments.  It’s also where most digital nomads hang around, so it’s perfect if you want to meet travellers! We suggest you go to DULO, Pura Vida, El Chupacabra, Cu Chi Bar, OTO, The Mermaid Pool Bar, Tambai, and Z Hostel.

  • Address: Poblacion, Makati

Don’t get stuck in traffic while enjoying Manila

Now that you have this list with you, where are you going first in Manila? Remember, you can have a good holiday anywhere as long as you’re spending it with the right people. Plan it out and see for yourself what Metro Manila has in store for you!

Featured Image credit: TheDigitalWay | Pixabay