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Manila is the Philippines' capital city and is the country’s center for education, culture, government, and economy. It also serves as the primary entry point for international travelers who are looking to enter the Philippines. A city of 12 million residents, Manila has a notorious reputation for its crazy traffic jams and abundance of towering buildings and skyscrapers. Often, visitors either just pass through the city or skip it altogether for other destinations in the country.
In recent years, both locals and tourists have started to appreciate what the city offers. After all, Manila was the venue for numerous historical events and still retains influences from various countries, most notably Spain and the United States. It is also one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies and the central financial hub of the country.
Are you arriving in Manila for work or business? Are you a local who surprisingly hasn’t seen much of your own city? Or maybe you’re a tourist who’s entering the country for the first time? Whatever your reason for visiting Manila is, being luggage-free is the best way to move around the city. This can be achieved with Bounce; simply store your luggage in one of Bounce’s locations across Manila and carry on with your plans without worrying about your things!
Manila is one of the most exciting and underrated cities in Asia. Though there are horror stories about its horrible traffic, there are plenty of hidden gems and cool spots that are begging to be discovered. However, given the city’s traffic situation, moving around can be challenging, especially when you have heavy luggage that you need to carry around. If this is an issue for you, Bounce is here to help. With numerous locations all over Manila, it's easy to find the nearest Bounce partner and securely leave your items there.
Top Things to Do
Once you look past its chaotic aspects, Manila is actually a charming city that has much to offer. This bustling metropolis is filled with historic sites, museums and galleries, delicious dining spots, and several attractions that are worth exploring. Here are some points of interest located in the city.
One of the best ways to get a more in-depth understanding of a city’s heritage and history is through its museums. In Manila, there is no shortage of remarkable museums that will give you an insight into the city's narrative, people, and the Philippines as a whole.
National Museum of Fine Arts: Part of the four sections of the collective National Museum of the Philippines, the National Museum of Fine Arts is one that you shouldn’t miss. As the name suggests, this facility houses the best of Philippine art dating back to the 17th century as well as contemporary art from present-day Filipino artists. One of the most recognizable pieces in the museum is Juan Luna’s “Spoliarium.” (Bag policy: Large bags aren’t allowed inside the museum. Find a Bounce location near the museum and leave your things there.)
Metropolitan Museum of Manila: One of the most important museums in the country, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is home to an extensive collection of contemporary art from both local and international artists. The facility also displays culturally-significant artifacts such as gold jewelry, funeral masks, golden barter rings, pottery, and more. (Bag policy: Guests may not bring oversized bags or luggage with them inside the venue. To avoid any hassle, simply deposit your bag at a Bounce location nearby.)
Planetarium: Situated in the heart of the iconic Rizal Park, the Planetarium is an iconic attraction in the city of Manila. The museum, which has been around since the 70s, gives guests a look into the universe by way of exhibits, demonstrations, and real celestial observations.
Similar to most Asian capitals like Bangkok and Singapore, Manila has some exciting markets and malls for those looking for shopping options. Whether you’re looking for some well-known brands and shops or want to find the best bargain deals, you need to check these shopping spots.
Divisoria Market: No doubt, Manila’s most popular shopping spot is Divisoria Market, located in Binondo, otherwise known as “Chinatown.” Divisoria is a huge part of Filipino culture. It is known as THE go-to place for the lowest prices on just about anything from clothes and shoes to furniture and home needs. In the area, you will find the famous 168 shopping mall, where you can buy items in both retail and wholesale. Just remember that it can get really crowded here, so be prepared.
Quaipo: Another famous shopping area and probably the closest thing to Divisoria is the district of Quiapo, which is referred to as the “Old Downtown of Manila.” The streets are lined with all sorts of shops and vendors. You’ll find handmade bags and shoes, novelty items, jewelry, clothes, electronics, and even fresh produce. You’re also guaranteed to get the best prices on any item, provided that you’re willing to brave the sea of people that come here daily.
SM City Manila: Part of the renowned SM Group of malls that can be found all over the country, SM City, Manila is the premier mall in the heart of the city. Located near the iconic Intramuros, SM carries several well-known international brands as well as local businesses and independent boutiques.
The culinary scene in Manila is heavily influenced by the different cultures that have inhabited the country, notably Spanish, Chinese, and American. Filipinos are also known for their affinity for eating, which is why the restaurant industry is booming in the country. Whether you’re looking for the best local food or want to have some international dishes, you’re in for a treat when dining in Manila.
Filipino food: The local Filipino food is heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine, which makes sense, given that the Spaniards occupied the country for over three centuries. Great places in Manila for authentic Filipino food are Ilustrado Restaurant and Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant, both located in the historic area of Intramuros. Other options for good Filipino food are Manam Comfort Filipino, Abe, Romulo Café, Mesa, Purple Yam, and Sentro 1771.
Asian cuisine: Asian cuisine, particularly Chinese, Japanese and Korean, is quite popular in the Philippines, and there’s no shortage of good restaurants to get them. For Chinese food, your best bet would be to go to Binondo, otherwise known as Chinatown, where you will find countless food stalls and small eateries that serve authentic Chinese food. Well-beloved institutions in Binondo include Wai Ying and Dong Bei Dumpling. Other noteworthy Asian restaurants include Ramen Kuroda (Japanese), DOON Thai and Asian Fusion Cuisine (Thai), and Hwang So Mak Chang (Korean).
Western cuisine: As a melting pot of cultures and a city with a huge expat scene, Manila has some great restaurants that serve delicious international flavors. One well-known spot tucked in the heart of the city is Old Swiss Inn, which has been around since 1946 and serves European favorites such as corned beef, steak, and cheese of all kinds. Café Ilang-Ilang, found in the famous Manila Hotel, also serves up an extensive menu of both local and international dishes – from American favorites to European classics.
How much does luggage storage cost in Manila?
The price for luggage storage in Manila is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Where are there luggage storage locations in Manila?
There are multiple locations all around Manila which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near St. Francis Phase III Park, San Agustin Church, Fort Santiago and many other areas.
Is it safe to store your bags in Manila?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Manila.
Are there storage lockers in Manila?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Manila. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Manila where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
Where are the best places to stay and eat while in Manila?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Chillie's (2nd dlr), Mercato Centrale, and Kabayan Food House. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Manila are Manila Hotel, The Blue Leaf Filipinas, and Rizal Park Hotel.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Manila?
Manila offers several scenic parks including Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife Center, Rizal Park, and Paco Park.
Where can I find tourist information and guideposts in Manila?
You can find local tourist information at NAIA Terminal 2 Arrival, Area Formerly Occupied by Fort Bonifacio Museum, and Former Phil Army 525th Engineering Batallion HQ.
What are the best museums and historical attractions in Manila?
If you're looking for a good museum in Manila, we recommend Casa Manila Museum, Malacañan Palace, and National Museum of Fine Arts. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Manila's most popular historical attractions including San Agustin Church, San Sebastian Basilica, or Bahay Nakpil-Bautista and monuments like Rizal Monument, Nicanor Reyes Square, or Mendiola Peace Arch. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of Intendencia, Fort San Antonio Abad, or Santa Lucia Barracks Ruins.
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