Best Area To Stay In Manila – Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a vibrant city known for its attractions, entertainment, shopping and excellent gastronomy. Metro Manila consists of 16 “sub-cities”, the most notable of which are Makati, Malate, and Quezon City. Given the city’s size, density, and popular traffic, deciding where to stay in Manila is challenging, but not impossible.
However, this cosmopolitan city contains sharp contrasts, from the glamor of Makati to the slums of Tondo. Therefore, choosing the right base for you can make a huge difference to the trip.
Best Area To Stay In Manila
As always, I chose the best places to stay in Manila, Philippines for you based on the quality of the hotel or other accommodations, proximity to attractions, security and cost.
The 10 Best 5 Star Hotels In Manila, Philippines
Before you choose a neighborhood or neighborhood, note that getting around Manila is usually quite difficult. So booking in advance to secure the best accommodation and avoid long travel times will greatly improve your stay.
For those short on time, here are the best places:
Here are the different areas in Manila that I will cover in this post on one handy map
When deciding where to stay in Manila, many travelers first choose the business district of the Philippines, Makati. Makati is a great destination for first-time visitors to Manila as it is clean, safe and has many modern commercial developments such as the Ayala Center. There are many shopping centers, cultural institutions and international restaurants in the neighbourhood. It’s the western part of town, so if you’re prone to culture shock, you’ll feel more comfortable in Makati.
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Just because it’s safe doesn’t mean there aren’t many places to enjoy the night. After the sun goes down, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options, whether you’re enjoying live music, dancing, pub hopping, or anything in between.
Overnight visitors in Manila should also consider Makati due to its proximity to the cosmopolitan city of Bonifacio and the international airport, while Intramuros, Ermita, and other central areas lie a little further away.
This luxurious 5-star hotel is one of the best options in Manila. A gym, spa, international restaurant, and outdoor pool are just the start. Fairmont Makati not only offers large modern rooms but also a pillow menu to ensure you get the best sleep during your stay.
Malate and Ermita are lively places full of attractions, specialty restaurants serving Filipino, Chinese and international cuisines, shopping opportunities and the best nightlife in Manila.
Best Hotel In Manila, Philippines (my Recommendation)
You will see tall skyscrapers next to single storey buildings overlooking Manila Bay and get to know the local life here. Expect delicious Filipino food and incredible sunset cruises. At night, some streets completely change their character, becoming hot spots for party-goers.
If you’re here to party, head to Calle del Pilar, the neighborhood’s Red Light District, but if you’re looking for a quieter getaway, enjoy the expansive Ermita parks and gardens.
Although there are still poor areas in this part of the city, Malate and Ermita have become much safer places to live in recent years. Malate and Ermita are among the best places to stay in Manila thanks to their overall safety, excellent beachfront location, and facilities that cater to all types of visitors.
This beautiful hotel overlooks the park of the same name and is located directly on the beach. In addition to the unique location, enjoy rooms and suites, breakfast, and general service. The on-site gym and rooftop infinity pool with city views are other top amenities at the hotel.
Diamond Hotel Philippines From $97. Manila Hotel Deals & Reviews
Quezon City (QC), known as Manila’s chic, trendy and food hub, is the most populous area in the Philippines. Located in the Northeast Bay area, the city attracts young people who love to hang out in trendy cafés and shop at the best boutiques, and is a great getaway.
Quezon City is not only home to the best universities in the country, but it is also where you will find the best street food in the country. So even if you’re not young (or young at heart), you’ll still enjoy countless street vendors offering incredible food at even better prices. There are also many things to see in this former capital of the Philippines. If ecotourism, religious sites, good food, and markets are among your interests, you must stay here.
Note: Quezon City is about a 25-minute drive from Makati, which makes it a bit further from the airport than other areas in Manila.
Modern open plan design, children’s playground, unique restaurant and pool are just the beginning when it comes to this attractive 4 star hotel. With many facilities to suit all types of visitors, no matter if you are visiting Manila for a family vacation, a business trip or a luxury stay, Novotel Marina is an excellent choice.
Best Place To Stay In Manila
The word intramuros means “within the walls.” If you want to experience the history and culture of Old Manila while traveling, then Intramuros Historic District is for you. Previously, this part of the city was the center of Spanish colonial rule in the 16th century. So, you can see traces of those times here, including the walls around the area and Spanish landmarks like Fort Santiago.
When you listen to Filipino conversations, you will notice many Spanish words that have been incorporated into the language and remain there to this day.
Bordered by the Ermita, the Pasig River, and the Gulf, Intramuros occupies a small area full of fun things to see and do, making it a great destination not only for history buffs, but also for families. If you haven’t had enough of your culture yet, across the river from Intramuros you will find the world’s oldest Chinatown, Binondo.
This 5-star hotel offers easy access to the best tourist spots in Intramuros and features a business center, spa, gym, outdoor pool, pool bar and several restaurants serving Chinese, French and other specialties. With excellent mattresses and other amenities, this hotel makes comfort a priority and is one of the best places to stay in town.
Why I Don’t Plan To Go Back To Manila, Philippines
When planning where to stay in Manila, include traffic as one of the major deciding factors. The city is known for its traffic congestion and overcrowding of trains and buses. As a result, many locals spend hours commuting from home to work on the worst days. Make sure to keep in mind that driving anywhere will take longer than you think.
For many tourists visiting the Philippine capital, getting from the airport to their destination is difficult. So, if you are coming to Manila for the first time, try to book a hotel with shuttle service. It will save you time and money and assure you a stress-free dating experience in the Philippines.
Although the areas I have mentioned in this post are some of the safest places in the city, there are areas that should be avoided. Avoid the areas around Navotas, Tondo, Baclaran and other areas with a large expat population and/or dimly lit streets. Generally, these areas are far from the tourist places, so if you stay near the areas I mentioned, you should be fine.
Apart from Makati, Pasha is probably the best place to spend a day or two on a short stay in Manila. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila (upscale), Conrad Manila (mid-range), or OYO 110 Asiatel Hotel (budget) are some of the best hotels near Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Hotels To Ninoy Aquino Intl Airport (mnl), Manila
Pickpocketing and petty theft are unfortunately very common in Manila. Avoid jewelry and carry valuables in purses while walking on the streets, as they are easy to steal. A common trick to watch out for is long conversations with strangers on the street, as a scammer can easily pass through your personal belongings while you are distracted. Pickpockets are especially common on the subway, so keep your luggage up front and always be on the alert.
Try not to walk the streets at night and take a taxi instead. Taxis are very cheap in the Philippines and will take you to and from your destination in the safest way. Normally, it wouldn’t cost more than P150 ($3.50) for a 20-minute ride, and you could greet them on the street or book a ride on the Grab app. If you must walk, avoid well-lit streets and alleys.
Most of the tourists stay in Makati because it is located in the far west of the city. In this area you will find large hotel chains, large shopping centers as well as other tourist attractions.
Everyone should visit the capital, Manila, during their stay, but the islands of Cebu, Boracay, and Palawan are some of the best places to stay in the Philippines.
The 10 Best Hotels In Manila For 2022 (from $14)
Manila is not a real center of the city because it is so big that it is much smaller