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Philippines

Where to stay in Manila as a first time visitor

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - People at street market in Manila Philippines. Manila is the capital of Philippines and the most densely populated city proper in the world.

The City of Manila is a thriving metropolis, holding both titles of being the capital of the Philippines and the most densely populated city proper in the world. While this may turn off many travellers, it is the very reason that you should stick around. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient,’ many describe Manila’s grey and busy exterior as an unappealing shell, but when you look further into the city, its locals and its culture, you will find the jewel that the city truly is.

A bayside city on the island of Luzon, Manila is filled to the brim with towering skyscrapers amongst Spanish colonial architecture mixed in with expansive shanty towns; not to mention ancient sites and modern malls, various markets, a wide range of bars and restaurants and chaotic traffic, all of which reflect its remarkable history. No stranger to hardship, the city has battled through every disaster both humans and nature could throw at it, and this vibe of life and bustle are almost tangible in the atmosphere of the city today.

Knowing where to stay in Manila, especially as a first time visitor, can be really daunting. After all, the city has a reputation for being a congested, concrete jungle, so where do you even start? It depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want to experience a true Asian megacity, you can stay in the most metropolitan regions such as Metro Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong or Muntinlupa. If you want to be in the heart of the history and culture, Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times is where you can experience Old Manila. If you want to use the city as a stopover to other Philippine provinces or one of the thousands of stunning white-sand beaches, that’s okay too, although we highly recommend staying here for at least two days just to drink in the culture and to meet some of the nicest local people.

We will cover off all types of Manila accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Manila hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Manila, the best Manila hotels, best places in Manila to visit, the best places to stay in Manila, hotels near Manila attractions, Manila neighborhood guide and many more.

To help you make the best of this highly underrated city, here are our recommendations of where to stay in Manila.

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Makati – Where to stay in Manila for first timers

A city that is always recommended to first-time visitors to Manila and even the Philippines, is the city of Makati. Known as Manila’s financial district, Makati has areas that are bustling with businessmen with streets full of shopping, dining and nightlife, and a variety of hotels suitable for any budget. With such a central location, the city boasts access to upscale malls, top sights like Ayala Museum, incredible international dining options, hip speakeasy bars, and popular downtown areas such as Poblacion. Makati is also the best place to stay in Manila for tourists.

Offering all the conveniences of a major city, what travellers really love about Makati, is that it also satisfies our other needs. For a break from the constant churning of the city, travellers can head to areas such as Salcedo, which give off a homier, weekend vibe every day of the week. Have your fill of exquisite handmade items, organic Filipino coffee and delicious local food from the charming Salcedo Market, stroll through Washington Sycip Park or people-watch all day until your heart is content.

Best places to stay in Makati

Cheapest Hostels in Makati:
BGC Boutique Hostel and Dorm
Our Awesome Hostel
Junction Hostel Makati
Z Hostel

Budget Hotels in Makati:
Hotel Sogo – EDSA, Guadalupe
[email protected] Hotel
Ritz Astor Hotel
RedDoorz at Rockwell Mall

Mid-Range Hotels in Makati:
Aruga by Rockwell
Herald Suites Polaris
Hotel Durban
City Garden Hotel Makati

Family Friendly Hotels in Makati:
I’M Hotel
St Giles Makati Hotel
Berjaya Makati Hotel – Philippines
The A.Venue Hotel

Luxury Hotels in Makati:
Discovery Primea
The Peninsula Manila
Makati Shangri-La Manila (Our favourite!)
Raffles Makati

Makati city night skyline in Manila, Philippines. Office buildings.

Quezon City – Where to stay in Manila backpacker

If you’re looking for up-and-coming areas to stay with a fresh and trendy edge, Quezon City is where you need to start your search. Full of some of the top universities, local fashion boutiques and cat cafés, this area is full of youthful creativity and gives off strong hipster vibes.

Home to Maginhawa Street, a place that is heaven for all you foodies, you can feast your eyes (and your stomachs) on some of the best local foods from food trucks at the One Fifty Maginhawa Food Park, local diners or holes in the wall – you’ll never have to eat again! Remember when we said Quezon City was hipster? You can see what we mean when it comes to entertainment. With streets lined with board game cafés, second-hand bookstores and vinyl stores, and tattoo parlours, you can never be bored in this district of fun.

Best places to stay in Quezon City

Cheapest Hostels in Quezon City:
Kamuning Hostel
Golden Panda Dormtel
Yuj Inn
BGC Hostel And Dorm – QC

Budget Hotels in Quezon City:
Robbinsdale Residences
Fersal Hotel – P. Tuazon
Newgrange Condotel
Eurotel North Edsa

Mid-Range Hotels in Quezon City:
Prime Hotel
Madison 101 Hotel & Tower
Royale Parc Inn & Suites

Family Friendly Hotels in Quezon City:
Luxent Hotel
Oracle Hotel & Residences
The Cocoon Boutique Hotel
The Sulo Riviera

Luxury Hotels in Quezon City:
Seda Vertis North
Eastwood Richmonde Hotel
Meranti Hotel

Horse Drawn Carriage parking in front of Malate church , this historical church is located in Intramuros the oldest district and historic core of Manila Philippines

Intramuros – Where to stay in Manila with Family

From the Latin meaning ‘inside the walls,’ Intramuros is a walled city built by the Spaniards upon their occupation of Manila in the 16th century. Just a small 0.67 square kilometres, this area within the modern city of Manila has become known as the historic centre and is the oldest district of the capital.

If you like to take it easy, you can explore the sights that the city has to offer from the iconic three-mile-long stone walls and fortifications to the ancient churches. Take a walk along the Pasig River and you would have done everything Intramuros has to offer. A simply stunning and marvellous place to stay, this city is perfect for a quieter visit to the Philippines.

Best places to stay in Intramuros

Budget Hotels in Intramuros:
Casa Bocobo Hotel
The Corporate Inn Hotel
Rosa’s Garden Hotel
Southern Cross Hotel

Mid-Range Hotels in Intramuros:
Hotel H2O
Bayview Park Hotel Manila
City Garden Suites
Rizal Park Hotel

Family Friendly Hotels in Intramuros:
The Bayleaf Intramuros
AG New World Manila Bay Hotel
Executive Hotel
Diamond Hotel Philippines

Luxury Hotels in Intramuros:
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
Pan Pacific Manila

Manila Philippines - Colonial-style building at Intramuros district in Manila Philippines. Intramuros was designated as a National Historical Landmark in 1951.

Bonifacio Global City – Where to stay in Manila for one night

Although another up-and-coming financial district in Manila, Bonifacio Global City or Fort Bonifacio gives you something that the others don’t: green spaces! Full of stretching avenues with wide sidewalks lined with hedges and trees, you’d feel like you weren’t even in a city if it wasn’t for the towering cityscape that you can see in the distance.

As you’d expect from a thriving city, Bonifacio also boasts up-scale hotels, amazing Filipino restaurants, a mixture of small and classic art galleries, and a High Street that is full of tempting retail and a killer dining scene. Dotted with rooftop watering holes all over the city and a lively nightlife scene, this city is a suitable place to stay for any traveller on any budget looking for a good time in Manila.

Best places to stay in Bonifacio Global City

Cheapest Hostels in Bonifacio Global City:
BGC Boutique Hostel and Dorm
Our Melting Pot Hostel

Budget Hotels in Bonifacio Global City:
Go Hotels Mandaluyong
Makati Palace Hotel
Ritz Astor Hotel
Citadel Inn Makati

Mid-Range Hotels in Bonifacio Global City:
Seda Bonifacio Global City
Aruga by Rockwell

Family Friendly Hotels in Bonifacio Global City:
Ascott Makati
Dusit Thani Manila
Holiday Inn & Suites Makati

Luxury Hotels in Bonifacio Global City:
Grand Hyatt Manila
Discovery Primea
Shangri-La at the Fort Manila
Ascott Bonifacio Global City Manila

MANILA, PHILIPPINES- Traffic on street at Chinatown in Manila, Philippines. Manila Chinatown is one of the largest and oldest in the world.

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Where to stay in Manila

Where to stay in Manila

Where to stay in Manila

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!