Manila is the capital of the Philippines and is located on the island of Luzon. This bayside city has an interesting mix of Spanish colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers. Lovers of history can explore Old Manila, which is home to the 16th-century San Augustin Church and Fort Santiago. Or you can explore the country’s culture at the National Museum. And for those who like to share their holidays on social media, there are plenty of beautiful places in this bayside city to visit. We have compiled a list of our favourite Instagrammable places in Manila, so read on to learn more.
1. Taal Volcano
Let’s start this list off with a bang! For a truly explosive photo opportunity, head to Taal Volcano. It’s located along the Pacific Ring of Fire and is one of the Philippines’ most active volcanoes. The volcano rises up from the centre of Taal Lake and has its own crater lake and island. To clarify, that means the volcano’s setting is an island in a lake on an island in a lake! To take a tour of the volcano, you’ll need to cross Taal Lake on a boat. Once on the island, it’s a 40-minute hike or horse ride to the crater rim, providing you with stunning views of the crater lake and island. A full day tour includes transport and lunch. You’re sure to get some amazing snaps for Insta standing at the crater’s rim!
Address: Taal Volcano, Manila, Philippines
2. Fort Santiago
Up next is a tour of Fort Santiago, one of the most important historic sites in the Philippines. It was built by the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi to protect Intramuros, Manila’s famous walled city. The fort has manicured gardens, fountains, ponds, and plazas, so there are photo opportunities galore! The Fort is open daily, from 8 am to 9 pm. It’s recommended to visit in the morning when the temperature is still somewhat cool and finish off the visit with a picnic lunch in the shade.
Address: Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila, Philippines
Opening hours: 8 am - 9 pm
3. Okada Manila
Okada Manila is a casino and hotel complex located in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming strip. It sits on an area 45 hectares (100 acres) big and has a wide range of features. The hotel is comprised of two 15-storey wings which are connected by sky bridges. The building’s glass facade is gold in colour, representing the sunset, making it an excellent backdrop for Instagram photos. Or head to the Fountain, the complex’s centrepiece. It’s Manila’s largest multicolour dancing fountain, and sure to provide you with great photos. You can also visit Cove Manila, which has a nightclub and swim-up bar, or head to the Garden, an open space overlooking the bay.
Address: New Seaside Dr, Parañaque, 1701 Metro Manila, Philippines
Website: Okada Manila
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Travel tip by Manila Local Expert - LaraPosted on: Nov 12, 2019
4. Dessert Museum
For a cute, hip spot to get some Instagram-worthy shots, look no further than the Dessert Museum. It’s got eight rooms filled with bright, dessert-themed artwork, so you can compose the perfect photographs. Your visit will start off with a guide welcoming you and hanging out candy canes. You’ll then kick off the tour by sliding through a donut hole into the Donut Room. You’ll then head further into the museum, hitting rooms like the Marshmallow room, the Ice Cream room, and the Cake Pops room. The tour lasts two hours and there are endless photo opportunities, so be sure your phone or camera are charged!
Address: Seaside Boulevard, Coral Way, Pasay, 1300, Philippines
Website: Dessert Museum
Opening hours: 10 am - 10 pm
5. Rizal Park and Shrine
One of the largest urban parks in Asia, Rizal Park and shrine covers 58 hectares (140 acres) and sits next to the walled city of Intramuros. The park is chock full of lawns, gardens, walkways, ponds, an observatory and a concert hall. It provides plenty of lush space to make your backdrop during an Instagram photo shoot. It also features a monument to Dr. Rizal, a Philippine hero from the 19th-century. The park is free to visit and is pleasant all year round. There is a Visitor Center where you can pick up a map and list of upcoming events.
Rizal Park and Shrine
Address: Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines
Opening hours: 5 am - 9 pm
6. Pagsanjan Falls
Up next we have the Pagsanjan Falls. Located about 60 miles (97 km) from Manila, these waterfalls stand 33 feet (10 m) high. It’s a thrill just getting there, but do be aware you will get wet, so invest in a waterproof case for your phone or camera. First, you’ll get in a small boat and paddle upstream. Then you’ll get on a bamboo raft and ride under the actual cascade, into Devil’s Cave. You’ll then travel down the gorge through rocky rapids. From selfies on the raft to shots of the falls, there’s plenty to fill your Instagram feed with here!
Address: Pagsanjan Laguna, Philippines
7. Mt. Pinatubo Crater
As if the first volcano on our list wasn’t enough, we’ve got another for you: Mt. Pinatubo. It erupted in 1991 and has left behind a large crater lake that is a popular destination for visitors today. Don’t worry, the volcano is monitored regularly! On your visit to the volcano, your guide will take you on a 4x4 over the mud plains and slope of the volcano. This is followed by a hike to the crater lake. You’ll then be rewarded with beautiful views of the vibrant teal waters. You are sure to get some unique shots!
Mt. Pinatubo Crater
Address: Mt Pinatubo, Luzon, Philippines
8. Venice Grand Canal Mall
The Venice Grand Canal Mall is a shopping centre designed to remember the streets of Venice, Italy. With a waterway running through it to mimic the canal’s of Venice and pastel architecture reminiscent of the Italian city, it’s certainly a unique shopping experience. In addition to shops and restaurants, you can catch live performances at the Venice Piazza, a live venue. You can even take a gondola ride on the canal. And of course, it’s a popular spot for amateurs and professionals alike to take photos. So don’t be shy—take out your phone and get some good snaps against the bridges and Italian-inspired architecture.
Venice Grand Canal Mall
Address: Upper McKinley Rd, Taguig, 1630 Metro Manila, Philippines
Website: Venice Grand Canal Mall
Opening hours: 11 am - 11 pm
9. Manila Ocean Park
Manila Ocean Park is an ocean theme park with more than 14,000 marine animals. There are interactive and educational exhibitions on display, so everyone who visits is sure to find something that interests them. You’ll get some great shots in the 82 foot (25 meters) long tunnel which features sharks, eels, and fish. You can also visit the jellyfish exhibition or get some cute pics for Instagram at the sea lion show. You can even get up close and personal with some of the animals, or head to the on-site dish spa where small fish will take the dead skin off your feet!
Manila Ocean Park
Address: Quirino Grandstand, 666 Behind, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines
Website: Manila Ocean Park
Opening hours: 10 am - 8 pm Monday - Friday, 9 am - 8 pm Saturday - Sunday
10. Manila Bay
Manila Bay is the harbour which serves Manila. The Bay is flanked by volcanic peaks on each side, providing beautiful views out onto the water. Stroll along The Baywalk, a promenade which people use for exercise or fishing. It’s also a great spot to look out over the Manila skyline. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to getting some snaps for social media. Whether you want the tree-line volcanic peaks or a shot of the skyline, you’re sure to get some beautiful pictures. We highly recommend staying in the area around sundown as the Bay is renowned for its sunsets.
Address: Manila Bay, Manila, Philippines
So much to photograph in Manila
Manila is chock full of photo opportunities. From volcanoes to casinos and waterfalls to malls built like Venice, there’s an endless supply of unique backdrops. So charge up your phone, grab your selfie stick, and prepare to have a blast in Manila!
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