10 Things To Do Alone In Manila, Philippines - Updated 2022

Laarni Lanox
Endorsed by Local Expert
Laarni Lanox

Whether you are new to traveling alone or are a seasoned solo adventurer, Manila is a lively place filled with so much to see and do that you won’t have time to notice your lack of companionship. There are many different tours you can take around Manila, depending on what your interests are, from shopping to historical sightseeing. Perhaps you’d like to experience the local nightlife, but want to make sure you visit only the best venues. For inspiration on some of the best things to do while traveling solo in Manila, be sure to check out these ideas.

1. Enjoy a traditional meal and cultural show (from USD 111.0)

This tour will pick you up from your hotel doorstep in Manila Bay or Makati and take you through the cobbled streets of Intramuros before arriving at a Filipino restaurant. Here, you will be served with a special sample entree from every province within the Philippines while you get to experience a cultural performance. The show is centered around Filipino traditions and culture, expressed in the most creative of manners.

Cultural Dinner and Show in Manila

Duration: 3 hours

2. Enjoy dinner onboard a small cruise ship (from USD 70.0)

For a dinner that you’re sure to never forget, consider taking a dinner cruise along Manila Bay. The cruise lasts three hours and the dinner served will be local Filipino cuisine. You’ll get to enjoy a live band while onboard, with beautiful Manila as your backdrop. Choose between one of two cruise options, the mid-evening cruise or the night cruise, both of which offer superb sightseeing.

Manila Bay Dinner Cruise

3. Prepare your own traditional Filipino meal (from USD 60.0)

When trying new foods isn’t quite enough to satisfy your adventurous spirit, consider learning how to prepare a Filipino meal yourself alongside someone that has plenty of experience in doing so. In this private cooking class, you’ll be taught by Isi, who has been working in the food industry for well over 10 years. You will be taken into her garden to pick fresh ingredients, such as lemongrass, for the meal you’ll be preparing. During your three hour lesson, Isi will teach you about the traditional Filipino food culture, as well as typical ingredients and recipes. After you have finished making your meal, sit down and enjoy the fruits of your effort with your host.

Travel tip by Manila Local Expert - Laarni
Posted on: Nov 13, 2019

Here's my take on the classic adobo. This is not exactly my recipe—much like no one Filipino can claim ownership to the original way of cooking rice. Everybody local just knows it. They just add their own personal touches or tweak the timpla (blend) a bit to suit individual tastes. But for a basic understanding, here's a simple method. You can choose pork, chicken, or a combination of both. For a pound (half a kilo) of meat—the local meat shops can give it to you adobo-cut—the ingredients you'll need are equal parts soy sauce and vinegar (1/2 cup each), ground pepper (1 tsp), sliced chilis (add as much as you like, depending on your tolerance), chopped onion (1 pc), and minced garlic (1/2 bulb). If you chose pork, adding a little water helps tenderize the meat until it's soft and juicy. Place everything inside a pot, mix them all, and set the flames on medium. When your concoction starts to boil, lower the heat to let it simmer. When the meat is already soft enough to your liking, you're done! Serve your adobo with rice, and while enjoying your meal, relish the fact that you just cooked a famous Pinoy dish like a native.

Manila Private Cooking Class in Chef's Home

Duration: 3 hours

23 reviews

4. Experience a Filipino dinner and dance show (from USD 120.0)

If you are looking for the perfect way to spend an evening in Manila, what better way than to try a variety of local foods while enjoying a folk dance show? This three-hour dining experience is sure to delight your taste buds as you try delicacies such as sinigang (a stew made with tamarind) or sisig (a spicy minced meat entree), served buffet style. The dinner includes a dance show celebrating Filipino culture and heritage; at the end of your meal, feel free to join in!

Cultural Dance Show with Dinner in Manila

Duration: 3 hours

18 reviews

5. Tour the city with a local (from USD 30.0)

Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ray in Manila used under CC BY 2.0

Take a tour with a local who lives in and loves Manila, and you’ll be shown all the places you didn’t even know you were missing. The tour is completely customized to meet your needs and desires, whether you prefer to walk the tour or take public transportation (at your own expense) and the language you prefer to converse in (Spanish, English, German and French are available). The length of the tour can be customized as well, from a minimum of two hours to a maximum of six.

Manila: Like a Local Customized Guided Tour

4 reviews

6. Experience the local night life at different pubs (from USD 19.0)

experience the local night life at different pubs
Source: www.viator.com

Spend an evening taking the Manila PubCrawl and you’ll see what the Filipino nightlife is all about. The tour begins at 8:00 p.m., where you and 20-30 others will meet at the first venue, A'Toda Madre. You’ll spend about an hour here before you and the others head off to the next stop on the tour; there are five venues in all, spanning across three cities. The final stop is at Resorts World Manila, where the party stops only when you do!

Manila PubCrawl

Duration: 5 hours

7. Tour the Manila food markets by night (from USD 67.0)

4 Heavenly Burger
Source: Photo by Flickr user #FoodTograpiya | ... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

For those interested in trying out new foods washed down with a bottle of local beer (or perhaps coconut water) and don’t mind a moderate walk, be sure to check out this tour. The tour takes place during the evening hours at the night market, making it the perfect option for a sample platter style late dinner. You’ll start out at Bonifacio High Street, which is in one of the newest areas of Manila. From here, your guide will give you a bit of background about the area you’re touring as you visit different vendors with all sorts of Filipino cuisine. Some of the foods you might find during the tour include isaw, which is a barbecued pig or chicken intestine, and lumpia or spring rolls. For the best experience, try to step out of your comfort zone at least once, you may end up enjoying an unexpected food.

Manila Mercato Night Market Street Food Tour

Duration: 2.5 to 3.5 hrs

1 review

8. Historical tour of the city followed by dinner (from USD 95.0)

historical tour of the city followed by dinner
Source: www.viator.com

In this tour of Manila, you will spend five hours seeing some of the best historical sights of the city. The tour starts when you are picked up at your hotel, and your first stop is at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, which commemorates the US and Filipino lives lost during WWII. You’ll also make stops in the Makati Business District, the Rizal Monument, and Intramuros. After visiting all the sights, you’ll head to the riverfront to catch a boat for your dinner cruise, where you’ll get to watch a glorious sunset across Manila Bay, before being dropped back off at your hotel.

Manila City Tour and Manila Bay Dinner Cruise

Duration: 5 hours

9. Shop to your heart's content on a shopping tour (from USD 93.0)

If retail therapy is the only kind of therapy you seek, you’ll want to check out this tour. Arrange for a private driver/guide to pick you up from your hotel and have them take you on a three hour guided shopping tour. Because this is a private tour, you can customize it to fit your shopping pace and store preference. If you prefer to stay thrifty, your guide can show you the best bargain stores and flea markets in the area; for those looking to spend a bit more, have your guide steer you to the upscale boutiques. At the end of your three-hour tour, the guide will return you and your purchases to your hotel.

Travel tip by Manila Local Expert - Lara
Posted on: Nov 14, 2019

There are so many places to shop in Metro Manila - and most of the shopping complexes will have almost everything from local snacks to handcrafted souvenirs. Greenhills Shopping Center is a haven for cheap clothes and "designer" items, but it also has a supermarket, several malls, lots of restaurants, and a tiangge (bazaar). You can come here just to shop, but if you need to exchange money, refill your vitamins, or do a quick grocery run, you can do it all here. Greenbelt is best for luxury shopping, but you'll also find The Landmark near here - a department store that sells everything from affordable shoes and clothes to bags and accessories. 

Half-Day Manila Shopping Tour

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

10. Take a guided tour of new and old attractions in Manila (from USD 68.0)

For a day spent exploring nine of Manila’s best old and new attractions, be sure to check out this guided tour. The tour starts at 9:00 a.m. and wraps up at about 5:00 p.m. back at the meetup point. Some of the attractions you will see include Rizal Park, San Diego Gardens, and Plaza Roma; the last stop of the tour is at the Mall of Asia where you will be free to shop for about three hours.

Manila Tour A (Shared Tour)

Duration: 8 hours

Enjoy some alone time in Manila

Manila is a fun adventure no matter how you travel, but exploring it solo can up the fun factor considerably. So get ready for an exciting getaway to the Philippines where only you are in charge of how much fun you have.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.
This article has been endorsed by Manila local expert Laarni Lanox and 1 other(s)

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Amber has enjoyed being an office manager at a geotechnical engineering firm for seven years and has a Bachelor's degree from Tarleton State University in Marketing. When not working or wrangling...Read more

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