Capital of the Philippines
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a densely populated bayside city on the island of Luzon, which mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern skyscrapers. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and former military prison.
Just north of Intramuros is Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, established in the 1500s and bustling with shops and restaurants. Rizal Park is Manila’s main public space, a vast mall with fountains, gardens and monuments honoring national heroes. The Museum of the Filipino People focuses on ethnographic and archaeological exhibits, while the Metropolitan Museum of Manila displays contemporary art. The blocky, modernist buildings of the Cultural Center of the Philippines house various performing arts organizations. Roxas Boulevard is a palm-lined waterfront promenade with hotels, restaurants and views of Manila’s famed sunsets.