Attractions Nearby Manila, Day Trips and Excursions
(Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines)
Close to Manila are many quality Filipino attractions suiting those looking for an enjoyable day trip, away from busy city life. There are a good selection of popular beach resorts and related attractions lying within easy reach of Manila, being less than two hours away by car.
South of Manila and famous for its accessible scuba diving locations and coral reefs, the beachfront resorts based around Anilao regularly attract visitors and day trippers. Also consider the sights and sounds within nearby Antipolo City, Baguio, Corregidor Island, San Fernando, Taal and Tagaytay, amongst many other tourist friendly destinations in this part of the Philippines
Always appealing are the resorts of Cavite, of which Caylabne particularly stands out from the crowd. Further sandy beaches and related attractions are to be found within the nearby towns of Bataan, Batangas, Nasugbu, San Juan, Tali and Zambales, amongst others, boasting sun, sea, sand and everything that you would expect to find.
Anilao is sited within Batangas and next to the Calumpang Peninsula, and is usually at its busiest during the weekends. Many tourists choose to stay in Anilao for a few days, using this spot as a useful location for snorkelling, scuba diving, hiring boats and enjoying a spot of island hopping.
A mere 30 km / 19 miles from Manila and easily reached by car in well under an hour, Antipolo City makes for an interesting excursion and is well connected by Filipino public transport. With a population exceeding 600,000 residents and plenty in the way of quality attractions, Antipolo City stands within the central region of the Rizal Province, where it offers a choice of affordable hotel resort complexes. A number of restaurants line the Sumulong Highway and overlook Metro Manila, being well worth considering for the views alone. In the summer months, the yearly pilgrimage to the shrine known as Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage (Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buenviaje) is quite a sight.
The city of Baguio is sited directly to the north of Manila and can be found in roughly five hours by bus, or less than an hour if your budget can stretch to a flight. Often referred to as the Philippines' summer capital, Baguio's top attractions tend to be based around Session Road, which serves as the main thoroughfare. For stunning mountain scenery, take a trip to the Mines View Park and explore the trails.
Corregidor Island is certainly steeped in history and regular boat trips arrive here, departing most days from Manila's docks, close to the Philippine Cultural Centre. One of the country's oldest remaining strongholds used during WWII, the military remains consist of no less than 23 batteries and really are quite interesting. The gun emplacements are still very much in place, although the buildings are now little more than skeletons. Built towards the end of the 19th century, the Corregidor Lighthouse is another prominent local sight to see.
San Fernando is to be found around 67 km / 42 miles to the north of Manila and some 16 km / 10 miles east of Angeles City, being within Central Luzon. Tourism in San Fernando is well developed and a series of annual celebrations always managed to draw large crowds, such as the Giant Lantern Festival each December, which dates back to 1931. The historic core is filled with places of interest and this area is known as the City of San Fernando Heritage District. Other leading attractions include the Archdiocesan Museum and Archives, the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, and the WOW Philippines Hilaga Christmas theme park, which previously went by the name of the Paskuhan Village.
Subic Freeport Zone
The Subic Freeport Zone is one of the region's more unusual attractions and started life as an American military base. Now converted into something of a tourist hotspot, the Subic Freeport Zone is just over two hours to the north of Metro Manila and boasts sandy beaches, restaurants with bay views, and scuba diving around old wrecks. Those with an eye for gambling, golf or even shopping will be pleased they came here. The canopy walks looking down on the forest are always very popular.
The heritage town of Taal is located approximately one hour to the south of Manila and is particularly close to Tagaytay. With a surprisingly good selection of museums and period buildings, Taal has become a notable day trip destination, offering a definite flavour of the past. The Basilica de San Martin de Tours is one attraction worth looking out for, although its eye-catching architecture ensures that it really is quite hard to miss.
Tagaytay is just a short journey to the south of Manila and occupies a scenic spot, presiding over the adjacent Taal Lake. There are many tempting attractions spread around Tagaytay, making an excursion here very worthwhile. Look out for the Mabini Shrine, the Casa de Segunda Katigbak, the Marcela N. Agoncillo Historical Landmark, the Punta de Santiago Lighthouse, and the Palace in the Sky. A number of restaurants are on hand, offering fine dining with views of the imposing Taal Volcano.