Breaking out of your normal Manila roadtrip itinerary is always good, and exploring some lesser-known gems may provide a fantastic opportunity. Gather up some travel buddies and explore these hidden attractions around Manila!
Intramuros Museum stands as an impressive example of classical Spanish architecture and provides a fascinating way to gain knowledge about its colonial past. Beijing to Manila Cathay Pacific flights make access a breeze.
1. Arreceros Forest Park
Arreceros Forest Park provides an oasis of green in Manila’s bustling capital: this 2.2 hectare urban forest known as “the last lung of Manila”. Home to native trees and used as resting spot for migrating birds, Arreceros Forest Park also helps reduce air pollution – something commonplace throughout its environs.
Ermita Forest Park is managed by Winner Foundation, a private environmental group established by memorandum between them and Manila city government in 1993.
Forest parks provide the ideal setting for relaxing or meditating, strolling, picnicking and other outdoor activities – from strolls to picnics. Wear comfortable shoes and bring along a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen if possible for maximum enjoyment!
Save Arroceros Movement has been campaigning to convince City Hall to preserve and rehabilitate Arroceros Forest Park by hosting events and rallies, while Mabanta suggests individuals can also lend support by writing letters, visiting Arroceros Park or simply sharing selfies of themselves on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.
2. Bahay Nakpil-Bautista
Bahay Nakpil-Bautista was constructed as an ancestral house in 1914 in Quiapo and recently transformed into an adaptive reuse museum that showcases historical artifacts.
Dr. Ariston Bautista was a physician, patriot (an active member of the Propaganda Movement), philanthropist and artist who resided here. This house was designed by legendary Filipino architect Arcadio Arellano.
This house from the Spanish era stands as an iconic example of Philippine wood and stone houses from that era, distinguished from other heritage properties by its architectural details; for instance, its high ceilings and doors featuring elongated curve details–a far cry from the ornate flowery designs typically found in colonial homes at that time.
Interiors of this house have been very well preserved and you can even witness some of its original furnishings. Aside from its main sala (living room), there are also two suites of cuartos (bedrooms). Furthermore, its hall has many doors leading into various rooms while many windows provide scenic vistas from street level back towards its estero garden.
The museum is well maintained, and their staff is extremely welcoming. Aside from showcasing historical artifacts, they also host several activities and events within their house.
3. Calvo Museum
Manila’s streets hold plenty of history that many tourists miss out on. A stroll down Escolta Street is an excellent way to uncover this facet of Manila that many visitors miss; with its charming architecture and historic sites making this street perfect for photographers. So get your mirrorless digital camera or point-and-shoot ready and head here today to take a trip back in time.
Calvo Building Museum is an unexpected gem, housing memorabilia from when it was considered one of Manila’s premier business addresses. You could spend anywhere between 30 to 120 minutes here depending on how much time you enjoy perusing its exhibits.
The museum features Manila’s old-school apothecaries, featuring dark green bottles that typically held gin or La Tondena anise wine, while cobalt blue bottles contained patent medicines like salts and laxatives.
The museum hosts events to highlight local photographers and artists, making it an excellent option for photography enthusiasts and culture vultures alike. If traveling with a group, GPSmyCity provides self-guided walking tours for Manila that turn any mobile phone device into an expert tour guide!
Barbara has quickly become one of Venti’s most beloved characters after Mihoyo released a viral video showing her conversing with players. Barbara also saw an increase in popularity due to a voice update that reduced her peppy-ness; Barbara became beloved idol in Monsdadt and brought happiness and hope to many through her acts; she’s shown to be religious too, often praying to her goddess; yet even with all this fame behind her she still worries how long smiles last after leaving people, partly out of jealousy of her sister Jean whom she sees more often!
5. Ronac Art Center
Manila is an exciting and intriguing city that blends chaos and spirituality together in perfect harmony, dirt and divinity. There’s something special here for everyone; and you might miss some incredible gems if you only follow popular travel guides.
Bahay Nakpil-Bautista can be found inside Intramuros and serves as an ancestral bahay na bato that displays colonial living. Boasting classical Spanish design elements, this beautiful home should not be missed! History fans should visit it today!
The National Museum complex in the Philippines boasts an historic neoclassical building and is one of the best places to visit on any budget or history enthusiast’s itinerary. Here they can learn about Philippine culture, art and history all at the same time!
Divisoria Market in Manila is one of the premier shopping locations, boasting a massive and bustling marketplace filled with amazing bargains on clothing, electronics and local cuisine – everything you could ever need can be found at Divisoria Market!
Foodies looking for something extra tasty should visit EAT Philippines, a small restaurant that specializes in delicious and creative fusion dishes as well as offering cocktails and wine from around the world. With an expansive drinks selection – cocktails and wine alike – and views overlooking Manila Bay from high-end dining rooms available here as well, A’ Tado Madre offers over one hundred types of premium tequila and has an intriguing menu.
6. Hidden Valley Springs
Hidden Valley Springs is a tropical rainforest paradise located in Alaminos Laguna that has become a beloved retreat for both locals and foreign travelers alike. Famous for its natural hot spring pools, lush vegetation, and peaceful ambience – this attraction also serves as a popular picnic site and spot for outdoor activities like hiking, swimming or horseback riding.
Home to an abundance of exotic flora and fauna – including rare orchid species – its waters are said to possess healing powers that provide respite from stress, anxiety and other medical conditions.
Resort Makiling is an oasis for those in search of relaxation from city life, offering natural hot spring pools fed by mineral-rich waters of Mount Makiling’s dormant volcano, as well as beautiful waterfalls and tranquil forest scenery.
The hotel boasts many luxurious amenities, such as a golf course and beautiful villas. Perfect for both families and couples alike, guests can take part in various activities at the hotel such as swimming in natural pools, walking through jungle paths on wooden bridges and enjoying its stunning hidden waterfall.
Hidden Valley Springs can be reached via car, bus, or jeepney from Manila International Airport; driving takes around 90 minutes from there to Hidden Valley Springs. For the fastest route, use South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit at Sto. Tomas in Batangas on South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).