Tourism is an important industry in Metro Manila, Philippines. In 2012, the city and region welcomed 974,379 overnight visitors. As the main gateway to the Philippines’ many destinations, the city is visited by the majority of international tourists to the country registering a total of 3,139,756 arrivals in 2012. Global Blue ranked Manila eleventh in its “Best Shopping Destinations” in Asia. The city is ranked tenth in MasterCard’s global top 20 fastest growing cities for international visitors from 2009-2013
Metro Manila contains several notable attractions including a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 45 other cultural heritage landmarks. These cultural attractions are mostly concentrated in the City of Manila and offer a glimpse into the city’s Malay, Spanish, and American origins. Popular sites include the Spanish colonial buildings in Intramuros, the World Heritage Site of San Agustin Church, Rizal Park, and a few Art Deco and Revival style buildings like Manila Metropolitan Theater and the National Museum of Fine Arts. There are also modern attractions such as the Manila Ocean Park, the integrated resort complex of Resorts World Manila, and the newly opened Solaire Resort & Casino, City of Dreams Manila and Okada Manila in Entertainment City.
Within the City of Manila
San Augustin Church’s botanic garden in Intramuros
National Museum of Fine Arts
Intramuros is a historic fortified complex that is home to Manila’s oldest colonial structures. Tourist attractions located inside the complex include Fort Santiago, a Spanish citadel located at the mouth of the Pasig River near Intramuros, Manila Cathedral, a 19th-century ecclesiastical building which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located just outside Intramuros is the Rizal Park. It is a 58 hectares (140 acres) historical urban park located along Roxas Boulevard. The Rizal Monument, located in the center of the park, is the memorial to the Philippine national hero, José Rizal. Museums within Manila include the National Museum of Fine Arts, formerly the National Art Gallery, the National Museum of Anthropology, an anthropology and archaeology museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, a premier museum of modern and contemporary visual arts.
The districts of Ermita and Malate are Manila’s center for culture, commerce, entretainment and tourism. Ermita, located outside the walls of Intramuros near Luneta, is home to major government buildings and many hotels. The Manila Ocean Park is an oceanarium with a marine-themed mall and hotel, it is located behind Quirino Grandstand, which fronts Rizal Park. Malate, the tourism center of Manila, is famous for the Baywalk and the Remedios nightlife district. Manila Zoo, the oldest zoo and botanical garden in the Philippines, is also located in that district. Binondo, an old district of Manila that is home to Manila’s Chinatown, is established since 1521. Its main attractions are Binondo Church, Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arch, Seng Guan Buddhist temple and Chinese restaurants. Quiapo is the location of Plaza Miranda and Quiapo Church, which is home to the Black Nazarene. The San Sebastian Church, which is also located in Quiapo, is the only all-steel Gothic basilica in Asia.
Major parks in Manila include Arroceros Forest Park, an urban forest in Ermita, and Paco Park, a recreational garden that was once a Spanish cemetery located in the district of Paco.Malacañan Palace, which is located on the bank of the Pasig River, is the official residence of the President of the Philippines.
Other popular tourist destinations around Metro Manila include:
Ayala Museum, Makati – the largest private museum of Philippine art and culture.
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Taguig – the largest U.S. cemetery in the Asia-Pacific region.
St. Joseph Parish Church, Las Piñas – located south of the capital, the church is home to the Las Piñas Bamboo Organ.
Resorts World Manila – the country’s first integrated entertainment and casino resort located across from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Star City, Pasay – the city’s foremost amusement park.
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