Authored by Diane Wuthrich (Contributor)
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is an excellent jump-off point to many great destinations.
While the primary international airports’ is nearby in the big city, but if you don’t have the luxury of time, there are also several terrific day trips from Manila you can do.
To get to these places, you can either rent a car, hire a car with a driver or go through organised Manila Day trips with a company.
These essentials services are affordable in your Manila trips, especially if you’re already travelling with a group where you can share the costs.
Another option is to take a bus to exotic attractions that can fill a day in the Philippines quite nicely indeed.
However, if you’re in need for a little advice on how to spend a day in and around the big city, below are a some suggestions to help you with some great ideas for day trips in Manilla.
Five Great Ideas for day trips from Manila in the Philippines
Just around an hour and a half away for your ultimate day tour near manila Manila, is one of the country’s most popular tourist spots, Tagaytay.
Local and international visitors flock to Tagaytay because of the scenery, fresh mountain weather, and the scenic road trip that makes it the ideal one day trip near Manila on your occasional trips to Philippines.
Tagaytay is best known for the majestic Taal Lake which is within a volcano.
There are many restaurants along the road offer breathtaking views of Taal Lake as you dine. There are several day spas for those seeking some R&R, but don’t forget to have a piping hot meal of bulalo, a local soup made with beef shanks and bone marrow.
The roads to and from Tagaytay are peppered with dozens of vendors selling coffee, fresh fruit and produce flowers, and coconut pies, all of which make great souvenirs.
Around an hour and a half north of Manila is Pampanga, a province steeped in colourful history with numerous sightseeing options. However, the main draw of Pampanga for tourists is the mouth-watering gastronomic delights it offers.
Pampanga is the birthplace of sizzling sisig, a local delicacy made of extra crispy pig head seasoned with chili and calamansi (Philippine lemons).
Sisig was initially developed back in the ’70s by a lady is fondly known as Aling Lucing, and her namesake restaurant is serving the original recipe is still found in Pampanga.
Over the decades, sisig has evolved and is now considered a rockstar in Philippine cuisine, but if you don’t believe us – check out what Anthony Bourdain had to say about this dish.
(Tip: sisig goes down VERY well with an ice-cold beer!) Pack your appetite because Pampanga has a lot to offer, food-wise. Kapampangan cuisine is among the best in the country.
While you’re Manila day tour in Pampanga, check out Bale Dutung and Estos Kitchen + Café too.
If you’re looking to fill up your day with art, crafts, and good food, head over to Antipolo for an awesome one day trip near Manila. Your first stop should be the Pinto Art Museum, a stunning contemporary art gallery situated on a 1.2-hectare property.
The Mediterranean-inspired gallery houses landscaped greens as well as quirky, modern and traditional Filipino art pieces that will keep you entertained for hours. The Pinto Museum also has two cafes serving delicious continental and local cuisine.
Another worthy stop in Antipolo is the Crescent Moon Café, which initially started as a pottery studio. Eventually, due to demand, Crescent Moon Café evolved into a beautiful restaurant surrounded by lush greenery.
It also features a small shop where the owners sell handmade pottery. Don’t forget to try their signature dish; the Alagao wraps which are inspired by a Thai dish called the Miang Kham.
If you have time, Antipolo has other noteworthy establishments, including the Casa Santa Museum, the Shoe Museum, and Art Island (a great idea if you are travelling with kids). If you’re craving some nature, check out the Wawa Dam, Angono Petroglyphs, and the Hinulugang Taktak.
Laguna has a lot to offer for a day trips from Manila Philippines. From nature to food, Laguna has something for everyone!
For starters, there are many hot springs found in the area running from Calamba to Los Banos. The hot springs are therapeutic and utterly relaxing.
The sheer number of hot springs in Laguna is attributed to the presence of a dormant volcano called Mt. Makiling, which provides the therapeutic sulphuric and geothermally heated water for these springs.
Laguna’s roads are dotted with traditional Filipino architecture and old churches. Don’t forget to bring your camera because these areas offer numerous photo ops.
Check out these renowned churches in Laguna: the St. John the Baptist Church, San Isidro Labrador Church, and the St. James the Apostle Parish. Stop by the National Artists Centre in Mt. Makiling, a perfect area for picnics in the late afternoon.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch talented Filipinos performing at the Philippine High School for Arts – also situated in Mt. Makiling.
(Tip: bring mosquito repellent along when you venture out to Laguna, especially if you’re prone to mosquito and insect bites.)
Corregidor is one of the most famous historic sites in the Philippines. Only accessible via a ferry from Manila Bay or Cavite, Corregidor today is considered a national shrine is memorialising the efforts of Filipino and American soldiers during World War II.
A day trip to Corregidor is like taking a trip back in time – there are several gunneries, a Pacific War memorial, the Malinta Tunnel, batteries, a Japanese garden, Filipino Heroes Memorial, Spanish lighthouse, mile-long barracks, and parade grounds to explore.
American colonisers established massive fortifications on Corregidor, as well as a hospital where wounded soldiers were tended to when hurt.
Corregidor is of such important historical significance to the Philippines, and if you’re looking to learn more about our history, there’s no better place to spend your day trip than here.
Aside from critical historical landmarks, Corregidor’s war-ravaged edifices are still there, left in its original state as an honour to the soldiers who passed away during the war.
Several tour operators already offer full-day package trips to Corregidor, so you don’t have to worry about anything else.
Even if you just have a day or two in Manila, these day trips will ensure your time is time well-spent on your Philippines trips!
Check out more great articles on the Philippines by Diane Wuthrich.