For those who enjoy snapping photos, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Manila’s strong art scene, historical sites, and other Instagrammable spots that truly reflect the city’s unique culture. There are numerous places found within the country’s capital city so don’t miss out on these Instagram-worthy spots.
Fort Santiago serves as one of the most important and prominent historical sites in Manila. Being a part of the walled city of Intramuros, this citadel has been witness to lives lost during the Spanish colonial era. Today, this historical landmark takes pride in its preserved legacies such as the memorabilia of Rizal, and has areas serving as ideal locations for strolling, photo opportunities, and picnics. Within Intramuros, there are also various attractions – visit these via a walking tour or while riding on a calesa (a horse-drawn calash)!
Rizal Park, formerly known as Luneta Park, has become more than a historical landmark in honor of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It has become a favorite leisure and photo session spot among families and groups of friends. Within this iconic park, with over 60 hectares of open lawns and ornamental gardens, visitors may also find artworks, Chess Plaza, dancing magical fountains, and statues of other Philippine heroes. It’s also a favorite strolling place of locals during late afternoon or early evening because of its relaxing ambience.
While a cemetery might not be your ideal destination and too scary to visit for some, Paco Park and Cemetery is a must-visit historical landmark and a place for Instagram-worthy photos, too! During the Spanish colonial period, Paco Park served as Manila’s municipal cemetery, where most wealthy families’ loved ones were buried. Although it was a cemetery in the 1800s, it has been restored and now serves as a venue for weddings, has a concert area, and a park surrounded by greenery with historical touches – perfect for late afternoon strolls and photo sessions!
At the pedestrian Baywalk of Manila along Roxas Boulevard, onlookers get the chance to witness the most spectacular view of the sunset. Apart from being a favorite place for jogging and strolling, this two-kilometer stretch has also become a popular venue for art performances and for moments when you just want to sit along the pavement and observe fellow onlookers. Within the area, you will find a multitude of colors coming from the brightly-colored lamps, lights coming from the open-air cafes and restaurants, and those from cars passing by. It’s definitely a great destination for photo-ops!
In May 2018, the National Museum of Natural History in Manila was reopened to the public. Since its renovation, crowds have flocked to the area to see the galleries which house old and new displays, such as a replica of Guinness Book of World Records’ largest crocodile “Lolong,” the Tree of Life, and a replica of Tinuy-an, a female Philippine eagle from Bislag, Surigao del Sur. Visitors can enjoy taking photos while learning more about the country’s diverse flora and fauna for free.
Operated by the National Museum of the Philippines, the National Museum of Fine Arts is an art museum which is home to paintings and masterpieces of famous artists such as Juan Luna and Guillermo Tolentino. Every artwork found in this neoclassical building (formerly named the National Art Gallery) tells stories relative to Filipino culture. Apart from the masterpieces of Juan Luna and other famous artists in the 20th century, you’ll also find modern and contemporary works such as sculptures and art prints in the 21st century – something you’ll want to capture for your Instagram feed!
Looking to capture classy and sophisticated looking shots? Manila’s Central Post Office, which is situated along the banks of Pasig River, will instantly turn those dreams into reality – get those photos you’ve been hoping to add to your Instagram feed! This magnificent structure’s physical appearance is as lovely as its history. Constructed in 1925, it has witnessed the country’s most important events, from the American Occupation until today. Built in neo-classical structure, it’s one of the greatest American colonial structures in the country.
Set on a hilly landscape, Binondo’s name was coined from the Tagalog word ‘binondoc’ which means mountainous when translated in English. While the site was originally created for Chinese immigrants who converted into Catholics, it has become one of the most-visit communities for having the busy shopping streets of Escolta, and being the center for Chinese food trips as authentic food like Peking duck, century eggs, dumplings and other delights are served in numerous restaurants. Brimming with life and color, it’s also the ultimate photo walking destination in Manila!
The University of the Philippines is the country’s premier academic institution – and it’s not just for academic purposes, but also for spontaneous photo sessions! Within the university, there are so many places to have your photo shoot as you’ll find countless backdrops, naturally picturesque spots, and interesting structures that will spice up your Instagram feed. The campus has age-old buildings with designs built decades ago, museums with both old and new art exhibits, murals, and plenty of outdoor areas. Plus, every June, there are blossoming sunflowers along the campus’ University Avenue, which is a perfect background for your Instagram-worthy outfits!
In the center of the bustling Makati City Central Business District, there lies a two-hectare landscaped urban park perfect for late afternoon strolls, brisk walking, eating or people-watching. While most people head over to the public triangular garden during the Christmas season to catch sight of its famous lights and sounds shows, it doesn’t mean you can’t have Instagram-worthy shots all-year round! In the park, you can capture scenic photos in the wide lush green spaces and discover a number of public works of art within the vicinity.
Because it offers a slice of Italy through its gondoliers and Italian-inspired structure, The Venice Grand Canal Mall has become a favorite picture perfect spot not only in Taguig City, but also Metro Manila. Its intricate details, unique ambiance, and warm pastel colors continue to lure in both professional and amateur photographers to capture candid moments and Instagram-worthy photos. But apart from providing eye candy for photographers and Instagrammers, this shopping mall is also beaming with a variety of restaurants and serves as a venue for live performances and street acts.
Within Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, you are bound to find immense street arts, graffiti and wall murals created by both local and international artists. These public works of art have been in the city since 2015 – the year when the Bonifacio Arts Foundation (BAFI) started holding the annual ArtBGC festivals. Murals have added a touch of character to boring walls and catch the attention of onlookers and passers-by. Nate Frizzell’s works, “Pangako” by Anjo Bolarda, and Between the Lines by Cyrcle are just some of the murals that deserve a look.
Street art of High street at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Ball Pit Manila is unlike other playgrounds found in the metropolitan area. It’s basically a “for-adults only” concept playground filled with 80,000 white plastic balls you can dive in or play around with. Located in the heart of Makati City, this establishment hopes to drive away stressful days and bring out inner creativity and fun! Even with just an hour of play time at Ball Pit Manila, you’ll definitely enjoy capturing creative photos and unleashing your inner kid while hanging out with friends and co-workers!
If you’re hoping to add some quirky, attention-grabbing and crazy-looking poses to your feed, head on over to Art In Island – the largest 3D museum in Asia! Filled with 3D art and life-sized optical illusions, you’ll surely have plenty of fun exploring over 200 masterpieces, such as animals that appear to come to life, Egyptian ruins, works of famous artists, and more! Decide on various fun poses beside each masterpiece, snap some optical illusions and play with different themed zones inside the museum!
Being the first and largest indoor trampoline park in the Philippines that mixes fun and fitness, you are bound to have endless fun (and bounces) that will surely resonate on your Instagram feed! Covering 2,000-square meters, friends and families can play Dodgeball or basketball, jump into foam pits, or challenge themselves on the park’s obstacle courses. Of course, you’re free to run, climb, and soar high while feeling safe as there are trained marshals ready to assist. While having fun, don’t forget to take lots of photos for your Instagram profiles.