Looking for an answer on where to stay in Manila? As with every major city in the world, the area you choose to stay in heavily depends on what you would like to do and see and of course, what your budget is.

To my surprise, I found that accommodation prices in the Philippines were generally not as cheap as elsewhere in Southeast Asia like Thailand where you can sleep heavenly in a beachfront bungalow for a few bucks. Not in the Philippines.

So what area of Manila is best to stay in? Below are my ultimate and detailed recommendations on where to stay in Manila which aim to help find the safest and ultimately best neighbourhoods.

Which Area Is The Best To Stay In Manila?

For first-time visitors looking for a safe, as well s vibrant and convenient location, Makati is the go-to choice. This bustling business district has plenty of upscale hotels, excellent dining options, and high-end shopping malls.

If you desire a waterfront experience with stunning views of Manila Bay, Malate is the place to be. Here, you can find a mix of hotels and restaurants along the bay, making it a perfect choice for romantic getaways.

For travelers on a budget, the neighbourhood of Ermita offers affordable accommodation options without compromising on accessibility to popular attractions.

Quezon City is the ultimate pick for those seeking trendy nightlife, as it hosts a myriad of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Lastly, if you're visiting Manila with your family and want a historic and culturally rich experience, consider staying in Intramuros, where you'll find charming boutique hotels and easy access to historical sites.

Where To Stay In Manila: Comparison Table

Hotel NameLocationBest Choice ForBudget
The Peninsula ManilaMakatiLuxury stays$$$
New World Makati HotelMakatiClosest to Greenbelt Shopping Mall$$
Y2 Residence HotelMakatiApartment style accommodation$
Admiral Hotel ManilaMalateCouples & business travellers$$$
Bay Area Suites ManilaMalate3-star for couples & solo travellers$$
The Manila HotelErmitaCouples & families$$$
City Garden SuitesErmitaSolo & business travellers$
Novotel Manila Araneta City HotelQuezon CityModern 4 star hotel, families & couples$$
OYO 570 Casa LilyQuezon CitySimple, clean, affordable$
Ramada by Wyndham Manila CentralIntramurosFamilies with kids$$
Red Planet Manila BinondoIntramurosBudget stays$

1. Where To Stay In Manila For Your First Time Visit: Makati

Makati is the safest place to stay in Manila and the best neighborhood for your first time visit as it's clean and has many things to see and do.

Many travellers who have been to the Philippines before would agree with me that Makati is probably the nicest, cleanest and safest area to stay when travelling to Manila.

Makati is actually one of the sixteen cities that make up Metro Manila and represents the country's financial and business hub with all the skyscrapers and big shopping malls.

The City of Makati is possibly the best area in Manila for first-time visitors, making shops, nightlife and sights really accessible while offering a wide range of accommodation options from budget to luxury.

Staying in the Makati area will additionally minimise the culture shock you may have when travelling to the otherwise a little crazy and much poorer parts of Manila.

The Best Hotels To Stay In Makati

Our Favorite 5-Star Hotel in Makati: Discovery Primea

Discovery Primea Makati
Discovery Primea Hotel Makati

You can find a lot of luxury hotels in Makati, Discovery Primea luxury with panoramic views all while being close to many shops and restaurants.

The hotel caters to couples, families as well as business travellers.

Fully equipped with everything you need including an amazing infinity pool, this luxury Makati hotel is truly our favorite.

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Best Luxury Hotel in Makati: City Garden Grand Hotel

Best places to stay in Manila
Where to stay in Makati

Luxurious accommodation with extensive city views, an outdoor pool and free wifi in the heart of Makati.

If you want to splurge a little, City Garden Grand Hotel is one of the best places to stay and truly a little gem, offering spacious air-conditioned rooms with cable TV, a 24-hour gym and a front desk as well as several convenience stores, restaurants and nightlife spots right around the corner.

Century City Mall is also only 100 m away from the hotel. Oh, and you will absolutely love the rooftop!

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Best Hotel Close To Greenbelt Mall: Astoria Greenbelt

best hotels and places to stay in Manila
Which area to stay in Manila

Looking for warm welcoming staff, great service and amazing shopping so close you only have to make a few steps outside the door? It's the ideal spot to discover Manila, go sightseeing and make the most of Greenbelt Shopping Malls.

Comfortable air-conditioned rooms, impeccable service, plasma TV, free Wi-Fi and a yummy Asian Fusion Restaurant called Tableau downstairs, are also great for getting your morning coffee.

I often see sales for this hotel. Choose a room facing away from the street if you can as honking is still a big thing on the crowded streets of Manila.

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Where to Stay in Manila for 1 Night: New World Makati Hotel

new world makati hotel accommodation Manila

Located in “The Wall Street of the Philippines” right next to the upscale shopping malls of Greenbelt, New World Hotel offers over 580 rooms with a modern vibe and amenities. It's the perfect luxury stay for one night in Manila.

It's only a 30-minute ride from the airport (in normal traffic) and has a fitness center with a sauna and spa as well as an outdoor pool.

Jasmine Restaurant is one of the three restaurants at the hotel and serves traditional Cantonese cuisine.

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Best Value For Money Hotel in Makati: I'M Hotel

I'M Hotel Manila

Situated only a short 700 meters from the Power Plant Mall, I'M Hotel has a sauna, spa and fitness center. The rooms are filled with lots of light and are spacious and clean with wonderful views over the skyscrapers of Manila.

Don't forget to visit the rooftop bar and also spend some time at the pool. Very good value for money for a hotel so central to Manila.

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The Best Apartments To Stay In Makati

Our Favorite Apartment in Manila: Makati Diamond Residences 

makati residences Manila

Makati Diamond Residences is located in one of the best locations in Makati. Choose from various room types, all air-conditioned and some come with a living room and sitting area, some even come with a kitchen and city views.

There's free wifi all around, a flat-screen TV as well as a fitness center and a pool. Great place for couples and there are also family rooms available for that little bit more space.

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Best Family-Friendly Apartment in Makati: Y2 Residence

Which area in Manila for short stay
Manila best area to stay

I really loved my stay at Y2 Residence in Makati. A pretty good spot to put your head down and go in all directions of the sky exploring Manila.

Choose from studio, 1 or 2-bedroom apartments. I found the apartments and facilities are all very modern and unique in their style incorporating harmony and balance with Yin and Yang being ever present all around the place. Really super cute and relaxing!

There is a fitness center with awesome city views, a spa offering massage treatments and more as well as a rooftop pool and terrace, which is perfect to cool down and unwind after a busy day of exploring.

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Y2 Residence Manila

Best Value For Money Apartments: Ascott Makati

Ascott Makati
Ascott Makati Apartments

Around the corner from Glorietta and Greenbelt Mall, Guijo Suites offers three elegant, air-conditioned types of suites sleeping up to 3 adults.

There are a restaurant and bar, free wifi, cable TV in the room, and small coffee and tea-making facilities, but not a full kitchen. On the downside, it's a bit hard to find and not very walkable. That being said, I took Uber everywhere around Manila, it's very cheap and much better than taking a taxi.

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The Best Budget Accommodation In Manila

Yes, it's totally possible to stay in Makati if you are on a budget. There are actually some very nice and affordable places!

Best Hostel in Makati: Z Hostel

Z Hostel Manila

Stylish and comfortable is your thing? No second thoughts here but to choose the luxury Z Hostel, a modern budget hostel with free wifi, a 24-hour front desk, a cool chill-out and games room and only a stone's throw away from Rockwell Power Plant Mall.

And wait till you see the roof deck with those city views! All rooms have air-conditioning and individual lockers and you can choose from shared to private bathrooms.

Sleep in an 8-bed dorm or opt for a private double room. Rates start from US$43 per night.

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2. Where To Stay In Manila By The Water: Malate

Other good & safe areas to stay in Manila are Ermita & Malate, which both have a bit more character and are overall also safe. Malate is the best neighbourhood in Manila to stay beachfront and for nightlife as it has many bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

Two other areas to consider for a night's accommodation are Malate and Ermita as they have a bit more character than super-clean Makati.

They both are good areas in Manila and also closer to the water, making them fantastic places to watch the sunset over Manila Bay or to go on a sunset boat cruise.

After dark, Malate comes to life with plenty of bars, music and a lively clubbing scene.

Best Luxury Hotel in Malate: Admiral Hotel Manila

Admiral Hotel Manila

Only a stone's throw away from Manila Bay Beach, Admiral Hotel is the perfect 5-star choice if you're looking to stay in Manila close to the water.

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Best Mid-Range Hotel in Malate: Rizal Park Hotel

Rizal Park Hotel in Manila

Set in a heritage building, Rizal Park Hotel offers comfortable accommodations with beautiful views over Manila Bay. An elegant choice when choosing to stay in Malate.

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Best 3-star Hotel in Malate: Bay Area Suites Manila

Bay Area Suites Manila

With clean rooms and accommodation staff, Bay Area Suites offer great value for money when staying in Malate. They welcome families, couples and solo travelers with a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi.

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3. Where To Stay In Manila On A Budget: Ermita

Ermita is a well-known area in Manila close to the water that houses many government buildings, universities and museums. It's also a great area to stay in Manila for those who are on a budget.

Ermita Manila

Ermita is located south of the city and is another great area to stay in Manila. In its heart, you'll find Rizal Park, one of the largest urban parks in the Philippines.

You can also find Robinson's Place Shopping Mall as well as many shops, restaurants and cafes. The nightlife in Ermita is also very much alive.

Ermita is a pretty big district and therefore easily caters to anyone, from luxury to budget, from hotels to apartments and hostels.

Best 5-Star Hotel in Ermita: The Manila Hotel

Best 3-Star Hotel in Ermita: City Garden Suites

Best Apartments in Ermita: Nahas Condo

4. Where To Stay In Manila For Trendy Nightlife: Quezon City

Quezon City is a super trendy area to stay in Manila filled with cafes, clubs and stylish boutiques. If you like a young crowd or you're a foodie, this is the best area to stay in Manila for you.

Quezon City Manila

Quezon City is truly the trendy part of town which has an alternative and young vibe mixed with some of the top universities, fashion boutiques, cozy cafes and a vivid nightlife!

Famous for its amazing street food, it's definitely one of Manila's best neighborhoods.

Also, if you are on a budget and looking for where to stay in Manila as a backpacker, check out Quezon City.

As the former capital of the Philippines, Quezon City is a little further from Manila Airport but well worth a visit due to its many attractions.

Best 4-Star Hotel in Quezon City: Novotel Manila Araneta City Hotel

Best 3-Star Hotel in Quezon City: OYO 570 Casa Lily

Best Budget Hotel in Quezon City: Glory Hotel Cubao

5. Where To Stay In Manila For Families: Intramuros

Intramuros is the old historic centre of Manila and the perfect place to stay in Manila for history buffs. If you want to experience Manilas history and culture the walled city will give you insights into the colonial times during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines.

Intramurous Manila

The old historic, walled town of Intramuros also has a lot of charm with its Spanish influences.

And while it covers a small area, it's a great place to stay if you don't know where to stay in Manila with family, like history and exploring by foot, something you can't or shouldn't do much in other parts of Manila.

Below are the best hotels to stay in Manila, no matter if you are a backpacker, looking for luxury or a spacious apartment, we got you covered!

Best Value-For-Money Hotel in Intramuros: The Bayleaf Intramuros

Best Family Hotel nearby Intramuros: Ramada by Wyndham Manila Central

Best Budget Hotel in Intramuros: Red Planet Manila Binondo

Find More Accommodation in Manila

Where To Stay In Manila Map

Where to Stay in Manila – Final Words

So if you are thinking if you should travel to the Philippines, I'd say: do it!

This country is an incredible place and despite negative reviews about Manila, I think this city has some interesting sights and corners and seeing the city with your own eyes will only confirm that.

Many times it simply depends on where you stay and if you feel safe, and if you do, then there is nothing holding you back from exploring outside your comfort zone.

Are you planning a trip to Manila? Let me know your travel plans in the comments below, I'd love to help make your trip perfect.

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