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Best Day Tours near Manila for a Weekend Getaway

The capital city of the Philippines offers perfect weekend getaways. Discover 13 of the best day trips and tours from Manila.

best day tours near manila

While Manila is the main shopping hub in Asia, it offers so much more to tourists. You will find museums, national parks, many cultural icons, and much more. So whether you want something exciting to do or spend a day relaxing, Manila has something for everyone.

If you plan on visiting Manila, you also need to take an exciting day trip to nearby locations and have that weekend getaway in a much more peaceful environment, away from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila.

So, here are the thirteen best day tours from Manila, Philippines, that you will fall in love with within no time.

See also: Best Hotels for Staycation in Manila

13Rizal Park

Rizal Park, Manila
Rizal Park – Photo Credit David Stanley @ Flickr

Are you looking for a quick day tour near Manila? Look no further than Rizal Park (Luneta Park) as it is only 20 minutes away from Manila by car. It is a 5-hectare urban park that is one of the locals’ most loved and favorite parks.

You will find open lawns, gardens, wooded areas, ponds, paved walks, and much more. You can spend the whole day here, and you will still not get bored.

So, if you ever get tired of the hustle-bustle of the city, spend the day here to chill and recharge for the rest of your trip.

12Malacanang Palace

Malacanang Palace Manila
Malacanang Palace – Photo Credit Ryan Huynh @ Flickr

Malacanang Palace is a quick getaway near Manila as it will take you ten minutes to get there, and the fastest way is through a taxi.

The palace is 175 years old and is the president’s official residence. If you want to learn a little about the history of Manila, the palace is the ideal place for you to visit.

You will learn how it was seized many times during the protests and the 1989 coup attempt. The palace is a beauty to see, and the small facts you get to learn are just the cherry on the cake. It is the perfect day trip for history buffs.

11Pinatubo Crater

Pinatubo Crater 
Pinatubo Crater – Photo Credit nucksfan604 @ flickr

Located in the Zambales province, the Pinatubo Crater is a two-and-a-half-hour drive away from Manila and is located on Mt. Pinatubo. The crater is now filled with water after the mountain erupted in the early 90s.

The lake in this crater is two-thousand feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the Philippines.

You will realize that this crater and its surrounding area is the best of nature in this region. That is why even the entire day is not enough to soak up the surrounding beauty. Be sure to take your bathing suit if you want to take a dip in the lake.

If you want to stay overnight, check our guide for the best beach resorts in Zambales.

10Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano Philippines

Another cool day trip from Manila is the Taal volcano, located two hours and 30 minutes away from Manila by car.

If you want to bask in the magnificence of this volcano and mountain, you must spend the entire day here. The mountains offer some of the best views of Tagaytay Ridge.

If you want to make the most of this place, you can also stay overnight at one of the private resorts in Cavite. It will make your stay even better as you will get more time to explore this beauty.

See also: Best Time to Visit Philippines

9Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan Falls philippines
Pagsanjan Falls – Photo Credit Erick Opena @ Flickr

Pagsanjan is a three-hour drive from Manila, and you will have to take an additional 2.5-hour river trip to get to the Pagsanjan Falls waterfall, aka Cavinti Falls.

That is why it is best to start this day in the earliest hours of the morning. On the other hand, if you want the best experience, you must visit the waterfall during the rainy season.

The waterfall is inside the Pagsanjan Gorge National Park, and you will love everything it has to offer. The views are fantastic, and the water is crystal clear. So, be sure to carve out enough time on this day trip to enjoy everything.

8Corregidor Island

Corregidor Island philippines
Corregidor Island – Photo Credit cisc1970 @ Flickr

What would be best for a day tour than an island getaway? Corregidor Island is over three hours away from Manila, and the best way is through a Sun Cruise ferry.

During WWII, Corregidor was the first line of defense to Filipino and American soldiers fighting against the Japanese forces. As a result, it played a significant role in shaping the war’s outcome.

Over here, you will find secret passageways, historical relics, barrack ruins, and much more. If you want to relive history and learn more about WWII, it is the best place to visit. It will enhance your appreciation of Manila even further.

7Tagaytay Ridge

Tagaytay Ridge Philippines
Tagaytay Ridge – Photo Credit shankar s. @ Flickr

Tagaytay Ridge is a two-and-a-half-hour road trip away from Manila and is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. That is because the ridge is an exquisite piece of nature that will take your breath away.

You can easily access the place through the Aguinaldo Highway. Or you can book a tour to Tagaytay Ridge from Manila.

Keep in mind that the ridge is at a high altitude, which is why you will find a much cooler climate here. So, if you want to escape from the warm climate in Manila, you can book your next Tagaytay staycation here. You will find great views and breathtaking nature in no time.

6Hidden Valley Springs

Hidden Valley Springs Philippines
Hidden Valley Springs – Photo Credit eric molina @ Flickr

Do you want to escape the busy Manila and relax in nature between two mountains? If you do, Hidden Valley Springs is one of the best places where you can enjoy hot springs. The valley is a drive of over two hours via the R-3.

Once you reach, you will feel that you are in paradise or a Studio Ghibli movie. That is because you will find flower trees, lush vegetation, fantastic scenery, and the clearest waters. So if you want to relax to the sound of pristine waters away from the city, this is it.

You can also stay overnight and enjoy your peaceful weekend getaway in one of the hot spring resorts in Laguna.

5Escudero Plantation

Escudero Plantation philippines
Escudero Plantation – Photo Credit bob|P-&-S @ Flickr

Another cool day tour from Manila is the Escudero Plantation – a coconut plantation, located two-and-a-half hours from Manila in the Quezon Province. It is open to visitors at all times. Once you visit, the people will show you around the plantation, museum, and village.

There are restaurants and accommodation options if you want to rest or grab a quick bite to eat.

If you want to understand Philippine culture and rural areas, the plantation will add to your knowledge like no other. You can also find relics from the Spanish colonial time and WWII in the family museum.

4Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago philippines
Fort Santiago – Photo Credit Fechi Fajardo @ Flickr

Fort Santiago is a fifteen-minute drive from Manila, and it is the most important historical site in Metro Manila and one of the best places to visit in the Philippines. It is part of the Intramuros, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Many people lost their lives in the prison’s dungeons during the Spanish colonial times and WWII. People used this fort to imprison the country’s national heroes before they were executed.

For example, the Rizal Shrine you witness here will be in the memory of Jose Rizal, and you will also see his footsteps embedded in bronze. It is one of the oldest Spanish fortresses.

Keep in mind that visitors are not allowed underground or in the dungeons, but you can walk on the grounds.

3Ayala Triangle Gardens

Ayala Triangle Gardens 
Ayala Triangle Gardens – Photo Credit Melanie Wynne @ Flickr

The Ayala Triangle Gardens is less than one hour away from Manila, and the park was open to the public in 2009. Over here, you will find golden palms, acacia trees, fire trees, foliage, and much more. It is one of the few nature-filled areas in Makati.

You can spend the entire day here, and you will still not feel bored because there is so much to see. So, if you want to relax and spend a slow day with nature, these gardens must be on the top of your list. You will not regret it.

2Subic Bay

subic bay philippines
Subic Bay – Photo Credit U.S. Pacific Fleet @ Flickr

Subic Bay is almost three hours away from Manila via the R-8, and it consists of a former US naval base, a Hanjin shipyard, and much more.

The bay is known for its protected yet deep waters that you will love. It used to be a big US naval facility, but that was shut down during the 90s.

Now, Subic Bay serves as an economic hub and is one of the best places to relax and take in some history. That is why even a day is not enough here. So, be sure to take a tour here and enjoy the best of the Philippines.

1National Museum Of Anthropology

National Museum Of Anthropology Manila Rizal Park
National Museum Of Anthropology – Photo Credit Gary Todd @ Flickr

The National Museum of Anthropology is twenty minutes from Manila as it is located in Rizal Park.

Over here, you will find a significant collection of zoology and ancient artifacts that will give you more knowledge about the place.

Besides that, you will also find the San Diego wreck here that sank in the 17th century. So, if you are a history buff looking to take in what Manila was all about, the museum is the best place to visit in Manila. You will learn and find interesting things.

These are the top thirteen-day trips near Manila you will love to take. Each of these day trips and tours is unique and will offer you something you love.

Be sure to pack accordingly, and for all the climate zones you might want to visit during your stay. Once you are done, you will go home with the memories of a lifetime that you will never forget. So, plan out your trip smartly.