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15 Awesome Things to Do in BINONDO, MANILA'S CHINATOWN

 TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO MANILA TOURIST SPOTS TRAVEL GUIDE BLOGS

Binondo in Manila Philippines is considered as the "World's oldest Chinatown." Exploring the buzzing and lively streets of Binondo will take you on a historical, cultural and gastronomical adventure like no other. That is why, when friends ask me what to do in Manila, I always recommend a Binondo food, shopping and cultural adventure. This district in the capital City of Manila is so full of amazing things to do and is definitely a must-see for every traveler visiting Manila.

Planning to explore Binondo? Check out this article on the top best things to do in Binondo and discover what Manila's Chinatown has to offer!



WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS BINONDO TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG?


TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO
  1. Binondo Food Trip
  2. Be Amazed by the Filipino - Chinese Friendship Arch
  3. Visit Binondo Church
  4. Learn about Chinatown's rich history at Chinatown Museum
  5. Shopping at Lucky Chinatown Mall
  6. Visit Sta. Cruz Church
  7. Enjoy the view at the Newly-restored Jones Bridge
  8. Walk along the Old Streets of Escolta
  9. Visit Quiapo Church
  10. Shop at Carvajal Street
  11. Visit Seng Guan Temple
  12. Bargain hunting along Ongpin Street
  13. Light an incense at the Sto. Cristo De Longos de Binondo Shrine
  14. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Binondo
  15. Pasalubong Shopping

15 Awesome Things To Do in (and near) Binondo Manila



1. Binondo Food Trip


A visit to Binondo is not complete without trying its local cuisines. Binondo is a "haven' for foodies and travelers wanting to experience its rich history, cultural heritage, and delectable cuisines. It has about everything your tummy could ever crave-from and definitely a must-visit for every adventurous foodie.

Where to eat in Binondo? Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Tea Brothers
  • New Po Heng Lumpia House
  • Wai Ying Fast Food
  • Dong Bei Dumplings
  • Sincerity Restaurant
  • Shanghai Fried Siopao
  • Ying Ying Tea House
  • Lan Zhou La Mien
  • Cafe Mezzanine

For a more detailed post where and what to eat, and how to plan an amazing Binondo Food Crawl, please visit this Binondo Food Trip Guide Blog.


RECOMMENDED ACTIVITY: Binondo Food Wok Tour

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

2. Be Amazed by the Filipino - Chinese Friendship Arch


Upon entering Binondo, you will be greeted by this huge arch, which is considered as the "world's largest Chinatown Arch." The best time to visit it is at late afternoon until night for you to see and enjoy the lights.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

3. Visit Binondo Church


Binondo Church is also known as the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish. Rich in history, it is considered as one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is also where the first Filipino Saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz served as a sacristan.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

4. Learn about Chinatown's rich history at Chinatown Museum


Showcasing "Binondo's history of connections," it the country's first cultural museum dedicated to the world's oldest Chinatown. Conveniently located inside Lucky Chinatown Mall, enjoy Chinatown's rich history come alive in this museum featuring interactive and Instagram-worthy galleries and displays that the whole family will surely enjoy. Admission is Php 150.00 for adults, Php 120.00 for senior citizens and PWDs, and Php 100.00 for students. Children below 4ft may enter for free.

Address: 4th Level, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Building A, Reina Regente St. corner Dela Reina St., Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 06:00 pm daily. Closed on Mondays.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

5. Shopping at Lucky Chinatown Mall


Lucky Chinatown Mall is a modern shopping mall with a supermarket, wide array of restaurants and shops, as well as great entertainment facilities. If you're looking for bargains, check out the annex building for a wide variety of cheap finds.

Address: Reina Regente St. corner Dela Reina St., Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

6. Visit Sta. Cruz Church


Named after the Holy Cross, this church is dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar), whose image was brought from Spain. The parish was established by the Jesuits in the early 1600's for the growing community of Chinese Christian converts in Manila. The current church reflecting Baroque influences was completed in the 1950's.


7. Enjoy the view at the Newly-restored Jones Bridge


Jones Bridge is where you could see the entrance arch to Binondo. It crosses Pasig River and connects Manila’s first communites - Intramuros and Binondo. This newly-restored bridge is one of the new tourist destinations in Manila. The City of Manila’s restoration project on this iconic and historical bridge made it more popular among local and foreign visitors. With the bridge’s new look and neoclassical lamp posts, it's now a new go to place for people wanting to take photos of it, watch the sunset, or just to enjoy the view.

InstAgram Worthy Spots in Manila TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG Philippines

8. Walk along the Old Streets of Escolta


A is a historic street located in the old downtown district of Binondo in Manila. The street is home to several old buildings that reminds us the grandeur of old Manila. It also has some restaurants and cafes where you could dine and chill while enjoying the “old-world” charm of Escolta.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

9. Visit Quiapo Church


Officially known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Quiapo Church is home to the much venerated image of the Black Nazarene. It is located just 10-15 minutes walk from Binondo.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

10. Shop at Carvajal Street


An alley market with many stalls and food kiosks selling a wide array of items from fruits and vegetables to sea cucumbers and local delicacies and snacks.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

11. Visit Seng Guan Temple


A well-known Chinese temple in Manila, it is located just 5 minutes walk from Lucky Chinatown Mall. It is also considered as one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in the Philippines with a beautiful facade and a huge Stupa on top.

 TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

12. Bargain hunting along Ongpin Street


Showcasing all things Chinese and traditional, Ongpin Street is a must-visit when in Binondo. It is known for cheap eats, gold, jeweleries, lucky charms, herbal remedies and alternative medicines. It was named after Román Ongpin, a Filipino-Chinese businessman and philanthropist who aided Filipino revolutionaries against the Spanish and American colonial administration in the Philippines.

 TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

13. Light an incense at the Sto. Cristo De Longos de Binondo Shrine


Located at the corner of Pinpin and Ongpin streets. Sto. Cristo De Longos de Binondo Shrine is an open shrine that combines Chinese and Catholic faiths. Here, you can burn joss sticks, recite your prayer and make offerings to the Sto. Cristo de Longos.

 TOP THINGS TO DO IN BINONDO TOURIST SPOTS

14. Celebrate Chinese New Year in Binondo


For me, Binondo is the best place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Manila. Since the district is with high concentration of Filipino-Chinese, Binondo is best experience in welcoming the transition of the year in the Chinese lunar calendar. See many rituals and traditions, enjoy the dragon and lion dances, and eat your heart out with so many food offerings along the busy streets of Binondo. Experience something new and join the festivities by visiting Binondo during Chinese New Year.

Where to buy Souvenirs and Pasalubong in Binondo

15. Pasalubong Shopping


I guess the most popular food items that you could bring back home after your visit in Binondo are Hopia and Tikoy. Here are some of the best places to buy “pasalubong” for your family and friends.
  • Eng Bee Tin
  • Salazar Bakery
  • Ho-Land Hopia
  • Lord Stow’s Bakery
  • Polland Hopia Factory and Cafe

If you have more time, you may also visit the nearby "Walled City of Intramuros" and visit Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, Plaza San Luis, San Agustin Church, Barbara's Heritage Restaurant, and a lot more.

How to get to Binondo?


Binodo is close to the LRT - 1 Carriedo Station and LRT - 2 Recto Station. Another option is to take the Pasig River ferry and alight at Escolta Manila Station. Or you may take a jeepney bound for Divisoria to get to Binondo Manila.

Where to Stay? Hotels in Binondo


If you wish to stay for a night in Binondo, there are a few hotels in Binondo to choose from. I highly recommend Ramada by Wyndham Manila Central and Red Planet Hotel Manila Binondo. I've tried both and enjoyed our stay. They also both have very nice location near the restaurants and the must-see destinations in Binondo. Since there are only a few hotels in Binondo, be sure to book in advance online - especially during Chinese New Year when these hotels are mostly fully-booked.

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