Ermita is a district in downtown Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
Under American rule, this district became Manila's equivalent of Capitol Hill, with many important government structures rising around the large greensward of Luneta (now Rizal Park). Some of these government units have since moved out and the buildings turned into exhibition space for the National Museum and its sister institution, the Museum of the Filipino People (which occupy the old legislative building and the old Finance Department building, respectively).
By trainErmita is served by three railway stations, all on the LRT Line 1. From the southernmost station, moving north towards the river:
- Pedro Gil (on Taft Avenue). Near the Philippine General Hospital.
- United Nations (on Taft Avenue). Near Rizal Park, the Supreme Court, and the National Bureau of Investigation compound.
- Central Terminal (on Arroceros Street). Near Mehan Garden, the Manila Metropolitan Theatre, the Manila City Hall, and the eastern walls of Intramuros.
By water busThe Pasig River Ferry stops at Quezon Bridge (Lawton) station, near - you guessed it - Quezon Bridge, which is not far from Liwasang Bonifacio and the old Metropolitan Theatre. The ferry service has reported to be suspended for an indefinite period.
By taxiTaxis from Ninoy Aquino International Airport will cost you a poverty-inducing unless you insist on taking a car with driver from any of the rental car companies. Fares on the official yellow metered airport taxis starts at , but beware: some airport taxi drivers place meter tampering devices (batingting) to double the fare and extort money from unwary travellers. Regular metered taxis are also legitimate and can be had just by walking away from the airport a bit. As with the ride from the domestic airport, barring severe traffic, a trip to Ermita should not cost more than .
Museums and other points of interest
phone: +63 2-5677777address: near Roxas BlvdOpened in 2008, this is Manila's first major oceanarium. Although not quite as large and well-equipped as some of Asia's more famous oceanaria (including those in Hong Kong and Singapore), it's still a popular attraction among locals and could be a very interesting diversion for families with children. The centrepiece is the Living Ocean exhibit with large aquariums and an underwater acrylic walkway.
phone: +63 2-5231797, +63 2-5360595address: Roxas Boulevard cor. South DrThis museum is geared towards keeping children entertained (and informed) through educational hands-on exhibits and special activities. Themed galleries cover a variety of subjects ranging from history to science to art. Don't put a short leash on the kids here: they're expected to touch and play with most of the stuff on show. Admission adults/children. Streetchildren, infants (under 2 years), museum workers and teachers (with valid IDs) get in free.
- National Museum of the Filipino People
- National Museum of the Philippines
Parks, gardens, and monuments
Rizal Park (Luneta)address: Roxas BlvdNearest railway station: United Nations (LRT-1). Manila's green lung, this large urban park stretches from the Quirino Grandstand in the west to Taft Avenue in the east, with the historic walled district of Intramuros bordering it to the north. The park's most famous landmark is the Rizal Monument, a stone obelisk with bronze statuary erected near the site of Philippine national hero José Rizal's execution in 1896. All distances in the Philippines are measured from the large flagpole near the monument, which serves as the country's Kilometre Zero. Other prominent features include a statue of Lapu-Lapu (the native chieftain who repulsed Magellan's expedition in 1521) and a giant relief map of the Philippines (set within a reflecting pool near the Taft Avenue end). Well-known landmarks within the park's boundaries include the Museum of the Filipino People (inside the old Finance Department building), the Department of Tourism building, the Manila Planetarium, and the National Library. Many locals (including taxi drivers) still refer to the park by its old name: Luneta.
- Liwasang Bonifacio
Mehan GardenSee Asia's first botanical garden, opened on the late 1850s, renamed after John C. Mehan, the park superintendent.
address: T. M. KalawAlmost a twin of the former Finance Department headquarters nearby, this Neoclassical building is a prominent feature of the eastern end of Rizal Park. The colossal statue of Lapu-Lapu - a fairly recent addition to the park - stands between the two buildings, and the giant relief map of the Philippines is just a short walk away.
- Embassy of the United States of America
- Luneta Hotel
Manila Central Post Office Buildingaddress: Liwasang BonifacioNever mind the ill-conceived pink and yellow paint job - this grand Neoclassical structure from the 1920s is a fine exemplar of the massive government buildings that were erected in this part of Manila during the American colonial period. It is the headquarters of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost).
- Quirino Grandstand
Metropolitan Theateraddress: Padre BurgosAn Art Deco building designed by Filipino architect; Juan M. de Guzman Arellano, first opened in the 1930s and then was severely damaged after the liberation of Manila by America and the Filipino forces in 1945, it was again reconstructed by the Americans however by the 1960s it fell into disuse but again reopened in the 1970s, and then again it fell into decay.
phone: +63 2-3020109, +63 2-3020119, +63 2-5264914, +63 2-5258452address: Pedro Gil cor. AdriaticoAn urban shopping complex with the usual amenities: food court, cinemas, department store, supermarket, etc. 7 levels, 330 stores. Located near Pedro Gil Station (LRT-1).
SM City Manilaaddress: Natividad Almeda-Lopez (Concepcion) cor. ArrocerosPart of the nationwide SM "Supermall" chain, this shopping centre has all of the standard features of an urban mall (including a food court, cinemas, a department store and a supermarket) as well as scores of shops spread out over 6 floors. Located near Central Terminal (LRT-1).
- Kamayan, 523 Merchant Bldg., Padre Faura St., +63 2-528-1723 to 24. Kamayan literally means to eat with your hands in Filipino. Their native buffet has a wide range of Filipino food to offer for just under 10 US$/person. Specialties include the lechon (suckling pig) and grilled seafood. Kamayan also has branches in Makati and Quezon City and is usually located alongside its sister restaurants Dad's (Western food buffet) and Saisaki (Japanese food buffet).
Queen Sheebaaddress: 1323 Del Pilar StAn Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of Manila. Also serves Middle Eastern food.
There are bars and nightclubs literally left and right. Go bar hopping. If you're into strip clubs, they got those too.
L.A. Cafe - The district's biggest 'meat market'. It's open 24 hours per day. Two floors, live bands/music, TV screens. Good food, drinks and music.
phone: +63 2 521-8888address: 1440 Roxas Boulevard cor. Salas StThis hotel offers rooms equipped with air conditioning, desk, television, shower, kitchenette, satellite/cable TV and dining area. Some of its facilities and services are restaurant, airport transfer to and from the hotel, daily maid service, business service and room service.
phone: +63 2 5247631address: 550 Jorge Bocobo ExtensionAll rooms are good for two persons with free breakfast.
stone houseaddress: 1529 mabini StIt's clean, they have food 24 hours.
phone: +63 2 5263783address: Jorge Bocobo St. cor. T.M. Kalaw Ave., ErmitaCasa Bocobo Hotel is a no-frills budget hotel located in the neighborhood of the world-renowned Rizal Park. The two-storey, 47-room hotel provides air-conditioned rooms, orthopedic beds, hot & cold shower, cable service via an LCD TV and direct distance dial phones. Their coffee shop, Cafe Bocobo, specializes in Filipino and Asian cuisine. Simple dishes yet superbly crafted and reasonably priced.
Manila Bay Hostelphone: +63 2 4673797, +63 2 4112311, +63 2 4151692address: Unit 401, Bel Air Apartments Building (with 24-hours Chowking Chinese fastfood resto on 1st floor), Roxas Boulevard near corner of T. M. Kalaw AveThis hostel and tourist guesthouse is nearest historic Rizal Park, exactly across Museo Pambata (Children's Museum), across the street from Manila Bay and next door to Starbucks Coffee shop & 24-hours Yellow Cab Taxi. The owners of Manila Bay Hostel have entered into a management agreement with Green Mango Inn to improve services to international guests, so all reservations or inquiries via internet can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond pensionphone: +63 2 525-3864address: 1165 Grey Stsingle/double with common bathroom.
New Casa Pensionnephone: +63 2 522-1740address: cnr Pedro gil and Leon Guinto streetsfan/a/c double rooms with bathroom.
Santos Pension Housephone: +63-2-5234896address: 1540 A Mabini StreetFan room with outside bathroom. Fan and A/C double rooms with own bathroom.
Ermita Tourist Innphone: +63-2-5218770address: corner Soldado Street and 1549 A Mabini Street ErmitaA/C double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV, free breakfast.
phone: +63 2 522-1515address: 1227 A. Mabini corner Padre Faura StreetsA/C rooms equipped with cable TV, mini bar, daily newspaper and hair dryer. Some of its facilities and services are restaurant, bar, function room and massage service.
phone: +63 2-536-1451address: 1158 A. Mabini StA/C rooms equipped with cable TV, and refrigerator with mini-bar items. Some of its facilities and services are Internet access, business center, lounge and cafe shop.
phone: +63 2-302-1858address: M. Adriatico StThe Midland Plaza is literally in the middle of the land.
phone: +63 2-400-0088address: General Luna St. cor. Taft Ave. & United Nations Ave
phone: +63 2 524-2631address: 1166 M H Del Plar corner Arquiza StBest Western Hotel La Corona Manila is a 54-room hotel. Best Western Hotel La Corona Manila was 2006 Best Guest Services Awardee of Best Western International.
Spa and massage
phone: +63 2 966 2269address: GF Mayfair Tower United Nations Avenue st. Corner Mabini StUnlike most other spas in Manila, the theme of Mont Albo Massage Hut is old Filipino paying tribute to the humble local nipa hut. Facilities would include waiting lounge, massage/body scrub cubicles, massage chairs, shower and suob (steam) chamber.
phone: +63 2 238 6100address: LunetaOffers rooms and suites that boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, aquarium walls, or city/bay views. All rooms are fully equipped with private toilet and shower, LCD TV with cable and pay-per-view movies, Internet access, and mini-bar. Some of its amenities include Makansutra Asian Food Village, Club H2O Lounge, fitness centre and spa, and a swimming pool.