Built on the banks of the Pasig River, Santa Mesa is a laid-back neighbourhood. Escape the bustle of Manila in Santa Mesa, as it will give you the chance to relax and reset. In addition to the area’s big-ticket sights, Santa Mesa is a great base for exploring Manila’s edgy art galleries, artisan markets and flourishing live music scene.
Things to do
Also known as Ciudad Murada, Intramuros is Manila’s historic core. Fort Santiago guards the entrance to the walled city and houses the beautifully curated Rizal Shrine museum. Inside the walls, you’ll find the magnificent San Agustin Church, built in the late 1500s.
The National Museum of the Filipino People showcases centuries of treasures, while the impressive Metropolitan Museum of Manila celebrates the evolution of Filipino art. Inside, you can admire everything from 20th-century masters to contemporary greats.
Santa Mesa is the perfect place for authentic Filipino cuisine, home to a fantastic line-up of restaurants serving up Filipino delicacies. Don’t miss staples like creamy kare-kare stew, crunchy kinilaw seafood bowls, and tasty chicken adobo. Wash it down with a cup of halo-halo, a colourful shaved-ice dessert.
MRT and LRT trains run throughout Manila, with plenty of stops in and around Santa Mesa. From Santa Mesa, the drive to Intramuros takes around 20 minutes. Jeepneys are the local method of choice, while taxis provide modern and convenient transport.