Ermita Photo: Oliver M.

Ermita

Home to some of Manila’s most prominent cultural landmarks, Ermita is an essential destination for anyone who seeks to discover more about Manila and its past. Immortalized by the popular local band Eraserheads in their hit love song “Ang Huling El Bimbo,” the district serves as Manila’s civic center and houses multiple government offices, museums, and other establishments that still carry old Manila’s famed architecture.

Founded in the late 16th century, Ermita draws its name from “La Hermita,” the Spanish word for hermitage or religious retreat. It earned its title after a church containing the “Nuestra Señora de Guia” (Our Lady of Guidance), considered to be the oldest Marian image in the country, was built in the area. The same hermitage eventually evolved into today’s Ermita Church.

One of the most favored tourist attractions and leisure spots in the area is Rizal Park, or Luneta National Park, whose symbolic focal point lies in the monument for Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. Situated around the sprawling urban park are other attractions including a giant relief map of the Philippines and a statue of the famous Mactan chieftain Lapu-Lapu.

Ermita was known in its yesteryears for its lively art scene, and today the district offers visitors with a wide array of museums and galleries where they can get their artistic fix in Manila. The most well-known art site is the National Museum of the Philippines, which houses collections of local anthropological and visual artistry in its National Art Gallery and Museum of the Filipino People components.

Local contemporary artworks can also be found on display at the Hiraya Gallery and 1335 Mabini, which features regularly changing shows of experimental and installation art. 1335 Mabini also shares the same building as Maria Closa, a high-end gallery dedicated to local furniture, sculptures, and artifacts.

Another unique attraction in Ermita is Museo Pambata, an interactive children’s museum that invites its guests to learn with their senses through themed rooms simulating nature, old Manila, local marketplaces, career choices, and the human body, among other things.

Other buildings like the Manila Metropolitan Theater, Manila Central Post Office, Manila City Hall, Supreme Court, and the Luneta Hotel all capture the same elegance and splendor of old Manila’s architecture. And if you’re eager to look even deeper into Manila’s history, the National Library and National Archives of the Philippines are both just a few minutes away.

Top Rated Restaurants in Ermita Browse All

  1. My Kitchen by Chef Chris
    4.5 Stars
    Italian
    131 Reviews View
  2. Café Ilang-Ilang
    4.5 Stars
    Buffet
    91 Reviews View
  3. Shawarma Snack Center
    4.5 Stars
    Middle Eastern
    52 Reviews View
  4. Pepper Lunch
    4.5 Stars
    Japanese
    24 Reviews View
  5. Emerald Garden
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    70 Reviews View
  6. Jamba Juice
    4.5 Stars
    Juice
    61 Reviews View
  7. Café Breton
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    37 Reviews View
  8. Café Adriatico
    4.5 Stars
    Filipino
    36 Reviews View
  9. La Cocina de Tita Moning
    4.5 Stars
    Spanish
    32 Reviews View
  10. Zark's Burgers
    4.0 Stars
    Burger
    308 Reviews View

Top Rated Hotels in Ermita Browse All

  1. The Manila Hotel
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    47 Reviews View
  2. The Bayleaf
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    30 Reviews View
  3. Diamond Hotel
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    42 Reviews View
  4. Pan Pacific Manila
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    16 Reviews View
  5. Hotel H2O
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    23 Reviews View
  6. New World Manila Bay Hotel
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    3 Reviews View
  7. White Knight Hotel Intramuros
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  8. Eurotel Pedro Gil
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  9. M Chereville Hotel
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  10. G Hotel Manila by Waterfront
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    5 Reviews View

Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Ermita Browse All

  1. Intramuros
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    43 Reviews View
  2. Rizal Monument
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    19 Reviews View
  3. Rizal Park
    4.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    20 Reviews View
  4. Paco Park
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    8 Reviews View
  5. Casa Manila
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    4 Reviews View
  6. Plaza Rajah Sulayman
    3.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    7 Reviews View
  7. Malacañang Palace
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    2 Reviews View

Top Rated Places in Ermita Browse All

  1. My Kitchen by Chef Chris
    4.5 Stars
    Italian
    131 Reviews View
  2. Intramuros
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    43 Reviews View
  3. Café Ilang-Ilang
    4.5 Stars
    Buffet
    91 Reviews View
  4. National Museum of the Philippines
    4.5 Stars
    Museum
    58 Reviews View
  5. Shawarma Snack Center
    4.5 Stars
    Middle Eastern
    52 Reviews View
  6. Pepper Lunch
    4.5 Stars
    Japanese
    24 Reviews View
  7. Emerald Garden
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    70 Reviews View
  8. Jamba Juice
    4.5 Stars
    Juice
    61 Reviews View
  9. The Manila Cathedral
    4.5 Stars
    Historical Site
    22 Reviews View
  10. Café Breton
    4.5 Stars
    Café
    37 Reviews View

Popular Areas in Ermita

  1. Robinsons Place Manila

    Robinsons Place Manila

    209 Places
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