Sampaloc Photo: Oliver M.

Sampaloc

Sampaloc district is one of the educational nerve centers of Manila City. Named after the Filipino word for “tamarind,” the district is home to a thriving educational community made up of dozens of schools, dormitories, computer shops, budget eateries, and other establishments that cater to its large student population.

The district is part of the country’s famous University Belt, a cluster of universities and colleges found within Manila. Some of Metro Manila’s most well-known universities are housed in the Sampaloc area, including the University of Sto. Tomas (UST), Far Eastern University (FEU), and the University of the East (UE).

One must-see along the University Belt is the University of Sto. Tomas, the oldest university in the Philippines and in Asia. Now 404 years old, it is home to four National Cultural Treasures: the open campus grounds, the Central Seminary, the Main Building, and the Arch of the Centuries, a relic of the university’s original campus in the “Walled City” of Intramuros in Manila.

Since the area caters mostly to students, you can expect to find a lot of student eateries around every corner. Experience a day in the life of a University Belt local and sample budget favorites such as Sisig Express’ sizzling hot plates of chicken and pork sisig, Dimsum Treats’ siomai rice, or Mang Tootz Food House’s iconic Banana-rhuma (mini turon or banana lumpia).

If you’re in the mood for a more relaxed dining experience, grab one of the comfy seats at the iChill Theater Café. The cafe has become a favorite student hangout thanks to its warm atmosphere and friendly baristas. You can sit back and enjoy the cafe’s Broadway hits playlist, watch a few open mic performances, or catch a movie on the cafe’s second floor during your stay.

Take a walk along Dos Castillas Street and you’ll find the decades-old Dangwa Flower Market, or “Bulaklakan ng Maynila,” which is home to some of the freshest and cheapest blooms one can ever hope to find in the metro. Roses, tulips, orchids, asters, and other flower varieties here are sold up to 50 percent cheaper compared to Metro Manila’s flower shops.

Once you reach the market, you’ll be greeted by a colorful outdoor shopping strip showcasing a wide variety of flowers from provinces like Baguio, Laguna, Tagaytay, Cotabato, and Davao. It’s best to purchase flowers at around 1 to 3 in the morning when the market is buzzing with fresh deliveries.

Sampaloc is also home to the historic Twin Churches of Sampaloc. The two churches, the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto (Sampaloc Church) and the St. Anthony Shrine, were originally destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. Both churches have since then been rebuilt and declared shrines, making them two of the main places of worship in Sampaloc.

Top Rated Restaurants in Sampaloc

  1. Bugis Singapore Street Food
    4.5 Stars
    Singaporean
    88 Reviews View
  2. Bulalohan sa Ramirez
    4.5 Stars
    Filipino
    64 Reviews View
  3. Lan Zhou La Mien
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    50 Reviews View
  4. La Cocina de Tita Moning
    4.5 Stars
    Spanish
    32 Reviews View
  5. Cow-Wow
    4.5 Stars
    Breakfast
    31 Reviews View
  6. Elar's Lechon
    4.5 Stars
    Filipino
    27 Reviews View
  7. Golden Fortune Seafood Restaurant
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    45 Reviews View
  8. Chades Tapsilogan
    4.5 Stars
    Filipino
    25 Reviews View
  9. Scarsdale Artisanal Delights
    4.0 Stars
    Café
    51 Reviews View
  10. McDonald's
    4.0 Stars
    Fast Food
    46 Reviews View

Top Rated Hotels in Sampaloc

  1. The Manila Grand Opera Hotel
    3.5 Stars
    Hotel
    13 Reviews View
  2. Oriental Zen Suites
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  3. Fersal Hotel Manila
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  4. Lido de Paris Hotel
    3.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  5. Lakbayan Hotel Manila
    2.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View

Top Rated Places in Sampaloc

  1. University of Santo Tomas
    5.0 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    56 Reviews View
  2. Starbucks Coffee
    4.5 Stars
    Coffee
    88 Reviews View
  3. Bugis Singapore Street Food
    4.5 Stars
    Singaporean
    88 Reviews View
  4. Bulalohan sa Ramirez
    4.5 Stars
    Filipino
    64 Reviews View
  5. San Sebastian Church
    5.0 Stars
    Historical Site
    14 Reviews View
  6. Lan Zhou La Mien
    4.5 Stars
    Chinese
    50 Reviews View
  7. University of Sto. Tomas Museum of Arts and Sciences
    4.5 Stars
    Museum
    20 Reviews View
  8. La Cocina de Tita Moning
    4.5 Stars
    Spanish
    32 Reviews View
  9. Cow-Wow
    4.5 Stars
    Breakfast
    31 Reviews View
  10. Elar's Lechon
    4.5 Stars
    Filipino
    27 Reviews View