Comfortable big city with all amenities, but few attractions of its own.
Sulawesi’s northern capital has little in terms of own attractions, yet is a pleasant enough town to use as a base for exploring the surrounding area, whether the diving resorts of Bunaken – which we didn’t visit –, the market town of Tomohon or the Tangkoko National Park.
Manado’s traffic seems permanently jammed, with minibuses called mikrolets, but in and around the centre walking is a perfectly acceptable option. The city has shopping malls, it has excellent restaurants, and it has a market of its own, with lots of fish for sale near the somewhat less impressive harbour. Good enough fun for an entertaining morning stroll.