The city has retained many of the foreign influences left behind by its former colonisers. This can be seen in its architecture, cuisine, and its religious and cultural attractions. Western chains and cosmopolitan comforts are available, but its buildings and winding lanes harken back to a simpler time.
The city boasts a variety of houses of worship, including churches, mosques and temples, reflecting the diverse beliefs of its historical colonisers. Divers and snorkelers regularly visit Manado on their way to remote islands and reefs scattered around the region. While not itself the tropical paradise envisioned by many foreign travellers, Manado serves as a perfect initial point of arrival, for those wishing to explore North Sulawesi. Islands with white sand beaches and palm trees abound throughout the surrounding seas.