Top 5 Best Things to Do in Intramuros, Manila

5 Amazing Things to Do in Intramuros, Manila

Explore the centuries-old history of Intramuros, the iconic ‘Walled City’ of Manila, Philippines. Intramuros is a living, breathing time capsule of Philippine history, from the majestic walls that served as protection from invaders to the cobblestone streets that have witnessed the passing of time. Discover the ruins of Fort Santiago, the oldest Spanish fortress in the country, and learn about the Spanish colonial period.

Admire the San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Manila Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. Visit the famous Baluarte de San Diego, a Spanish colonial-era citadel, and the Manila Observatory, the oldest astronomical observatory in the Philippines. Learn about the traditional Filipino lifestyle at the Museo de Intramuros and the Casa Manila. With something for everyone, from history buffs to culture enthusiasts, Intramuros is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

If you’re planning to visit Intramuros, here are the top five things you must do:

Fort Santiago by Elmer B Domingo via Wikimedia cc
Fort Santiago by Elmer B Domingo via Wikimedia cc

1. Visit Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago, a 16th-century citadel in Intramuros, is a must-visit for anyone interested in Philippine history. The fort has been well-preserved and is home to various structures, gardens, and exhibits that provide insight into the country’s colonial past. One of the most popular attractions in Fort Santiago is the Rizal Shrine, a museum dedicated to the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The shrine houses a collection of memorabilia that tell the story of Rizal’s life and his contribution to the Philippine nation.

Visitors can also explore the reconstructed prison cell where Rizal was held before his execution. Other attractions in the fort include the Baluarte de San Diego, a defensive wall built in the 17th century, and the Flag Raising Site, where the Philippine flag was first raised after the country’s independence. Several gardens and plazas are perfect for strolls and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. A visit to Fort Santiago is an enriching experience that will give you a deeper understanding of the Philippines’ history and culture.

Exploring the Walls of Inramuros Manila by Wander Fleur via Unsplash
Exploring the Walls of Intramuros Manila by Wander Fleur via Unsplash

2. Take a Walk along the Walls

As you stroll along the ancient walls of Intramuros, you can immediately feel the history and culture of the area. The cobblestone paths are a reminder of the city’s past, and the panoramic views of historic buildings, churches, and plazas create a sense of awe and wonder. The walls provide excellent vantage points for capturing beautiful photos, and the experience of walking along them is like stepping back in time.

The towering walls of Intramuros are a testament to Filipino culture and heritage resilience, and the walk along them is a great way to immerse yourself in the area’s history. The area is filled with stories and secrets, and the stroll along the ancient walls of Intramuros is a great way to uncover them. As you walk, take in the sights of the old churches, plazas, and buildings, and marvel at the beauty of the area. Capture the moments with your camera and take home memories of a truly unique experience.

San Agustin Church by Ryanilinon via Wikimedia cc
San Agustin Church by Ryanilinon via Wikimedia cc

3. Visit San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church is a must-see destination for any traveler. Located in Manila, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the oldest stone church in the Philippines and a stunning example of Baroque architecture. The church’s façade is impressive from the outside, but the interior will leave you in awe. With its ornate décor, majestic columns, and intricate details, it’s easy to see why San Agustin Church has become an icon of the city.

The courtyard is just as beautiful, with lush gardens and a peaceful atmosphere. Take a moment to appreciate the church’s religious significance and historical importance. Spend time admiring the statues, paintings, and sculptures filling the church. As you explore this incredible building, you’ll be reminded of its centuries-long legacy and its important role in Philippine history.

No trip to Manila would be complete without a visit to San Agustin Church. Add it to your itinerary and experience this unique World Heritage Site for yourself.

Casa Manila Museum by Jorge Lascar via Wikimedia cc
Casa Manila Museum by Jorge Lascar via Wikimedia cc

4. Explore Casa Manila Museum

As you step through the grand entrance of Casa Manila Museum, you will be immediately transported back to the 19th century. The museum faithfully recreates the lifestyle of a Spanish-era Filipino noble family, showcasing the opulence and elegance of the era. You can explore the intricately decorated rooms and admire the detailed wooden furniture, artwork, and traditional Filipino architecture. The museum also displays a range of artifacts, from traditional clothing to religious items, that provide insight into the daily life of the noble family.

As you wander through the museum, you will be astounded by the attention to detail in every aspect of the house. The museum perfectly captures the era’s essence from the intricate carvings on the furniture to the ornate decorations on the walls. You can also learn more about the era’s history by reading the museum’s informative displays. Casa Manila Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the history and culture of the Spanish-era Filipino noble family.

Kalesa in Intramuros by RNLDDRNG via Wikimedia cc
Kalesa in Intramuros by RNLDDRNG via Wikimedia cc

5. Experience a Horse-drawn Carriage Ride

Taking a horse-drawn carriage ride, known as a “kalesa”, is a great way to add a touch of nostalgia to your Intramuros visit. As you explore the district’s charming streets, the traditional mode of transportation allows you to soak in the ambiance of the colonial atmosphere at a leisurely pace. It is an experience like no other; the gentle clip-clop of the horse’s hooves, the soft jingling of the harness bells, and the sights and sounds of the historical surroundings will transport you back in time.

The Kalesa ride is a unique way to appreciate the beauty of the old city and its rich history. As you travel along, you can take in the sights of the cobblestone streets, the ancient churches, and the iconic walls, all while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of Intramuros.

Remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring a hat and sunscreen as you explore Intramuros. Enjoy discovering the rich history, culture, and architectural beauty this historic district has to offer.


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