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HomePhilippines Travel2022 INTRAMUROS GUIDE: Historic Walled Metropolis in Manila (What to See &...

2022 INTRAMUROS GUIDE: Historic Walled Metropolis in Manila (What to See & to Do)

It wasn’t my first time visiting Intramuros, however I’ve solely got here right here twice but. Each of my visits have been restricted of time and my capacity to stroll additional. Thus far, I’ve explored the northern a part of the wall the place many of the notable buildings will be discovered, the japanese wall on my current journey and the center of Intramuros the place Casa Manila and San Agustin Church are positioned at.

Discover out which buildings, church buildings, plazas, and museums provide one of the best historical past classes in regards to the Spanish colonial period within the capital metropolis of the Philippines. Learn this journey information that will help you plan your Intramuros tour.


Situated south of the Pasig River and east of Manila Bay, the Walled Metropolis of Intramuros in Manila Metropolis was constructed by the Spaniards some 400 years in the past as their political and army base in Asia. It is likely one of the high vacationer spots in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. 
Actual St. with cobblestone 

Other than the 4.5-km. wall, from the place the identify got here from (“throughout the partitions”), different defensive buildings used to encompass the town, like moats, cannons, bulwarks, and javelins. Not solely did it defend Intramuros from man-made disasters, nevertheless it additionally fended off threats from Chinese language pirates, Dutch forces, and different invaders.

Aduana Ruins

Regardless of being closely influenced by Spanish structure (suppose grandiose baroque church designs), renovations made additionally revealed its Chinese language influences. Some buildings, nevertheless, weren’t restored after the destruction of a number of wars and remained at present as ruins. 


Listed here are some belongings you would possibly contemplate bringing with you to your day tour / journey:

Not that it turned an eyesore, although. In truth, the historical past behind the ruins is what made Intramuros a must-see vacation spot in Manila at present, regardless of the modernization it has since undergone.

As well as, the rampart, fortresses, and gates from yesteryears stay accessible and are a mainstay of at present’s strolling excursions and cultural performances for guests who need to perceive the nation’s previous.

Greatest Time to Go to Intramuros

Whereas there are locations in Intramuros which are below a roof, strolling or biking across the walled metropolis remains to be one of the best ways to discover and be taught extra about its wealthy historical past. Listed here are one of the best months to take a tour of Intramuros

Dry Season | December – Could

The dry season within the Philippines can imply both cool dry or sizzling dry, each of which fall between December to Could. Each dry seasons are additionally ultimate instances to stroll round Intramuros as a result of there’s little to no rain. Although, be cautious of doing it between March to Could, or the new dry season, as a result of it does get loopy sizzling within the metropolis.

Holidays | September – December 

With the vast majority of the inhabitants being of the Catholic religion, the celebration-loving Filipinos go all out for Christmas; a lot so, that decorations and Christmas songs abound as early as September. The months main as much as the vacations beginning in September are dubbed because the -ber months. 

What to put on for Intramuros Tour

If you happen to’re planning to go to through the cool dry months or holidays, go for snug sneakers or sandals for footwear. Carrying an umbrella wouldn’t harm, particularly if gentle showers are anticipated. Carry a jacket or raincoat to guard your self from the rain or low temperatures at night time, too. 

Me strolling alongside Muralla St.

For guests throughout sizzling dry months, make certain to put on gentle clothes, particularly in case you’re planning on doing a strolling tour. Count on to sweat it out, so carry towels, handkerchief, umbrella, and a change of garments. After all, keep hydrated and at all times carry a bottle of water to drink.

Find out how to get to Intramuros

Since Intramuros is within the coronary heart of the bustling metropolis of Manila, land transportation is probably the most handy technique of getting there. However in case you’ll be coming from areas exterior Metro Manila or one other nation, don’t fret, it’s nonetheless very accessible due to its proximity to airports and terminals. 
NAIA Terminal 3

For guests coming from different home and worldwide areas, go for flights that may land on both NAIA or Clark for sooner entry to the town of Manila.

Cheapest Flights and Airline Tickets Online Booking

By Non-public Automobile

Getting a automotive rental in Manila and driving your self is feasible. E book a automotive prematurely, or you may avail of 1 in case you arrive via NAIA Terminals 1, 2, or 3. Simply be conscious that site visitors in Manila is not any cakewalk—you’ll want endurance and abilities.

By Taxi

The best and most handy solution to go to Intramuros is by hailing a taxi cab. Taxi cabs in Manila have a flag down charge along with the space charge. The costs could also be comparatively low-cost, however contemplating the heavy congestion of site visitors in Metro Manila, you’ll possible incur fairly a hefty fare.

There are three sorts of taxis you will see that in NAIA: common (white, metered cabs with fastened flag down and per kilometer charges), coupon (blue-marked white taxis dispatched by airport personnel with a hard and fast worth), and yellow airport (metered taxi with fastened flag down and per kilometer charges which are twice the value of the common).

Be very cautious and ask questions first earlier than stepping into any of the cabs within the airport.

By Practice

The three principal practice strains operating in Metro Manila can take you close to Intramuros: Mild Rail Transit (LRT) 1 and 2, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit. MRT and LRT1 join at Baclaran and North Avenue Stations, MRT and LRT2 meet at Araneta-Cubao, and LRT1 and a pair of are joined at Doroteo Jose.
LRT1 Central Terminal Station

The station closest to Intramuros is the LRT1 Central Terminal Station. LRT1 runs from Baclaran to Monumento. Though it’s the nearest, you continue to must do a giant deal of strolling to get to the japanese facet of Intramuros, that’s why some choose to hail a cab from right here.

If you happen to do determine to stroll, head to the Manila Metropolis Corridor first, then take the pedestrian underpass that may provide help to get throughout to Padre de Burgos Road. Upon exiting, you will see Victoria Road, which can lead you proper into Intramuros. From right here, you’ll need to stroll to succeed in the western facet the place most of the sights are positioned.

By Bus

Buses are one of the best ways to get to Intramuros, Manila in case you’re coming from farther locations, though there are additionally bus strains that loop simply round Metro Manila. Take into account that there isn’t a public transportation that stops immediately in entrance of the gates itself, so you continue to must do some strolling from the closest unloading areas. 

Getting round Intramuros

Regardless of its comparatively small land space (roughly 67 hectares), it might nonetheless get tiring to discover the whole lot of Intramuros in at some point on foot.

When you can undoubtedly stroll to sights which are at the least 10 to fifteen minutes away from one another, such remains to be fairly a feat in case you’re planning to discover completely different areas in a day, particularly below the sweltering warmth.

Map of Intramuros
Intramuros Map Information


Pedicabs are virtually just like tricycles, however suppose bicycle as an alternative of a motorbike. They’re akin to rickshaws, with a facet compartment hooked up on one facet of the bike. And, like tricycles, pedicabs are sometimes used to cross via inside, narrower roads. 

In Intramuros, pedicab terminals are all over the place. If there’s a line, line up and wait to your flip to be serviced. You can too hail and experience in case you occur to identify one whereas strolling, so long as there’s no passenger in it, in fact.


Horse-drawn carriages or kalesa/karwahe have been outstanding within the 18th century. Understandably, at present, it isn’t probably the most environment friendly land transportation anymore; and so, these remnants of the previous are actually primarily used for tourism functions solely. 

Kalesa noticed alongside Muralla St. 

Using a kalesa is ideal for a leisurely, old style journey round Intramuros. Much like pedicab drivers, the kalesa’s coachman also can information you to the sights you need to go to whenever you guide a kalesa tour in Intramuros. Kalesas can accommodate 1–3 passengers.


If the kalesa experience allows you to expertise the golden years of the common-or-garden carriage, then a experience within the fashionable e-trike ought to snap you proper again into the current time. The three-wheeled electrical autos (EV) have been launched in 2016 and cease at 13 spots with the journey spanning round in 25 minutes. 

The stops are as follows: Spherical Desk, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, San Diego Gardens, the workplace of the Division of Labor and Employment, San Agustin Church, Manila Cathedral, Plaza Roma, Lyceum of the Philippines College, Mapua College, Manila Excessive College, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Nationwide Press Membership, and the workplace of Bureau of Immigration.


Whereas it does sound like enjoyable to roam round Intramuros on a motorcycle—one fabricated from bamboo, in addition—the one approach to take action is to affix an Intramuros tour. Bambike Ecotours presents this one-of-a-kind bamboo bike tour in Intramuros that’s each thrilling and academic. 

Bambike (bike rental) 

Bambike is a socio-ecological enterprise, with the bicycles being made by the “Bambuilders” of Gawad Kalinga, a neighborhood improvement group for the poor.

On foot

Lastly, in case you’re up for the problem, seize an Intramuros map and do a strolling tour from one attraction to a different. Except for the unpredictable climate, you additionally must thoughts the vehicles passing by, as some streets virtually haven’t any pavements for pedestrians to stroll on. Which means that it’s a must to share the street with cars.

What to See and Do in Intramuros

The walled metropolis isn’t that massive, and in comparison with different vacationer locations in Metro Manila, there are restricted actions and sights which you can go to throughout the partitions.

Nonetheless, the beauty of exploring Intramuros is that each web site that you simply go to is wealthy in important historical past, and so they’re only a stroll away from one another, in addition.

Recognize the stone partitions, gates, and forts

he define of the defensive wall of Intramuros is irregular in form, following the contours of Manila Bay and the curvature of the Pasig River. The Muralla partitions lined an space of 64 hectares (160 acres) of land, surrounded by 8 ft (2.4 m) thick stones and excessive partitions that rise to 22 ft (6.7 m).

Partitions alongside Muralla St. 

The partitions stretched to an estimated 3-5 kilometers in size. An inside moat (foso) surrounds the perimeter of the wall and an outer moat (contrafoso) surrounds the partitions that face the town.

The most well-liked of the forts must be Fort Santiago within the northwestern finish. It’s the previous seat of energy of the Spanish army, the place many prisoners have been taken into its jails and dungeons.


A number of bulwarks (baluarte), ravelins (ravellin) and redoubts (reductos) are strategically positioned alongside the large partitions of Intramuros following the design of medieval fortifications.

Baluarte de San Diego

The seven bastions (clockwise, from Fort Santiago) are the next:

  • Baluarte de Tenerias,
  • Baluarte de Aduana
  • Baluarte de San Gabriel
  • Baluarte de San Lorenzo
  • Baluarte de San Andres
  • Baluarte de San Diego
  • Baluarte de Plano

The bastions have been constructed at completely different durations of time, the rationale for the variations in fashion. The oldest bastion is the Bastion de San Diego, which was in-built 1587.


The fortifications of Intramuros contains a number of components, the entrance going through the ocean and the river, which have been much less elaborate and sophisticated, and the three-sided land entrance with its corresponding bastions. Fort Santiago was constructed on the northwest tip the place the ocean and river converge, and this functioned as a citadel. Fort Santiago has considerably served as army headquarters of Spanish, British, United States and Japan throughout completely different eras all through the Philippine historical past.

Fort Santiago

In Fort Santiago, there are bastions on every nook of the triangular fort. The Baluarte de Santa Bárbara faces the bay and Pasig River; Baluarte de San Miguel, faces the bay; and the Medio Baluarte de San Francisco, which faces the Pasig River.


Earlier than the American Period, entrance to the town was via eight gates or Puertas particularly (clockwise, from Fort Santiago):

  • Puerta Almacenes
  • Puerta de la Aduana
  • Puerta de Santo Domingo
  • Puerta Isabel II
  • Puerta del Parian
  • Puerta Actual
  • Puerta Sta. Lucia
  • Puerta del Postigo

Three of the gates have been destroyed. Two of them, the Almacenes Gate and the Santo Domingo/Customs Gate, have been destroyed by the American engineers once they open up the northern a part of the partitions to the wharves. The Banderas Gate was destroyed throughout an earthquake and was by no means rebuilt.

Puerta de Isabel II

Previously, drawbridges have been raised and the town was closed and below sentinels from 11:00 pm until 4:00 am. It continued so till 1852, when, in consequence of the earthquake of that yr, it was decreed that the gates ought to thenceforth stay open night time and day.

Go to open parks, squares and different notable buildings

It’s no shock that there are lots of public squares inside Intramuros the place individuals can spend their leisure time. From then till now, Plaza de Roma is taken into account the preferred of those city squares.

Plaza Roma is certain by different notable locations such because the Manila Cathedral, Palacio del Gobernador, and Ayuntamiento. It’s thought of as the town’s plaza mayor or principal sq., the place many public occasions like bullfights have been held. It was become a backyard in 1797, with a monument of King Carlos IV of Spain on the middle. The king was regarded for having dispatched a cargo of smallpox vaccine to the Philippines. 

Different squares and buildings which you can go to embody the Palacio del Gobernador, Plaza Moriones, Plaza MéxicoPlaza Sto. Tomas, and Plazuela de Sta. Isabel, the place a memorial monument for the civilian victims of World Battle II is positioned.


Be taught extra Intramuros historical past at these museums

When in Intramuros, it’s a should to be taught as a lot as you can’t solely in regards to the wealthy historical past of the walled metropolis but in addition of Manila as an entire—and there’s are not any higher areas to coach your self than in these Intramuros museums.

Casa Manila

The place will be finest described as a recreation of the house of a typical upper-class household within the 18th century, or the Ilustrados. These are the highly-educated and rich class who wielded nice affect each within the authorities and the plenty. The casas are stuffed with furnishings, art work, and different artifacts from the colonial period.

Bahay Tsinoy

Right here, you get to be taught the historical past and contributions of the Chinese language-Filipino neighborhood, together with those that aided the Filipinos revolution in opposition to the Spaniards. It homes different galleries, too, just like the Bahay na Bato (Chinese language settlement in Manila), Ching Ban Lee Ceramics Gallery, Martyrs Corridor, and Batang Tiaong.

San Agustín Museum

Homes a group of Spanish colonial-era ecclesiastical clothes, sacred vessels, manuscripts, wood and ivory statues, Dominican work and sculptures, and lots of different spiritual relics.

Mild and Sound Museum

On this interactive museum, guests can expertise Philippine historical past below the Spanish rule and the lifetime of Rizal via photographs, sounds, and animatronics.

Go to the previous and historic church buildings

Because the Spaniards have been accountable for the burgeoning of Christianity within the Philippines, it additionally made sense for Intramuros to deal with a number of church buildings the place the colonizers dwelling inside can proceed working towards their religion. The 2 most notable are Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church.

Manila Cathedral

The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception or Manila Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, making it one of the essential church buildings within the nation.

Since its inception in 1581, the church has been renovated and restored a number of instances (most remarkably after the 1945 Battle of Manila), with the present fashion being Neo-Romanesque. It was consecrated in 1958. 

San Agustin Church

Consecrated in 1607, it reportedly survived WWII and is claimed to be the oldest stone church within the Philippines. Miguel López de Legazpi, the primary Spanish Governor-Normal of the Philippines, is buried close to the excessive altar of the church.

San Agustin Church is the epitome of Spanish Baroque fashion with its Trompe-l’œil ceilings and excessive altar. Its wealthy historical past made it a UNESCO World Heritage Web site in 1993 below the group Baroque Church buildings of the Philippines. 


Pattern Itinerary in Intramuros

For the reason that walled metropolis isn’t that huge, to start with, a day or two is greater than sufficient to see its notable areas. Nonetheless, if you wish to additionally get an outline of its neighboring districts and different components of Manila, you’ll need to keep for yet another day.

Be certain that, although, to allot at the least an hour for touring to your subsequent vacation spot, particularly if it’s a must to take public transportations—and don’t neglect your Intramuros map!

Day 1: Intramuros Church and Historical past

08:00 AM – Fort Santiago and Rizal Shrine

10:00 AM – Plaza Roma: Manila Cathedral, Ayuntamiento, and Palacio del Gobernador

12:00 NN – Lunch at Coco Bango Café

01:00 PM – Casa Manila

02:00 PM – Bahay Tsinoy

04:00 PM – San Agustin Church and Museum

07:00 PM – Dinner at Barbara’s 

Day 2: A Tour of the Wall and Dinner at Bayleaf Intramuros 

08:00 AM – Plazuela de Santa Isabel

08:30 AM – Puerta de San Lucia

09:00 AM – Mild and Sound Museum

11:00 AM – Baluartillo de San Jose

12:00 NN – Lunch at Ilustrado 

01:00 PM – Baluartillo de San Diego and Puerta Actual

02:30 PM – Baluarte de San Andres

03:30 PM – Puerta del Parian

04:00 PM – Puerta de San Isabela II

05:00 PM – Bamboo Bike tour with sundown viewing at Sky Deck 

The place to Keep in Intramuros

Here is an inventory of accommodations and lodging inside and close by Intramuros:

Thus far, renovations and enhancements are nonetheless being made to keep up and reinforce the aesthetics and timelessness of Intramuros. It’s at all times a good suggestion to come back again and expertise what’s new if it’s one thing you look ahead to.

Intramuros is a continuing reminder for Filipinos that there’s magnificence amidst the chaos—maybe not by way of seems to be, however having the ability to stand up to the tough circumstances of historical past and time, and to develop from it, are nonetheless value celebrating.


Another sights to see and issues to do close to Intramuros:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The charges, contact particulars and different info indicated on this put up are correct from the time of writing however could change with out IMFWJ‘s discover. Ought to you understand the up to date info, please tell us by leaving a message within the remark field beneath.

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