Travelogue: A Guide through The Walled City

The walls along the left side wing of Intramuros
The walls along the left side wing of Intramuros

Have you been to where they call the historical walled city? Or have heard a place named Intramuros? If not, especially if you are a Filipino – shame on you! Let me begin by saying in Manila there is a lovely place called Intramuros.

Situated right in the heart of Manila, built during the Spanish regime which mainly served as a fortress from invaders back then but was severely damaged during WWII. Over time, there are walls that stood beyond wars and countless revolts which can define how colorful our history is, if only walls can talk. Today on-going massive restoration projects are being implemented to bring what was once a ruined city back to life. If you plan on visiting this place below are my few tips on how to make the most of your time in Intramuros.

Getting there :

The famous Manila's grand tower clock, magnificent view while walking along the walls.
The famous Manila’s grand tower clock, magnificent view while walking along the walls.

Since Intramuros is strategically located on the center of Manila, there are a lot of ways to travel going to this place. If you choose to travel by means of commuting, you can ride a bus or jeepney that leads to Lawton or Quiapo and get off at the front side of Manila City Hall. From there you should be taking the underpass to cross from the City Hall then to Intramuros. If you want things to be a lot easier, then take a taxi. Most of the taxi drivers exactly knows this place. They can lead you right in the walls of Intramuros.

Getting around :

There are a lot of ways to explore the walled city. You can take a pedicab (a 3-wheeled vehicle with a hooded carriage body) which is very common – though they might charge you bigtime since it is not easy pedaling this vehicle around. Second is through riding a calesa which is frequently found in the area. They can take you in which part of Intramuros you want to visit, just haggle a good deal with the kuchero. And lastly you can explore Intramuros though an old fashion way – plainly by taking a walk. There is no best way to see the sights inside Intramuros by this fashion because you get to see the full picture of the place. The walls of Intramuros has a spacious walkway which basically leads to the entire perimeter of the city. (downside is – look out for the flying golf balls, since Manila Golf Club is just beside Intramuros)

Places to see inside Intramuros :

old ruins of canoons
old ruins of canoons

If you are the type of traveler that admires good old architectural balance and creation then visit the famous churches, buildings and plazas. There are 2 Spanish-built churches that can be found in the area, these are San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral Church. Both where built in early Spanish regime as well as the Palacio del Gobernador, Plaza dela Fuerza and Plaza dela Roma are some of the noted plazas inside Intramuros.

Palacio del Gobernador re-erected in 1970's
Palacio del Gobernador re-erected in 1970’s
The National Museum
The National Museum

You can find statues of the King of Spain during their reign in Manila. If you want live shows and cultural / theatrical acts then go straight ahead to WOW Philippines. They showcase constant events, concerts and shows that promotes Philippine cultures and tradition. If you are the historical type of traveler then fail not to visit Fort Santiago. Currently the fort serves as a museum which houses preserved legacies of the Spanish government. It is where our national hero – Dr. Jose P. Rizal was imprisoned before he was executed. The actual footsteps were embedded onto the ground which represents his final walk from his cell up to the location of his actual execution spot.

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