For those of you who have a few hours in Manila, I suggest you to do just this. Take a jeepney to Pier and tell the jeepney driver that you want to get off at Intramuros. You will be dropped about 100 meters from the entrance.
From the city’s foundation in 1571 to the end of Spanish rule in 1898, Intramuros was Manila. Also known as the Ciudad Murada (Walled City) because of its most famous feature: a nearly three-mile-long circuit of massive stone walls and fortifications that almost completely surrounds the entire district
I did not feel very safe walking through the isolated streets in the Intramuros. Not especially with my DSLR, so there’s not much photos.
But the place is beautiful I tell you. Get to the Information Office first. There will be a 12 minute video in a dark cold room as an introduction. Best thing is that it’s free! After that, get a map of Intramuros – the brown ones are beautiful, and doubles up as a souvenir.
There will be tricycles offering to bring you around for 200-300 pesos for 30 minutes. I strongly suggest you don’t do this. They will tell you that Intramuros is very big/a number of hectares but just don’t listen to them and walk. The attractions are very close to each other (no more than 5 minutes walk), and you should spend more time in each one rather than rushing to get to the other place because the driver is waiting and charging. I spent more than an hour in the San Augustine Museum!
Bring an umbrella and sunblock because the sun can be harsh. Food and water is very overpriced here so bring your own or you’ll end up in a Jollibee or ChowKings.
If you do decide to take a tricycle for any reasons (beyond me), haggle the rate down to 100 peso for an hour. That’s the lowest that one of the tricycle driver offered me, but I did go on rainy season (off peak) so that’s probably why.
What you shouldn’t miss in Intramuros :
(in order of what I felt was the nicest)
1. San Augustine Museum – there is an entrance fee of 100 peso for foreigners and 50 pesos for local students.
2. San Augustine Church ( I was lucky because when I came, there was a wedding going on, so it was all lighted up and beautiful!)
3. Fort Santiago (I loved the Rizal Museum because I did study him in high school and I’ve always found him fascinating) – 50 peso
4. Manila Cathedral (free)
5. Walking around will get you close to most of the ruins.
PS : there is another museum that was supposedly good which is the Light and Sound Museum which was closed for renovations during my visit. There was a sign there that the entrance fee will be 150 peso when it opens in the future.
The food here as I said can be painfully expensive, so if your wallet’s a bit tight from all the entrance fees, head to Chowking’s. While you’re at it, get a glass of halo halo for the heat!
Enjoy Intramuros the slow way peeps!
Till my next stint in Manila,