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Top 9 Best Things To Do in Intramuros, Manila

Travel Guide to the Historic Intramuros District in Manila

Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization of the Philippines photo via Depositphotos

Complete Guide to Historical Sites and other Places to Visit in Intramuros, Manila

One step inside this walled city, and you’ve traveled back in time. Intramuros, Manila, is one of the central sites of the Philippine colonial period up to the American commonwealth. Though Intramuros’ defense structures still stand tall, you’re now welcome to explore centuries’ worth of history within its walls.

Fort Santiago and buildings along the Pasig River photo via Depositphotos
Fort Santiago and buildings along with the Pasig River photo via Depositphotos

Intramuros teems with historical sites and attractions, so we’ve compiled a shortlist to guide you to the best things to do. Read through them below!

Explore sites with a bamboo bike

Bambike for rent
Bambike for rent

Instead of tiring your feet out walking through the walled city, give yourself an alternative way to explore! Marvel at Intramuros’ beauty, find secret spots and feel the decades pass by on a bamboo bike.

Choose from a selection of bamboo bike designs and have fun with your friends and family.

Live like the elites at Casa Manila.

Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization of the Philippines photo via Depositphotos
Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting the colonial lifestyle during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines photo via Depositphotos.

Have you ever wondered how Filipinos lived under colonial rule? Casa Manila takes you back in time to witness everything. See antique furniture, artisan decor, fine art, and sculptures surrounding the three floors.

Wonder at the 18-seater kitchen and the expansive courtyard. Cap off your time travel session by relaxing near the decorative fountain!

Traceback Chinese heritage at Bahay Tsinoy

Bahay Tsinoy photo via FB Page
Bahay Tsinoy photo via FB Page

A few streets away from Casa Manila, you can get more in-depth information about the Philippines’ Tsinoy roots. The name directly translates to “the Filipino-Chinese house,” but it’s more than that.

You get to see how China first contacted the Philippines, how they assimilated, and which national heroes have Chinese heritage. Even Jose Rizal has traces of the Chinese mestizo family!

Learn about the National hero at Rizal Shrine

Rizal Statue in Fort Santiago at Intramuros, Manila photo via Depositphotos
Rizal Statue in Fort Santiago at Intramuros, Manila photo via Depositphotos

Speaking of the famous Jose Rizal — visit memorabilia and his life’s work at the Rizal Shrine! View old documents, manuscripts, and books. Learn how he spent his final nights. He spent his last day in that building, writing his last poem, Mi Ultimo Adios.

Get lost in the dungeons at Fort Santiago.

Dungeon of Fort Santiago photo by Intramuros Administration FB Page
Dungeon of Fort Santiago photo by Intramuros Administration FB Page

After viewing the ruins in Fort Santiago, consider a tour of the dungeons. It only opens from 2 PM to 10 PM, so if you want an extra thrill, enter the dungeons at night!

Aside from being a prison cell, the dungeons also housed ammunition. It’s a fascinating place, but make sure to keep quiet! After all, it is hallowed ground.

Marvel at beautiful architecture at San Agustin Museum

San Agustin Church and Museum Tour
San Agustin Church and Museum Tour

The San Agustin Church is one of the oldest churches whose beauty has persevered through the years. The architecture is enough to mesmerize tourists and locals alike, but what they keep inside will hold your interest.

You can view artifacts, documents, artwork, clothes, and other memorabilia.

Experience Filipino dishes at Barbara’s

Kultura Filipina shows at Barbaras Restaurant photo via FB Page
Kultura Filipina shows at Barbaras Restaurant photo via FB Page

Make the most of Intramuros’ historic charm by dining at this heritage restaurant. The
decor is intricate and keeps the old-world ambiance, but the food is unparalleled! You can watch their cultural show as you taste the best Filipino meals.

Traditional dances, folk songs, and other performances give you a unique dining experience.

Get a souvenir of your day at Tradewinds Books and Silahis Center

You can find a wide array of antiques, artwork, and books inside a reconstructed building! Browse through different pamphlets, hardcovers, and eclectic decor you can bring home anytime. If you want a quick meal, the restaurant Ilustrado is beside this shop.

Enjoy Alfresco Dining at La Cathedral Cafe

La Cathedral Cafe photo via FB Page
La Cathedral Cafe photo via FB Page

Looking for a perfect dinner rendezvous? This roof deck cafe overlooking the Manila Cathedral provides a relaxing and nostalgic vibe. It literally feels like Europe.

This new restaurant is famous for its alfresco dining while enjoying the sunset. Just make sure to check the weather before you visit the restaurant since there are only a few covered spaces for diners. It is also recommended to reserve a slot since reservations are seated in a more beautiful spot.

La Cathedral Cafe
Address: 4/F AVR. Bldg., 636 Beaterio St. Intramuros, Manila, Philippines, 1002
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 0915-512-3317
FB: facebook.com/lacathedralcafe

We hope you enjoyed this list! While we guarantee these activities and sites will leave a lasting impression as Intramuros has on Manila, we encourage you to explore yourself. After you visit our recommendations, go for a walk around the area.

See the quiet spots. Immerse in the community. You’ll enjoy it!

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of Outoftownblog.com. He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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