Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila, Philippines

Intramuros plays an important part to our country’s history and it is one of the popular destinations for a visitor to our hometown. It is the oldest district and is called the Walled City. Historically, it is the seat of the Spanish government when they colonized the Philippines. You will still see the original wall structure and gates. If you wondered why our local language and other local dialects include words that sound like Spanish, you will understand it after getting a short overview of our history. Visit the Walled City, and find the popular old churches, Manila Cathedral and San Agustin. The other area in Intramuros to visit is Fort Santiago where you will find the old fort and Rizal Shrine, a small museum which features the life and works of Jose Rizal, our national hero. Along the way, you’ll find a lot more smaller attractions like museums, plazas, and old buildings. In fact, walking along the streets of Intramuros, you’ll feel like you are back in time, as you find yourself in the midst of old historical structures which are still in place.

More Recommendations

See Manila's old city in a Kalesa

The best way to get around and learn about the old city is to get in a kalesa. Intramuros is the oldest part of Manila (“inside the walls”) and these horse-drawn vehicles with their English-speaking driver-guides wait in front of the main cathedral. Two adults can sit behind the driver and be taken to all the major sites in this fascinating and historic area. Make sure to agree on the price and how long your tour will be before getting in. Also talk to potential drivers a bit to make sure you can understand them. (We paid about the equivalent of $50 for about 4 hours, including spending almost an hour at the San Augustin church and its museum.)

More From AFAR