A Look At Every Tourist Spot In Intramuros

Tourist Spot In Intramuros

Intramuros is recognized as one of the oldest districts of Manila and, as such, became one of the major sites that reflects history dating back to and beyond Spanish time. This is the same with the attractions; every landmark and tourist spot in Intramuros reflects historical appeal. Many visitors visit this destination to experience and imagine the past like no other.

10 Tourist Spots In Intramuros You Should Visit

Known as the “Walled City,” Intramuros is such an amazing destination. In fact, it was announced to be Asia’s leading tourist attraction in 2022. The location is visited by so many tourists, both local and international alike. Guests can learn many interesting stories that resonate within its walls. That said, here are the most recommended attractions you should visit:

Manila Cathedral

Located in the Plaza de Roma, the Manila Cathedral is one of the most significant churches built during Spanish colonization. It is the seat of Manila’s Archbishop and is also recognized as one of the most beautiful Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines. The cathedral’s first interaction was built around 1581 and has gone through numerous renovations. Its most recent and recognizable version was built in 1954.

Basically, it showcases a Neo-Romanesque style with special mentions, including stained glass windows, mosaics, marbled floors, and columns. Due to several reconstructions, the walls have been improved, and the same architectural design has been adopted. The cathedral is open daily and is best visited during the dry and pilgrimage seasons.

Baluarte de San Diego

The ruins of Baluarte de San Diego reflect the remains of circular watch towers erected in the 1580s. Much like Fort Santiago, the ruins were once the site of countless battles and has undergone several restorations. However, the fort was damaged after the battle, with the final destruction set on the Battler of Manila in 1945. 

The site is a popular attraction thanks to its striking spade-like shape. A garden was built around the fort, featuring shaded walkways, old cannons, and fountains. The ruins’ foundation is a perfect spot for photoshoots and formal gatherings.

Fort Santiago

In the past, Intramuros was considered to be a critical strategic position and was even a popular stronghold and garrison. Fort Santiago was built to be a military base and has faced several conflicts. Today, the fort is considered the oldest Spanish bastion in the country. 

In addition, it became a popular tourist spot in Intramuros due to its history of being used as a massive armory and storehouse for various spices and metals for trading. The site served as a detention and execution ground, including Jose Rizal’s final hours in one of the fort’s cells. This also leads to the creation fort’s most visited attraction, the Rizal Shrine.

See also: Great Historic Wall City: Intramuros

Casa Manila

Casa Manila reflects how rich merchants lived during the Spanish colonization times. The attraction is a replica of the Spanish colonial mansion in the 19th century. Guests can check out the mansion’s three floors, each with different offers. 

As you enter the building and the ground floor, you’ll be welcomed by a grand entry gate crafted from sturdy wood. Moving further in, you’ll come across the Zaguan corridor. If you proceed to the second floor, you’ll be surrounded by the office, library, and safe. On the third floor, you can visit the anteroom – a cozy space where families used to enjoy snacks, play games, and even smoke.

San Agustin Church

Another iconic church you should visit in Intramuros is San Agustin Church. It is the Philippines’ oldest stone church, dating back to 1571. The church underwent several reconstructions then, as it was originally made of nipa and bamboo. In fact, it is recognized as one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and historical landmarks in the Philippines. 

The best thing about the church is that it has a lot of charm, which makes it an iconic tourist spot in Intramuros. Special mentions include the church being the seat of Immaculate Conception Parish back in 1945 and the home of the country’s first governor-general, Miguel de Legazpi. San Agustin is also one of the few historical churches in the Philippines that stands the test of time.

Museo de Intramuros

While it is fairly new and young in comparison to the other historical sites, the Museo de Intramuros is an attraction that is 40 years in the making. Many visitors may find this museum at the reconstructed Ignacio Church and The Mission House of the Jesuits. The church was destroyed in 1889 but was reconstructed as part of the museum.

With its many events, it definitely is home to numerous religious icons and artifacts. Most of them are collected from varying churches in the Philippines. The museum also details the country’s culture, religions, beliefs, and heritage. 

Palacio del Gobernador

During the Spanish colonization, the Palacio del Gobernador was the structure that the Spanish “gobernardor” made residence. It served as their office for political matters before its collapse due to an earthquake in 1863. It has been reconstructed and converted into an administrative building and a historical tourist site.

Today, its reconstructed finish reflects the heritage that made Intramuros famous and holds the office of the city’s Administration and the Commission of Elections (COMELEC). It is a must-see, as the structure played an important role in Manila’s history and culture.

Postigo del Palacio

Built in 1783, the Postigo del Palacio once served as a secret exit for high-ranking individuals to leave Intramuros unnoticed. It was also the exitway that Jose Rizal passed through in Fort Santiago to Bagumbayan for his execution. It is located near Palacio Del Gobernador, where it got its name.

Plaza San Luis Complex

Plaza San Luis is a complex constructed after World War II to preserve as much history of the Philippine Spanish era as possible. The complex is made up of five houses, which directly means five attractions for guests to check out:

  • Casa Manila;
  • Casa Blanca; 
  • Casa Urdaneta;
  • Los Hidalgos; and 
  • El Hogar Filipino.

Each house features unique designs that represent different eras of Spanish-influenced architecture. Here, you will find numerous artifacts and displays depicting educated locals’ lifestyles at the time.

La Cathedral Cafe

Exploring every tourist spot in Intramuros is engaging and thrilling for any explorer. Still, it is also good to unwind and relax while you enjoy the night with a savory dinner. La Cathedral Cafe is an impressive and ideal spot for guests to have a dining experience at an impressive level. The cafe has it all; good food, cold, windy breeze, and photo-worthy sceneries all around you.

The cafe is best visited at night when street lights and the stars above brighten the scenery and bring more awe into your surroundings. They can accommodate any meal of the day from breakfast to dinner,  thanks to their must-try dishes and drinks prepared by their chefs.

Closing Thoughts

Being a city with numerous historical connections and importance, every landmark and tourist spot in Intramuros is a mind-opening choice for everyone. The attraction’s wood and stone hold an amazing story that contributes to the city’s appeal and keeps its deep, long history from fading out of people’s minds. There is no doubt that Intramoruos is a timeless treat when it comes to learning about culture and historical backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are several common inquiries tourists make regarding or relating to tourism in Intramuros.

Is Intramuros worth visiting?

Yes, its historically significant roots and ancient sites make the city of Intramuros a must-see destination for guests. This is especially true for tourists eager to learn about history and culture from other countries.

Can you walk around Intramuros?

Intramuros is good for walking or biking visitors who wish to check out the walled city. It is generally safe as long as guests are within the designated areas.

What makes Intramuros unique?

“Intramuros” is derived from Spanish, meaning “within the walls.” The city has stone walls that keep its churches, sites, and streets untouched and free from modernization and potential damage.

Related: 

Explore Must-See Unesco World Heritage Sites In The Philippines

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