Intramuros 4 stars!


  • Intramuros, located along the southern bank of the Pasig River, was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century and is the oldest district of the city of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Its name, in Latin, intramuros, literally "within the walls", meaning within the wall enclosure of the city/fortress, also describes its structure as it is surrounded by thick, high walls and moats.

    It's hard to get hopelessly lost in Intramuros, thanks to the district's orderly street plan. General Luna (also known by its old name, Calle Real del Palacio) is the closest thing Intramuros has to a main street and gives visitors easy access to most of the major attractions, including San Agustín Church and Manila Cathedral. Follow this street all the way to its northwestern tip and you'll find yourself in front of Fort Santiago; go the other way and you'll eventually end up in Rizal Park, which is just over the border in the nearby Ermita district.

    If you do lose your bearings, don't panic. Keep in mind that except for a small section near the river, the entire district is surrounded by walls - so there probably isn't much of a chance that you'll inadvertently end up in the wider city beyond. A quick look at a map (and perhaps a little help from passers-by) should easily put you back on track.

    By calesa - First used on the streets of Manila in the 18th century, these horse-drawn carriages can usually be found waiting for passengers near Fort Santiago. A nice, old-fashioned way to get around Intramuros. To avoid getting ripped off, it may be a good idea to ask about the route and confirm the price of the trip before setting out.
    On foot - Walking from one attraction to another is a popular way to get around Intramuros. Just mind the cars: there are almost no pavements to speak of so pedestrians usually share space with automobiles. It is even possible to walk on some sections of the old city walls.

  • By Taxi

    For visitors who don't mind shelling out a little extra - and putting up with rush-hour traffic jams - Manila's relatively inexpensive taxis are probably the easiest and most direct way of reaching Intramuros from elsewhere in the city. The current flagdown rate is ?40, and the fare goes up in increments of ?3.50 every 300 metres.

    By Train

    The nearest railway station is Central Terminal (LRT-1 / Yellow Line). Though within sight of the eastern walls, the station is a pretty long walk from the western part of Intramuros (where many of the major sights are located), so tourists headed in that direction might consider covering the rest of the journey by taxi.

    By Water Bus

    The Pasig River Ferry used to stop at Plaza México station, not far from the ruins of the Intendencia (Aduana) building, but according to reports the service has been suspended for an indefinite period. If operations resume in the future, the ferry will likely use this same stopping point.

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