What better way to see Old Manila than with an Intramuros tour. Intramuros Manila tours have become very popular as visitors learn the historical connection between the Philippines and Spain. Taken from the Latin word meaning “within the walls”, Intramuros is the oldest district and historic core of the City of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The city of Intramuros served as the political, cultural, educational, religious and commercial centre of Spain’s empire in the East for centuries.
In the late 16th century, the Spanish colonial government had a plan. As a result, the defensive walls were constructed. This was primarily to protect the city from foreign invasions. Guarding the old city is Fort Santiago, located at the mouth of the Pasig River. In 1898, the Spanish-American War brought the Americans to the Philippines, and the city was surrendered as a result.
Intramuros was heavily damaged during the battle to recapture the city from the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. Many of the walls and other structures were destroyed. The damage from the Second World War left the place a dead city. This was despite surviving typhoons, earthquakes, fires and wars for centuries.
1979 saw the development of the Intramuros Administration. The aim was to develop and restore the district as a monument to the Hispanic period in Philippine history. The area has now become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Philippines. An Intramuros tour has become one of the most popular ways to learn the about Philippines history.
My first walking tour of this historical, ancient city left me totally amazed. As an Australian, I had no idea how much of a role the Philippines actually played in containing the attempted invasion of Australia by the Japanese. I also didn’t realise the extent of the Spanish colonization of not just Manila, but the whole Philippines. I have now got a deeper appreciation and understanding of how the Philippines came to be the country it is today, through my visit to Intramuros. A tour of Manila wouldn’t be complete without visiting Intramuros.
An Intramuros tour will only take about half a day on foot. Therefore, you can incorporate this into a whole day tour taking in other attractions in the old section of Manila. This Manila tour can include a visit to the worlds oldest Chinatown in Binondo, Manila Ocean Park and/or Rizal Park, and then you could head to Bay City for the evening.
There are a number of walking tours available if you are interested in an Intramuros tour. Personally, I would fully recommend an Intramuros tour by foot. This is not only the best way to see Intramuros in Manila, but to learn about it. The tour guide will explain everything you need to know which gives you a much better appreciation for the place. I don’t have an affiliation with any tour guides, but if you google it, I’m sure you can find a tour operator who can assist.