The must-see Manila historical tour, *Visita Intramuros
*A tour program of The Manila Hotel in partnership with Intramuros Administration
Travel back in time and visit the old building or walk through the charming cobblestone streets of the Walled City. You may visit Intramuros, for a safe, guided tour. The tour also takes you to five attractions steeped in history from Spanish colonial era. Vamonos!
You can also take our signature Siklesa, a motor-drawn kalesa. Its design is inspired by Philippine heritage, with contemporary technology added for a smooth ride outdoors.
What to see
Just in front of Manila Hotel, Rizal Park is at the northern end of Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay. It is a 60-hectare oasis in the heart of Manila’s bustling commercial and business district. Named after the Philippine’s national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, this urban park has gardens, historical monuments, a 3D map of the country, picnic grounds, an open-air amphitheater and a grand stadium. More than a public park, it played a significant role in the history of the Philippines as it was the site of Dr. Jose Rizal’s execution, along with 100 other Filipino martyrs.
Adjacent to Manila Hotel, Intramuros was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century. It is the oldest district of Manila whose name means “within the walls” in Latin, describes its structure–fortress surrounded by thick, high walls and moats.
The “Walled City” had churches, institutions, and government offices that witnessed the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire’s capital in the East. Today, it houses a museums, an open-air theatre, important offices of the state, art galleries, a park lush with flora and homing pigeons, fine restaurants, craft shops, souvenir stalls and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.
A part of the structure of Intramuros, Fort Santiago is located at the mouth of the Pasig River and was built as the main defense fortress during the Spanish colonization, Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, was imprisoned at the Fort while waiting for his execution. The Fort also features bronze markers tracing the footsteps of Rizal from his cell to his execution site.
The National Museum of the Philippines serves as the official repository of the country’s natural and cultural heritage. With its extensive collection covering the sciences, education, and culture, the National Museum of the Philippines gives a sense of pride and nationalism to the Filipino people and raises awareness of the rich Philippine history. Across the museum is the Museum of the Filipino People that houses the Anthropology and Archeology Divisions.
SM Mall of Asia
This 407,000 square-meter mall is the Philippines’ largest and world’s third largest mall. It raised the standards of shopping, leisure, and entertainment in the Philippines. The SM Mall of Asia is made up of four establishments interconnected by walk paths. One of its interesting services is the 20-seater tram to make it easier for tourists and shoppers to move around.
How about enjoying a weekend getaway in places outside of Metro Manila?
There are many travel destinations near Metro Manila which only require a few hours or two of travel. So it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and hit the road.
A breathtaking place in Tagaytay City is Museo Orlina from the world-renowned glass sculptor Architect Ramon Orlina. Museo Orlina is a four-story glass house showcasing the works of famous glass sculptor Ramon Orlina against the backdrop of the Taal volcano. It was made open to the public in 2014. Aside from Orlina’s prized artworks, the museum also features an amphitheater for musical and other art related presentations. Photographs of Orlina’s works around the globe and his hand-painted vintage car collections are also on-display along with his collections of his collaboration with another renowned Filipino artist and National Artist, Ben Cab.
Museo Orlina is located at Hollywood Street., Hollywood Subdivision, Tolentino East, Tagaytay City, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Tagaytay City
If you’re traveling with your kids, the Puzzle Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Barangay Asisan in Tagaytay is a great place to visit. Home to the museums that houses the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles in the world—all assembled by the late Gina Gil Lacuna in the past 28 years. In 2012, Puzzle Mansion was awarded by the Guinness’ Book of World Records as having the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles in the world. The extensive collection of configured 3D puzzles is truly impressive.
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar
Be ready to be transported back in time the moment you set foot in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan. It is a sprawling property from over 400 hectares that features restored 18th century Spanish-Filipino houses. A work-in-progress, each of these 18th-century Filipino colonial buildings is a restored piece of history. All saved from total ruin and neglect and transported brick by brick to its current location in Bataan.
Have a closer look at bits and pieces of our country’s rich history through an immersive interactive tour.
Marvel at the striking design of the casas’ structures and see history from a different perspective. Classic architecture, grandiose landscape and spectacular waterworks awaits you.
Walk through cobblestones or take an adventure by riding a balsa. Apart from the heritage tours, there are other activities you can enjoy such as the traditional dress photo shoots, water sports, cycling trips and island hopping.
Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort
Villa Escudero is one of the oldest coconut plantations in the country. It remains to be a top tourist destination for foreigners and balikbayans who want to experience traditional Filipino culture and heritage through the museum, cultural shows, and heritage houses. An interesting highlight at Villa Escudero would be dining at the foot of their waterfalls. For outdoor enthusiasts, Villa Escudero offers a tranquil getaway from the city where one can commune with nature and enjoy recreational activities like rafting, fishing, swimming, biking and bird watching.
Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort is located in Tiaong, Quezon, which is roughly 2-3 hours South of Manila by private car or public transportation.