You are still worried about the unseen virus. You don’t want the hassle of a long drive and the weekend traffic. You can’t stand (or you don’t want to spend) the numerous antibody tests.
So, what’s the best to do this weekend? Where can you walk and enjoy fresh air at the same time? Where can you enjoy and learn about history, culture, and tradition? You don’t have to go far away since this destination is at the heart of the Metro: Intramuros.
Intramuros recently earned back its spot in the World Travel Awards as the “Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction.” The World Travel Awards, or the Oscars of travel, is known to be the most prestigious and comprehensive program in the global industry, so you know it’s a great feat for domestic tourism just in time for its recovery. But really, it’s no surprise, the walled city has all the reasons why people definitely go back to Manila.
- This place lets you dive into a rich history behind great walls and cobblestone streets destroyed, preserved, and rebuilt time and again, without traveling too far. The famed citadel, Fort Santiago, is the main landmark to see if you want to soak in the Spaniards colonialization era straight out of the history books. There’s also two UNESCO World Heritage Sites here, the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church.
- You can immerse yourself in the tangible imprints of different cultures—American, Spanish, Chinese—that shaped Intramuros by visiting Bahay Tsinoy, Casa Manila, or Distileria Limtuaco Museum, the country’s oldest distillery in the country.
- You can rent a pedicab by the entrance, but it’s best to do the tour on foot since historical spots are just a hop and a skip away from each other. If you want to do it in style without much leg work, however, take a Visita Intramuros tour (once it’s back) organized by Manila Hotel and Intramuros Administration and explore the walled city in a siklesa or a 19th-century tranvia.
- Some of the finest restaurant spots in Intramuros, like the Ilustrados and Barbara Heritage Restaurant, preserve the fancy dining practices of the yesteryears. You can even find the most authentic Fil-Spanish cuisines just blocks away from each other, but the real deals, like carinderia homecooked meals and street food, are also worth checking out as much as your Binondo Chinatown food walk.
- It’s so easy to get there. Located right in the heart of Manila, any means of land transportation like taxi, jeepney, or the LRT is fine.
So, what are you waiting for? A weekend would be spent wisely in this place of culture and history.