One-Day Trips: Intramuros
China may have the Forbidden City that’s bound by walls, but the Philippines has its own: Intramuros. In Philippine Primer’s first-ever One-Day Trips, we give you a no-nonsense itinerary that will have you exploring most (if not all) of Intramuros before the sun sets.
10:00 am – 12:30 pm: Bambike Ecotours
FREE BAYANI BREW NOT INCLUDED. But they do give you a bottle of water./IMAGE Bambike Ecotours on Facebook
Intramuros is a place you can easily tour on yours or a horse’s feet, but there’s one thing that people have been trying out as of late: biking. For us, the best way to go around Intramuros right now is on two wheels; to be specific, on two wheels with a bamboo bike.
IMAGE Bambike Ecotours on Facebook
Bambike Ecotours is your best bet if you want to go around Intramuros. For only Php 1,200, this two-and-a-half hour tour takes you around Intramuros to see all there is to see: from spectacular-looking churches including the Manila Cathedral to Fort Santiago, an Intramuros tour staple.
Your Php 1,200 includes your bamboo bike, helmet, a bottle of water, and all necessary entrance fees for the trip.
The starting point for Bambike Ecotours is at the Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St. cor. Gen. Luna, St. Tours start at 10 am and 3 pm. Participants are advised to be at Plaza San Luis 30 minutes before the start of the tour. To book a tour, visit bambike.com/ecotours, call 02-525-8289, or email email@example.com.
Also read: Bambike Ecotours
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch at Barbara’s
IMAGE Igel Manalo via Wikimedia Commons
After a good two-hour-and-a-half bike ride around Intramuros, a 30-minute rest and meal are definitely in order. To make things a bit easier, we’ve given you near-zero movement from returning your Bambike and giving you a chance to not only sample great Filipino cuisine but to do it without traveling too far.
Barbara’s is located right at Plaza San Luis. It’s a heritage restaurant that serves authentic Filipino food. With a price range of just about Php 800 – Php 1,000 for two to three people, you’re getting your money’s worth with the ambiance and the options you get with your food.
Barbara’s is located at Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St. cor. Gen. Luna St. in Intramuros. They’re open from 11 am – 2 pm for lunch and 6:30 pm – 9 pm for dinner.
Also read: Barbara’s
Alternative: Patio de Conchita. It’s a Filipino restaurant that’s got a lot of options for an affordable price (as low as Php 70 per meal!)
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Souvenir Shopping at The Silahis Center and The Manila Collectible Co.
It’s nice to get out of the sun once in a while, and souvenir shopping usually does the trick. For such an occasion, we recommend two places to shop: The Silahis Center and The Manila Collectible Co.
PRIMER FILE PHOTO
The Silahis Center is the largest souvenir shop in all of Intramuros. It’s three stories of nothing but fine Filipino craftsmanship that, once again, is just down the road from Plaza San Luis! Seeing as we’ve already given you a grand tour with Bambikes, we thought you’d be better off with not walking around as much.
Also read: The Silahis Center
PRIMER FILE PHOTO
If, however, you prefer a bit of a walk, then head about 5-10 minutes the other way along General Luna and make your way back to Fort Santiago, where The Manila Collectible Co. is housed. It’s a lot smaller than The Silahis Center, but it has just as much quality with souvenirs.
Also read: The Manila Collectible Co.
Alternative: You can also head down Light and Sound Museum, which is at the end of Victoria St. It’s another way to get out of the sun. Only 10 people are allowed at a time, though, so you can make the most out of it and drop by Baluarte San Diego or Bagumbayan.
4:00 pm – sunset: Sky Deck View Bar at Bayleaf Manila
IMAGE Bayleaf Manila/PRIMER FILE PHOTO
There’s probably no better place to end your day in Intramuros than by enjoying the sunset atop the highest bar in the area. Bayleaf Manila’s Sky Deck View Bar gives you just that: a full view of the Manila sunset capped off with great food and a panoramic (if not full 360-degree) view of the city.
Getting here, though, is entirely up to you. You can take a calesa all the way to the Bayleaf or go a more scenic route and walk along the walls of Intramuros.
And there you go. A one-day itinerary around Intramuros. One last tip before you head off, though: do this on a weekend. Yes, there may be more tourists, but Intramuros has a couple of schools so it’s best to steer clear of that level of foot traffic.
Written by Andronico Del Rosario