One of the very few must see places when in Manila, Intramuros is more than just today’s home for a few significant government buildings and universities. It also houses a big essential piece of Manila’s history. Literally translating to walled city, Intramuros lies in the heart of Manila, holding with it not only stories, but secrets, from the Spanish era.
And although yes, history is fun and beautiful, sometimes, we’re also after the pretty spots that makes a great backdrop for an epic instagrammable picture. Instagram is my favorite form of social media so do know that I am aware and very knowledgeable when it comes to scouting and judging a legitimate instagrammable place. Symmetry? Yes. Minimal feed material? Check. Selfie background potential? I got chu. So next time you happen to be roaming around the walled city, may I suggest to you a few places definitely worth a picture or two.
1.) Fort Santiago
Known as Jose Rizal’s (Philippines’ national hero) final home (jail, rather) right before his execution, history is very apparent within the walls of Fort Santiago. But since the main concern of this post is for the sole purpose of a good photography sesh, let me spare you the history.
From Spanish era walls, ruins of barracks, theaters, and even museums, Fort Santiago has a variety of a perfect Instagram hit. But I mean really, who isn’t a fan of ruins? They’re beautiful and mysterious, as if they’re holding a secret so dear from centuries ago. Make sure you roam the entire vicinity and explore the hidden corners to capture the best shots. Entrance Fee: 70php (-$2)
2.) Aduana Building
Symmetry meets vintage in this beautiful ruin from the Spanish era. This structure’s symmetrical features belongs on every Instagram perfectionist’s feed! Unfortunately, you can’t roam the inside of this building, but you’ll have everything you need for a perfect backdrop without going in. Aduana is located along the main street of Intramuros so it’s very hard to miss. The struggle here is getting the right angle so you might have to go the distance if you want a full shot of the building.
3.) Baluarte de San Diego
A bastion, which is a structure built to serve as a fort, is apparently hidden inside the walls of Intramuros. It took me a while to learn about this, though it’s no secret. Although this has been renovated a few times, its vintage charm remains unbothered and untouched. From the top of the Baluerte, you can also see the view of Manila’s skyline in the back, making a stunning contrast of history and modern times. Entrance Fee: 70 php (-$2)
4.) Intramuros Graffitis
Credible street art in Manila is rare, and this one in Intramuros is impeccable. A colorful phenomenal array of graffiti lies in the walls of Intramuros’ basketball court. Unfortunately, the court was closed (and somehow locked) on the day that I went, but I was definitely impressed when I took a little peek from the outside. I was able to snap a few clicks outside, but I’m sure it would have been more mesmerizing inside. So try to catch the basketball court when it’s open, usually before sunset, as I’ve been told.
5.) The Streets
If you want the most authentic, un-renovated structures, just go for a walk along the skreetz. Yes, literally the streets. All the rustic cravings you have will be instantly satiated here. There’s so many eye catching corners you can find. Don’t miss walking on the walls (yes, the actual walls) for a great view of the city. If you’re into photographing strangers, it’s a great spot as well to catch students spending their breaks. Take advantage of the variety of buildings as well. From a century old church to colonial prison cells (which are now turned into actual stores/shops) to modern day structures, you don’t need to be a photography aficionado to appreciate Instramuros. You’ll never know what you might discover. And if you do find something great, let me know so I can Instagram it too.
Are you following me on Facebook yet? Please do so I can keep you updated with my latest travel tales and hacks. I aim to inspire and you can find all that goodies on my Instagram and Twitter too. See you there 🙂