Abandoned Beauties · Philippine Gems · Pretty Places · Travel Listicle

5 Beautiful Instagrammable Spots in Intramuros

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.

Girl, Unspotted -- Intramuros, Manila

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16 thoughts on “5 Beautiful Instagrammable Spots in Intramuros

  1. Intramuros will always be “Instagrammable” as long as the establishments maintain the old school, classic Manila designs. Amongst your list, I have a special liking for Aduana Building. It does have its own character. If I am not mistaken, that used to be Central Bank. I would always ask my driver to slow down each time we’d pass this building. I hope the city government has restoration plans for the building.

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  2. I love your photos! I was last in Intramuros in 2012. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to the historical walls and forts. I would add Plaza Moriones, if I may. It’s the park leading to Fort Santiago. 🙂

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  3. We live very near Intramuros yet we have only visited the place only three times at the maximum. This post makes me want to come back soon. I didn’t even know that there’s graffiti walls haha.

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  4. Intramuros is such a beautiful place. It gives you a hint of the past! Thanks for sharing these beautiful spots, I love number one and three the most!

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  5. I studied in PLM (one of the unis that call Intramuros home) so all of my college life, I’ve been exposed to all of the IG-worthy spots in the area. (Only, at the time Instagram wasn’t a thing yet.) While I did spend a good chunk of those years appreciating all the beauty, I didn’t realize the full extent of its value until I was no longer surrounded by it. Seeing Intramuros, whether by photos or an actual visit, brings back history – not just on a nationalistic perspective but a rather personal one.

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  6. I wish they clean up Intramuros. I do not like graffiti. The streets could be better. Fort Santiago is excellent for photography. You did not include the churches though.

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  7. I haven’t seen Intramuros in person. All I see are beautiful photos all over the web. And yes they are instagrammable. I’m not much of a fan with graffiti but somehow they look gorgeous in photos. Art.

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  8. Been roaming around Intramuros for years during client visits, but I’ve never realized that the place could be so beautiful and instagrammable!

    Now, I am thrilled to go back and walk there slowly along the streets and talk a lot pictures. probably create a blog post to about my experiences there. thanks for sharing

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