For months, most of us have been cooped up inside our homes, but as the pandemic stretches on, going outdoors has also proven to be good for the body and mind as long as we can keep a safe distance from others. Now that Manila’s walled city of Intramuros reopens to visitors, Manileños can now visit the good old historic site of Intramuros once again.
Accepting visitors at limited capacity and with health and safety protocols in place since the city’s 17th February reopening, key Intramuros sites such as Fort Santiago, Casa Manila Museum, and Baluarte de San Diego are now open to visitors from 15-65 years old.
Tour the historic fortress of Fort Santiago
Image credit: Lynly Tan, @bernsrp
With its beautiful open grounds surrounded by nature, Fort Santiago would make for a perfect visit, especially for folks living in Manila looking forward to destressing away from your work at home. It’s open daily from 12PM-8PM, and the entrance fee is P75 (~USD1.55) for adults and P50 (~USD1.03) for students.
If you know how to ride a bike, it’s best to tour the historic fortress while on a bambike as well. Not only is the bambike unique, but it’s also made up of eco-friendly bamboo wood and abaca that’ll lower your carbon footprint while you explore the area.
Image credit: Bambike
Located at Plaza San Luis Complex, Bambike open for rentals daily from 9AM to 6PM. It’s best to make an advanced online reservation (P200, ~USD4.13 for adults per hour; P50, ~USD1.03 for students per hour), but walk-ins (P100, ~USD2.06 for adults per hour; P50, ~USD1.03) will also be allowed.
Visit the renovated Casa Manila
Image credit: @stevensonque
To get a glimpse of how affluent families back in the Spanish colonial era lived, head over to the newly renovated Casa Manila Museum. Architect Antón Mendoza was behind the renovation, based on the 19th-century houses of prominent Filipino families such as the Ynchausti, Zóbel, and Teús clans.
The museum is open from 8AM-5PM, Tuesday to Sunday, and the entrance fee is P75 (~USD1.55) for adults and P50 (~USD1.03) for students.
Relax on the grounds of Baluarte de San Diego
Image credit: @krcxzmyls
The Baluarte de San Diego, which was also constructed as part of Manila’s colonial defense structures, has wide open grounds where you can relax. It’s open during the weekend, from 8AM-5PM. Entry for adults is P75 (~USD1.54) and entry for students is P50 (~1.03).
Read books for free at The Book Stop Project
Image credit: Rancho Arcilla
Aside from the 3 famous attractions in Intramuros, The Book Stop Project is also back. Originally launched in 2016, the award-winning pop-up library is where book lovers can read books for free and also exchange books – bring a book you like to give to the library and claim a book displayed inside in exchange.
Image credit: Rancho Arcilla
The library is located at Plaza Roma in front of Manila Cathedral.
Learn more about the Augustinians
Image credit: San Agustin Museum
Look forward to reacquainting yourself with religious history as the San Agustin Museum will also reopen on 24th February. Housed in the Augustinians’ former monastery and located beside San Agustin Church, the museum features centuries-old artworks and artifacts, from paintings to old cabinets to the clergy’s silken vestments.
Details about the museum’s reopening will be released soon, so stay tuned to their Facebook page.
Follow health and safety protocols as Intramuros reopens
Image credit: @bernsrp
Keep in mind health and safety protocols by wearing a face mask and face shield when visiting. You’ll be scanning QR codes upon entry to and exit from the reopened sites as well, so do have the StaySafe PH app downloaded on your smartphone in advance.
There will be hands-free thermometers with automatic alcohol dispensers placed in strategic locations too, so you can use them to check your temperature and disinfect from time to time.
Intramuros reopens to visitors, with social distancing
“Intramuros is ready and prepared for its reopening following the easing of quarantine restrictions and the minimum health and safety standards set for parks, plazas, open spaces, heritage sites and museums,” according to Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Secretary of Department of Tourism who is also the Intramuros Administration (IA) Board of Administrators Chairperson.
As Intramuros reopens, folks in Metro Manila finally have more places to explore outside their homes. We can now enjoy the wonders of the Walled City again, while keeping health and safety protocols in mind.
Also check out:
- 10 things to do in Intramuros
- 10 Manila Metropolitan Theater facts
- 9 European-style places in the Philippines