According to worldatlas.com, Manila is considered one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It can also be considered as one of the highly polluted cities with its significant population. However, when you come into the Philippines, Manila is the city that would welcome you. It is the nearest city to the airport, and it is the city that has a lot of beautiful landmarks to offer, especially if you are a tourist and new.
From dining in front of the bay to know more about the culture by visiting the museums, Manila has so much to offer. As the band’s famous song, The Hotdogs (yes, that is their name. Catchy, suitable?), there’s no place like Manila.
Here are some of the places that you should visit when you go tour around the hustling and bustling City of Manila.
Intramuros, also known as The Walled City, was built around 500 years ago by the Spaniards that colonized the country for many years. Historically, this is the place where the people with a high position of leadership are staying. The name Intramuros comes from a Latin word, Intramuros, which means “within the walls.”
During the Spanish era, this 0.67 square kilometer area was considered to be the religion and educational center of Manila. This is why there are a couple of churches and schools that have a structure around the area. At present, many of the structures that were built before are still being used by different establishments. Roaming around the area, you can see in the structures how it was greatly influenced by the Spanish people. However, over the years, Chinese influence can also be seen in some of the structures. Tour around the area using the “kalesa” or the Filipino version of carriage and check how beautiful Intramuros is. And if you get tired of roaming around, many restaurants around the area serve food.
Fort Santiago is probably one of the most important historical places inside Intramuros. This defense fortress is the structure that served as the holding cell of the Philippines’ National Hero, Jose Rizal. This is where he wrote his last poem before getting executed.
Inside Fort Santiago, is a museum of Jose Rizal memorabilia, called Rizal Shrine, and other structures that are relevant during the Spanish era in the Philippines. The fort was named after Saint James, which is Santiago in Spanish. It is located in the mouth of the Pasig River and served as the premier defense fortress of the Spanish Government. It also served as the main fort for the spice trade to the Americas and Europe.
San Agustin Church
One of the churches around Intramuros is the San Agustin Church. San Agustin Church was one of the four churches that was built during the Spanish era and it is considered to be the oldest stone church in the country. It is also named one of the Philippines’ National Historic Landmarks because of its relevance during the Spanish era.
Many are fascinated with the church not only because of its historical background but because of its architecture as well. The architecture of the church highlighted symmetry and splendid interiors which makes it very interesting for many architecture students or enthusiasts out there.
Aside from the shrine that is built around the place where he was locked in before he died, a park was built in the land where Jose Rizal was executed. Rizal Park or also known as the Luneta Park is the place where Jose Rizal was shot. This is also the place where his remains lie, and up until this day, the park is considered to be one of the most relevant and historical places in Manila. The center of the park has the bronze and granite statue of Jose Rizal and which is considered to be one of the most famous sculptural landmarks in the country.
In the nearby area, you could find other famous Manila landmarks, which are the 3 museums namely, National Art Museum, National Museum of Anthropology, and National Museum of Natural History. All of these are frequently visited by foreigners and locals.
Tagged as the oldest Chinatown in the world, many people are visiting this stretch to have a foodgasmic experience from the many restaurants there. Manila Chinatown is known for its famous dumplings, fresh noodles, and many selections of Chinese food. Chinatown is such a heaven for all the foodies out there because it has all restaurants in one place. Many of the restaurants there have already established their name as they have been there for many years already.
More than the restaurants that are situated there, there are also many things that you can see in that part of Manila. Experience the restaurants and hear the colorful history of Binondo from the tours offered online. A street as old as Binondo will indeed have a lot of stories to tell.
There are so many places to explore in Manila. It may not be as big as other cities but the city is so rich and colorful that you shouldn’t miss touring around the city when you visit the Philippines. It can be overwhelming at first, but it is worth experiencing.