Intramuros boasts great aesthetics with its historical architectures confined within its walls, amidst the bustling metro. The daylight promises a retrospect of the long gone decades but with significant stories of the past etched in the buildings, walls and stone paths which have withstood various catastrophe and the test of time. Every door, every gate is open to the curious souls to give them a chance to time travel through the curated well-preserved artifacts, replica and monochromatic photographs on display.
Postigo De La Nuestra Senora De Soledad
Darkness starts to fall and envelop the city. A different color of life unfolds a feast for the senses. Vibrancy reflects on the tranquility of the rivers. The architectures dramatically glow with all the installed lights. Some details are lost in the dark; others are revealed in the warm light.
This is Intramuros at night.
Places to Visit in Intramuros at Night
Some museums and points of interest inside the walled city are open only up to 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening. However, There are ones that are open to public even up to late at night and some can be best enjoyed even just from the outside. Even the streets are promising at night making it an ideal spot for photo shoots. Below are the suggested spots in and out the walled city to look forward to on a DIY Intramuros at Night Walking Tour.
Fort Santiago was named after St. James the Moor-slayer also known as Santiago Matamoros. It used to be the Spanish Military Force’s headquarters in Manila in 1571. The fort was originally built out of wood, logs and earth until it was devastated by the Chinese lead by a pirate during the siege of Manila in 1574. During the Spanish occupation after the siege, it was reconstructed using volcanic ash. It served as a headquarter of the different foreign empires who colonized the Philippines including the Spanish, British, Japanese and Americans.
Mondays to Sundays – 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Regular – Php 75.00
Student/ Senior Citizen/ PWD
– Php 50.00
|The American Military Barracks from the outside. Chills, huh?
|At the gates of the American Military Barracks
The US Embassy recently collaborated with the Intramuros Administration in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Manila. A gallery with the theme “Allies for Freedom” showing portraits of Filipino and American Courage during World War II was launched on March 4, 2020 and it will be up until May 31, 2020.
Important Historical Points inside Fort Santiago
1. Plaza Moriones
2. Baluartillo De San Francisco Javier
3. Reducto de San Francisco Javier
4. Guadalupe Chapel
5. Marty’s wall
6. Moat & Bridge
7. Fort Santiago Gate
8. Baluarte de San Miguel
9. Plaza Armas
10. Rizal Shrine
12. White Cross
13. Baluarte de Santa Barbara
14. iMake History Fortress Learning Center
15. Falsabraga Media Naranja
16. Falsabraga Santa Barbara
17. Postigo De La Nuestra Senyora de Soledad
18. Rajah Sulayman Theatre
19. Medio Baluarte de San Francisco
20. Almacenes Reales
One of the recently sought after point of interest inside Intramuros is the dungeons. It was restored and recently opened to the public. It is situated at Baluarte de Santa Barbara, by the bay area of Fort Santiago.
The dungeons was initially a storage area of ammo and gunpowder during the Spanish occupation. However, the tunnel was usually damp which makes it not an ideal place to store gun powder; hence, it was turned into a prison cell instead. During World War II, particularly, the Japanese occupation in the country, around six hundred people were said to be left to die inside this dungeon. These bodies were buried en mass at the area just outside, where the white cross stood.
|A statue of a Japanese from the Imperial Force guarding the dungeons
The visitors are requested to tone their voices down and treat the place with respect.
|Every corner of the dungeons are lit. The passageways are low-beam.
All days of the week
2:00 PM to 10:00 PM
included in the Fort Santiago Entrance fee
After the Dungeon experience, you may want to hang out for a bit at the bay area as it the view couldn’t be more lovely at night! The city lights from the skyscrapers reflecting on the calm surface of Pasig River is quite a view that is not to be missed.
also known as Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception,
was built during the Spanish era specifically in 1571. It withstood catastrophic events since then including wars, typhoons, fires and earthquakes.
Though the church is closed at night, the patio in front is quite a place to hang out to admire Manila Cathedral’s facade. However, its lights are turned off too at around 9:00 or 10:00 PM. Best time to visit and witness Manila Cathedral from the outside is around 6:00 PM – when the sky is not completely pitch black yet. The sky melting into pink and blue shades is quite a back drop for the facade with the lights on. You may want to take note of Manila Cathedral’s mass schedule shall you want to see the church from the inside.
Mondays to Fridays – 7:30 AM and 12:10 NN
Saturday – 7:30 AM
Sunday – 7:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:30 AM, 6:00 PM
|William George A. Jones Memorial Bridge reflection on Pasig River
After exploring the whole of Intramuros, you may also want to walk outside to see and cross the Pasig River through the William George A. Jones Memorial Bridge or simply, the Jones Bridge
. The P20 million worth of restoration of this historical bridge is said to be part of Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso’s mission to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the city. In the last quarter of 2019, the fully restored Jones Bridge, with great consideration of its original design, was inaugurated.
Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arc (Binondo)
|Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arc featuring the Parisian lamps of the Jones Bridge
At the end of Jones Bridge lies the Filipino-Chinese Friendship Arc of Binondo, Manila – the China Town of the Metro. A new one was built but the old arc remained intact just a few meters behind the taller and grander one. The new arc shines brightly at night as it has colorful light installations.
Refrain from trying to take photos and posing at the middle of the arc especially when there are vehicles passing through.
Liwasang Bonifacio Musical Dancing Fountain
|Fountain Show at Liwasang Bonifacio
Photo by Jameson Go
One of the best ways to end the Walking Tour is through witnessing the Dancing Fountain Show at Liwasang Bonifacio. The 15-minute Musical Water and Light Show happens everyday from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM. Fountain closes at 12:00 AM. Below is the schedule of the Fountain Show:
Getting Around Intramuros at Night
Intramuros can be best enjoyed through a DIY Walking tour or through Bambike. Bambike Ecotours offer a tour from the sunset that extends to an evening cycling tour around Intramuros. You can book your Intramuros trip with Bambike Ecotours here
Where to Eat
The best way to end the Intramuros at Night Walking Tour is by doing a Binondo food crawl or just a simple dinner at the China Town. Few fast food and restaurants extend up to 10:00 or 11:00 in the evening. During our visit, we had our dinner at Ying Ying Tea House (Xiao Long Bao time!). Among the must-try fast food and restaurants in Binondo are Chuan Kee, Wai Ying and Dong Bei Dumplings.
|Hands down to this guy, Jameson Go! He knows Intramuros inside and out!
Intramuros at Night Walking Tour Tips
1. Wear comfortable foot wear and clothes.
2. Bring your reusable water bottle. Stay hydrated!
3. Take note of the operating hours of the places and spots that you may want to visit. Some museums are closed on Mondays.
4. Be careful on the streets. Be extra cautious with your surroundings.
5. Best time to do the Night Walking Tour in Manila is from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
6. Respect the places that you will visit.
Sample Intramuros at Night Walking Tour Itinerary
6:00 PM – Manila Cathedral
6:15 PM – Palacio del Gobernador
6:20 PM – Roaming around the streets
6:45 PM – Fort Santiago
8:00 PM – Jones Bridge
8:15 PM – Filipino-Chinese Friendship/ Binondo Arc
8:30 PM – Late Dinner/ Snacks at Binondo
9:30 PM or 10:30 PM – Musical Dancing Fountain
|After visiting the historical and cultural spots, we roamed around the streets of Intramuros
The suggested itinerary considered the time for taking photos and admiring the place for what it is not just for its beauty but also for its story. You may also design your own but these spots are really the ones that should not be missed when visiting Intramuros at night.