Manila City Tour Itinerary

Metro sights: Pioneer skyline (in Mandaluyong) aboard the Pasig Ferry.
Backpacking | Manila City Tour (historical tour)
Manila City
Specs: Intramuros (Walled City), city parks, colonial churches, National Museum, shopping, Pasig River sights.

. I used Makati and Malate areas as reference points for the start of this itinerary since many hotels are located in those areas. After breakfast, take a taxi to Intramuros.
. Taxis charge an initial P40 flag-down rate and an additional P3.50 after every 300 meters. This rate is not to be confused with the more expensive airport taxis (yellow taxis) which initially charge P70.
. Intramuros was the walled city of Manila during the Spanish colonial era. It is now a popular historical tourist destination, event venue (weddings, debutante balls) and photographers’ favorite hangout. A great deal of Spanish architecture is preserved in Intramuros.
. Entrance fee to Fort Santiago is P75 per person.
. San Agustin Church is the oldest church in the Philippines built during the Spanish colonial period. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
. The Clamshell pavilion features products from different regions of the country. Check to know which region is featured on your date of visit. It is open from 10:00AM-10:00PM on Tues-Thur; 10AM-12:00MN Fri-Sun, and 3:00PM-10:00PM on Mondays. Admission is free.
. Other notable places to see in Intramuros are: Manila Cathedral, Light and sound museum, Casa Manila Museum, Schools, and the Golf Course. A map of Intramuros is available online at
. The Calesa ride costs about P250 per person. On your way to Rizal Park, your Calesa will pass by the Quirino grandstand – a wide outdoor amphitheater where many national events are held.
. Rizal Park, named after the Jose Rizal (Philippines’s national hero who was executed here), is also known by its former name: Luneta Park.
. Kilometer 0 (zero) is found in Rizal Park. All other kilometer markers you’d find on the road are referenced from this point.
. There are many sections and mini-attractions in Rizal Park which I’m sure you will come across on your way to the National Museum. Entrance fee to Lights and Sound of Rizal is P50.
. Entrance fee to the National Museum is P100. The museum is open Wed-Sun 10:00AM-4:00PM.
. Arroceros Park entrance is located near the LRT Central Station and Quezon Bridge (Quiapo bridge). Getting there takes just a short taxi ride about P70, passing by Manila City Hall and SM Manila.
. Getting to Paco Park also takes a short taxi ride, about P80. I recommend taking taxis instead of jeepneys on these short distances because it saves time.
. Paco Park is an old cemetery built in the late 1700s. It features a circular fort and a church in the middle. It is open Mon-Sun (except Wed) from 8:00AM-5:00PM and every Friday by sunset. Entrance fee is P5.
. Jeep fare is currently P8 per person. You will pass by the Andres Bonifacio shrine and Metropolitan theater on your way to Escolta.
. Boat fare from Escolta to Guadalupe is P45 per person. The airconditioned Boat/Ferry will cruise by Manila Post Office, Malacanang Palace, Nagtahan bridge, Oil depots, and Makati City Hall (in that order) among others.
. Picture taking is not allowed in the vicinity of Malacanang Palace
The Passig Ferry service has been discontinued as of 2012.
. The cities of Makati and Mandaluyong are separated by the Guadalupe Bridge.
. The Rockwell Powerplant Mall used to be an old thermal power plant operated by MERALCO (electric company).

. This itinerary is not made for people driving a private car. Parking and traffic will be a problem and you can’t bring it with you when you take the Pasig Ferry ride.
. Walking tours are becoming popular in Manila. They are usually operated by a one-man company. Search the web for more info. You won’t need this itinerary if you sign up for that, though.
. Jeepney rides in this itinerary can be substituted by taxi rides.
. Make sure you bring enough cash in low denominations because not all taxi drivers in Manila are friendly enough to give out exact change. More often than not, they make an excuse of not having enough change, and therefore they get to keep it.
. Entrance fees posted on this guide are standard adult rates. Students get discounts if they show their IDs.
. You can choose to take lunch at SM before going to Arroceros park or just skip going to the park altogether. I suggest having late lunch because of the volume of students taking lunch in the mall.
. If you arrive late at the Escolta ferry station, do not worry, just wait for the next boat trip. This gives you time to explore Binondo (Chinatown) area.
. Pasig ferry afternoon boats leave Escolta at 12:00NN, 1:49PM, 3:00PM during weekdays (Mon-Fri) and 1:33PM, 2:33PM, 4:00PM during weekends. For more detailed schedules, you may contact their office.
. There many things to do in Powerplant Mall. There are movie theaters, bowling lanes, shops and restaurants. You can choose to spend dinner here and head back to your hotel later at night to avoid heavy weekday traffic around 5:30PM-8:30PM. The mall is open until 10:00PM.

Budget: around P1145 per pax
Budget estimate for 4 people:
280 Taxi fares
1000 Calesa
65 Jeepney fares
800 entrance fees
180 Pasig ferry
1600 food share (lunch, merienda)
400 misc (other fees, tips, etc.)

*Calesa is a horse-drawn carriage.
*Jeepneys or jeeps are colorful public utility vehicles – truly Filipino.
*LRT is short for Light Rail Transit, a commuter train.
*Merienda is the Tagalog term for a late-afternoon snack.

Intramuros official website:
Intramuros Visitors Center phone number: 02-5272961
Pasig Ferry information phone number: 02-3854234
This was once the Senate building
Inside the National Museum
See the colonial church in Paco Park
Pasig river ferry

Itinerary and expenses recorded on September 1, 2009.
Updated on February 7, 2011.

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