1. The Walled City
What is it? The remnants of Spain’s former colonial empire in a European-style walled city.
Why go? The Walled City – also known as Intramuros – will have you second-guessing whether you are in the Philippines anymore. As the former colonial outpost of the Spanish empire, the cobblestoned streets, towering churches and colonial-style villas lend the area a European atmosphere. A world away from the high-rises surrounding it, Intramuros is best visited on foot. While you can just wing it and wander the streets, the best way to get a deeper understanding of the country’s history is on a walking tour. Weave your way past Baroque churches, administrative buildings and colonial villas. When you need to escape the heat, head to the beautiful Casa Manila, which has a shady courtyard and restaurant.