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Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.
More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
How to Get to Fort Santiago: Entrance Fee, Commute, and Directions
Still another post for the upcoming celebration of Rizal's 150th birth anniversary, besides a visit to Rizal Park (Luneta), another place worth your the is the historic Fort Santiago, the fortress at the mouth of Pasig River that also served as prison of Jose Rizal before his execution on December 30, 1896.
Note: There will be a Rizaliana party at Fort Santiago on June 19 at 6pm with food courtesy of Illustrado and Adarna Restaurant. Free entrance if you can come in 19th century period Filipiniana costume, otherwise it's only P100 to join the party and evening of art, music, poetry and fireworks.
UPDATED: February 2014
Fort Santiago Attractions and Amenities:
Rizal Shrine, Jose Rizal's Prison Cell, last steps of Jose Rizal cast in brass going to Luneta, Plaza Armas, old World War II era Japanese M4 Sherman tank, cafe and souvenir shop.
the gate of Fort Santiago, with moat in view, where you can see Santiago Matamoro, from whom the Spanish fort was named after. Picture taken with an iPhone 4 (darn, that if you have an SLR, you need to get a permit to shoot lest you get apprehended by the "guardia civil")
How to get to Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila:
For a reliable and updated map of Intramuros, you can visit OpenStreetMap for reference.
How to commute to Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila:
From Quezon City, the easiest way is to board jeepneys with signboard Quiapo/Pier (either from Project 2/3, Cubao, Fairview, Proj 8, Project 6) that pass by inside Intramuros (just request the driver to drop you off within walking distance of Fort Santiago)
From LRT, the nearest station is Central Station where you can walk to the foot of Quezon Bridge to ride the Pier jeepneys from Quiapo (or also from Carriedo Station where Pier jeepneys pass by Quiapo Church) Only minimum fare required.
Driving Directions to Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila:
From Makati, the easiest way is from Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) or Ayala Avenue is just drive towards Roxas Boulevard all the way to Anda Circle (roundabout) where you turn right to Soriano then left turn to Gen. Luna (Landmark: Palacio del Governador) just before reaching Manila Cathedral.
From Quezon City, you can get there easiest (but not fastest) via Quezon Avenue then Espana, Lerma and Quiapo, cross Quezon Bridge then turn right immediately after Quezon Bridge to Riverside Drive (that pass under MacArthur and Jones Bridge). When you see Manila Cathedral, Plaza Roma and Palacio del Governador, you can get off then walk to your right going to Fort Santiago.
Parking: an open car park is just beside the entrance gate of Fort Santiago with parking fee of PhP40 for cars. Intramuros, ins spite of it's tourist attraction tag, has very limited parking spaces though if you can't park there. There are parking lots at the old clam shell and also at the site of the old Ayuntamiento near Plaza Roma or street parking on General Luna and the area around Plaza Roma in front of Manila Cathedral.
Entrance Fee/Admission price: PhP75.00 adults; PhP50 children/students/teachers (valid IDs required); free entrance for disabled and senior citizens
Open Hours/Schedule: daily from 8am to 6pm including holidays
Coordinates: N14 35 39.1 E120 58 13.1 (handy for GPS device users)
For guided tours of Fort Santiago, educational tours and field trips, you can request from Intramuros Administration (where you also request a "permit to shoot" for professional photographers)
Warning: there still exists the stupid rule of security not allowing "big cameras" i.e. SLR/DSLR for taking pictures/photography inside Fort Santiago and Intramuros in general (unless you're a foreigner). Such medieval mind of security guards and of the Intramuros Administration tag SLRs are for professional photographers only.