What It’s Really Like Cycling Through Intramuros

Published On

Jan 29, 2020

Hop on the bamboo bike and let’s cycle through Intramuros! The bamboo bike or Bambike is a handmade bike made out of bamboo and abaca. It aims to be one of the greenest bikes on the planet. These bikes are also as strong as steel, yet it’s lightweight!

These bikes are often seen around Intramuros, Manila. Tourists explore the vintage buildings, Spanish-era churches, and cobblestone streets while cycling around on a Bambike. You can choose to go on a guided tour or rent a bike and explore Intramuros at your own pace. Though walking tours are still great, it’s nice to try something different every once in a while.

What is Intramuros?

Intramuros is the oldest district in Manila. Constructed in 1571, this 64-hectare stone fortress is now a tourist attraction. Being the historic core of Manila, most of the structures here are well-preserved. You can even see vintage horse-drawn carriages or kalesas on Intramuros’ streets!

Get on a Bambike

Along the busy General Luna Street, head to the Plaza San Luis Complex where you’ll see the Bambike Headquarters. Different types of bikes are available for rental. There are ones with a basket in front, while others are sportier.

Sights in the Walled City

If you do choose to go around on your own, here are some attractions you can stop at:

San Agustin Church

Built in 1571, the San Agustin Church is the oldest religious structure built by the Spaniards in Luzon. The church has gone through a lot like fires, earthquakes, and typhoons. Today, the building is the third reconstructed version.

Fort Santiago

One of the most important sights in Manila is Fort Santiago. It’s a major landmark that you shouldn’t miss out on when cycling through Intramuros. Aside from the stone structures, you can also check out the Rizal Shrine museum. Jose Rizal, the country’s National Hero, was imprisoned here before he was executed in 1896.

Manila Cathedral

A fun fact about Manila Cathedral (aside from its where the seat of the Archbishop is located), the structure we see now is not the original. According to historians, the first Manila Cathedral was built out of nipa huts and bamboo before it was burned down. The Manila Cathedral that we see now was constructed in the 1950s.

Barbara’s Restaurant

If you’re feeling hungry after all that cycling through Intramuros, you can end your tour at Barbara’s Restaurant. The restaurant sports an old charming setting that looks like you’ve stepped back in a time machine. It has a cozy feel where it seems like you’re in a traditional Filipino house with its crystal chandeliers and wooden furniture. A must-try in the restaurant is their Chicken Adobo, Seafood Pasta, and Salad.

Who Should Try It

First-timers will love going around the Walled City on bikes. Aside from its uniqueness, it’s also fun! History buffs, families, couples, photographers, and anybody who would like to learn more about Manila’s culture and take fun historic photos are perfect for this Bambike tour.

Useful Tips

  • Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. It may not seem like it, but cycling can be tiring.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, or sunglasses. Most of the route is unshaded, so beware of the sun!
  • Bring your reusable water bottle. In line with the Bambike’s sustainable actions, help them out by not buying plastic bottles.