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Fort Santiago
Vacation Travel Guide

What was once Manila’s most important defensive structure is now a park and memorial to national hero Jose Rizal.

Learn about Manila’s military past and key moments in the country’s history inside the 16th-century Fort Santiago. This ancient defensive structure was built over the fort of the last pre-Hispanic chieftain of Manila. From its raised position at the mouth of the Pasig River, Fort Santiago could watch over the activity on Manila Bay.

The vast citadel has served a number of uses over the years including being a military base and prison. The darkest period of its history was during World War II when the Japanese Imperial Army captured the fort and tortured and executed prisoners in its dungeons.

Plan to spend at least a couple of hours touring the fort’s grounds, architecture, museum, dungeons and tunnels. Pause by the reconstructed main gate that was nearly destroyed during the closing stages of World War II. Examine the carved wooden relief of St. James the Great on horseback above the gate. He is the patron saint of Spain and the fort was named in his honor.

Go to the Rizal Shrine. It’s dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. He was an advocate for Philippine’s independence from Spain and was imprisoned here during the last two months of his life.

Study some of the relics from his life including artworks, books, manuscripts and clothing. See a glass urn containing one of his bones with a bullet still embedded. Look at the small prison cell where he was kept for several weeks before his execution by firing squad, then sit in a replica of the cramped cell. Footsteps on the ground retrace the steps Rizal took to his place of execution in what is now Rizal Park.

Walk among the tropical trees in the park surrounding the fort.

Fort Santiago is located in the walled city of Intramuros and is easily accessible by taxi, bus and jeepney. Alterntively, catch the light rail to the United Nations Station. The walls of Intramuros are a 20-minute walk away.

The fortified complex is open daily. There’s a fee for admission.

Top Hotels Close to Fort Santiago

Manila Lotus Hotel
Manila Lotus Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1277 A Mabini cor Padre Faura, Manila
The price is $41 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5

Located in Ermita, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Robinson's Place, Manila Bay, and Rizal Park. U.S. Embassy and Manila Doctors Hospital are also within ...

3.9/5Very Good! (186 reviews)

"Over all the place was beyond my expectation and the staff are awesome"…"

Reviewed on Feb 22, 2021

Manila Lotus Hotel
White Knight Hotel Intramuros
White Knight Hotel Intramuros
3 out of 5
Plaza San Luis Complex General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, Manila
The price is $40 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4

Located in Intramuros, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral. Rizal Park and SM City Manila are also within 15 minutes. ...

3.8/5Good! (287 reviews)
Oh dear what a shame.....

"Extremely disappointing. Stayed for 3 nights with family. My wife and i were in an executive room. Executive it was not. Unable to use shower for the whole 3 days as it spat out no more than a few drips. Reported but made no difference. Reported a bulb gone at start but it never got changed. Annoying ..."…"

Reviewed on Feb 15, 2020

White Knight Hotel Intramuros
The Bayleaf Intramuros
The Bayleaf Intramuros
3.5 out of 5
Muralla Corner Victoria Streets, Intramuros, Manila, Manila
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Located in Intramuros, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manila City Hall, SM City Manila, and San Agustin Church. Rizal Park and Manila Cathedral ...

4.3/5Excellent! (739 reviews)

"Their tapsilog is soooo good! I stayed here for my mandatory quarantine while waiting for my swab test results. It wasn’t bad at all! I got a nice view too!"…"

Reviewed on Jul 5, 2020

The Bayleaf Intramuros
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Fort Santiago

Manila Lotus Hotel
Manila Lotus Hotel
3.5 out of 5
1277 A Mabini cor Padre Faura, Manila
The price is $41 per night from Mar 4 to Mar 5
Manila Lotus Hotel
White Knight Hotel Intramuros
White Knight Hotel Intramuros
3 out of 5
Plaza San Luis Complex General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, Manila
The price is $40 per night from Mar 3 to Mar 4
White Knight Hotel Intramuros
The Bayleaf Intramuros
The Bayleaf Intramuros
3.5 out of 5
Muralla Corner Victoria Streets, Intramuros, Manila, Manila
The Bayleaf Intramuros
The Manila Hotel
The Manila Hotel
5 out of 5
One Rizal Park, Manila
The price is $156 per night from Apr 1 to Apr 2
The Manila Hotel
City Garden Suites Manila
City Garden Suites Manila
3 out of 5
1158 A. Mabini St. Ermita, Manila, Manila
The price is $33 per night from Mar 29 to Mar 30
City Garden Suites Manila
Red Planet Manila Bay
Red Planet Manila Bay
3 out of 5
Arquiza St. cor Alhambra St., Ermita, Manila
The price is $33 per night from Mar 30 to Mar 31
Red Planet Manila Bay
Bahay ng Lahat
Bahay ng Lahat
2 out of 5
Roberto S. Oca St. Port Area, 650 Zone 68, Manila
Bahay ng Lahat
Red Planet Manila Binondo
Red Planet Manila Binondo
3 out of 5
251-61 Juan Luna St., Binondo, Manila
The price is $27 per night from Mar 30 to Mar 31
Red Planet Manila Binondo
Ramada by Wyndham Manila Central
Ramada by Wyndham Manila Central
4 out of 5
Ongpin cor. Quintin Paredes Streets, Manila, Manila
The price is $77 per night from Mar 18 to Mar 19
Ramada by Wyndham Manila Central
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.