Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago
4
About
This museum and public park was built as a stone fortress at the turn of the 17th century and marked the beginning of the walled city's riverside barricades.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • YuppieLionheart
    Philippines490 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational place to visit!
    A historical landmark in Manila located inside Intramuros. Fort Santiago is an open area so it is important that you bring your umbrella. If ever you get hungry while roaming around there are various cafes inside wherein you can grab some food and drinks. If you reach the back end of the fort, you'll see the beautiful view of Pasig River and the Binondo-Intramuros bridge. The entrance fee is cheap.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 19, 2023
  • Ryan
    19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful historical landmark in Manila
    This is my second time visiting this historical landmark. I really like how it looks today and the place is well maintained, lively and beautiful. There are souvenir shops and foods also. A must see when you visit Manila.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 23, 2023
  • roaming_kiwi58
    Christchurch, New Zealand2,817 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see part of historical Manila
    Fort Santiago was built in 1571 by the Spanish as a citadel for Manila. It was badly damaged during World War II. Since 1953 it has been reconstructed, and ongoing work continues. It is within the old historical part of Manila known as the Intramuros. There is a lot of interest within the fort, both historically, and shops selling all sorts of food and souvenirs. There is an entry charge. When we visited it was 75 pesos for adults, but as seniors (even not locals) we got in for 50 pesos each. A must see when in Manila, as part of visiting Intramuros.
    Visited March 2023
    Written July 1, 2023
  • Aussie Travel
    Geelong, Australia230 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting local history
    Was tricky to get to and a long way from Makati but once there I enjoyed walking the grounds and the museum was interesting. There’s no doubt the Filipinos adore Jose Rizal as can be seen by the artwork etc I found the vertebrae in a cabinet disturbing it was definitely sad the way he died. I learned something historical so that’s a bonus
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 27, 2023
  • tigger_W
    Ipoh, Malaysia272 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical place in Manila!
    Historical place at manila. have to buy ticket at the entrance. There are lots of tour guide asking for city tour. Unsure if they are the licensed tour guide The fort is not not really that big. Maybe spending 1 hour is enough. However there are many other tourist spots around that area.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 3, 2023
  • Dan L
    Bunbury, Australia8,077 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of Manila's oldest fortifications.
    The fort dates to 1571, built by Spanish governor Miguel López de Legazpi as a defensive citadel against the Muslim forces that had been defeated. Destroyed in 1574 in an attack by the Chinese and their pirate leader, Limahong, a more substantial structure was required resulting in the construction of the present fort between 1589 and 1592. It was destroyed during WW11 and restored from 1950 onwards after being declared a Shrine of Freedom. Imposing main gate and bastions and a historic landmark.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 19, 2023
  • Nick K
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must See
    Easy enough to walk through and see by yourself. I chose not to get a guide. The visitor center inside the main gate was able to provide a map and that was enough for me. Easily spent 2-3 hours walking around, could be done quicker. Definitely a must see for any time spent in Manila
    Visited January 2024
    Written January 6, 2024
  • Jason S
    Melbourne, Australia2,054 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice fort to see and explore
    Fort itself is more of a ruin that an active fort, worth a look around and only 75 peso entry. Some areas are ok to see and you can get a good feel how fort would have worked, surrounding walls in good shape and good to see. Dungeon area very well preserved and explained with the horrors that occurred in there, also on day I visited lots of school groups so good that local students explore history of country. In all good to see and do, you can visit in under an hour.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written January 21, 2024
  • Spotty-Leopard
    Singapore, Singapore167 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fort Santiago - poignant place
    There is an entrance fee of Peso 75 per adult. The toilets are clean. One interesting practise is to discard used toilet paper into the dustbin and not into the toilet bowl to prevent clogging the sewage system. There is a dungeon which you can explore to experience the amazing underground cavity space. The park also housed some unexploded cannons.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 17, 2024
  • youbel1970
    Brussels, Belgium1,657 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great History to learn about the city
    Was a very nice day and walk to get there. Not too warm and nice to visit in the morning. Take 2 good hours and take time to read each info in English. Hard history to know and love the gardens that are so pretty.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written March 8, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles2,128 reviews
Excellent
704
Very good
965
Average
384
Poor
62
Terrible
13

Luz C
Houston, TX86 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Markers document the historical landmarks; it is well lit and safe, with free entertainment at different spots.
Fort Santiago, the main fortress of Intramuros established by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi on the site of the former wooden fort of Rajah Soliman in 1572, was burned during the siege of the Chinese Pirate Lin Fen (Limahong) in 1574. It was reconstructed with local tuff (adobe) from 1590 - 1593. It was the citadel of the armies of four foreign powers: Spain 🇪🇸 from 1571 to 1898; Great Britain 🇬🇧 from 1762 through 1764 during the Seven Year War; United States 🇺🇸 from 1898 to 1946; and the Empire of Japan 🇯🇵 from 1942 through 1945 during the Second World War. It was declared a National Shrine and a National Monument in 1951 and as a National Cultural Treasure in 2014.
The marker, Last Walk to Martyrdom Trail, a centennial freedom trail characterized by the shoe prints of Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, memorializes the path he took to Bagumbayan from his cell in Fort Santiago in the early hours of December 30, 1896. It symbolizes the birth of the Filipino nation. The marker was unveiled on December 27, 1996 during the incumbency of His Excellency President Fidel V. Ramos.
Another point of interest for me was the Postigo de la Nuestra Señora de Soledad, a postern used as access from Fort Santiago to the Pasig River, from whence Lieutenant General Simon de Anda, leader of the Spanish Resistance against the British Occupation of Manila from 1762 through 1768 during the Seven Year War after a siege of Intramuros by the British Army.
A white stone cross marks the final resting place of approximately 600 Filipinos and Americans who were victims of atrocities including starvation and possibly suffocation by the Japanese Imperial Forces, during the last days of February 1945, who were found inside a nearby dungeon which had inner doors of massive iron bars and outer doors of iron plates on wood.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

teky929rr
Old Bridge, NJ228 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
This was a very nice experience, you get to visit the fort Santiago and it’s gated. So no pan handlers or horse rides bothering you. It’s a very quiet and private experience which I loved. You get to see a unique history of Manila. You have great views of the rice and the city do not miss taking photos here I was very impressed how well the ground was taken care of. I would highly recommend bring water cause it’s hot!
Written November 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen T
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Really interesting. Well worth having the official guide show you around. He made it really come alive. There's a table inside the Fort where he is sitting and one price covers the whole group.
Written April 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roaming_kiwi58
Christchurch, New Zealand2,817 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Fort Santiago was built in 1571 by the Spanish as a citadel for Manila. It was badly damaged during World War II. Since 1953 it has been reconstructed, and ongoing work continues. It is within the old historical part of Manila known as the Intramuros.
There is a lot of interest within the fort, both historically, and shops selling all sorts of food and souvenirs.
There is an entry charge. When we visited it was 75 pesos for adults, but as seniors (even not locals) we got in for 50 pesos each.
A must see when in Manila, as part of visiting Intramuros.
Written July 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nico Samneil Sy Salado
Newport, VT1,898 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Place is well maintained. I could see that the 75 peso entrance is worth it. Their guards wesr the spanish time uniform of guardia sibil. Lights at night are awesome! A good place to roam when you are for history. The dungeon as what is hyped nowadays is not that amazing and you get to spend a few minutes due to the number of people visiting. Ugh.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KGB777
Singapore, Singapore41,405 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I still remember visiting Fort Santiago on one of my previous visits to Manila around 14 years ago, and it remains just as impressive today. Very clean and well maintained, although clearly many of the buildings are in ruins. A fascinating way to experience the colonial era by visiting here.
Written June 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hana
Nantes, France45 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Well basically it's a fort that seems to have been renovated by just pouring concrete and not trying at all to make it look 'old' as it is. Its like you have a beautiful mural on your window and it breaks and then you just put a regular window. Like, just make it like it used to look like before! It's definitely one of the (only) places to see in Manila for tourists so its a must see. Beware of children beggars! I was clutching my purse like there is no tomorrow.. I haven't really felt unsafe but just really annoyed by the beggars. I'll probably never go there again and I'll just read about the history on the internet because it is quite interesting actually.
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan L
Bunbury, Australia8,077 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The fort dates to 1571, built by Spanish governor Miguel López de Legazpi as a defensive citadel against the Muslim forces that had been defeated. Destroyed in 1574 in an attack by the Chinese and their pirate leader, Limahong, a more substantial structure was required resulting in the construction of the present fort between 1589 and 1592. It was destroyed during WW11 and restored from 1950 onwards after being declared a Shrine of Freedom. Imposing main gate and bastions and a historic landmark.
Written December 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ben F
Bloomington, IN1,797 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Fort Santiago is a paid attraction, but it (unfortunately) isn’t worth the money, especially for wheelchair users. Note that only cash or an online ticket is accepted.

The grounds of the fort are compact, and the views of the river at the end are neat. However, there wasn’t much room for interaction. I couldn’t go into any of the buildings with my wheelchair, and many paths had stairs. There was a small gift shop, but the restaurant was closed and seemed like it was closed for years—very neglected. It would’ve been awesome to be able to buy water in the heat of the day, but perhaps I should’ve checked the gift shop.

Moreover, I wish there were more signs explaining the meaning of the architecture. I could’ve taken a guided tour, but I tend to like doing things independently, especially after a long day sightseeing other places. I sort of drove around, snapping pictures of things, without comprehending what they actually were or why they were there.
Written March 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aaqarsh Aiyyar
Chennai (Madras), India2,432 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
I loved the visit to this fort that is soaked in rich history. I enjoyed the inspirational Rizal shine, dungeons and the media naranja with the view of pasig river. The entrance fee was 75 pesos. The information centre was helpful. You may not find any vegetarian food inside the fort. This is a must-visit in Manila.
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Fort Santiago - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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