Manila is such a wondrous place! There are so many things to see in the place, so little time. However, if you have spare time, it is best to join a walking tour in Manila. Of course, there are pros and cons to participating in a guided tour, but the pros surely outweigh the cons. Learning alone is priceless. And you cannot put a price tag on experience.
Pros and cons of joining Manila walking tours
Pro #1: Walking tours provide a free history lesson.
Whether paid or free, these walking tours will take you to some of the most historic places in Manila, such as Intramuros, the old walled city. It was built during the Spanish domination in the Philippines, so the area has a Spanish architectural feel. This heritage site gives a glimpse of the old Manila glamor—from the cobblestone-lined streets to old buildings—and the stark contrast to modern Manila.
Inside Intramuros, one will find the San Agustin Church. It is Manila’s oldest church. Beside it is a museum that holds important artifacts about the city, telling a rich history of the place.
All in all, these tours offer intellectually stimulating historical appreciation of these sites and stories.
Pro #2: Walking tours allow you to appreciate familiar places anew.
Manila walking tours are very distinct. One of the popular routes is the Chinatown food crawl. These tours will take participants to Binondo and beyond, learning how instrumental the place is in advancing trade and commerce in the country. Specialty tours, like tracing Anthony Bourdain’s gastronomic journey in the country, are provided by tour companies at very affordable rates.
Aside from walking tours, bamboo bike tours take visitors to some of the less visited areas of Intramuros. Bambike tours are available all day and at night. Night tours and Manila sightseeing tours are available as well. If you are in for the challenge, some tourism organizations and companies offer mystery games that compel participants to explore famous tourist attractions in Manila to obtain clues and solve the mystery.
Pro #3: Walking tours allow you to learn more about the city’s character.
Manila walking tours aim to highlight what makes Manila unique. Apart from the places, these are the people, cuisines, stories, and more that makes Manila stand out. This is also why these tours are integral to a visit to historical, religious, and cultural sites. Other places visited include museums, business districts, and community markets where participants may immerse themselves in the experience.
As such, these tours are more than just regular walkthroughs—they will show you what makes Manila Manila. Such refreshing perspectives about the place will give you the kind of experience that you will not find elsewhere.
Pro #4: Walking tours are conducted by professional tour operators and guides.
It only means you learn from the individuals well-positioned to conduct these tours. Tour guides love to explore the city and share what they already know and newly discovered with participants.
Moreover, they do everything they can to share the most up-to-date and accurate information with the tour participants. They research, search, and filter information so that they can provide tourists with the most insightful versions of the stories or narratives. Additionally, they invest their precious spare time in knowing more about the city. Thus, the new information you will hear from them is not necessarily found in history books, guidebooks, or travel blogs.
Pro #5: Walking tours give the person’s money’s worth.
Again, while there are free walking tours, the majority of the tours cost hundreds to thousands of pesos. However, if you participate in one of these walking tours, you will definitely get what you paid for. There is nothing more empowering than undergoing an enlightening experience. These well-guided Manila walking tours will make you understand the city more in-depth and perhaps drive you to learn more by integrating yourself into various community-based activities.
Con: Walking tours are 100% positive, so there are no real cons to joining one.
Some tourists complain about the slums, traffic, noise, and heat. However, these are fragments of Manila that make the place unique.
As a matter of fact, these walking tours in Manila are borne out of love. Being a tour guide in the Philippines is not necessarily the most lucrative of careers. However, such a sense of passion for instilling a love for Manila and the country runs deep among these tour guides. So do not ever think that these walking tours are mundane for this very reason—tour guides make each walking tour educational and entertaining at the same time.
Indeed, there is always something to learn about the place, its people, and its historied past with its visible remnants. And Manila is no exception. So do not miss out on these experiences whether you are born and bred in Manila or came to visit and explore.