Summer is here and it’s time to start planning those weekend getaways and day trips. But with limited budgets and time, it can be challenging to find affordable places to visit within Metro Manila. Fortunately, there are plenty of budget-friendly destinations that offer exciting experiences without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 15 budget-friendly places to visit in Metro Manila this summer 2023. From historical landmarks to nature parks, there’s something for everyone. So grab your friends and family, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the best of what Metro Manila has to offer.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, these destinations are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without spending a fortune. So why wait? Start planning your next adventure and discover the hidden gems of Metro Manila this summer!
Intramuros, also known as the Walled City, is a historic district located in the heart of Manila. It is a popular tourist destination that offers a glimpse into the country’s colonial past. The district is surrounded by walls and fortifications that were built during the Spanish colonial period.
One of the most popular attractions in Intramuros is the Fort Santiago, a military fortress that served as a prison during the Spanish colonial period. Visitors can explore the fort’s dungeons, barracks, and other structures that have been preserved over the years. Another must-see attraction is the San Agustin Church, which is one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines. The church features intricate carvings, stained glass windows, and other ornate decorations.
Aside from historical landmarks, Intramuros also offers a variety of cultural experiences. Visitors can take a calesa ride, a traditional horse-drawn carriage, around the district and explore its narrow streets and alleys. There are also several museums in the area that showcase the country’s art, culture, and history.
Foodies will also enjoy Intramuros’ culinary offerings. The district is home to several restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Filipino cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes include adobo, sinigang, and lechon.
If you’re looking for a unique and educational experience, a visit to Intramuros should definitely be on your list of things to do in Manila.
2. Rizal Park
Rizal Park, also known as Luneta Park, is a historical park located in the heart of Manila. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and is a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn more about the country’s history and culture. The park is named after the national hero, Jose Rizal, who was executed at the site in 1896.
The park covers an area of 58 hectares and is home to several landmarks and monuments, including the Rizal Monument, which is a 46-meter tall granite sculpture of Jose Rizal. The monument is surrounded by a beautiful garden and a fountain that adds to the park’s peaceful ambiance.
Aside from the Rizal Monument, the park also has other attractions, such as the National Museum of the Philippines, which houses a vast collection of art and historical artifacts, and the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, which are perfect for a relaxing stroll. The park also features a musical dancing fountain that showcases a spectacular water and light show every night.
Overall, Rizal Park is a great place to visit for anyone who wants to learn more about the country’s history and culture. It’s also a perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring the city. Best of all, it’s free to enter, making it an excellent budget-friendly destination for travelers.
3. National Museum of the Philippines
Located in the heart of Manila, the National Museum of the Philippines is a must-visit destination for art lovers and history buffs. This museum is home to a vast collection of Philippine art, culture, and history, with exhibits ranging from pre-colonial times to contemporary art.
Visitors can explore the galleries and see the works of some of the most renowned Filipino artists, including Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, and Carlos “Botong” Francisco. The museum also has a collection of ethnographic artifacts, including textiles, pottery, and jewelry, that showcase the diverse cultures of the Philippines.
The National Museum of the Philippines is also home to the Spoliarium, a painting by Juan Luna that depicts the aftermath of gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome. This masterpiece is considered one of the most important works of art in the Philippines and is a must-see for anyone visiting the museum.
Admission to the National Museum of the Philippines is free, making it an excellent budget-friendly destination for tourists. However, visitors are required to follow strict guidelines, such as wearing appropriate attire and not taking photos in certain areas of the museum.
Overall, the National Museum of the Philippines is an excellent destination for those interested in Philippine art, culture, and history. With its vast collection of exhibits, including the iconic Spoliarium, this museum is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Manila.
4. Manila Ocean Park
Manila Ocean Park is a marine-themed park and an integrated resort destination that offers an array of exciting attractions, dining, and lifestyle options. It is a perfect destination for families, couples, and friends who want to experience marine life exhibits and enjoy the view of the bay.
The park has several attractions, including the Oceanarium, which is the main attraction and features a 25-meter underwater tunnel where visitors can see different marine creatures up close. The park also has a Sea Lion Show, where visitors can watch sea lions perform tricks and stunts. Another attraction is the Sharks and Rays Encounter, where visitors can touch and feed different species of sharks and rays.
For those who want to try something more adventurous, the park has a Mermaid Swim Experience, where visitors can swim with mermaids and learn how to swim like one. The park also has a Glass Bottom Boat Ride, where visitors can see the marine life from the safety of a boat with a glass bottom.
The park also offers dining options, including Makan Makan Asian Food Village, which offers a variety of Asian dishes, and Liquid Pool Lounge, which offers cocktails and light snacks. Visitors can also shop for souvenirs at the park’s gift shop.
Manila Ocean Park is located at Quirino Grandstand, Ermita, Manila, and is open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays and from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM from Monday to Friday. Admission fees vary depending on the attractions and packages chosen, but there are budget-friendly options available.
5. Quiapo Church
Quiapo Church, also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is a popular religious landmark in Manila. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ, which many devotees believe to be miraculous. The church is of baroque style and features intricate designs and architecture.
Aside from attending mass, visitors can also explore the shops surrounding the church, where they can find various religious items, souvenirs, and local delicacies. Quiapo Church is also a great spot for people-watching, as it attracts a diverse crowd of locals and tourists alike.
For those who want to experience the full devotion and culture of the Black Nazarene, they can join the annual Traslacion, a grand procession held every January 9th. Millions of devotees flock to Quiapo Church to participate in this religious event, where they carry the image of the Black Nazarene and chant prayers and hymns.
6. Divisoria Market
Divisoria Market is a paradise for bargain hunters and shopaholics. It is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Manila, offering a wide range of affordable products such as clothes, accessories, toys, gadgets, and home decor. The market is always bustling with activity, and you can find almost anything you need here.
Divisoria Market is located in the heart of Manila, and it is easily accessible by public transportation. The market is open from early morning until late at night, so you can shop at any time that suits you. However, it is best to visit the market during weekdays to avoid the crowds.
If you are looking for souvenirs to bring back home, Divisoria Market is the perfect place to shop. You can find a variety of unique and affordable items that will remind you of your trip to Manila. Just be prepared to haggle with the vendors to get the best deals.
|Wide range of affordable products
|Crowded during weekends and holidays
|Easily accessible by public transportation
|Can be overwhelming for first-time visitors
|Perfect place to buy souvenirs
|Some vendors may sell fake or low-quality products
Overall, Divisoria Market is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves shopping and wants to experience the local culture of Manila. Just be prepared to navigate through the crowds and bargain with the vendors to get the best deals.
7. Binondo Chinatown
Binondo is known as the oldest Chinatown in the world and is a must-visit destination when in Metro Manila. It is a bustling place that offers lots of shops, most notably places to eat that offer really delicious Chinese and Filipino fares. It is also a historical landmark and structure in the area, and it was the first business district of the Philippines. Here are some budget-friendly things to do in Binondo:
- Visit the historic Binondo Church and Plaza San Lorenzo Shrine. Binondo Church is also known as the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, named after the Filipino martyr, Saint Lorenzo Ruiz.
- Explore the streets and alleys of Binondo and discover its rich culture and history. You can find traditional Chinese medicine shops, herbal stores, and other unique shops that offer various products and services.
- Indulge in Binondo’s street food scene. The area is known for its delicious Chinese and Filipino food, and you can find various food stalls and restaurants that offer affordable and tasty dishes. Don’t forget to try the famous hopia, siopao, and pancit canton.
- Shop for souvenirs and other items at the popular 168 Shopping Mall. It is a bargain hunter’s paradise, and you can find various items such as clothes, bags, shoes, and other accessories at affordable prices.
- Visit the Lucky Chinatown Mall, a modern shopping mall that offers a wide range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. It is a great place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring Binondo.
Binondo is a vibrant and exciting destination in Metro Manila that offers a unique blend of Chinese and Filipino culture and history. It is a budget-friendly destination that offers various activities and experiences that are perfect for travelers who want to explore Manila without breaking the bank.
8. Makati Central Business District
Makati is the central business district of Metro Manila and is known for its upscale shopping malls, high-end restaurants, and luxurious hotels. However, there are also budget-friendly options for travelers who want to experience the city without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to explore Makati is by walking around its streets and discovering its hidden gems. You can start your tour at Ayala Triangle Gardens, a park that features lush greenery and a variety of restaurants and cafes. From there, you can walk to the nearby Ayala Museum, which showcases the rich history and culture of the Philippines.
If you’re looking for affordable shopping options, head to the Greenbelt malls, which offer a mix of international and local brands. For a taste of local cuisine, visit the Salcedo Saturday Market, where you can find a wide variety of street food and fresh produce.
For a glimpse of the city’s nightlife, head to Poblacion, a neighborhood that’s known for its bars and clubs. You can also visit the rooftop bars in the area, which offer stunning views of the city skyline.
Overall, Makati offers a mix of high-end and budget-friendly options for travelers. With its vibrant culture and bustling streets, it’s definitely worth a visit when exploring Metro Manila.
9. Bonifacio Global City
Bonifacio Global City, also known as BGC, is a modern and bustling business district in Taguig City that offers a wide range of activities for tourists and locals alike. It is a perfect place to visit for those who love shopping, dining, and nightlife. Here are some budget-friendly things to do in BGC:
- Visit Bonifacio High Street: This open-air shopping and dining district is a must-visit in BGC. You can stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets and window-shop or dine at any of the numerous restaurants and cafes. There are also street performers and art installations that add to the vibrant atmosphere.
- Relax at Uptown Bonifacio: Uptown Bonifacio is a new development that boasts a beautiful park and a stunning view of the city skyline. You can enjoy a picnic, take a leisurely walk, or simply sit and admire the view.
- Explore The Mind Museum: The Mind Museum is an interactive science museum that is perfect for families and science enthusiasts. It features exhibits that showcase the wonders of science and technology in a fun and engaging way. Admission fees are reasonable, and there are also discounts available for students and senior citizens.
- Take a Food Trip: BGC is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide variety of restaurants and food stalls that cater to different tastes and budgets. You can sample local street food, try out international cuisine, or indulge in fancy dining without breaking the bank.
- Join a Free Walking Tour: BGC offers free walking tours that showcase the history and culture of the area. You can learn about the heritage buildings, street art, and public sculptures that make BGC unique.
Bonifacio Global City is a vibrant and exciting destination that offers something for everyone. With these budget-friendly activities, you can enjoy all that BGC has to offer without spending too much.
10. Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens is a beautiful oasis located in the heart of Makati. This 2.9-hectare park is a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll or a picnic with family and friends. The park is surrounded by high-rise buildings, but it still manages to maintain a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
The park is home to a variety of trees, plants, and flowers, making it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is also a popular spot for joggers and fitness enthusiasts. There are several jogging paths and exercise stations scattered throughout the park.
Ayala Triangle Gardens is also a cultural hub, hosting various events throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Festival of Lights, where the park is transformed into a magical wonderland of lights and music during the Christmas season.
Visitors can also find several restaurants and cafes around the park, making it a great spot for a quick bite or a leisurely meal. Some of the popular dining options include Wildflour Cafe + Bakery, Museum Cafe, and The Wholesome Table.
Overall, Ayala Triangle Gardens is a must-visit destination in Metro Manila, offering a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, cultural events, and a variety of dining options.
11. Greenbelt Mall
If you’re looking for a shopping and dining experience that’s both upscale and budget-friendly, Greenbelt Mall is the perfect destination for you. Located in the heart of Makati, this mall boasts a beautiful and spacious outdoor area that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing afternoon with friends.
Greenbelt Mall is divided into five sections, each offering a unique shopping and dining experience. From high-end fashion brands to local boutiques, you’ll find everything you need here. And if you’re a foodie, you’ll love the variety of dining options available, from fast food to fine dining.
But what sets Greenbelt Mall apart from other malls is its Al Fresco dining area. With plenty of outdoor seating, you can enjoy your meal while taking in the beautiful scenery and people-watching. And if you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of coffee shops scattered throughout the mall.
Overall, Greenbelt Mall is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique shopping and dining experience that won’t break the bank. With its beautiful outdoor area, variety of shops and restaurants, and budget-friendly prices, you’re sure to have a great time here.
12. SM Mall of Asia
The SM Mall of Asia is one of the largest shopping malls in the Philippines and is a must-visit destination for any shopaholic. With over 600 stores and restaurants, you will surely find something that suits your taste and budget. The mall is also home to a wide range of entertainment options, including an IMAX theater, an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, and an indoor amusement park.
If you’re looking for a place to relax, the mall has a vast open-air area facing Manila Bay, where you can enjoy the scenic view and take a stroll. The mall also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibits, and festivals.
For those who love to eat, SM Mall of Asia has a food court with a wide selection of local and international cuisine. You can also find several fine dining restaurants and cafes scattered throughout the mall.
Aside from shopping and dining, SM Mall of Asia is also a great place to take memorable photos. The mall has several Instagram-worthy spots, including the giant Ferris wheel, the globe-shaped dome, and the iconic sunset view by the bay.
13. Quezon Memorial Circle
Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park located in Quezon City, Metro Manila. It is a perfect place to visit with family and friends, especially during the summer season. The park features a large circular park, a museum, and a mausoleum dedicated to the late Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon.
One of the main attractions of Quezon Memorial Circle is the Circle of Fun, an amusement park with various rides and attractions suitable for children and adults alike. The park also has a bike rental service, making it easy to explore the vast area on two wheels.
Aside from the Circle of Fun, visitors can also enjoy the park’s various recreational facilities such as basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a skating rink. There are also plenty of food stalls and restaurants within the park, offering a variety of local and international cuisines.
For those interested in Philippine history, the Quezon Memorial Museum is a must-visit attraction. The museum showcases the life and accomplishments of President Quezon, as well as the history and culture of the Philippines.
Overall, Quezon Memorial Circle is a budget-friendly destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. It is a great place to spend a day or two with family and friends, enjoying the beauty and culture of the Philippines.
There you have it, budget travelers! 15 budget-friendly places to visit in Metro Manila this summer 2023. Manila is a city that never runs out of fun and exciting things to offer. From historical sites, cultural landmarks, to delicious local cuisine, you will never run out of things to do and places to visit.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly adventure, you can start with Intramuros, Rizal Park, and Manila Baywalk. These places will give you a glimpse of Manila’s rich history and culture, all while enjoying the scenic views of the city.
For those who want to experience the local cuisine, you can try the street food in Binondo or the food parks in Kapitolyo and Maginhawa. These places offer a wide variety of local and international dishes that won’t break the bank.
If you’re into art and culture, you can visit the National Museum, Ayala Museum, or the Cultural Center of the Philippines. These places showcase the country’s rich heritage and contemporary art scene.
Lastly, if you want to relax and unwind, you can head to the beaches in Batangas, Zambales, Quezon, Laguna, and Puerto Galera. These places offer a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
With this list, you can now plan your budget-friendly summer adventure in Metro Manila. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors of this vibrant city without breaking the bank.