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40 Things To Do In Metro Manila For An Unforgettable Trip In The Philippines

Metro Manila attractions

Metro Manila is the Philippines’ metropolitan area with 1 municipality and 16 cities, including the capital city of Manila. But while it’s only a small speck on our country’s map, it has so much to offer, being a melting pot of cultures.

So if you don’t have time to visit the rest of the country, here are things to do in Metro Manila that’ll ensure an unforgettable vacation.

Table of Contents

– Attractions –

1. Time-travel at the walled city of Intramuros

Metro Manila - Intramuros Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago in Intramuros.
Image credit: Clence Matthew Santos Villanueva via Google Maps

Intramuros in Manila is a historic walled city built around 1576 by Spanish colonizers. Over the years, it has retained several of its cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, from mansions to fortresses.

Some of the most popular spots in the walled city are Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego, remains of a fortress and a bastion. You can also learn about Philippine colonial history at several museums in the area such as Museo de Intramuros and Balay Tsinoy which tells of Chinese-Filipino history.

Intramuros kalesa bambike-min
Kalesa and bambike.
Image adapted from: @filipinaexpat via Instagram, @bambryan via Instagram

Tour the area on a kalesa or a horse-drawn carriage (from 350, ~USD6.32). Or rent a Bambike, a bike made with bamboo (from P100, ~USD1.81).

If you’re into spooky stuff, you can also join Intramuros After Dark, a nighttime walking tour where you’ll learn not only the history but also urban legends surrounding Old Metro Manila.

Admission fee: Entrance to Intramuros is free; admission to some of its attractions range from P75-P200 (~USD1.35~USD3.61)
Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Intramuros is open 24 hours; attractions have different hours
Contact: website

2. Watch a dancing fountain at Okada Manila

Metro Manila - Okada Manila The Fountain
The Fountain at Okada Manila.
Image credit: @okadamanila via Instagram

For a fun evening event, check out The Fountain at Okada Manila. It’s a dancing fountain that happens hourly every night starting at 6PM and lasts for about 5 minutes.

The Fountain spans 50 Olympic-size pools and shoots water higher than the hotel and casino.

Okada Manila Luxury brands
Shop luxury brands.
Image credit: @okadamanila via Instagram

Entry is free but you can opt to watch the show from the Fountain Lounge for P1,000 (~USD18.07) per head and indulge in cocktails. If you arrive too early before the next show, you can shop luxury brands inside the hotel and casino.

You can catch free shuttle buses to and from Okada Manila at several locations in the metro including SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, and Binondo. Non-members can get a ride for free but they prioritize their members during boarding.

Admission fee: Free
Address: New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, Parañaque, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Thu 6pm-10pm | Fri-Sun 6pm-12pm
(02) 8888 0777 | website

3. Go on museum dates around Rizal Park

Metro Manila - National Museum of Fine Arts
National Museum of Fine Arts.
Image credit: @ririperez9 via Instagram

If you’re the type of traveler who loves to learn about the countries you visit, you can go on museum dates in Rizal Park. There are 3 museums that boast a Neoclassical facade but each contain different genres of history.

The National Museum of Natural History is where you’ll see an archive of the Philippines’ rich biodiversity in one place. Its displays include real Megalodon teeth originally found in different places of the country.

National Museum of Natural History
Replica of a butanding or whale shark which can be found in Oslob, Cebu.
Image credit: trickytreck via Google Maps

For a crash course on the prehistoric period, go to the National Museum of Anthropology. It contains artifacts from our ancestors’ time, including fossils of a butchered rhinoceros which suggests the presence of humans in the Philippines over 700,000 years ago.

National Museum of Fine Arts Old Senate Session Hall
Old Senate Session Hall.
Image credit: Eizen Barleta via Google Maps

If you’re into art, make sure to visit the National Museum of Fine Arts. It features colonial-era paintings and statues, Filipino modernist art, and a colorful series of murals by National Artist Carlos Francisco at the Old Senate Session Hall.

Admission fee: Free
Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 9am-6pm | Closed Mondays and holidays
NM Natural History (02) 8298 1100 | NM Anthropology (02) 8298 1100 | NM Fine Arts (02) 8527 1215 | website 

4. Go art gallery-hopping in Makati

Metro Manila - Makati art galleries Vinyl on Vinyl
Vinyl on Vinyl.
Image adapted from: @reerustart via Instagram

Go art gallery-hopping to further immerse yourself in the Filipino art scene and see the works of contemporary artists.

Makati City has areas where you’ll find many art galleries. La Fuerza Plaza has galleries such as Vinyl on Vinyl and Finale Art File, while Karrivin Plaza has Artinformal, The Drawing Room, and 1335Mabini.

Kondwi Poblacion
Image credit: via Instagram

Of course, there are even more art galleries within the city outside of these spaces. To enjoy drinks and art at the same time, go to Kondwi, an art gallery-slash-bar in Poblacion.

La Fuerza Plaza
Address: 2241 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Vinyl on Vinyl’s website
Finale Art File’s website

Karrivin Plaza
Address 2316 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Artinformal’s website 
The Drawing Room’s website
1335Mabini’s website

Address: 6109 Albert, Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Thu 6pm-1am | Fri-Sat 6pm-3am (Closed on Sundays)
0945 557 2471 | Facebook

5. Ride a gondola at Venice Grand Canal Mall

Metro Manila - Venice Grand Canal Mall
Gondola at Venice Grand Canal Mall.
Image credit: David Kim via Google Maps

Venice Grand Canal Mall in Bonifacio Global City is an open-air, Venice-inspired mall with a man-made canal where you can ride gondolas (from P500/person, ~USD9.04) and pretend as if you’re in Italy.

The mall’s boatmen even wear outfits similar to Venetian boatmen to fit the vibes.

The bridge and the canal railings are also IG-worthy spots. You can even have a romantic dinner at one of their restaurants with a view of the canal.

Address: McKinley Hill Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Thu 11am-9pm | Fri 11am-11pm | Sat-Sun 9am-11pm
(02) 7624 1971 | website 

6. Be mindblown at The Mind Museum

Metro Manila - The Mind Museum
Take photos with the moon.
Image credit: @ms.katie_kath via Instagram

If you’re coming to the metro with kids, take them to The Mind Museum in Bonifacio Global City.

This science museum has more than 250 dioramas and interactive exhibits. It’s a fun way for kids to learn about everything from the atoms to the universe.

The Mind Museum
Life-size T-Rex skeleton replica.
Image credit: Tourism Philippines via Google Maps

Tickets start at P190 (~USD3.43) for teachers and public school students for a 3-hour time slot.

The Mind Museum also has a one-and-a-half-hour interactive exhibit, Playtales (from P150, ~USD2.71), where kids 2-6 years old can learn how to interact with other people and their environment.

Admission fee: From P190 (~USD3.43)
Address: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 9am-6pm  (Closed on Mondays)
(02) 7796 0189 | website

7. Explore different Filipino cultures and food at Food Wanderer x Lakbay Museo

Metro Manila - Food Wanderer x Lakbay Museo
Pose with replicas of Filipino food.
Image credit: Food Wanderer x Lakbay Museo via Google Maps

Learn about various Filipino cultures and food in just 2 hours at the fun and interactive Food Wanderer x Lakbay Museo.

Food Wanderer x Lakbay Museo Pahiyas
Pahiyas Festival-themed display.
Image credit: @ginnyviv via Instagram

It has colorful displays about Philippine ethnic groups, festivals, and attractions. There are even oversized figures of Filipino food such as adobo for your IG photos.

Besides displays, you also get to play Filipino games, cook Filipino delicacies, and try unique food – including worms and bugs.

Admission fee: From P699 (~USD12.63)
Address: 2nd Floor Filipino Village, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Parañaque, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
12pm-9pm, Daily
0915 009 1032 | website 

8. Take IG-worthy photos at The Dessert Museum

Metro Manila - The Dessert Museum
Kake-Pop Kourt.
Image credit: @dessertmuseum/@jaleongson via Instagram

If you just want colorful photos for Instagram, visit The Dessert Museum.

The museum’s 8 dessert-themed rooms make great photo spots inspired by sweets including marshmallows, cake pops, and doughnuts. You’ll even get 4 dessert samples as a sweet treat.

The Dessert Museum
Marshmallow- and doughnut-themed rooms.
Image credit: @kayermrz via Instagram, @kayrmrz via Instagram

Tickets to The Dessert Museum are priced from P699 (~USD12.63) but birthday celebrants can get in for free during their birth month if they bring 1 paying friend.

Admission fee: From P699 (~USD12.63)
G/F Conrad Hotel, Marina Way, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
10am-10pm, Daily
0966 210 6010 | website

9. Meet fish friends and more at Manila Ocean Park

Image credit: Manila Ocean Park

Dive into the underwater realm at Manila Ocean Park, where you’ll encounter an impressive 277 species of marine creatures, all native to the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

For P699 (~USD12.60), enjoy access to 8 attractions, including an oceanarium with a tunnel offering a spectacular view of sea creatures swimming overhead.

Beyond the fishes, you can engage with more animal families through activities such as penguin feeding, sea lion show, and bird show.

Hotel H2O
Hotel H20.

Image credit: Manila Ocean Park

You can even sleep close to fishes at the adjacent marine-themed resort, Hotel H20 (from P3,987/night, ~USD71.90) where each room features a mesmerizing aquarium.

Admission fee: P699 (~USD12.60)
Behind Quirino Grandstand, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
10am-6pm, Daily
0285677777 | website

10. Go on an art walk in BGC

BGC Mural Art - Breathe Better
“Breathe Better” mural.
Image credit: @artsatbgc via Instagram

BGC might seem like an imposing business district. But nestled amid its skyscrapers are murals created by local artists.

These vibrant murals can be as large as buildings or as small as control boxes and fire hydrants. The imagery ranges from the dwarf-like mythical creature nuno sa punso to the Star Wars droid R2-D2, adding a whimsical touch to the area.

BGC Mural Art Tabi Tabi Po
Nuno sa punso art on a control box.
Image credit: @artsatbgc via Instagram

Some of the murals you shouldn’t miss are “Atin Ang Bawat Sandali” along Kalayaan Flyover, “Breathe Better” near St. Lukes Medical Center, and “Dalagang Pilipina” at the Maybank Corporate Centre.

To find out the locations of these murals and stay updated on events such as art fairs and concerts, visit Arts At BGC’s Instagram page.

Address: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila

11. Admire local and international contemporary art at the MET Museum Manila

MET Manila
Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Manila

After a two-year hiatus, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, also known as the MET, has found its new home in BGC. This museum showcases contemporary art from both local and international artists.

Randalf Dilla Time Travel Exhibit
Time Tunnel exhibit by Randalf Dilla.
Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Manila

For a glimpse of what it has to offer, check out the museum’s website for its previous exhibits such as Time Tunnel, a reimagining of the histories of prominent Filipino artistic figures through painting. Another notable exhibit is Sounds of Blackness, featuring works by African artists using various mediums.

While entrance to the museum is free, you’ll need to book a reservation at least a day before your visit. As of writing, walk-ins are not allowed.

Address: MK Tan Centre, 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Fri 11am-5pm | Sat 10am-5pm (Closed on Sundays)
0917 160 9667 | website

12. Learn about wine-making at Destileria Limtuaco Museum

Destileria Limtuaco Museum
Image credit: HH TAN via Google Maps

Destileria Limtuaco Museum is a wine museum by the oldest distillery in the Philippines founded 1852.

Housed in this bahay na bato (stone house) in Intramuros is a small distillery that showcases the process and production of whiskeys. The space also features a collection of items and liquors dating back to the Spanish colonization.

Destileria Limtuaco Museum (2)
Image credit: @eunicemonton_ via Instagram

Regular admission costs P100 (~USD1.81), and an additional P100 (~USD1.81) allows you to sample their products. They offer a diverse range, including gin, vodka, rum, and whisky. Notably, they feature flavored blends and their interpretation of Vigan Basi, a sugarcane wine from the Northern Philippines.

If you find a favorite among their drinks, the museum also includes a gift shop where you can purchase bottles to enjoy at home.

Admission fee: P100 (~USD1.81)
482 San Juan de Letran Street, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 9am-5pm (Closed on Mondays)
(02) 485 9621| Facebook

13. Admire Escolta’s art deco buildings

El Hogar Filipino Building
El Hogar Filipino Building (left) and the National Archives of the Philippines (right).
Image credit: via Instagram

Go on a scenic photowalk in Escolta, a once-thriving colonial-era business district peppered with beaux-arts and art deco buildings.

Regina Building
Regina Building.

Image credit: @icamenpink via Instagram

Among the iconic historical structures is the Don Roman Santos Building, situated between Binondo Chinatown and the religious hub Quiapo. Along the Pasig River, you’ll encounter more of these architectural gems, including the Regina, Juan Luna, and El Hogar Filipino buildings.

Escolta offers more than just sightseeing, too. Within this historic street, you’ll find museums, art hubs, and cozy coffee shops waiting to be explored.

Address: Escolta Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila, Metro Manila

– Experiences –

14. Enjoy a cultural show at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant


One of the traditional dances performed at the restaurant.
Video credit: John KIM via YouTube

To experience a Filipino fiesta in the metro, dine at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant in Intramuros.

They hold a Kultura Filipina dinner show every day at 6pm featuring different traditional dances in the Philippines. Here, you can even try your hand – or foot – at tinikling, a traditional Filipino dance that involves skipping on bamboo poles.

Metro Manila experiences - Barbara's Heritage Restaurant
The restaurant is located in a Spanish Colonial structure.
Image credit: Martin Gabel via Google Maps

You can enjoy these performances as well as Filipino and Spanish fare in the restaurant’s Spanish colonial interiors. They even offer a dinner buffet (P1,500/person, ~USD27.10) on Fridays to Sundays.

Address: Plaza San Luis Complex, Heneral Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
9am-9pm, Daily
(02) 8527 4083 | website

15. Unleash your inner child at DreamPlay

Dreamplay Manila
Hiccup’s workshop from
How To Train Your Dragon.
Image credit: City of Dreams Manila

Dreamplay is an indoor theme park where kids and kids-at-heart can meet DreamWorks animated characters and join activities inspired by movies such as Shrek and How To Train Your Dragon.

If you’re going here, make sure to put on activewear as there are rock climbing and rope courses inside. But you can also opt not to join and simply take photos for the ‘gram.

Metro Manila experiences - DreamPlay
Kids can also learn Kung Fu from Kung Fu Panda characters.
Image credit: City of Dreams Manila

Tickets to Dreamplay cost P1,500 (~USD27.10) for participants and P350 (~USD6.32) for non-participants.

There’s also a DreamShop inside the attraction where you can buy Dreamworks movie-themed merchandise.

Admission fee: P1,500 (~USD27.10) for participants; P350 (~USD6.32) for non-participants
City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Wed-Sun 11am-8pm (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
(02) 8808 0909 | website 

16. Take a dip in a luxurious, indoor beach at Cove Manila

Metro Manila experiences - Cove Manila
Cove Manila.
Image credit: Okada Manila

No worries if you’re not able to visit our beautiful beaches. For a luxurious “beach” experience in the metro, go to Cove Manila. It’s an indoor beach inside a massive, airconditioned glass dome in Okada Manila.

Cove Manila
Image credit: Okada Manila

You can stay at the open pool area and relax at one of their loungers or couches. If you’re going with a big group or just want some privacy, get a private cabana with a TV and its own washroom.

The pool is open on Saturdays and Sundays. Rates start at P1,400 (~USD25.29) for 2 guests for a 3 1/2-hour timeslot, inclusive of snacks.

Pre-pandemic, the place turned into a nightclub in the evenings, which featured music by local and international DJs. However, Cove Manila has yet to relaunch its nightclub to the general public.

Admission fee: From P1,400 (~USD25.29) for 2pax
Okada Manila, New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, Parañaque, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 8am-7.30pm Sat-Sun | Closed Mon-Fri
0917 516 0082 | website

17. Shop leather goods in Marikina

Metro Manila experiences - Marikina shoe festival
A shop at the 2019 Marikina Shoe Festival.
Image credit: Marikina Shoe Festival via Facebook

Buying handmade items is a great way to support local artisans in the country you’re visiting. If you’re looking for high-quality yet affordable handmade shoes in Metro Manila, go to the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines”, Marikina City.

The city has plenty of stores that sell handmade shoes and other leather goods. Valentino Shoes and Carmelletes are just 2 of the established shoe brands in the city. Marikina also hosts a shoe festival in November and a shoe bazaar during Christmastime.

Cora & Bear and andante footwear
Cora & Bear and andanté sandals.
Image adapted from: @cora.andbear via Instagram, @andantefootwear via Instagram

But in case you don’t have time to scour Marikina, you can also find Marikina-made shoes online from local shoe brands such as andanté, Cora & Bear, and Renegade Folk.

Valentino Shoes
Address: 121 Malaya Street, Malanday, Marikina City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 9am-5pm | Sunday 1o.30AM-5PM
(02) 8942 0674 | Facebook

101 E. dela Paz Street, Marikina City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays_
(02) 8645 2256 | Facebook

18. Go bar-hopping at Poblacion, Makati

Metro Manila experiences - Poblacion
Image credit: Antidote via Facebook

Poblacion in Makati is peppered with so many bars and gastropubs that you’re sure to find a drinking spot that suits your vibe.

For a Filipino-themed gastropub, go to Alamat. It pays homage to Filipino heritage with wood and nipa (mangrove palm) interiors, Filipino food, and craft beer.

Futurist Poblacion
Image credit: Futur:st via Facebook

If you prefer a rooftop bar, Antidote has a splendid view of the city skyline. Meanwhile, for an LGBT+ safe space, art space, and dance club, check out Futur:st.

Make sure to visit Poblacion during the daytime too, as the neighborhood is also a hub for food and art.

Address: 2nd Floor, 5666 Don Pedro, Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Sun, Tue-Thu 6pm-2am| Fri-Sat 6pm-4am (Closed on Mondays)
0917 306 2024 | Facebook

Address: I’M Hotel, 7862 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 5pm-2am | Fri-Sat 6pm-3am
(02) 7755 7888 |  Facebook

Address: 5062 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Wed-Sat 7pm-2am (Closed Sundays to Tuesdays)
0917 528 1003 | website

19. Bike or hike at the La Mesa Nature Reserve

Metro Manila experiences - La Mesa Nature Reserve
Biking trail at the La Mesa Nature Reserve.
Image credit: @gofarph via Instagram

Metro Manila can seem like a complete concrete jungle. But if you’re an avid hiker who wants to experience nature in the metro, you can visit La Mesa Nature Reserve in Quezon City.

Since it’s a protected area, nature here is largely untouched. It’s mainly a destination for hikers and bikers, with trails ranging from 3km to 10km.

La Mesa Nature Reserve
A bike resting by the reservoir.
Image credit: @padyak.placido via Instagram

La Mesa Nature Reserve also offers a peaceful view of the reservoir. Plus, it’s a great place for bird-watching.

Entrance fee starts at P1,000 (~USD18.07) for up to 5 people and P200 (~USD3.61) for every additional person. The fee comes with a trail guide.

Admission fee: P1,000 (~USD18.07) for up to 5 people
Quirino Highway, Novaliches, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Wed-Mon 6am-3pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
(02) 3415 2227 | Facebook

20. Find unique clothes and home decor at vintage stores

Metro Manila experiences - It's Vintage
It’s Vintage.
Image credit: @itsvintagevintage via Instagram

If you’re an avid thrifter, you might want to try your luck finding unique pieces in the Philippines.

For casual and streetwear, including Harley Davidson tees and racing jackets, It’s Vintage in Makati is the ideal thrifting spot. Meanwhile, for feminine pieces, go to Glorious Dias in Escolta, Manila.

Glorious Dias
Glorious Dias.
Image credit: @gabriel.villaruel via Instagram

But if you want to experience how locals thrift, Makati Cinema Square is a good place to go. It has many stalls that sell affordable vintage clothes, books, home decor, and kitchenware.

It’s Vintage
Address: 195 Salcedo Street, Legazpi Village, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
11.30am-7pm, Daily
Contact: Facebook

Glorious Dias
Address: Hub Make Lab, First United Building, Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 10am-6pm | Fri-Sun 10am-7pm
Contact: website

Makati Cinema Square
2130 Chino Roces Avenue, Legazpi Village, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
10am-9pm, Daily
(02) 8811 1204

21. Shop new, old, and rare vinyl records

Vinyl Dump
Vinyl Dump.
Image credit: Google via Google Maps

Vinyl collectors might also find the rare vinyl record they’ve been looking for in the PH. You’ll find a number of shops that sell new, old, limited-edition, and rare records across Metro Manila.

For an affordable place to get records, check out Vinyl Dump in Quezon City. They sell records from the 60s to the 90s starting at P300 (~USD5.42) each.

Metro Manila experiences -Satchmi
Image adapted from: @satchmiteam via Instaggram, @_kylachua via Instagram

To shop vinyl records and dine at the same time, check out Treskul Records & Cafe or Satchmi – both of which are in Mandaluyong.

Vinyl Dump
Store #23, General Romulo Street, Cubao Expo, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
10am-7pm, Daily
0926 755 2755 | Facebook

Treskul Records & Cafe
CIFRA Building, 641 Bonifacio Avenue, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Thu 2pm-10pm| Fri-Sat 2pm-2am| Sun 2pm-8pm
0949 542 1213 | Facebook

4th Floor, SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 11am-10pm| Sat-Sun 10am-10pm
0977 061 4613 | website 

22. Join an art workshop at Craft MNL

Craft MNL
Learn machine sewing at Craft MNL.
Image credit: Craft MNL via Facebook

You might want to pick up a hobby or two if you’re staying in Metro Manila for a while. To find different workshops that may interest you, check out Craft MNL.

Craft MNL holds classes on particular days that let you explore a new creative hobby, including brush calligraphy, embroidery, soap-making, and screen printing. They even have cooking classes such as pickling for adults and pasta cooking for kids.

Tahanan Pottery
Try your hand at pottery at Tahanan Pottery.
Image credit: @venisecruz via Instagram

If you’re not available on any of their class dates, you can also check out other art studios in Metro Manila such as Tahanan Pottery and Wood Academy.

Craft MNL
Unit 302, Pamana-Languages Building, 926 Arnaiz Avenue, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 1pm-8pm (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)
0917 124 4382 | website

Tahanan Pottery
27 Scout Tobias corner Scout Lozano, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Fri-Wed 9am-6pm (Closed on Thursdays)
0917 127 7207 | website

Wood Academy
772 Aurora Boulevard corner Betty Go-Belmonte Street, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue, Thu-Sat 9am-7pm (Closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays)
Contact: 0965 409 3123 | website

23. Go kart racing at Driftito Extreme

Metro Manila experiences - Driftito
Drift karts.
Image credit: @driftito via Instagram

For an exciting group activity, challenge your friends to a race at Driftito Extreme.

Here, you can choose to ride drift karts, mini-ATVs, or mini dirt bikes (from P180, ~USD3.25). You don’t even have to be an experienced driver to ride a drift kart as they’re easier to drive than regular go-karts.

Mini dirt bike and ATV.
Image credit: Teejay Jamlang via Google Maps

Driftito has several branches across the metro so you can choose one that’s most convenient. Most of their locations are outdoors, but you can also go-kart in a fun, neon indoor space at SM Southmall.

Admission fee: From P180(~USD3.25)
0927 945 4438 | Facebook

For a list of branches, click here.

24. Get a haircut at a vintage-inspired barbershop

Metro Manila experiences - Burnside Barber
Burnside Barber.
Image adapted from: @burnsidebarber via Instagram, @burnsidebarber via Instagram

There are plenty of good quality barbershops in Metro Manila offering haircuts for as low as P50 (~USD0.90). But if you want to get your hair done at a shop with a different vibe, go to a vintage-inspired barbershop.

Burnside Barber in Quezon City is a barbershop that welcomes you with a cup of coffee. A haircut (from P500, ~USD9.04) includes a hot towel massage and styling with a pomade. To help you keep your hair healthy, they also sell hair care products including dandruff and hair loss treatments.

Folk Barbershop
Folk Barbershop.
Image credit: Folk Barbershop and Retail via Facebook

But for a more casual vibe and a more wallet-friendly haircut, go to Folk Barbershop in Escolta, Manila. It’s another old-school-themed barbershop that offers haircuts starting at P300 (~USD5.42).

Burnside Barber
Address: 50B Katipunan Ave, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 11am-8pm| Sat-Sun 10am-7pm
0977 836 7237 | Facebook

Folk Barbershop
Hub Make Lab, First United Building, Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 11am-8pm| Sundays 10am-7pm
0906 224 5496 | Facebook 

25. Sip wine while painting at Sip & Gogh

Metro Manila experiences - Sip & Gogh
Sip & Gogh in Eastwood, Quezon City.
Image credit: via Instagram

Unwind with your friends and check out Sip & Gogh where you can enjoy wine as you paint.

They provide art materials, including a canvas, brushes, and paint as well as an apron to protect your clothes. They even offer a complimentary drink of your choice, including wine.

You don’t have to be an experienced painter to join. You can find an image to paint at the art studio or choose a photo of your own. Their staff will help you mix the paints if you need them to.

For P1,000 (~USD18.08), you can use their art materials, get a drink, and have a 2-hour painting session. Sip and Gogh has several branches across the metro.

Admission fee: P1,000 (~USD18.08)
Contact: website

For a list of branches, click here.

26. Jump to your heart’s content at the WiiJump Philippines

Metro Manila experiences - WiiJump
The free zone.
Image adapted from: @lurrainecruz via Instagram

The biggest trampoline park in the country, WiiJump Philippines, is a place that’ll surely bring out the child in you.

Besides a vast free zone, it has different areas such as the V Trampoline and the Island Zone for adventurous jumpers. You can also play dodgeball or shoot hoops while on a trampoline.

Sticky wall.
Image credit: Ashley Nicole Bilog via Facebook

Non-trampoline activities include a sticky wall and a falling net. Of course, there’s a foam pit to launch yourself into for the laughs.

Admission to WiiJump starts at P499 (~USD9.02) for one hour and an additional P399 (~USD7.22) for every succeeding hour.

Admission fee: From P499 (~USD9.02)
2nd Floor Expansion Wing, Festival Supermall, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 10am-9pm, Daily
0969 327 7020 | website

27. Play a game of basketball at The Courtyard by Nike

Courtyard by Nike 2
Image credit: Nike

It’s no secret that Filipinos love basketball. So if you want to play a game during your stay in the metro, head to The Courtyard by Nike in BGC.

This outdoor space boasts 2 full-sized courts and a half-court training area. But more than just a place to play basketball, it’s also adorned with art by local artist Kiefer Indiongco.

Courtyard by Nike
Image credit: Nike

What’s more, the space is open for public use year-round. You only need to download the Nike app and register as a member of the Nike community to reserve the court for a game with your friends.

Beyond these, Nike also provides free pickup games and basketball camps led by their coaches. This includes women-only programs aimed at inspiring young women to actively engage in the sport.

Address: 25th Street corner 7th Avenue, Taguig City, Metro Manila

28. Shop for souvenirs at Souvenir Island, Quiapo

Metro Manila experiences - Souvenir Island
Souvenir Island.
Image credit: Vega W via Google Maps

You’ll find souvenir shops at almost every attraction in the Philippines. But if you want to have lots of options at a wallet-friendly price, go to souvenir shops in Quiapo, Manila such as Souvenir Island.

They have everything from fridge magnets and keychains, to shirts and bags, and even home decor.

Souvenir Island
Dried mangoes.
Image credit: Souvenir Island General Merchandise via Facebook

They also sell Filipino food items such as gourmet tinapa (smoked fish in oil) and dried mangoes that are popular with both locals and tourists.

Address: 135 Carlos Palanca Street, Quiapo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 9am-6pm (Closed on Sundays)
(02) 8735 4319 | Facebook

– Dining –

29. Explore local street eats at the Ugbo night market

Metro Manila food - Ugbo Tondo
Ugbo Night Market.
Image credit: @dianecrielsalanguste via Instagram

If you want to try authentic Filipino street food, go to the Ugbo Night Market in Tondo, Manila.

It’s where you’ll find wallet-friendly street food such as Filipino barbecue which includes pork meat, pork ears, chicken intestines, chicken feet, and more. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, get tumbong soup made with pork bung.

Tumbong soup
Pork bung soup.
Image credit: @aabrelataa via Instagram

You’ll also find foreign snacks such as milk tea, takoyaki, and shawarma whose flavors have been adapted to the Filipino palate.

So you can best enjoy your street food finds, there are seats in front of most stalls.

Address: Ugbo Street, Velasquez, Tondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
5pm-12am, Daily

30. Taste different cuisines at the Legazpi Sunday Market

Metro Manila food - Legazpi Sunday Market
Legazpi Sunday Market.
Image credit: @thegratergood via Instagram

For a more upscale street market, check out the Legazpi Sunday Market amid the Makati Central Business District.

It has many stalls selling international cuisine including Thai, Indian, Turkish, and Moroccan. Of course, there’s also Filipino food such as lechon (roast pig), bibingka (rice cake), and Ilocos empanada.

Sinigang Burrito
Sinigang burrito.
Image credit: @alcobaburrows_eats via Instagram

You’ll even find fusion dishes such as the sinigang burrito, which incorporates the sour Filipino soup’s ingredients into the Mexican wrap.

Going early to the Legazpi Sunday Market is advised as food often gets sold out by 10am and many stalls close before noon.

Besides ready-to-eat food, there are also stalls at the market that sell fresh produce, sustainable products, and local crafts.

Address: Corinthian Carpark, Legazpi Village, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Sun 7.30am-2pm (Closed on Mondays to Saturdays)
0918 965 7825 | Facebook 

31. Try different balut dishes in Pateros

Metro Manila food - Balut
Image adapted from: @chrisray.abuan via Instagram

Adventurous foodies shouldn’t miss out on eating balut (fertilized duck egg) in the Philippines. There’s nowhere better to try it than in Pateros, dubbed the Balut Capital of the Philippines for its many duck farms that produce the delicacy.

Balut is sold on the streets in the Philippines. Locals usually enjoy this boiled and with salt and spiced vinegar sauce.

Sizzling Balut
Sizzling balut. Image used for illustrative purposes only.
Image credit: @aniloz.kai19 via Instagram

But there are also a few restaurants that cook balut in different recipes. Dos Hermanas Food Express in Pateros serves adobong balut (balut in a soy sauce-based stew), sweet and sour balut, and sizzling balut (P995 per dish, ~USD17.94).

While you’re in Pateros, you should also try penoy (boiled unfertilized duck eggs) and salted duck eggs.

Dos Hermanas Food Express
29 B. Morcilla Street, Pateros, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Wed-Mon 11am-7pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
0931 066 6690 | Facebook

32. Go on a Chinese-Filipino food crawl in Binondo

Metro Manila food - Sincerity Cafe Fried Chicken Binondo
Sincerity fried chicken.
Image credit: @beryl_chan via Instagram

The oldest Chinatown in the world, Binondo, Manila is home to many established Chinese-Filipino restaurants and snack spots. It makes for the best place for a food crawl when you’re in the metro as food spots are in the same area.

Go to Lan Zhou La Mien for hand-pulled noodles (from P280, ~USD5.05) and Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant for oriental-style fried chicken (from P215, ~USD3.88).

Metro Manila food - Shanghai Fried Siopao Binondo
Shanghai Fried Siopao.
Image credit: @whatsonmyplateeee via Instagram

If you’re craving xiao long bao (soup dumplings), go to Dong Bei Dumpling which also serves kuchay (chive) dumplings and other dim sum (from P200, ~USD3.61).

For a quick snack, go to New Po Heng Lumpia House for fresh lumpia (spring roll) (P95, ~USD1.71) or Shanghai Fried Siopao for fried siopao (steamed bun) (P35, ~USD0.63). You can also buy mooncakes, hopia (filled, flaky pastry), tikoy (sticky rice cake), and Chinese deli items in the area.

Lan Zhou La Mien
Reina Regente Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
10am-9pm, Daily
0917 826 6888 | Facebook

Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant
519 Quintin Paredes Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours: 9am-7pm, Daily
Contact: (02) 8241 9990 | Facebook

Dong Bei Dumpling
642 Yuchengco corner V. Tytana Street, Binondo, Manila, Mero Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 8.30am-7pm | Sun 8.30am-6pm
(02) 8903 9172 | Facebook

New Po Heng Lumpia House
621 Carvajal Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 9am-7pm | Sun 8.30am-6pm
(02) 7753 1891 | Facebook

Shanghai Fried Siopao
828 Ongpin Street corner Bahama Street, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
7am-6pm, Daily
(02) 8734 0886 | Facebook

33. Dine with a Spanish colonial vibe at Las Casas Quezon City

Metro Manila food - Las Casas QC
Las Casas Quezon City.
Image credit: @tinapay13 via Instagram

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Quezon City is a small compound of Spanish Colonial era structures that houses a couple of dining spots. It’s a  bite-sized version of the Spanish-Filipino-style resort Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan.

At Kusina ni Nanay Maria, you can get well-loved Filipino fare including a pre-colonial adobo (soy-based stew) pork belly (P800, ~USD14.43) recipe.

Las Casas QC
Enjoy a 4-course meal with a Spanish-era-esque ambiance.
Image credit: @lascasasqc via Instagram

Meanwhile, La Bella serves Italian cuisine, including a variety of pizzas, calzones, and paninis. Occasionally, they also offer course meals, perfect for extra special occasions.

Las Casas Quezon City also holds events such as Friday disco and offers tour-and-dine packages so check out their socials for their offerings of the month.

Address: 134 Roosevelt Avenue, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
11am-9pm, Daily
0917 136 6796 | website

34. Try Jollibee in the motherland

Jollibee’s 1,000th store in BGC.
Image credit: Johan Nitura via Google Maps

The Philippines-founded fast food chain now have stores in various countries. But those who’ve tried it in the Philippines will tell you that Jollibee in the motherland just hits different. And there are products available here that you can’t find abroad and vice-versa.

Jollibee Philippines
Image credit: @eatingwjulsy via Instagram

Have their famous Chickenjoy (starts at P82, ~USD1.48) with rice as it was intended to be enjoyed.

Other menu items you should try are the Peach Mango Pie (from P48, ~USD0.87) and Palabok (from P138, ~USD2.49), which is rice noodles with pork and shrimp-flavored sauce.

Jollibee’s website

For a list of branches, click here.

35. Try Manam’s Filipino food with a twist

Manam in Ayala Mall’s Manila Bay.
Image credit: @ciellytravelsandeats via Instagram

Manam is a chain restaurant in the metro that’s popular for Filipino food with twists.

For Filipino dishes you can’t find anywhere else, try their Crispy Pancit Palabok (from P250, ~USD4.51) which has fried rice noodles, and Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon (from 300, ~USD5.41).

Metro Manila food - Manam
Crispy Pancit Palabok.
Image credit: Manam

Of course, you can still get classic Filipino recipes such as chicken inasal (roasted chicken) (from 175, ~USD3.16) and pork binagoongan (pork stewed in shrimp paste) (P260, ~USD4.69).

They offer various portions of their dishes so you can try as many of these as you can whether you’re dining alone or in a big group.

Do note that queues going into their restaurants can be quite long, so be sure to go there earlier than the time you wish to dine.

Manam’s website 

For a list of branches, click here.

36. Get vegan Filipino comfort food at Cosmic

Cosmic Poblacion
Cosmic Poblacion.
Image credit:
Cosmic Poblacion, Makati – A Vegan Restaurant & Cafe via Google Maps

If you’re vegan or coming to the Philippines with a vegan friend, check out Cosmic, a full-fledged vegan restaurant serving plant-based versions of well-loved Filipino food.

Metro Manila food - Cosmic Poblacion vegan
Vegan kare-kare and sisig.
Image credit: @cleomacchiato via Instagram

The restaurant’s popular dishes include kare-kare (peanut stew)and sisig (stir-fry dish) which both have mock pork bagnet (deep fried, crispy mock pork) and are priced at P295 (~USD5.32).

To top off your meal, they also serve drinks and desserts including vegan chocolate cake and brownies.

Poblacion, Makati branch
G/F 4980, P. Guanzon Street, Poblacion, Makati City, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 11am-10pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
0915 365 8758

Kapitolyo, Pasig branch
7 San Rafael Street, Pasig City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 4.30pm-8pm (Closed on Mondays)
0968 693 1344

Cosmic’s Facebook

37. Buy fresh seafood and have it cooked in a restaurant at the Dampa Seaside Market

Metro Manila food - Dampa Seafood Market (2)
Dampa Seafood Market.
Image credit: 백경훈 FoodClearhoon via Google Maps

Get the Filipino dampa or wet market experience and go to the Dampa Seaside Market in Pasay.

Here, you get to buy fresh seafood such as fish, shrimp, and shellfish including lobsters. Some shellfish are even alive inside aquariums in the market.

Metro Manila food - Dampa Seafood Market
Live seafood in aquariums.
Image credit: Wayne Wú via Google Maps

Then, go to one of the restaurants in the area for paluto or cooking service. These offer different flavors and methods of cooking for your seafood buys. This way, you can get anything from baked scallops to chili crabs.

Huey Ying garlic chili crab
Chili garlic crabs from Huey Ying.
Image credit: @foodeezle via Instagram

Some of the most recommended restos in the area for paluto are Huey Ying Restaurant, Aling Tonya’s Seafood Palutuan, and Hong Kong Master Cook.

Dampa Seaside Market
Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Barangay 76, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
10am-10.30pm, Daily

Huey Ying Restaurant
Address:Unit 6, Lot 5-A , Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10.30am-11pm | Sun 10.30am-9pm
(02) 8556 4541 | Facebook

Aling Tonya’s Seafood Palutuan
Building 2, L0t 5, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Barangay 76, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm | Thu 9am-12am | Sun 9am-9pm
Contact: (02) 8889 2504 | Facebook

Hong Kong Master Cook
L0t 5, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Barangay 76, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
11am-10pm, Daily
0917 304 6284 | Facebook

38. Get mango- and ube-flavored delicacies

Contis Ube Custard Cake
Conti’s Ube Custard Cake.
Image credit: @lowkeylakwatsera via Instagram

Mango and ube (purple yam) are two flavors which the Philippines is known for, so make sure to try these when you’re in the Philippines. But beyond fresh mangos and ube jam, there are other ways to enjoy these flavors.

If you can’t get enough of ube, get Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant‘s Ube Custard Cake (from P345, ~USD6.23). For a sweet treat you can finish on your own, grab an Ube Langka cookie (P110 each, ~USD1.99) from Scout’s Honor.

Metro Manila food - Manila Creamery
Mangga’t Suman gelato.
Image credit: @foodganda via instagram

To beat the metro heat and enjoy our sweet mangoes, get a pint of Mangga’t Suman gelato (mango sticky rice gelato (P390/pint, ~USD7.04) at Manila Creamery. Or get their new Mango Jasmine flavor exclusively at their SM Megamall, Vertis North, and Alabang Town Center branches.

Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant
Contact: (02) 8580 8888 | Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant’s website
For a list of branches, click here.

Scout’s Honor
Contact: 0917 589 4547 | website
For a list of branches, click here.

Manila Creamery
0915 257 3066 | website
For a list of branches, click here.

39. Have a fancy Filipino tasting course at Toyo Eatery

Toyo Eatery
Toyo Eatery’s interior.
Image credit: @rmrreyes via Instagram

For a fancy Filipino tasting menu, dine at Toyo Eatery. It’s a contemporary Filipino restaurant that serves unique takes on national and regional Filipino dishes made with ingredients sourced from across the country.

The restaurant offers multiple course tasting menus where you’ll get to try imaginative dishes such as homemade buro (fermented fish) and tostadong bigas (toasted black rice snack).

Metro Manila food - Toyo Eatery
Homemade buro.
Image credit: @dailygoodfoodph via Instagram

The dining experience follows a story that’ll make you appreciate their dishes even more. It’s no wonder that the dining spot was included in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants from 2019 to 2021 and in 2023.

Address: The Alley at Karrivin, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Ave Extension, Makati, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)
0917 720 8630 | website

40. Enjoy a luxurious, award-winning buffet at Spiral

Sofitel Spiral Buffet Cheese Room
Spiral’s cheese room.
Image credit: Sofitel Manila

Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza stands out among the many buffet restaurants in the country for its vast variety of food options and cuisine offerings.

Beyond your usual Western, European, and East Asian favorites, they serve North Indian and Brazilian food. Of course, there’s also a plethora of Filipino delicacies for foreign travelers who don’t have much time to spend in the Philippines. These include lechon (roast pig) and customizable halo-halo (shaved ice dessert).

Spiral Buffet
Image credit: Sofitel Manila

Attesting to the luxuriousness of this buffet, Spiral features a temperature-controlled cheese room limited to 4 guests at a time.

This luxurious buffet starts at P2,500(~USD45.14) per person.vWhile walk-ins are allowed, securing a reservation is advisable.

Address: Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm | Sun 12pm-3pm, 6pm-9.30pm
Contact: (02) 8573 5599 | website

Things t0 do in Metro Manila

Don’t worry if you don’t have enough time to explore the Philippines. There are so many things you can do in the metro for an unforgettable vacation without having to fly off to other places in the country.

To prepare for your trip, check out these basic Filipino phrases that may come in handy. And if you want to impress your Filipino hosts, go the extra mile and read up on these Filipino etiquette tips.

Cover image adapted from: @okadamanila via Instagram, Okada Manila, David Kim via Google Maps, @thegratergood via Instagram

This article was originally published on 23 December 2022 by Kim Shelly Tan and last updated by Kim Shelly Tan on 23 November 2023.