Things to do in Marikina

When a salesperson mentions “Marikina-made”, shoppers immediately switch from “Just looking around!” to “Do you have a size seven?” As the shoe capital of the Philippines, Marikina’s shoe shops’ quality of footwear is widely said to be the best in the local industry.

However, Marikina’s more than just a producer of shoes. Compared to its neighbors Pasig and Quezon City, it’s a more laid-back city where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and attractions that’re more local than commercial. Here’re some things to do in Marikina to try when you’re there next.

1. Visit the Marikina Shoe Museum – get a low-down of the city’s footwear reputation

historical shoes on display at marikina shoe museum
Image adapted from @danicajohannas

Probably every student in Metro Manila has already visited the Marikina Shoe Museum (Museo ng Sapatos) as part of their field trip in grade school.

tools used by cobblers on display at marikina shoe museum
Tools used by cobblers.
Image credit: Mheil De Vera Duran

The museum is always worthy of a peek inside, whether it’s your first time here or if you’re revisiting as an adult.

Marikina Shoe Museum's exterior, a white old building with roof tiles
The museum’s exterior.
Image credit: Shoe Museum Marikina

Marikina Shoe Museum houses an enormous collection of footwear from prominent personalities, including former presidents, celebrities, and politicians. You can also find over 250 pairs of shoes that previously belonged to former first lady Imelda Marcos.

historical explanations on panels at the marikina shoe museum
Image adapted from Leinilon Cordial

Interestingly, the museum building was built as a Spanish colonial forces’ arsenal, then used to detain prisoners during the Philippine-American war, and later turned into a rice mill by the local Tuason family.

Admission fee: P50 for locals, P500 for foreigners
Address: 315, 1800 J. P. Rizal St, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Daily
Contact: Marikina Shoe Museum’s Facebook page | Marikina City LGU website

2. Lilac Street – a food crawl of Marikina’s homegrown restaurants

Lilac Street is becoming a food destination, with many restaurants and unique spots. Here are our recommendations in the area.

Forget Me Not Café – Western cafe favorites

interior and exterior of Forget Me Not Café Marikina
Image adapted from: Forget Me Not Café Marikina and Forget Me Not Café Marikina

A good place for a cake and coffee, or a Western-style set lunch, Forget Me Not Café at Hacienda Heights is a laid-back comfort food restaurant open daily till late – so you can use this as your go-to refueling spot.

Western-style entrees on a table at Forget Me Not Café Marikina
Image credit: Forget Me Not Café Marikina

Try the sandwich, fry, and salad sets (P295-P375), all-day breakfast meals including the American Breakfast and Boneless Bangus Belly (P275-P355), satisfying pasta dishes (P285-P375), and cakes in various flavors, including sugar-free bakes (from P145 per slice).

Address: Hacienda Heights, 24 Lilac St, Marikina, 1811 Metro Manila
Opening hours: 7am-11pm, Daily
Contact: 282559410 | Forget Me Not Café’s Facebook | Instagram

Pandecielo Restaurant – Bicolano food

exterior and interior of Pandecielo Restaurant Marinkina
Image adapted from: Pandecielo Restaurant and Pandecielo Restaurant

Pandecielo Restaurant is another comfort food resto, but this time, specializes in Bicolano favorites.

Ginataang Pampano and Tinuktok at Pan de Cielo Restaurant Marikina
Ginataang Pampano, P349 (left) and Tinuktok, P175 (right).

Image adapted from: Pandecielo Restaurant and Pandecielo Restaurant

Order Uragon staples such as Laing Con Lechon (P199) and Crispy Belly Bicol Express (P194), or try Camarines Sur’s Paksiw Naga (P189).

Address: 8 J. Molina Corner, E Rodriguez Ave, Marikina, 1807 Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-10.30pm | Sun 10am-10pm
Contact: 2 8660 8591 | Pandecielo Restaurant’s Facebook page | Instagram

Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe

Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe exterior and garden al fresco dining interior
Image adapted from Mikko Sercado and Ravi Sivaraman

Whether you’re celebrating a relationship milestone or just want to enjoy good food in the company of good friends, Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe’s al fresco, greenery-filled yard is the place for you. They serve local food from sisig to chicken to pakbet solo plates (from P175) to daing silog and tapsilog dishes from P175.

Address: 145 Ipil St cor Champaca, Marikina Heights, Marikina City
Opening hours: Thu-Fri 11am-9pm | Sat-Sun 10am-9pm (Closed Mon-Wed)
Contact: hel[email protected] | Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe’s Facebook page | Instagram

3. Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned – see a historic church dating from 1572

Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned's Virgin Mary image
Image credit: Arthur Balita

With a tranquil chapel for prayer and a spot for you to light a candle to focus on your wish, the baroque-style Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned church is a classic spot for weddings and baptisms, plus Holy Week commemorations.

Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Marikina
Image credit: Julieta Oroncillo

Now that the air-conditioning inside the church is newly installed, it’s also an ideal spot to beat the summer heat. Visit on Sundays to hear the organ in its full glory, spot detailed religious murals, and drop by the nearby public market after Mass. Fun fact: the image of the Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken) here was the first canonically crowned Marian image under Pope Benedict XVI.

Address:J. P. Rizal, Corner V. Gomez St, Marikina, 1801 Metro Manila
Opening hours: 4am-9pm, Daily
Contact: 8646-1781 | Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned’s Facebook page | Instagram

4. SM City Marikina – refuel, browse electronics, and watch 3D movies

SM City Marikina
Image credit: SM City Marikina

SM City Marikina is one of the smaller SM malls, but makes a good pit stop, firstly for its Cyberzone experience center. Here, you can browse computer or gaming gear and gadgets, or try out a new DSLR camera or smartphone in a comfortable environment.

Its cinema, SM Cinema Marikina, has eight modern theater halls, with two being fully digital. Tickets start at P370 per person – do check SM Marikina’s website in advance for 3D or IMAX movie screenings.

waffles from zullo coffee and loaf and the interior of sm city marikina mall
Image adapted from Zullo Coffee & Loaf and Roland Berceño

There’s also a donut, waffle, and coffee spot Zullo Coffee & Loaf, Grand Castella with Japanese-inspired castella cake, and of course, the SM Store with clothes and accessories for the whole fam.

SM City Marikina is the first major mall in the city and is easily accessible not only for Marikina residents, but also for those living in Quezon City and Pasig. From Marcos Highway, you can easily spot the building with its large glass facade overlooking the Marikina River.

Address: Marikina-Infanta Hwy, Marikina, 1801 Metro Manila
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 10am-9pm | Fri-Sat 10am-10pm
Contact: 284771788 | SM City Marikina’s website | Facebook page

5. Marikina’s shoe stores – try on shoes at brick-and-mortar stores

A pair of brown leather shoes from Black Wing Shoes and military-style boots from Gibson’s Shoe FactoryA pair of brown leather shoes from Black Wing Shoes and military-style boots from Gibson’s Shoe Factory.
Image adapted from Black Wing Shoes and Judeylll Mawiii

Since Marikina is known for its excellent craftsmanship in shoemaking, you should never leave the city without stopping by one of its many shoe stores. Online shops selling Marikina-made shoes may be all over Instagram now, but nothing beats trying on shoes first to make sure they fit comfortably.

Creators whose shoes can be found at Zapateria HubCreators whose shoes can be found at Zapateria Hub.
Image adapted from @zapateriahub and @zapateriahub

Some of the highly rated stores include Black Wing Shoes which makes custom-fit shoes for grown adults and kids, plus provides shoe shine, repair, and reconditioning services; Gibson’s Shoe Factory, around since 1945, that does military and safety shoes for those in very physical lines of work; and Zapateria Marikina, a family-owned business with a 135-year heritage that creates structured yet fashionable women’s leather heels too.

The Marikina Shoe Trade Fair used to be the go-to spot for browsing multiple homegrown Marikina shoe brands in one place, but since its temporary shutdown, we’ll have to go shop-hopping over longer distances around the city for now.

Black Wing Shoes
Address: E Rodriguez Ave, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-12pm and 2.30-4.30pm Sat 10am-12pm (Closed Sundays)
Contact: 917 580 3634 | Black Wing Shoes’ website | Facebook | Instagram

Gibson’s Shoe Factory
Address: 867 J. P. Rizal St, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8am-5pm (Closed Sundays)
Contact: 2 8942 2682

Zapateria Marikina
Address: 56 Dragon, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm (Closed Sat & Sun)
Contact: Zapateria’s website | Facebook page | Instagram

6. Marikina Sports Center – work up a sweat

Marikina Sports Center stadium and basketball court
Image credit: @iamteacherarnie

Marikina Sports Center is a sports complex that’s open 6 days a week from early in the morning, throwing your excuse for not exercising due to lack of time out the door. It has an athletics track, Olympic-size pool, and an eight-story building for all kinds of sports.

The public is welcome to drop by to play basketball, badminton, volleyball, ride bikes, or use the center’s running track, though we recommend calling in advance to check that facilities are open for the day.

Marikina Sports Park indoor pool and basketball court
Image adapted from Eduard Joseph Siquioco and Cherie Carmelotes

A small fee may apply for individual entry to facilities or venue rental, so do bring along enough change. Track use starts at P10 per person.

Address: Sumulong Highway, Marikina City
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7.30am-8pm | Sat 7am-8pm (Closed Sundays)
Contact: 2 8682 9573

7. Marikina River Park – run and walk for 11km by the riverside

Marikina River Park statue and cycling track
Image adapted from Grace グレスManese マネせ and don ysais

Marikina River’s riverbanks are popular hangout spots for families and students, and Marikina River Park, alongside the 11-kilometer river, consists of parks, trails, open spaces, and recreational facilities open to all for free.

Marikina River Park's City of Marikina signboard and pagoda
Image credit: nazvinz Dante

You can jog, cycle, or just walk along the river. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one for around P30. Having a picnic or dining at the restaurants by the riverbanks are also options.

Take a walk in the Roman-style garden and newly renovated Filipino-Chinese Friendship Pagoda too, and stay till the sun sets to catch the evening food stalls’ offerings.

Admission fee: Free
Address: 300 Shoe Ave, Sto. Nino, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

8. Cofficina Café + Cowork – trade your room for a coworking space

Cofficina Café + Cowork interior tables and chairs in workspace
Image credit: @cofficinacowork

With workcations now a thing, traveling might also involve spending one or two days working remotely while on the road to keep in touch with your team in the midst of taking quality time off. But budget-wise, working at coffee shops isn’t always a good idea when you’re looking for a change of scenery, as you have to keep on ordering menu items to stay connected to their precious WiFi and power outlet.

Cofficina Café + Cowork is for freelancers, remote workers, or anyone escaping the confines of home but don’t want an awkward cafe overstay. Most coworking spaces in the metro are in Mandaluyong, Ortigas, and Makati, and this is Marikina’s answer to northerners’ need for a more accessible freelancer-friendly workspace.

At Cofficina Café + Cowork, rates for walk-ins are only P95 per hour or P400 a day. Both members and walk-in guests can enjoy unlimited coffee, tea, juice, snacks, and high-speed internet, definitely cheaper than what you would spend at a nearby coffee shop.

Address: 2/F Unit 14 Thaddeus Arcade, Pitpitan St, Cor Gunting St, Marikina, 1801 Rizal
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-1am | Sat 12pm-8pm (Closed Sundays)
Contact: 2 8739 5890 | Cofficina Café + Cowork’s Facebook page | Instagram

9. Secret Base Gaming Lounge & Board Game Cafe: prove your mettle at gaming

PS4 and PS5
Image adapted from: SecreT BasE Gaming Lounge and Board Game Cafe and @iamirisclaire

Secret Base Gaming Lounge and Board Game Cafe in Marikina City offers a fun-filled nostalgic experience for both video and board game enthusiasts.

board games
Image adapted from: @xronlucas and @febrio_rodavlas

With a comfy gaming lounge area, bean bag chairs, and a colorful kids’ playground, this spot will give both kidults and actual kids here a much-needed escape from reality.

Secret Base Gaming Lounge and Board Game Cafe in Marikina - Freak Shakes
Image credit: @fernandezdenielle

Play video games on PS4, PS5, and Wii U consoles with various game options, or indulge in classic tabletop games such as Eldritch Horror and UNO for no extra charge.

The cafe also provides costumes, including onesies, for a complete slumber party experience. Additionally, you can enjoy classic diner-style dishes and Freak Shakes (P160, ~USD2.71) for a sugar rush while playing.

Address: DQ Building, Lilac Street, corner Panorama, along Gen. San Diego Street, Concepcion Dos 1811 Marikina City
Opening hours: 11am–9pm, Daily
Contact: 0943 410 9371 | Secret Base Gaming Lounge and Board Game Cafe website | Facebook | Instagram
Email: [email protected]

Things to do in Marikina

The first thing that comes to mind with the mention of Marikina is shoes, but there’s more to it than just high-quality footwear and large shoes on display.

Go on a trip to this more local part of Metro Manila and discover dining spots, fitness facilities, and leisure spaces tucked in the nooks and crannies of Marikina City.

Also check out our other Metro Manila recommendations:

Cover image adapted from: @zapateriahub, @danicajohannas, Ravi Sivaraman and don ysais

This article was updated by Xin Tian Koh in March 2023 and April 2023.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.