Did you know that, before Manila, Quezon was the capitol of the Philippines from 1948-1976? Named after Manuel L. Quezon, the second President of the Philippines, Quezon stands today as a metropolitan area full of entertainment, shopping, art, business, and nightlife.
With a population of nearly 2 million, Quezon is a city that keeps up with smooth-running public transportation like busses, Jeepneys, and soon to come, an underground MRT. You can be sure that when staying in Quezon as a tourist, you’ll have no troubles exploring.
You’ll find a nice balance of city life, wildlife, and marine life all within reach during your time in this bustling Philippine city. There is a range of accommodations from budget to luxury, as well as food to fit ever palate!
When making your plans to visit, take into account that dry season is from November to April, with typhoons sweeping through during the rainy season from May to October.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Quezon City:
1. Eastwood City
Here is the epicenter of Quezon. Everything and anything you’re looking for can be found in East Wood City.
Go shopping in luxurious high-end stores or go the craft route with trinkets at the local flea market. Eat local or western with both upscale restaurants and hole in the wall stalls. Veg out at the Movie House, sit down and have a drink at one of the trendy bars or enjoy the outdoors in the courtyard surrounded by palm trees when you’re looking for entertainment.
There are always exciting things happening in Eastwood City whether it’s spontaneous fireworks, strange street performers, or just some great international people watching.
2. Art in Island
You’ve seen those Facebook photos of people posing with life-size art pieces that seem to transport them into the photo, right? Well, now it’s your turn.
At Art in Island in Quezon, you can help make each piece of art come to life with you as the star. These 3D paintings and photos swallow you whole and trick the camera into thinking that you are really riding a wild chariot of wild horses, that you are part of Santa’s reindeer troop, that you’re riding on Aladdin’s magic carpet, or that you are about to get your head bitten off my a ferocious lion.
3. Crown Garden Spa
For the most relaxing and professional massage in Quezon City, there is only one place to go and that is Crown Garden Spa.
With lux massage tables surrounded by tranquil music, aromatherapy scents, and soothing lighting- this place goes the whole 9 yards to provide the utmost serene experience.
Crown Garden Spa offers a full range of massage services including Swedish massage, hot stone massage, Shiatsu, Thai massage, and body scrubs using different properties such as papaya, chocolate, coffee, green tea, and more.
4. Maginhawa Food Park
Do you love international food with a twist? If so, you’re going to go crazy for Maginhawa Food Park! This plot of land is home to dozens of food trucks and stalls that allow you to pick and choose different bites from each.
You’ll find incredible pizza, fresh spring rolls, Thai tea, sky-high shaved ice topped with chocolate and cherries, colorful drinks in plastic bags, and more.
This is a maze of food has one common seating area in the center that you and your crew can use as a meeting point! So many trucks to choose from and all within your budget! Enjoy!
5. Sining Kamalig Art Gallery
A classic art gallery featuring beautiful works by local Filipino artists and visionaries- Sining Kamalig gallery in Quezon City will take your breath away.
This gallery is said to be the longest running art gallery in the Philippines with roots spanning back to 1972. For decades, Sining Kamalig has stood up for the rights of artists and free speech. You can see many political pieces as well as contemporary paintings.
The Sining Kamalig Art Gallery is conveniently located in Ali Mall. Exhibits are always rotating so you can expect fresh material with every visit.
6. La Mesa Eco Park
When you think Quezon, you certainly don’t think of lush jungle with greenery and wildlife- but it exists! At La Mesa Eco Park in Quezon, you can take a break from city life and transport to the tropical life.
For only Php 20, you can enter the park and explore as long as you’d like by foot or by bringing your own bike. There is a koi pond full of colorful fish, a Butterfly Haven, an Orchidarium, a archery station, a swimming pool, a water bike, flower terrace, and even a spot for fishing.
You could easily spend all day here and still not have experienced all of the beauty this park has to offer.
This bookstore feels like a Disney movie has come to life. With towering shelves stacked full of every book imaginable, you can rummage to your heart’s desire.
Book worms will appreciate that Bookay-Ukay is open late into the night for when you need that poetry fix or if you are wandering around the city looking to learn a bit more about Quezon’s roots.
Specializing in pre-loved books, just about every genre represented here. Feel free to sit in a cozy corner to do your reading here.
Bookay-Ukay is a “buy, sell, trade” bookstore that is perfect for travelers who want to turn in a finished book for another great read. If you don’t have a book to trade, that’s okay as prices are super affordable.
8. Ace Water Spa
Korean bathhouse lovers will go crazy with the discovery of Ace Water Spa. This adult play place is as relaxing as it is invigorating. First, slip on a suit and swimming cap, then you’re free to explore everything this park has to offer.
There is a massive swimming pool where you can swim laps, there are hot pools and a sauna to detox, cold pools to take a plunge, massing jets to work out those kinks, and even a place for the kiddos to splash under fountains of falling water and go down water slides.
Afterward, you can visit the on-site café for a nice cup of joe.
9. Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center
How does 22.7 hectares of zoological and botanical gardens in the middle of the city sound?
This park serves as home to many abandoned, sick, injured, and confiscated animals. Here, they can enjoy natural habitats and recover to full health.
The botanical gardens are extremely impressive with a wide range of indigenous and foreign plant species that are thriving on land and in the lagoon on site.
During your visit, you might see animals such as the Philippine deer, water monitor lizards that look like Komodo dragons, or Palawan bearded pigs!
10. Music Bank
If you’re a fan of karaoke, then you should absolutely try the KTV experience. KTV is essentially where you and your friends get your own private karaoke room. There is a screen with karaoke songs and words to sing along, a big book of songs from which to choose, and a microphone that leads into speakers with great acoustics.
The most popular package here is the 4-hour KTV session, but of course, there are longer sessions for the hardcore KTV singer out there.
Music Bank offers some seriously delicious snacks and entrees to keep you fueled for hours upon hours of singing and drinking.
11. SM Bowling Center
Spend the day bowling with your friends and family at SM Bowling Center in Quezon City.
SM Bowling Center is a great place for families as they offer bowling lessons for kids and billiards games for the parents. There’s always a promotion going on at SM Bowling Center to make sure that you have the best time possible for the best price.
Be on the lookout for promos like “Bowl and Dine” where you can get a bundle package with multiple games and discounted prices on food. There is also a promo where your 3rd game is 50% off.
12. enRoute Distillery
Grab your friends and come to the enRoute Distillery for a night of drinking games and tipsy singing.
This Quezon distillery is the number one place to play beer pong in the city. Play with your friends or challenge a group of strangers to play against you- it’s the best way to make new friends! enRoute Distillery also offers KTV for when the night really starts to heat up.
If you’re rolling with a big group, go online and make a VIP reservation. enRoute Distillery is happy to oblige to special requests.
13. La Mesa Dam and Reservoir
This protected watershed in Quezon is said to hold the last remaining plot of rainforest in Metro Manilla.
This reservoir is the main water source for some 12 million residents in the area. The 700-hectare manmade lake is surrounded by 2,000 hectare of forest and natural trails. Biodiversity is thriving with indigenous flora and fauna and native species of butterflies, birds, and lizards.
Come, explore, take pictures, and learn about Luzon!
14. EDSA Shrine
The EDSA Shrine goes by many names: Queen of Peace, Archdiocesan Shrine of Mary, Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace Quasi-Parish, Our Lady of EDSA, and a couple more.
What is it? This shrine was built in 1989 as a memorial to the People Power Revolution. It depicts the Virgin Mary and is hosted by the church of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.
The shrine itself is quite a stunning statue in the center of busy Metro Manilla. You can hardly miss it when walking by.
15. Quezon Memorial Circle
What feels like a miniature version of the capitol building in Washing D.C, the Quezon Memorial Circle is a sight not to be skipped. Inside are the remains of former president, Manuel L. Quezon, and First Lady Aurora Quezon. The shrine was built when Quezon stood as the capitol of the Philippines and has since remained.
The long brick pedestrian road leading to the memorial is lined with hawker stands selling souvenirs, snacks, beverages, and miscellaneous shopping where you can buy things like mini cacti.
During the day, the park and surrounding area is a great place for a jog. At night, the shrine lights up with colorful neon lights and a dancing light fountain. There is a lot to see and much to do.