18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

Explore another bustling city in Metro Manila — Quezon City. What tourist spots and activities does Quezon City offer for travelers? Where should you go for the best food and restaurants in Quezon City? Quezon City, the largest city in Metro Manila, may seem like a typical metropolis, but there are hidden gems that you can explore here.

Quezon City, or QC for short, has the largest land area and population among the municipalities in the Metro Manila or National Capital Region (NCR). This city in the north of the Metro offers a multitude of historical and religious landmarks, fun attractions, and gastronomic destinations for local and foreign travelers.

Whether you’re someone looking to renew your faith by pilgrimaging the many churches and other places of worship, a foodie who likes discovering new food finds in various restaurants, an art enthusiast who wants to immerse in both old and contemporary styles, or just someone who likes looking back in history to understand what’s in store for the future, Quezon City is undoubtedly worth exploring.




 

quezon city things to do

Since Quezon City is in the heart of Metro Manila, almost every kind of land transportation means have routes passing by or going to the city. Although, be prepared to experience heavy traffic especially during rush hours and weekends.

Buses from both the northern and southern Metro Manila, as well as nearby provinces, pass by Quezon City’s main roads every day. Jeepneys can take you from one municipality to another. Lastly, the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2, and the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) all have stations that can drop you off on different areas of QC. The size of the city alone assures you that you will never run out of places to go and things to try when you’re in Quezon City. Here are some suggestions to get you started with your itinerary.

Visit some of the famous Quezon City churches

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

Seeing some of the famous churches in Quezon City will not only allow you to feel and experience how culture and religion in the Philippines are strongly melded together, but it’s also a great chance for you to capture the awe-inspiring architecture of these churches in photos.

1. St. Pio Chapel

What once was a small chapel in an office building, the St. Pio Chapel is now a wildly popular chapel capable of housing 500 churchgoers. Because of the countless devotees who attest to the healing power of St. Pio, other people followed suit. It’s widely visited by both locals and tourists from all over the country and the rest of the world.

The St. Pio Chapel  has been reconstructed and renovated several times over the years. Today, its architecture resembles the Our Lady of Grace Church in Italy, the church where St. Pio of Pietrelicina Capuchin used to hold mass.

2. Santo Domingo Church

The Santo Domingo Church is not just the largest church in Metro Manila or one of the biggest in Asia but is also one of the most beautiful. The National Museum and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts declared the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila as a National Cultural Treasure in October 2012.

Renowned post-war era architect Jose Zaragoza designed the church. It houses the oldest Marian image in the country, Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval, as well as notable murals by National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco that depict the work and life of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, the founder of the Order of Preachers.

Other must-see set of artworks include Galo de Ocampo’s stained glass art of the 15 Stations of the Cross, the Battle of Lepanto and La Naval de Manila, and the first martyrs of Vietnam and China, San Vicente Liem de la Paz and San Francisco Capillas.

3. Minor Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

At the heart of New Manila, Quezon City stands a church that houses the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (it’s really a shrine!). In 2015, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines bestowed the title, “The National Shrine” to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine Parish.

Through the years, developments were made that the church has been declared as a Minor Basilica just this March 2019. Just look at its grand altar, and you will surely feel like you’re in the presence of divinity!

4. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao

Right in the heart of Cubao is another magnificent church. The Immaculate Conception Church was originally built in 1950, but it wasn’t until October 2003 when it was officially proclaimed a cathedral. It deserves the utmost praise and reverence not just for its majestic structure but also for the artful décor.

5. Monasterio Real de Sta Clara de Manila

What are you praying for and are you willing to offer eggs in exchange for your prayers? For locals, it’s common knowledge that devotees of Sta. Clara often bring eggs (sometimes along with other food) with their written prayers to offer to the Patron Saint St. Clare of Assisi.

While you may not see any grandiose altars or magnificent art pieces in this monastery, you’ll certainly find the serene surroundings quite relaxing. This juxtaposes the organized chaos outside the church, where various vendors can be found selling trays of chicken eggs wrapped in colored plastic. Each color symbolizes a specific intention: if you’re praying for blessings related to travel and work, offer the red one; but if you’re praying for wealth, then get the green.

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

6. EDSA Shrine

The last Quezon City church on this list is perhaps one that has the most historical value and holds a much more meaningful place for Filipinos. Officially named as the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace or the EDSA Shrine was built to commemorate the 1986 People Power Revolution, which many Catholics believed to be a miraculous event.  

The EDSA Shrine also goes by other names like Our Lady of EDSA, Queen of Peace, and the Archdiocesan Shrine of Mary. The shrine is easily identifiable by the bronze image of Our Lady of Queen of Peace, as sculpted by the late Virginia Ty-Navarro.

Immerse yourself in the Quezon City art scene with its art galleries and museums

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

The rich, long history of Quezon City has paved the way for its now famous art scene. Whether it is to celebrate the legacy of Filipino thinkers, grow and nurture the talent of the new generation, or simply create an escape from the daily challenges of life, there’s an art destination for you in the city.

1. Art In Island

See things in a different perspective at Art In Island, the largest 3D art museum in Asia. Here, you get to not only admire over 100 pieces of massive art but also be a part of it. All images are in 3D, and if visitors want to take a photo with it, they are encouraged to stand on a marked position to make it look like they are part of the art.

Trick the camera into thinking that you’re running from dinosaurs, meeting a celebrity, or visiting a historical location. You can use props to make it more fun! Shoes aren’t allowed inside, so go barefoot or wear socks if you want.

While you’re at it, you can go and explore a different side of the Quezon City art scene by checking the shops and restaurants at the nearby Cubao Expo.

2. Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center

Located inside the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus, this museum houses a vast collection of artworks and artifacts, including memorabilia donated by Jorge B. Vargas, the country’s first executive secretary.

What’s unique about this museum is that it is the only repository in the country that embraces Filipino creativity and the critical shifts from different periods between the 1880s (Hispanic academic) to the 1960s (American rule).

Admire the creations of late 19th century artists like Lorenzo Guerrero, Simon Flores, Juan Luna, and Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo, to the 1950s work of Victorio Edades, Juan Aralleno, Diosdado Lorenzo, and Vicente Manansala. It’s a great stop for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Philippine art.

3. Sip and Gogh

Learn the techniques of the old masters while sipping your favorite drink at Sip and Gogh. This unique experience provides workshops to interested attendees who want to explore their creative side, all while enjoying a glass of wine or any beverage of choice and some snacks with friends or family.

To start, choose your preferred branch and check their upcoming workshop and schedule. If you fancy anything, reserve a slot, and of course, be there on your selected date and time. Each session lasts for two hours. Fees depend on your preferred workshop. Prices are inclusive of materials and drinks.

4. Quezon Memorial Circle

Quezon City Memorial Circle used to be overlooked by people, but it’s actually one of the best locations to visit if you want to learn more about the city, thanks to the many museums found there:

  • Museo ni Manuel Quezon

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

The towering structure in the center of Quezon City Circle shrouds the museum dedicated to the president from whom the city is named after. Museo ni Manuel L. Quezon features artifacts commemorating the Commonwealth President’s life—from his humble beginnings in Baler to his time as president during the Japanese occupation.

There is also a section devoted to his wife Doña Aurora, and the tour ends with a visit to the president’s coffin. The Museo was built in 1979 but underwent modernization in 2015 to include interactive elements. The museum is open every Thursday to Saturday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

  • Quezon Heritage House

Originally located in Gilmore Street, New Manila, the Quezon City government worked to reconstruct the original Quezon family house in 2013. Today, about 60% of the original structure and interiors, along with the furniture and memorabilia, stands in the Quezon City Memorial Circle, open for everyone to visit.

The bright yellow, two-story house of neoclassical revival design is also where the Philippine Red Cross was founded, with help from Doña Aurora. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. The heritage house is open every Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

  • Quezon City Experience (QCX)

Quezon City Experience or QCX opened in 2015. This interactive socio-cultural museum highlights the city’s rich history, from its beginnings as a hill where President Quezon’s vision of a great, green, and growing future came to life. Its 16 interactive galleries allow visitors to learn about and experience moments in the city’s history. It’s also a great opportunity to take selfies on a cool and informative backdrop.

Inside the museum are commercial establishments, a 100-seat theater, a 60-seat lecture room, conference rooms, and a rooftop garden for events and exhibits. Since it’s also open for exclusive events or tours, do call ahead to know if it’s open for the public on the day of your visit. QXC is open every Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Fill your stomach with budget-friendly meals from Katipunan restaurants and other food streets

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

The food scene in the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without some of the notable foodie destinations in Quezon City. What’s great about these restaurants is that they cater to people of all budget ranges and tastes. Plus, it’s always fun to find hidden gems that you can come back for more.

1. Maginhawa Street

When you think food streets, Quezon City locals would instantly think of Maginhawa, and for a good reason. It’s safe to say that it is one of the locations that paved the way for the explosion of the food street scene in  Quezon City. What started as a hangout spot for university students now has everything for everyone.

Some of the most sought-after spots include Crazy Katsu, Friuli Trattoria, Tomato Kick, Pino, and Pipino. A food park comprising of several food trucks also recently opened. Try to visit here every few months, as there is bound to be a new foodie destination the next time you drop by.

A word of advice: parking is tough, so it’s best to take a jeepney and tricycle when going around and exploring Maginhawa. In addition, bring cash, as most establishments don’t accept cards.

2. The Pop-up

The Pop-up in Katipunan is relatively new, opening only last July 2018, but it has made a name for itself early on for its one-of-a-kind environment. In this semi-outdoor lifestyle hub, stalls are made from refurbished container vans.

The place offers a multitude of international cuisines, whether you’re craving for Korean (Premier The Samgyupsal), Vietnamese (Bun Vietnamese Street Kitchen), Middle Eastern (Falafel Fellas), or Tex-Mex (Coyote Cocina). It’s also a hip events space where music acts come to play.

3. The Rooftop

Another cool concept that’s just a stone’s throw away from Katipunan is The Rooftop. The first rooftop bar in the area, it can be reached by taking the winding steps inside the Center for Culinary Arts’ library. The Rooftop is a refreshing change of pace amidst the many eateries, cafes, and bars in the area.

The garden chairs, sofa, plants, and outdoor setting give off a chill vibe, ideal for those who want to unwind after a long day minus a rowdy crowd. It also limited its alcoholic offerings to just the basic cocktails and a few special mixes, so you don’t have to look at a complicated menu. Talk about relaxing.

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

4. University of the Philippines Diliman

Aside from its glowing reputation for producing top-notch graduates, UP Diliman’s vast land area makes it ideal for other kinds of activities, as well. Students enjoy sitting on parks chitchatting with their friends or preparing for their next class, with just the towering Narra trees to shade them from the sun. The Oval, meanwhile, is a favorite among joggers during weekends.

Other than these, UP is also one of the best spots to find cheap meals, since most of the eateries here cater to students. The Snack Shack’s inexpensive but filling cheeseburgers garner a queue of up to 30 minutes. And, despite being transferred for more than five times around the campus, Mang Larry’s Isawan (isaw is grilled pig or chicken intestines) still captures the heart of the BBQ-loving scholars.

5. Tomas Morato

Named after the first mayor of Quezon City, Tomas Morato Avenue is more popularly known today for the many celebrities and socialites who hang out here every night. Teeming with bars, restaurants, and other commercial spaces, Tomas Morato is a street that never sleeps, catering to the needs of workers who run the media companies located near it 24-7.

Like Maginhawa, establishments along Morato come and go, so it’s best to go back now and then so you can experience something new. Some of the current favorites include Gogi Gogi, Stoned Steaks, Limbaga 77, and La Spezia, while old-timers like Romulo Café still get some love from followers.

Shop like a local at Eastwood City or relax in La Mesa Ecopark and other peaceful locations

18 Quezon City Tourist Spots You Need to Explore

Quezon City offers a variety of choices when it comes to respite—whether you prefer doing retail therapy or being one with nature.

1. Eastwood City

The sprawling Eastwood City consists of a residential area of condominiums, the Cyberpark, which houses BPO-targeted offices, and the Eastwood Mall. Here you can choose to spend on high-end stores or go practical by buying on the many flea markets outside the mall. The dining and amusement choices are seemingly endless, and you can always look forward to exciting events especially on weekends and during holidays like the New Year.

2. Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

This 22.7-hectare land in the middle of Quezon City is a sanctuary for animals, plants, and people alike. Its vast area is the ideal place to do your morning jog, and the trees make the perfect shade for when you’re beat and need to refresh. Meanwhile, the botanical gardens boast an impressive range of indigenous and plant species.

Apart from these, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center serves as a repository and rehabilitation center for sick, injured, confiscated, donated, and abandoned animals. The simulated natural habitat allows them to recover to full health. Look out for the more exotic species like Philippine deer, water monitor lizards, and Palawan bearded pigs.

3. La Mesa Ecopark

Another sanctuary you can escape to when city life gets a tad too daunting is the La Mesa Ecopark. Explore on foot or with a bike and feel one with nature thanks to its thriving greenery and flora and fauna. You can also enjoy the wildlife with different species of butterflies, birds, lizards, and fishes on its koi pond and Butterfly Haven.

The La Mesa Ecopark is a protected watershed that is said to hold the last rainforest in Metro Manila. The manmade lake is the primary water source for nearby residents and is surrounded by a 2,000-hectare forest and nature trails.

Other activities like bungee, zip lining, archery, fishing, trampolines, and rock climbing are often available It even has a public swimming pool for those who want to cool down. Lastly, don’t forget to climb to the top of the stairs of La Mesa Dam and get a panoramic view of the nature reserve.

Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds in Quezon City

Being the biggest city in Metro Manila in terms of land area, it’s no surprise that Quezon City has a lot to offer to those who crave wanderlust. Much like other urban areas, retail establishments are aplenty, but as proven by the locations in this list, Quezon City isn’t just for the city dwellers. Its efforts to maintain the remaining lungs of the metro is worth applauding—and it won’t hurt visiting them, too.

Quezon City is proof that you don’t have to go far to experience biodiversity or be one with nature—sometimes, all it takes is a bus ride. Let this be your guide on planning your next adventure to Quezon City, but don’t be afraid to go outside the itinerary. You might be lucky enough to find the next big thing in this great metropolis.

Planning a trip to Quezon City? Explore various Quezon City tours and activities that you can add in your itinerary to get the full experience.