Explore the hustle and bustle of Quezon City, an urban center in Metro Manila. Find out the easiest way to get into the city, what attractions and activities to explore, where to stay, and where to eat and drink if you’re looking for a fun night.
The vibrant Quezon City (QC) is the largest and most populous city in Metro Manila that offers many attractions for travelers of all ages. It has a rich cultural heritage where you will discover many exciting places, exciting things to do, and delicious food to eat.
Quezon City was actually the capital of the Philippines for 28 years. Founded in 1939 by former President Manual L. Quezon, it was established during the American Commonwealth period, and from then the Quezon city map expanded further.
You will find many historical landmarks in the Philippines, each one commemorating essential events that occurred in the past.
Some of these noteworthy events can be found in Quezon City, which includes the EDSA People Power Monument and the site of the Unang Sigaw ng Balintawak.
Despite losing its title as the nation’s capital in 1976, the city has continued to develop into a premier city filled with delightful activities and attractions.
The stretch along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City is where you will find prestigious universities like the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University. The presence of bright and talented young Filipinos contributes to the spirit of dynamism and innovation in the city.
Like other university centers, Quezon City is at the cutting edge of the latest trends in music, art, culture, and food. Maginhawa Street, located near the universities, is where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Quezon City.
There are also hidden eco-tourism attractions in Quezon City that are waiting to be discovered by both local and international visitors.
Bookmark this page and take note of these travel tips when planning your trip to Quezon City.
It's best to check the climate, temperature, and the Quezon city weather before your visit. This section will give an overview of the best season to go, the city's annual parade, the hottest, wettest, and driest months in the city.
It also includes a 'what to wear' section so you can walk around the city comfortably. These reminders are helpful so you can avoid any canceled plans or mishaps during your trip.
The best time to visit Quezon City is from December to April. It's not that humid compared to the summer months of May to July and is not that cloudy with a high chance of rainfall during the following months.
Most of the exciting things to visit and activities to do in Quezon city are available year-round. For an enjoyable visit, the months leading up to the Christmas season is a great time to go.
Annual Lantern Parade
In mid-December, there’s the yearly Lantern Parade held at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. It's where bright and colorful lanterns are on display, each one created by the different colleges.
Watch out for the ones made by fine arts students, as they have a reputation for coming up with the most creative lanterns, where they light up at night. Quezon city weather is also warm during this time.
Make sure to check weather updates before going to Quezon City. The hottest day of the year in the city often falls in April, with an average of 32 °C (90 °F).
Meanwhile, the lowest temperature day of the year often falls in January, with an average degree of 24 °C (75°F). August is usually the wettest month, with an average of 513 mm of rainfall.
Here's an overview of the average monthly Quezon City weather and temperature:
During the summer, it gets boiling and humid in Quezon City. It's best to wear light and comfortable clothes such as t-shirts and shorts. Wearing rubber shoes is a must if you're going to do a walking tour around the area. Slippers are suitable for short walks too.
Regardless of the season, make sure to bring an umbrella. You might encounter unexpected rainfall and thunderstorms, especially if you're visiting during July to September.
Quezon City is easy to travel to once you get to Metro Manila. It's a bustling city; with many people commuting going here. Some even wake up early in the morning to avoid the unexpected traffic that happens around noon.
Having a Quezon City map is helpful when commuting in the city. Regardless of your reason for coming, here are some of the public transportation options for you.
There are two major international airports that service airplanes that land in Metro Manila from abroad. First is Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which is in the south of Quezon City. Next is Clark International Airport in Pampanga, north of Quezon City.
From NAIA in Pasay, it takes approximately 45 minutes to 3 hours to go to Quezon City, depending on the traffic. Here are three ways to go to Quezon City:
You can take the premium bus that will bring you to the Araneta Center in Quezon City. It's the most convenient way to go to Quezon City, and most P2P buses accept beep card, the card used for MRT/LRT stations.
You can hail a cab from the airport going to Quezon City. Take note that it still depends on traffic conditions, destination, and type of taxi. A quick tip: insist on flagging the meter to get the correct fare. Some taxi drivers often negotiate a fixed price for the ride, which is often more expensive than the normal one.
Use this ride-sharing app called Grab by downloading it on your smartphone. There is also a Grab booth or station at the arrival gate to help you book a ride.
From Clark, P2P buses are coming from the Clark airport going to the Trinoma mall in Quezon City.
From the mall, you can take a taxi or get a Grab car from the Grab station at the entrance of the mall if you don’t have the ride-sharing app on your smartphone. Clark is about 2-3 hours away from Quezon City.
If you’re coming from nearby towns within the Luzon region, there are a lot of options for you to take. Make sure to download or bring a Quezon City map with you just in case you get confused with the routes.
You can take any of the provincial buses that travel to Cubao or Quezon Avenue. Fares are cheap, but it still depends on where you’re coming.
By Private Car
If you're looking for convenience, you may opt to rent a private car. There are car rentals available. You can also hire a driver so you can focus on creating the perfect itinerary in Quezon City.
You will not run out of options when it comes to going around Quezon City. It all depends on how much you’re willing to pay, how far you’re going, and how comfortable you want to be while traveling.
It can get very humid, especially during the summer months of March-May, so consider that when choosing how you’ll explore the many exciting things to find in QC.
By MRT (Metro Rail Train)
The MRT connects to two railway stations within Metro Manila, MRT-2 and MRT-3. It’s more cheap and convenient and is one of your best options to avoid road traffic. But note that these trains can get very crowded, especially during rush hours.
By Public Bus
These are available along Quezon Ave and EDSA. You can either take a non-airconditioned bus or air-conditioned bus. It still depends on the route you’ll be undertaking, and some coaches might not have enough seats to accommodate you and your group.
You’ll find colorful jeepneys on most main roads; they’re not called “king of the road” for nothing! Make sure to pay the exact fare or a smaller bill so that the driver won’t get inconvenient in finding change for your money, especially during mornings.
You’ll find these at nearby villages or residential areas. It’s perfect for traveling short distances only or within the same area. It's the mode of transportation you have to take when you’re eager to explore inner neighborhoods and towns in Quezon City.
These are at various points of the metro, and many are lined up at the nearby mall entrances. The fare depends on your destination, but it’s usually cheaper compared to the rates in car-booking apps.
Whether you're on a tight budget or you're someone who prefers to spend more on luxurious accommodations, it's better to plan when in Quezon City.
Whichever you prefer, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for in a city as big as this one. Make sure to read reviews first to avoid disappointment on your end. Also, avoid the ones found in sketchy locations.
Depending on your budget and preference, it's essential to research the types of accommodation available in Quezon City before your visit. Here are some of the usual and unique ones found in this part of Metro Manila.
Be sure to check if this accommodates the number of people you have in your group. Also, if the accommodation is not near the city center, it's best if you pre-plan your commuting strategy in going to the location.
Whether you're staying for work or pleasure, there are various hotels in Quezon City, ranging from budget to luxury. Some even offer amenities such as swimming pool and spa. Make sure to follow the check-in procedure to avoid getting an extra charge.
If you're looking for privacy, renting a private condo or house in Quezon City will work best. It's better if you're in a group so you could share the expenses. Most vacation houses cost a lot per night, especially if you're staying short-term.
Perfect for solo backpackers, hostels in Quezon City usually offers dorm-type rooms and single rooms, but with shared bathrooms. Their common areas are ideal for meeting new people, and some even have rooftop bars where you can chill at night.
In the City, neighborhoods, and areas are divided by districts and Quezon City barangay. There are six districts, but you don't have to memorize all of them though, just the central locations of tourist spots.
This neighborhood in Quezon City comprises of a lot of tourist destinations. It's mostly known for the location of two major college and universities, Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, and University of the Philippines Diliman
Some of the famous landmarks in Cubao include Araneta Center. Art in Island and Cubao Expo is also here. Most major bus transportations and budgeted hotels are in Cubao.
Commonwealth has two lanes, which is the North Avenue and MRT3. It is the home to famous landmarks such as the central temple of Iglesia ni Cristo, the Sandiganbayan, New Era University, car companies such as Nissan and Toyota, and many more.
This quiet neighborhood in Quezon City is known for its elegance, history, and art. It's home to artistic landmarks such as PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) Theater, Robinson's Magnolia, and the official residence of the Vice President of the Philippines.
The Project Areas
When you're commuting (e.g., riding a jeepney), you might encounter board signs with routes going to Project 1 to 8. It refers to various Quezon City barangay and residential subdivisions. Make sure you’re on the right number to avoid getting lost.
Depending on your budget and preference, it's essential to take note of the following: location, price, and service. While it's okay to stay in a cheaper place, one should consider the number of people that will be waiting.
If you're in a group, it might be better to rent a private villa or stay at Quezon City hotels offering family rooms. However, if you're curious about the popular accommodations in the city itself, here are some below:
For backpackers or travelers who’d rather spend more on the sights than on the hotel, Quezon city has many options to fit your needs. These two come highly recommended among budget-conscious travelers.
Red Planet Quezon Timog
Photo by Red Planet Hotels
An excellent place to stay that gives easy access to tourist attractions like the Quezon Memorial Circle and Araneta Center, since it's near the GMA-Kamuning MRT station. It is also near the nightlife at Tomas Morato and Timog Ave.
They have clean rooms and custom-made beds. They have a free and fast Wi-Fi connection and powerful rain showers in the bathroom. They also have air-conditioning and all the necessities you’ll need for a fuss-free, comfortable night’s rest.
Photo by Soleste Suites
This hotel is on Katipunan Avenue. It is an ideal place to stay if you plan to go on a food trip in the Maginhawa area or go shopping at nearby Eastwood. Their standard rooms are perfect for solo travelers, with its single bed and private bathroom.
For double or queen-sized beds, go for their deluxe rooms or junior suites if you have more people in your group.
The Penthouse Suite for a king-sized bed has its jacuzzi! Each room has air-conditioning, cable TV, high-speed Wi-fi connection, a minibar and refrigerator, a room safe, in-house coffee and tea.
If you're looking for all the creature comforts of a high-end hotel without breaking the bank, here are a couple of options that fit the bill.
If you don’t want to sacrifice a good sleep in a comfortable bed, but it's okay for you not to get the new treatment such as a spa and a pool. Below are the recommendations from us.
This hotel opened in 2015, making it one of the newer hotels in Quezon City. It's 5 kilometers away from Vargas Museum, a museum in Quezon City.
It is also a walking distance away from the MRT station, with all the amenities and comforts you can expect from a well-rated hotel. A sun terrace, swimming pool, and garden? Check.
Private bathroom with bidet and free toiletries? Check. Breakfast buffet and well-appointed rooms? Check and check!
Along with cable TV, marble floors, hairdryer, and the usual minibar-refrigerator-hot kettle combo, their rooms also have ironing facilities and complimentary slippers for guests. Some even have views of the city amidst a quiet and secure location.
Microtel by Wyndham UP Technohub
Photo by Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
Located inside UP-Ayala Land Technohub, this hotel offers 120 clean and secure guest rooms with queen-sized beds and chiropractor-approved mattresses with cable TV.
They offer room service, individually controlled air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and an electronic keycard entry system. Nice little extras like a safety deposit box, refrigerator, and hair dryers provide additional comfort and extra security.
Don’t mind shelling out more than usual for a chance to live like royalty while staying at hotels in Quezon City? Then get your wallets ready and prepare to wait on hand and foot at these luxurious Quezon city hotels.
These two hotels are within the center of the city, which means you can easily access the top attractions without having to commute. They’re quite near Quezon Memorial Circle too!
The Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Photo by The Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Claiming to be the first truly-Green Hotel in Quezon City, this hotel comes highly recommended by reputable travel sites. Each room has a modern-classic aesthetic that reflects its commitment to environmental sustainability.
Aside from the usual room amenities (hi-speed Wi-Fi, refrigerator with minibar, air-conditioning), the hotel also offers a concierge service, the use of facilities such as the swimming pool, spa, and a fitness center with a working gym.
Even an in-house aesthetic medicine center and salon for your grooming needs.
Did we mention that they use 600 thread count Egyptian cotton linens and towel sets, 90% Goose down duvets, and organic eco-certified bathroom amenities? Those luxurious extras make for a comfortable, and environmentally conscious hotel stay, indeed.
Seda Vertis North
Located in the economic hub of Quezon City, Seda is one of the newer luxury hotels that promise stylish accommodations and comfort. If shopping and restaurant-hopping are the main agendas on your visit, then Seda Vertis North is your most convenient option.
Primer retail hubs such as Trinoma and SM North EDSA The Block are just a few steps away. Within those malls are numerous food places to choose from that will delight even the pickiest eaters.
Hairdryer and minibar with a refrigerator. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, gym, room service, a spa, bar/lounge, and complimentary breakfast.
Whether you're looking for historical and heritage tourist spots or exciting outdoor activities, Quezon City has so much to offer. This city is known for a crowd that doesn't sleep. Much like New York, only local.
It's because most prominent corporations and local tourist spots are in Quezon City. Here are some of the top things to do in Quezon City that you can add to your itinerary:
Get to know how the Filipino people became who they are today by going to essential places that mark significant moments in Philippine history.
Unang Sigaw ng Balintawak
It's also known as the Cry of Pugad Lawin, the site of the First Cry that marked the beginning of the first Philippine revolution against the Spaniards.
People Power Monument
Situated along EDSA and White Plains marks the 1986 peaceful revolutions that ousted former President Marcos
San Pedro Bautista Church
Located in San Francisco del Monte is the second oldest church in the country and a great place to see the significance of the Catholic faith in the country
General Lawton Monument
Commemorates the spot where the US general was killed in battle by Katipuneros after the Pact of Biak na Bato failed
Quezon City Memorial Circle
An obelisk-shaped monument that stands right in the middle of a busy roundabout that stands as a reminder of the years when Quezon City was the nation’s capital.
It is also the location of the remains of former President Quezon. It is a great place to jog in the early morning; at night, the monument has colorful lights and a dancing fountain from high rise buildings in the city and nearby areas.
When it gets too hot and humid to walk outside, going to the mall is a great way to cool down while enjoying some shopping time. Many of the shopping malls in Quezon City have everything you need.
From restaurants and food courts that offer affordable meals, to great shopping find from local and international brands, you’ll find them all at the mall. You can watch movies, pay your bills, buy your groceries, and sometimes you can even attend Sunday mass in the middle of the mall!
Here are some of the malls and establishments that highly recommended to visit:
SM City North EDSA
Photo by SM CIty North EDSA
One of the first mall built in Metro Manila and is the largest solar-powered shopping mall in Southeast Asia. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are, you’ll find it here!
There are many public buses, jeepneys, and tricycles that travel to this mall. It’s also the jump-off point to various areas in Quezon City, including point to point provincial buses.
It's located right across SM City North EDSA. This Ayala owned establishment opened in 2007 and has many specialty shops, high-end and low-end retail brands and restaurants.
If you need a safe place for your toddler to get entertained, there are indoor play areas like these. It's where your kids can burn their excess energy while you’re at the mall.
They have a good selection of restaurants and retail outlets. It’s a great place to go to if you have pets because you can bring your dog, cat or furry friend to this pet-friendly mall!
Photo by Gateway Mall
Araneta Center is a major exit and entry point for public buses and MRT riders. It can get quite crowded, especially during rush hours. You’ll find high-end retail establishments like Rustan’s and the usual specialty shops and restaurants here.
It's near Gateway Mall has a wet public market selling fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat. It is well known for its “dampa” (wet market) where you can avail of “paluto” (cooking service) for yummy seafood dishes.
This is where artists and creative types come together and set up shop, selling one of a kind items you won’t find at a regular mall. If you’re looking for unique finds, crafty things, and thrift shops, look no further.
Quezon City may be a developed urban center, but it has hidden green destinations that provide an escape from the busy city life. Why not take a break from the air-conditioned confines of the mall and breathe some fresh air at a nature reserve.
La Mesa Eco Park/Dam and Reservoir
Photo by La Mesa Eco Park
A great place to go hiking, swimming, and enjoying the view of the La Mesa Dam. It is a protected watershed that holds the last remaining rainforest in Metro Manila, with a reservoir that is the primary water source of nearby towns.
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center
You wouldn’t expect to find 22.7 hectares of zoological-botanical gardens at the heart of a bustling city. It does exist in Quezon City. It’s a beautiful place to have a quiet stroll through nature, and you’ll find a lagoon, playground, aquarium and lots of plants in the botanical garden.
University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Campus
It's a welcome respite for weary travelers. The sight of tall, acacia trees lined up along the wide roads of this campus will surely get your energy lifted.
The Philippines houses several art galleries and unique museums. It's good to know you can find good ones in the Quezon City area. It’s best if you plan before visiting, as they might have new exhibitions that might interest you.
Sining Kamalig Art Gallery
It features beautiful paintings and contemporary pieces by both local and international artists. A visit to this art gallery is sure to be an exciting cultural experience. Make sure to take snapshots before you go!
It is inside UP Diliman and contains notable works by Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Felix Hidalgo and other talented Filipino artists. It’s one of the famous museums Quezon City as you can also get a glimpse of the beautiful campus of UP Diliman.
Art in Island
It is the perfect place for you if you're fond of taking selfies and fun photographs. It has 3D paintings and photos that look like you’re standing on strange angles or riding a chariot with wild horses, along with other wacky images that you can take.
If you're looking for other nightlife options aside from the usual bars and pubs, Quezon City is also a go-to place for various entertainment shows and activities.
Quezon City Triangle area
Near Tomas Morato and Timog Avenue is where you’ll find places like Punchline, Zirkoh, or Laffline for your stand-up comedy fix. Sing your heart out at Music 21, just one of the many KTV or videoke places around the area, where you can rent rooms for as many as ten people at a time.
Smart Araneta Coliseum
Photo by Araneta Coliseum
Also known as the central dome, it is a favorite venue for basketball games, boxing matches, as well as concerts by international artists and beauty pageants.
Quezon City has become a food haven where you will find every type of cuisine imaginable. There’s no unique local cuisine in Quezon City because there is a diverse set of food choices available for anyone.
If you love to eat, you can easily spend a whole day exploring different neighborhood food destinations that are near residential areas and subdivisions. Make sure to bring cash though, as some might not accept card transactions due to it being in a public space.
Make sure to try some of these recommended best restaurants in Quezon City by both locals and internationals. Most people usually visit Maginhawa Street and Banawe.
Located in Sikatuna Village, Maginhawa Street is one of the trendiest places to explore if you’re in the mood for good food at student-friendly prices.
Banawe area, on the other hand, is where you’ll find hidden, quiet, but delicious places to eat as well. Here are a few to tried and tested Quezon city restaurants to explore:
Maginhawa Food Park (strEAT)
If you’re pressed for time and want to try as many types of food as possible in one place, then this is the place for you. It has food trucks and stalls that sell standard hawker eats like pizza, pasta, Thai food, iced tea, shaved ice desserts, and rice meals. They even serve beer and wine here!
It is a neighborhood restaurant known for generous servings of pizza and pasta dishes at affordable price points. Their Tre Formaggi Pizza and pasta puttanesca are crowd favorites. You’ll love the ambiance inside the restaurant as well as it exudes a chill vibe to its visitors.
Van Gogh is Bipolar
If you’re looking for a unique, art-inspired restaurant, then this one is for you. You'd be impressed at the story behind the establishment. You might even take snapshots of the place for its aesthetic vibe. Try President Clinton’s meal for a “mood-altering” experience.
Vikings at SM North Edsa
If you’re a heavy eater, check out Vikings. This buffet-style restaurant serves international cuisine that will please anyone’s craving.
It has Italian, Japanese, Asian main courses to dessert. Bring a big appetite with you when you come to visit! Take note that it’s better to have a reservation here before visiting.
The Frazzled Cook
Photo by The Frazzled Cook
It is an Italian-Filipino restaurant known for its truffle pasta, grilled chicken salad, and slow-cooked pork ribs. A visit to this place will make you think of the 1990s because of its rustic interiors. Their vintage plates will remind you of old-school restaurants.
Xin Tian Di
It is an upscale Chinese restaurant that comes highly recommended for dim sum lovers and other signature dishes. You'll be able to taste prawn salad, xiao long bao, spare ribs, and roast duck.
You will love this restaurant as they offer authentic Chinese food only. Get a reservation first as it’s frequently visited, especially during the weekends.
Quezon City is a bustling urban destination in the Philippines, mostly due to its proximity to public transportations and big establishments. It's essential to take note of these following tips so you can have a convenient and hassle-free trip to the city.
Since major establishments accept credit cards, you can withdraw directly without getting your money exchanged at a money changer. You can also pay via credit card on most establishments.
However, it's better to bring some Filipino peso (PHP) with you, and smaller bills such as 50 pesos (PHP) and100 pesos (PHP) for a hassle-free transaction.
Most locals in Quezon City use Tagalog when communicating, and the majority of them are fluent and can understand English. Make sure to greet the locals with a simple "Hi/hello" first to initiate a conversation. Don’t worry, they’re friendly and can accommodate most of your questions.
Watch out for pickpockets when commuting and keep your valuables safe, especially in crowded areas like Cubao Expo and Farmer’s Market dampa.
If you’re planning to walk alone at night, make sure to keep your bags close to you. And, just like in any other country, always be aware of your surroundings.
Wear light clothing when going to nature parks and bring lots of water. It's best to bring a jacket or umbrella with you in case of rain.
Also, don’t forget to bring a small bag when you’re going on a sightseeing trip! It will lessen the hassle when you’re walking along the roads, especially if you plan to shop.
If you’re staying in Quezon City longer and riding the bus and MRT, get a Beep card for your convenience. It is the train passcard used in Metro Rail Transit (MRT3) and Light Rail Transit (LRT1/2) stations. It’s much cheaper than riding a taxi or motorcycle.
Two days well-spent in Quezon City will include a mixture of the following activities: a trip to nature, some art appreciation, a bit of restaurant-hopping, a lot of shopping and a fun night out.
For first-time visitors, here’s a sample itinerary that should cover all the bases. Once you’ve had a taste of what Quezon City has to offer, you’ll keep coming back for more!
8:00 AM - Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Center
9:30 AM - Quezon City Memorial Circle
11:00 AM - Museum visit at Vargas Museum in UP Diliman Campus
12:00 NN - Lunch at Friuli Trattoria
2:00 PM - Sightseeing and walking at Trinoma Mall
7:30 PM onwards - Dinner at Frazzled Cook
9:00 AM - A nature park excursion at La Mesa Eco Park
12:00 NN - Lunch at Vikings
2:00 PM - Art in Island museum experience
3:00 PM - Shopping at SM North Edsa
6:00 PM - Culinary dinner at Farmer’s Market (Dampa Paluto)
8:00 PM - KTV or Comedy Show
Two days is quick but enough to get an experience of what Quezon City has to offer for visitors. If you’re staying longer in the Philippines, take the time to go on a food trip to taste some hidden gems in neighborhood joints that locals keep coming back.
The combination of exciting activities, delicious food, and the dynamic spirit of its residents make Quezon City a place that you’re sure to keep coming back.
Let's plan a trip to Quezon City soon! Explore tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary.