Quezon City has had its fair share of popularity as the largest city in the National Capital Region. Unlike Manila, the city is not too heavy on historical and national landmarks. But it makes up with a myriad of other attractions that will tickle your interest, whichever type of traveller you consider yourself to be. To help you plan your city exploration, here’s a list of top Quezon City attractions.
Adventure-driven nature lovers
1. Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center
A lot of people in Metro Manila seem to forget about this massive park in Quezon City, mainly because it is already surrounded by bigger and more prominent attractions. The park is currently managed by a staff bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and is a great option for a budget ecotourism trip. Aside from the thriving flora and fauna within the centre, there’s also a fishing village, tea house, amphitheatre and several picnic areas.
2. La Mesa Ecopark
La Mesa Ecopark is the Central Park of New York, the Kinabalu National Park of Malaysia and the Burnham Park of Baguio in one place. Various recreational opportunities await in the 33-hectare park, including trekking, cycling and fishing. For ecotourists, you’ll especially appreciate the Shell Flower Terraces, Orchidarium, Ecomuseum and the Butterfly Trail and Hatchery.
Family-oriented leisure seekers
3. Quezon City Memorial Circle
Quezon City Memorial Circle has a bit of everything for a whole day of fun for families. Aside from being accessible from practically every part of the city, the entire circle is also free to public visitors. There are a number of food stalls and picnic spots spread throughout and exciting activities for younger individuals down for a little adrenaline, such as biking and trying out the rides at World of Fun. Occasionally, there are special events that take place in the premises which you and your family can enjoy together.
4. North Avenue
Malls are often a staple destination for family bondings. They’re air-conditioned, fully stocked with retail items for kids’ and adults’ shopping and filled with restaurants. In Quezon City, two of the most visited malls are SM North EDSA and TriNoma along North Avenue. Both have become icons of the city through the years and have faced major developments to accommodate their thousands and thousands of visitors every day. There won’t be a single hour wasted here with the family!
Entertainment and social junkies
5. South Triangle
Besides being the home of the two biggest broadcast networks of the country, South Triangle is also a bustling centre for parties, small-time variety shows, the liveliest karaoke hubs and a nightly crowd of social yuppies. You’ll find most of these along Tomas Morato and Timog Avenue. If you’re lucky, you might even get a chance to take snaps with a few celebrities in one of the restaurants here on weekends!
6. Eastwood City
Behind its business and residential centre facade, Eastwood City has a dynamic night scene mostly frequented by couples, families and friends who don’t mind spending a little more for an amazing time out. Since the area is a little harder to reach, you have a better chance of enjoying its exclusive atmosphere on the right days.
7. UP Diliman
The university may have a reputation for bringing a different level of stress to students, but for visitors, the campus offers plenty of spots where you can just lay down, read a book and eat pork and chicken intestines on a stick while chatting with friends. Aside from picturesque buildings and art installations along the university oval, the campus is filled with Narra trees that will make for a serene photo backdrop or shade on a sunny day.
8. Balara Filters Park
Balara Filters Park is one of the oldest recreational parks in Quezon City located close to UP Diliman. It is part of one of the main treatment facilities for water from La Mesa Dam and considered one of the most underrated destinations in the city. The 150-hectare park is occupied by three swimming pools, a picnic grove, an amphitheatre, a windmill and a playground, among many others. Its eerie nature makes it a fantastic stop for off-the-beaten-path travellers.
If it’s food crawl, Maginhawa definitely clinches a top spot on foodies’ list. A favourite hangout spot of university students, this street in Diliman, Quezon City practically has it all — from book cafes, Western-themed restaurants, eat and play shops and hippie bars! Coming here occasionally makes you feel like being in a new place every time because of the fast turnover of dining spaces, which is why you simply won’t have enough of it!
Ah, Banawe. Cued by a tall Chinese arch along Quezon Avenue, the street is teeming with restaurants that are generally on the pricey side, but definitely worth the visit. Thankfully, the street is so extensive that you can literally spend an entire night restaurant-hopping. Aside from Binondo, Manila, Banawe is another go-to place for Chinese dishes because of its image as the “Chinatown of Quezon City”.
Artsies and Instagrammers
11. Eton Centris Walk
Centris Walk may seem like another Eastwood or Maginhawa at first due to the long list of dining places you will see here. But looking thoroughly, the centre offers several opportunities for you to unleash your inner artist through the futuristic architectures and spaces found throughout the grounds. The restaurants and shops themselves are arranged rather intricately. Come night time, take the opportunity to bring out your cameras for some funky Instagrammables.
12. Cubao Expo
In contrast to the avant-garde vibe of Eton Centris Walk, Cubao Expo has a more hip and antique touch to it that will make any visitor feel like travelling back in time. Once a haven for graffiti artists, the horseshoe-shaped complex is now home to a few hole-in-the-wall restaurants, bars, thrift shops and galleries. The outdoor facade of the stalls and the overall area’s indie vibe can serve as a convincing set for a quirky, boho-style shoot.
Quezon City may not be a common stop for travellers as much as Manila, but it sure is prepared to accommodate all our different travel interests. So how about giving these places a try on your next day or night out in Metro Manila?