By Bus, Jeep, or Mini Van
Quezon City is roughly around 13 to 15 kilometers away from the country’s capital, Manila. From there, you can either ride a bus or jeep that will take you to various points in this city.
The buses and jeeps are not hard to find as they are commonly found plying Taft Avenue in Manila. Bright and colorful signages are stuck on the windshields (take the one that says “SM Fairview”). From Taft Avenue, the buses and jeeps usually find their way towards España Boulevard and eventually to Quezon Avenue, one of the major roads in Quezon City.
Meanwhile, if you are coming from Makati, there are buses and minivans (or FX as they are more commonly known) that are available either at Ayala Avenue or right along EDSA. Take the bus or FX headed to SM Fairview or Cubao.
At present, there is a Premium Point to Point (P2P) Bus Service that offers an even more comfortable commuting experience to the public. Running at its initial stage, the P2P Bus currently has limited routes, but a Glorietta 5 (Makati)–Trinoma (Quezon City) route is already available.
LRT Lines 1 and 2 and the MRT-3 pass through major points in Quezon City, offering yet another convenient option to go around the city. LRT Line 1 has stations in North Avenue, Roosevelt, and Balintawak—all of which are in Quezon City.
LRT Line 2, on the other hand, passes through a handful of Quezon City areas namely New Manila (Gilmore Station and Betty Go-Belmonte Station), Cubao (Araneta Center-Cubao Station), Anonas (Anonas Station), and Katipunan (Katipunan Station).
Meanwhile, the MRT-3 cuts diagonally through the city with stations available in Santolan, Araneta Center-Cubao, GMA-Kamuning, Quezon Avenue, and North Avenue.
By Taxi or Ridesharing Services
Still, the most convenient way to get around is via taxi. The current flag down rate is PHP 30.00, and a rate of PHP 3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters. As mentioned earlier, Quezon City is about 15 kilometers away from Manila, so the taxi fare should cost somewhere between PHP 150.00 to PHP 200.00. Makati, on the other hand, is about 18 kilometers away. However, keep in mind that you should also consider traffic conditions when estimating your taxi fare.
In addition, ridesharing services like Grab and Uber are other great ways to get to Quezon City from any point in Metro Manila.
What to see
With Quezon City comprising of several districts, one is sure to have more than enough reasons to explore and enjoy the city that was once declared as the capital city of the Philippines.
Any trip to Quezon City is never complete without at least seeing the towering monument built to honor and remember its founder. The Quezon Memorial Circle, commonly referred to as “Circle,” is located on the Elliptical Road right in the heart of Quezon City. In the middle stands the 217-feet Quezon Memorial Monument, where the remains of the late President Manuel L. Quezon and his wife, Aurora Quezon, are interred.
Another important landmark in the city is the Quezon Heritage House. It is also located at the Circle and is a reconstruction and restoration of the former house of President Quezon that once stood along Gilmore Street. The original furniture, doors, windows, and other personal belongings are kept intact for visitors to see.
More than the resting place for President Quezon, the Circle is also a public park where one can enjoy biking, jogging, running, and other forms of exercise. You can also have picnics for a fun and inexpensive way to bond with friends and family. The park also features a boating lagoon, race track, a couple of food stalls or tiangge where you can buy food or souvenirs at pocket-friendly prices.
Another park in Quezon City worthy of a visit is the La Mesa Eco Park. It is a 33-hectare park that is part of the La Mesa Watershed, one of the major and important sources of water in Metro Manila. The park is a favorite destination by groups of friends and families who are looking for a venue to enjoy fun and exciting outdoor activities. There is a public saltwater pool available onsite as well as a picnic area, a boating and fishing lagoon, butterfly sanctuary, camp site, and an eco-museum.
Speaking of museums, the city also has a number of establishments where you can immerse yourself in the culture and the arts. The Mowelfund Film Institute, also known as the Pambansang Museo ng Pelikula, is where tourists can witness how glorious the past of the Philippine movie industry was. Vintage movie posters, costumes, and other filmmaking equipment are displayed in the museum. There is also a room dedicated to the renowned “King of Philippine Cinema,” Fernando Poe Jr.
The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center at the University of the Philippines Diliman also houses an extensive collection of memorabilia and artifacts about the Philippines that belonged to Jose B. Vargas, a statesman who served as the Executive Secretary to President Quezon. Obra maestras from renowned artists like Juan Luna, Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo, Fernando Amorsolo, and Guillermo Tolentino are also displayed there. Almost 3,000 books and 1,000 periodicals are kept in the library inside the museum.
If you want to view more collections of Philippine art, then the Ateneo Art Gallery, located on the ground floor of the Rizal Library within the Ateneo de Manila University campus, is where you should go. The museum is home to the creations of various Filipino artists as well as other world-renowned masters like Rembrandt, Dali, and Picasso.
The Quezon City Experience or QCX, one of the city’s museums, was established in November 2015 and is also located in Circle. The museum presents the rich history and culture of Quezon City and offers visitors a unique experience by having them perform interactive activities in some of the galleries.
Aside from parks and museums, another iconic structure that Quezon City is known for is the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Also known as “The Big Dome,” this multi-purpose arena is where some of the country’s biggest and largest events are held every year such as Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) games and the annual Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant. In addition, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Kylie Minogue are just some of the world-famous performers who have graced the stage at the coliseum. But the place is perhaps best remembered for being the venue of the historic boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975 called Thrilla in Manila.
Where to Eat
Aside from the endless food choices that its numerous malls offer, Quezon City also has a number of areas and districts that are known for their unique epicurean delights that visitors and tourists will crave for.
Maginhawa Street has been attracting foodies all over the city with its wide array of food options at very affordable prices. Whether you like to eat something Filipino, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, or American, there’s bound to be a restaurant or hole-in-the-wall along this wide street. Some of the dishes to try include the pizzas at Friuli Trattoria, ribs at RB Cty / Rib City, Chicken Katsu from Crazy Katsu, and the selection of burgers at BRGR: The Burger Project. Not to be missed is the StrEat Maginhawa Food Park, an area peppered with food stalls and food trucks that sell shakes, tacos, gourmet hot dogs, French toasts, and succulent Thai food.
A couple of minutes away from Maginhawa is UP Town Center, a mall frequented by students and foodies alike. Try Casa Verde’s famous ribs or their nine-inch burger called “The Big Bang.” Backyard Kitchen + Brew serves modern comfort food with a twist, while Mad Mark’s Creamery and Good Eats is known for its mouthwatering steaks and their delectable dessert, the Half-baked Madagascar Ice Cream.
Other places to check out for some delectable food offerings are Tomas Morato and the Scout area. Señor Pollo is a household favorite that serves Latin American grub like their famous Roast Chicken with your choice of sides, rice, and chimichurri sauce. For a taste of Italy in the area, The Frazzled Cook does not disappoint: their Wagyu Salpicao and Truffle Pasta are highly recommended. For hearty Filipino dishes that you’ll forever remember, try Alab at Scout Rallos.
Bars and Clubs
Tomas Morato and its nearby areas like Timog and many more are known for its pulsing nightlife. It has bars and clubs like Rue Bourbon, Vanity Club, En Route Distillery, Karaoke Republic, Music 21 Plaza, and Tides Grill & Bistro where you can enjoy drinks with great music and cheerful partygoers.
For those who just want to chill and take things slow, there are a number of coffee shops in Quezon City that will surely pique your interest. Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe along A. Roces Avenue is a place that hipsters and bohos will love. Hillside Café & Juice Bar serves not only great coffee but refreshing smoothies and fresh juices too. When in Panay Avenue, check out Yellow Tree Coffee and Tea for a cup of their White Mocha Hazelnut. If you want to enjoy a good book with your coffee, head over to Book and Borders café. For chocolate treats, a great place would be Xocolat in Katipunan Avenue.
Where to Shop
Standing beside the Big Dome is Gateway Mall, an upscale mall in the Cubao area that introduced the La-Z-Boy concept theater in the Philippines. It has over 300 stores, including the largest National Book Store in the entire Metro Manila.
Long before the establishment of Gateway Mall, two malls were already luring people to the Cubao area—Ali Mall and Farmers Plaza. Both establishments still stand today and offer over 300 additional shopping and dining options for guests to enjoy. Farmers Plaza is also connected to the MRT making it even more convenient for commuters.
But in terms of size, SM City North EDSA is on top of Quezon City’s list. This gargantuan shopping mall, built in 1985, has undergone several renovations and upgrades which made it one of the country's largest and one of the top five biggest worldwide. The mall has over 800 shops and restaurants, giving you a huge number of options for shopping and dining. This establishment is also home to Sky Dome, an events venue that can accommodate as many as 1,500 guests. It is also the second mall in the country to have opened an IMAX Theater and the largest solar-paneled mall in the entire Southeast Asian Region.
Directly across SM City North EDSA is TriNoMa, yet another large shopping mall in the city with over 500 stores and restaurants that cover almost 250,000 square meters of retail floor area. One of its notable features is the rooftop park where guests are treated to an array of options for al fresco dining—perfect for a romantic dinner with your significant other or for catching up with friends and family.
ATMs and Money Changers
There are numerous banks and ATMs all over Quezon City so finding one won’t be too hard. Money changers are plenty as well, especially in the commercial areas.
Fare: PHP 20.00++
Fare rates vary depending on your point of origin or the mode of transportation. The average fare for jeeps and buses that are headed for Quezon City is somewhere between PHP 20.00 to PHP 25.00. Train fares are also PHP 20.00. Taxis, on the other hand, have a flag down rate of PHP 30.00.
Food: PHP 50.00 to PHP 5,000.00
You can already grab a full meal at PHP 50.00 from the many fast food chains available in the city like Jollibee, McDonald’s, KFC, Chowking, or Greenwich. But prices could go as high as PHP 5,000.00 per meal if you decide to go eat in a fine dining restaurant. With the many food finds available in Maginhawa and the Tomas Morato area, a budget of PHP 250.00 to PHP 300.00 per meal would be ideal.
Shopping: PHP 300.00++
You can grab a quality shirt in one of the malls in Quezon City for around PHP 300.00, depending on the brand, design, and fabric. The city also has a number of affordable shopping options like tiangge areas or bazaars where a budget of PHP 500.00 can already go a long way.
Accommodations: PHP 700.00 to PHP 4,500.00
Quezon City has a number of lodging facilities that offer different kinds accommodations. Some of the popular hotel chains offer an overnight stay for as low as PHP 700.00. If you want to go all out with the facilities, amenities, and services, be prepared to shell out as much as PHP 4,500.00 per night.
Activities: Starting at PHP 100++
Most attractions are free of charge, though some might require entrance fees. The going rate s PHP 100.00. Do take note of promos and events so you can score great discounts or even free passes to the museums and parks. If you want to watch a movie, a ticket nowadays is about PHP 200.00. Bowling rates, on the other hand, costs about PHP 170.00 per game.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00
The restaurants already include a service charge in your bill whenever you dine, so tipping isn’t really necessary. But if you feel like leaving a tip, PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 would be okay. If you are driving, parking fees range from PHP 40 to PHP 50.00.