Sandwiched between the capital housing Intramuros and the mountainsides of Antipolo, Quezon City is considered the largest city in Metro Manila.
Abbreviated as “QC,” very few people know the accolades this city holds. Regardless, it remains on the periphery of both local and foreign sojourners because other cities to the South boast of a more cosmopolitan atmosphere.
But if you can find the time, why not drop by Quezon City and experience the fun for yourself?
Come to TriNoMa located along Mindanao Avenue. There’s always something happening on the ground floor’s Activity Center—from celebrity endorsement launches to trade fairs, and even food festivals.
There’s also a movie house, open garden, and arcade at the top floor. The easiest way to come here is by taking an MRT ride and hopping off at the North Avenue station – which is connected to the mall proper.
SM North Edsa is just a hop or two from TriNoMa’s transport hubs, so it’s easy to switch malls. Note that SM North EDSA can get a bit overwhelming, since the mall proper is segregated into sections.
A must-visit is the new building, SM The Block, which has a Food Circuit and Food Market every weekend at the ground and lower floors. If you’re coming from Cubao, take a bus headed towards Monumento.
If you’re in the mood for another kind of shopping experience, take a trip to Balintawak and see Landers. You can find a variety of freshly baked goods, seafood, and USA branded supplies that can’t be found anywhere else.
Among its top finds are wine-flavored ice cream, bottles of Sriracha, Pillsbury dough, and “It’s Not Butter, Butter” spray.
Note: You need to be a member to shop here, so either borrow a friend’s Landers card, or get your own for a small fee of P800 a year!
Go to the other side of QC, near the Blue school of Ateneo and the Blue and Gold of Miriam. The UP Town Center is another AyalaLand development, with restaurants and clothing outlets that are perfect for families.
There’s also a wide open space right in the middle of the complex, where you can people-watch to your heart’s content. The fastest way to get here is by taking a jeep headed towards Katipunan/UP Campus.
Many Facebook posts have been dedicated to this bustling gastronomic nucleus. Maginhawa traverses Sikatuna and Teacher’s Village, surrounding the University of the Philippines’ campus.
Parking can be tough, depending on where you want to eat, but part of the experience is taking a journey via jeepney, discovering hidden hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and sharing the find on social media. Tip: Prepare cash, just in case the establishments don’t take card.
Enjoy the beauty of nature at the La Mesa Ecopark! Constituting a perfect day trip with family and friends, the Ecopark is well-maintained thanks to the constant influx of people who come on the daily.
Depending on how agreeable the weather, you can go hiking, swimming, and try climbing to the top of the stairs of the La Mesa Dam.
Occasionally, extra attractions will be available in the park, including trampolines and rock climbing. There is an entrance fee of P50 for non-QC residents, P40 for QC residents with a proof of residence, P20 for QC students, and free for all QC senior citizens and kids below 3 ft.
For those who wish to experience QC’s religious landscape, there’s a plethora of Catholic churches readily available to visit.
In Greenmeadows Avenue, there’s the famous Christ the King church, iconic for its grandiose Jesus Christ statue at the heart of the altar.
There’s also the Sto. Domingo Church, which is a wedding venue favorite among the locals. Not only does it have one of the longest aisles, it’s also a compound with an adoration chapel, a fountain area, and a café where you can order coffee and refreshments.
Another must-see church in QC is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, which is Spanish in detail and can put anyone, devout or wandering, into a solemn mood.
Over at 175 15th Avenue, Cubao Expo, see the Art in Island 3D Trick Eye Museum, where cameras, selfie sticks, and wacky group poses are commonplace.
Considered the largest 3D museum in Asia, Art in Island is basically a giant visual playground full of optical illusions that you can pose with. Use props and take wacky pictures! Tickets are P500 for adults and P400 for students, PWD’s, and senior citizens. Wear socks, because you can’t have shoes inside.
Relive the life of the President who the city was named after by visiting the Quezon Heritage House located in the Quezon Memorial Circle, Elliptical Road, near the Max and Serye restaurants.
Although the current house is just a replica of the old vacation villa of the late President Manuel L. Quezon back in New Manila, this 2-storey residence is the closest you can get to a the full 1940’s home abode treatment.
Note that the interiors are mostly originals from the first establishment. Visit here every Tuesday to Sunday from 9AM to 4PM. Admission is free.
On that note, make sure you head to the very center of the Elliptical Road for the Quezon Memorial Shrine, iconic for its giant, triangular art-deco structure.
As the name suggests, it’s dedicated to the late President Quezon. Designed by Federico Lustre back in the 50’s, the tower is 66-meters tall with an observation deck at the zenith.
Wait for nightfall to witness a simple light show of varying colors, decorating the sides of the tower. Admission is free.
The clock is ticking. Pass by Mystery Manila when you’re in Quezon City, and test the bonds of your friendship with timed puzzle rooms, each with different themes and difficulty levels.
Located in E. Rodriguez Avenue, Mystery Manila never runs out of creative ways to challenge your mind.
You get one hour to solve the mystery of your chosen mystery room with groups of around 5 people. It’s around P550 for 2 people, and the more people join, the cheaper the rate is per head (it can go as far down as P300-400).
Bullseye, anyone? If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try your hand at Quezon City’s Stronghand Shooting Range located in 1660 La Defense Bldg, Cubao QC.
As the name suggests, it’s a target shooting indoor range with friendly prices for people who just want a taste of the action star treatment, without the membership commitment. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s definitely a lot of fun.
You rent firearms for P500 if you’re a Guest, and P750 if you’re a Foreigner. Bring valid ID, and prepare extra cash to purchase the bullets and targets.
Take it slow without compromising the fun factor and drive to Sip and Gogh in Capitol Hills, Quezon City. This place promises a unique experience.
You book a class with one of their resident artists, who will then teach you the techniques that go into recreating one of Van Gogh’s famous paintings, or any paintings up for demo.
At the same time, you have a choice to sip red or white wines and munch on cheese and fruits—hence the name. Sessions start at around 2:30 PM in their QC branch, and each session lasts for 2 hours.
You pay P1000 per head, inclusive of the materials and the drinks.
See Barkin’ Blends Dog Café to go on a fur-friendly experience! Not only will you be surrounded by cute puppies as you munch on a snack, they can snack with you thanks to the dog-approved treats on the menu!
It’s P219 per head to enter the Dog Zone, inclusive of one free drink. (They’re closed on Thursdays!)
How else should a Quezon City trip end than with a reminder of the rich history surrounding it?
Before you embark on another journey, away from the North, visit the QCX—or the Quezon City Experience. Called by QC mayor Herbert Bautista as a “social history museum,” it has 16 interactive galleries that tell stories and facts about how QC came to be.