There’s no shortage of places you can visit and explore in Quezon City. For one, it’s home to the Araneta Coliseum, which has hosted many legendary events like the “Thrilla in Manila” over the years. It’s got a monument housing the remains of a great Philippine president. Dozens and dozens of hotels are also located in Quezon City, ready to cater to a variety of price points and tastes.
If you’re a Manileño looking to spend the long weekend at a location close to home, consider Quezon City. Just an hour or so away from Manila — depending on the traffic and your location — it just may be the staycation location you’ve overlooked.
Quezon City doesn’t have an airport, so you won’t be flying into the city directly. However, if you’re flying in from outside Luzon it’s best to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. From there, you can head on over to the MRT Taft Station or the LRT EDSA Station.
If you’re taking the MRT, you can get off either at Araneta Center Cubao, GMA Kamuning, Quezon Avenue, or North Avenue. You can get off at Balintawak or Roosevelt if you’re taking the LRT1, depending on where you’re headed. If you’re flying in to Manila, why not book through Traveloka? We offer discounts on flights as well as hotel rooms.
As the largest city in Metro Manila in terms of land area, Quezon City has a lot of hotels dotting it. There’s one to fit any budget or taste, so you won’t have a problem picking one that fits your specifications. That said, here are some hotels that we think you should check out:
The four-star La Breza Hotel has 64 rooms that boast a balcony, WiFi, cable TV, and a private toilet with a bathtub and shower. There’s also a restaurant that serves Filipino and international cuisine, as well as an outdoor pool and a fitness center. All the ingredients for a perfect day in. If you get antsy from staying in, La Breza is less than a kilometer away from the MRT and a little over a kilometer away from the Trinoma mall. Room rates start at P2,800, breakfast included. However, prices may change depending on availability.
If your idea of a perfect staycation involves a lot of eating, check out this 3-star hotel. It’s near foodie haven Maginhawa Street, so you have dozens and dozens of food options nearby. You can also wine and dine at the hotel’s Divino Lounge. After eating your fill, you can burn it all off at the hotel’s Aqua Lounge. Room rates start at P8,596 inclusive of breakfast. However, they’re also running an early bird discount until December 2017 that gives you a 52% discount if you book seven days before your stay period. That means you can get a room with breakfast for as low as P4,126.08!
Thinking of spending the long weekend checking out Quezon City’s restaurants and bars? Check in at the 3-star Sequoia Hotel. Located at the corner of Timog Avenue, popular restaurants and comedy bars are just a few minutes walk away. If you’re looking to stargaze, celebrities have been known to pop up sporadically at Timog Avenue because of its close proximity to the country’s two biggest television stations. Room rates start at P3,500, inclusive of breakfast. However, rates may change depending on availability.
Food and drink
Quezon City may not have a signature dish, but its size lets it house lots of restaurants that serve different cuisines and that tickle different tastes. It’s home to the foodie haven that is Maginhawa. Whatever it is you’re craving for, Maginhawa may just have it. Here are some other suggestions on where you can eat during your Quezon City staycation:
Topdawgs is found at The Station food park, which itself is found in Maginhawa Street. Try out their hotdogs served using black hotdog buns and topped with gourmet ingredients. They claim that it’s the “world’s baddest hotdogs”, and you’re certainly free to find out if it’s true.
Craving for more black food? Black88 is another artsy bar and restaurant in Maginhawa that feature black dishes, such as their charcoal-enhanced burgers and black s’mores pizza. If black food isn’t your thing, they also serve “regular” colored comfort food like pasta, pizza, and burgers.
Blake’s Wings and Steaks
If you’re not on a diet, eat your fill at Blake’s Wings and Steaks. This Katipunan resto offers huge servings of wings, ribs, and steaks that you can either share with your family or eat on your own. There are seven kinds of steaks you can pick from their menu, so you’ll most likely find something you’ll like from the selection.
Craving some European flavors? The owners of Tomas Morato’s Vanderlust Bistro+Patisserie serve food inspired by their own European travels, so you can satisfy your craving there. Try out their Pollo al Funghi sul Riso, a chicken dish simmered in wine and marinara sauce and served with rosemary rice.
There’s nothing as comforting as Filipino food, and if that’s what you’re hankering for check out Romulo Cafe. Not only do they serve classics like sinigang, adobo, and pakbet, their decor also features snapshots of Philippine history. Head on over to Tomas Morato and sample their Bagnet Pakbet, Flying Tilapia, and Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno.
Making your way around Quezon City can be done in a number of ways. Of course, jeepneys are aplenty, but you can also take buses, FX vans, tricycles, and cabs. Uber and Grab are also options. If you’re looking for something quick, take either the MRT or the LRT1.
Quezon City is home to the country’s first ever mall, and the number of them have just ballooned since then. If you’re itching to do some shopping, here are some places that you can check out.
You visit Ali Mall not just for the deals, but for the history attached to it as well. Back in 1975, Muhammad Ali won against Joe Frazer in the “Thrilla in Manila”. The legendary boxer asked that a mall be built to honor his victory, and construction on Ali Mall began soon after. There were no malls in the country before this, making Ali Mall the country’s first ever shopping mall.
This four-level mall has a total of 550 stores and services, so you’re probably going to be able to find what you need if you look hard enough. If you’re looking for a bit of green in the midst of the city’s gray, head to the mall’s rooftop and relax at its one hectare bi-level garden.
If you’re tired of malls and looking for something a little more unique, try out Cubao X. It’s a favorite of the young creative crowd, and is generally where you can find vinyl, art pieces, and unique threads.
Considered the best fresh produce market in Metro Manila, Farmers Market in Cubao is where you go if you’re looking for the best and freshest ingredients for cooking. It’s best to arrive early in the day as vendors are eager to move their produce. Another great thing is that unlike groceries, you can haggle and lower the price of the goods. Ingredients that would usually be P500 in a mall can be bargained down to as low as P300 at Farmers Market!
Quezon City served as the country’s capital for more than two decades, which has left it with historical spots to visit and explore. Aside from that, Quezon City is also home to parks, museums, and art galleries.
Quezon Memorial Circle
Obviously, the first thing to visit is the memorial constructed for the President that the city took its name from. The Quezon Memorial Circle is a national park, a city square, and a national shrine all rolled into one. It houses the Quezon Memorial Shrine, which holds the remains of Philippine President Manuel Quezon and his wife, Aurora.
Quezon Heritage House
Formerly located in Gilmore, the Quezon Heritage House was transferred by the Quezon City government to the Quezon Memorial Circle in 2013 at a cost of P10 million. Formerly the weekend home of the Quezon clan, it is now a museum focused on the personal life of former President Quezon. The house’s primary attractions are the two narra beds used by President Quezon and his wife, which are on display on the second floor.
La Mesa Watershed
The La Mesa Watershed provides potable drinking water to 12 million Metro Manila residents, and serves as the breeding area of more than a dozen wildlife species. It’s also surrounded by a 2000 hectare forest that has nature trails and the La Mesa Eco Park.
Bantayog ng Mga Bayani
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani was constructed to commemorate the people who opposed the authoritarian rule of Marcos but didn’t live to see the People Power Revolution. The names of these people are enshrined on the Wall of Remembrance, with Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. included among them. Almost three hundred names are enshrined in the wall.
Some people think that the EDSA Shrine is located in Mandaluyong, but that isn’t the case. The EDSA Shrine is still part of Quezon City — it’s in Barangay Ugong Norte, to be exact. It was built to commemorate the People Power Revolution, and has also been the site of a second peaceful demonstration that overthrew Joseph Estrada.