Manila is like a melting pot with always something interesting in every corner. However, this city may be called a lot of things – but cheap isn’t one of them. Of course, that’s only for the uninformed traveler.
View of Manila City Hall from Intramuros Walls
With proper preparation and research, you’d find that Manila has lots of free stuff to offer. Following are just some of the places you can go to in the Philippine capital without having to spend anything – but transportation, of course.
Eastwood City Walk of Fame by Howard the Duck – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
10 – Eastwood City
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Check out PH’s equivalent to the Stars Walk of Fame in Hollywood. In here, you’ll find the names of some of the most prominent stars in the country. At night, Eastwood City turns into a party place with lots of good food choices.
Cultural Center of the Philippines by Nixenzo – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
9 – Cultural Center of the Philippines
Enjoy anything and everything that has to do with art in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. There’s an entrance but during specific days, you can go inside without spending a dime. In the afternoon, you can visit the nearby Harbour Square and wait for the beautiful sunset while enjoying your favorite cup of coffee.
SM Mall of Asia at night by Chengespiel – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
8 – Mall of Asia
One of the biggest malls in Asia, the Mall boasts of hundreds of stores with acreage that will take more than a day to completely explore. You might spend a few pesos for food and souvenirs, but actually visiting the place will not dent your wallet.
Plaza San Luis Complex in Intramuros
7 – Intramuros
Have a taste of Philippine history with a visit to the Intramuros. In here, you’ll find what it was like for the Filipino people to live under Spanish rule. No fee for the general spot but entrance to some areas will require money to exchange hands.
Old Philippine Department of Tourism Building by Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
6 – Rizal Park
No entrance fee for the Rizal Park. This was named after the famous Philippine hero – Jose Rizal, who was executed for his role during the Spanish rebellion. You’ll find that this is where most Manileños go to chill out and just forget the stress of the city at zero cost.
Sunset in Roxas Boulevard
5 – Manila Bay
Chill out at the Baywalk and go through cobbled streets while watching the sun rise or set, depending on the time of day you happen to visit. This is the perfect place for a selfie.
Inside Manila Cathedral
4 – San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral
Religion is a huge part of the Philippine culture, which makes these two spots an important stop during your Manila tour. San Agustin Church is the oldest church in the country so expect to be amazed at the architectural wonder of the structure. The Manila Cathedral is awe inspiring in itself and attracts hundreds of devotees on a daily basis.
Candle Peddler in Quiapo Church
3 – Walking around Quiapo
There’s something about strolling in the busy streets of Quiapo and just watching the hardworking Filipino vendor selling his wares. Caution: you might find yourself buying something because the items here are as diverse as the people in the country. For foodies, you can tryout Halal food near the Golden Mosque or if you want a bit of entertainment, spend few minutes with sidewalk fortune tellers 🙂
2 – University Hopping
Universities in Manila boast some of the most luscious greeneries you will find in this populated city. Check out the campus grounds of UP – especially during graduation time when a bunch of sunflowers are thriving as an ode to the graduates.
Its Showtime Set by Howard the Duck – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
1 – Live Audience
Want to be in a popular noon time show in the Philippines? This could be your time to shine! You can try being one of the live audiences for the noontime show of two major networks: ABS-CBN and GMA. Watch how the magic happens and participate in some of their games.