The Ultimate List of Free & Cheap Things To Do In Metro Manila

Metro Manila definitely has lots of awesome and cool things in store for visitors and locals alike, ranging from the cheapest activities and thrills, to the more luxe, upscale experiences.

In this post we’ll be focusing on all things free and cheap! So tuck away your wallets, and gear up for this ultimate list of free and cheap things to do in this vibrant city.

Manila_Bay_Sunset

Manila Bay Sunset | Photo by Frenchz used under CC

  • Catch the uniquely magnificent and stunning sunset at Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard (or anywhere in the Philippines for that matter) – this is what Metro Manila, the Pearl of the Orient is famously known for. You’ll know it when you see it, witness the picturesque Manila Bay turn gold and we’ll bet you haven’t seen a sunset like it before.
  • Free booze and drinks at Entertainment City. Just play the slots or the tables at the casinos of Okada Manila, Solaire, or City of Dreams, and then you can ask refreshments to make your playing experience an enjoyable one.
  • Go window shopping at SM Mall of Asia and explore its outdoor carnival while you’re at it – these are fronting Manila Bay so you can enjoy Manila’s sunset from here as well.
  • Go window shopping and picture-taking in the midst of this huge mall that’s seemingly located in a lush tropical forest (that’s their garden) at Greenbelt in Makati.
  • See and explore Metro Manila’s newest and poshest financial district – the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.
  • Attend a free Jivamukti Yoga Classes at the Legazpi Active Park in Makati City to soothe your body and mind. Reservations are not required, so you may just show up at Legazpi Active Park every Sunday, from 930am to 1100am, and look for certified instructor Nancy Siy.
  • Enjoy fireworks by the Manila Bay at SM Mall of Asia’s weekly pyromusical every Fridays and Saturdays at 7PM.
  • Get free rowing lessons (minimal fees are required for use of the facilities) at the Manila Boat Club, which offers free clinics to all types of beginner rowers. Contact the boat captain if you want to start learning at info@manilaboatclub.com. Manila Boat Club is located at 2442 Havana Street, Sta. Ana, Manila.
  • Get hunting for street art around the city and take a leisurely walking tour while you’re at it. The best place to go to for street arts is in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, Metro Manila, where the sides of buildings and car park walls are filled with interesting and brightly colored murals enough to catch your attention and are perfect for Instagram.
  • Experience and see a showcase of Philippine culture at the museum of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The CCP Museum is open from Tuesdays till Sundays, 10am to 6pm. Admission fees are P40 for adults and P30 for students and children.
Calesa in Intramuros

A calesa making its way along the historic streets of Intramuros

  • Tour Intramuros, Manila’s historic walled city by yourself, at your own pace and convenience. This walled city is always free to enter.
  • Spend a day walking around Rizal Park (a.k.a. Luneta Park), a historical urban park along Roxas Boulevard where the monument of the Philippines’ greatest National Hero is guarded day and night by the Philippine Marine Corps. This is also where the country’s highest flagpole (the Independence Flagpole or the Philippine National Flagpole) is located, just in front of the Rizal Monument.
  • Marvel at the rich history of the San Agustin Church, a Catholic Church inside Intramuros that first opened in 1607. This magnificent structure and holy place is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit and see the Romanesque revival architecture of the Manila Cathedral, which was officially established in 1571.
  • Attend a mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (also known as the Quiapo Church, being located in Quiapo, Manila) and indulge yourself in street foods fronting the church right after mass.
  • Engage yourself and learn about Philippine culture, art, and history at the four buildings (Fine ArtsAnthropologyNatural History, and Planetarium) of the National Museum of the Philippines, all located in the historic Rizal Park just near the Manila City Hall. Admission to the National Museum is now permanently free of charge for all visitors, Filipino or foreign, to its museums nationwide.
UST_Main_Building_from_the_field

The University of Santo Tomas in Manila | Photo by Ramiltibayan used under CC

  • Take a stroll inside the picturesque campus and grand architecture of The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (often called University of Santo Tomas or simply UST). Founded in 1611, UST is the oldest university in Asia and is older than Harvard University (which was founded 1636).
  • Visit the vast campus of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Take a jeepney, walk, or ride a bike inside the sweeping UP campus to see the sunken garden, the colleges, and also try the inexpensive and famed street foods in the campus while you’re at it.
  • Go on a Chinese food trip and walking tour of the historic Manila Chinatown (also referred to as Binondo). Manila Chinatown dates back to 1594 and is the oldest Chinatown on the planet.
  • Watch a free concert at Paco Park in San Marcelino Street, Paco, Manila. The weekly concert named “Paco Park Presents” is hosted by the Department of Tourism and the National Parks Development Committee and runs every Friday at 6PM. They can be contacted at +632 480 7062 for more information.
  • Watch free movies at the movie events held by local and foreign institutions in Metro Manila.
    • University of the Philippines Film Institute (UPFI) | Quezon City | schedule
    • Alliance Française de Manille’s Cine Club | Makati City | schedule
    • The Japan Foundation Manila’s Friday Eiga Night | Makati City | schedule
    • Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines | Taguig City | schedule
    • Goethe-Institut Philippinen’s Wednesday Movie Nights | Makati City | schedule
  • For those who have a knack for coin collecting or are just interested in the history and evolution of Philippine money and the nation’s coins, paper notes, medals, artifacts and other monetary items, you can enter the Money Museum for free at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP – Central Bank of the Philippines) located at A. Mabini St., Malate, Manila (contact number +632 708 7701)
  • Free vegetarian meal and cultural immersion at the Khalsa Diwan Sikh Temple at UN Avenue, Paco, Manila. Everyone, locals or tourists, regardless of faith or belief, is welcome to go to the ‘langar’ (kitchen) and have a free vegetarian meal (usually roti, sabji, or daal). Make the most out of your cultural immersion and experience by learning and appreciating the Sikh religion and culture.
  • Visit the Presidential Museum and Library at the Malacañang Palace (the current Philippine President’s residence) for only P50.00 for adults, and P30.00 for students, PWDs, and senior citizens (Update: All tours are now free of charge as instructed by the President). The museum is open to public tours from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., except public holidays. Schedule a visit

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