You probably have envisioned your ideal summer. A day or two by the beach or in the pool in your new swimwear. Sweet! But… no, it’s impossible. You have work and the beach is quite far from the metropolis. You can slowly feel your summer dreams go down the drain. Stop this train of thought. Cheer up! It’s not like there are no nearby places to go to, right?

A tour around Metro Manila isn’t that bad. After all, the city has plenty of places to visit that are full of history, art, and fun! You’ll be surprised that you actually might enjoy it.

We suggest that you go out on a Metro Manila city tour with these places we have in mind. So save that one whole day and prepare a joyride around the city. Bring some friends – and food! – with you and make sure your car is ready for a whole day drive. Read on to find all the coolest places you can enjoy for a great Summer in Metro Manila.

1. Art in Island

People exploring Art in Island on which 3D art they could possibly pose for.
Image credit: Art in Island Facebook Page

Get creative with your poses as you take photos with different 3D art in Art in Island’s interactive art museum. As their motto goes: “be part of the art!”

  • Location: 15th Ave, Brgy. Socorro, Quezon City
  • Entrance Fee: Php 500 (Adults), Php 400 (Students)
  • Open hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM

2. The Mind Museum

Explore Science and the many wonders of the universe.
Image credit: TheMindMuseum.org

Rekindle your love for Science in The Mind Museum. The museum is owned by a private institution which envisioned to create a space for learning and knowledge. Hence, the birth of The Mind Museum.

Explore through their Science galleries of different themes. Travel back through time in the land of dinosaurs, or fly out to the outer space. This will surely bring back some childhood memories of Science tours and exhibits.

  • Location: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Entrance Fee: Php 625 (3-hour Pass), Php 750 (All-day Pass)
  • Open hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

3. Cultural Center of the Philippines

Visit CCP - the best place to experience the best of Filipino art and culture.
Image credit: CCP Facebook Page | Alex Paulino

When was the last time you actually saw raw Filipino culture? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The Cultural Center of the Philippines houses the best works that depict the Filipino culture. From paintings to sculptures; from songs to dances; and many more.

You can enjoy a quick visit to their art galleries featuring the works of Juan Luna and Fernando Amorsolo. If you’re lucky, their exhibition halls are also open for art exhibits. And if you have more time, watch a concert or play in the venue one of these days.

  • Location: CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
  • Entrance Fee: Php 40 (Adult), Php 30 (Student)
  • Open hours: Tuesdays – Sundays, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

4. Coconut Palace

A beautiful historical landmark which also serves as the residence for the Vice President of the Philippines.
Image credit: Coconut Palace Facebook Page

Prestige is one word to describe the Coconut Palace. The place is called so because it boasts a fine structure of native materials including coconut lumber. The Coconut Palace was once owned by the Marcoses but is now under the care of the government.

A visit to the Coconut Palace will bring you back in time on what it looks like to live in a native house owned by a wealthy family. They are not open on weekends, though, so maybe if you’re going for a city tour on a weekday, it would be lovely to drop by.

  • Location: CCP Complex, Pasay City
  • Entrance Fee: Php 100
  • Open hours: Mondays – Fridays 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

5. Greenbelt Park

The Greenbelt Park houses restaurants with sumptuous dishes that you and your friends could enjoy.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons | John Ong

After your morning rounds in the city, it’s time to take a break at Greenbelt Park. Enjoy a hearty lunch with your friends before you continue your day’s adventure. Right at the hear of Ayala Center in Makati, you can enjoy great food in a very relaxing environment. You wouldn’t believe you’re in one of the busiest, most progressive cities in Metro Manila when you stay here.

  • Location: Ayala Center, Makati City
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Open hours: 24 Hours

6. Money Museum

Fascinating things, money are. Discover more when you visit Money Museum.
Image credit: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Facebook Page

Today’s generation may not remember the old bills and coins. Maybe you can take them out on a trip to the Money Museum.  Housed inside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Money Museum showcases all currencies and bills we had centuries back. It’s a happy trip down memory lane especially when you see the colorful and creative designs and how it has evolved into the ones we have now.

  • Location: Malate, Manila City
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Open hours: Mondays – Fridays 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

7. National Museum of the Philippines

Be enthralled with the beauty of Filipino's talent.
Image credit: NationalMuseum.gov.ph

Another must-visit museum is the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. You can tour around their four different collections: Fine Art, Archeology, Ethnography, and Natural History. The artworks and exhibits depict how Filipinos live their lives centuries back – including the adversity they have faced during the colonial period.

There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing one’s history.

  • Location: Ermita, Manila City
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Open hours: Tuesdays – Sundays 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

8. Fort Santiago, Intramuros

Go back in time and visit Fort Santiago in Intramuros.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons | Leo Viernes

Go back in time when you visit Fort Santiago in Intramuros. The walled city of Intramuros was built in 1571 during the Spanish-American war. It also served as a prison during World War II where many lives were lost. It may reflect our country’s dark past but a visit in Fort Santiago will serve as a great reminder of what we always have fought for.

  • Location: Intramuros, Manila City
  • Entrance Fee: Php 75.00
  • Open hours: Daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

9. Bahay Nakpil-Bautista

Be part of the Philippine Revolutionary - sort of - when you visit Bahay Nakpil-Bautista.
Image credit: Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Facebook Page

Visit Bahay Nakpi-Bautista and you’ll get to experience how the Katipuneros lived. This ancient home exhibits art and mementos of the old Filipino revolutionists. The house can also be a venue for seminars and exhibits.

  • Location: Quiapo, Manila City
  • Entrance Fee: Php 80.00 (Adult), Php 50.00 (Senior Citizen, Students, PWD), Php 50.00 for Groups of 10; excess is free.
  • Open hours: Tuesdays – Sundays 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

10. Manila Chinatown

Manila Chinatown is the place to be for some thrift shopping.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons | Florentino Floro

As your day is winding down, it’s time to go for a little thrift shopping. Chinatown is one of the places that has (almost) stayed the same. It is still filled with Chinese businessmen with all their goods for a low price. You can shop for some souvernirs of your trip or pasalubong for the people back home.

  • Location: Binondo, Manila City
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Open hours: Depends on the shops

11. Bonus Treat: Manila Bay Baywalk

End your day with a breathtaking sunset view of the Manila Bay.
Image credit: PublicDomainPictures.net | Maliz Ong

And what could be a better way to cap off your trip than witnessing the sunset in Manila Bay. Stroll by the Baywalk with your friends and appreciate nature’s beauty. You’ll realize that you spent the whole day just in Metro Manila and it was all worth it. And never forget to book on the finest Manila hotels for that well deserved rest. You can get the best deals and discounts on Agoda, Traveloka, Hotels.com and more.

With knowledge, fun, food, and friends, your summer in Metro Manila is just as complete. Enjoy the city to the fullest!

Featured Image credit: Bash Carlos | Unsplash