Budget Travel: Exploring Manila Philippines Without Breaking the Bank & Video

Budget Travel: Exploring Manila Philippines Without Breaking the Bank

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Exploring Manila Philippines Without Breaking the Bank

Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is a vibrant and bustling destination with a rich history and diverse culture. While it may seem like an expensive place to visit, there are plenty of budget-friendly options for travelers who want to explore the city without breaking the bank. In this article, we will guide you through some of the best ways to enjoy Manila on a budget.

1. Affordable Accommodation Options

  • Hostels: Manila offers a variety of budget-friendly hostels that provide comfortable and affordable accommodation options for travelers. Some popular hostels include Z Hostel, Makati Junction Hostel, and Our Melting Pot Hostel.
  • Guesthouses: Another affordable option is to stay in guesthouses. Guesthouses like 8Hostel and Tambayan Capsule Hostel offer clean and comfortable rooms at reasonable prices.
  • Apartments: Renting an apartment through platforms like Airbnb can be a cost-effective choice, especially if you are traveling with a group or planning an extended stay.

Manila Philippines Image 1: Manila Philippines

2. Delicious Street Food

  • Isaw: Try the popular street food called “isaw,” which consists of grilled chicken or pork intestines on skewers. It’s a flavorful and affordable snack.
  • Balut: For the adventurous eaters, don’t miss the opportunity to try balut, a fertilized duck egg. It’s a unique and affordable delicacy that locals love.
  • Halo-Halo: Beat the heat with a refreshing bowl of halo-halo, a popular Filipino dessert made with crushed ice, sweet beans, fruits, and other toppings. It’s a budget-friendly treat.

3. Exploring Intramuros

  • Fort Santiago: Visit Fort Santiago, a historic citadel within Intramuros. Explore the well-preserved ruins and learn about Manila’s colonial past. Entrance fees are affordable.
  • San Agustin Church: Marvel at the stunning architecture of San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Entrance fees are budget-friendly, and guided tours are available.
  • Casa Manila: Step back in time at Casa Manila, a museum that showcases the colonial lifestyle during the Spanish era. Admission fees are reasonable and worth the visit.

Manila Philippines Image 2: Manila Philippines

4. Shopping at Bargain Markets

  • Divisoria Market: Explore Divisoria Market, a bustling shopping district known for its affordable clothes, accessories, and home goods. Bargaining is common here, so be prepared to negotiate for the best deals.
  • Quiapo Market: Visit Quiapo Market, famous for its wide variety of affordable electronics, gadgets, and religious items. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs at budget-friendly prices.
  • Greenhills Shopping Center: Head to Greenhills Shopping Center, a popular bargain market where you can find discounted clothing, jewelry, and electronics. Don’t forget to haggle for better prices.

5. Enjoying Nature at Rizal Park

  • Rizal Park: Spend a relaxing day at Rizal Park, a beautiful public park named after the national hero, Jose Rizal. Enjoy a picnic, stroll around the gardens, and visit the historical monuments scattered throughout the park. Entrance is free.
  • Chinese Garden: Explore the tranquil Chinese Garden within Rizal Park. Admire the traditional Chinese architecture, lush greenery, and serene ponds. Entrance fees are minimal.
  • Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion: Visit the Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion within Rizal Park to see a vast collection of orchids and fluttering butterflies. The entrance fee is affordable.

Manila Philippines Image 3: Manila Philippines

6. Cultural Immersion in Chinatown

  • Binondo Church: Explore Binondo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz. Admire the beautiful architecture and attend a mass for a cultural experience.
  • Chinese Cuisine: Indulge in affordable and delicious Chinese cuisine in Chinatown. Try the famous dumplings, noodles, and roasted meats at budget-friendly eateries.
  • Shopping: Explore the streets of Chinatown for affordable Chinese products, herbs, and traditional medicines. Don’t forget to bargain for better prices.

7. Visit the National Museum

  • National Museum of the Philippines: Discover the rich history and culture of the Philippines at the National Museum. Entrance fees are affordable, and you can explore various exhibits showcasing art, archaeology, and natural history.
  • Art Appreciation: Admire the works of renowned Filipino artists, such as Juan Luna and Fernando Amorsolo, at the National Museum’s art galleries.
  • Historical Artifacts: Learn about the country’s history through the museum’s collection of historical artifacts, including pre-colonial gold, ancient pottery, and religious relics.

8. Relax at Manila Baywalk

  • Manila Baywalk: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along Manila Baywalk, a scenic promenade offering stunning views of the sunset. It’s a great spot for relaxation and people-watching.
  • Street Performances: Catch street performances and live music along the baywalk, providing free entertainment for visitors.
  • Food Stalls: Sample affordable street food and snacks from the various food stalls lining the baywalk.

9. Exploring Intriguing Museums

  • Art in Island: Visit Art in Island, an interactive 3D art museum where you can become a part of the artwork. Entrance fees are reasonable, and it’s a great place for unique photo opportunities.
  • The Mind Museum: Explore The Mind Museum, a science museum that offers interactive exhibits and educational experiences. Admission fees are affordable, and there are discounts available for students and seniors.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Manila: Discover contemporary and modern Filipino art at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. Entrance fees are minimal, and you can immerse yourself in the local art scene.

10. Enjoying Local Festivals

  • Sinulog Festival: If you visit in January, don’t miss the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City, a vibrant celebration of Filipino culture featuring street dances, parades, and live music. It’s a budget-friendly way to experience the country’s festive spirit.
  • Pahiyas Festival: In May, head to Lucban, Quezon, to witness the colorful Pahiyas Festival. It showcases intricately decorated houses adorned with rice, fruits, and vegetables. The festival is free to attend.
  • MassKara Festival: Visit Bacolod City in October to experience the MassKara Festival, a lively event filled with street parties, mask parades, and cultural performances. It’s a budget-friendly way to immerse yourself in the local culture.


Manila, Philippines, offers a plethora of budget-friendly options for travelers who want to explore the city without spending a fortune. From affordable accommodation options to delicious street food, historical sites to bargain markets, and cultural immersion to local festivals, there are endless opportunities to enjoy Manila without breaking the bank. By following these tips and suggestions, you can make the most of your visit while staying within your budget.


  • lonelyplanet.com
  • tripadvisor.com
  • manilatourism.com