Round Up Your Pals: 10 Cheap Hangout Places in and Near Manila

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated January 16, 2024

Getting your friends together is like herding sheep. Instead of a pen to keep them rounded up, what you need is a destination—something you can all visit and enjoy.

While catching the latest movie and chilling at a coffee shop are most barkadas’ go-to plans, you can never run out of more places to visit that are right around the bend or just a few hours’ drive away.

Here are some of the most exciting places to hang out with friends in Manila and nearby cities and towns. 

Top 5 Places to Hang Out With Friends in Manila 

From Diliman to Alabang, Manila has a wealth of hangout spots. Here are our top recommendations:  

🗺️ National Museum, Intramuros, and Binondo 

places to hang out with friends in manila - intramuros

Photo: Intramuros Administration (Facebook)

  • Location: City of Manila, Metro Manila 
  • Price range: ₱1,500 to ₱3,000 

The National Museum, Intramuros, and Binondo are among the best places to hang out with friends in Manila. Whether you and your chums are culture vultures or foodies, the capital definitely has something for everyone. 

Kick off your tour by visiting the walled city of Intramuros. Popular landmarks include Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Casa Manila, and Fort Santiago. 

If arts and natural history tickle your group’s fancy, choose between the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Natural History (or visit all three!). 

Cap off the day by savoring the delicious dishes of Binondo. Here’s an interesting factoid: Binondo is recognized as the oldest Chinatown in the world.[1] 

Read more: Sama All This Summer: Best Outdoor Activities in the Philippines for ₱3,000 or Less

🗺️ Poblacion, Makati   

places to hang out with friends in manila - alamat poblacion

Photo: Alamat Filipino Cuisine (Facebook)

  • Location: Poblacion, Makati City 
  • Price range: ₱1,500 to ₱3,000

Undeniably one of the most popular hangout spots in Manila for millennials and zoomers, Poblacion is an eclectic collective of restaurants and bars. A lot of them seamlessly blend in with the residential setting, making for its unique charm. 

In the morning or late afternoon, stroll through the neighborhood and sample delicious fares. Popular options include Only Pans, a small taqueria dishing up freshly made tacos; Hummus Elijah, which serves falafel, pita, and hummus; and Filling Station, a ‘60s-themed restaurant that overwhelms the senses with its vintage Americana. 

At night, you and your friends can go on a pub or bar crawl. Our top recommendations are Apotheka, Alamat, and Ugly Duck, just to name a few. 

🗺️ SM Game Park 

places to hang out with friends in manila - sm game park

Photo: SM Game Park (Facebook)

  • Location: 3F, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City 
  • Price range: Starts at ₱200 

Unleash your inner kid (or perhaps your competitive side) at the SM MOA Game Park. This 1,900-square-meter recreational center boasts sports and gaming facilities that will excite you and your friends. 

The facility has a 16-lane regular bowling area, a four-lane private bowling area, a mini indoor basketball court, and an archery room. Down for more fun? The SM MOA Game Park also has a billiards area, a game room, and a sports bar. 

🗺️ UP Diliman 

  • Location: Diliman, Quezon City 
  • Price range: Free 

The University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) is an embodiment of inclusivity not only in terms of education but also when it comes to public spaces. With more than 490 hectares of land housing historical sites and expansive green patches, UP easily attracts thousands of visitors from across the country. 

The university is free and open to anyone, making it one of the most accessible and cheap hangout places in Manila. You can jog or ride your bike, people-watch under the tree at Sunken Garden, or take dozens of pictures with the Oblation statue.  

🗺️ Music 21 Plaza 

  • Locations: 
    • 2F to 3F, NT Center, Tierra Nueva Subdivision, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
    • 2166 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City
    • 514 General Malvar St. corner Mabini St., Malate, Metro Manila 
    • Block 1, Lot 11, Shaw Blvd., Brgy. San Antonio, Pasig City 
    • 27 Scout Tobias, Quezon City 
  • Price range: Starting price ranges from ₱3,000 to ₱4,000, depending on the branch; package price is good for five to eight people, depending on the branch 

If singing one’s lungs out and alcoholic merrymaking are your friends’ idea of a hangout, take them to Music 21 Plaza. A fixture in the local videoke bar scene, Music 21 Plaza offers relatively affordable packages that include three hours of karaoke and your choice of drinks and snacks. 

This hangout place in Metro Manila has five branches from north to south. Wherever you are in Metro Manila, there's no excuse for avoiding karaoke night!

Top 5 Places to Hang Out with Friends Near Manila 

Does your troop prefer a little bit of a road trip? You have a lot of options when it comes to hangout places just outside of Manila. Here are some of them:  

🗺️ Enchanted Kingdom 

places to hang out with friends in manila - enchanted kingdom

Photo: Enchanted Kingdom (Facebook)

  • Location: Santa Rosa City, Laguna 
  • Price range: ₱1,200 to ₱2,200

Enchanted Kingdom is an enduring brand in the local amusement park industry—and it’s easy to see why. The sprawling park has seven themed zones that can accommodate up to 25,000 guests.[2]

Apart from world-class themed rides, Enchanted Kingdom holds shows daily across the different zones. There are also special shows to look forward to every weekend. 

Taking a break from exhilarating rides? Challenge yourself by participating in different skill games, such as Break a Plate, Color Toss, Amazon Hoop, and Lucky Duck Pond, among others. 

For convenience, you can get your tickets online via third-party providers. These include Klook and KKday. 

Read more: 13 Hotels to Check Out for an Affordable Staycation in Metro Manila

🗺️ Yoki’s Farm  

places to hang out with friends in manila - yoki's farm

Photo: Yoki's Farm (Facebook)

  • Location: Mendez, Cavite 
  • Price range: Regular rate of ₱1,000 for the full package (harvest plus animal encounters)

For plantitos and plantitas out there, a trip to Yoki’s Farm will definitely be your idea of a fun barkada hangout. Tucked away in the town of Mendez, Cavite, this quaint farm brings you closer to nature with its four hectares (out of its 10) of development featuring the following attractions: 

  • Museum of the Antique Collections – It houses a private collection of old Asian artifacts and souvenirs.
  • The Hydroponic Vegetable Farm – Take a look at the process of growing four lettuce variants, herbs, spices, and a plethora of salad vegetables.
  • The Animal Sanctuary of Domestic and Exotic Animals – Come meet and greet the farm’s resident animals, which include ostriches, parrots, macaws, zebras, snakes, and crocodiles. 

After your tour, fill your tummy with delicious meals at The Farm Table. As the name suggests, the restaurant uses a farm-to-table concept, making sure that everything you eat is fresh from the backyard.

🗺️ Masungi Georeserve  

places to hang out with friends in manila - masungi georeserve

Photo: Masungi Georeserve (Facebook)

  • Location: Baras, Rizal 
  • Price range: Starts at ₱1,500

Masungi Georeserve isn’t just a dedicated vanguard of Rizal’s natural resources. It’s also a committed advocate of bringing Filipinos closer to nature through its activities. 

You and your friends can take one of Masungi Georeserve’s exciting trails. You also have the option to just chill at the Garden Picnic,[3] located in the lower spaces of the park. 

Beyond your sojourn here, you may choose to visit nearby destinations, such as Wawa Park, Daranak Falls, and Tinipak River. 

🗺️ Mount Maculot  

  • Location: Cuenca, Batangas
  • Price range: ₱1,000 to ₱2,000 

Some friend groups’ idea of a barkada hangout is hiking and enjoying the views at the summit. In case you and your buddies are taking physical health seriously this year, consider a trek to Mount Maculot. 

Mount Maculot is one of the best hiking destinations in the country for a reason: it gives you an exciting and panoramic view of Taal Lake. Bonus: the mountain is just a little over two hours away from Manila, making it a good option for a day trip.

🗺️ Eagle Point Resort  

places to hang out with friends in manila - eagle point resort

Photo: Eagle Point Resort website

  • Location: Anilao, Batangas 
  • Price range: Starts at ₱2,700 

Batangas has a lot of hangout spots for water-obsessed peeps. Its stretches of pristine beaches are sure to give you your dose of Vitamin Sea. Take water leisure to the next level by diving at Eagle Point Resort, a renowned place among divers. 

If you’re a certified diver aiming for a day dive, rates start at ₱2,700 for two dives. A group of four divers is required. The price is inclusive of two tanks, a weight belt, one round trip with the dive boat, guidance of a professional diver for two dives, and a dive ticket. 

Read more: The Waves Beckon: 12 Best Surf Spots in the Philippines

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Tips for Organizing Hangouts with Your Friends 

How do you make sure your plans actually make it out of the group chat? Here are some tips: 

  • Plot a realistic date – Unlike when you were younger, planning a hangout or trip with friends as an adult is challenging. Everyone has commitments and life happens. To avoid last-minute cancellations, the date of your trip should have a 60-day window at least. That way, you and your friends can make some adjustments. 
  • Discuss the budget – Once the date has been set, discuss the budget. Knowing that each of you has other financial commitments, the organizers must make sure that the budget is amenable to everyone. Also, discuss the breakdown of the contribution. 
  • Assign tasks – Discuss among yourselves who will book the place, transportation, and guide. This will ensure that the ball gets rolling. 
  • Offer your hand – If someone is leading the planning and putting in all the effort, don’t hesitate to offer your help. They’ll appreciate it. 
  • Commit to the plan – Don’t be a flaker. If you’ve said “yes” to the plan, commit. However, this rule won’t apply if there’s an emergency or any other valid reason for cancellation. Should you really need to cancel, handle it with maturity; that is, give your friends a heads-up. On the other hand, you shouldn’t agree to plans you’re likely to cancel. 
  • Ask the group before bringing a plus one – A plus one to a social event may cause some awkwardness. So don’t bring a guest unless everyone is cool with it. 

Final Thoughts 

These are just a few places to hang out with friends in Manila and near the city. Suggest them to your pals and ask them for recommendations that may not be on this list. 

Plan things and have fun. You all deserve it!

🚗 Drive Without Worries with the Right Car Insurance 

Road trips are fun, but they’re also full of uncertainties. Make sure to protect your car and passengers with the right car insurance.

Below, compare your options from various leading providers. Found your match? Apply via Moneymax right away. 

Car Insurance Company Maximum Total Sum Insured CTPL Coverage Own Damage & Theft Coverage Acts of Nature Coverage Death / Disablement Coverage
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Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.


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