Despite the bustling streets and towering buildings, Manila is filled with romantic places and activities - often tucked in places you would not expect.
Visiting the Philippine capital with a loved one? From restaurants to must-sees, we’ve compiled some of the best things you can do to feel the love in the old city! Check them out!
For a romantic meal together
1. Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant
Open since 2006, Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant offers French-Mediterranean cuisine and fine wines, ideal for a couples date night. It is tucked in a quiet village with a cozy vibe, giving guests both the elegance of a fine dining restaurant and the comforts of home. Wear dressy attire, walk on the cobblestone road leading up to the old house turned into a restaurant, and enjoy a six-course dinner with your loved one!
Opening hours: 6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Address: Julieta Circle, Quezon City, 1112 Metro Manila
Cost (for 2 people): 3000 PHP (approximately 60 USD)
Website: Lemuria Gourmet Restaurant
2. Café Juanita
Known for its Spanish era interiors and authentic Filipino cuisine, Cafe Juanita is ideal for a casual date whether for lunch or dinner. Go laid back and enjoy home-cooked-style food while being surrounded by colorful decor that makes for a great Instagram photo opportunity. Some of the romantic restaurant’s must-try dishes include kare-kare (a stew with thick peanut sauce) and longganisa (similar to Spanish chorizo).
Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM, 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Address: 19 W Capitol Dr, Kapitolyo, Pasig City, 1603 Metro Manila
Cost (for 2 people): 1200 PHP (approximately 25 USD)
Website: Café Juanita
Craving pizza in the middle of Manila? Farfalla, located in Hotel Durban, serves authentic Italian favorites including handcrafted pizzas, as well as pasta and bread. Savor the casual vibe of the restaurant - it is filled with modern decor and also offers outdoor seating. Keep things romantic by getting a wine to pair with your meal. There is also a full bar, in case you want to stay longer and continue your conversation with a drink.
Opening hours: 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Address: Hotel Durban, 4875 Durban St. Cor. Makati Avenue, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila
Cost (for 2 people): 1500 PHP (approximately 30 USD)
Website: Farfalla in Hotel Durban
4. Spiral at Sofitel Manila
Take your loved one to a luxury buffet dining experience at Spiral Restaurant located at Sofitel Manila. It offers over 350 international dishes on its menu, including Asian, European and Indian cuisines. Aside from the breathtaking array of food, Spiral also has elegant interiors and beautiful lights that glow up at night. The romantic restaurant also offers unique features such as the Cheese Room, an isolated area where an array of cheeses is kept to maintain their freshness.
Opening hours: 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM, 12 Noon to 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Address: Plaza Level, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, CCP Complex, Pasay City
Cost (for 2 people): 6000 PHP (approximately 120 USD)
Website: Spiral at Sofitel Manila
5. Van Gogh is Bipolar
Wanna try something casual yet unique? Located in Sikatuna Village, there is a cafe slash healing sanctuary called Van Gogh is Bipolar. They have an unpredictable menu that depends on the owner’s mood on the given day! Aside from the surprises, they also have noteworthy decor that includes old housewares. You can even write a love letter and leave it there to be a part of their collection. The concept behind this romantic restaurant is also pretty cool: to “empower every single being to celebrate thy greatness as we celebrate thy imperfections.”
Opening hours: 11 AM to 5 PM, 6 PM to 11:30 PM
Address: 154-H Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Cost (for 2 people): 2000 PHP (approximately 40 USD)
Facebook: Van Gogh is Bipolar
6. Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
For a quick escape from the madness of the metro, couples can go for a nice meal at the outdoor gazebo of Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine in Loyola Heights. This beautiful place offers Asian and European cuisine which you can pair with the world’s best wines. The restaurant’s design is intimate and homey, with a garden that looks refreshing by day and made cozier by soft lights at night. Their must-try dishes include pumpkin soup, grilled salmon, beef salpicao, mango pavlova, and hanger steak.
Opening hours: 11 AM to 2 PM, 6 PM to 10 PM
Address: 66 Esteban Abada St, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, 1108 Metro Manila
Cost (for 2 people): 3500 PHP (approximately 70 USD)
Website: Ninyo Fusion Cuisine & Wine Lounge
7. Atelier Vivanda Manila
No need to fly to France for a romantic dinner with the love of your life - there is the Atelier Vivanda Manila, a restaurant located in Forbes Town, Bonifacio Global City. Meat-loving couples can enjoy a mouthwatering menu of premium steaks from Michelin star Chef, Akrame Benallal, including thinly sliced smoked beef and persillé Black Angus. Savor the romantic yet casual feel in one of the most beautiful French-themed restaurants, in Manila. They also offer unlimited wine (red, white and sparkling), as well as unlimited cocktails!
Opening hours: 11 AM to 12 AM
Address: U-A8 Forbes Town Center, Forbestown Rd, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila
Cost (for 2 people): 2500 PHP (approximately 50 USD)
Website: Atelier Vivanda Manila
8. Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie
A delicious meal shared with a special person on a quiet rooftop in the middle of the metro - it doesn’t get any more romantic than this! Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie offers such experience for couples, whether it’s a first date or an anniversary celebration. The menu is comprised of French and Filipino cuisine, including steaks and Filipino classics such as adobo. The food, combined with a cozy interior and great views of the city, make for a great overall fine dining experience!
Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Address: 34th Floor, Citibank Tower, 8741 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Cost (for 2 people): 2000 PHP (approximately 40 USD)
Website: Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie
9. Caviar Restaurant and Champagne Bar
Take a tour through Europe with a meal at Caviar Restaurant and Champagne Bar, located in Filinvest. They offer European cuisine, and one of their most popular dishes is the smoked salmon, complemented with a glass of wine. The ambiance is fancy, yet intimate and wearing dressy clothes is recommended. If you’re staying in the southern part of Metro Manila, this is a beautiful place that will impress your date.
Opening hours: 11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 10 PM
Address: Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City
Cost (for 2 people): 4000 PHP (approximately 80 USD)
Website: Caviar Restaurant and Champagne Bar
10. Galileo Enoteca
Wine and cheese await couples at Galileo Enoteca, a casual Italian restaurant, in Mandaluyong. For a unique experience, you can also try their “cheese wheel”, available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The restaurant is known for its romantic and peaceful ambiance, as well as their wine-filled interior. Other Italian fare on the menu include pasta, truffles, and bread.
Opening hours: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Address: 80 Calbayog Corner Malinao Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
Cost (for 2 people): 1000 PHP (approximately 20 USD)
Website: Galileo Enoteca
Sights to see together
1. Greenbelt Chapel
Greenbelt is a business district, mostly known for its towering buildings and huge shopping malls. But if you want to have a quiet time in a beautiful place, after shopping and sightseeing with your loved one, Greenbelt Chapel is a great pick. This outdoor-style place of worship is surrounded by lush greenery and features a man-made pond. Masses are held at certain times every day, but it is always open for everyone to enjoy.
Address: Ayala Center, Legazpi Village, Makati, 1228 Metro Manila
Website: Greenbelt Chapel
2. Cultural Dance Show at Barbara’s
Watching a cultural dance show at Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant, in Intramuros, is a great introduction to the traditions of Filipino culture. Shows typically last three hours and feature performances by dancers wearing native costumes and dancing to Filipino folk music. Before watching, guests can enjoy a feast of Filipino specialties for dinner, including chicken adobo (chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar) and lechon kawali (deep-fried pork belly). If you and your partner love to soak up the local culture, this could be a romantic activity for you two!
Opening hours: 11 AM to 2 PM, 6:30 PM to 9 PM
Address: Plaza San Luis, General Luna St, Intramuros, 658 Zone 70, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila
Facebook: Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant
3. Old Manila - Intramuros
Old Manila refers to the Spanish-era structures and other places in the city, related to the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. Most of these landmarks are located inside Intramuros, the oldest district of Manila. Included in the must-visits is the Manila Cathedral, which is currently the Episcopal see of the Archbishop of Manila. There is also St. Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the country, and Fort Santiago, an old Spanish fortress where crucial parts of Philippine history took place. Since these structures are nearby each other, you can tour them on foot, while hand-in-hand with your loved one! You can also tour using bikes, and even by horse and carriage.
Address: Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila
4. Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano is not exactly located in Manila but is one of the most popular places for a day trip from the city. Located a couple of hours away from Manila, it is considered the second most active volcano in the Philippines. Adventurous couples can take a boat ride to the volcano island and see the crater up close. Guided horseback rides are also available on the island, to make your way up to the viewpoint a little easier.
Address: Talisay and San Nicolas, Batangas, Luzon, Philippines
Website: Taal Volcano
5. Manila Bay Cruise
Sunsets in Manila are best seen at Manila Bay! To make your sunset watching even more romantic, why not spend it on a cruise and enjoy the city sights from the bay while having a meal? Manila Bay offers cruises where couples can choose between a buffet and a set dinner course on board a ship, filled with romantic night lights. Sunset cruises usually last for an hour and a half, accompanied by an acoustic band, serenading guests with love songs.
Address: Seaside Boulevard, Pasay
Website: Manila Bay Cruise
6. Mt. Pinatubo
Another popular day trip destination from Manila is Mt. Pinatubo, an active stratovolcano located on the boundary of three provinces, on the island of Luzon: Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It takes two to three hours to reach the jump off point, from Manila. Then, visitors need to ride a 4x4 jeepney for two hours and trek for another two hours to reach the crater, where a view of the blue water and surrounding rock formations await. This activity is recommended for couples looking for a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Address: Mt. Pinatubo, Botolan, Zambales
Website: Mt. Pinatubo
7. Z Compound
Z Compound is a foodie haven, located on Malingap Street, in Quezon City. With a total of 11 restaurants, this open food court will introduce you to various cuisine, ranging from local Filipino fare to western specialties and southeast Asian favorites. It offers a whole new dining experience, away from the crowds and typical fare offered in Manila’s huge malls. The restaurants are open until midnight, so you can spend a longer time with your loved one over good food and cocktails!
Opening hours: 3:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Address: 33A Malingap, Diliman, Quezon City
Facebook: Z Compound
8. Antipolo Cathedral
The Antipolo Cathedral, more formally known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, is a popular pilgrimage destination among Roman Catholics. Located an hour and a half from Manila, it enshrines an image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in a high altar, behind glass and also features stained glass windows above one of its main doors. Masses start as early as 5 AM on Sundays and 6 AM on Saturdays and weekdays.
Address: Dela Paz St., Antipolo, Rizal
Website: Antipolo Cathedral
9. Rizal Park a.k.a. Luneta Park
Known as one of the largest urban parks in Asia, Rizal Park is a historical area and a popular leisure spot for both tourists and residents of Manila. It is named after Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero who was executed in the same place where the park is located. Its main landmark is the Rizal Monument, while other notable structures include the Independence Flagpole, Kilometer Zero, Carabao Sculpture, Dancing Rings, and the Chinese Garden. Make your visit more romantic and stay until the Musical Dancing Fountain Show, at night, that features water soaring up to 88 feet (26.8 meters)!
Address: Roxas Blvd Ermita, Barangay 666 Zone 72, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
Website: Rizal Park
Whether you’re visiting during Chinese New Year or any other time of year, Binondo is worth a visit. It is the world’s oldest Chinatown, established in 1584 and later served as the center of commerce of Manila, during the American occupation of the Philippines. Some of the must-sees in Binondo include Binondo Church, Kuang Kong Temple, and Seng Guan Temple. For shopping, you can drop by Ongpin Street for Chinese herbs and groceries. Meanwhile, for a taste of authentic Chinese food, head to Carvajal Street, where Chinese restaurants and delicacy shops abound.
Address: Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Manila is a huge city, where every corner has something unique to offer. Take your loved one with you and try new things together!