Love Wins: Affordable Romantic Places in Manila

When in Manila, dates don’t have to be expensive. The cheapest find could still give that desired romance. Manila has a lot of romance to offer – if you know where to look. Filipinos are known to be creative. Being romantic in the Philippines is being creative. From board game restaurants to unique mazes for couples – Manila is all about finding true love in the least expected places. There are affordable romantic places in Manila to give that butterfly feeling in the stomach, AKA “kilig” in Filipino terms.

As proof, here is a long list of affordable romantic places in Manila:

Puzzles BGC

Photo credit: Inna Paredes

Every date needs a theme. In fact, a date becomes more exciting when heads are put together. The flowers and the fancy dinner become more and more typical. Why not build some memories around puzzles? If you are on a first date and are still getting to know each other, then this makes the right call. Board games and puzzles are ice breakers. This is a fun and challenging way to spend that romantic night out. For a dinner of 150 Php, you and your date will have access to games in this cafe. 

Fringe MNL

Fringe Manila offers a variety of art shows and displays every February. What they simply ask for is a donation. They showcase burlesque shows to spoken poetry. Most of these shows are free. It doesn’t matter whether or not you and your SO are artists. Both of you could find this art festival educational and memorable. It provides an alternative way to discover Manila, and from the scopes of its fine artists. 


Photo credit: Richard / Tales from the Tummy

The laid back and the romantic. Should the peg be a romantic date, then best to pick this spot. The Fyre is located at Poblacion, Makati, one of the busiest cities in the Philippines. This is one of the most affordable places in Manila. It functions for group and couple dates. Drowned in a nostalgic yellow shade, this spot is perfect for conversations and privacy. The rooftop bar provides a great view of the neighborhood. It is laid back yet romantic. Also, the DJ has a masterlist of music – from the hippest to the most mellow. 

Arigatori Yakitori-ya

A wise philosopher once said that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This date idea is perfect for meal lovers. An affordable place, it fits even a student’s budget. It serves Japanese-inspired food and beer. It is a perfect spot for a big meal. Being straight to the stomach is a sure way to bond. 

Baan Khun Thai

This is one of the most affordable romantic places in Manila that offers a massage. Pure relaxation is guaranteed. This massage place provides aromatherapy. It has different locations in Manila. You and your date could simply book a spot. Moreover, per session costs only Php 550. 

Lucy in the Sky Cafe

Photo credit: Lou Albano

One of the hardest to find are no-meat restos. Say no more. This cafe has a menu for vegetarians and vegans. Located in San Juan City, the spot is perfect for selfies. The walls are immersed in modern paintings. Lucy in the Sky Cafe will hit the right spot. Should you need some privacy to talk, this is the best place. It’s rare to find a cafe for vegetarians and vegans. Good thing this cafe is diverse enough. It serves the sweets and bitter-sweet. The cafe has an array of confections, coffee, and meals. 

UP Vargas Museum

Photo credit: UP Vargas Museum

When we say ‘affordable,’ we mean it. This museum is quality and quantity. Artworks range from classic to contemporary. The entrance fee is only Php 30. Yet, the experience lasts forever. A romantic date doesn’t have to be all flowers, chocolates, and wine. It could also be celebrated with magnificent colors draped on artworks. The museum has a variety of collections from different artists. Outside is a garden for you and your date to stroll on to. This date idea breaks away from normative dating. 

Versus Barcade

Our grandparents from the 70’s dated on carnivals and arcades. Dates are youthful and fun. They don’t have to be expensive. It’s all about getting to know one another. A romantic date is also about spending time with each other. What better way to do it? This bar-arcade is the first of its kind. It has arcade games such as pinball and pacman. Spending date night in an arcade is classic and youthful. The fun and laughter are limitless. You and your date could even challenge each other. 

Grid x Griddle Gastrolounge & Gaming (Greenfield District)

Photo credit: Booky

The cozy and the comfortable never grows old. Something different makes date night memorable. It’s not always about the fancy dinner date. You and your date could play endless games here. Moreover, there is enough privacy. You have your own gaming tables. There are a variety of board games. This spot is also affordable. Not liking the loud and crowded bars? This is one of the best spots for introverts. Not to mention, it is one of the most affordable romantic places in Manila.

TAS Roofdeck

Should you want that cozy-romantic vibe, choose a spot that shows the stars. TAS Roofdeck is located at Aguirre Avenue. It has the outdoor-ish arrangement with the laid back feels. This roofdeck is perfect for stargazing and moon watching. You probably heard of a supermoon tonight. This spot draws you closer to the moon. It is romantic yet affordable. Love doesn’t have to cost a thing, anyway. Sometimes, it only takes some Filipino dishes, wraps, and pizzas. 

Flossom Kitchen + Cafe

Photo credit: Flossom Kitchen Cafe

One of you must be a morning person. A morning person loves an all-day breakfast cafe. This cafe has a vintage-themed interior draped in sweet pastel colors. It serves Filipino breakfast meals and good coffee. Some couples find it more romantic to be on a day date. Others find it more romantic to be on a date night. This cafe is perfect for day dreamers and day trippers. Furthermore, it is perfect for selfies.

Maginhawa Street

Photo credit: Streat Maginhawa Food Park

Maginhawa Street is located in Quezon City. It has a variety of food stalls and street food. Best of all, the prices are affordable. “Food trips” have never been better with stores and restos lined. Maginhawa also has affordable drinking spots. After a night of food tripping, drinking could follow. Strolling along Maginhawa is also convenient. Everything that you could need for a day-long activity is there.


Photo credit: Renz Mae Ladroma

Intramuros is a historical marker in the Philippines. It offers different activities – from food trips to museums. Intramuros is one of the most affordable romantic places in Manila. You can simply stroll around the Old City, marvel at the high walls. Or you can visit the National Museum which happens to be close by. You can spend long hours sitting on the high walls, talking. The Old City is buzzing with an array of activities. 


One museum isn’t enough? Manila has three museums to offer. It features a National Museum of the Philippines tour. This showcases a tour in the National Museum of Arts, Planetarium, National Museum of Anthropology, and National Museum of Natural History. Sight-seeing? Why not make it educational. Museum-hopping is a unique way to spend a day with your date. Most of the artworks and displays are open for picture-taking. 

Breakout Philippines

Photo credit: Breakout Philippines

No boring stuff on dates. This is what Breakout Philippines is all about. Challenge yourselves in an escape room. Wrack your logic on how to get the next key. This will test team work, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Romance doesn’t always have to be about the mush and mellow. This is an adrenaline pumping way to showcase your logic. One challenge awaits after another. Be warned that this is not for the fainted heart. If you are a fan or crime novels or detective movies, then you wouldn’t want to miss this experience. It gives you a real-life feel if you were in the shoes of your detective idols.

Binondo Eats

Binondo in Manila has an array of affordable street foods. Filling your stomachs with the best Chinese cuisine was never second best. Binondo has stalls from delicious dumplings to well-balanced milk teas. It has everything that a day out needs. At night, Binondo shines with the most vivid colors. It is also a cultural marker of the Chinese community. There are fine hotels to stay into after a long day. 

Cinema ‘76

Photo credit: Cinema ’76

Indie films offer ground-breaking and mind boggling plots. If you are a fan of Indie films, then try Cinema ‘76. It has the cozy space to satisfy the viewing experience. This cinema calls on Indie film fans to enjoy the popcorn with loved ones. Moreover, it is one of the most affordable romantic places in Manila. Instead of watching at home, why not do the viewing in an actual cinema. 

Cinematheque Centre Manila

If your date is a fan of classic movies, then this is the spot to be. This cinema offers the best classic films. It comes in an affordable price as well. The classics will provide the nostalgic elements for romance. Sit back and let the old cinema do the trick. 

Sip & Gogh

Photo credit: Sip & Gogh

Sure, your and your date have visited various art museums. But what if you both want to experience the art? This space is a paint studio that offers lessons and workshops. Channeling your emotions through art lets you see each other’s perspectives. This is an interactive and alternative date idea. It will truly be memorable and educational. The studio has a specific workshop for couples as well.

YDG Coffee

Photo credit: Booky

Coffee lovers? YDG is one of the best places for authentic coffee. The smell of coffee inside the cafe entices the senses. It completely relaxes. A warm and conversation-filled date is perfect in this cafe. This cafe offers all-day breakfast with their signature coffees. They also have pastas and desserts. Conversations last longer and are more memorable with coffee. 

La Mesa Eco Park

Photo credit: La Mesa Eco Park

You are not only appreciating each other, but also nature. This park is dedicated to eco tourism and environmental awareness. On top of it all, it has different species of plants, flowers, and animals. There are different activities to do such as swimming, fishing, and camping. The adventurous side will never fail to spice up the romance. This is a perfect date idea for celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. The outdoor-ish experience will be worth the while. It gives you the much-need break from the urban hive. 

Venice Grand Canal Mall

Photo credit: Venice Grand Canal Mall

A glimpse of Venice, but from the Philippines. This mall mimics the Grand Canal in Venice, The spot is truly romantic. There are restaurants and bars around the place. Booking a hotel nearby is also easy. An overnight date will truly be memorable. If going to Italy is expensive, then let Venice come to you. Italy is known to be a honeymoon spot. This Italian romance becomes accessible in Manila. Want to know more about the best hotels for honeymoons? This article, Best Hotel in Manila for Honeymoon, can provide a guide.

Circuit Makati

Let your heart race in Circuit, Makati. This offers a chance to do some 600-meter racing for 12 minutes. If you should date, then why not really let your heart race. This date idea gives you an alternative yet memorable experience. The activity is challenging and fun. After all, romance is also about the heart-pumping rush. But this case, make it literal.

Final Thoughts

There are various ways to ignite that romantic air. Often, we are told: the best things in life are free. Jennifer Lopez even sang that “love doesn’t cost a thing.” When in Manila, romance can be affordable. Manila is intrinsically romantic. All you have to do is to look for the right places. It doesn’t always have to be a fancy dinner date. Expressing your affections is not always through a rose bouquet. Romantic dates can be fun and adventurous. You can hold hands in a park, stroll along a lighted street. Do some camping and swimming. What matters is the bondage and the precious time together. When in Manila, romance is always in the right places. You just need to find it. 

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