Visiting Makati/Manila – A City Guide
Makati is the Philippines’ financial and commercial capital. Despite its role as Manila’s central business district, it has a fun side with bustling shopping centres, contemporary museums, a hip music scene and trendy clubs.
Makati: city layout
Towering skyscrapers mixed with urban residential areas make up Makati’s business district. Most offices are situated along the main thoroughfares of Gil Puyat Avenue, Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue and Chino Roces Avenue. Parts of Paseo de Roxas, Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue come together to form the heart of Makati’s business district, the Ayala Triangle.
Other areas in Makati include the elite neighbourhoods of Forbes Park and Bel-Air, the heritage district of Poblacion and other barangays (villages).
Top attractions in Makati
Santuario de San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park is a simple yet elegant church with its cream-colored facade and dome-shaped ceiling. A short ride away is Museo ng Makati, housing the city’s historic relics and artefacts.
Ayala Center is an entertainment hub surrounded by Makati hotels, shopping malls, department stores and restaurants. The nearby Greenbelt Chapel is known for its dome-shaped architecture.
The concierge recommends…
Eating Out in Makati
Filipinos are passionate about good food. You can have tapsilog (cured beef slices with garlic rice and fried egg) for breakfast and sticky rice cakes for merienda (snacks). Makati has restaurants ranging from carinderia (eateries) serving rice meals to fine dining restaurants offering European cuisine.
Jupiter Street is lined with restaurants offering both local and international fare. The neighbouring Poblacion area is dotted with up-and-coming cafes like Commune, as well as established restaurants like El Chupacabra and bars like A'Toda Madre.
Salcedo Village has become a hub of fashionable yet casual dining, while under-the-radar restaurants make Legazpi Village ideal for quiet and relaxing meals. Visit Salcedo Saturday Market and Legazpi Sunday Market on weekends for gourmet eats and organic produce.
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Shopping in Makati
With designer boutiques, sprawling malls and busy markets, Makati is a haven for any shopper. You can stroll around air-conditioned malls near Makati hotels or haggle and rummage in weekend markets.
The main shopping precinct of Ayala Center combines affordability and luxury. Department stores like SM Makati and Landmark sell a variety of shoes, bags, clothes, accessories and housewares at reasonable prices. You can shop at mid-range stores in Glorietta or head south to Greenbelt for fancier labels and premium-brand clothing stores.
Rockwell Center’s Power Plant Mall has more upscale retailers. Venture into the modern shops of Century City Mall, also famous for Hole in the Wall, a food hall with specialty stalls serving gastronomic delights.
Weekend markets like Salcedo Saturday Market and Legazpi Sunday Market are places to find arts, crafts, jewellery and souvenirs.
Top things to buy in Makati
Culture & Nightlife in Makati
Makati is Manila’s culture and entertainment hub. The art scene comes to life with Art Fair Philippines, held annually in February. Makati is also known for its dynamic nightlife, which thrives well into the early morning hours.
Visit Ayala Museum to learn about Philippine history and art. You can admire contemporary design at Yuchengco Museum and explore abandoned warehouses converted into art galleries along Chino Roces Avenue.
Makati’s music scene caters to differing tastes and genres. Indie, rock and alternative music are on the menu at Saguijo while B-Side hosts live music and a weekly reggae night. 12 Monkeys Music Hall and Pub, situated in posh Century City Mall, showcases established and up-and-coming musicians and bands.
To find out what’s on in Makati, see Make It Makati.
Makati’s best bars and clubs
Leisure in Makati
Makati is adjacent to Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Tour Manila, stopping by famed spots such as Intramuros, Rizal Park, Manila Cathedral and the National Museum of the Philippines. Divisoria Market and 168 Shopping Mall have plenty of bargains. Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, is ideal for a food tour. Night cruises offer views of Manila Bay’s iconic sunsets.
Top parks in Makati