Makati City hotels
Most people know that Manila is the capital of the Philippines. But few are aware that Manila is actually made up of 16 cities, and smack bang in the centre of them is Makati. This is the financial capital of the country, and one of Asia’s biggest and most happening business hubs.
In Makati, you can shop at the luxe Power Plant Mall, or visit historic San Antonio village and the beautiful National Shrine of the Sacred Heart that resides within it. Makati’s stunning skyline lets you know you’re in the presence of some serious money. Skyscrapers mingle with five-star facilities patronised by posh residents – Filipino and ex-pat alike. But just when you think Makati is far too highfalutin and fancy, you turn a corner and find yourself in dive bar central, which provides a welcome – if slightly sleazy – dose of reality.
Makati's Top 10
10. Greenbelt If you want a good feed, a stiff drink and a pumping club, come to this vibrant, young area.
5. Guadalupe Mall Sooo many epic bargains to be had at this discount mall. *drool*
9. Salcedo Weekend Market This renowned market held in Salcedo Park is packed with everything from gourmet food and homegrown veg to traditional handicrafts and jewellery.
4. Manila American Cemetery and Memorial Both American and Filipino soldiers have been put to rest at this powerful, emotional and history-rich spot – a legacy of WWII and beyond.
8. Ninoy Aquino monument This statue honours one of the Philippines’ most important national heroes.
3. Our Lady of Grace This Euro-Baroque church was built by Augustinian friars and is now a World Heritage site.
7. Greenbelt Chapel Beautiful, domed church that is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
2. Ayala Center Snooty restaurants and up-scale labels abound. Save up plenty of pesos to come here!
6. Philippine Stock Exchange Keen on marrying money? Snag a rich broker at the place where money is everything.
1. Ayala Museum Check out the Philippines’ past at this house of history.
Makati City History
- Libingan ng mga Bayani - The resting place of many local soldiers, martyrs and heroes, including two of the country’s presidents.
- Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church - UNESCO World Heritage Site with European-Baroque -inspired architecture.
- Greenbelt Chapel - Popular place in Makati City surrounded by a lovely park with trees, a lily pond and a fishpond.
- Philippine Stock Exchange - One of two stock exchanges in the country.
- Ninoy Aquino Monument - In honour of the late senator and national hero, husband of Corazon Aquino.
Makati City Art & Culture
- Ayala Museum - Features the rich history of the Philippines from the earliest days through independence and includes well-known paintings by Filipino artists.
- Yuchengco Museum - Home to Alfonso T Yuchengco’s collection with the goal of promoting appreciation for the Filipino and Chinese-Filipino creativity and visual arts.
- National Museum of the Filipino People - This museum in Makati City features a large collection of artefacts, including treasures recovered from the shipwreck of the San Diego, musical instruments and pre-Hispanic works of art.
- Filipinas Heritage Library - Located inside the former Nielson Airport tower, this astonishing collection dates back to the days of the Spanish.
- Manila South Cemetery - Draws thousands on All Saints’ Day to pay respects to their families and loved ones.
Makati City Shopping
- Glorietta - One of the biggest malls in the area with shops, eateries, kids’ activities and entertainment.
- Greenbelt - Upscale shopping area in Makati City with well-known shops and brands.
- Duty Free Fiesta Mall - The place to get chocolates, cigarettes, cosmetics, liquor, electronic goods and more at duty-free prices.
- Power Plant Mall - This mall has four levels of national and international shops.
- Salcedo Weekend Market - Weekend market open every Saturday, with everything from organically grown produce to ornamental plants, bakery products and more.
Gay & Lesbian Makati City
- Aura Sing-Along & Comedy Bar - Welcoming and gay-friendly comedy bar and sing-along spot.
- Butterfly - Local hangout and a place to meet friends new and old.
- Rockwell - Great jazz bar in Makati City.
- Club One Heart Bar and Restaurant - With performers, impersonations, standup comedians, dancers and singers.
- Che'lu - Great place for private parties, karaoke and drinks.
Makati City Outdoor
- Greenbelt Park - Lovely spot with a duck pond and stream to take in the multicultural environment of the Makati City area.
- Ayala Triangle Park - Beautiful place to spend the day or get something to eat in one of the surrounding cafes or restaurants.
- Intramuros - With ornamental gardens, open lawns, wooded areas, paved walks and monuments of local heroes.
- Legaspi Park - Small, well-kept area that offers an assortment of fresh produce, sweets, local delicacies and souvenirs.
- Salcedo Park - Quaint park with an open-air market on Saturday mornings.
Makati City Sport
- The Makati Sports Club offers tennis games and championships.
- The Sta. Ana Racetrack holds regular races.
- The Makati City area offers lush, green 18-hole golf courses.
- For great polo games, check out the Manila Polo Club.
- The Makati Coliseum hosts regular games, including basketball.
Makati buzzes with energy for Chinese New Year in late January/early February. There are fireworks, dancing dragons and lots of red things. Kung Hei Fat Choi, everyone!
The International Jazz and Arts Festival in late February is for all the cool cats. Chill to some sexy sax riffs while checking out some contemporary and slightly pretentious art.
Every Good Friday, locals get together for Senakulo, a festival that puts on a street re-enactment of the life, death and all-round awesomeness of Mr J Christ. Expect pushy crowds.
May’s Flores de Mayo celebrates Makati’s native blooms with a mammoth, flower-filled parade. Fun stuff.
Pick up an authentic piece of the Philippines (on the cheap) at the Likhang Kamay Bazaar in October. This three-day market has a bunch of homemade handicrafts, art and food on offer, so make sure you buy up big.
When To Go
- Makati’s average annual temperature is a sizzling 29°C (84°F).
- Expect it to rain cats and dogs from mid-July to mid-October.
- November to May is so humid your locks will turn from sleek and straight to a frizzy ’fro in no time!
- Buses are your best option if staying in central Makati, although walking is a good option if you can stand the crowds and heat.
- Colourful/slightly obnoxious ‘Jeepnies’ are everywhere in Makati and are a tourist rite of passage. You’ll look like a dork, but you’ll have loads of fun!
- Not into the whole Jeepney thing? Grab a taxi – the fares are cheap.
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