Skyline of Makati, the financial hub of the Philippines

Top 27 Things to Do in Makati City | Financial Hub of the Philippines

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Skyscrapers in Makati, the financial hub of the Philippines

Make the most out of your trip to Makati City. Find out the top things to do and attractions in this part of the metro. Check out this complete guide to the best things to do in Makati City.

One of the most urban cities in the Philippines is Makati. Located in Manila, it’s famous for its skyscrapers, upscale shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment hubs.



Makati is known as a business district but thanks to its community of diverse cultures, nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds,. It also has also become a major leisure hub for both locals and international travelers.

There is more to Makati than meets the eye. It’s not just about business and posh malls. 

There are areas within and outside Makati Central Business District (CBD) that not all travelers know of yet but should explore to get a full experience of what this city has to offer.  

From unique food tours, museum excursions, and more, Makati has it all. Mark your Makati map with this list of things to do in Makati that you should include in your itinerary.

Guide to the Philippines' map of things to do in Makati

1. Stroll Along Ayala Triangle Gardens

Night stroll at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati

As the name suggests, Ayala Triangle Gardens is a triangular open park located in the middle of Makati Avenue, Ayala Avenue, and Paseo de Roxas Street. 

Similar to how the Central Park in New York provides city dwellers and tourists an open, green space to work out and enjoy nature, Ayala Triangle Gardens is a favorite go-to park for early risers.

It's also perfect for those who want to squeeze in a run or a workout and working professionals who want to have lunch outside and for families. 

During the weekend, it’s a great place to bring the family and enjoy nature. Not only is it a great spot for a date in Manila, but it’s also a great venue to bring your family during the Christmas holidays.

You can break out a sweat by jogging and taking a selfie afterward at the Make It Makati sign. 

If you happen to drop by on the first Sunday of the month and looking for things to do in Makati, you can check out the Makati Street Meet which is a haven for food and music lovers.

2. Appreciate Art at Ayala Museum (closed for renovation until 2020)

Located in the heart of Ayala Center, the museum showcases the Filipino culture, heritage, and customs while also featuring some seasonal exhibits.

It is also the home of the Filipinas Heritage Library where visitors can browse through rare books about the Philippines’ culture and history. It's one of the family-friendly museums in Manila.

3. Have a Great Time at Greenbelt Mall Complex

Greenbelt Mall Complex in Makati, PhilippinesGreenbelt has a total of five shopping areas from Greenbelt 1 to 5. All five are located at the heart of Ayala Center, with Greenbelt 5 as the newest and most upscale of all five shopping areas.

What’s amazing about the Greenbelt Mall is that each shopping area has its own unique vibe, features, and architecture.

For instance, the oldest, Greenbelt 1, dates back to the 1970s. It has small retail shops, restaurants, and a small cinema. 

The vibe is laid back and intimate compared to Greenbelt 3 whose cinema complex is bigger and more upscale. The shops in Greenbelt 3 are also more upscale including Marks and Spencer, Lacoste, and Hermes.

At night, Greenbelt transforms into a dining and entertainment hub complete with live music from its restaurants, cafes, and bars. 

Visitors can enjoy their cocktails and tapas while enjoying the warm weather in Greenbelt 3’s open-air restaurants. It's one of the best things to do in Makati.

Greenbelt Park

Greenbelt Park is a green oasis in the middle of a sprawling shopping complex. If you are tired of wall-to-wall people and stores, you can take a break and stroll along the Greenbelt Park. 

There are water fountains, a chapel, sculptures, a pond, and towering trees that provide people shade even during midday. Greenbelt Park's central location makes it a perfect place for meetups and casual strolls. 

And since Makati City is famous for its cosmopolitan culture, Greenbelt Park is surrounded by an assortment of cafes and upscale stores such as Hermes.

Sto Niño de Paz Greenbelt Chapel

The Sto. Niño de Paz Chapel, which is more commonly known as the Greenbelt Chapel, is situated at the heart of Ayala Center. The chapel is known for its circular pattern, outdoor garden, lagoon, and sculptures. 

But, apart from its beautiful aesthetics, families flock to the Greenbelt Chapel to listen to solemn homilies. Its location also makes it the perfect spot for families to go on weekends for lunch or dinner after hearing mass.

4. Visit Yuchengco Museum

Entrance to the Yuchengco Museum in MakatiPhoto from Yuchengco Museum

Located in RCBC Plaza, the Yuchengco Museum is a beautiful art and design gallery established by former Philippine Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco. 

The three-level museum is home to many paintings from Filipino masters, photos of the founders’ meetings with world leaders, and a collection of José Rizal memorabilia.

5. Discover Salcedo Market

Refreshing drink and fruits at Salcedo Market in Salcedo Village, MakatiVisiting the Salcedo Weekend Market at Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village is a thrill for the senses. 

Though it can get crowded and hot, especially during the summer, the aroma of gourmet delights cooking on the spot and the wide display of local produce and items for sale make a trip to the Salcedo Market worth it.

If you find yourself in the market crowd, make sure you try the vegetable samosas, lobster and scallop balls, the Japanese pancakes with your choice of filling (try kesong puti and peanut butter), and more. 

If you can, try also some of the unique dishes like pierogi (traditional Polish dumpling), and the crazy delicious baklava, a popular Middle Eastern dessert.

6. Have Fun at Circuit Makati

Globe Circuit Events Ground in Circuit MakatiPhoto from Circuit Makati

Circuit Makati is the newest addition to Makati City's list of top-notch shopping destinations. Located at the old Sta. Ana racetrack, Circuit Makati’s Circuit Lane home to an impressive selection of both local and international brands. 

But Circuit Makati is more than just a shopping destination. It is a recreational hub with great facilities that families can enjoy. 

Circuit Makati’s Globe Circuit Event Grounds is a large open field where concerts, events, and music/art festivals are held all year round. 

There are also sports facilities here including a football field (Gatorade Chelsea FC Blue Pitch), a skate park (Mountain Dew Skate Park), and a kart racing facility (City Kart Racing) for people who want an adrenaline rush.

It's also a great idea for cheap dates in Manila! Circuit Makati’s Miracle Art Happyworld Museum is also a favorite family attraction along with PlayBook (video game lounge) and Onboard Game+Gastro Pub (board game café).

7. Follow the Crowd in Poblacion

This neighborhood in Makati has become the unofficial laidback, friendly watering hole community. It has a strip of restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes that contribute to what makes Poblacion, Makati the go-to foodie and drinks haven. 

Here are some of the places you should include in your personal pub crawl.

Yoi Sake Bar

Yoi Sake Bar’s drinks menu highlights the sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. Managing director Tadeo Chua can help explain to you some of the sake offerings so don’t be afraid to ask. 

If you’re craving for gourmet baked oysters, there’s no better place to get it than at Yoi’s. They make it with Havarti cheese, mushroom cream, and get this, caviar.

Z Hostel Roofdeck

People having drinks at Z Hostel's rooftop bar in Poblacion, MakatiPhoto from Z Hostel Philippines

If you want to hang out where a younger crowd is, go up, all the way up to the Z Hostel Roofdeck.

It’s fitting to note that the roofdeck area is also the hostel’s communal area, making it a perfect place for some cold beer and no-fuss party grubs. 

Partying here is very casual. There’s no dress code. Just some cool music, new friends, and an amazing view to match.

Polilya

If you want to sip local craft beer from Engkanto Brewery, head to Polilya and love local. The bar’s tropical décor make it refreshing any time of the day. 

There's even a chandelier of sample bottles at the bar, which is a great conversation starter as well as a design piece.

The bar makes you feel like you’re in someone’s living room. Just a place where you can drink and eat with friends.

El Chupacabra

Tacos with salsa and margarita at El Chupacabra in Poblacion, MakatiPhoto from El Chupacabra

If you’re craving for tacos, El Chupacabra is your place. It’s a favorite spot for both locals and foreigners who want a taste of Mexican tacos with their go-to drinks.

Agimat

Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen is for the brave souls. If you’re looking for authentic, “fear-factor” style street food such as balut (boiled fertilized duck egg) and lengua (ox tongue), this is your place. 

When it comes to drinks, Agimat offers 10 eccentric cocktails that pay tribute to the natural elements, namely Lupa (soil), Hangin (air), and Apoy (fire) to name a few. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Agimat is that they serve the drinks along with a ritual or dance. This includes some local beats, sounds, and folk dance moves.

Pura Vida

People dancing to the Costa Rican reggae music at Pura Vida in Poblacion, MakatiPhoto from Pura Vida Manila

Pura Vida dishes up authentic Costa Rican dishes and drinks. Fun, colorful, laidback, and inspired by the beach life, Pura Vida helps you loosen up and just enjoy the reggae vibe. 

It’s definitely the first and perhaps the only of its kind in Makati City. Pura Vida’s menu includes South American favorites such as fajitas, chicharrones, and patacones.

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers isn’t located in Poblacion but it’s one of those “hidden” speakeasy bars in Makati that make you feel elated when you do find it.  

Located along Sabio Street, it’s popular for its strict non-smoking rule, laid back yet eclectic vibe, and cool music. Hint: just look for a taco place called the Taqueria Real. 

Finders Keepers is also famous for being meticulous in their drinks preparations. Instead of just splashing and pouring in the individual ingredients, the bartenders here measure each ingredient as carefully as possible.

8. Enjoy at Glorietta Mall Complex

Themed Glorietta Park in MakatiPhoto from Ayala Malls (Glorietta)

Glorietta was once an open park used by a local film company to shoot a youth comedy-drama. 

After its conversion into a shopping complex, the first Glorietta Mall opened in 1991 and has quickly become an iconic shopping and entertainment destination for families. 

Glorietta is divided into five main sections from Glorietta 1 to 5 and is connected to nearby malls including Greenbelt and SM Makati.

Like Greenbelt, Glorietta's 5 shopping areas is unique on its own. The first 4 are interconnected and converges into an activity area where various events are held. 

The newest addition, Glorietta 5, is a separate mall and is famous for being the home of the first Uniqlo store in Makati City. If you’re looking for locally made, stylish shoes for women, head to Ferretti Shoes in Glorietta 5.

9. Relax at Salcedo Park

Salcedo Park, which is also known as Jaime C. Velasquez Park, is the home of Art In The Park. The yearly event features a huge collection of printed works, sculptures, paintings and more that you can purchase. 

During the weekend, it hosts the Salcedo Community Market, which is famous for gourmet eats and celebrity sightings. During the work-week and if there are no events, it’s a great place to have your morning run.

10. Pray at Santuario De San Antonio Parish

The Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park is famous for its Baroque architectural style. Many are drawn to this beautiful church because it is reminiscent of the Catholic churches found all over Europe. 

Filipino National Artist Fernando Amorsolo worked on the church’s hand-painted murals.

What’s interesting to note is that the Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish stands on what was once a grassland that Joseph McMicking donated to the city. 

McMicking is known as one of the city’s founders and the one who pioneered its rise as the Philippines’ financial district.

11. Hang Out at Washington Sycip Park

The Washington Sycip Park in Makati is a wonderful and quiet place to take a leisurely stroll in between meetings. It has a koi pond, which is said to bring one strength and good luck according to the Japanese culture. 

Ponds, in general, are also known to help lower blood pressure levels and anxiety. The park also has several sculptures by Filipino sculptor Impy Pilapil, a gazebo, and piped-in music.

If you're looking for a not-so-secret pocket garden to visit when the day's stress gets to you, head to Washington Sycip Park in Legazpi Village and take a breather.

12. Exercise at Legazpi Active Park

While many condominiums in Makati City have play areas, public gardens, and parks such as the newly renovated Legazpi Active Park can have a huge health benefit for both children and adults. 

Children can roam freely, with adult supervision, of course, giving families the chance to exercise outdoors and have quality time. So if you’re traveling with kids, take them to this park in Makati City.

13. Contemplate at Saint Andrew the Apostle Church

Located in Bel-Air II, the Saint Andrew the Apostle Church was designed by Filipino National Artist Leandro Locsin in 1968 and was dubbed as a modern-looking church. 

The church’s patron saint died on an X-shaped cross that can be seen on the altar. This is why the layout of the church also follows an X-shaped layout. 

In fact, if seen from above, the church looks like a flowing white tent. It may not be as old as the Guadalupe Church but it’s worth a visit if you love to see its intricate architectural details inside and outside.

14. See Relics at Museo ng Makati

If you want to learn more about the history of Makati City, there’s no better place to do your research than at the Museo ng Makati in Poblacion. 

The building was built in 1918 and has served as the Makati Town Hall until 1961. Today, the museum holds a collection of murals, artifacts, rare and old photos of Makati, dioramas, and relics of Makati’s rich cultural history. 

Museo ng Makati’s special attraction is the living exhibit of the Philippines’ different regions that show its unique characteristics. The museum also holds special events so it’s best to check online for the schedule to better time your visit.

15. Shop Until You Drop at Powerplant Mall

Frankie and Friends store in Powerplant Mall, MakatiPhoto from Make It Makati

The Powerplant Mall is located in Rockwell Center, an area that is known as a “city within a city”. Chic, calm, and affluent, Powerplant Mall is a favorite go-to place for the rich and many celebrities. 

While it is smaller compared to its counterparts in Ayala Center, the vibe is exclusive. In recent years, Powerplant Mall has been catering to the city’s most fashionable shopping crowd.

16. Reflect at Guadalupe Church

Ash Wednesday at the Guadalupe Church in MakatiPhoto from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Guadalupe Church is an important structure in Makati’s history. The so-called Guadalupe Ruins is one of the oldest structures in the entire city dating all the way back to 1629. 

The 400-year-old church is a must-visit for both the religious and a different type of lovers—those who love architecture and history. 

Located in Bernardino Street in Guadalupe Viejo, make sure you add the Guadalupe Church to your itinerary.

17. Try the Jolly Jeep Experience

Jolly Jeep in Makati is a pop-up carinderia of homecooked mealsPhoto from Make It Happen

If you’re wondering where most of the workforce of Makati get their daily source of home-cooked Filipino food, you need to try the famous jolly jeep stalls scattered around the inner streets of Makati CBD. 

The first half of the name is actually inspired by Jollibee, the Philippines' most famous local fast-food chain, Jollibee, while the second half is from the jeepney, the iconic local transportation in the country.

While there are a ton of these in Makati, not all jolly jeeps offer the same food and the same quality. For starters, you can try out the humble cult-favorite sisig of the jolly jeep in Rada Street, located in front of Planter’s Bank.  

Explore the Hidden Treasures of Makati

Skyline of Makati, the financial hub of the PhilippinesEven if modern-day Makati City skyline is littered with skyscrapers and condominiums, there are still many green, open spaces that make the city what it is today: a true champion of the “Live-Work-Play Lifestyle.”. 

Makati has made it possible to live and play in the same city where you work. The city truly offers something for anyone, regardless of age, socio-economic background, and race. 

Makati is a true melting pot of city life customs and traditions and it has many hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Start your own exploration of Makati, Manila. Check out Manila City tours and activities to see this bustling destination in a new light.