If there’s only one city that I will highly recommend for people visiting in Manila, that will be Makati City. The most prosperous, most vibrant, and dynamic city in the Philippines.
Makati has been my home for five years now, so I already established my daily routine here. Where I discover some quality spots to dine, chill, and even have a staycation.
This Makati travel guide comes from my personal experience of living in Makati City for half a decade.
I don’t live in a secured gated community in the city but in one of the condominium buildings at Barangay Pio Del Pilar. Our community is also ideal if you want to reside in Makati city.
It’s a mix of residential and businesses district. There is a church, schools, budget hotels, a wet and dry market, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops, spa, etc.
Malls like Greenbelt and Glorieta plus Legazpi Park are all walking distance from our community.
I believe that most of the travelers would not consider booking a hotel in this part of Makati. Since they prefer to stay in the Poblacion area while business travelers will consider booking a room near or within Makati Central Business District
But if you want to stay in a local neighborhood where you can see how do locals live their daily life, eat in some local eatery and try some street food. You can check these budget accommodations like Penthouse 5465, RedDoorz near Little Tokyo Makati, and The Victor Hotel.
Lipa Grill and Little Tokyo are my favorite restaurants in our community. Our building is also walking distance to Legazpi active park where I jog.
Transportation wise, jeepney routes are going to MRT- Magallanes, LRT Pasay, SM Makati, and PRC Makati (The way going to my favorite “Lugawan (porage) sa Tejeros”)
Moving a little farther from our community is Poblacion, where I usually hang out with my friends on a Friday night, a lively and hip area in Makati. We used to party at Z hostel, a famous party hostel, but we now moved to a more chill place, which is Buccaneers Rum & Cocktails.
Our favorite meet up place is at El Chupacabra, the best Mexican Restaurant in the metro serving good street tacos and cheap local beers. If we crave for Thai Food, Crying Tiger’s Pad Thai is the best in the area. While Top dish is my ultimate choice for Korean Restaurant, and Kanto Freestyle is my first choice for breakfast meals.
If I want a cozy place to chill in Poblacion, I can’t think of any bar than Antidote, the roof deck bar of I’M Hotel. I tried some other restaurants and bars in Poblacion, but these are my usual go-to-place and highly recommended.
Talking about a staycation, I stayed at around ten hotels/hostel in Poblacion alone, and here are my top favorites.
I give my vote to I’m Hotel for a luxury stay. Then U Hotels and Nest Nano Suites for budget hotels, and for the hostel, Lub D is on top of my list. The top reason I prefer these accommodations is comfortability, especially with the type of bed they are using.
Moving to a posh district in Makati is Barangay Bel-Air and San Lorenzo. The place where I usually hang out because of the big interconnected malls in the area, namely Greenbelt, Landmark, Glorieta, and SM. There are different international restaurants, Luxury retail stores, 5-star hotels in this area too.
There are undoubtedly many best and expensive restaurants within Makati CBD that I haven’t tried. Still, for some Filipino Restaurants – Mesa and XO 46 is my top pick. I’m a fan of Thai food, so People’s Palace is highly recommended too, yet for a more affordable Thai restaurant, Soi is also an excellent choice.
I will crown Gino’s Brick oven Pizza as the best place to eat Pizza in the Philippines while Lazy Bastard for the best burger.
One of my preferred hotels is Valero Grand Suites by Swissbel Hotel Makati. Their 1-bedroom is spacious that can accommodate a small get together. Whenever my friends and I need a place to drink instead of going to a bar, we usually book a hotel room. Its private, comfortable and will save us more money.
These are the usual place I often visit here in Makati city; I know that there are so many things to discover as our city is dynamic. If you have any recommendations to add on this Makati Travel Guide, feel free to comment on this article.