Makati – Philippines Financial Hub

Makati City is “country’s financial hub”, known for the skyscrapers and shopping malls, maybe a dizzying maze of tall buildings and one-way streets but just like any busy city, you’ll find places where the seeds of your work-life balance can grow and flourish. But again, it doesn’t always have to be – or look – business all the time. Find out why….. 

Ayala Triangle Gardens

Ayala Triangle Garden boasts of a collection of contemporary art amidst lush greenery trees. The park caters to joggers, families and everyone else who needs to take a breath…

Ayala Triangle “Festival of Lights” yearly

While the park itself is instagrammable, just a short walk away is the Blackbird Restaurant at the Nielson Tower.

  • Location: Paseo De Roxas St. corner Makati Avenue corner Ayala Avenue (View Map)

  • Fee(s): FREE

  • Operation hours: 6 am to 10 pm (Mondays to Sundays)

  • Best for: Family picnics, hangout with friends

  • Adventure level: Chill

  • Highlight(s): Festival of Lights every December

Nielson Tower

The Nielson Tower houses the Blackbird Restaurant and The Filipinas Heritage Library. Their menus are inspired by the aviation history of the building, combine world-class with contemporary Asian cooking. The aviation-themed restaurant has a clean black and white aesthetic, that serves as the perfect backdrop for Blackbird’s mouthwatering dishes. Get shots inside the Blackbird Restaurant, where the interiors are chic, sophisticated and uber-modern.  

Grab some shots in and around the tower, as you marvel at the former airport traffic control. Although the airport might have transformed in the Ayala Triangle Gardens, the tower has been untouched, except for what it’s home to. If you want to have a look at some history and take a couple of snapshots, then you should head to The Filipinas Heritage Library.

TRIVIA: Philippine Airlines mounted its first flight not from the Manila (now Ninoy Aquino) International Airport, but from the City of Makati. It was 1941 and the very first PAL flight, bound for Baguio, took off from what used to be the Nielson Airport on Makati Avenue. When airport operations were moved to Villamor Air Base, the property was then returned to its owners, the Ayalas. The runways were then converted into the roads we know today as Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Avenue. The passenger terminal and control tower, however, was kept intact. Today—almost 70 years later—the airport facility has come alive once again, becoming the restaurant Blackbird.

  1. Location: Nielson Tower, Ayala Triangle, Makati Avenue (View Map)

  2. Fee(s): Budget for one

  3. Operation hours: 11 am to 11 pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 11 am to midnight (Fri-Sat)

  4. Best for: Romantic dates, Special occasions

  5. Highlight(s): Being inside one of the most historical places in the city.

  6. Activity tips: Reserve desserts in advance before they run out!

Shops at Ayala Makati Malls 

Whatever it is you need to get, from the budget-friendly to the most high-end items, Makati is a go-to place for every shopaholic at heart.

  1. SM Makati  is nicely connected to nearby Glorietta  and Ayala MRT station

  2. Glorietta 1,2, 3, 4, 5 (is a large shopping mall in the  Makati

  3. owned by the Zobel de Ayala family and operated through its holding company, the Ayala Corporation)

  • Landmark is a shopping mall connected to Glorietta and SM Makati.

  • Greenbelt 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  is also a  shopping mall located at Ayala Center, which is just near Glorietta and SM Makati. It is owned by Ayala Malls, a real-estate subsidiary of Ayala Land, which is an affiliate of Ayala Corporation

Night view of Greenbelt
  • Rockwell Center called “the most fashionable place in Manila”  combines some of the country’s tallest towers with lushly.  It is definitely worth considering for those with an eye for an upscale lifestyle.

Rockwell at night
  • Location: Makati City 

  • Fee(s): FREE

  • Mall hours: 10am-9pm 

  • Best for Shopping, hang out with friends

  • Adventure level: Shop, Chill, Enjoy

Z Hostel Roofdeck

If you’re looking for an unobstructed view of the city and you want to snap a couple of pictures of the party scene in Makati, then you should really get yourself to the Roofdeck at the Z Hostel. They don’t only serve beers and a great party scene, but they also offer magnificent views of Makati.

Magnificent view of Makati from Z Hostel

Z Hostel is the first luxury hostel in the country and it’s certainly generating quite a buzz from the millennials in the city.  You could have both the luxury of a hotel and the homey vibe of a hostel?

One of the best spots to enjoy the city’s nightlife
  • Fee(s): Rooms available for as low as P699 via Traveloka. Book here!

  • Best for: Backpackers, yuppies

  • Adventure level: Chill

  • Highlight(s): A hip view of Makati from the Roof deck.

  • on Pedro Street, Brgy. Poblacion (View Map)

Ayala Museum

The Ayala Museum is located on the corner of Makati Avenue and De La Rosa Street and it certainly is a looker. From permanent displays such as the “Gold of Ancestors” where they feature over a thousand gold relics to “The Diorama Experience,” there’s definitely art everywhere. Did we mention they have several contemporary art pieces on display, as well?

The Ayala Museum’s collection of finely crafted ship models is a tribute to the boats of yore that were used for everything from warfare to transport and dwelling. This selection includes the local skiffs as well as foreign ships that dropped anchor at Philippine shores. These boats were handcrafted out of baticulin, laniti, and apitong wood, and adorned with cloth, string, buntal fiber, bamboo, and bronze.

Miniature Galleons from the Maritime Vessels Exhibit of Ayala Museum
  • Location: Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park 

  • Fee(s): Depends on the type of access you’re getting.

  • Operation hours: 9 am to 6 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays)

  • Best for history buffs, museum lovers, arts & culture enthusiasts

  • Highlight(s): Exploring the collection of archeological artifacts and checking “The Philippine Diorama Experience” exhibition.

Yuchengco Museum

The Yuchengco Museum opened its doors to the public in September 2005 and its primary goal is to foster a greater public appreciation of the finest international as well as national cultural, historical as well as design exhibitions and programs through the following themes: Sino-Filipino Expressions, Bridging Cultures, Design as Art, Art as Design, Culture and Development. 

RCBZ Plaza where Yuchengco Museum is located

The museum operates as a cultural-business entity, exhibiting the most exquisite cultural. Yuchengco Museum mourns the passing of sculptor Eduardo Castrillo (1942 – 2016), who created the “The Spirit of EDSA” sculpture at the RCBC Plaza Courtyard. Mr Castrillo has previously exhibited his works at the museum in 2006 and in 2013.

“The Spirit of EDSA” sculpture
  • Location: RCBC Plaza, Corner Ayala Ave & Senator Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati, 1200 

  • Fee(s): Depends on the type of access you’re getting.

  • Operation hours: 10 am to 6 pm (Monday -Saturday)

  • Best for history buffs, museum lovers, arts & culture enthusiasts

  • Highlight(s): Experience exhibition entitled This is Manila” and “Treasures of the Philippines” which highlights themes, and a temporary Exhibition Gallery featuring the very best of temporary exhibitions from the world exhibitions circuit.

Little Tokyo

Loitering around craving for some ramen or maybe something to dip in Japanese mayonnaise? Then step into Little Tokyo. Walk past the brown arch and feel like you’ve been transported to Japan, with obscure signboards, zen-themed traditional Japanese structures and a lot of restaurants owned by Japanese restaurateurs.

There are a lot of beautiful crafted traditional-looking restaurants in the area that serve carefully and beautifully plated food. First off, make sure you take a couple of snaps at Sekitori, where the servers are dressed in the garb of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Also, take drool-worthy snaps of sushi and sashimi at Seryna Japanese Restaurant. If you’re looking at a juxtaposition of cool Japanese culinary skills on the traditional backdrop, you should check out Dojo Dairy.

  • Location: Chino Roces Ave, Pasong Tamo Corner Amorsolo Street 

  • Operation hours: Most restaurants open at around 11 am and close at 1 am

  • Best for a Japanese food lover

  • Highlight(s): Eating your favourite Japanese food. Okawari o kudasai!

Salcedo Saturday Market

Your Facebook and  Instagram gallery won’t be complete without a fusion of food, nature and of course, some shopping. Which brings us to our next IG-worthy location in Makati, Salcedo Market.

Located at the parking lot of Jaime C. Velasquez Park, it is perfect for families and friends who enjoy eating different delicacies, and who love going through a multitude of unique products.

  • Location: Jaime C. Velasquez Park (Salcedo Park)

  • Fee(s): FREE

  • Operation hours: 7 am to 2 pm every Saturday

  • Adventure level: Mild

  • Highlight(s): The diverse cuisines and artisanal goods.

B – SIDE at Collective

Apart from the drinks, food, and contemporary music, you really need to see B-side’s collection of street art and interesting wall murals. They have reggae music on Sunday nights, so grab a drink, enjoy the music and let your eyes feast on the wonders of this quirky yet beautiful place.

  • Location: 7274 Malugay Street 

  • Operation hours: 9pm to 4 am (Wednesdays to Sundays)

  • Best for: Partying with friends, Reggae fans

  • Highlight(s): Irie Sundays

  • Activity tips: – Keep an eye on your valuables since this is an open space.

Enjoy a fun experience and check out other things to do, restaurants to try and more.

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