After sunset, Manila’s nightlife scene really heats up. Here’s our guide to some of the best clubs in Manila.
With its numerous entertainment districts and nightclubs, there’s rarely an evening in Manila without a bit of after-hours fun. Manila’s cheap drinks, lively clubbing scene and friendly locals make the city an exciting destination to explore once the sun goes down. Whether you’re looking for a classy poolside setting for people-watching or a hip subterranean sweatbox for dancing the night away, check out our list below for a guide to what’s hot.
Makati Nightlife: Black Market
Black Market brings a Berlin warehouse experience to Manila’s party scene. In addition to having a great line-up of artists and DJs, Black Market also operates the “hidden” speakeasy bar/lounge Finders Keepers within the premises.
The club is a bit hard to get to, but once inside, the vibe makes it well worth the effort. To find Black Market, aim for the Mazda showroom in Makati and you’re on the right track.
Makati Nightlife: El Chupacabra
El Chupacabra takes its name from the mythical creature in Latin America that supposedly sucks the blood out of livestock, especially goats, but fortunately that’s where the comparison ends.
This popular al fresco hang-out offers a Mexican street food experience in the outskirts of Makati. Foodies come for the mouth-watering tacos and assorted grilled food on barbecue sticks, and stay for the drink deals. You can also buy Filipino street food from passing vendors and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try out the Filipino balut, or duck embryo. With its cheap beer and tasty selection of soft corn tortilla tacos, El Chupacabra should be a pit stop on your next night out in Manila.
Bonifacio Nightlife: The Palace
The Palace, located in Bonifacio (BGC or The Fort), brings together multiple clubs, bars and restaurants into a single nightlife destination.
Here you’ll find Manila’s newest super-club, XYLO (formerly Valkyrie), which offers a multisensory experience as top DJs pump out beats against a backdrop of kaleidoscopic neon lights on the ceiling and hyperkinetic visuals flashing on huge LED screens.
Another well-known nightspot at The Palace is Revel, a ritzy nightclub and lounge catering to the more mature and well-heeled crowd. Revel brings luxury clubbing to a whole new level with its VIP service, top-shelf booze and some of the most high-profile DJs in the industry. If you want to see and be seen, Revel is your club of choice.
Bonifiacio Nightlife: Bank Bar
Sometimes, the best watering holes are in the most unassuming locations. A case in point is Bank Bar, which can be found behind a 7-Eleven convenience store in Bonifacio. This secret hideaway offers a high-end “drinking den” experience amid modest surroundings.
Bank Bar has an extensive drinks list that includes inventive cocktails and various choices from an immensely well-stocked liquor cabinet. We recommend starting off with a refreshing shochu highball, and then ending the night with an earl grey martini.
Makati Nightlife: Agimat Bar and Foraging Kitchen
Makati Nightlife: Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
It’s a bit of a challenge to gain entry into this cocktail bar styled as a Prohibition-era speakeasy. As if finding ABV wasn’t already hard enough (passage is through the Lazy Bastard, a burger joint in Makati, where you should seek a wooden sliding door that hides an antique elevator shaft), you’re still expected to say a password so the staff will let you in. (Psst, check out ABV’s website.)
The booze on offer makes up for the hard work though. ABV specialises in signature craft cocktails and has the largest absinthe collection in Makati. Ask for the “Bible” if you want a list of what their bartenders can make for you. Alternatively, they can concoct something just for you.