Makati, the financial heart of the Philippines, is a city of ceaseless energy, modernity, and cultural richness. Nestled within the sprawling metropolis of Manila, Makati stands as a testament to the country’s dynamic growth and cosmopolitan charm. But beyond its towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, Makati offers an array of diverse experiences for residents and tourists alike. From verdant parks to cutting-edge museums, lively markets to serene chapels, this city has something for everyone. Join us on a journey through the best things to do in Makati and discover the vibrant tapestry that is this urban gem.
1. Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens is a lush and vibrant urban oasis nestled in the heart of Makati, Philippines. This expansive green space covers an area of about 20,000 square meters and provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. The park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, public art, and a variety of dining options.
Visitors to Ayala Triangle Gardens can enjoy leisurely walks along its well-maintained pathways, which are shaded by a canopy of trees, and take in the sights of meticulously landscaped gardens. One of the park’s highlights is its impressive collection of public art installations and sculptures, which add a touch of culture to the serene environment. Additionally, the park hosts various events and activities throughout the year, making it a hub for the community and a vibrant cultural space. It’s also known for its stunning light and sound show during the Christmas season, which transforms the park into a magical wonderland. With its accessibility and appeal, Ayala Triangle Gardens stands as a testament to Makati’s commitment to green spaces and enriching the urban experience for residents and visitors.
2. Ayala Museum
Ayala Museum is a cultural gem in the heart of Makati, Philippines, that offers an enriching and immersive experience into the country’s rich history and heritage. The museum, founded in 1967, is housed in a modern and architecturally striking building that draws visitors in with its distinctive facade. Inside, it hosts a diverse collection of art, historical artifacts, and exhibitions that provide a comprehensive overview of the Philippines’ past and present.
One of the museum’s key attractions is its Filipinas Heritage Library, which houses an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and rare documents, making it a valuable resource for scholars and researchers. The museum’s permanent exhibitions, such as the “Diorama Experience,” utilize dioramas and soundscapes to vividly recreate pivotal moments in Philippine history. From pre-colonial times to the struggle for independence and the contemporary era, Ayala Museum’s engaging displays offer a deep dive into the country’s evolution. The museum also frequently hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events, ensuring that every visit is a fresh and enlightening experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the Philippines’ captivating story, Ayala Museum is a must-visit destination in Makati.
3. Greenbelt Shopping Center
Greenbelt Shopping Center is a renowned retail and lifestyle destination nestled in the bustling heart of Makati, one of the Philippines’ central business districts. Comprising five distinctive sections—Greenbelt 1 to 5—this premier shopping complex offers a diverse range of retail, dining, and leisure experiences. Each section boasts a unique character, making it a delightful place for both locals and tourists to explore.
Greenbelt is more than just a shopping center; it’s a vibrant hub where shoppers can discover high-end fashion boutiques, electronics stores, and a wide array of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Its beautifully landscaped gardens, punctuated by fountains and artworks, provide a serene and refreshing escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Whether you’re seeking luxury fashion brands, international cuisine, a cozy spot for a coffee, or even open-air movie nights under the stars, Greenbelt Shopping Center offers a complete shopping and entertainment experience that caters to diverse tastes and preferences. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to indulge in retail therapy, savor delectable cuisine, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Makati.
4. Sto. Nino de Paz Greenbelt Chapel
Sto. Niño de Paz Greenbelt Chapel is a serene oasis of spiritual reflection and peace amidst the bustling cosmopolitan landscape of Makati, Philippines. Nestled within the verdant surroundings of Greenbelt Shopping Center, this chapel provides respite and a spiritual haven for residents and visitors alike. The chapel’s design, inspired by the concept of an open nipa hut, offers an inviting and tranquil space for prayer and meditation.
The chapel’s serene atmosphere and beautiful stained glass windows make it an ideal place for contemplation and religious observance. Regular Masses and religious events are conducted here, serving as a spiritual retreat for those seeking solace and a moment of connection with their faith. Whether you’re a devotee or simply looking for a peaceful sanctuary in the heart of the city, Sto. Niño de Paz Greenbelt Chapel welcomes all, offering a place of spiritual reflection and quietude in the midst of urban life.
5. Makati Central Business District
Makati Central Business District (CBD) is a thriving financial and commercial hub at the heart of Metro Manila, Philippines. Renowned for its towering skyscrapers, upscale shopping centres, and bustling streets, Makati CBD is the Philippines’ premier business district. Home to the Philippine Stock Exchange, numerous multinational corporations, and countless banks, this district is the epicenter of the country’s economic activities.
Makati CBD is more than just a business district; it’s also a vibrant social and cultural centre. The district boasts world-class shopping malls like Greenbelt and Glorietta, which offer a wide array of restaurants, retail stores, and entertainment options. At night, the area comes alive with numerous bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. This cosmopolitan city centre combines business and leisure seamlessly, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking the pulse of the Philippines’ economic and social life.
6. Glorietta Mall
Glorietta Mall, situated at the heart of Makati City in the Philippines, is a sprawling shopping and entertainment complex known for its upscale retail and dining options. The mall comprises five interconnected buildings, each catering to different preferences and tastes. It’s a one-stop destination for fashion, electronics, home furnishings, and more. With a mix of international and local brands, Glorietta offers a diverse shopping experience for visitors.
Beyond shopping, Glorietta boasts a vibrant dining scene. Its array of restaurants, cafes, and food stalls serve a wide variety of cuisine, from Filipino delicacies to international dishes. The mall also features a serene garden area and an activity centre for events and performances, providing a well-rounded experience for shoppers and entertainment seekers. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, delicious food, or simply a place to relax, Glorietta Mall has something for everyone in the bustling city of Makati.
Poblacion, located in the heart of Makati City, is an eclectic and vibrant neighborhood known for its nightlife, arts scene, and cultural diversity. Once a quiet residential area, Poblacion has transformed into a bustling hub filled with trendy bars, restaurants, and boutique hotels. It’s the go-to destination for those seeking an exciting and cosmopolitan experience in the city.
This dynamic district is famous for its lively street art, showcasing murals and graffiti that add a creative and edgy flair to the streets. Visitors can explore the neighbourhood’s wide range of dining options, from traditional Filipino eateries to international cuisine, making it a culinary delight. Poblacion is also a nightlife hotspot with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues that come to life after the sun sets, offering entertainment and an energetic atmosphere for locals and tourists alike. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to enjoy the vibrant and modern side of Makati.
8. Cultural Center of the Philippines
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex in Makati is a cultural and artistic enclave dedicated to celebrating and promoting the rich and diverse heritage of the Philippines. Located along Manila Bay, this sprawling complex is home to a plethora of venues, institutions, and spaces dedicated to the arts. The centerpiece of the complex is the CCP Main Theater, a world-class performing arts venue where you can witness outstanding ballets, theater productions, and musical performances. The adjacent Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo is renowned for its acoustics, making it an excellent venue for classical concerts.
Apart from the CCP Main Theater, the complex houses other venues like the Tanghalang Pambansa, which hosts various performances, and the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas, primarily used for smaller productions. The Cultural Center of the Philippines also features art galleries, museums, and an expansive library, making it a haven for art enthusiasts. Beyond the artistic offerings, the complex also boasts beautiful outdoor spaces, including the CCP Promenade, which is a perfect spot for leisurely strolls while enjoying scenic views of Manila Bay. In essence, the CCP Complex is a treasure trove of Philippine culture and creativity, a place where the arts are celebrated, preserved, and presented for all to enjoy.
9. Makati Park and Garden
Makati Park and Garden is an urban oasis nestled amidst the bustling cityscape of Makati, Philippines. This serene and meticulously landscaped park provides a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking a tranquil and green respite.
The park’s lush greenery, shaded pathways, and a picturesque pond create a soothing atmosphere. Visitors can meander through well-maintained gardens, enjoy a leisurely picnic, or simply relax in the shade of towering trees. One of the notable features is the musical dancing fountain that comes alive with colorful lights and choreographed water displays in the evenings, providing a delightful spectacle. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to read a book, take a leisurely walk, or enjoy a quiet conversation, Makati Park and Garden offers a charming retreat within the heart of the city.
10. Ninoy Aquino Monument
The Ninoy Aquino Monument stands as a significant landmark in Makati, Philippines, commemorating the life and legacy of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. This iconic figure in Philippine history played a pivotal role in the country’s democratic movement. The monument, located along Ayala Avenue, pays tribute to his unwavering dedication to the Filipino people.
The monument features a larger-than-life bronze statue of Ninoy Aquino, seemingly frozen in mid-stride, and serves as a reminder of his heroic return to the Philippines in 1983. Aquino’s return, after years of exile, was a pivotal moment in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship. The statue stands as a symbol of courage, sacrifice, and the pursuit of democracy. Surrounding the monument are landscaped gardens and a reflecting pool, creating a serene space for reflection and remembrance. It’s not only a historical site but also a place where Filipinos and visitors alike can pay their respects and learn about a crucial chapter in the Philippines’ history.
11. The Mind Museum
The Mind Museum in Makati is a world-class science museum that offers an interactive and engaging exploration of science, technology, and nature. Located in the Bonifacio Global City area, it has become a premier educational and cultural institution in the Philippines. The museum features a variety of exciting exhibits and galleries, making it a must-visit for families, students, and anyone curious about the wonders of the universe.
The museum is known for its innovative and hands-on approach to science education. Visitors can delve into a range of topics, from astronomy and the cosmos to biodiversity and the environment. With a combination of interactive displays, immersive experiences, and a planetarium, The Mind Museum offers a unique opportunity for visitors to learn, discover, and appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world around them. It’s not only an educational hub but also a place that fosters a love for science and inspires the next generation of scientists, innovators, and critical thinkers in the Philippines.
12. Yuchengco Museum
Yuchengco Museum is a cultural gem located in the heart of Makati, Philippines. Founded by Alfonso T. Yuchengco, a prominent businessman and art collector, the museum serves as a celebration of Filipino art, culture, and history. It features a diverse collection of art and historical artifacts, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to delve into the rich tapestry of Filipino heritage.
The museum is known for its extensive collection of artworks, including pieces by renowned Filipino artists, as well as rotating exhibitions that showcase various forms of art, from contemporary pieces to traditional crafts. Yuchengco Museum also boasts interactive and multimedia displays that shed light on the Philippines’ history, particularly its economic, cultural, and political evolution. It’s a place where visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the Philippines’ identity and appreciate the creativity and talent of its artists. This museum is not only a repository of cultural treasures but also a space that fosters a sense of national pride and artistic appreciation among its patrons.
13. Legazpi Active Park
Legazpi Active Park is a green oasis in the midst of the bustling city of Makati, Philippines. Nestled in the Legazpi Village, this park offers a serene and tranquil escape for residents and visitors seeking a reprieve from the urban chaos. The park provides a lush environment that encourages outdoor activities, relaxation, and social interaction.
One of the park’s prominent features is a spacious central lawn where people can gather for picnics, yoga sessions, or simple leisurely strolls. It also boasts a playground for children, making it a family-friendly destination. The well-maintained garden beds and pathways create a peaceful ambiance, while the mature trees offer shade and a welcome retreat from the heat. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to read a book, enjoy a casual workout, or simply soak in some greenery, Legazpi Active Park is a delightful urban park that brings nature closer to the city’s heart.
Makati, a city of contrasts and variety, continues to captivate visitors and locals with its multifaceted charm. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, a foodie, or an explorer of culture and history, Makati has an enticing selection of activities that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. From the relaxing greenery of Ayala Triangle Gardens to the bustling street life of Poblacion, Makati invites you to immerse yourself in its multifaceted identity. As you explore its many facets, you’ll soon discover that Makati is not just a financial district; it’s a vibrant hub of life, culture, and experiences waiting to be explored. Come, experience the best of Makati, and be enchanted by the spirit of this remarkable city.