Nightlife in Manila [2024]: Local's Top Picks!

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Nightlife in Manila [2024]: Local's Top Picks!
Manila is just as colorful as it is wild. Get lost in translation in Manila's vibrant nightlife with our ultimate guide on where to go and what to do in this neon city!
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The Philippines is a country of budget traveling, vibrant culture, and hospitable people. 

But besides being among the friendliest people, Filipinos know how to have a good time! And Maynila, as locals sometimes call the country's capital, is the ultimate place to experience the Philippines' vibrant night scene.

Think parties everywhere, chic bars where you can catch live performances well into the wee hours, and exotic food grilling on the streets. Whether you're here for the crazy vibe or want to plan a vacation with friends, Manila has something to offer.

If you're planning to visit Manila, here is a list of the premier nightlife spots in the city  –  from stylish establishments to electric bars to your local isaw joint for a taste of some exotic Filipino food.

Does Manila Have a Good Nightlife?

Manila has a vibrant, almost electric nightlife!  

Check out Makati's Poblacion strip or drop by Bonifacio Global City for the finest nightlife here. These are where you'll find some of the top nightclubs and bars that typically open from 9:00 pm until the wee hours of the morning.

Local Tip:  Bars and restaurants around Makati get very busy in the evenings, regardless of whether it's a work night! So remember to book a table at least a day ahead unless you'd rather spend a few hours surveying Poblacion, Makati, for a nice place to sit.

Bonifacio Global City During Sunset
Image Courtesy of Bonifacio Global City on LinkedIn

Drinks and Music at the Black Market

If you're wondering where the cool crowd is on a Friday night, it's here at Black Market!

This club is for partygoers who love good music and an electric vibe. It's always packed with ex-pats and locals alike, all enjoying fire sets by famous DJs and living it up!

If you're into bass beats, hip hop, and techno, you'll surely love Black Market. But before getting into that, remember to dress to impress, or you won't be allowed in. 

The club has a casual dress code, but don't go too casual. This means no flip-flops allowed! Besides, you would want to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb among a well-dressed crowd. 

Pro tip:  If you want to step away from the loud crowd, you can go to a bar/speakeasy lounge called Finders Keepers, a few steps away from Black Market. It's an excellent place to chat or wind down after serious partying.

Black Market Nightclub
Image Courtesy of A Farang Abroad

Dance the Night Away at the Palace 

The Palace is a complex of clubs, restaurants, and bars in Bonifacio Global City. Also called The Fort, Bonifacio Global City

It's located in Taguig in Metro Manila. This swanky place is ultimately for those looking to party in style, as this is where you'll find some of the most famous clubs in Manila.

One of the most prominent spots here is XYLO, where you can drink, dance, and party till you can't feel your feet! 

From the party vibe to the neon lights to the celebrity DJs that mix some mean beats, it's no wonder it's always a full house. If you know any Filipino celebrities, you might even spot a few of them here!

Prefer a more discreet place? Try the Bank Bar between 25th and 26th street in BGC. This tiny, almost secret hideout is a modest-looking watering hole, a far cry from the bright lights and loud music of the bars at The Palace.

But that's exactly what's so charming about it!

People come to Bank Bar for a premium cocktail bar experience amid its muted, cozy ambiance.

I recommend taking your date out here if you're on a first date. It's excellent for those getting-to-know-you and deep talks you don't want to end.

People Partying At The XYLO Club
Image Courtesy of Manila Clubbing

Agimat At Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen

This attractive gastropub features local Filipino dishes using fresh produce from nearby provinces. It's famous for its unique ambiance, with a hint of supernatural and the feel of local folklore. Case in point: a large balete tree is growing in the middle of the bar.

Balete trees are known in Filipino folklore as habitats of spirits, engkantos, and ghosts, which lend them a mystical aura. Don't worry, it's unlikely you'll see a kapre coming out of the tree in Agimat at Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen anytime soon!

Its name, "Agimat," in fact, is a Filipino word that means "charm" or "amulet," which is prevalent in Filipino folklore as protection against evil forces.

But while the place is already quite an experience, people mostly come here for the fantastic food and drinks! 

Pro Tip: Try their unique Filipino craft cocktails.

Agimat at Ugat Foraging Bar and Kitchen
Image Courtesy of DrinkManila

Exotic Street Food Galore

Suppose you're looking for a unique foodie experience. In that case, the streets of Makati, particularly on the Poblacion strip, should be on your itinerary! 

After a night of drinks at any chic bars and restaurants nearby, you can fill your hungry tummies with exotic street food that you'll easily spot lining the streets. 

They're unmistakable... Smoking grills loaded with food on barbecue sticks, such as pig intestines or isaw, chunks of pig blood, and balut or fertilized duck egg incubated anywhere from 14 to 18 days.

Most people find it hard to stomach balut—this exciting food is one for the brave at heart! Still, many Filipinos devour this delicacy, especially the older folk, because it's known to give you stronger knees!

People Enjoying Street Food At Poblacion
Image Courtesy of Will Fly For Food

Safety Tips

Going around Manila at night is undoubtedly an incredible experience. Enjoying drinks with friends on a rooftop bar, with the city's night lights backdrop making for a shimmering experience. But as always, it pays to be careful while enjoying the night scene.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Book your transportation through ridesharing apps: You don't have Uber in the Philippines. The most popular app is Grab, which is much safer and more practical than white taxis, which are often unmetered, so they can charge insane fees.
  • Don't carry your valuables: Be mindful when roaming the streets at night or partying hard. Leave valuables like your travel jewelry inside your hotel instead. To avoid getting pickpocketed, keep your phone, wallets, and cards in your front pocket and sling your purses towards your stomach than on your side. 
  • Avoid unlit or non-tourist areas: If you want to go gallivanting late at night, avoid unlit, non-tourist areas or ones known for petty crimes, like Tondo. 
A Person Using Grab App
Image Courtesy of Rappler

Plan Your Manila Trip with Pilot

Are you in the party mood yet? Take advantage of the vibrant Manila nightlife and start planning your trip on Pilot.

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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Jossaine Nuñez Blog
Written by:
Jossaine Nuñez
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