Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is the center of the economy, government, and culture of the country. It is s the city with the largest population which is why it is always a bustling place. Moreover, it is also where international travelers land. So expect that the moment you land in Manila, you will see several places crowded with people. Even so, you will never go wrong with the nightlife in Manila. Locals never run out of things to do on a Friday and Saturday night. There are actually plenty of things to do at night that does not always involve going to a restaurant or watching movies at the cinema. In this article, we include the tops things to do in Manila at night as well as other things you need to know about the city.
Before you go to the Philippines and have the best beach getaway with your friends or family, you should first visit Manila. Normally, tourists spend their first night in Manila having the impression that it would be just a normal night. As a local, I am telling you to scrap that impression
When you hear the word “Manila”, it has two meanings. First, it can refer as the capital city of the Philippines. This city comprises of the sixteen administrative: Quiapo, Malate, Ermita, Binondo, Intramuros, to name a few. The second meaning is the metro manila. This Metropolitan Manila is also called the National Capital Region (NCR) which is made up of some of the largest cities in the Philippines. The cities under the NCR are Makati, Manila, Quezon City, Paranaque, Pasig, Taguig, and Pasay. On top of that some of the fun things to do in Manila at night can be found in those cities.
With this, it is understandable that it can be a bit confusing. That being said, if you are going to visit the Philippines, make sure to do your research. Otherwise, you might end up booking a place too far from your travel destinations.
When is the Best Time to Go to Manila
Manila, despite the population, is a great travel destination. Most of the tourist destinations is accessible to the public all year round. Unlike island destinations, you will still able to enjoy your stay in Manila even if its wet season. Also, you will still get to enjoy the best things to do in Manila at night regardless of the season.
On the other hand, if you want to make the most out of your outdoor activities in Manila, you must take note of the dry months.
The holiday season takes place in the months of September until December. This is the best time to visit Manila because the streets are full of Christmas lights and decorations. Apart from that, it is also cooler during these months which is perfect if your itinerary includes a lot of walking. Nevertheless, traffic is also worse since it is the peak season. Furthermore, plenty of people flock the malls as they do holiday shopping.
If your purpose of visiting the Philippines is a beach trip, then you should definitely take note of this season. The dry season takes place from January to April. This is also the best time to go if your itinerary includes a lot of outdoor destinations. It is perfect to explore th cit during the dry season.
While there are always chances of rain regardless of the month you choose to visit, January to April has the least chance of rain. Since the weather is very hot, bring bottles, caps, and an umbrella. It is not fun to get exposed to the sun for several hours especially if you have a lot of walking to do.
The climate and weather in the Philippines
When you visit Manila during the dry season, expect that the temperature is warm. Also, remember that the hottest months in Manila are during the months of April to May. These months are perfect for a beach getaway.
If this is the only time you are most available, just make sure you always have water with you to prevent dehydration. In addition to that, check for weather updates and forecast days before your trip.
What to Wear When Visiting Manila
Your clothing depends on your purpose and at what month you are going to visit Manila. But since the Philippines has a tropical climate, you should bring comfy and breathable clothes even if you visit during the wet season.
If you are in the Mall, outdoors at night, always bring a jacket with you. It can be too cold especially in some malls. Also, if it is a holiday season expect a slightly cold breeze.
Where to stay in Manila?
Manila is also known as the metropolitan manila which comprises of large cities. Since manila is very huge, it can be time-consuming to transfer from one place to another. Whether you use public transportation or a private vehicle, you will find yourself stuck in traffic especially during rush hours. This is why it is important to determine carefully where you will book you accommodation in Manila. Make sure it is near the destinations and attractions that are included in your itinerary.
Listed below are the most popular types of accommodation in Manila. Whether you are planning to stay for a long time, a budget traveler, or you are willing to invest in luxurious accommodations, it is crucial to plan.
Every city in Manila has plenty of hotels. Even if you decided to book on the day of your arrival, you will probably find vacant units. The rates of hotel units vary from budget to luxury. If you prefer luxury hotels, you will most likely have access to the swimming pool, gym, and other amenities. On the other hand, budget hotels normally do not have swimming pools. They provide basic amenities and furnishing though. Also, be sure that you will follow the check-in and check-out procedure so as to prevent getting an extra charge.
If you are planning to stay in Manila for a few nights, you can choose to stay in a budget hotel near your destinations. Choose those hotels with complimentary breakfast
Aside from hotels, there are also plenty of vacation rentals in Manila. If you prefer a more private place- a condominium or house is your best option. There are plenty of vacation rentals in Manila. However, if you are planning to visit Manila during peak season. You might want to book earlier because the most accessible ones are easily booked.
If you are staying in Manila with some friends, a vacation rental is a perfect accommodation. On the other hand, if you are just staying alone, the rates, as well as space, can be too much.
If you are solo traveler, hostels can also be the best option for you aside from the hotel. Hostels are less expensive and come in a dorm-type room and shared bathroom. This is perfect for the budget traveler looking for a place to stay in one night or two.
You will find plenty of hostels in Makati City. If you want to meet new people or you are looking for a place with rooftop bars, the hostel is the place to be.
Things to do in Manila at Night
Since we know that you do not go to Manila just to visit a mall, we listed down the fun things to do in Manila at night. These do not involve going to a restaurant or the mall just to eat or watch movies.
1.Catch the indie scene at Route 196
Route 196 is one of the popular bars in Manila. This is where you will see the rising stars in music perform. Based on experience, it is actually a great experience. Moreover, I get to witness how talented Filipinos are. There are actually plenty talents that have not been discovered yet.
Route 96 has a lot of underground bands. Aside from that, it is also the perfect place to listen to great music. While you watch the rising stars perform, you can order some pizza, farmers sausage, chicken, and a lot more. Partner that with an iced cold beer and you will have a really great time.
2. Clubbing at the Black Market
Aside from going to a bar where talented musicians perform, the are other things to do in Manila at night. You and your friends can go clubbing at the black market. It is a semi-exclusive club situated in Makati where you can spend your weekend nights dancing to the best DJ in the city.
Apart from they also have a minibar and instagrammable spots to take pictures with your friends. This place is more low key in comparison to the crowded alternatives to this bar, like The Palace or Valkyrie. If the rates are still how they used to be, for PhP 2000, you can get a table for two and drinks. Aside from that, it also comes with a pint of beer. The black market is popular for its Wednesday night party where you can dance the night away to the top 100 songs of the billboard.
3. Try shopping at the night market
You can also try shopping at the night market. This is a different experience since we are used to shopping at an airconditioned mall. What is great about the night market is that your wallet will not hurt that much because the prices are budget-friendly.
Thanks to Manila, there are plenty of bazaars and stalls where you can go for a shopping fix. One of the most popular places to go for the night market is the St. Francis square. This is a mall bazaar that features several items so you can shop for hours until you are already satisfied. It is very fun because you will be amazed by how low priced the items are. You will find fashion items, electronic devices, shoes, clothes, and a lot more. Best of all, the price is less than the retail price!
4. Show what you have got at Red Box
Show your friends what you have got when it comes to singing. Show them who the real diva is by booking a karaoke room. Red box is perfect for friends who just want to sing their hearts out. The price is very affordable. It starts with 149 PHP, approximately 3 USD. Imagine, with 3 USD you and your friends will get to own a room with free drinks.
If you are too embarrassed to sing out loud because other people might hear you, do not worry, the alls are soundproof.
5. Try watching an indie film at Teatrino
Teatrino is not very popular even among locals. The truth is that, for most individuals, watching indie is not that fun. They prefer those Hollywood hits. But you can actually find some hidden gems by watching indie film. Teatrino, situated in Greenhills allows you to watch upcoming indie films. If you are lucky, you might even get to watch a live band performance or concert. The rates are very reasonable, it starts at 200 PHP only.
6. Test your luck at the city of dreams
If you are willing to invest more, you can try City of Dreams. It is hotel with a world-class casino. It is open for 24 hours so you can stay until morning. This casino is situated in Bonifacio Global City. However, you should be careful and make sure that you are not gambling too much. Remember that you are just there to have fun and not to lose a huge chunk of money.
Manila is a huge place. So before visiting the place, make sure you carefully plan your trip. Choose a date that is appropriate for the purpose of your visit. Also, make sure to book accommodation earlier especially if you are planning to visit during the peak season. Also, Manila has many cool offerings and activities to do at night. You can enjoy these activities with your friends and family.