You’re rarely far from a drinking opportunity in Manila. Malate is popular with university kids and backpackers and, along with The Fort (BGC), is the centre of Manila's gay nightlife. Makati is where the expats hang out, along with more and more travellers. Music lovers focus their love on Quezon City.

Malate & Ermita

You’ll find the college crowd chugging cheap suds curbside just west of Remedios Circle on Remedios St in Malate – dubbed the ‘Monoblock Republic’ because of the preponderance of brittle plastic furniture. Malate is awash with big live-music venues, indoor or outdoor, featuring exuberant cover bands. These are a fun way to absorb local colour; just be on the lookout for hidden 'entertainment' charges. Karaoke bars are everywhere; some of them are less than wholesome.

Makati

Poblacion – also known as the P Burgos area after its central street – is where most people go out in Makati these days. P Burgos St itself remains a red-light district, but the surrounding streets now brim with white-collar Filipinos and expats enjoying a burgeoning dining and drinking scene. Elsewhere, speakeasies are a local speciality, and you'll find swanky rooftop bars and grungy music venues as well.

The Fort (BGC)

BGC (aka The Fort) is Manila's upscale party zone. The big superclubs are here, and you'll also find plenty of fancy cocktail bars and craft beer places, none of them cheap. The area south of Burgos Circle (Forbestown Rd) is an active drinking zone, with many bars and cafes offering outdoor seating for people-watching.