If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife scene, El Nido is the best place in Palawan (and one of the best places in the Philippines) for it! El Nido nightlife consists of sunset happy hour drinks by the beach before enjoying a nice meal in a hip restaurant such as Big Bad Thai. The night can then go wherever you wish! Enjoy delicious cocktails in a rooftop bar and make it a relaxed evening or order in the shots and let a messy night commence. It has a good variety of bars and restaurants to suit any nightlife scene you’re looking for. You won’t find the huge beach raves of Thailand (a positive in our opinion), but there are some excellent places to dance the night away.
See our top tips for El Nido nightlife below and a guide to the best El nido bars.
The best El Nido town bars
The core of nightlife in El Nido is centred on the main town street that’s adjacent with the beach. You won’t find tons of bars to check out, however the ones they do have are excellent and it means everyone goes to the same places. You’ll bump into the same faces each night you go out; the vibe is lively and you don’t have to walk far between venues.
SAVA Beach Bar
SAVA Beach Bar is one of the best places to catch the sunset in El Nido town. It has a large decking area leading directly to the beach and plenty of tables. It also has an excellent cocktail happy hour! Spend the early evening gazing at the sunset chilling out and then return after midnight for a much livelier scene. The decking area opens up into a huge dancefloor and you can even dance on the beach! A sophisticated, clean and modern bar with good music and drinks.
The Pangolin Bar
The Pangolin Bar is tiny but it’s always packed and brings together travellers for good times! It even manages to squeeze in a dancefloor. No matter the time you arrive, Pangolin is a first-floor bar that always has a good atmosphere and its design is that of a wooden tiki bar, with a panoramic view of the main El Nido street from its balcony. Order cocktails, an infamous Red Horse beer or shots for the group, and say cheers to good times. Small but quirky and friendly.
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Pukka Bar is almost always quiet early evening, however it’s a late-night spot and most people flock to its dancefloor after touring the other bars in El Nido town. It has a spacious dancefloor with a DJ, an outside decking area that leads to the beach and tables and chairs upstairs for those that want to chill, chat and listen to the music. Reggae music is played throughout the day and early evening, whilst evenings are a lot more upbeat with house classics and dance music. A good place to end your night!
Rooftop is one of our favourite bars in El Nido, simply due to its cool design and interior. It consists of three whole upper-level floors that are completely made from bamboo and other woods, creating a unique treehouse-like setting. Sit on a stool at the bar, grab a table on the balcony with views of the street or snuggle up in a corner on beanbags and cushions. The relaxed music and environment make it a great place to sit down and enjoy a casual drink with your partner, friends or even by yourself!
Subasko Music Bar and Restaurant
Located at the end of El Nido town’s main street in the middle of the action, Subasko is a casual and colourful restaurant with an open front that leads to the main walkway. Primarily a restaurant, it’s also a great place to go for drinks! Pull up a chair at the bar and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere and quirky décor. Live music plays on an evening and it’s a small and cosy place so you’ll probably get chatting to other travellers.
Scape Skydeck is the bar and restaurant of the Cuna hotel that also features in our El Nido restaurant guide. For stunning rooftop views of the El Nido town and the distant limestone cliffs, no other venue comes close! Visit Scape Skydeck for lunch or dinner or simply pop up to the rooftop for a drink at sunset. The bar is spacious and open with some cool balcony-side tables with a view. Happy hour runs every evening and the environment is relaxed and sophisticated.
The best Corong Corong Beach bars:
Corong Corong Beach is a short drive down the road from El Nido town and you can easily get there by waving down an inexpensive Trike taxi. Aim to spend no more than 200 Pesos for the one-way trip. The beach is much nicer than the ‘overrun by boats’ beach in town and is a great place to visit day and night! Nightlife at Corong Corong is all about happy hour cocktails at sunset, chatting to other travellers and having an fun night out as the sun goes down. As there are only a few bars on the beach, everyone goes to the same places and you can relax on cushions on the sand if there aren’t any seats indoors.
Depending on the evening and how busy it is, evenings can be chilled or super lively – it all depends on the crowd! We recommend arriving for sunset, sampling happy hour drinks and then going where the night takes you. You may wish to head back into El Nido Town later in the evening if it quietens down. Walk along the beach all the way from Corong Corong to Maremegmeg Beach and Las Cabanas Beach to find plenty of bars along the way.
Maremegmeg Beach Bar
Maremegmeg is one of our favourite bars in El Nido. The staff are friendly, the drinks are top notch and you have awesome views of the sunset on the beach opposite. Pull up a wooden stool at the ‘Tiki-style’ bar or chill-out on the sand with a lounger. The bar is very relaxed during the day as sunbathers grab a bite to eat or the occasional beer and it gradually gets livelier as you move into the evening.
Republica Sunset Bar
Aptly named, Republica Sunset Bar is the prime location to watch the sun go down on Corong Corong Beach. Pull up a stool, order happy hour cocktails and gaze outwards to the shore as orange sunlight reflects off the ocean. The atmosphere is chilled, the drinks are excellent and it’s the perfect way to start your evening on the beach. Arrive at least an hour before sunset to get a seat and spend your night with good company! It can be quite a romantic bar to enjoy with your partner.
Mad Monkey Nacpan Beach
Nacpan Beach is a 45-minute drive from El Nido town and is well worth visiting during your trip! It has been voted best beach in the world by many magazines and travel websites and is one of the cleanest and picturesque beaches in the El Nido area. Combine your beach day with a late night of partying at Mad Monkey Nacpan Beach Hostel. Located directly on the sand, the hostel hosts nightly parties with games, BBQ’s and delicious cocktails. You may also wish to stay overnight in one of their beach tents or dorms.
El Nido nightlife FAQ:
In general, El Nido bars have very affordable prices. Beers are the cheapest options and will cost you between 60 and 100 pesos (£1 – 1.50). Cocktails or spirits with mixers will cost a little higher at 200 – 300 pesos (£3.50 – 4.50) or a shot of tequila is only 60 pesos (£1). Most wine is imported and is therefore very expensive in relation to the other drinks.
The El Nido nightlife scene is very good, however it’s not on as big a scale as the likes of Bali and Thailand. Evenings start off quite slow over sunset cocktails and dinner and gradually get busier as you move towards 9pm. Midnight is where you’ll find busy dancefloors and packed beach bars. How busy bars are also depends on the season you visit and day of the week.
El Nido is generally very safe to go out in and there are abundance of tourists venturing to the bars every evening. As with any destination, take extra precaution and note the following:
> Stay away from dimly lit areas on the far side of town. Stick to the main bar and restaurant street near the beach.
> Don’t take out all of your cash and any expensive belongings. Consider using a flat money belt to store your phone, cash and cards. > We recommend this one on Amazon!
Don’t get too drunk! Be aware of your limits.
> Go out with a group of people. Hostels are a great way to meet others if travelling solo.
This question sparks a huge debate! Some people prefer the iconic local beer, Red Horse, whilst others are a big fan of San Miguel Light. Both beers cost roughly the same. We personally love San Miguel Light as it’s easy to drink and is only 100 calories ? Red Horse is an extra strong beer at 6.9%+ but is also easy to drink and tastes good. Apple or lemon flavoured San Miguel are popular for those that aren’t big fans of normal beer.
That concludes our El Nido nightlife guide! We highly recommend spending at least one evening in the main town and then another at Corong Corong Beach for completely different atmosphere. You’ll spend your days touring the limestone cliffs and islands by boat and then chilling out with beach cocktails on an evening before heading to dinner and onwards to the bars. It’s beach lifestyle at its best!
If you’re looking for places to eat before you start your night out, check out our guide to the best restaurants in El Nido here. ?