The main airport servicing the city of Manila is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The airport is located on the border of Pasay City and Paranaque City in Metro Manila, 4 miles south of the city center. If you have not booked a private transfer with us you have a few options for transportation at the airport including buses, taxis, Jeepneys and rental cars.What types of transportation can I find at the airport?
Taxis are available 24/7 at the airport and the journey to the city center takes around 20 minutes and costs approximately ₱250. The taxis are yellow and taxi stands can be found outside the arrivals hall where there are taxi dispatchers.
The Light Rail Transit System (LRT) is a safe, economical and fast way to get into the city center. Although there is not a train station yet, there are plans to add the new Yellow Line (L1) at the airport in the future. The closest station is located at EDSA-Taft station about 1.24 miles north of the airport onboard Line 1 which connects to downtown and is serviced by shuttle buses from the airport. The trains operate from 5 am until 9:30 pm during the week and from 5 am until 9 pm Saturday, Sunday and holidays. The train costs approximately ₱15 - ₱30.
Several buses service the airport and connect passengers to downtown Manila. The UBE Express bus connects with several hotels and area`s located in downtown, buses depart every 15 minutes and tickets costs approximately ₱100 and can be purchased on board the bus. The buses run from around 6 am until 10 pm.
There are several car rental companies available at the airport with service desks located in the terminals.How do I get from the train station to my hotel?
The main train station is Central Terminal Station, also known as Central or Arroceros LRT Station located on Arroceros Street in Manila. The station serves Line 1 (which connects close to the airport) and is close to major landmarks in the city including the Manila City Hall. There are bus terminals nearby as well as taxis, jeepneys, and tricycles.How do I get around the city using public transportation?
Public transportation in the city of Manila is made up of taxis, jeepneys, buses, and trains. Getting around the city is pretty simple with a great variety of transportation options at your fingertips, the center of the city features the walled city of `Intramuros` where most of the city`s attractions and accommodations can be found within walking distance.
Taxis in the city can be an inexpensive way to travel and they are metered. The MGE taxis, which are green and white in color are the most reputable company in the city. To hail a taxi in Manila the fare is ₱40 with an additional ₱3.50 for 0.18 miles. Grab Taxi and Uber are also available in the city, they do charge an additional ₱70 but can be more reputable and reliable than regular taxis. Simply download the apps on your smartphone.
Jeepneys are vibrant customized jeeps found all over the streets of Manila, a fun and unique way to travel around the city. They can be crowded at times, but offer and inexpensive way to travel, costing around ₱8 for a short ride. The Lawton Bus Terminal is a major terminal for Jeepneys and the routes are displayed on the side of the vehicles and dashboards along with announcements with their destinations and departure origins.
Buses are a cheap form of transportation in the city and most commonly used by the locals for commuting. However, they cover many major routes throughout the city and drivers usually speak good English making them an easy option for tourists to use. Most buses cross through the Lawton Bus Terminal located in front of the LRT-1 Central Station. Bus fares begin around ₱10 and the most useful bus for tourists is the BGC Bus linking Makati to The Fort, it departs every 10 minutes at the EDSA terminal.
The MRT (blue line) and LRT (yellow line) are light rail lines offered in Manila, both offer an efficient and affordable way to get around the city. Avoid using the trains during rush hour (7-9am and 5-9pm) as they become extremely crowded with hour-long waiting times to get on a train. The fares start around ₱15 - ₱25 and are based upon total distance traveled. The LRT runs from Monumento in the north to Baclaran in the south and the MRT travels south to north along the EDSA (Epifanio Delos Roxas Blvd, Makati Area) route. Tickets can be purchased at the stations and stored value tickets are also available.
`Kalesa` are horse-drawn carriages still used in parts of the city offering a unique and authentic way to see the sights. Visitors can take a ride in Chinatown, Intramuros, and Malate for a fee of around ₱150 - ₱300 for an hour`s tour.
Pedicabs and Tricycles are found all over Manila and can be useful for traveling short distances or hard to reach areas. The Lawton Bus Terminal is a hive for these types of vehicles and fares should be negotiated before taking a ride.
Ferries transport passengers across the Pasig River from Intramuros to Makati, Manila is also the hub for ferries that travel to other major cities in the Philippines as well as cruise ships that stop at Manila`s South Harbor. A ferry trip across the river is a great way to see many of the riverside attractions such as the Malacanang Palace that sits on the banks. The cost of a ferry ride is approximately ₱50.Should I rent a car in Manila?
Renting a car is not advisable when visiting Manila with heavy, standstill traffic, bad drivers and lack of parking. Transportation options within the city of Manila allow visitors to explore quite easily without a car. If you are looking to travel to areas outside of the city that cannot be reached by public transport, then renting a car may be necessary. Major car rental companies can be found at the airport and in Metro Manila.Is Manila a walking city?
You can walk around Manila in the areas such as Intramuros and Chinatown and many attractions can be found grouped together within the walled city of Intramuros and around the city center.Is Manila a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?
Manila is a safe city to visit, but visitors should definitely use caution and practice a few street smarts in order to stay safe in the city. Do not wander into the residential areas that are poverty-ridden or unpopulated areas, especially at night. Be careful on crowded public transportation, especially during rush hour as these are areas where pickpockets are very common. Keep your valuables secure at all times.What are some popular areas for shopping?
In the city of Manila shopping is possible in many different areas with some of the largest malls in Asia found here, there is literally a mall on every block in Metro Manila. The Mall of Asia can be found in the city,this is the third largest shopping mall in the world, well worth a visit for the shops, restaurants, entertainment, the largest indoor skating rink and giant Ferris wheel all at your fingertips.
Markets are also abundant in Manila with daily markets held at Divisoria, Quiapo, and Baclaran selling everyday items such as fresh produce, handicrafts, souvenirs and more, spread throughout colorful street stalls.What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The units of currency in Manila are the Philippine Peso (₱). US dollars are not accepted, make sure to exchange your dollars for pesos before or upon entering the Philippines. Banks and ATMs are available at the airport and around the city and major credit cards are widely accepted. For more detailed information, consult our tipping guide in the PhilippinesWhat is the food like?
There are many varieties of cuisine offered in Manila by many different vendors, including restaurants of all kinds, street food stalls and markets. The cosmopolitan city has something to offer every palette and food is a large part of the Filipino culture with a mixture of ethnicities including Asian, European, Malayan, Spanish and Chinese. Finding dining establishments in the city is easy with a cluster of restaurants found in Makati, which is considered the city`s culinary queen. Binondo is Manila`s Chinatown, one of the oldest in the world, filled with delicious dishes and delicacies.
Some of the things visitors should try in the city include roast pork, which is some of the best in the world, bbq pork skewers, and crispy pork rinds. Some sweet dishes include Halo-Halo, a granite with evaporated milk, sweet beans, fruit, jelly and yam, and Ensaymada, a sweet pastry topped with cheese. Some of the weird, yet wonderful snacks include the balut ` one-day-old chick`. There are 5 steps to eating a Balut, crack the egg, drink the soup, eat the egg white and feast on the fetus. Some other unique local dishes include Isaw, pork or chicken intestines, Betamax is pork blood, Adidas or chicken feet and the helmet or chicken head.
Seafood is in abundance in Manila, the Dampa Seafood extravaganza is a unique way to enjoy your fresh catch! Purchase your fresh fish or seafood at the Dampa Market and take it to the restaurant located next door where they will cook up tasty dishes to your liking.
`Pamatid Gutom` or Street food is extremely popular on the streets of Manila and can be found on every corner at food stands and food carts offering sushi, siomai, bbq and hotdogs.What is the nightlife like?
The nightlife in Manila is made up of amazing music, videoke and karaoke bars, wine bars, vibrant clubs and beer gardens. Visit Malate, one of the most well-known party districts in the city, Makati is full of bars and evening entertainment. Bonifacio High Street, a pedestrian-friendly strip, is also filled with numerous restaurants and bars. The area of Baywalk during the evening time is simply stunning, stretching from Malate to Ermita along the water with views over Manila Bay. It is the perfect location to capture a sunset and enjoy waterfront dining, drinking and dancing.I don`t speak Filipino will there be many people who speak English?
The official language spoken in Manila is Filipino. English is widely spoken in Manila and is used in schools and for written communications. Most service industry workers speak perfectly good English making it easy to communicate your needs. We suggest you get a good English-Philippines guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1 - 10.What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?
In case of an emergency dial 911 which is the national emergency phone number of the Philippines.
Manila Doctors Hospital tel. 02-524-3011
Makati Medical Centre tel. 02-888-8999
UST Hospital tel. 02-731-3001