Travel Tips: Getting Around Metro Manila
Manila Travel Tips, Philippines Travel Guide

Travel Tips: Getting Around Metro Manila

Getting Around Metro Manila

Mabuhay! Because of the variety of transit choices available, getting around Metro Manila is fairly easy. Manila is a tentacular metropolis with a total area of 1,475 km2 (including suburbs). The city center is located on the bay shore and comprises the historical area – Manila, Intramuros – as well as the majority of tourist attractions and hotels.

The modes of transportation at hand in Manila include taxi, jeepney, Grab and other ride-sharing/carpool apps, bus, Light Rail Transit (LRT), Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and car rental. Walking is also an option for short distances, but bear in mind that walking in some districts of Manila, mostly the poverty-ridden residential areas, puts you at risk. However, walking in the major business areas, shopping areas and tourist destinations in the center of the city is far more common for visitors.

Getting around Metro Manila Via Taxi

Getting Around Metro Manila via Taxi

Taxis in the city are metered and air-conditioned. They have a poor reputation, even among Filipinos, for forgetting to switch on the meter, thereby overcharging their passengers and not returning the right change.

If you have just arrived at the airport, proceed to the DEPARTURES area. This implies that there will be a lot of cabs dropping passengers off and then departing empty. These drivers would love to get a passenger and are very negotiable.

They appear in a variety of colors, but in general, yellow metered taxis are dedicated airport taxis with a higher “drop rate” AND a higher “run rate.” They will be around 50% more expensive than white metered taxis in Manila.

Remind the driver to switch on the meter (if it isn’t already on) to avoid getting scammed. Also, be sure to have smaller bills or to pay the exact amount.

Getting Around Metro Manila Via Car Rental/Carpool Apps

Getting Around Metro Manila via Grab

New technology has arrived in Manila, and the popular Grab applications may now be used. There is an extra PHP 70 cost to pay, but the vehicles provided by these applications are often in better condition, more comfortable, and their drivers are more honest. So don’t forget to download the app!

Getting Around Metro Manila Via Buses

Getting Around Metro Manila via Bus

Taking a bus as a mode of public transit in the Philippines is comparable to how it operates in other countries. In the Philippines, there are three types of bus service: provincial buses with routes from the city to remote towns and provinces, city buses with routes within Metro Manila, and P2P (Point-to-Point) buses available in Manila.

Getting Around Metro Manila Via The Iconic Sarao Jeep

Getting Around Metro Manila via Jeep

Also known as the “King of the Roads” in Metro Manila. You’ve probably seen them. Those one-of-a-kind, bright, hard-to-miss, occasionally noisy and clanky, but undeniably cool and quirky rides made of stainless steel frame, dusty wheels, and a slew of brilliant embellishments confidently plying through the metro’s main thoroughfares. You only need to know where you’re going to get down, and riding the jeep will be a piece of cake.

If you don’t know what the place looks like and only know the name, sit behind the driver and kindly ask that he notify you when you get there. Drivers are often happy to inform unsure passengers when they have arrived at their destination. Each Jeep follows a fixed route. The rates are low, starting at PHP 10 for a short ride. Make sure to have smaller bills on hand so that you can pay the exact amount.

Getting Around Metro Manila Via Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT)

Getting Around Metro Manila via LRT and MRT

They are both popular modes of transportation in Manila, and they are always crowded from dawn to night. Riding the LRT and MRT is also relatively cheap, but avoid it during weekday rush hours (07:00 to 09:00, and 17:00 to 21:00). The LRT has 20 stops and links the Baclaran and Roosevelt stations. There are other popular stops along the way, such as Luneta Park, and rates often begin at Php 20. The MRT, on the other hand, has 13 stops and ticket prices begin at Php 10.

As previously said, these trains are usually crowded, therefore you should be extra cautious with your belongings. While regular MRT and LRT users use the beep card to pay for their trips, you may purchase single journey cards. Furthermore, for faster and more comfortable journeys, it is important to know the route of each railway line and their stations.

Getting Around Metro Manila Via Habal-Habal or Angkas App

Getting Around Metro Manila via Motorbike

Habal-Habal is basically a rented motorbike with a driver that can transport you to any nearby place for a reasonable price – at least most of the time. Because habal-habal does not have terminals and is usually seen at commercial facilities and malls, there is a smartphone app called ANGKAS that allows you to ‘hail’ or book a ride. This app has saved me numerous times, and I don’t hesitate to use it, especially when it comes to Number Coding or during rush hour.

Getting Around Metro Manila Via UR Van/FX

Getting Around Metro Manila via UR Van/FX

THINGS TO KNOW

Traffic can be horrendous

There’s no getting about it: traffic in Metro Manila may be a pain at times, especially during rush hour. Don’t bother with the train lines. The best you can do is remain close to the attractions you came to visit, avoid busy hours, allow plenty of time, and try not to let it bother you.

Avoid riding the taxi from and going to the airport.

Due to high demand for taxi trips in Manila during peak hours, holidays, and rainy days, drivers can easily demand a fixed fee in exchange for a ride. Avoid such a circumstance at all costs. If unscrupulous drivers can charge locals a hefty fare for a normal distance, imagine what they may charge tourists or foreigners who are perceived as clueless and awash with money.

Filipinos are generally helpful

Always keep in mind that help is available everywhere. People in Manila are always happy to guide you. Filipinos has your back, whether you need directions to a certain location or just have a random question.

Do you find this post helpful? How do you get around in Metro Manila? Or in your city? I’d like to know by commenting below!

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Travel Tips: Getting Around Metro Manila
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Polly Amora

Polly Amora is the general manager of a privately owned corporation in Manila, Philippines. She is a life-long learner who is extroverted to the extreme, knows four languages, is loud and outspoken, and enjoys adventure in the mountains, the beach, and the city. You can throw her wherever and she'll handle it like a pro. Her weaknesses include ice cream and beer.

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5 Comments

  1. Salamat sa pagshare nito poh! I’m from Davao. 🙂

    1. You are most welcome. 🙂

  2. Napakaraming options talaga, kaso lang it takes a while to get from point A to point B. I guess Manila needs more LRT lines. Same problem in Rome: not enough train lines

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