Costs of Living:
The city of Manila is the most expensive city to live in the country of the Philippines, but when compared to Western standards, it is one of the cheapest cities to live in. One can live lavishly in Manila on a reasonable budget as well.
Single traveler’s budget per day: US$30 – $500
The single traveler shall not end up spending more than 30 USD if he is on a budget trip to Manila, and if he wishes to spend more to have a better quality trip, he may end up spending 500 USD.
The daily expenditure of a simple traveler who ate local meals and stayed at simple or shared accommodation options is not more than 30 USD. The estimate includes a few visits to local places of sightseeing and entertainment which have an admission fee of less than 2 USD. If you wish to enjoy a comfortable trip with clean amenities and services, the budget shall be utilized as follows:
Meal in a restaurant: US$10 – $15
The food in Manila is actually very cheap, if one wishes to eat from simple outlets, the daily food bill shall not exceed more than 8 USD as a simple breakfast is not more than 1 USD, while the lunch and dinner won’t cost more than 3-4 USD each meal. Dinner at a traditional restaurant shall end up costing you 15 USD per meal at best.
Beer in a grocery shop: US$1 – $2
There is a regular grocery shop costs not more than 1 USD a pint and one can purchase more than enough alcohol for a day in 2 USD at max.
Beer in a bar or restaurant: US$2 – $4
A pint of beer at a restaurant does increase the cost to 2 USD, if you choose international brands it may cost you 4 USD.
Accommodation per night: US$10 – $300
The tourists who are traveling to Manila on a budget can survive at a per day average of 10-12 USD if they live at hostels or try Couchsurfing.
If one chooses to upgrade the accommodation, to enjoy amenities and impress the women who you bring back home, then a 3-star to 5-star hotel will cost between $15-$300. Manila Hotel and Floating Restaurant
How to Get There and Move Around:
The city of Manila has a decent network of public transport, including traveling by air, bus, road, train or even by boat. The options of transport are described below: Read more!
The city of Manila is served by the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Clark International Airport. The airports are capable of handling domestic and international loads. The airports are well connected by the road as well.Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The city of Manila is immensely popular for its road transportation system of rickshaw taxis called Jeepneys. These are found almost everywhere and are quite convenient and economical for tourists. In addition to this, there are a few taxis as well. Uber is no longer available in Manila.Jeepney Manila.
The rail network in Manila is the backbone of the city as there are congested roads. The Light Rail Transit System and the Metro Transit System help the people travel faster and cheaper. It is advisable to buy a single journey card if you wish to travel frequently by the train.Train in Manila.
Most of the citizens from major countries across the globe don’t require a visa to visit Manila for less than 60 days. The others need to apply in advance. All visitors need a passport valid for 6 months from the date of arrival and a return ticket as well.
Digital Nomads and Remote Work:
Manila does have a few digital nomads and they are supported by decent infrastructure, good internet, and low rental for residential and office purposes. However, the poor traffic conditions, the pollution, and chaos is a deal breaker for many.
Internet and Mobile Operators:
The country has some decent infrastructure for mobile network and internet access. Some of the biggest telecom operators in Manila are:
- Globe Telecom
- Smart Communications
- Touch Mobile
- Sun Cellular
Gambling and Casinos:
Gambling in Casinos in Manila is regulated. Thus, some of the casinos you can visit to try your luck are listed below:
- Casino Filipino City-state
- Casino Filipino Universal
- City of Dreams Manila
Weed and Drugs:
Drugs in Manila are illegal and only available via certain shady dealers, the locally known drug called Shabu is immensely popular and Weed, MDMA, and Ecstasy are among frequently used drugs.
Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage:
There are a host of gym franchises available in Manila, one can join these for guidance on health and fitness. The healthcare network in Manila is pretty decent, while those looking for massages shall experience some traditional Eastern styles of herb and aromatic massage.
STD and HIV:
The number of HIV cases in Manila have been extremely low until 2018, from then it has been declared as one of the fastest growing epidemics in the Asia-Pacific region. It is recommended to only have protected sex.
Stay Safe…use a Condom!
Generally speaking, Manila is as safe as most places in the Philippines, which is to say very safe. Read more!
Busan is very safe to roam around freely at night. Be a little bit cautious, however, as tourists are often targeted by car-jacker’s and petty criminals.
Updated: 4 June 2020.