Getting Around Manila

Written: The Top Thing Staff | July 6, 2023


Public Transportation Options in Manila

1. Manila's Jeepney System

Navigating the busy streets of Manila can be a challenge, but the iconic Jeepney system offers an affordable and convenient option for getting around. These colorful and uniquely designed vehicles can take you to various destinations within the city. Just wave one down, hop in, and let the driver know your destination. Jeepneys may not be the fastest mode of transportation, but they give you an authentic local experience.

2. Manila's LRT and MRT Trains

For a quicker and more efficient way to travel around Manila, consider using the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) trains. These elevated trains connect different parts of the city, making it easy to reach popular destinations and avoid traffic. Purchase tickets at the station, and remember to follow the rules and regulations, such as avoiding bringing bulky luggage on board.

3. Manila's Buses and BRT System

Manila also has a comprehensive bus and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that can take you to places not covered by the train lines. Buses offer a more comfortable and air-conditioned ride compared to Jeepneys. The BRT system provides dedicated lanes for buses, ensuring a faster journey during peak hours. Look for the bus stops and check the route maps to find the right bus for your destination.

No matter which mode of public transportation you choose, it's important to plan your routes in advance, especially during rush hours, to avoid delays. Consider using navigation apps or seeking advice from locals to determine the best routes. Keep in mind that Manila's traffic can be unpredictable, so it's wise to allocate extra time for your journey.

Additionally, if you prefer a more private way of getting around, ride-hailing services like Grab and traditional taxis are readily available in Manila. These options offer convenience and flexibility, but keep in mind that heavy traffic can still affect travel times.

By familiarizing yourself with Manila's public transportation options, you can navigate the city more easily and make the most of your time exploring its vibrant streets, historical landmarks, and bustling markets.


Taxis and Ridesharing Services in Manila

Traveling around Manila can be an adventure in itself, but getting around doesn't have to be a hassle. With the help of taxis and ridesharing services like Grab and Uber, navigating the city can be much easier and more convenient.

1. How to hail a taxi in Manila

Hailing a taxi in Manila is a common and cost-effective way to get around. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Look for a taxi with a “Taxi” sign on the roof and an illuminated “Vacant” sign. This indicates that the taxi is available.
  • Raise your hand to catch the attention of the driver.
  • State your destination before getting in to ensure that the driver is willing to take you there.
  • Always insist on using the meter to avoid being overcharged. If the driver refuses, it's best to look for another taxi.

2. Using ridesharing apps like Grab and Uber in Manila

Ridesharing services like Grab and Uber are widely used in Manila. Here's how you can use these apps to get around:

  • Download the Grab or Uber app on your smartphone and create an account.
  • Open the app and enter your destination. The app will then display the available drivers nearby.
  • Choose your preferred car type and confirm your booking.
  • Track your driver's location in real-time and wait for them to arrive at your location.

3. Tips for negotiating fares and ensuring safety

When taking a taxi or ridesharing service in Manila, it's important to keep these tips in mind:

  • Before getting in a taxi, negotiate the fare with the driver if the meter is not used. Ensure that you both agree on the price before starting the journey.
  • Avoid sharing personal information with the driver during the ride.
  • Always wear your seatbelt for your safety.
  • Take note of the driver's information, such as their name and vehicle details, in case of any issues or concerns.

By using taxis and ridesharing services in Manila, you can save time and effort while exploring the vibrant city. Remember to practice caution and ensure your safety throughout your journey


Exploring Manila on Foot and by Bicycle

1. Walking tours of popular neighborhoods

If you want to truly immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and beauty of Manila, consider taking a walking tour of popular neighborhoods. Some recommended areas to explore on foot include Intramuros, the historic walled city; Binondo, the world's oldest Chinatown; and Makati, the city's financial district. These tours will give you a chance to discover hidden gems, interact with locals, and experience the unique charm of each neighborhood. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, and be mindful of your surroundings.

2. Renting bicycles in Manila and bike-friendly areas

Manila is gradually becoming more bike-friendly, making it an excellent city to explore on two wheels. You can rent bicycles from various bike shops and rental shops around the city. Some recommended bike-friendly areas include Bonifacio Global City, Roxas Boulevard, and the Manila Baywalk. These areas have designated bike lanes and pathways, making it safer and more enjoyable to ride around. Exploring Manila by bicycle allows you to cover more ground and discover places that are not easily accessible by car or public transportation.

3. Safety tips for pedestrians and cyclists

While exploring Manila on foot or by bicycle can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of traffic and follow road rules: Manila's streets can be busy and chaotic, so always be vigilant and follow traffic regulations. Look both ways before crossing the street and use designated pedestrian crossings whenever possible.

  • Wear appropriate safety gear: If you're cycling, wear a helmet and reflective clothing, especially when riding at night. This will make you more visible to drivers and protect you in case of an accident.

  • Stay hydrated and protected from the sun: Manila's tropical climate can be hot and humid, so make sure to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays.

  • Avoid walking or cycling alone at night: As with any city, it's best to avoid walking or cycling alone in unfamiliar areas at night. Stick to well-lit and populated streets, and consider going with a group or taking a tour for added safety.

Exploring Manila on foot or by bicycle allows you to experience the city in a unique and immersive way. With the right precautions and some adventurous spirit, you're sure to have a memorable and enjoyable time exploring this vibrant metropolis.


Hiring Private Vehicles and Tours in Manila

1. Renting a car or motorcycle in Manila

When traveling around Manila, renting a car or motorcycle can be a convenient option. There are several rental companies available, offering a variety of vehicles to suit your needs. Having your own mode of transportation gives you the flexibility to explore the city at your own pace and visit places not easily accessible by public transportation.

Before renting a car or motorcycle, it is important to familiarize yourself with the local traffic regulations and road conditions. Manila can be a bustling and congested city, so it's crucial to exercise caution while driving. Make sure to have a valid driver's license and insurance coverage to ensure a hassle-free experience.

2. Hiring a private driver or tour guide in Manila

If you prefer not to drive, hiring a private driver or tour guide is another option to consider. This allows you to relax and enjoy the sights without having to worry about navigating through traffic or finding parking spaces. A private driver or tour guide can also provide valuable insights and recommendations about the best places to visit in Manila.

There are reputable companies and individual drivers available for hire in Manila. It is recommended to do some research and read reviews to ensure you choose a reliable and trustworthy service. Discuss your itinerary and preferences with the driver or tour guide beforehand to make the most out of your trip.

3. Popular day trips and destinations near Manila

Manila is a gateway to many exciting day trip destinations. Some popular destinations near the city include the historic city of Intramuros, the beautiful landscapes of Tagaytay, and the stunning beaches of Batangas. These places offer a great escape from the bustling city and provide unique experiences for tourists.

When planning day trips from Manila, consider factors like travel time and traffic conditions. It is advisable to start early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and make the most of your day. Additionally, consider hiring a tour guide who can provide insights and information about the destinations you plan to visit.

Exploring Manila and its nearby destinations can be an exciting and enriching experience. Whether you choose to rent a car, hire a private driver, or join a guided tour, make sure to plan ahead and make the necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.



Exploring the vibrant city of Manila can be an exciting adventure, and knowing how to navigate its transportation options is key to getting the most out of your trip. By understanding the different modes of transport available and planning your itinerary in advance, you can ensure a seamless and efficient travel experience.

Overview of the different transportation options in Manila

Manila offers various transportation options to suit different preferences and budgets. From the iconic Jeepneys to taxis, buses, and the convenient metro system, there are plenty of choices to get around the city. Consider using ride-sharing apps like Grab or booking a car rental if you prefer more flexibility and convenience.

Tips for planning your itinerary and getting around efficiently

To make the most of your time in Manila, it is essential to plan your itinerary in advance. Research the attractions you want to visit and consider their proximity to each other. This way, you can group them together and minimize travel time.

When using public transportation, always carry small bills and loose change as some fares may require exact change. Be aware of rush hour traffic and plan your travels accordingly. Use map apps or seek help from locals to navigate the city and find the most efficient routes.

Frequently Asked Questions about getting around Manila

  1. Is it safe to use public transportation in Manila?
    While public transportation in Manila is generally safe, it is advisable to exercise caution and be mindful of your belongings. Avoid displaying valuable items and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

  2. How much does transportation cost in Manila?
    Transportation costs in Manila vary depending on the mode of transport. Jeepneys and tricycles are the most affordable options, while taxis and ride-sharing services tend to be pricier. Using the metro system is also a cost-effective way to get around.

  3. Are there any transportation options for people with disabilities?Manila is working on improving accessibility for people with disabilities. Some buses and metro stations are equipped with facilities for wheelchair users. It is recommended to check with the transportation providers for specific accessibility information.

Remember to give yourself ample time to explore and immerse yourself in the unique sights and sounds of Manila. Enjoy your trip and make the most of your transportation options to experience the city's rich culture and vibrant atmosphere.