Situated in the Metro Marina District, composed of many cities, Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is the city with the largest population in the country. The city of Manila is divided into sixteen towns. These include Malate, the hotel district, the tourist-driven entertainment district Ermita, Intramuros reflecting the city's historic charm, San Miguel and Sampaloc with their universities, and Paco, which is predominantly the center of business. Manila is the most developed city in the Philippines, with regards to transportation, business and education. At the same time, Manila is a very pleasant choice for tourists with its green nature and unique islands.
This city is home to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In Manila, the most commonly used means of public transportation within the city are rail system and buses. In addition to traditional means of urban transport, there are also public transportation systems peculiar to the Philippines, such as phaetons, three-wheel vehicles and minibuses. When you use public transport in the city, you can take advantage of single use tickets, or the special tickets that you can load money on.
We advise you to buy these special tickets, especially if you travel frequently, so that you can avoid the long ques to buy ticket every time. You can check the departure times of the vehicles from the internet, but we recommend that you do not depend on these hours too much. Buses usually do not stick to these schedules. At the same time, as public transportation vehicles are often crowded, it is useful to pay attention to your valuable goods during your trip. If you want to travel faster and more practically, you can also use taxis, and bicycles and phaetons that work like taxis. Since the tourist areas and entertainment venues in the city are close to each other, it is possible to reach some places by foot. In addition, you can travel to many different coastal cities in Metro Manila by the ferries that you can take from the port area near the Pasig River, located in the Manila Bay.
As an alternative to traveling to neighboring cities, you can also use intercity buses and train lines. More options are available in the city center to provide transportation to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It is possible to reach the airport from various parts of the city by buses or Jeepneys, which are used as minibuses. There are also taxi or car rental options to access the airport. One of the most serious problems at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is that there is no regular connection between the terminals. There are four terminals in the airport, but the connection between them is provided by vehicles; a way that is not common in many other airports. For this reason, it is necessary to pay attention to which terminal you should get off when you travel to the airport. If you get off at the wrong terminal you may need to take a bus or Jeepney again. While Terminal 1 is used for international flights, Terminal 2 is reserved for the flights of Philippine Airlines. Terminal 3 is used for domestic flights and Terminal 4 is for eligible flights and, in some cases, international flights.
Buses, passing through many areas of the city, take the passengers to the stations at the exit of the arrival gates of the airport. You may need to transfer to a train, where the airport buses do not pass through. You should keep in mind that airport buses are very crowded during heavy traffic hours. The buses that go to the airport from the area where you are located usually change, and they travel around many parts of the city changing their routes, especially at busy times. Buses are one of the most preferred means of urban transport. Bus lines are an important public transport option throughout the city, especially for travelling to the points that trains cannot reach.
The land vehicles which have large capacities, called as jeepney, are used as a means of public transport. As with many public transports, Jeepneys can be overcrowded. Jeepney, the most popular public transportation system in the country, has also become a traditional symbol of the Philippines with its unique style of decoration. These vehicles provide transportation services to many of the areas you want to go in the city.
Train (Light Rail System)
If you want to use a cheap, fast and practical means of public transport that is not affected by the traffic jam, train is the best option. Nevertheless, trains are as crowded as all other means of public transport. Trains, known as LRT (Light Rail Transit System), travel throughout the entire Metro Manila region, including Manila. Although it uses a light rail system, the LRT lines are similar to the system that the metro uses. Although the train lines do not provide a direct service to the airport, most buses and jeepneys to the airport offer connections from these train lines.
There are two different train lines. The green line, LRT 1, starts at Baclaran Station, in the southernmost part of city, and travels up to the Roosevelt Station, in the north of the city, following the road by the Manila Bay, in the west of the city. The blue line, LRT 2, runs parallel to the Pasig River, traveling to west from the east, linking LRT 1 and MRT (metro) lines.
Metro does not provide a direct transport service to the airport, as in the case of the trains. It is possible to transfer to the buses to the airport from some metro stations. The Metro is known as the MRT (Metro Rail Transit System) and operates similarly to the light rail system. The MRT line is known as the third (yellow) line, as the continuation of the LRT 1 and LRT 2 lines. With this line, you can transfer to LRT 1 line at Roosevelt Station. From the North Avenue Station, which is the first stop on this line, you can travel to the south of the city in the east direction, and transfer to Taft Avenue Station, the southern tip of the green line, on the southernmost part of the city. So the LRT 1 and MRT lines draw a circle around the city and the LRT 2 line connects these two lines, from the very center of this circle.
The heavy rail system operating with a single carriage engine, called railcar, is also known as the orange line, PNR (Philippine National Railways), among the rail systems in the Philippines. These vehicles depart every half an hour and are usually preferred for transportation between neighboring cities in Metro Manila region.
In the Philippines, all means of public transportation are crowded; this is why it cannot be said that public transport provides a fast and comfortable transportation service. For this reason, taxis are one of the most comfortable options for airport transportation from the city. However, taxi fares are very high compared to public transportation. Taxis that are especially serving to the hotels can charge higher fares compared to ordinary taxis, so we advise you not to trust the taxis in general. Especially drivers who do not open the taximeter can charge much more than normal fare.
In addition to the standard taxis, there also taxis known as Pedicabs; these are bikes mounted in cabins for two. These are much more affordable than standard taxis, but they usually work at short distances and their safety can be questioned. So these do not offer a convenient option to go to the airport.
If you are in a region where you are having difficulty reaching public transport, you can also use three-wheeled taxis, called Tricycle. Tricycle and Pedicab vehicles have stations in the city center. If you wish, you can use these to get to the city center, and continue your trip from here by transferring to other vehicles.
Another option for quick and practical transportation to the airport is renting a car. Especially if you are going to spend time in the city before going to the airport, we recommend you to rent a car. It is possible to find a car from the Rent a Car offices located in the city center. You can also reserve your car online in advance. However, we remind you that the traffic inside the city can sometimes be very cramped.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport is an airport serving not only to Manila, but to all cities in Metro Manila region. Known as the largest airport in the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino cannot please its passengers in terms of service provided.
The fact that it is not possible to travel between the terminals on foot can lead to serious troubles in transportation. In addition, due to organizational shortcomings, flight annulations and delays are frequent. Within the airport, each terminal has ATMs and machines to exchange money. In Terminal 1, which is also used for international flights, there are two duty-free shops where you can find quality favors, as well as many cafes, restaurants and bars.
Passengers who plan to fly domestically within the Philippines can spend time in a large four-storey shopping mall linked to Terminal 3 while they are waiting for their flight.
Last Updated: 09 May 2017