What's Manila like?
The world's most densely populated city, Manila isn't what comes to mind when most people think of a trip to the Philippines. But from the reconstructed Spanish architecture of Intramuros to massive air-conditioned malls, cemetery villages and a thriving arts scene, Manila is more than just a pit stop.
Which airlines fly to Manila?
Philippine Airlines is the only carrier that currently has direct flights from Auckland to Manila.
If you're happy with a 1-stop journey, you can choose from a number of airlines including:
How long is the flight to Manila?
Auckland to Manila
10 hours 15 minutes (direct)
Christchurch to Manila
13 hours 45 minutes (1 stop)
Queenstown to Manila
13 hours 5 minutes (1 stop)
Wellington to Manila
13 hours 30 minutes (1 stop)
What is the best time to visit Manila?
Manila is warm and humid all year round, reaching its hottest in January with an average temperature of 30°C. The wettest months are July to September, when typhoons can bring heavy rainfall and disrupt traffic.
The city is busiest over the Christmas and New Year period. Easter is another peak time that should be avoided, unless you're keen to see how devout Catholic Filipinos celebrate the occasion.
How expensive is Manila?
Manila is a very cheap city by New Zealand standards. Taxis are an affordable way to get around the city, so you won't have to get your head around jeepney routes or use the crowded and unreliable MRT.
The local currency is the Philippine peso.
Arriving in Manila
Manila Airport (MNL), officially Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is the busiest airport in the Philippines.
The airport has 4 terminals. Most international flights arrive at Terminal 3, apart from Philippine Airlines which uses the dedicated Terminal 2. You can get Philippine pesos from ATMs and currency exchange counters before you leave the airport, which is around 10km from most central hotels.
Meter taxis are plentiful outside the airport and should cost around 300 pesos, unless you're travelling further. You can also take a bus for around 75 pesos or jeepneys (public utility vehicles) for cheaper, but this are only recommended if you have prior experience or you're not in a rush.
Useful tips about Manila
Manila's traffic is notorious, especially during rush hours. If you're travelling in the city, aim for lunchtime and early afternoon when most people are at work or school.
Besides karaoke, shopping and eating are the biggest pastimes in Manila. Read our guide to the best cafes, bars and shops.
Want to get out of the city? The cool mountain town of Baguio, a few hours north of Manila, is a stark contrast and the starting point for one of Southeast Asia's best road trips.
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Please note: all information is correct as of December, 2017.
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Airports near Manila Ninoy Aquino
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