How do I get from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila?


There are several ways you can get from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila downtown.

You can take the bus, the MRT/LRT, the UBE Express or a taxi.

Read on for more information.

Can I take public transport to and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport?


The Philippines government has yet to build a train that connects the airport directly to the city center, which means traversing through a jam-packed road and facing Manila’s heavy traffic is your only option to get out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

 

MRT / LRT
Ultimate Bus Experience
Taxi
MRT / LRT

Metro Rail Transit / Light Rail Transit to Manila

The cheapest way to travel between Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the city, as well as the most adventurous one is by taking a shuttle bus to the Metro Rail Transit - EDSA Station. You can expect to be squeezed tightly in small spaces, slammed against other passengers and even possibly be pickpocketed – but don’t let this dampen your courageous spirit. The Metro Rail Transit connects you to the whole capital region and not just Manila. You can even switch to Light Trail Transit 1 or 2, but first, you will need to go on a little bit of a treasure hunt to find the EDSA-MIA bus stop at Terminal 1 or 2. And believe me, that is not an easy task. Also, keep in mind that this is a regular city bus and there may not be room for a lot of luggage. Just ask the driver to drop you off at the Metro Rail Transit - EDSA Station.

Ultimate Bus Experience

Ultimate Bus Experience to Manila

A one-way travel option to go to Ninoy Aquino International Airport is the Ultimate Bus Experience (UBE Express). It has a very complicated system, but all you need to know is that it can drop you at any Terminal (1-4) and that you have to call them on +6322343439 for reservations, with a cost of USD 6. Please refer to the UBE Express website and their Facebook page for more information about pick-up points, schedules and ticket prices. The timing of this premium bus service gets changed all the time, but that’s just part of the fun, isn’t it?

If you are staying near the Mall of Asia, you can just ride the UBE Express - Entertainment City route, which goes directly to the mall from the airport. This shuttle bus service stops at all terminals.

Taxi

Taxi to Manila

Coming from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you have several taxi options such as the yellow official airport taxis (which charge more but always use the meter), and you have the regular taxis (but they don't usually use the meter). Another option, the most recommended one, is to use Grab (which is the country's Uber). Expect to pay no less than USD 5 regardless of whether you opt for a taxi or a Grab. Do, however, keep in mind that it might work out to cost even more, especially, during the rush hour; paying USD 15 is not unheard of.

 

How much is the taxi fare from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Manila?


There is no easy way to estimate the cost of a taxi ride in Manila because of the way the fare is calculated; fare computation includes waiting time when the vehicle is standing still.

For regular taxis, it works as follows:

Regular taxi fares:
P 40as soon as the driver turns the meter on which includes the first 500 meters
P 3.5for every 300 meters after
P 3.5for every 2 minutes the vehicle is not moving

Official airport taxis fares are calculated as follows:

Official airport taxi fares:
P 70as soon as the driver turns the meter on which includes the first 500 meters
P 4.00for every 300 meters after
P 4.00for every 2 minutes the vehicle is not moving

Expect to pay at the very least USD 5, but don’t be shocked if you end up paying much, much, much more!

Can I rent a car in Manila?


Yes, but no. Let me tell you why. TRAFFIC.

Lately, the traffic situation in Manila (and the whole national capital region) has escalated.

I won’t be going into detail about the whole thing, but just imagine wasting your time, your precious scheduled itinerary, stuck in traffic like a sitting duck somewhere in a foreign land. Also keep in mind that gas is quite expensive.

If you just want to rent a car to go out of Manila and drive to the provinces, sure, go ahead.

If you feel confident you can handle traffic, the following are the car rental companies available at Ninoy Aquino International Airport:

Car rental companyTerminal
Avis
Hertz
Sixt
Europcar

 

The cheapest car available for rent will cost you USD 30 per day, and you will need an International Driving Permit as well as your driver’s license.

If you want to save time and money at the airport, it is best to book a car in advance to enjoy cheaper fares and avoid the risk there are no cars available. Make an online reservation through the car rental company’s website or using car rental comparison sites like Discover Car Hire.

What is the cheapest way to travel to and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport?


The cheapest way to travel between Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the city is by taking a shuttle bus to the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) – Edsa Station, and then switch to the LRT (Light Rail Transit) 1 or 2.

What is the fastest way to travel to and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport?


The easiest way – and possibly the quickest and most expensive – is taking a taxi.

Coming from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you have several taxi options such as the yellow official airport taxis (which charge more but always use the meter), and you have the regular taxis (but they don’t usually use the meter).

Another option, the most recommended one, is to use Grab (which is the country’s Uber).

Expect to pay no less than USD 5 regardless of whether you opt for a taxi or a Grab. Do, however, keep in mind that it might work out to cost even more, especially, during the rush hour; paying USD 15 is not unheard of.

How far is Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Manila?


The distance between Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Manila downtown is only 13.1 kilometers, which should generally take around 15 minutes by car.

That is more like an hour in Manila time, though.

The same goes for the NAIA – Makati route or the NAIA – Bonifacio Global City route. Unfortunately, in Manila, there is no way of telling how fast or how long your journey will be.

Though there is a designated rush hour in Manila, traveling outside of this time window does not necessarily imply shorter travel times.

What are the chances of getting scammed by taxi drivers in Manila?


The odds are 99.9%.

If you are white and foreign, do not speak the language at all, then do not even try to argue.

There is no point in reporting your experience with a scammer driver because no government agency will take you seriously.

If you don’t want to let the smallest part of your trip become the biggest cause of stress due to unnecessary waiting, availability, pricing or personal safety, you can easily book a taxi via Taxi Tender or HolidayTaxis. Both these services offer airport transfers in over 21,000 resorts and cities in 150 countries worldwide. Great value and highly reliable, with vehicle types to suit every budget and party size, from shuttles to private taxis to large coaches.

Are there any alternatives to taxis in Manila?


There is no Uber in Manila, but they do have Grab.

Grab is very similar to Uber as it also involves downloading an app which you can then use to book a car.

Their app also allows you to order food, get a package delivered (or picked up), and so much more.

Is the public transport in Manila any good? Can I get by without using a taxi?


If you are even thinking of comparing public transport options in Manila to those of Japan or Singapore, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

With that being said, you usually do arrive in one piece (cross your fingers), albeit many minutes later.

It sounds like an exaggeration, but it isn’t. Expect a lot of sweat (and maybe blood and tears), especially if it is your first time.

This, however, will provide you with a thorough and authentic experience, as well as an opportunity to meet other people and to enjoy all the sights and sounds this capital has to offer.

Can I rent a bicycle or a motorbike in Manila?


Yes, yes, and yes!

Even though the motorbike scene in Manila can’t be compared to that of Vietnam or Indonesia, it is making a loud entry. It is most likely because of the traffic, but also because it is easy on gas and parking.

There are several popular (and highly recommended) motorbike rentals in the city. You can check out book2wheel, Scoot, and Ride Along Motorcycle Tours if you want a more specialized motorbike.

Is it expensive to go from Manila to other parts of the Philippines?


It is inexpensive to go to different parts of the Philippines.

Cebu Pacific and AirAsia offer cheap flights all over the country, though expect delays as these flights only rarely leave on-time or earlier.

A Cebu Pacific or AirAsia flight from Manila to Cebu will cost you around USD 55.

Manila is a perfectly good place to explore in itself, but a lot of travelers prefer to spend 2 or 3 days in the city and then head to the islands or mountains of the country.