How Safe Is Manila for Travel?

Manila, Philippines
Safety Index:
40

Manila is the capital of the Philippines and also the country’s educational, business, and transportation center.

Metro Manila is the most populous metropolitan region, composed of the city of Manila and surrounding cities.

It’s a shame that Manila is often times overlooked by tourists and treated as merely a stop-over, because it’s actually an interesting city that’s rapidly developing, and offering its own multi-cultural heritage and sprawling, bustling vibe.

Poverty, however, is very visible and heartbreaking. If you drive around you will generally see street children begging or selling items on the road.

Most people are friendly to foreigners and will try to help you if you get in trouble or are in need of assistance.

Warnings & Dangers in Manila

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

The criminal activity in Manila has been on the rise during the past couple of years, and though it's still a popular tourist destination, it has many dangers and is ridden with crime. You should be aware that tourist hotspots are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur, and that violent crime exists, too.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Transport is not the safest and the most reliable in Manila. Count on taxi drivers trying to rip you off, extremely annoying traffic jams that Manila are notorious for, intolerant and reckless drivers, roads being inaccessible due to flooding and taxi drivers working without meters.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Though the risk of petty theft exists due to the popularity of this destination, and there are many pickpockets operating around the beaches and popular tourist hotspots, the level of petty crime is low compared to many European capitals.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Manila susceptible to typhoons, floods, landlines, tsunamis, while volcanic eruptions are also becoming a serious issue in the country and threaten to endanger the city,

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

While there isn't much petty crime, the real concern for tourists here is the violent crime. Assaults, robberies and kidnappings are very common in Manila and extreme vigilance is recommended.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : HIGH

There have been numerous terrorist attacks in the Philippines recent history. Explosions occurred in the Quiapo area of Manila on 28 April and 6 May 2017, with many fatalities. The motive for these attacks is still unclear. It is best to remain vigilant at all times.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Be wary of people lurking around ATMs or anyone trying to distract you. Taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

During the recent couple of years sexual assaults against women have increased in number, so it is advised that women avoid walking alone after dark. Apply all precaution measures at all times and avoid dark and empty streets and locations.

So... How Safe Is Manila Really?

Although the Philippine people living in Manila are known as friendly and welcoming, you should keep in mind that this is a poverty ridden country, and this can be noticed especially in major cities

Armed security guards are everywhere.

You’ll find them at villages, offices, malls, and yes, at corner 7-11s.

Most of this security is just a deterrent. You don’t typically hear about security guards actually discharging their weapons.

Also, the police won’t help: for instance, the majority of the local community is so undisciplined that everybody and anybody can park their vehicles where ever they want, and the police who are supposed to implement the law, are the ones taking charge of breaking it.

You can often see police vehicles parked underneath “No Parking” signs.

Traffic enforcers are no exception – they enjoy the power of extorting money from anybody.

In the poorest neighborhoods, which make up a significant portion of the city, safety is a big concern.

Drugs are a problem, maybe not as rampant as the police would like you to think, but it’s still a major issue. In fact, the police are regarded as the most untrustworthy government institution.

Although the city has undergone a huge improvement, the problems that plague the population remain.

Useful Information

  • Visas - U.S. residents do not need a visa for any stays shorter than 90 days. All other nationals will need to acquire a visa in order to enter the Philippines. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Philippine embassy for further informacion.
  • Currency - The Philippine peso is the official currency of the Philippines. Tourists are advised to exchange their money at the official establishments such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands or Banco De Oro.
  • Weather - Manila's climate is classified as tropical. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Manila and the hottest season lasts from March to May. The coolest months are from November to February,
  • Airports - The Ninoy Aquino International Airport, formerly known and still referred to as Manila International Airport is the main and the busiest airport serving Manila. It is located along the border between Pasay and Parañaque, about 7 km south of Manila.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Manila, because it would cover not only medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
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Manila Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 26° C
Feb 26° C
Mar 28° C
Apr 29° C
May 29° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 26° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
303133343432313131313130
Low
°C
212122232424242424232221
High
°F
868891939390888888888886
Low
°F
707072737575757575737270

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