Book Cheap Flights to Manila

Find out more

About Manila

Manila is the rebellious younger sister of Southeast Asia. Manila rejects the status quo and abandons the polished façade, instead titillating visitors with her beguiling charm and racy reputation. With a burgeoning population of over 1.7 million, the city is a colourful medley of cultures. Attractions include National Museum of the Philippines, Paco Park and Fort Santiago.

Allow yourself to be swept up in a provocative cariñosa with a city that doesn’t do what it is told with cheap flights to Manila. Manila is home to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) and serves a multitude of airlines, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. It is a 25-minute drive from MNL to Metro Manila. Popular international flights to Manila depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg is approximately 15 hours 25 minutes.

Why visit Manila

manila creative soul

Creative Soul

Manila flaunts it creative soul through poetry slams; razzle dazzle drag shows; open theatre groups; provocative art exhibitions; late night comedy shows; and single origin coffee crafted with artistic mastery.

manila nightlife

Nightlife

Rouse your hedonistic side with pulsing chichi nightclubs; dive bars howling with rhythmic drumbeats and the twang of strings; madcap oil wrestling; and go-go bars bathed in seductive neon glows.

Manila Historical Architecture

Historical Architecture

Decades of architectural grandeur have endured in the walls of many buildings in Manila, including one that dates back to the 1600s and another a survivor of World War II.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Philippines
Currency Philippine Peso
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 3.76 PHP
Language Filipino / English
Hub Airport Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Airline Philippine Airlines
Time Zone GMT + 8
Travel Adaptor Standard type A, B, C

Best time to visit Manila

Situated within the tropics, a warm climate caresses the city , bringing with it high humidity all year round and two distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry season lasts from December to May and the wet season from June to November. Temperatures tend to remain consistent throughout the year, usually hovering in the high 20s low 30s (°C) region. The dry season is peak travel time to Manila. Balmy weather settles over the city and sees the city bursting open with colour and cultural and religious celebrations. Celebrate the Chinese New Year in the oldest Chinatown in the world or join in on spirited traditions that date back to the 17th century. The wet season is still a good time to visit Manila as rainfall is intermittent and usually comes down in fairly short bursts. It also means the landscapes are refreshed and temperatures are cooler. This time of year is great for experiencing the cultural side of Manila. Explore the Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz, try some kare-kare and kinilaw or get to know the local music scene at one of the live music bars.

Weather & Climate in Manila

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 21°C 22°C 23°C 24°C 25°C 24°C 24°C 24°C 24°C 24°C 23°C 22°C
High °C 30°C 31°C 32°C 34°C 34°C 32°C 31°C 30°C 31°C 31°C 31°C 30°C
Rainfall (mm) 10 10 10 20 60 90 120 140 110 80 50 20

Overview

With her shabby streets that purr and whistle, red light district that pulses with racy pacific allure and penchant for the obscure and risqué, Manila flaunts her decadence and embraces the weird and wonderful. A trip to Manila gives you a chance to discover the flaming authenticity that hides beneath one of the most underrated cities in the world.

Explore the streets of the oldest Chinatown in the world, take a step back in time at one of the remarkable historical sites, or savour the tantalising tastes of Filipino home cooking beneath a kaleidoscope ceiling at Café Juanita. History and culture is seeped into every pore of this scruffy city.

The world is teeming with exotic destinations, but nowhere else will you get to experience a city that radiates grit and charm quite like Manila. It is a place that will shock and amaze, unsettle and captivate, intrigue and astonish, but mostly, it is a place that will leave its perfume lingering on your skin and lipstick on your neck. It is the mistress you will never forget.

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders do not require a visa to Manila, or anywhere else in the Philippines, for up to 21 days. However, before your trip, ensure your passport has three blank pages for entry stamps and has a validity of at least six months.

Health & Safety

Although Manila has been the subject of immense sensationalism, it is a strange and wonderful place with friendly locals and unique experiences. As it is with many cities around the world, there are certain risks, but also precautions that can be taken to ensure you are able to experience the good and beautiful side of the city.

• Although security has been tightened and security checks are a frequent occurrence, Manila has been the target of terrorist attacks and caution is advised when visiting crowded places or areas frequented by foreigners.
• Be wary of pickpocketing and bag snatching, and avoid flashy displays of wealth and carrying around valuable items. Areas associated with crime, such as Malate, Ermita, Tondos and Baclaran should be avoided.
• Be wary of strangers. While Filipinos are friendly and hospitable, foreigners have been targeted by locals and duped out of money and expensive items.
• Agree on a rate or insist the driver uses a meter before getting into taxis.
• Avoid using credit cards is lesser known establishments to avoid skimming. If you have no choice, be wary of any suspicious behaviour and report any fraudulent transactions to authorities.
• Tap water in Manila should be filtered or boiled first. Buying bottled water is recommended.
• Only use reputable taxi services and avoid travelling alone after dark or sharing a taxi with strangers.
• Vaccinations for MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox), polio and flu should be up to date. Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, malaria, rabies and yellow fever (if you are travelling from a country at risk) are recommended.
• Obtain travel insurance.

Cost of Living

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG MANILA
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 110.00 R 47.82
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 11.95
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.44 R 22.35 R 30.17
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 3.19
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 38.00 R 38.00 R 17.27

Where to stay?

Accommodation in Manila ranges from luxurious hotels to budget hostels. Whether you are embarking on an indulgent holiday or trying to spend less and see more, there is something suited to every budget.

Expansive sprawls of plush suites adorned with curtains etched with native weavings and marble flooring laced with white and auburn gold are classic touches in the upscale hotels. These lavish establishments shadow over the streets of the metropolitan and offer excellent facilities and services.

For those wanting to spend a little less or experience the edgier side of Manila, a number of accommodation options can be found dotted around the city. Hostels, inns and budget hotels offer accommodation that is convenient, affordable and ideally situated in the bustling heart of Manila.

Get Around

Manila is a chaotic sprawl when it comes to getting around. Unorthodox driving habits of locals make travelling around Manila by car, taxi or motorcycle a tricky experience. Luckily there are a number of other transportation options.

The metro system is a great way to avoid congestion and travel around the city easily and effortlessly (during off-peak hours of course – rush hour should be avoided). The LRT has two lines: one running from the north to south and one running from the west to east. These lines interchange with the MRT, which offers a south-north route.

For the thrill seekers, jeepneys offering a bewildering way of getting around town and are a popular mode of transportation among locals. Wildly colourful and surprisingly nimble, these former military jeeps left after World War II are hard to miss and will be even harder to forget.

Main attractions in Manila

Intramuros

Intramuros

Rizal Park

Rizal Park

Manila Cathedral

Manila Cathedral

Why book with us
  • Bringing you the best fares from all airlines
  • Expert assistance from booking to departure
  • Online destinations for planning your travels
Already Booked your Flight?

Explore our Hotel listings:

  • 1000's of options worldwide
  • Best prices
  • Great service
Personalised Assistance

Need help with your booking? Contact our expert Travelbar agents for guidance and booking assistance

  • 0861 878 278
  • travelbar@travelstart.com

Download our app

Free for iPhones and Andriod