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Visitor Information

The main Department of Tourism Information Centre is located on the edge of Rizal Park (TM Kalaw St., Ermita; 02-524-2345; www.wowphilippines.com.ph) and is open daily from 7am to 6pm. The helpful staff have information and brochures covering the city and beyond. There are smaller offices at each of the airport's international terminals.

The E-Z Maps series, published by United Tourist Promotions, are the best tourist maps of Metro Manila. They cost just PHP100 and are available in most bookshops.

Manila does not have a regular events-listings magazine, although several of the daily newspapers print listings supplements. Otherwise, the best bet is to find information from an online source such as Click The City (www.clickthecity.com).

Getting There

By Bus -- Manila does not have a central bus station, meaning that passengers may be dropped off at a variety of small terminals -- often little more than car parks with ticket offices -- around the city. Many of the key terminals are, however, clustered around EDSA (one of the city's main roads) in the Cubao and Pasay districts and within reach of metro stations. To complicate things further, there are dozens of private bus companies in operation and no centralized website gathering their timetables. Hotels are usually a good source of information, as is the Department of Tourism Information Centre.

By Plane -- The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) (02-833-1180; http://manila-airport.net), around 7km (4 miles) outside the city, has four terminals. Terminals 1-3 are used for a variety of international and domestic flights, with terminal 3 boasting by far the most modern facilities. Terminal 1, on the other hand, is very dated with little in the way of appealing dining or shopping options. There is also a small domestic terminal. International-arrival formalities are usually handled fairly quickly even if the queue for immigration can appear to be a bit of a free-for-all. As in most Filipino airports, you may be asked to show your boarding pass or other ID to prove that the bags you take from the airport are in fact your own. When returning to the airport on your departure out of the country, be aware that security guards will want to see a copy of your ticket (or e-ticket printout) before allowing you into the terminal.

Getting into Town from the Airport

By Taxi -- The most convenient, albeit most expensive, way of getting into the city is by prepaid taxi. Ticket desks are signposted inside the terminals, and prices are posted to a wide range of destinations. A significantly cheaper option is to take one of the metered airport taxis from the ranks just outside the arrival area of each terminal, with a fare to Malate or Makati of around PHP200 (roughly half the price of a prepaid taxi). It should take about 20 minutes to reach either of these tourist hubs, although given Manila's traffic problems you should allow up to an hour at peak times. Avoid unlicensed drivers who sometimes approach unwary visitors in the arrivals area -- they are very likely to overcharge.

Public Transport -- Although there are even cheaper alternatives to taxis, including buses and jeepneys (modified or repurposed military Jeeps), they aren't really worth the additional trouble for new arrivals. Buses are only allowed along major roads, meaning a change of transport will probably be necessary, while jeepneys can be cramped and take routes that can be confusing to tired new arrivals.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.