8 BEST NEIGHBORHOODS To Live In Manila Philippines 2024 πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­

Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Live in Manila Philippines Introduction

best neighborhoods to live in Manila Philippines

We will share everything we know about the Best neighborhoods to live in Manila and also explain the cost of living where we spent from $800 – $1,000 per month for all expenses.

We will also share videos to help you in each section so you can dive deeper into the topic and gain a great foundation to prepare you for when you come to the Philippines!

So read on to discover our picks for the top spots to live in one of Asia’s most exciting cities!

Let’s Get Started!

Table Of Contents

10 Top Reasons to Live in Manila Philippines

  1. Cultural Diversity: Manila is a melting pot of cultures, influenced by Spanish, American, and Asian heritage. This diversity is reflected in its people, traditions, and cuisine.
  2. Warm Climate: Enjoy a tropical climate with warm temperatures throughout the year. If you love sunshine and a relaxed lifestyle, Manila is the place for you.
  3. Affordable Cost of Living: Compared to many Western countries, the cost of living in Manila is affordable. This includes housing, transportation, and daily expenses.
  4. Delicious Cuisine: Filipino cuisine is a unique blend of flavors. From traditional dishes like adobo and sinigang to street food delights, Manila is a paradise for food enthusiasts.
  5. Stunning Beaches: The Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches, and Manila serves as a gateway to some of the best. Take short trips to nearby destinations like Batangas or Zambales for breathtaking coastal views.
  6. Friendly Locals: Filipinos are known for their hospitality and friendliness. You’ll likely find it easy to make friends and feel welcomed in the community.
  7. Historical Landmarks: Explore the rich history of the Philippines by visiting historical landmarks such as Intramuros, Rizal Park, and Fort Santiago.
  8. Vibrant Nightlife: Manila comes alive at night with a vibrant nightlife scene. Enjoy a mix of bars, clubs, and entertainment options catering to various tastes.
  9. Opportunities for Adventure: The Philippines offers a range of outdoor activities, from hiking to diving in some of the world’s most stunning coral reefs.
  10. Growing Economy: Manila is a hub for business and trade in Southeast Asia. The city’s growing economy provides opportunities for career development and entrepreneurship.

Remember to consider various factors such as work opportunities and lifestyle preferences before deciding on your move.

Cultural Considerations in Manila Philippines

  1. Respect for Elders: Filipino culture places a strong emphasis on respect for elders. Use respectful titles like β€œAte” for older sisters or β€œKuya” for older brothers, and show respect to seniors, especially during conversations.
  2. Hospitality and Generosity: Filipinos are known for their warm hospitality. It’s common to be offered food and drinks when visiting someone’s home, and refusing politely is acceptable. Gratitude is always appreciated.
  3. Religious Sensitivity: The majority of Filipinos are Roman Catholic, and religion plays a significant role in daily life. Be mindful of religious practices and respect places of worship.
  4. Family-Centric Values: Family is highly valued in Filipino culture. It’s common for extended families to live together, and family events are important as well as building relationships with extended family members.
  5. Modesty in Dress: Filipinos generally dress modestly, especially in more conservative areas. When visiting religious sites, wear modest clothing to show respect.
  6. Punctuality: While Filipinos are generally laid-back, it’s still important to be respectful of other people’s time. Arriving slightly late is often acceptable, but excessive tardiness can be seen as rude.
  7. Use of Titles: Addressing people with their appropriate titles is important. Use β€œSir” or β€œMa’am” when speaking with someone in a professional setting or someone older. It’s a sign of respect.
  8. Saving Face: Filipinos value harmony and may avoid confrontation. Criticism should be delivered delicately, and it’s important to be mindful of not causing embarrassment or β€œlosing face.”
  9. Bayanihan Spirit: The Bayanihan spirit refers to the Filipino tradition of community unity and helping one another. Participate in community events and be open to collaboration.
  10. Tambay Culture: Filipinos have a β€œtambay” culture, which means spending time leisurely with friends. It’s common to see groups of people gathered in public spaces chatting and socializing. Feel free to join in if invited!

It’s always a good idea to learn and adapt to the local customs and traditions no matter where you are in the world.

General Cost of Living in Manila Philippines Breakdown

Cost of Living in Manila Philippines for Expats by CategoryCost TypeMonthly Cost in USDMonthly Cost in PHP
Housing in Manila PhilippinesBasic 1-bedroom apartment (city center)$400 – $800PHP 22,000 – PHP 44,000
2-bedroom apartment (city center)$600 – $1,200PHP 33,000 – PHP 66,000
3-bedroom apartment (city center)$800 – $1,500PHP 44,000 – PHP 82,500
3-4 bedroom villa (compound living)$1,000 – $2,500PHP 55,000 – PHP 137,500
Utilities (electricity, AC, water) for a family$80 – $150PHP 4,400 – PHP 8,250
Food in Manila PhilippinesLocal and imported groceries for a family$300 – $500PHP 16,500 – PHP 27,500
Dining out 2-3 times a week$150 – $300PHP 8,250 – PHP 16,500
Cheap street food and fast food per meal$2 – $5PHP 110 – PHP 275
Transportation in Manila PhilippinesJeepney per 5 km ride$0.20 – $0.40PHP 11 – PHP 22
Bus per 5 km ride$0.20 – $0.40PHP 11 – PHP 22
Train per 5 km ride (PNR)$0.20 – $0.40PHP 11 – PHP 22
Taxi per 5 km ride$2 – $5PHP 110 – PHP 275
Grab (car) per 5 km ride$2 – $5PHP 110 – PHP 275
Angkas (motorcycle taxi) per 5 km ride$1 – $3PHP 55 – PHP 165
Tricycle per 5 km ride$1 – $3PHP 55 – PHP 165
Ferry boat ride$0.50 – $1PHP 27.50 – PHP 55
Intercity bus ticket$5 – $15PHP 275 – PHP 825
Plane (local) ticket$40 – $100PHP 2,200 – PHP 5,500
Metro per ride$0.50 – $1PHP 27.50 – PHP 55
Monthly metro pass$20 – $40PHP 1,100 – PHP 2,200
Total Monthly Cost of living in Manila Philippines for Expats$800 – $2,400PHP 44,000 – 132,000 PHP

Pros and Cons Of the Best Neighborhoods and Places in Manila Philippines

Best Neighborhood/Areas in Manila PhilippinesProsCons
Makati– Central business district with numerous job opportunities– Higher cost of living compared to other areas
– Upscale shopping malls and dining options– Traffic congestion during rush hours
– Safe and well-maintained streets– Limited green spaces
– High-end residential options
Quezon City– Diverse residential options– Traffic congestion in certain areas
– Numerous educational institutions– Some areas may lack a modern feel
– Access to shopping malls and entertainment– Distance to Makati and BGC may be a commute
Bonifacio Global City– Modern and well-planned community– High cost of living, especially in upscale areas
(BGC)– Upscale dining, shopping, and entertainment options– Limited public green spaces
– High-end residential developments– Traffic congestion during peak hours
– Safe and walkable streets
Manila (Intramuros)– Rich historical and cultural heritage– Limited upscale residential options
– Access to historical landmarks and museums– Traffic congestion in some parts
– Quaint neighborhoods with character– Limited modern amenities
Alabang– Well-planned and suburban atmosphere– Distance from the central business districts
– Upscale residential options– Traffic congestion during peak hours
– Access to shopping malls and lifestyle centers– Limited public transportation options
Pasig (Ortigas)– Proximity to Ortigas central business district– Some areas may experience traffic congestion
– Commercial and business opportunities– Limited green spaces
– Educational institutions and healthcare facilities nearby– Some areas may be densely populated
Mandaluyong– Central location with easy access to major business districts– Limited upscale residential options
– Growing commercial and business opportunities– Traffic congestion during peak hours
– Proximity to shopping malls and dining options

Top Neighborhoods and Places to Live in Manila for Expats

Top Neighborhoods and Places in ManilaDescriptionMonthly Rent Range (USD)Monthly Rent Range (PHP)
MakatiCentral business district with a cosmopolitan atmosphere.$800 – $2,000PHP 44,000 – PHP 110,000
Bonifacio Global CityModern and upscale area known for its well-planned community.$1,000 – $3,000PHP 55,000 – PHP 165,000
Quezon CityDiverse residential options with access to educational institutions.$500 – $1,500PHP 27,500 – PHP 82,500
AlabangSuburban atmosphere with upscale residential and commercial developments.$600 – $1,500PHP 33,000 – PHP 82,500
Pasig (Ortigas)Close to Ortigas central business district and various amenities.$500 – $1,500PHP 27,500 – PHP 82,500
MandaluyongCentral location with growing commercial and business opportunities.$500 – $1,200PHP 27,500 – PHP 66,000
Manila (Intramuros)Rich historical and cultural heritage with a mix of residential options.$400 – $1,000PHP 22,000 – PHP 55,000

Health Insurance While Living in Manila Philippines

Having comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended when visiting Manila Philippines to protect against any unexpected incidents. SafetyWing is an excellent option tailored to global travelers and digital nomads.

Why Choose SafetyWing?

SafetyWing makes travel insurance easy and affordable at just $45-250/month. Here are some key reasons to consider it:

  • Global coverage including exotic destinations
  • Flexible policies fit nomadic lifestyles
  • Easy sign-up and claims from phone/computer
  • Covers medical, evacuations, disruptions, baggage, etc.
  • 24/7 customer support anywhere
  • Customizable coverage amounts and add-ons

Other Travel Insurance Options

While SafetyWing is a top choice, companies like WorldNomads, Cigna Global, and IMG also offer comprehensive travel insurance for Manila Philippines. Typical policies range from $45 – $500 for 2 weeks to a month of coverage. Compare coverage and premium costs.

Some key considerations for finding a good insurance policy:

  • Emergency medical and evacuation
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Lost/delayed baggage
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Altitude sickness coverage
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Philippines Insurance Cost Estimates

Insurance PlanTrip DurationEstimated Cost
SafetyWing1 month$45 – $250
WorldNomads2 weeks$100-$200
Cigna Global1 month$150-$300
IMG2 weeks$150-$250

Living in Manila for Expats

Cost of Living: Expats can expect a monthly budget between $800 – $2,400 (PHP 44,000 – 132,000 PHP), depending on their lifestyle and accommodation choices.

  • Basic utilities cost: $80 – $150 (PHP 4,400 – PHP 8,250) per month.
  • Groceries for one or two people: $300 – $500 (PHP 16,500 – PHP 27,500) per month.
  • Eating out at local restaurants: $2 – $5 (PHP 110 – PHP 275) per meal.


  • Rent for a nice 1-2 bedroom apartment: $400 – $800 (PHP 22,000 – PHP 44,000) per month.
  • Upscale 3-4 bedroom serviced apartments or houses: $1,000 – $2,500 (PHP 55,000 – PHP 137,500) per month.
  • Short-term accommodations: $25 – $70 (PHP 1,375 – 3,850 PHP) per night.

Healthcare and Hospitals:

  • Internationally accredited hospitals are available with good healthcare services.
  • Public healthcare is relatively affordable.
  • Private healthcare and insurance can run $45 – $150 (PHP 2,475 – PHP 8,250) per month.
  • Consider travel insurance like Safetywing or World Nomads with plans starting at just $45 per month.

Food in Manila:

  • Groceries for a family of 4: Around $500 – $800 (PHP 27,500 – PHP 44,000) for basics plus some imported items.
  • Dining out: The average meal cost is $5 – $10 (PHP 275 – PHP 550) per person at inexpensive restaurants. One can affordably dine out for $150 – $300 (PHP 8,250 – PHP 16,500) per month.

Transportation in Manila:

  • Public Transit: Jeepney, bus, train, and metro options are available with costs ranging from $0.20 – $1 (PHP 11 – PHP 55) per ride.
  • Taxis and Ride Sharing: Taxis, Grab, and Angkas (motorcycle taxi) cost $2 – $5 (PHP 110 – PHP 275) per 5 km ride.
  • Owning a Vehicle: Vehicle ownership costs can be high due to traffic congestion and parking challenges. Small car cost is $11,000 to $27,000+.

Pros of Living in Manila:

  • Rich cultural and historical heritage.
  • Diverse and friendly community.
  • Access to beautiful beaches and outdoor activities.
  • A growing economy with job opportunities.
  • Affordable cost of living compared to Western countries.

Cons of Living in Manila:

  • Traffic congestion during peak hours.
  • Limited green spaces in some areas.
  • Change in air quality.
  • Potential for typhoons and heavy rainfall.
  • Some areas may lack modern amenities.

Lifestyle & Recreation Activities:

  • Explore historical sites in Intramuros.
  • Enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Makati and Bonifacio Global City.
  • Relax on the beaches in nearby provinces like Batangas and Zambales.
  • Try local street food and experience Filipino cuisine.
  • Participate in community events and festivals.

Living in Manila offers a unique blend of cultural experiences, diverse landscapes, and affordable living, making it an attractive destination for expats seeking a vibrant and dynamic lifestyle.

Best neighborhoods to live in Manila for Families, Singles, Retirees

Tailored recommendations for different lifestyles, catering to families, singles, and retirees.

Best neighborhoods to live in Manila by GroupBest Places in Manila Philippines
FamiliesQuezon City, Alabang, Makati
SinglesBonifacio Global City (BGC), Makati
RetireesTagaytay, Quezon City, Manila (Intramuros)


  1. Quezon City: Diverse residential options, good schools, and family-friendly communities.
  2. Alabang: Suburban atmosphere, upscale residential options, and access to lifestyle centers.
  3. Makati: Central business district with safe neighborhoods and international schools.


  1. Bonifacio Global City (BGC): Modern and upscale area with vibrant nightlife and entertainment options.
  2. Makati: Central location with numerous bars, restaurants, and social activities.


  1. Tagaytay: Scenic and cool climate, perfect for retirement. Offers a relaxed lifestyle.
  2. Quezon City: Diverse communities, access to healthcare, and cultural activities.
  3. Manila (Intramuros): Rich historical and cultural heritage, suitable for retirees interested in history and arts.

Tips on Moving Banking and Finding Housing in Manila Philippines

Tips on moving to Manila CategoryTips for ExpatsResources
Finding Housing Explore diverse neighborhoods like Makati, BGC, and Quezon City. Consider proximity to work and amenities.MyProperty.ph Lamudi Philippines
Shipping Belongings– Research costs and processes for shipping personal items, furniture, vehicles. Consider using freight forwarder.
Banking and Money Transfers– Open a local bank account.
Use Wise for international transfers.
Visas– Check visa requirements beforehand.
 Confirm visa/permits needed for residency. Apply for ACR I-Card after arrival.
Bureau of Immigration Visa Guide

Here is a list of local apartment rental websites, Government resources for Visas, Facebook Groups, Tourism Boards, and more to help you with your potential move here.

Expat Facebook Groups:

Philippines Tourism Board:

Philippines Data Sites:

Ministry of Culture and the Arts:

Embassy of the Philippines:

Government of the Philippines:

Philippines Local Rental Websites:

  • MyProperty.ph
  • Lamudi Philippines
  • For exchanging money use Wise Which is the best option if you are a digital nomad and Expat. a cheaper option to send and receive money internationally rather than exchanging money through other platforms like Paypal, Payoneer costs a lot of money for exchange fees and rates
    • Booking Flights: To Find insane flight deals, search on Google Flights, and Skyscanner and choose the monthly option to find the best day to fly.

Conclusion on the Best Neighborhoods and Places to Live In Manila Philippines

From the bustling energy of Makati’s business district to the cultural charm of Intramuros, each neighborhood offers a unique experience.

Whether you’re a family seeking a blend of safety and amenities, a single explorer craving the adventures in the city, or a retiree attracted to the quiet of historical streets, Manila has a neighborhood waiting to be explored and be a part of your memories.

So, pack your sense of adventure and immerse yourself in the captivating city of Manila.

Related Articles to Manila Philippines:

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