Most popular car rental agents at Manila Airport:
- Hertz (Tel: +63 2 8892 0274)
- Budget (Tel: +63 2 8816 0181)
- Avis (Tel: +63 2 8879 6245)
- Europcar (Tel: +63 2 8666 5120)
- National (Tel: +63 2 8532 2110)
- Thrifty (Tel: +63 2 892 0274)
Ninoy Aquino Airport Mini Guide
Who Goes to Manila?
A lot of travellers head for Manila for the mix of cultures, the history and the chance to head out to some great beaches on the island of Luzon. Manila has the largest Chinatown in the world and it feels like you are truly in China
such is the authenticity of the atmosphere. The country also has the largest Catholic population in the Far East, a relic of the days of Spanish colonialism. The old town, Intramuros, is a fascinating and poignant sight and a stark representation of the final days of the war against Japan
when both the Americans and the Japanese bombed Manila. Today the Philippines is gaining recognition for its beautiful beaches and the quality of the scuba diving off its shores.
How do I get to the City?
Manila has two airports, Diosdado Macapagal International which mainly services budget flights, and Ninoy Aquino Airport which is currently the country’s largest airport but soon to be overtaken by Diosdado Macapagal. The airport receives dozens of flights a day from as far away as China, the Middle East and Australia
. It has one flight a day from Europe with KLM operating a flight out of Amsterdam
. Travellers from the UK
would have to fly to Amsterdam first before connecting to Ninoy Aquino.
What is the Airport Like?
The airport has three international terminals plus a domestic one. Terminal 1 is currently ranked the worst in Asia for facilities, ease of use and efficiency and is over capacity. Terminal 2 was built in 1999 and is used exclusively by Philippines Airlines whilst Terminal 3 was completed in 2008 and began servicing several airlines soon after. The structuring of the airport means that its space is used inefficiently and a review is currently in place. Transport from the airport into Manila can be by car, bus or taxi and plans are underway to extend a train link to the main line into Manila
in the coming years.
What can I Expect Upon Landing?
Depending on your airline, you may be transferred to the terminal by jet bridge or by bus and on foot. You’ll access the terminal via two piers and after security and passport control, descend to the arrivals hall to find your luggage. If you need help or advice about airport matters you’ll need to stay on the upper floor for the main information desk is central to the departures hall although there is a smaller help desk in the middle of the arrivals hall too. The arrivals hall has a bank and several ATMs should you wish to exchange currency. If you’ve pre-booked your hire car, there are several booths around the arrivals area for you to page the company. Many ask you to simply ‘send’ your reservation number and you’ll then be told where to go to be shuttled to the pick-up area.
What About on the day of my Departure?
Ninoy Aquino Airport has a bad reputation for efficiency and overcrowding. You’ll find the check in procedure quite frustrating so it’s not good that once you’ve completed that part, you’ll have little time to browse the many restaurants and snack bars or the twenty or more shops at the airport.
Manila City is full of interesting sights. Many shrines and monuments exist to mark those that fought for independence from Spain. Amongst those is the shrine to Andres Bonifacio on Manila Bay.
A curious place to visit if you have a hire car is the world’s only steel cathedral; the Basilica San Sebastian. The authorities were so fed up with rebuilding the airport after a series of damaging earthquakes that they decided to rebuild it in steel. The iconic designer Gustav Eiffel was commissioned to design and construct it and it remains one of the main attractions of the city.