How to Spend a Long Transit at Manila Airport Economically: Enjoying Manila While Cutting Costs - DayDreamHub | day use

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How to Spend a Long Transit at Manila Airport Economically: Enjoying Manila While Cutting Costs


A visit to Manila offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy its cultural richness, vibrant markets, and breathtaking landscapes while wisely managing your budget. Especially for transit or short stays, finding economical ways to relax and maximize limited time is crucial. Using day-use hotels is one method, but Manila offers many more options that provide beyond just value. This article delves into specific ways to fully enjoy Manila while keeping costs down.

Day-Use Hotels: A Transit Lifesaver

Day-use hotels are an optimal choice for travelers with long layovers or early morning/late night flights. For around $30, you can enjoy rest on a comfortable bed, refresh with a shower, and securely store your valuables in lockers. Day-use hotels in Manila are conveniently located in the city center or near the airport, allowing easy access to key spots within a short time. This flexibility is key to maximizing both time and budget.

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Tips for Saving on Manila Trips

Using Public Transportation

Manila’s public transport system is one of the best options for moving around the city efficiently and economically. Jeepneys, tricycles, LRT (Light Rail Transit), and MRT (Metro Rail Transit) provide access to various parts of the city for just a few pesos per ride. Utilizing these can significantly save on transportation costs.

Enjoying Street Food

Manila’s street food is a treasure trove for flavor seekers, offering a variety of dishes at affordable prices. For instance, traditional Filipino dishes like “Adobo” and “Sinigang” can be enjoyed at local markets for around 100-200 pesos ($2-$4) per meal. This is a great way to save on food costs while enjoying local flavors.

Shopping at Local Markets Seaside Market Baclaran: Located just 12 minutes by car from the airport, this bustling public market offers a variety of products, from counterfeit goods and clothing to shoes and accessories. You can select fresh seafood and have it cooked on the spot​.

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Greenfield Weekend Market: A popular spot offering a wide range of food items like grilled goods, cheese sticks, lobster balls, and lechon. Prices are higher than typical street vendors but provide unique food offerings.

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Visiting Free Tourist Spots

Manila boasts numerous historical sites and parks with free admission. For instance, in Rizal Park, you can visit the monument of the national hero Jose Rizal, and at San Agustin Church, you can admire the grand architecture of the Spanish colonial era. These spots offer a great opportunity to experience culture without spending a dime.

Shopping at Local Markets

Local markets in Manila offer a variety of goods at affordable prices. Especially, Divisoria and Quiapo markets allow you to find clothing, handicrafts, and souvenirs at incredibly low prices. Bargaining is also part of the fun of visiting markets.

Shopping in Divisoria and Quiapo markets is like a dream for bargain hunters. These markets offer a wide range of products at astonishingly low prices. For example, T-shirts and souvenir items can be bought from 100 pesos (about $2), with the possibility of lowering the price through bargaining. Handicrafts and local accessories often range from 150 to 300 pesos (about $3 to $6), significantly cheaper than prices found in many other tourist spots.

Divisoria Market

Divisoria Market is renowned especially for wholesale items such as textiles suitable for corporate suits to school uniforms, toys, household items, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a paradise for those looking for bargains and wanting to experience local culture through shopping, offering everything at rock-bottom prices in a lively and energetic atmosphere. It’s also about immersing in local culture, tasting authentic Manila cuisine at market stalls, and walking through bustling streets overflowing with a variety of goods. For bulk buyers, Divisoria offers opportunities to secure significantly lower prices, making it a favored place for business owners or those looking for a good deal.

Clothing, fabric, and household items are known to be available at wholesale prices. It’s not unusual to find garments for as low as 50 pesos (about $1 USD) each. Also, buying in bulk can reduce the price even further, making group visits or joint purchases a good deal. It’s located about a 45-minute drive from the airport.

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Quiapo Market

Quiapo Market: Located about a 40-minute drive from the airport, Quiapo Market offers a treasure trove of textiles, electronics, fresh produce, and street food, allowing a glimpse into the everyday life and culture of Manila.

One highlight of Quiapo Market is the wide range of street food, offering authentic Manila cuisine. Notably, Globe Lumpia House is known for its crispy spring rolls packed with vegetables, meat, and spices. Also, in the Muslim Town near the Golden Mosque, many restaurants and eateries offer Halal-certified dishes like bakas and the traditional dodol.

For instance, the popular street snack “kwek-kwek” (fried quail eggs) is available for just 20 pesos. “Sotanghon” (glass noodle soup) offers a rich and flavorful experience for 80 pesos (about $1.4 USD), providing a hearty and flavorful option. “Lugaw” (Filipino rice porridge) with offal is another heartwarming and tasty choice, available for 80 pesos (about $1.4 USD). “Pansit Palabok” (seasoned rice noodles) is served with a rich and savory shrimp paste gravy, offering another delicious option for 80 pesos.

Besides food, Quiapo Market is famous for bargain shopping. Quality varies, but you can find electronics, handicrafts, and fresh flowers at reasonable prices. For photography enthusiasts, Hidalgo Street, lined with many camera shops offering both new and old camera equipment, is recommended.

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Conclusion:”Enjoying Manila Economically ”

Transits or short stays in Manila offer numerous ways to have a fulfilling experience while on a budget, from using day-use hotels, leveraging public transport, exploring local food culture, to visiting free tourist spots. By using these tips, you can savor Manila’s charm without worrying about your budget, enjoying the city’s cultural richness and vibrancy without financial constraints.

For day-use hotels in Manila, visit here:

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