We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Going Solo In Manila

Which Manila hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
New Jersey
Level Contributor
34 posts
13 reviews
Save Topic
Going Solo In Manila

Hello All,

Im 57 year old male from the USA. I have traveled solo to many parts of the world. I have had the desire to visit Manila. This would also be a solo trip. A few people have told me that I should not do this. They said it would be unsafe for me to spend time in Manila on my own. I know that in any large city, there are areas that one should not venture into alone or other wise. And I have wandered around large cities alone, including New York City which is not far from me.

I know anything can happen anywhere. But is what these people are saying correct? Is it not a good idea to be in Manila on my own?

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
Level Contributor
11,729 posts
337 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Going Solo In Manila

Manila is generally safe if you stick to the usual tourist spots.

Do not do the things that you will not do at home.

There has been a discussion about this recently.


Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
22,628 posts
1,573 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Going Solo In Manila


This question gets asked frequently on this forum and in short the place is a safe as any large city in the world. Ive travelled there many times and feel quite safe. In short be sensible and streetwise and you will generally be ok.

You will find many threads on this topic by using the search function but here is one similar thread for you to read.


I generally stay in the Makati area and find this a good safe area to stay in with many shopping and accomodation options .

How much time will you spend in the Philippines? Perhaps if you arer staying for any length of time consider visiting some of the great beach destinations as well.


Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,027 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Going Solo In Manila


You really have nothing to worry about as long as you take similar precautions as you would wandering around NY.

Consider staying in Makati where many tourists stay and you will be in a generally safe area.

Your biggest threat is being ripped off by taxi drivers, being from New Jersey I am sure you are more than capable of travelling solo to Manila, you wont regret it

Luzon, Philippines
Destination Expert
for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
Level Contributor
16,833 posts
248 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Going Solo In Manila

Despite of having heard news about mass murders in cinemas and schools in the U.S. I still consider it safe to travel there even on my own. I have been to a few big cities in the U.S. like New York City and Chicago and I feel more safe walking the streets of Manila at night than in New York and Chicago so if you do the same precautions just like you are in NYC then you can walk the streets of Manila confidently.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,232 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Going Solo In Manila

I fully agree with all of the comments given above, in fact there are part of London that are no more or no less dangerous than being in Manila, with a bit of common sense.

Do as you would at home and I am sure once you arrive you will wonder what all the fuss was about.I do wonder if these people advising you not to travel to Manila actually hold a passport.

New Jersey – now wasn’t this the setting for the Sopranos & Goodfellas?

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
341 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Going Solo In Manila

I agree with the above. Same precautions as I would take in Chicago or NYC with some areas being good and some not so good.

Edited: 25 March 2013, 14:27
Level Contributor
29 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Going Solo In Manila

Although I traveled there less than 6 months ago, I think my points are still valid.

I traveled to that city with others with whom I have traveled before, but due to there trust in the locals and general unsafe behaviour, I decided to go my own way for whilst staying in Makati, occasionally checking in with them

For one, in your mind and probably reality (from my experience) , you will be the only white man walking those streets, especially at night',and will (as we say in my country) stand out like dog's balls. In saying that, yes, I felt unsafe, but nothing ever came of it. I walked up streets where tourists were apparently never meant to go, but only got strange looks.

You will get constantly hassled for money by beggars, scammers and others. Even shop fronts advertising a service are not the real deal. Nothing is the real deal. Everybody wants something for nothing and it is relentless, 24 hours a day someone will be trying their luck on you. You can't walk out of your hotel without a proposition or a sob story.

The tourist guides in my friends hotel rooms were of course scammers, and a conversation about future travel was almost impossible with them because with my travel partners out of there, the tourist guides couldn't drink anymore of their mini bar or spend any more of their money.

One of my friends was bashed in an alley because some locals charged their dinner to his tabbed and he refused to pay it.

Even booking a private vehicle to get out of that city was hard. You get in and then it drives God knows where and they have to do a transfer. "What's happening" you say. No real answer and your standing in a street in Manilla again with people begging you, hassling you and guys with guns looking at you like they're your next project.

Actually there are guns everywhere. The guys who direct the traffic at the Robinson's Mall have shot guns strapped to their shoulders. The guys down the street have a guns in their hands. The last hotel I stayed at asks to leave your guns at reception. Don't believe some of the post in here where people say "What guns?"

Do to the bad weather, cyclones, floods etc, I was there for 5 nights.

Are you going to make it out alive? Yes. Will you have a good time? Maybe. Are you going to believe everything people say on this site about this place being no problem? That's up to you.

Level Contributor
663 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Going Solo In Manila

Hi Keds, that sounds as if you had a fairly miserable time in Manila.

I'm curious. Where did you stay and where did you walk around?

I lived in Cubano before which then was considered pretty filthy and low class. While people certainly stared at me I never had a bad experience. I am sorry to hear you didn't like it. I had a ball in Manila and still have every time I go back there.


Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
1,027 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Going Solo In Manila

Keds, it does seem like you didnt have a great time. Fortunately most people who visit Manila dont experience what you apparently did.

Many white foreigners visit Manila everyday of the year, and dont have the problems you seemed to encounter, maybe you are just unlucky?

Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
238 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Going Solo In Manila

Sounds like you had a string of very unfortunate luck, Keds. At any time there are tens of thousands of foreigners in Manila and the surrounding cities having a peaceful and enjoyable time. Perhaps you need to travel with somebody from your country who is situationally aware and can take care of you.