Jeepneys, a popular form of transportation in Manila, Phillipines
Jeepneys, a popular form of transportation in Manila, Phillipines
Jeepneys, a popular form of transportation in Manila, Phillipines

Moving to Manila

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 11, 2022

Summary: Many people move to Manila for its tropical climate and low-cost, urban lifestyle (it's one of the world's most densely populated cities). There's a lot to know before making the move and foreigners living in Manila have loads of advice for newcomers. Did you know that foreigners in the Philippines can only own condos?

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What do I need to know before moving to Manila?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Manila, they said:

"Do your research and visit various areas before you commit. The laws here are very different so only Philipine people can own the ground with exception to condos. Look for schools, medical and grocery store locations that are fairly close to where you live," explained one expat living in Valenzuela City, Philippines.

"Don't be scared to move to Manila. It is not nearly as scary as people would have you believe. I am more scared wandering around deserted Sydney streets at night than in Manila. Of course be sensible. Dress modestly, don't wear expensive jewellery or watches etc. Look out for pickpockets on the trains - I got a wallet with a chain after my introduction to pickpockets on the LRT! You can't really live an insulated western life so try to fit in with the locals wherever you can. For example, jeepneys are often convenient, NOT scary and you really get to live the local life. Learning how to get around teaches you a lot which you will find valuable in your time here. Smile a lot! It really opens doors," said another expat in Manila.

How do I find a place to live in Manila?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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