Manila Layover Guide (MNL)

What are you looking for in MNL?
Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) is the main international airport serving Manila and its surrounding area. It is found between the cities of Pasay and Paranaque. It is almost 7 km (4.3 mi) from the city of Manila. The airport is a hub for many airlines. The airport has had multiple commercial flights since 1948. Manila is a global city and the capital of the Philippines. The city is known for its dense population, global trade, financial centers, industries, historical Spanish heritage, architecture, museums, gastronomy and vibrant nightlife.

Can you leave Manila Airport (MNL) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible for travelers to visit Manila during a layover but in some certain cases, a visa will be required. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Manila Organized Tours

Full-Day Manila City, Tagaytay Taal Volcano and Lake Tour

See the stunning landmarks like Fort Santiago, “Walled City of Intramuros”, American Memorial and Cemetery. Also, enjoy panoramic views of the Tagaytay Ridge. The tour begins in the picturesque City of Tagaytay where there are beautiful panoramic views of Taal Lake and Volcano. This is the famous lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano. There is a brief lunch break included in the tour at a local restaurant to enjoy some local cuisine and delicacies in an atmosphere designed for great views and vibes. » book this tour

From Manila: Full Day Trip to Tagaytay Ridge

Embark on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Tagaytay Ridge from Manila where you can catch sweeping views of Taal Volcano and Taal Lake from atop the Palace in the Sky. The tour also includes visiting a jeepney factory where you discover the process of making the Philippine transportation icon. Visit San Jose Church as well which is home to the world famous Bamboo Organ of Las Pinas. You will be accompanied by an expert local guide. This tour also includes a delicious lunch break. » book this tour

Manila: Old & New 4-Hour City Tour

Enjoy a 4-hour guided sightseeing tour that lets you discover Manila’s past and present. Explore the City of Makati, the heart of the Philippines’ financial centre. See the history in Forbes Park and the American Cemetery and War Memorial. Learn about the Spanish colonial period on a walk through the Intramuros district to Fort Santiago. Uncover the intricate Baroque architectural designs of UNESCO World Heritage-listed San Agustin Church. » book this tour

Manila Things to do / Sightseeing


Considered to be the world’s oldest Chinatown, Binondo, located in Old Manila is a great place for foodies looking for a worthwhile experience beyond fast food malls and restaurants in the metropolis. Its influence extends beyond Quiapo, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas and the like. Should you want an adventurous experience, brace yourself for crowded alleys and head to nearby Divisoria which is famous for its wide variety of low-priced goods, wholesale and bargain shopping.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes almost 15 minutes to get here by taxi or 32 minutes by the Airport bus.

Manila Ocean Park

Enjoy your experience at the Manila Ocean Park as you marvel at Sharks and Rays encounter ,trails to Antarctica, and get interactive with marine life as this is one of the most unique adventures in the city. Over here, there’s a fish spa where fish clean your feet in a small pool of water. The vibe here may keep you for some time as you there are so many memorable things to see. This state-of-the-art aquatic facility has exhibits of birds and other animals. Should you have intentions of staying there for more than a day, you can book a room at Hotel H2O at the park and admire the large fish tanks in your room.

Time required: 3 hours.

Airport to here: It takes just 10 minutes to get here by taxi or 35 minutes by bus.

National Museum of the Philippines

Visit the National Museum of the Philippines for a true and accurate exploration into the culture and history of the country. The museum has four main complexes and extensive collections and artifacts that relate to art, archaeology, biology, zoology, anthropology and natural history. The galleries here help offer a sense of place, telling the cultural story beyond what you may find on your own visiting the city’s numerous historical attractions.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It usually takes about 15 minutes to get here by taxi or close to 35 minutes by bus.

Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago is one of the most important historical sites in Manila. This 16th-century fortress played a crucial part in protecting the Intramuros, which is the oldest district in Manila, historically known as the Walled City. One can explore the grounds at their own pace. Be sure to take note of bullet markings that are still visible in the fortress walls over many years and make it part of your plans to pass through the visitor center for more detailed information about the lovely fort.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It takes a almost 10 minutes to get here by taxi or 35 minutes by bus.

Quiapo Church

Being one of the most admired and oldest Catholic Churches in Manila, The Quiapo Church was formally called the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.The plaza here is usually congested depending on what time it is. This makes an amazing place to visit in admiration of the devotion of the locals here. With Fridays being the busiest days, thousands of people throng into the square and pray at the church for novena.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It takes about 15 minutes to get here by taxi and 40 minutes by bus.

Bambike Ecotours

You should consider The Bambike Ecotours if you want to explore the culture and history of Manila more efficiently. These tours give you a unique, eco-friendly way to see the city and take in its beauty. An ecotour provides an opportunity to support the environmental sustainability efforts of local businesses in the city. These locally hand-made bicycles are custom-built from bamboo. There is a social welfare initiative that employs villagers for the production of the bikes by the company.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: It takes 15 minutes to get here by taxi or 35 minutes by bus.

Divisoria Market

Divisoria Market is located in the heart of Chinatown where overflowing vendor stalls selling almost everything from fruit and spices to flip-flops and beads can be found . People-watching is quite enjoyable here. The vibe here is like that of a flea market, and the bargaining game is at it’s best. Often, you can get souvenirs for much lower after making payment for 50 percent of the price of an item here.

Time required: 2 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 15 minutes to get here by taxi and almost 50 minutes by bus.

Manila Zoo

Most of the animals you can think of are found at the famous Manila zoo. From Elephant to Hippopotamus to Bengal Tiger, Monitor Lizard, Malayan Civet. You mention it. This is one of the best places to see in Manila if you are with the family or kids especially. The zoo is home to over 500 animals from more than 100 species. You will also find a Botanical Garden and Arboretum where there is a variety of plants that belong to the local ecology of the Philippines.

Time required: 1 hour.

Airport to here: You can reach here in 10 minutes by taxi or in 30 minutes by bus.

Things to Do in Manila Airport (MNL)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
The airport has several lounges in Terminals 1 and 3. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are several hotel options very close to the airport as well as one for transits in the airport. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
The airport has no designated rest areas however there are sleeping rooms in Terminals 1 and 3.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available at Manila Airport however you have to reconnect every 30 minutes.

SIM Card: Several shops within the airport sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Manila, Philippines that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Metered Taxi services run at the airport constantly, they can be found outside the arrival hall.

Train: For the passengers taking the Metro-Rail Transit line, they can disembark at the EDSA-Taft station. An airport shuttle terminal is located beside the MRT station. (more info).

Bus: There are several bus options to the city and back to the airport. (more info).

Shuttle: There are Airport hotel shuttle services as well as shuttles between terminals.

Car rentals: Multiple car rental options are available and can be booked online. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: There is spacious parking available.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Luggage and More offers left luggage storage at the Arrival Hall in Terminal 3. » book a luggage storage or locker at Manila Airport (MNL) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Manila Airport (MNL) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks