Our Safety Tips For Traveling Solo & Backpacking In Manila

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Solo travel adventure to Manila offers a unique blend of experiences, from its awe-inspiring historical architecture and soaring modern buildings to its vibrant street life and tantalizing cuisine. This bustling metropolis, more akin to a combination of 16 cities, presents an enthralling mix of chaos and charm.


As the capital of the Philippines, Manila is a dynamic urban sprawl, yet it’s not without its challenges. The city is known for its contrasting social landscapes, with a significant portion of its inhabitants facing poverty, and safety concerns are a reality to be mindful of.


Nevertheless, Manila remains a must-visit destination for solo travelers, including solo female adventurers seeking to explore its rich culture and diversity.


Our comprehensive guide is a treasure trove of essential tips and in-depth knowledge for a safe and fulfilling Manila experience. Lub d equips you with insider insights to navigate this complex city like a local, ensuring your solo journey is safe and unforgettable. 





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Is It Safe To Travel To Manila Right Now?


To be honest, there is a high level of crime in Manila, still, the tourists are not usually the target. 


Manila, a vast and bustling city, spans an area comparable to several cities combined. Its vastness offers a plethora of remarkable sights, yet, like any large urban center, it grapples with social issues, including poverty.


For solo travelers, particularly solo female travelers pondering “Is Manila safe for female travellers?”, it’s crucial to stay informed and cautious.


While Manila does contend with challenges like petty theft and occasional carjackings, the risk of severe physical harm to tourists is relatively low, despite the city’s reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s more perilous destinations.


The key to a safe journey here is exercising common sense and staying street-smart. Certain areas exhibit higher crime rates and should be avoided, particularly at night. While violent crime does exist in Manila, tourists are not typically targeted, and many visit without incident, indicating a level of safety for travelers.




Safest Places in Manila


For those embarking on solo travel to Manila, choosing the right neighborhood is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. We’ve highlighted the safest areas in Manila for a worry-free stay.


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Positioned in the heart of Manila, Makati tops our list as the ideal district for first-time visitors. Known for its cleanliness and safety, it brims with attractions and activities.


As the city’s upscale business hub, Makati offers a blend of top-notch dining options, retail stores, vibrant nightlife, and historical sites. It’s a versatile area that caters to all types of travelers, with diverse attractions and activities.



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Quezon City


To the northeast of Manila’s center lies Quezon City, renowned for its trendy vibe and youthful spirit. This neighborhood is a paradise for fashion enthusiasts and food lovers, boasting chic fashion boutiques, unique cat cafes, bustling clubs, and a variety of restaurants.


It’s particularly famous for Maginhawa Street, a culinary haven offering a wide array of affordable global cuisines, from Italian to Asian. Quezon City is the go-to destination for food aficionados seeking to indulge in diverse culinary delights.



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Intramuros, nestled in the central part of Manila, is one of the city’s most historic areas, enclosed by 16th-century Spanish walls. Rich in history, it’s the prime spot for history enthusiasts and culture seekers.


Intramuros is also an ideal choice for families, known for its safety, historic landmarks, lush parks, meandering streets, and a variety of dining and shopping options.

It’s a neighborhood that combines historical exploration with leisure activities, making it a compelling choice for a diverse range of visitors.





Places to Avoid in Manila


Navigating the safety landscape of Manila is crucial for anyone, especially for those on solo travel or solo female travelers questioning “Is Manila safe for female travellers?”. Like any major city globally, awareness of your environment is key in Manila. To ensure a secure visit, we’ve identified certain areas where extra caution is necessary:


Tondo: This densely populated area, largely a slum, is generally not on the tourist map due to limited attractions. However, it’s wise to be aware of its location.


Smokey Mountain: This area, previously a landfill, is marked by significant poverty. It’s advisable to avoid this region unless you’re participating in charity work.


Dark Alleys and Streets: Especially at night, it’s recommended to stay indoors or move in large groups. If a place feels unsafe, it’s best to steer clear. Trusting your instincts is vital.


Understanding that Manila has its safety challenges is important, and preparing beforehand can greatly enhance your experience. Stay tuned for our expert travel tips to ensure a worry-free journey in Manila, a city teeming with vibrant energy and diverse culture.

Manila’s vastness can be overwhelming, and appearing like a disoriented tourist might invite trouble. Our top safety tips for traveling to Manila are designed to help you fully embrace the dynamic spirit of this captivating capital while maintaining your safety and security.



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Is Manila Safe For Solo Travellers / Female Travellers? 


Safety at Night in Manila: Exploring Manila after dark requires extra caution. While some districts like Makati, Pasay, and Bonifacio Global City are well-lit and safer, others present higher risks of crime. Solo travelers, particularly solo females, should prioritize safety by using taxis or ride-sharing services instead of walking alone at night.


Simple precautions such as concealing expensive items, avoiding dimly lit streets, and sticking to crowded areas are key. A basic knowledge of the local language can also be beneficial.



Public Transportation: Manila’s public transport, including jeepneys, buses, tricycles, and the LRT/MRT, is commonly used and generally safe during the day. However, instances of pickpocketing and scams can occur, particularly in crowded settings. Language barriers and navigation might also present challenges. 


Nevertheless, many Filipinos are willing to help if needed. For night travel, it’s safer to opt for reliable taxi services or ride-hailing apps.



Street Harassment (Solo Travel & Solo Female): Solo travelers, especially solo females, may encounter moderate levels of street harassment in Manila. While the city’s busy and populous nature means experiences can vary, areas like Makati and BGC are usually safer. Improved local law enforcement has been effective in reducing street harassment. 


It’s best to avoid late-night strolls in secluded areas, trust your instincts, and stay in well-lit, populated areas.



Petty Crimes (Solo Travel & Solo Female): Manila presents a moderate risk of petty crimes such as pickpocketing, snatch thefts, and scams, especially in busy places like markets and on public transport. Keeping vigilant, securing your belongings, and not displaying valuables can mitigate these risks. Most locals are welcoming and helpful, with many areas being safe and tourist-friendly.




Safety Tips For Solo Travel in Manila


While the chances are high that your trip will be smooth, it’s always wise to travel with awareness. Solo journeys come with their own set of rewards, like personal growth and overcoming challenges, but they can also have their dull moments, especially in an overwhelming city environment.


Here are some tailored tips for a seamless solo experience in Manila:



1. Choose a decent hostel/budget hotel


Don’t just go for the cheapest option. A slightly pricier hostel can significantly enhance your comfort and provide a pleasant retreat after a day in Manila’s lively streets.



2. Do Your Research 


Find a hostel that fits your vibe. A dull place might not suit you if you’re looking for excitement. Check out reviews to find the perfect match.



3. Engage with Locals


Filipinos are known for their friendliness. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations or even make new friends.



4. Socialize at Your Hostel


Strike up conversations in common areas or join hostel-organized activities like walking tours.



5. Consider Private Transportation


While public transport might seem economical, taxis or other private options are not significantly more expensive and offer more convenience and safety.



6. Carry Small Bills


Many places in Manila prefer cash, and smaller denominations are more practical to avoid change issues.



7. Stay Connected


Get a local SIM card for navigation and keeping in touch with loved ones back home. 






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Lub d Makati


For solo travelers seeking an affordable yet comfortable stay in Makati, Lub d Makati stands out as a top choice, catering to diverse needs with its selection of mixed-gender and female-only dormitories, as well as private rooms.


Each dormitory features spacious beds decked with high-quality linens. The personal reading lights, lockable storage, and easy access to shared bathrooms add convenience and security to your stay.


We also have a hub for interaction and connectivity. The co-working area provides a dynamic environment for digital nomads or those needing to catch up on emails. The game area is a lively spot to bond with fellow travelers.


Whether you’re a solo backpacker or a group of friends on an adventure, Lub d Makati offers an ideal blend of affordability, security, and comfort. It’s a place where you can enjoy privacy and a restful sleep, yet still have ample opportunities to meet and mingle with international travelers.