The Philippines doesn't consist just of remote islands, waterfalls filled with milky blue water, and jaw-dropping limestone formations coming out of clear blue water. It offers hiking possibilities, diving spots, rice terraces, and even one of the best surfing spots in the world!
In this article, we break down all the main Philippines information you need to know when traveling to the Philippines. The Philippines consists of 7641 islands spread in the Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia. The capital city is Manila and that´s where your amazing trip will probably start.
- Visa Philippines information
Most nationalities don't need to apply for a visa for the Philippines in advance. As soon as you will leave the plane, you will find a table with immigration cards. You will fill the card and give it to the immigration officers.
You will receive at the airport a 30-day Visa on Arrival and you are good to go. This visa is free of charge and the only requirements are that you have a flight ticket out of the country (in the next 30 days) and that your passport is valid for at least 6 months. And if you will decide to stay longer, you can!:) Visa on Arrival is extendable for another 30 days so in total you can stay for 60 days.
- Price and costs Philippines
The Philippines is pretty affordable to travel to like most of the Southeast Asian countries. You can always find every type of accommodation depending on your budget, from the hostel and shared dorms to luxury hotel rooms or even private villas.
What makes traveling the Philippines most expensive is Island hopping trips and traveling from one island to another. So if you are trying to find ways how to make your holiday cheaper, focus on what way are you traveling and how many islands do you want to see.
For example, overnight ferries and local public buses are always cheaper than flights and private cars.
- What currency they are using in the Philippines and information about how much everything costs
Their currency is Philippine Peso (PHP, ₱). 1 AUD is about 36 PHP.
Standard Double room: 10-30 AUD per night
Local Lunch / Dinner for 2: +- 10 AUD
Scooter for 1 day: +- 14 AUD
Waterfall entrance: +-1 AUD
Private Island hopping tour per person: 55 AUD
Shared Island hopping tour per person: 39 AUD
Local bus from Cebu to Moalboal: 4 AUD
- ATM in the Philippines
Most of the time is hard to find an ATM that has money. Even in the Capital city Manila we were struggling to find a working ATM. So if you do find ATM which gives you money, withdraw enough for your future trips as well. In El Nido, there is one main ATM, but not every time has money, in Moalboal on Cebu Island are few but hardly any was working when we were there. So be prepared and always have some cash with you.
- How to get around the Philippines
From all Asian and Indonesian countries we have traveled to, The Philippines ' transportation seems to us to be the easiest and well organized.
When you are want to get around the land, use Grab taxi, local buses, minivans, jeepneys, tricycles or rent a scooter. To get from one island to another, use a plane or ferry.
For getting around in Manila, especially from the airport to your accommodation and back, use Grab Taxi. It´s the cheapest way and safest as well. Easily just download this free app into your phone and you are good to go.
Local buses in the Philippines information
A local bus is the cheapest way how to get from Cebu City to Moalboal. They are often really packed with people, not all of them have air conditioning but it will save you a lot of money for a private car.
Jeepneys are an iconic way of transportation in the Philippines. You should try to get a ride with them just for the experience. It´s a local way how to get around cities and bigger towns and it´s cheap. Use jeepneys for short distances in Manila or Cebu city. They are always really full and you usually pass your money to the driver through all the other travelers. Just ask the person next to you how much you need to pay, they will know:)
Tricycle in the Philippines information
For short distances in big cities or for any distances in smaller towns, you can use a tricycle. A tricycle is basically a bike with a sidecar. Often they can fit one person behind the driver, 4 inside the sidecar, and 2 at the back of the sidecar. It´s a little more expensive than jeepneys but still very affordable. With tricycle, don't forget to bargain the price or ask in your accommodation how much approximately your ride should cost.
Rent a scooter in the Philippines
Our very favorite way how to get around and explore the island is by renting a scooter. Roads in the Philippines are in quite an alright condition and the traffic is not as crazy as in Indonesia for example. But please, still be very careful and cautious when driving a scooter and always wear a helmet. I can´t stress enough how important is not to underestimate driving a scooter and rent one only if you feel confident enough.
The price varies on each island and season; the most expensive we had in Coron, the cheapest we paid on Siquijor Island. It should be somewhere between 400 PHP to 600 PHP a day (11-17 AUD).
Ferry and boats
Usually, the cheapest way how to get from one island to another. You can get yourself the ticket one day in advance in the harbor.
For longer distances between two islands or for more comfortable traveling use planes. Make sure you book your flight tickets in advance in order to get a good price. And keep in mind that Filipino domestic flights are often delayed or even canceled. Do not book a connecting flight or some activity in a too-tight time frame. ✈
- Sim Cards Internet in the Philippines
Staying connected in the Philippines is a hard task. The wifi is not everywhere, even though they say on the internet they have one. When they do have WIFI it´s usually not working anyway, and when it's working, the power is probably out:D
For the sake of your sanity, we recommend you to get yourself a Philippines Sim Card with data on it. Even if staying connected is not your priority, you will still need to have internet for Google Maps or in case of an emergency.
Simply go to Manila after you arrive at the shop called 7/11 and ask for a SMART sim card with data on it. They will show you how to activate the sim card and get the internet. We got 9 GB and paid something around 500 PHP. Best time to go to the Philippines
- When is the best time to travel to the Philippines?
There are two seasons, dry season and rainy season. But thanks to the size of the Philippines, these seasons are different in El Nido and for example in Siargao Island.
From December to April ☀ is the best time to visit most of the Philippines as there is the smallest chance for rain.
December, March, and May would be the busiest months and therefore the most expensive.
The rainy season ☁ in the Philippines comes from July and lasts until October so do not plan your Philippines holiday in these months either.
- When is the best time to go to Siargao Island?
Siargao Island has the weather differently. The best time to travel to Siargao Island is March to October when there is a dry season.
The ultimate answer when is the best time to travel to the Philippines, according to us, would be ☀ April and May ☀. Even though prices will be higher, in these months you can travel to the Philippines and get good everywhere and hopefully miss the rain as we did.
- Language in the Philippines
There are two official languages, Tagalog and English. Almost everybody in the Philippines can speak English which is another big advantage for you to travel to this amazing country.