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Help a Traveller » Philippines » Metro Manila

Is Manila safe for women travelers?

Hi! I am planning a backpacking trip to the Philippines and was wondering if a woman like me would have problems traveling alone. Any stories? Tips? Thanks! 

- Chelsea - Guest

manila safe women travelers
Traveling solo is quite an adventure in Manila, more so when you're a woman. Like any other major city in South East Asia, or in the world for that matter, practice caution at all times. This said, Manila by night might not be as bad as you might think, if you know how to stay alert in your surroundings.

I'm a petite backpacker (only 5'2" small) who loves to travel alone. I have had no problem walking along the lively streets of Malate and Ermita, all the way to the baywalk along Manila Bay (awesome sunsets, btw). I wouldn't stay out too late, though, not without a trusty friend around. But if you love the nightlife and don't mind passing by some sleazy joints, these districts are lined by countless bars and clubs—you'd find decent watering holes past the sleaze.


I don't exaggerate when I say that Manila is probably one of the safest Southeast Asian cities for women traveling alone because women are -- for the most part -- treated by men as equals here. It's cultural. Men are not likely to bother you even when you're walking alone. It's certainly not like Morocco where every other guy will want to get your number. In Manila, men may look -- but they will never bother you.

I've heard of mobile phones being snatched and other petty crimes, but rape or even street harassment is very rare.

Of course, you need to bring your common sense with you and take the same safety precautions you would if you were traveling alone to any other city.  Avoid dimly-lit streets, don't carry large sums of money, etc.

Hi, Chelsea! Don't worry, Manila is safe for women tourists. I was there last year and had no problems at all. I agree with what they said here - men in the Philippines generally don't bother women, not even blonde foreigners like me! Haha! There's more Manila safety information here.

Agdis G.

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