Cost of Living in Manila: Updated Prices, Comparison with Other Cities

8 minute read

If you are planning to move to the fantastic city Manila, you should be aware of the cost of living in Manila. It is a lively city and the capital of the Philippines, located on Luzon Island and mixes old Spanish-style buildings with tall, modern skyscrapers. At its centre, there is Intramuros, an old walled city that used to be the heart of Manila. You can visit the beautiful city and feel the marvel of it. Sometimes, in Manila, individuals have to pay for most things they enjoy, as each has its own expenses.


Understanding the cost of living in Manila is very important for the people who wish to move there for a job or higher studies to manage the budget accordingly. In the blog below, we have explored the various categories of the cost of living in Manila. Without further delay, let’s begin our discussion in detail.

What is the Cost of Living in Manila?

Around PHP 36,256 is the average cost of living in Manila for a single person excluding rent. It is around 63 per cent lower than the cost of living in New York without rent according to numbeo. Expats from all around the world are attracted to Manila because of its excellent living conditions, good salaries, and high-quality education system with advanced programs.

Before making the move to Manila, people should understand how much money they should keep with them to ensure a comfortable lifestyle in Manila. Here, we have gathered the average cost of living in Manila into distinct categories for the immigrants who wish to move here. Please take a look at this:

Also read: Cost of Living in Arizona: A Guide on Expected Expenses

Costs of Accommodation in Manila

When looking for accommodation to stay in Manila, finding a place or apartment there that suits your budget is crucial. Rental expenses play a significant role in the overall cost of living in Manila, and the accommodation cost can vary according to the location and type of apartment an individual prefers. 

For your reference, below we have included some data on average rental prices for apartments within and outside the city centre.

Apartment LocationApprox. Monthly Cost 
One-bedroom Apartment in the City CentrePHP 25,818
One-bedroom Apartment Outside of CentrePHP 13,600
Three -bedroom Apartmentin the City CentrePHP 89,230
Affordable Three -bedroom ApartmentOutside of CentrePHP 35,142
Source: Numbeo

Cost of a Utility in Manila 

When considering Manila’s estimated budget for living, it’s essential to consider the utility expenses along with the cost of living in Manila. However, utility expenses cover electricity, water, gas, heating, etc. Being aware of utility bills can help in estimating the budget. 

Below, we’ve provided a table detailing the average utility cost and its bills in Manila for your convenience.

Utility TypeApprox. Cost 
Basic Utility Cost (Heating, Electricity, Cooling, Water, and Garbage)PHP 7,174
Internet (60 Mbps+, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL monthly)PHP 1,661
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ DataPHP 1,857
Source: Numbeo

Cost of Grocery in Manila

Understanding the grocery expenses in Manila is important as they can directly impact the overall cost of living in Manila City. In Milan, groceries contain essential edible items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, water, and other everyday food items. 

Typically, the groceries cost in Manila is lower than the cost of living in Manila. In the table below, we provided an overview of the average individual grocery costs in Manila.

Grocery ItemApprox Cost 
1 litre Regular MilkPHP 104
500g Fresh White BreadPHP 76
1kg white RicePHP 55
A dozen of Regular EggsPHP 117
1kg Apples PHP 187
1kg Banana PHP 97
1kg OrangesPHP 194
1kg TomatoPHP 122
1kg PotatoPHP 137
1kg OnionPHP 173
1 litre bottle of WaterPHP 45
Source: Numbeo

Also read: Cost of Living in Helsinki: A Comprehensive Guide

Restaurant Food Costs in Manila

If you plan to dine out for lunch or dinner, eating out in Manila’s restaurants plays an important role in budgeting for the cost of living in the city of Manila. The expense of dining out here varies based on factors like restaurant type, location, and cuisine preference. 

Generally, dining out in Manila costs more than cooking at home. To give you a clearer picture of the cost of meals at the Milans’s restaurants, below is a breakdown of the average restaurant prices in Manila:

Type of Restaurant Approx Cost of Meal in Restaurant 
Meal at Lunch in inexpensive restaurantPHP 300
Meal in a Mid-range Restaurant, for 2 personPHP 1500
Meal that is equiv. to McDonald’sPHP 250
CappuccinoPHP 169
Source: Numbeo

Transportation Costs in Manila

Calculating transportation expenses in Manila is important as they can impact the overall cost of living in Manila. However, it’s crucial to understand the prices of tickets or passes for regular use of public transportation in Manila. 

Getting around Manila involves using various modes of local transportation, such as buses, trains, taxis, and Jeepneys. Take a look at the table below for details on transportation costs within the Manila area:

Mode of TransportApprox Cost
Local transport ticketPHP 30
Monthly ticket in a local transportPHP 582
Taxi Ride for 1 km tariffPHP 13.50
Taxi 1 hour Waiting for Normal TariffPHP 132.52
Gas / Petrol, 1 L or 0.26 galPHP 65.50
Source: Numbeo

Also read: Cost of Living in China: A Comprehensive Guide on China’s Expenses

Cost of Apparel in Manila

Another significant part of the cost of living in Manila is the cost of apparel. Several factors can influence the cost of apparel in Manila, such as shopping habits, seasonal apparel, and the quality of apparel you prefer. As a reference, we’ve provided average costs for apparel like jeans, shoes, and summer dresses. Please refer to the table below for insights into clothing expenses across the Manila area:

ClothesApprox Cost 
Pair of Brand JeansPHP 1,947
1 Summer Dress in a Chain StorePHP 1,600
Brand ShoesPHP 4,264
Source: Numbeo

Cost of Living in Manila vs Other Cities of Philippines

Comparing the cost of living in Manila to the cost of living in other cities in the Philippines, such as Cebu, Quezon, Angeles, and Davao, you can see noticeable differences in their expenses. However, each city offers a wonderful lifestyle at affordable prices. For your reference, we have shown a comparison between the cost of living in Manila vs other cities in the Philippines. Please take a look and guess which city you would prefer for your higher education:

Cost of living city-wiseApprox Cost Comparison with the Cost of Living in 
Cost of Living in CebuPHP 34,174Lower than Manila
Cost of Living in QuezonPHP 37,171Higher than Manila
Cost of Living in AngelesPHP 36,098Approximately equal to Manila
Cost of Living in DavaoPHP 32,408Approximately equal to Manila
Source: Numbeo

Average Tuition Fees in Manila

Getting an estimation on the average tuition fees at universities in Manila, Philippines can assist students in managing the budget for their higher education in desired university. However, it’s important to note that tuition fees in Manila’s universities may differ based on the university and the chosen course or program.

Comprehending average tuition fees, along with the cost of living in Manila, is crucial for your educational finances and making a proper planning for your academic path. To assist you further, we have compiled a detailed breakdown of the average tuition fees at various Manila universities in the table below:

Name of UniversityApprox Tuition fees per year 
Centro Escolar UniversityBachelor: PHP 70,000 – 80,000
Master:  PHP 27,000 – 51,000
La Consolacion College – ManilaBachelor: PHP 64,000 – 66,000
Master:  PHP 36,000 – 38,000
Doctorate: PHP 36,000 – 38,000
San Sebastian College – RecoletosBachelor: PHP 86,000 – 100,000
Master:  PHP 37,000 – 45,000
De La Salle UniversityBachelor: PHP 205,000 – 225,000 
Master:  PHP 37,000 – 100,000 
Doctorate: PHP 110,000 – 205,000 (full program)
Mapúa University Bachelor: PHP 130,000 – 195,000
Master: PHP 44,000 – 92,000 
Doctorate: PHP 65,000 – 74,000 (full program)

Things to Know When Moving to Manila

Moving to a new city like Manila is an exciting experience, but it’s necessary to consider some key things, especially with the average cost of living in Manila. Before you move to Manila, it is helpful to consider a few important things so that you can effectively plan according to your budget. Few important things are given below:

Weather in Manila 

Manila encounters a tropical climate with high temperatures, humidity, and noticeable wet and dry seasons. However, Manila also encounters typhoons, especially during the rainy season. The climate of Manila can be divided into three main seasons:

Hot dry season: From March to May, featuring high temperatures around 28.3°C and limited rainfall.

Rainy season: Spanning from June to November, this season is characterised by frequent rain and the risk of typhoons.

Cool, dry season: This season brings cooler temperatures around 25.5°C and reduced rainfall from December to February. This kind of amazing weather in Manila makes it an amazing place to live. 

Jobs in Manila

Manila offers many job opportunities, supported by strong networking options for job seekers. The average post-tax salary in Manila is approximately PHP 29,102. This income level enables individuals to comfortably cover their cost of living in Manila and enjoy a good quality of life.

Manila is famous for

Manila is famous for its different food on every island. If you are going to live in Manila, Philippines, you should try as much food as possible, as every island’s version of one type of food will vastly differ.

Also Read:

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Cost of Living in TaipeiCost of Living in Uruguay: A Comprehensive Guide
Cost of Living in Beijing: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Oslo: A Comprehensive Guide

FAQs on the Cost of Living in Manila

Q.1 What is the Cost of Living in Manila?

Answer: The typical average cost of living in Manila for an individual amounts to approximately PHP 61,000. This covers various costs like housing, food, healthcare, and more. However, the expenses may differ depending on your chosen lifestyle and where you reside in Manila.

Q.2 Is it expensive to live in Manila?

Answer: Manila is not that expensive compared to other countries. The average cost of living for a single person is around PHP 36,268, without rent and 63 per cent lower than the cost of living in New York according to numbeo.

Q3. How much do you need to live comfortably in Manila?

Answer: To live comfortably in Manila, an individual requires an amount equal to or greater than the cost of living, which is around PHP 61,000. This includes food, rent, transportation, etc. However, the average salary in Manila makes living more comfortable and leisurely.

Q.4 What is a good salary in Manila?

Answer: The average salary after tax in Manila is around PHP 29,102.04, which helps people to manage the cost of living in Manila in a better way. 

So, this was all about the cost of living in Manila. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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