Travel to Philippines
Entry & residence requirements
Entry into the Philippines is only possible for German citizens with a valid (also temporary) travel or children’s passport. It is recommended to ensure that travel documents are valid for 6 months beyond the intended duration of stay.
For German tourists who hold a passport, a free Visa on Arrival is issued for 30 days upon entry. A valid return or onward flight ticket is required.
The visa can be extended to a maximum of 59 days at the Bureau of Immigration in Manila or one of the branch offices.
Before traveling to the Philippines, it is advisable to also consult the Foreign Office website for information. In addition to tips, travel warnings – for example, regarding Mindanao – are issued there.
Consult the official website of the Department of Tourism. Lonely Planet and the Philippines Travel Guide provide further travel and tourist information.
One of the most popular travel destinations among foreign tourists, the island of Boracay, has been closed to visitors for at least 6 months since April 26, 2018. The authorities spoke of an “unbearable environmental pollution” (a cesspool) and ordered a major cleaning in order to avert further ecological damage to humans and nature. Critics of this decision criticized the haste and planlessness of this drastic measure and fear that after a reopening of Boracay for tourism only a very small – and above all very wealthy and exclusive – group will benefit. There are voices who see Boracay as an exclave equipped with casinos in the future, which should be reserved primarily for wealthy Chinese business people and upscale exclusive tourism. Due to the closure of the island, which is so popular with tourists, many people lose their jobs and homes on the island.
There are many ways to get from A to B in the Philippines. In the following you will find an overview of the different modes of transport.
If you want to drive your own car in the Philippines, you will need an International Driving Permit, which is issued by the Automotive Association of the Philippines. If you plan to stay in the country for more than 90 days and drive your own car during this time, then you need a Filipino driver’s license (foreign driver’s licenses are accepted as long as the driver is in the country for a shorter time).
Road traffic in the Philippines is chaotic and the roads are regularly congested. Filipino road users are very relaxed about the traffic rules and you should always expect road users to suddenly change lanes. They should also be prepared for inflationary honking – especially by jeepney and bus drivers. For everyone who knows and can master the road traffic of big cities, the traffic situation with the car in the Philippines is no problem.
In the Philippines, drive on the right, distances are in kilometers and speeds are in km / h. Motorways have a maximum speed of 100 km / h, but in many places they cannot go more than 30 km / h due to traffic jams and heavy traffic . In general, a very defensive driving style is recommended so that you do not endanger yourself or others in traffic: Cars can stop suddenly and people and animals can suddenly cross the road. This is especially true in rural areas, where many people are not yet used to road traffic.
If all this does not deter them, and if they can also deal with traffic cops and uniformed workers who want to give them a “fine”, they can rent a car in the Philippines for around 2000 Pesos a day. The following rental car providers are active in the Philippines:
- Avalon Transport Services
- Avis Car Rental Philippines
- Budget Car Rental Philippines
- Europcar Car Rental Philippines
- Hertz Car Rental Philippines
- JB Rent A Car Philippines
- Manila Rent a Car
- VIP Rent-A-Car
If you are in a less hurry and want to enjoy rural scenes in peace, you can travel by bus. The bus network in the Philippines is extensive and includes connections between major cities and even the most remote Barangay. At many stops there is the possibility to buy drinks and snacks from local vendors – even express buses (Derecho) take breaks on long journeys after 3 to 4 hours at the latest so that passengers can buy food and drinks.
The larger bus companies – which mainly serve long-haul routes – have relatively new and mostly air-conditioned vehicle fleets, but the buses only have toilets on board in a few cases. Smaller bus companies that cover shorter distances operate their route network with often dilapidated, non-air-conditioned vehicles. In return, passengers on board are often offered loud music and Tagalog films – whether they like it or not!
Traveling by bus is very cheap in the Philippines and regional buses usually leave every hour or every half hour. There are only regular timetables for a few larger bus companies. These also offer the opportunity to purchase tickets and seats in advance online, by phone or at the counter. Well-known providers are Victory Liner and Philtranco.
The most important islands of the archipelago state of Philippines can be reached quickly and easily by plane. The only downer is that almost all flight connections lead via the Manila and Cebu hubs. Larger airlines that have an extensive domestic flight schedule and serve connections between the individual regions are:
- Philippine Airlines (PAL)
- Cebu Pacific Air and Cebgo (formerly Tigerair)
- AirAsia Zest and Philippines AirAsia
The ticket prices for domestic flights are cheap and do not differ much between the airlines mentioned above. Only the flight prices from Philippine Airline are a bit higher, but there is the traditional seat service such as drinks and snacks. All airlines regularly offer particularly cheap promotional tickets. You can compare the individual prices at Skyscanner, for example.