Budget Travel Tips For Cebu, The Philippines

Cebu Prices Overview

When in Cebu, we got really surprised by cheap prices of food, accommodation as services such as hairdresser. For a man’s haircut Cez was quoted PHP40 ($0.90).

Local hair salon in Cebu
Local hair salon in Cebu

Moreover, local transport was much cheaper than in Manila. Jeepney ride started from PHP6, not PHP8 like in Manila. A brief overview of our expenses:

Water (1,5 l)  – PHP80 ($1.79)

Mango – PHP60 ($1.34)

Baked potato with tuna – PHP60 ($1.64)

A bowl of rice – PHP10 ($0.22)

Fish fingers – PHP30 ($0.67)

Beer – PHP35 ($0.78)

Postcard – PHP35 ($$0.78)

Airport fees (when leaving the Philippines) – PHP550 ($12.30)


Jeepney
Jeepney

Cebu – Tagbilaran Expenses

Alona beach for $252
Ferry ride from Cebu to Bohol

We paid PHP800 ($18) to get from Cebu ferry station to Tagbilaran. That was the price for return ticket. The ferries leave every 2 hours: 6.00 am, 8.00 am, 9.20 am, 11.40, 2.00 pm, 4.20 pm and 6.35 pm. The journey lasts nearly 2 hours.

Information board at Cebu Ferry Station
Information board at Cebu Ferry Station

When at the ferry station, make sure you have some cash with you. You have to pay terminal fee which is PHP25 ($0.56). That’s obviously not much, so make sure you carry some change.

Sleep Well

FunTand Villa

We were lucky to find this hostel in the middle of night. The owner was hospitable and after some haggling, we agreed to pay PHP600 a night ($14) per room.

FunTand Villa Cebu
Budget hostel option in Cebu

The hostel was located 20 minute walk  from the city center. It was surrounded by 7 Eleven store, gas station and local bakeries. The room was not the biggest one, but we had one of the fastest Internet connection during our stay in the Philippines.

Girl sitting on the bed
Our room
Cebu for $25
Hostel Main entrance to hostel

Drink and Eat

Most of local restaurants and all bakeries are open 24/7 and everyone can easily find something what will live up to their expectations. You see food vendors with fruits and grilled veggies, pickled fish and meat, roasted chicken nearly everywhere. As anywhere else in the Philippines, Cebu is overloaded with bakeries from where you can get freshly baked white bread, morning pastries, buns, cakes and muffins.

Local restaurant in Cebu
Local restaurant in Cebu

Most of them time we did food shopping in a supermarket. Here is an example of our lunch and dinner. We spent less than $1,50 a person for a half of chicken, whole wheat wraps x 4, a bag of fresh veggies (chopped carrots, lettuce, tomatoes), a half of watermelon and coffee and bottled water.

Enjoying cheap and delicious lunch in Cebu
Enjoying cheap and delicious lunch in Cebu

Have you been to Cebu? How expensive/inexpensive have you found this place?

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28 Comments

  • wow I didnt realise it was quite THAT cheap. I’ve heard Cebu is lovely. You might want to move things about in this post – there are adds every few lines of your lists.

  • Wow! You make me miss home guys. I’m a Cebuana living now here in Poland. I wasn’t expecting that a bowl of rice is now like PHP 10 pesos. kidding me! and a liter of water cost for like 80 pesos. That’s a lot for a Cebuana like me knowing the cost of living there and the monthly salary of people. Although the prices are much better than in Manila. And of course, if you really want to drink safe water better buy one..better safe than sorry.

    I’m glad to have found your blog…

    Goodluck in your next journey.

  • Hi! I’m from Cebu City and I’m very happy that you visited here. Prices here for the fare, food and places to stay are way cheaper than in Manila. A budget place to stay at would be Cebu Guest House (a lot of budget travelers stay there and they all say it’s cheap). The location is good with easy access to the mall, places to eat nearby and public transportation. I hope you guys were able to enjoy the beach. Come visit Cebu again!

      • Yes, you definitely can. Cebu Guesthouse is rather cheap considering its location. In other areas, airconditioned rooms can be at 799-899 pesos a day (still under 20USD/day) but it does require a bit of commuting.

  • Hey Nice blog! I felt like i was there and experiencing everything. Well, do you have fear of loosing your documents while you are traveling? Zoomlee is a great app that lets you travel worry free without the fear of losing them. It stores all your documents in it. So that you don’t have to carry your original documents everywhere, and just keep it in your hotel room safe. Check out for more features on https://zoomlee.com

  • I’ve had many trips here in the past. I love the taste of the food specially their letchon, the places are amazing and the people are hospitable. I can’t wait to be back in Cebu. Hopefully , this august.

  • Great post. This is useful for tourists who are in a tight budget would still want to have fun in traveling to Cebu. It’s fun and adventurous to travel around. :)

  • Really interesting post on our hometown. I guess you only concentrated on heading to Bohol. There is a new trend now in the mainland Cebu which is to go Round South and Round North, other nature tripping adventures. But nonetheless, there are a lot of things to see and go to Cebu and yes it is affordable.

  • I just want to comment on the cost of bottled water in Cebu. I think you bought an imported brand for your drinking water which, naturally, is expensive. Nature Spring, Cebu’s home-grown brand and the largest bottled water brand in the Philippines, is very cheap. A liter would only cost you P20+. During our island hopping in Mactan last month (May 2016), we bought a 6.6 liter bottle of Nature Spring from the Metro Ayala supermarket and it was only P65.

  • nice share folks. although i’ve been in cebu sometime in 2000, i’m sure lot’s have changed and your blog is way to see a preview before I visit the place again 2weeks from now.

    shhh, real reason I want to go there is the food street along fuente-osmena. nothing similar to be found anywhere in Ph, and the world.

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