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9 BEST NEIGHBORHOODS To Live In Cebu Philippines 2024 🇵🇭

best neighborhoods to live in Cebu Philippines

Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Live in Cebu Philippines Introduction

We will help guide you through the Best neighborhoods and places to live in Cebu Philippines! From our Personal Experience.

We lived in Cebu Philippines and only spent $880 – $1,100 per month while Living in Cebu, we also have other articles that cover how much we spent while living in Manila, Siargao, El Nido, Coron, Davao City, Boracay, and Bohol.

With its tropical climate, stunning beaches, and lively cityscape, Cebu in the Philippines is quickly becoming a top destination for expats and travelers. But with so many options, deciding where to live in Cebu can be overwhelming. This blog post will provide a quick guide to the best neighborhoods and areas in Cebu to call home, whether you’re looking for an urban lifestyle or a more laid-back beach vibe. Keep reading for the inside scoop on the top spots to enjoy the best of this island paradise.

Let’s get started!

Table Of Contents

10 Top Reasons to Live in Cebu Philippines

Explore the unique advantages, from a welcoming community to breathtaking natural beauty, making Cebu Philippines a top choice for expats like ourselves.

Here are 10 great reasons to move to Cebu, Philippines:

  1. Low cost of living – The cost of living in Cebu is much lower than in most Western countries. Housing, food, and other basics are very affordable.
  2. Great weather – Cebu has a tropical climate with warm weather year-round. The average temperature is around 80°F.
  3. Beautiful beaches – With over 100 beaches around the island, Cebu is a tropical paradise with stunning sandy shores. Popular beaches include Mactan Island and Bantayan Island.
  4. Friendly locals – The people of Cebu are known for being very warm, welcoming, and friendly to newcomers. It’s easy to make new friends.
  5. Good healthcare – Cebu has plenty of excellent hospitals, clinics, and English-speaking doctors. Healthcare is affordable and good quality.
  6. Easy visa process – The Philippines has lenient visa rules for many foreign nationals. Retirement and long-term visas are available.
  7. Great food – Cebu offers diverse and delicious local cuisine plus international fare. Seafood, lechon, and mangoes are local specialties.
  8. Thriving expat community – Cebu has an established and growing expat population. It’s easy to meet others and make connections.
  9. Good travel hub – Cebu’s airport has excellent international and domestic connections across Asia and beyond.
  10. Laidback lifestyle – The pace of life in Cebu is relaxed and Stress-free. It’s easy to live a healthier, happier life.

Cultural Considerations in Cebu Philippines

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Cebu, where kind locals and unique traditions shape daily life.

Cebuano culture blends indigenous, Spanish, and American influences. For example, the “mano po” gesture shows respect by taking an elder’s hand to one’s forehead.

Vibrant festivals like the Sinulog celebrate Cebu’s history and Catholic faith through colorful parades and street performances.

The “bayanihan” spirit of communal support underpins traditions like helping neighbors rebuild homes after typhoons.

By embracing traditions like attending mass at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño or tasting lechon at old Carcar public markets, one gains a deeper connection to Cebuano culture.

The people of Cebu value family, faith, and camaraderie. Integrating into the local lifestyle by learning Cebuano phrases, singing karaoke, and playing basketball can lead to fulfilling relationships.

With an open and respectful attitude, newcomers can fully immerse themselves in the welcoming cultural fabric of this stunning island.

General Cost of Living in Cebu Philippines Breakdown

Cost of living in Cebu Philippines for Expats CategoryCost TypeMonthly Cost in USDMonthly Cost in PHP
Housing in Cebu PhilippinesBasic 1-bedroom apartment (city center)$200 – $400₱11,000 – ₱22,000
2-bedroom apartment (city center)$300 – $600₱16,500 – ₱33,000
3-bedroom apartment (city center)$400 -$800₱22,000 – ₱44,000
3-4 bedroom villa (compound living)$800 – $2,000₱44,000 – ₱110,000
Utilities (electricity, AC, water) for a family$100 – $200₱5,500 – ₱11,000
Food in Cebu PhilippinesLocal and imported groceries for your family$200 – $450₱11,000 – ₱24,750
Dining out 2-3 times a week$80 – $150₱4,400-₱8,250
Cheap street food and fast food per meal$2 – $5₱110 – ₱275
Transportation in Cebu PhilippinesJeepney per 5 km ride$0.20 – $0.40₱11 – ₱22
Bus per 5 km ride$0.30 – $0.60₱16.50 – ₱33
Taxi per 5 km ride$2 – $4₱110 – ₱220
Grab (car) per 5 km ride$1 – $3₱55 – ₱165
Angkas (motorcycle taxi) per 5 km ride$0.50 – $1₱27.50 – ₱55
Tricycle per 5 km ride$1 – $2₱55 – ₱110
Ferry boat ride$1 – $3₱55 – ₱165
Intercity bus ticket$5 – $15₱275 – ₱825
Plane (local) ticket$50 – $100₱2,750 – ₱5,500
Total Monthly Cost of living in Cebu Philippines for Expats$900 – $3,000₱49,500 – ₱165,000

With a range of affordable options from basic apartments to luxury villas, Cebu offers expats great housing options to fit varying budgets and lifestyle needs.

Pros and Cons Of the Best Cities and Places in Cebu Philippines

Pros and Cons of the Best neighborhoods and areas in CebuProsCons
Mandaue City– Close to malls and restaurants
– Good transportation links
– More affordable than Cebu City
– Very urban and congested
– Significant traffic issues
Lapu Lapu City– Close to beaches and resorts
– Lower cost of living
– New casino and resort area
– Fewer amenities than Cebu City
– Limited nightlife and entertainment
Cebu City Downtown– Close to major malls and attractions
– Variety of restaurants and bars
– Convenient for business and work
– Noise and congestion
– Higher cost of living than outskirts
Cebu City Uptown (Banilad)– Suburban feel but near the city center
– Modern housing and amenities
– International schools nearby
– Prone to flooding in rainy season
– Heavy traffic during rush hours
Cebu City Hills (Tisa)– Cooler temperatures due to hills
– More spacious houses and compounds
– Safer and less congested
– Far from downtown conveniences
– Some areas lack amenities
Mactan Island– Close to beaches, resorts and airport
– High-end condos and hotels
– Water activities and attractions
– Very touristy area
– Nightlife is not as good as it is in Cebu City
Southern Cebu– Relaxed provincial living 
– Lower costs than metro Cebu
– Near beaches and nature
– Far from city conveniences
– Limited health facilities
– Frequent power outages

Top Neighborhoods and Places to Live for Expats

Best Neighborhoods/
Places to live in Cebu
DescriptionEstimated Rent Range (USD)Estimated Rent Range (PHP)
BaniladAn upscale suburban area near the city center with amenities. Popular with expats.$500 – $1,500₱27,500 – ₱82,500
Mandaue CityAn urban area known for malls and restaurants. More affordable option.$200 – $600₱11,000 – ₱33,000
Lapu Lapu CityGateway to Mactan resorts. Lower costs than Cebu City.$300 – $800₱16,500 – ₱44,000
Mactan NewtownModern township near resorts and airport. Luxury condos and amenities.$800 – $2,000₱44,000 – ₱110,000
LiloanQuiet coastal town north of Mactan. Retreat from the city.$300 – $600₱16,500 – ₱33,000
CordovaResidential area on Mactan Island. Near beaches and resorts.$400 – $900₱22,000-₱49,500

Health Insurance While Living in Cebu Philippines

Having comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended when visiting Cebu Philippines to protect against any unexpected incidents. SafetyWing is an excellent option tailored to global travelers and digital nomads.

Why Choose SafetyWing?

SafetyWing makes travel insurance easy and affordable at just $45 – $250/month. Here are some key reasons to consider it:

  • Global coverage including exotic destinations
  • Flexible policies fit nomadic lifestyles
  • Easy sign-up and claims from phone/computer
  • Covers medical, evacuations, disruptions, baggage, etc.
  • 24/7 customer support anywhere
  • Customizable coverage amounts and add-ons

Other Travel Insurance Options

While SafetyWing is a top choice, companies like WorldNomads, Cigna Global, and IMG also offer comprehensive travel insurance for Cebu Philippines. Typical policies range from $45 – $500 for 2 weeks to a month of coverage. Compare coverage and premium costs.

Some key considerations for finding a good insurance policy:

  • Emergency medical and evacuation
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Lost/delayed baggage
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Altitude sickness coverage
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Philippines Insurance Cost Estimates

Insurance PlanTrip DurationEstimated Cost
SafetyWing1 month$45 – $250
WorldNomads2 weeks$100-$200
Cigna Global1 month$150-$300
IMG2 weeks$150-$250

Living in Cebu for Expats

  • Overview: As the booming metropolitan hub of the Visayas region, Cebu City provides great job opportunities and urban conveniences but has a higher cost of living compared to other areas of Cebu province.

Cost of Living

  • Expats can expect a monthly budget between $800 – $1,200
  • Basic utilities cost around $150 per month
  • Groceries are around $300 – $500 per month for one or two people
  • Eating out costs $5 – $10 per meal at local restaurants


  • Rent for nice 1-2 bedroom apartments averages $400 – $700 per month
  • Upscale 3-4 bedroom serviced apartments or houses cost $1,000 – $2,000 per month
  • Short-term accommodations are $500 – $1,000 per month

Healthcare and Hospitals

  • There are very good internationally accredited hospitals
  • Public healthcare is relatively affordable
  • Private healthcare and insurance run $100 – $300 per month
  • Consider travel insurance like Safetywing or World Nomads with plans starting at just $45 per month.

Lifestyle, Culture, and Recreation

  • Lifestyle in Cebu: Cebu offers a vibrant urban lifestyle mixed with coastal charm, providing residents with modern amenities, shopping centers, and a range of dining options, along with island vibes.
  • Culture in Cebu: Rich in history and heritage, Cebu showcases a blend of Spanish colonial influences, indigenous traditions, and contemporary Filipino culture, celebrated through festivals, historical sites, and local arts and crafts.
  • Recreation in Cebu: From stunning beaches and island hopping adventures to mountainous landscapes and waterfalls, Cebu provides ample recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, alongside bustling nightlife and entertainment venues.

Cost of Living in Cebu

  1. Groceries for Family of 4
  • Around $400 – $600 per month for basics plus some imported items
  1. Dining Out
  • The average meal cost is $3 – $8 per person at inexpensive restaurants
  • Can dine out affordably 2-3 times per month

Transportation in Cebu

  1. Public Transit
  • Jeepneys, buses and tricycles provide affordable basic public transit in metro Cebu
  • Very crowded during rush hours
  • Jeepney rides cost $0.20 – 0.50 (₱11-₱27.50)
  • Non-air conditioned buses- $0.13 to $0.45 USD.
  • Air-conditioned- $0.45 to $0.91 USD or more for longer distances.
  1. Taxis and Ride Sharing
  • Regular taxis start at $0.50 (₱27.50) plus $0.20 (₱11) per km
  • Grab car rides cost $1 – $3 (₱55-₱165)
  1. Owning a Vehicle
  • Cars and gas are more expensive but provide the most flexibility
  • Prepare for heavy traffic conditions
  • Small cars can cost $15,000+ (₱825,000+)
  • Gas is $1.20 (₱66) per liter

Pros and Cons of Living in Cebu


  • Cosmopolitan conveniences – malls, global cuisine, attractions
  • Improving infrastructure
  • Gateway to beautiful beaches and islands


  • Substantial pollution and traffic problems
  • Risk of natural disasters – typhoons, earthquakes
  • Political instability

Best neighborhoods to live in Cebu for Families, Singles, Retirees

Tailored recommendations for different lifestyles, catering to families, singles, and retirees.

Best neighborhoods to live in Cebu for Families, Singles, RetireesBest Places in Cebu Philippines
FamiliesBanilad, Mactan Newtown, Lapu Lapu City
SinglesCebu City Center, Mandaue City
RetireesMactan Island, Cordova, Liloan

Additional Tips:

  • Consider proximity to schools and amenities if moving with children
  • Nightlife and dining is best in Cebu City proper for singles
  • Look for retirement visas and communities for retirees
  • Research neighborhoods thoroughly to match lifestyle needs
  • Rent before buying to experience different areas firsthand

Tips on Moving Banking and Finding Housing in Cebu Philippines

Here is awesome tips for finding accommodations, navigating the housing market, and making the most of your budget.

Tips on Moving to Cebu PhilippinesTips for ExpatsResources
Finding Housing– Look on Facebook groups, online classifieds
– Hire a broker to help search 
– Consider short-term rentals at first
MyProperty.phLamudi Philippines
Shipping Belongings– Use door-to-door container shipping 
– Consider selling and re-buying large items
Banking and Money Transfers– Open a Philippine bank account 
– Use Wise for international transfers
Visas– Apply for retirement or investor visas 
– Hire an agency to handle paperwork
Philippine Retirement AuthorityPhilippine Bureau of Immigration

Here is a list of local apartment rental websites, Government resources for Visas, Facebook Groups, Tourism Boards, and more to help you with your potential move here

Expat Facebook Groups:

Philippines Tourism Board:

Philippines Data Sites:

Ministry of Culture and the Arts:

Embassy of the Philippines:

Government of the Philippines:

Philippines Local Rental Websites:

  • MyProperty
  • Lamudi 
  • For exchanging money use Wise Which is the best option if you are a digital nomad and Expat. a cheaper option to send and receive money internationally rather than exchanging money through other platforms like Paypal, Payoneer costs a lot of money for exchange fees and rates
    • Booking Flights: To Find insane flight deals, search on Google Flights, and Skyscanner and choose the monthly option to find the best day to fly.

Conclusion on the Best Neighborhoods and Places to Live In Cebu Philippines

With its bustling urban energy and laidback island charm, Cebu offers the best of both worlds for expats in the Philippines.

For those drawn to an exciting city lifestyle, Cebu City provides a cosmopolitan vibe with modern conveniences. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, areas like Mactan Island and Cordova provide a scenic island backdrop nearby.

Ultimately, the ideal location comes down to your priorities regardless you will enjoy the nightlife and amenities that Cebu City has to offer.

Families may prefer bedroom communities like Banilad or Lapu Lapu City. And retirees can embrace the provincial appeal of destinations like Liloan or Dumaguete.

No matter what your needs are, Cebu has a neighborhood that feels like home.

With pristine beaches, mountainous landscapes, warm hospitality, and rich culture, this province is a haven for adventure and new beginnings.

For an experience that blends urban energy with island tranquility, Cebu City offers expats the best of Philippines living.

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