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Where to stay in Cebu – Philippines Travel Guide

Panorama of Cebu city from airplane. Philippines. Cebu is the Philippines second most significant metropolitan centre and main domestic shipping port.

One of the most developed provinces in the Philippines; Cebu is the most densely populated island in the country and one of significant economic importance. As well as being one of the main islands, the destination also boasts a plethora of activities to do, which draws in almost two million tourists a year! From world-class diving and beautiful beaches to fantastic mountains and canyons, it’s no wonder that backpackers and travellers alike are charmed by Cebu and keep coming back for more.

Located in the Central Visayas region, Cebu consists of a main island surrounded by 167 islands and islets. Cebu Island itself is a long and narrow island, full of narrow coastlines, coastal plains and rolling, rugged mountain ranges. Not to mention that it is home to the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, Cebu City, so this is definitely a spot that you have to visit.

It can be quite unnerving looking at where you can stay in Cebu, but with a little research, you‘ll soon find that the pressure will fall away. There are about eight major areas in Cebu that tourists flock to, so depending on your preference. If you want a busy hub, Cebu City is a great option. If you’re looking for high-end resorts or luxurious hotels, look more to the islands of Mactan, Bantayan, Badian, Malapascua and Camotes. If you want a genuine cultural experience that’s off the beaten track, there are also smaller resorts in fishing villages in the Southern and Northern areas of the island, such as Moalboal.

Regardless of the way you travel, Cebu offers great places to stay that will suit every type of travel budget. To help you kick off your search for the best place to stay in Cebu, here are the areas that we recommend for a first time visitor. We will cover off all types of accommodation in Cebu from Hostels to luxury hotels that don’t cost the earth!

We will also cover off all types of Cebu accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Cebu hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Cebu, the best Cebu hotels, best places in Cebu to visit, the best places to stay in Cebu, hotels near Cebu attractions, Cebu neighborhood guide and many more.

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Cebu City – Best place to stay in Cebu for nightlife

Often referred to as the Queen City of the South, Cebu City is the largest and oldest city in the Philippines. Although not exactly aesthetically pleasing, the Capital of the Southern Philippines is a bustling metropolis, a hub of history, culture and energy all rolled into one; this atmosphere alone is enough to spend some time here.

Packed to the brim with lively bars and clubs, retail choices and a dining scene that is continuously improving, Cebu City is quickly becoming a cosmopolitan beauty. As well as having an infectious energy, the city is also becoming increasingly prosperous, boasting a large English-school industry, well-regarded universities and the Cebu international airport that offers both domestic and major international flights.

Trust us when we say, keep your eyes peeled with this city. It’s definitely an up-and-coming city!

Where to Stay in Cebu City

Cheapest Hostels in Cebu City:
Le Village Hostel Cebu
Naps x Adventures

Budget Hotels in Cebu City: 
Golden Peak Hotel & Suites Cebu
West Gorordo Hotel Cebu
Red Planet Cebu

Mid-Range and Family friendly Hotels in Cebu City:
Harolds Hotel
WellCome Hotel
Diamond Suites & Residences
MJ Hotel and Suites

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Cebu City:
Radisson Blu Cebu

Cebu City - Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide

Mactan Island – Where to stay in Cebu near beach

If you’re looking for some of the best diving, snorkelling and island hopping in Cebu, Mactan Island (often referred to as Lapu-Lapu) is where you need to go. Full of white-sand beaches, majestic marine life and all-inclusive resorts, this island is not only a popular tourist destination but one that is also frequented by weekend visitors from Manila, Hong Kong and Korea.

One of the great things about Mactan (as well as the incredible diving and cultural activities) is that it’s so easily accessible. Connected to Cebu City by two bridges, there are no hours-long boat rides into the middle of nowhere to get that unique island feel.

Being so convenient to get to does make this island a busy one, but when you see this coral island for yourself and indulge in its plethora of water activities that are on offer, you’ll never want to leave.

Best Places to Stay in Mactan Island

Cheapest Hostels in Mactan Island:
Cecilia’s Dorm
Dee Guesthouse

Budget Hotels in Mactan Island
Haruhay Dream Resort
Mactan Golden Motel
Express Inn – Mactan Hotel
The Bellavista Hotel

Mid-Range and Family friendly Hotels in Mactan Island:
EGI Resort and Hotel
Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort
Cebu White Sands Resort & Spa
Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Mactan Island:
Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark, Cebu
Crimson Resort and Spa, Mactan
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa
Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu
Plantation Bay Resort And Spa

Cebu beach sunset - Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide

Moalboal – Where to stay in Cebu backpackers

Often used as an entry point on the way to the popular Panagsama Beach, Moalboal is a sleepy, beach town located on the South-West side of Cebu Island.

Originally a major attraction for the locals, Moalboal has slowly developed into a destination that tourists love too as it makes for the perfect weekend getaway from the bustle of the city. One of the more developed places outside of Cebu City, Moalboal is divided into two main areas: Panagsama and White Beach (Basdako).

In Panagsama, you’ll find most of the resorts, restaurants, bars and walk-in dive schools as this are the central area, whilst in White Beach, this is where people go who are in search for seclusion and romance. The perfect place for divers of all levels, Moalboal is also home to Pescador Island, a prime diving location famous for its shoals of millions of sardines.

Best known for its stunning beaches, colourful underwater world and lively nightlife scene, you’ll soon see why this town is becoming a major tourist hotspot in its province.

 Best Places to Stay in Moalboal

Cheapest Hostels in Moalboal:
J & C Guesthouse
Moalboal Backpacker Lodge
Pescadores Seaview Suites

Budget Hotels in Moalboal
Savedra Beach Resort

Mid-Range and Family friendly Hotels in Moalboal:
Turtle Bay Dive Resort
Marcosas Cottages Resort
The Blue Orchid Resort
Sampaguita Resort

Affordable Luxury Hotels in Moalboal:
Badian Island Wellness Resort
Dolphin-House Resort-SPA-Diving

Cebu beach from above - Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide

Oslob – Where to stay in Cebu for tourists

Located right on the South-East tip of Cebu Island, you’ll find a famous destination known as Oslob. One of the most popular destinations for Whale Shark watching in all of the Philippines, Oslob is always teeming with tourists in search of swimming with these giant majestic creatures.

Although heavily criticized for this type of irresponsible tourism, this shouldn’t stop you from coming here altogether. Oslob itself is a beautiful location, dominated by a variety of landscapes from rolling hills and valleys to lush forests and open grasslands.

As well as the views it provides, Oslob also offers other points of interest and tourist attractions such as the Baluarte (Watchtower), the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Cuartel, and Sumilon Island. Sumilon Island, in particular, is a spot of exceptional beauty; a marine protected area that boasts stunning dive sites with superb visibility and colourful and preserved reefs with an abundance of life.

Where to Stay in Oslob Cebu

Cheapest Hostels in Oslob:
Vangie’s Homestay
Luzmin BH – Beachfront Cottages

Budget Hotels in Oslob: 
Gingging Hotel & Resort

Oslob beach - Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide

Malapascua – Where to stay in Cebu on a budget

If you’re looking for an isolated and quiet island getaway, Malapascua Island will offer you that and more. A small, idyllic island with eight hamlets, you can walk around Malapascua in about three hours. With so much time to spare, you can spend the rest of your time relaxing on one of the white-sandy beaches such as the most popular Bounty Beach, experiencing some world-class diving with thresher sharks and manta rays, or simply exploring the island from its lush green middle to the gorgeous stretches of sandy bays that grace its edges.

Although most of the islanders derive their livelihood from tourism, you can still see some of the locals fishing and farming for subsistence and the island itself still gives off alluring remote island vibes. As a beautiful beach destination that provides travellers with an excellent choice of hotels and guesthouses and reefs and marine life that they can only dream of, Malapascua will continue to charm many.

Best Places to Stay in Malapascua

Budget Hotels in Malapascua: 
Hippocampus Beach Resort
Slam’s Garden Resort
Malapascua Legend

Mid-Range and Family friendly Hotels in Malapascua:
Buena Vida Resort & Spa
Malapascua Beach Resort
Tepanee Beach Resort

Malapascua - Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide

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Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide

Where to stay in Cebu - Philippines Travel Guide


Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!