Note: As a precautionary measure in this time of COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to check with the authorities the updated travel requirements and possible restrictions that might affect your travel plan. Contact Cebu Tourism Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (032) 888 2328 to know the latest update.
Remember to always follow the health and safety protocols imposed from your travel origin to your destination. I wish you a safe trip ahead!
CEBU AT A GLANCE
CEBU CITY is highly urbanized and its streets are usually busy, but don’t fret! Getting around the metro or to the North or South Cebu is relatively easy. Follow the instructions below for your convenience.
HOW TO GET TO CEBU
Here are your options in getting to Cebu.
There are 50 domestic and international cities that fly to Cebu. Specific to these cheaper airlines: Cebu Pacific and AirAsia, below are the major destinations:
- Puerto Princesa, Palawan
- Cagayan de Oro
- Kalibo (Boracay)
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Tokyo, Japan
You will arrive at Mactan International Airport. To know how to get either to Cebu city, South Cebu or North Cebu from the airport, read below.
Here are nearby provinces that offer a ferry trip to Cebu:
Although available, traveling by ferry from Manila or Cagayan de Oro is highly discouraged as travel consumes close to 1 day.
GETTING AROUND CEBU CITY
The four main modes of transport in the city are: (1) Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) which follow specific route depending on its assigned code (download Cebu Jeepney Map app to get assistance of the assigned routes and codes), (2) taxi which travels in or outside Cebu city in a metered rate, (3) motorcycle (locally, habal-habal) which gets you to your travel destination anywhere around the city area the quickest possible time, and (4) Bus-Jeepney or BEEP mass transport which was launched early 2019 (the routes for now are limited but covers most points of interest around the city, visit this link to know the specific routes). Minimum fare for PUJ is P8, for motorcycle is P20 (1 kilometer distance), for flag down taxi rate is P40 with an additional of P13.50 per kilometer of distance traveled or P2 per minute of travel time, and for BEEP is P9.50.
GETTING FROM MACTAN AIRPORT TO SOUTH CEBU
Access to South Cebu is via South Bus Terminal which can be reached from the airport through the following options:
Option 1 (Cost-effective but takes more time because it primarily uses public transport.)
Take a multi-cab at the airport and drop off at Marina Mall. Fare is about P10 and travel time is 10 minutes. At the mall, ride a v-hire (van) to SM City Cebu for P25. V-hire operates from 8AM to 9PM. Travel time to SM is 20 minutes. Once there, go to the terminal and take a 12G or 12I or 10M or 10H jeepney and inform the driver to drop you off at the South Bus Terminal. Fare is P10. The South Bus Terminal is a few steps farther from Elizabeth Mall.
Option 2 (Most cost-effective and time-saving if you travel in group)
From the airport, take a regular taxi (not the yellow ones) to SM City Cebu. The taxi stand is located outside the arrival area. Exit the airport and turn right for a few steps. You will line up to wait for your turn. Travel time is 20 minutes and fare is about P200. Once at SM, go to the terminal and take a 12I or 12L or 10M or 10H jeepney bound to the South Bus terminal. Travel time is 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. Fare is P10. (Note: If you want to go via taxi all the way from the airport to the terminal, fare is roughly P250.)
Option 3 (The most convenient)
Uber or Grab taxis are available in Cebu. You can either use the app or go to the booth (for Grab only) outside the arrival area to book for South Bus terminal. Fare is about P250. Travel time is 30 minutes.
SM offers a MyBus service which will require a reloadable tap card that would cost for P200. The card, which is available at their stations in the airport and at SM malls, gives P100 load that can be used for multiple persons per ride. Fare to SM City is P25. MyBus runs as frequent as every 30 minutes from 6:00AM to 8:00PM. Once at SM, you may take a 12I or 12G or 10M or 10H jeepney at the SM terminal or take a taxi to the South Bus terminal. Travel time for both is roughly 20-30 minutes and taxi fare is P100.
Once at the South Bus terminal, take a bus bound to your location in the south. In a nutshell, there are two (2) routes the buses take: via Barili if you are bound to the towns of Barili, Moalboal, Badian, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan and Samboan; and via Liloan if you are bound to Oslob. To know the right bus and schedule for your location, click here.
(Tip when traveling around South Cebu: Only a motorcycle-for-hire can cross one town in the east towards an opposite town in the west which would usually cost P500 and can be quite risky as travel requires scaling through the highlands. The popular option is to get a bus to Bato, the tip of the south where lies the bus terminal, and transfer to another bus of your destination. Remember, safety first!)
GETTING FROM MACTAN AIRPORT TO NORTH CEBU
Access to North Cebu is the North Bus terminal. To get there, take a white taxi or a MyBus service outside the airport. Fare is about P140 and P25 respectively. If you want to go local, take a yellow multicab (small jeepney) from the airport and head to Marina mall where you can ride a jeepney bound to Mandaue coliseum. From the coliseum, take another jeepney with a “Makro” or “North Bus” signage. Total fare is P24.
At the North Bus terminal, take a Ceres bus or a v-hire (van) to Hagnaya port if you are bound to Bantayan island or to Maya port if you are bound to Malapascua island. Travel time is about 4 and 5 hours respectively.
For Bantayan, fare is P225 for aircon bus and P170 for vhire. First bus trip departs at 5AM while last trip is P5PM. You will arrive at Hagnaya port, book a ferry to Bantayan island for P170. Travel time is 1 hour. (Note that there are Ceres buses that have a direct trip to the island. The disadvantage is that each bus is assigned to a certain ferry. In case the ferry will not arrive on time, your trip will be delayed.) Last ferry trip from Hagnaya port to the island is between 5-6PM. Bantayan Island Travel Guide (with budget and itinerary
For Malapascua, fare is P200 for aircon bus and P200 for vhire. First bus leaves at 5AM while last trip is between 6-7PM. You will arrive at Maya port where you will book for a public outrigger boat to Malapascua island. Fare is P100 and travel time is P30 minutes. Last boat trip to the island is between 5-6PM.
GETTING FROM CEBU CITY TO SOUTH OR NORTH CEBU
- For South Cebu, ride any jeepney with the following code on its signboard: 12I or 12G or 10M or 10H, and ask the driver to drop off at the South Bus terminal where you will hop on the bus of your destination to the south.
- For North Cebu, take a 01k jeepney to get to North Bus terminal. The terminal is 2-3 blocks ahead from SM City. Always confirm from the driver to ensure you are heading to the right destination.
WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU CITY
Except during Sinulog festival, Cebu City is walk-in ready when it comes to accommodation. But, it is highly suggested to book your stay ahead of time. Below are top-reviewed budget to mid-range accommodations from the key areas around Cebu City. Click the photo for the rate and availability of each suggested accommodation.
Take a side trip to Temple of Leah and Taoist temple when visiting Cebu City. Check my vlog for details.
Like in any parts of the Philippines, the locals can speak English in Cebu. However, here are some good phrases that might prove useful when you find yourself endearing with them.
English to Cebuano (the most prevalent language among the locals in South Cebu)
Thank you – Salamat
Good morning – Maayong buntag
Good afternoon – Maayong hapon
Good evening – Maayong gabii
How much is… – Pila ang…
Where is… – Asa ang…
MORE OF CEBU
- Cebu Budget Travel Guide
- Cebu City Heritage Walk Tour
- Top 30 Tourist Spots in Cebu
- Top 7 Waterfalls in South Cebu
- Layover Travel Guide for Mactan, Cebu
- Bantayan Island Budget Travel Guide
- Top Attractions in South Cebu
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