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Know Before You Go
- You need proof of an outbound flight. If you don't have one, you'll need to book it at the airport to be allowed onto the plane.
- Cash is king. Some hostels, tours and some activities only accept cash as payment. Make sure your credit, or debit card is unblocked for withdrawals in the Philippines.
- Book your flights and accommodation as far in advance as possible if you're travelling in high season. If you don't, you'll pay exorbitant prices, and you won't get your first choice hotel.
- Keep toilet paper in your handbag. It's common for public toilets to run out and if you don't have any on you, you'll have to pay for some at a dispenser machine.
- Go diving at Malapascua. It's the only place in the world where it's possible to swim with thresher sharks all year round.
- There is a tipping culture in Cebu. If the restaurant and hotel haven't included a service charge, a good rule of thumb is to tip 10%.
Getting Around Cebu
Grab a taxi. It's an easy and inexpensive way to get around. You can expect to pay PHP 40 to get in and PHP 3.5 for every half kilometre. If you want to tip your driver, PHP 10-20 is more than enough.
If you want to see more of the surrounding area rent a car. Cebu has options ranging from hourly, weekly or even monthly.
Flag down one of the local jeepneys. It's shared transportation used by the locals and covers a set amount of routes. Each jeepney has its route numbers painted on the site, making it easy for tourists to figure out which one to take.
Another affordable transportation option is the local bus. A two-hour trip will cost around PHP 10, and you can buy your tickets from the driver before taking your seat.
When is The Best Time to Visit Cebu?
The best time to visit Cebu is between March and May. The weather is hot and perfect for exploring the island's coastline. Due to the heat, most travellers stay away, and you'll have better luck finding deals from top resorts and airlines.
For travellers interested in experiencing the island's culture, plan your trip around the Sinulog Festival in January. The event happens during the island's high season (December to February), but if you book your accommodation well in advance, you'll lock in more favourable prices.
The least popular time to visit Cebu is during the rainy season. From June to August, the heavy rainfall and risk of typhoons mean Cebu experiences a lull in tourism. Accommodation and tour prices are at their lowest, making it an ideal time to visit if you're travelling on a tight budget.
Airports in Cebu
Mactan–Cebu International Airport
Mactan-Cebu International is located 15 km from the city centre. It's the second busiest airport in the country and operates flights to 17 international destinations. The airport is a hub for regional carrier Philippine Airlines as well as Cebu Pacific and Philippines AirAsia.
Getting To and From Mactan–Cebu International Airport
Save money by taking a jeepney from the airport into the city. While you will have to change routes three times, your total fare will only set you back PHP 21. Choose this option if you're travelling light and you're not in a rush.
Take the SM Cebu MyBus Shuttle. The service runs every day from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and leaves the domestic arrivals area every 30 minutes. Fares cost as little as PHP 25 per person.
If you have big bags or you don't want to use public transportation, take a taxi from the airport. A ride into town should cost between PHP 200 - 250, and it's a good idea to choose the white cabs if you don't want to haggle with the driver before starting your journey.