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The cost of living in Cebu City

Comparing Cebu City to the Filipino countryside or less developed areas Cebu City is rather expensive. Not in general but in certain areas. Upscale restaurants have upscale menus and prices. For example TGIFridays and Social. Prices on their menu are huge. And although the food was excellent quality, as you might expect when your steak costs around. 1500 pesos (30 euro),

cost of living Philippines

Food Prices in Cebu City

You can buy your bread here at French orientated bakeries and pay 58 pesos for a baguette. Or you can buy bread at the local bakery and pay as much as 5 pesos per bun. Like any other place in the Philippines, it all depends on where you rest your feet and fill your belly.

Fast-food chains like BurgerKing, McDonald’s, Jollibee and ChowKing are widespread in Cebu City. They offer meals starting at 79 pesos, you mostly get chicken and rice and gravy with a drink. BurgerKing does not sell rice and chicken, they stick to the hamburgers and by doing so they make themselves just a little more expensive than McDonald with its McDeals for 99 pesos (2 euro)

The other day I had breakfast at the pancake house: 2 golden brown cheese pancakes with bacon strips and a sunny side up egg on the side, a coffee or juice (Tang, powdered drink they mix with water and sell as fresh juice), total of  298 pesos (5.96 euro) And that was my most expensive breakfast ever Usually I do not pay more than 100 pesos (2 euro) for my breakfast.

A regular coke is around 70 pesos (1.40 euro)  per glass/can when dining in. A ‘fresh’ juice starts at 45 pesos (0.90 euro) and depending on how fancy and trendy they make it go up till around 200 pesos (4 euro)

Sbarro, Shakeys and places like that that have restaurants all over the Philippines have fixed prices. So no shocking news there.

A cup of coffee at a local place starts at 55 pesos.

houses in Cebu

Rent a house and hotel room prices

Housing in Cebu City might surprise you although you may get a lot more house for your money outside the city. E.g. a 23m2 studio, unfurnished starts at 10.000 pesos per month, the minimum lease is 6 months. You have to pay 2 months deposit and 1 month in advance. And you will live in one of the newer high rises in IT-Park. Your 23m2 comes with a little kitchenette and a private bathroom, your studio will have one small window. Pay 10.000-15.000 pesos more and they add a balcony to it, or maybe even a bedroom.

Hotel rooms are definitely more expensive in Cebu City. Mid-range hotel rooms here are about 2400 pesos (48 euro) and if you want a little more comfortable for your stay that price will double easily. But there are always the cheaper hostels, prices start at 640 pesos (12.80 euro) per night.


Shopping in Cebu

Shopping is mostly done downtown in the old Cebu Center around Colon Street or in one of the many Malls. Upscale malls like Ayala and SM seaside Cebu (Which during the time of my visit was still half-empty) offer brands like Bench, H&M, Zara, The North Face, Nike, Oakley, and many other great international fashion houses. The smaller malls, which are a lot less expensive offer Chinese import. Robinsons qualifies itself in less expensive brands. In the mall prices are pretty much the same everywhere in the Philippines, so a jeans or flip flops would cost you just as much in Manilla as it does in Cebu City or Iloilo.*

Transport in Cebu

Taxies have a flag down fee of 40 pesos. Jeepneys are 6.50 pesos (0.13 euros) for almost every downtown ride. MyBus from SM Mall is very cheap, passengers are required to use the e-PLUS cards or tap-to-pay cards. They do not accept cash. Cards can be bought at any SM malls in Cebu and myBus stations. Below are the important things to remember:

  • The minimum load is P100.
  • Reloading is by P100’s only but with no load limit.
  • The load will not expire.
  • Inactive cards (for more than 2 years) are subject to a dormancy fee (TBA).
  • The e-PLUS card can also be used in SM cinemas, parking, and other merchant services.

More info and schedules you can find here (click)



  • all prices are indicative, and this blog was written in February 2016 and based on my own experience