Cebu is the gateway to vast lush jungles, relaxing white-sand beaches, and your adventure in the southern Philippines! As the second-largest city in the Philippines, Cebu attracts its fair share of travelers, all in search of the majestic whale sharks or maybe to island-hop their way through the country!
Cebu City is not only a sprawling megacity, second only to Manila, it also has tons of backpackers hostels to choose from. With so many hostels spread out around the island, how long will it take to sort through them all to find the perfect place to base yourself out of when exploring Cebu?
Save your time and simply peruse your way through my one-stop guide! In a few minutes, YOU will not only know the best youth hostels in Cebu, but you will be one step closer to the adventure of a lifetime!
I hope you got your swimsuit on because you are about to dive into the top hostels in tropical Cebu!
Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Cebu
- Best Overall Hostel in Cebu – Ola! Hostel Cebu
- Best Party Hostel in Cebu– Mad Monkey Cebu City
- Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Cebu – Shejoje Poshtel Hostel
What to Expect from Hostels in Cebu
Hostels are known to be one of the cheapest accommodation options on the market. That doesn’t just go for Cebu, but pretty much everywhere.
However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The social culture and ability to meet other like-minded travelers is what makes hostels in the Philippines TRULY special.
Most hostels come with a common room or roof terrace where you can make new friends, share travel stories and tips, head out on a pub crawl of Cebu City’s pub district, or just have a great time with like-minded travellers from all over the world – you won’t get that opportunity in a hotel.
Despite being a low-income country, the quality and standard of hostels in Cebu are reasonably high. You’ll find plenty of places with the highest possible reviews and once you arrive, you’ll definitely know why – swimming pools, roof terraces, restaurants, and DJs are usual amenities you’ll find at Cebu hostels.
If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, then you’ll find plenty of party hostels around the island of Cebu too.
But let’s talk more about budgets. Cebu’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, capsules, and private rooms (although capsules are rare). The general rule for affordable accommodation is the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price (take notes if you’re backpacking the Philippines anytime soon!).
Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview of Cebu’s prices, I’ve listed the average numbers below:
- Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $8-15 USD/night
- Private room: $20-45 USD/night
When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.
Since the island is quite big and takes a long time to travel from North to South, you’ll need to decide on where you want to stay in Cebu. While Cebu City has a high number of hostels, it isn’t close to the best beaches on the island, and may just be a place to lay your head for one night before travelling to other parts of the island.
Getting around Cebu isn’t easy unless you hire a motorbike or car, so it does pay off to base yourself closer to the attractions that you want to visit. If I could make a personal recommendation, I would suggest heading to one of the cool hostels in Moalboal for the sardine run – iykyk.
Now that you know what to expect from hostels in Cebu, let’s have a look at the best options…
The Best Hostels in Cebu
Everything may be more fun in the Philippines, but no matter what metropolis you stay in you are sure to find your fair share of shabby run-down hostels. Nothing can ruin a trip more than after a fun-filled day of exploring vibrant Cebu then returning to a backpackers hostel run by inconsiderate staff who let the bunks rot.
Word to the wise, when booking a hostel in Cebu, be sure to pay attention to the location. Many of the hostels are located on the beach 100km away from Cebu City, which may be what you’re after.
Enough with the negatives, here is your guide to the best hostels in all of Cebu, your first step to a life-changing adventure in the Philippines!
Best Overall Hostel in Cebu – Ola! Hostel Cebu
- 24/7 Restaurant & Bar
- Motorbike rental
Ola! Hostel is truly your oasis on the outskirts of bustling Cebu City in the town of Talisay. Not only are you staying in one of the most aesthetically appealing hostels in the whole city, but also in one of the most modern ones. From spacious dorms to private rooms, and even deluxe rooms with a 24-hour check-in guarantee, you can be sure to have a comfy bed to rest your head at Ola! Hostel.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Incredible rating
- Swimming Pool
- 24-hour reception
There’s an outdoor pool, a 24/7 restaurant and bar, and plenty of social areas to meet fellow travellers in. If you don’t feel like heading out during the day, just spend some time in the games area, have a friendly pool tournament, or surf the web with high-speed free wifi. Speaking of, this is also a great hostel for Digital Nomads. You see, there is nothing Ola! Hostel can’t offer you!
Best Party Hostel in Cebu – Mad Monkey Cebu City
- Crazy parties with private DJs
- Pool, games and sun deck
- Comfy beds and air con
You’re a party enthusiast? Say no more! The Mad Monkey Cebu City Hostel will definitely keep you up at night (if you choose that obviously). You can enjoy the day around the pool, get a nice crispy tan on the sun deck, and chill with your friends in the common area.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Incredible rating
- Budget friendly private rooms
- 24-hour reception
After sunset, you’ll want to be around the rooftop bar – with private Djs, cool parties, and events, you’ll never have a boring night. Although the hostel has a ton to offer, it’s still very affordable. You can choose which room type you’d like to stay in too, from dormitories to private guest rooms. All of them are equipped with comfy beds, private lockers, towels, and an aircon.
And if you’re not sure where to stay in the Philippines other islands, then you’ll likely find a Mad Monkey around a few of the other hot destinations such as Palawan or Borocay.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Cebu – Shejoje Poshtel Hostel
- Capsule Hotel
- Games Room
As a solo backpacker, you want to usually find that sweet spot between having the option of meeting other travelers and being able to also have some valuable “me time”.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Tea & Coffee Facilities
- Secure lockers in every room
- 24-hour reception
No place is better to have both privacy and a hostel atmosphere than staying in a capsule hotel! Each pod has its own fan, light, mirror, and outlet, meaning no more shooting dirty looks when someone is hogging the charger! With an onsite cafe and cozy rooms, Shejoje Poshtel is by far one of the coolest hostels in Cebu!
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More Epic Hostels In Cebu
Still not sure which hostel is right for you? Here are some more of the best hostels on the idyllic Philippeano island.
Best Cheap Hostel in Cebu – Cebu Guest Inn
- Rooftop Terrace
- Private rooms
At Cebu Guest Inn you not only get some of the best budget beds in town but also the cheapest private rooms with a private bathroom. It’s located just outside the centre of Cebu City, but for one night after a late flight, it would make for the ideal first stop.
Although, a bit outside of the city center, you will be won over with this inn’s top class service, delicious food, and breathtaking views from the rooftop terrace. By far this is the best value for money you can get in Cebu and downtown is just a short jeepney ride away!
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Best Hostel for Couples in Cebu – Palazzo Pensionne
- Super fast WiFi
For those looking to abandon the dormitories of Cebu city hostels and cuddle up in someplace cozy, Palazzo Pensionne will put you up in your own tastefully decorated private room located just minutes away from Cebu’s top sites and shopping centers.
Other than having a comfy room which will have you not wanting to leave your bed every morning this hotel also offers onsite currency exchange, laundry service, and cable TV. Palazzo Pensionne’s free breakfast is just the cherry on top making this one of the top recommended places to stay in Cebu!
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Cebu – Bugoy Bikers Bed & Breakfast
- Book Exchange
- City Centre Location
At Bugoy Bikers Bed & Breakfast you truly feel like part of the family. The homey atmosphere makes all those who walk through the door truly feel the warmness of the owners.
Other than just being your home away from home, Bugoy Bikers has some of the cheapest beds and private rooms in all of Cebu. The breakfast is also out of this world, giving you a true “mom and pop” family cooking experience.
It’s just a short trike ride away from Cebu City’s top tourist spots, including Ayala Center Cebu, the Grand Convention Centre, Queen City Memorial Gardens, and Fort San Pedro.
If privacy is what you’re looking for, you may want to check out these awesome Airbnbs in Cebu, many of which will fit a backpacker’s budget!
- City Centre Location
- Free WiFi
- Cheap Accommodation
The Tropical Hostel in Cebu City is a no-frills hostel that offers some truly cheap accommodation and a reasonably comfortable night stay. Often, flights will arrive into Cebu City late at night and the journey to the tourist spots on the other side of the island is a four hour drive away – so it would be a good idea to make a stop in Cebu City for your first night.
This hostel would make the perfect first night stay as it’s cheap, comfortable and in the city centre. Tropical Hostel is also located in Cebu’s pub district, and is within walking distance to malls, convenience stores and restaurants so you can pick up all the supplies you need.
- Rooftop Terrace
- Great Location
- Luggage Storage
Bunks is a fresh face hostel located in the heart of Metro Cebu, putting you in the center of the action. This is a great place to base yourself if you have a jam-packed Cebu itinerary.
While the dorm rooms seem a bit uninspired and basic, the lobby, lounge, and rooftop terrace are all tastefully decorated, giving backpackers a great place to just kick it and hang out. With tons of restaurants and bars nearby, Bunks is the perfect place to base yourself out of when exploring the concrete jungle of Cebu!
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Cebu – Murals Hostel and Cafe
- Coffee Shop
- Free Breakfast
- Fast WiFi
Murals Hostel is the self-proclaimed “digital nomads haven” in Cebu City and it’s easy to see why! Not only do they have a hip coffee shop attached to the hostel. The decor of the entire building maintains the same trendiness of the cafe.
With bottomless coffee and high-speed internet, you are sure to get all of your work editing and blogging done without a hitch! Although a bit outside of the city center, a trike or cab is always nearby.
Murals Hostel and Cafe is one of our favourites in Cebu but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
1521 Hostel Mactan Cebu
- Outdoor Terrace
- Close to Airport
1521 Hostel is one of the best budget hostels in Cebu City close to the airport. Not only is this youth hostel one of the best places for a good night’s sleep before boarding your flight the next day, but 1521 Hostel Mactan is located just a short walk away from the beach!
With its cafe, restaurant, and rooftop terrace, travelers are sure to have all that they need to either to feel relaxed to fly to their next destination or begin to explore Cebu!
1521 Hostel Mactan Cebu is one of our favourites in Cebu but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
What to Pack for your Cebu Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from us, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straight forward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art we have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!
Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!
FAQ about Hostels in Cebu
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Cebu.
Travel Safety Tips for Cebu
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.
More Epic Hostels in The Philippines and Southeast Asia
Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Cebu.
Planning an epic trip all across The Philippines or even Southeast Asia itself?
Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides around Southeast Asia, check out:
Final Thoughts on Hostels in Cebu
That concludes my epic guide to the best hostels in Cebu. I hope it has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure! But if you’re still unsure, take a look at my overall favourite hostel again.
TheOla! Hostel Cebu is in a great location outside Cebu City near Talisay, it’s affordable and it has all the luxury amenities you could think of. The outdoor swimming pool would be the ideal spot to meet with other travellers and make some friends.
Do you have a favourite from my list? Let me know in the comments.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!