If you ever find yourself with some extra time to spare in the Philippines, trust me when I say you don’t want to miss a chance to visit Dumaguete!

Tucked away on the southeastern tip of Negros, this university hotspot and capital city has everything from hidden waterfalls to turquoise lagoons and lush jungles.

Picture brightly-hued street markets overflowing with fresh seafood and the kind of exotic fruits you didn’t even know existed. The warm ocean breeze, the palm trees, and the perpetually sunny disposition. Friendly locals, scrumptious eats, and gorgeous sea views. Can you tell that Dumaguete completely won me over?

Of course, finding the right place to stay can make or break your trip. Don’t worry, though: I put together this guide to help you find where to stay in Dumaguete based on your budget and expectations. Let’s check them out!

boat floating with overwater bangallows and a mountain in the background
Talking of the tropics…

Where to Stay in Dumaguete

Whether you’re backpacking in the Philippines or planning a quick getaway in Dumaguete, these 3 areas are bound to provide an epic experience!

Best Hotel in Dumaguete – The Bricks Hotel

A queen bed and a twin bed, tv, and a seating area in The Bricks Hotel

Wake up to a scrumptious Asian breakfast every morning with a stay at The Bricks Hotel!

Various room configurations are on offer, including Deluxe units that easily sleep up to five guests. Located right on Rizal Boulevard, The Bricks Hotel offers proximity to both Silliman and Escano beaches.

Best Hostel in Dumaguete – Casa Arrieta Hostel

Dorm room with bunk beds in Casa Arrieta Hostel

Nestled in one of the oldest establishments in Dumaguete, this Filipino hostel still features antiques and relics dating back to 70 years ago.

Guests can take their pick from six or four-bed mixed dorms. Best of all, you’ll be close to the Silliman Campus’ many historic landmarks.

Best Airbnb in Dumaguete – Stylish Marina Blu Condo

Queen bed in a condo in Dumaguete

Located just 3 minutes from Rizal Boulevard, this condo is perfect for checking out nightlife venues like Hayahay Bar, one of Dumaguete’s top live music joints known for its nightly live entertainment.

With two bedrooms for up to four guests, this space features all the comforts of home, including a modern, well-equipped kitchen.

Dumaguete Neighborhood Guide – Best Places to Stay in Dumaguete

NIGHTLIFE
Rizal Boulevard Dumaguete
NIGHTLIFE

Rizal Boulevard Area

If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy discovering what the nightlife’s like in a new city. In my opinion, there’s no better place to stay in Dumaguete for the nightlife than the Rizal Boulevard area!

FIRST TIME IN DUMAGUETE
Silliman Dumaguete
FIRST TIME IN DUMAGUETE

Silliman Area

Remember I mentioned that Dumaguete is something of a university hotspot? Well, the Silliman Area just so happens to be home to the city’s main educational institution, Silliman University.

FOR FAMILIES
Casaroro Falls Dumaguete
FOR FAMILIES

Calindagan

With a population of 11,000, Calindagan is one of Dumaguete City’s largest barangays. In my opinion, this is easily one of the best areas in Dumaguete for eating out and shopping since Calindagan is home to the only shopping mall in the city.

Dumaguete’s Three Best Areas to Stay in

As one of the smallest Filipino cities, Dumaguete is tiny. And I do mean tiny! It’s actually the smallest municipality on the island of Negros.

The good news, though, is that you’ll be able to take in all of the main sights in just a few days!

The Rizal Boulevard area is an absolute hotspot for everything fun. Not only does this area command a stellar beachfront location, but it’s also home to some of the best restaurants and pubs in Dumaguete. Don’t miss a visit to Why Not? Disco, hailed as the party destination in the city!

If you’re looking for a tamer Dumaguete neighborhood, you can always consider staying in Barangay 5, also known as the Silliman area. Because of its large student population, this area has a pretty chill vibe, with lots of affordable cafes. It’s also home to historic landmarks, several of which are found on the beautiful Silliman University campus.

Traveling with the kids? Then I would say there’s no better destination than Calindagan, one of the largest barangays in Dumaguete. Home to the only shopping mall in the city, Calindagan is shrouded in local legends. You’ll be close to various attractions, like the Chinese Bell Church and Casaroro Falls.

1. Rizal Boulevard Area – Best Place to Stay in Dumaguete for the Nightlife

If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy discovering what the nightlife’s like in a new city. In my opinion, there’s no better place to stay in Dumaguete for the nightlife than the Rizal Boulevard area!

a sidewalk overlooking the sea with palm trees in Rizal Boulevard Dumaguete, The Philippines
Rizal Boulevard is a must-see in Dumaguete.

One of the best things about staying in the Rizal Boulevard area is that it’s a mere 15 minutes from the airport. Oh, and it’s also smack in front of the beach! In fact, most afternoons would find me sitting on one of those benches to watch the sunset while sipping on an ice-cold San Miguel (the local beer).

Now, let’s get to the good stuff: the nightlife! Okay, I’ll admit that it’s nowhere as energetic as say, Manila or Cebu City, but Rizal Boulevard can be quite buzzing. It’s not uncommon to see locals and tourists alike spilling out of restaurants to relax on the beach by the moonlight.

Be sure to check out Why Not? Disco, known as the best party destination in Dumaguete!

Best Hotel in Rizal Boulevard Area: The Bricks Hotel

A queen bed and a twin bed, tv, and a seating area in The Bricks Hotel

Budget travelers looking for where to stay in Dumaguete need to visit The Bricks Hotel!

It comes with just about everything you need for one heck of a comfy stay! You can choose from numerous room configurations, including Deluxe units that can easily accommodate up to five guests.

Not only is this hotel located smack on Rizal Boulevard, but you’ll also be close to popular points of interest like Escano Beach, Silliman University, and Silliman Beach. Best of all, you’ll be treated to a scrumptious Asian breakfast every morning!

Best Hostel in Rizal Boulevard Area: Antwet Backpackers And Rooftop Bar

Antwet Backpackers And Rooftop Bar

If you’re backpacking in the Philippines and looking for a cool, inexpensive place to crash for the night, be sure to check out Antwet Backpackers And Rooftop Bar.

Located less than 10 minutes from Rizal Boulevard, this place is especially known for the amazing sunsets that await from the rooftop bar, where you can connect and find a travel buddy

As far as accommodation is concerned, you’ve got a choice of two, 10-bed, mixed dorms with en-suite bathrooms.

Best Airbnb in Rizal Boulevard Area: Stylish Marina Blu Condo

Queen bed in a condo in Dumaguete

Travelers who would rather have their own space can always consider this super stylish condo that lies just 3 minutes from Rizal Boulevard.

With a stay in this condo, you’ll also be close to nightlife venues like Hayahay Bar, one of Dumaguete’s top live music joints known for its nightly live entertainment.

With two bedrooms for up to four guests, this space features all the comforts of home – and yes, that includes a well-equipped kitchen.

Things to See and Do in Rizal Boulevard Area

Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres Monument in Dumaguete
Photo: Helton B. Balairos (WikiCommons)
  1. See the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres Monument that was built to commemorate the 7 Sisters who started the St. Paul Academy of Dumaguete.
  2. Sample local delicacies from street vendors. I highly recommend the tempura, fish balls, and balut.
  3. Relax on a stone bench and watch the sunset while enjoying live music.
  4. Spend a fun evening at popular nightlife venues like Why Not? Disco, Pub Karaoke Bar, or Game On Sports Bar.
  5. If you visit this area in mid-October, you can always attend the Buglasan Festival, one of the most popular festivals in the Philippines. Several festive activities are held right in this Dumaguete neighborhood.
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2. Silliman Area – Best Place to Stay in Dumaguete for First-Time Visitors

Remember when I mentioned that Dumaguete is something of a university hotspot? Well, the Silliman Area just so happens to be home to the city’s main educational institution, Silliman University.

And if you’re wondering why I’m harping on about a university (of all things!), that’s because this place is something of a tourist hotspot in Dumaguete.

white building in a large green field surrounded by trees in Silliman Dumaguete
Something historic…

Fringed by the mountains on one side and the beach on the other, the campus is home to a historic church, an anthropological museum, and landmarks like The Gate of Knowledge and the University Bell.

Also known as Barangay 5, Silliman is on the small side. It’s actually the smallest neighborhood in Dumaguete, making it easy for you to take in the best sights in just one day.

This Filipino neighborhood is an excellent jumping-off point for some of the city’s most popular attractions, including Casaroro Falls, the Omoyon Bee Farm, and Sidlakang Negros Village.

Best Hotel in the Silliman Area: M.Y. Hotel

Family room in M.Y. Hotel

Brightly colored rooms beckon at the M.Y. Hotel, located just a quick walk from Silliman University.

With various units to accommodate two to three guests, this hotel offers a daily continental breakfast – perfect for fueling up before hitting all those great attractions in the vicinity!

Speaking of attractions, you’ll be close to some pretty cool places like Silliman Beach, the Loc Marine Reserve, Escano Beach, and the Negros Museum.

Best Hostel in the Silliman Area: Casa Arrieta Hostel

Dorm room with bunk beds in Casa Arrieta Hostel

Is there a better way of immersing yourself in the local lifestyle than by dropping anchor in one of the oldest houses in Dumaguete? I think not!

With basic six or four-bed mixed dormitories, the Casa Arrieta Hostel was built around 70 years ago- so keep your eyes peeled for antique furnishing and ceramics.

Did I mention that you’ll be literally a minute’s drive from those historic landmarks on the Silliman Campus? Talk about a great location, right?

Best Airbnb in the Silliman Area: 2-Bedroom Bungalow Near Silliman Campus

Living area in a Bungalow Near Silliman Campus in Dumaguete

One of the best places to stay in Dumaguete for families and groups of friends, this house features two bedrooms to sleep up to four guests.

Located within a private compound, the bungalow may lie at the heart of the city, but you’ll still be far from the noise and bustle of the city.

More importantly, you’ll be within walking distance of numerous restaurants, which serve the best Filipino food. The bungalow does have a kitchen if you’re a foodie and enjoy making your own meals.  

Things to See and Do in the Silliman Area

Silliman University Park in Dumaguete with lush trees and their shadows under captivating skies
Improvising here is pretty simple, really…
  1. Take in the best sights in just one day.
  2. Visit the Negros Museum, which houses numerous archaeological artifacts centered around Negrense life. 
  3. Stroll around Silliman University, which has one of the most beautiful campuses in the Philippines.
  4. Take an art class at the Gatxs Art Gallery.
  5. Check out the Silliman Anthropology Museum, located in a historic 1909 building on campus.

3. Calindagan – Best Place to Stay in Dumaguete for Families

With a population of 11,000, Calindagan is one of Dumaguete City’s largest barangays. In my opinion, this is easily one of the best areas in Dumaguete for eating out and shopping, since Calindagan is home to the only shopping mall in the city.

Casaroro waterfall cascading down a rocky cliff in Dumaguete
As if you needed another reason to visit the Philippines

Calindagan is deeply rooted in Filipino legends. Indeed, locals will tell you that this barangay was named after an enchantress who reformed the evil spirits that were wreaking havoc around the area.

Parents traveling with kids will find plenty to keep the little ones entertained since this barangay offers easy access to spots like Casaroro Falls. Don’t forget to pack your travel camera for this one!

Best Hotel in Calindagan: Manhattan Suites Inn

family room in Manhattan Suites Inn

With well-appointed family rooms, Manhattan Suites Inn commands a pretty great location in this lively Dumaguete neighborhood.

You’ll be close to heaps of kid-friendly venues, including Shakey’s Restaurant, Escano Beach, and the Looc Marine Reserve.

If visiting in December, I highly suggest a visit to the nearby Christmas House as well. After sightseeing, parents can wind down with a massage at the hotel.  

Best Hostel in Calindagan: Claytown Pension House

Claytown Pension House entrance with a sign and a glass door

A mere 10-minute drive from Calindagan takes you to Claytown Pension House, a charming hostel with mixed dorms and private family rooms.

Families will no doubt enjoy being close to spots like Quezon Park, the Dumaguete Belfry, and the Bantayan Marine Sanctuary.

While the hostel doesn’t have a restaurant, you’ll be close to numerous eateries, like Baroroy.  

Best Airbnb in Calindagan: 7-Bedroom Mansion With Pool

Pool area from a big mansion in Calindagan

Parents, rejoice!

Not only does this mansion feature seven bedrooms to accommodate larger groups of fourteen, but it also features heaps of fun amenities like an outdoor pool.

Parents will no doubt enjoy the outdoor bar. There’s also a sprawling patio where you can savor al fresco meals prepared in the modern, perfectly equipped kitchen. If you need to get some shopping done, you can always head to Robinson’s Mall, located just under 10 minutes from the property.

Things to See and Do in Calindagan

rocky beach on Apo Island Dumaguete with a mountain in the background
  1. Walk along the sandbar of Manjoyod and see the dolphins in their natural habitat.
  2. Visit the Chinese Bell Church, a historic sea-facing temple with a pagoda, beautifully manicured gardens, dragon sculptures, and bell towers.
  3. Fuel up with a hearty meal at the Moon Café, one of the city’s most popular restaurants specializing in fusion Asian and Mexican cuisine.
  4. Be awed by the majestic Casaroro Falls, which are just a half-hour’s drive from Calindagan.
  5. Hit the shops at Robinsons Place, the only shopping mall in Dumaguete.
  6. Hop on a boat to Apo Island, which houses some of the most splendid beaches in Dumaguete.
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What To Pack For Dumaguete

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

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.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

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.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

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.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

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 my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Dumaguete

Before you set off, getting good travel insurance is essential. You hope you don’t need it, but it’s not worth the risk.

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!

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Dumaguete

I’m sure by now you’ve realized that Dumaguete’s got everything you need for one heck of an epic vacation: sun-soaked beaches, succulent eats, and beautiful lagoons! The city’s quite compact, so a few days would be enough to properly take it in, but if you’ve got some extra time to spare, you can always go island-hopping across the Philippines!

Still not sure where to stay in Dumaguete? I would say that Silliman is a pretty safe bet! Besides, don’t forget that this is a small city, so the neighborhoods are all pretty close to each other.

A person surfing
Surfs Up!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

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!