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Where to stay in the Philippines

Where to stay in the Philippines: the best islands for everyone’s taste

The Philippines are a true earthly paradise. With pearl white beaches, glorious nature, and cheerful lifestyle, this archipelago definitely deserves its status as one of the world’s best places to visit. The Philippines offer something that will suit anyone’s taste: from crowded carnivals and lively clubs to secluded beaches and gastronomic ventures. What makes it even better is that it is an English speaking country. Whether you’re looking for an exotic holiday or an affordable but wonderful place to live, the Philippines may the perfect destination for you. 

Photo credit: the_philippines

5 best places to stay in the Philippines

With over 7000 islands in the archipelago, choosing only one to stay in is next to impossible. After long and careful consideration, we managed to select the five best places to stay:

  1. Cebu
  2. Manila
  3. Boracay
  4. Coron Palawan
  5. Bohol Island

Where to stay in the Philippines

Best for the first time Cebu An island with many tourist attractions and gorgeous beaches
Best for nightlife Manila The capital of the Philippines with swinging nightlife
Best for cool kids Boracay A gorgeous island with the best beaches and plenty of activities
Best on a budget Coron Palawan A peaceful destination with affordable accommodation
Best for expats Bohol Island An island with fascinating natural beauty ideal for a long-term stay

Photo credit: the_philippines

Where to stay in the Philippines for the first time: Cebu

Known as the Queen City of the South, Cebu is the largest island in the Visayas group. This picturesque island prides itself on its wonderful natural scenery and many historical and cultural sights. Cebu is full of unique attractions that will suit anyone’s taste. It is also beloved for its lively atmosphere, colorful carnivals, and vibrant nightlife. Its beaches are stunning and the cities full of activities for all sorts of travelers, which is why we think it is an ideal place for your first visit to the Philippines.

What to see and do in Cebu

The whole island has plenty of gorgeous places to offer but the best attractions are located in Cebu City. Here are some places you shouldn’t miss:

  • Casa Gorordo Museum
  • Fort San Pedro
  • Taoist Temple
  • Heritage of Cebu
  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Tingko Beach
  • Basdaku Beach
  • Bounty Beach

Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro is one of the most beautiful remnants of the Spanish Colonial Era. It was built in the early 18th century and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manila. No history buff should miss it. 

Photo credit: harveyshallen

Where to stay in Cebu

The island has hundreds of fantastic places to stay in but we recommend Cebu City. It is the main hotspot of the island and well-connected to other places so you can move around easily. Here are some ideas of places to stay in:

Budget option: this modern studio in the city center.

Midrange option: this cute apartment in the city’s tallest building.

Luxurious option: this amazing apartment near the main shopping mall.

You can find more AirBnBs in Cebu City here.

Where to stay in the Philippines for nightlife: Manila

The capital of the Philippines, Manila is known for its crowded and jovial atmosphere. It has many cultural and historical attractions, so it’s no wonder it is on every globetrotter’s bucket list. Manila is also the best place in the Philippines for partying as its clubbing scene is nothing less than extraordinary. The drinks are super cheap, music amazing, and the clubs work all night long.

Best places to visit in Manila

Whether you prefer sightseeing or sleeping through the day in order to party all night, you will fall in love with Manila. If you’re not sure what to see and do in this amazing city, check out our favorite places:

  • House Manila
  • Royal
  • The Island
  • Nectar
  • Lub D Makati
  • Pura Vida
  • Fort Santiago
  • Binondo (the world’s oldest Chinatown)


Royal is an awesome, brilliantly lively club in Manila. The music is always uplifting, dance floor crowded, and drinks delicious. Make sure to try their Flaming Lamborghini: a wonderful cocktail that the waiter sets on fire!

Photo credit: djcrosscutz

Where to stay in Manila

Manila has hundreds and hundreds of accommodation options that will suit anyone’s pocket. Here are our favorite AirBnBs:

Budget option: this comfy studio near the center.

Midrange option: this modern flat with a balcony.

Luxurious option: this stylish apartment in the heart of the city.

Take a look at other accommodation options here:

Where to stay in the Philippines for cool kids: Boracay

Back in 2017, Boracay was named the best island in the world so how could any other place take our Coolest Island award? This wonderful place has everything you could wish for: stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, strong bar culture, and one of the best nightlife scenes in the Philippines. It is also a paradise for adrenaline junkies as it offers some wonderful outdoor and beach activities. The island is incredibly lively and tourists adore it for its friendly and upbringing vibe. 

What to do in Boracay

Boracay has a wide range of unique activities, such as zorbing, ziplining, cliff jumping, and scuba diving. You can even get a tail suit and learn how to swim like a mermaid! The possibilities are endless. Besides these adventurous activities, there are many awesome places to visit, such as:

  • White Beach
  • Puka Shell Beach
  • Bat Cave
  • Ariel’s Point
  • The Boracay Pub Crawl
  • The White House
  • Club Paraw

Ariel’s Point

If you consider yourself a daredevil, Ariel’s Point is something you shouldn’t miss. The tour includes a boat ride to this eco-friendly attraction, and you will have an opportunity to jump from five different cliff platforms. 

Photo credit: nicole_chen_

Where to stay in Boracay

Boracay is one of the more expensive islands in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean you won’t find affordable hostels and AirBnBs. Check out our top picks:

Budget option: this affordable stay with a swimming pool.

Midrange option: this AirBnB near the beach and major sights.

Luxurious option: this stunning home on the Bulabog Beach.

Check out other accommodation options here:

Where to stay in the Philippines on a budget: Coron, Palawan

One of the reasons the Philippines are so popular is how stunningly affordable the islands are. There are many places in the archipelago you can visit on a tight budget, but our favorite is Coron, Palawan. It consists of Coron Island and the western part of Busuanga Island. Coron is idyllic and peaceful, with picturesque beaches, mesmerizing coral reefs, and brilliant blue lagoons. It is less crowded than some other island so you can relax completely. 

What to see and do in Coron, Palawan

From beach hopping to safari tours, Coron has a lot to offer to any type of tourist. You could learn how to surf or go on a diving mission to visit the macabre Japanese shipwrecks. Here are some places that we highly recommend:

  • Conception Falls
  • Banuang Daan
  • Twin Lagoon
  • Atwayan Beach
  • Banana Island
  • Banol Beach

Twin Lagoon

Twin Lagoon looks like heaven on earth. With its breathtaking look and crystal clear water, it is one of the most gorgeous natural wonders in Coron. Instagrammers will especially appreciate it as it is a fantastic location for photoshoots. 

Photo credit: kaylacabilin

Where to stay in Coron, Palawan

Coron has dozens of wonderful places to stay in, but we suggest Coron Town. It is the liveliest place in Coron and you can easily move around the island from there.  Here are some amazing AirBnBs to stay in:

Budget option: this super affordable AirBnB.

Midrange option: this great stay in the center.

Luxurious option: this gorgeous room in a beautiful hotel

You can browse for more AirBnBs here: