Transportation - Get In
Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in Lapu Lapu. It is possible to get from there to downtown Cebu by jeepney, but most travellers will find a taxi much more covenient. The taxi ride might cost about ₱250 and take 50 minutes, but both numbers vary greatly depending on traffic conditions. the p 300 domestic airport terminal fee is now within the ticket price.
Cebu City's domestic port is the country's busiest, and is home to almost 80 percent of the country's passenger vessels. The country's largest shipping lines — 2Go Travel, Trans-Asia, George & Peter Lines, Cokaliong,Lite, Super Shuttle, Kinswell, Roble, Montenegro, and Weesam Express — all run ferries to and from Cebu, and several have their headquarters there.
Large passenger ferries with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 passengers ply the more distant routes such as to Manila, Iloilo, Butuan, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. Medium-sized vessels such as the roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) types go to nearer destinations; most places in the Visayas are accessible from Cebu.
For some destinations, such as Ormoc, Bohol and Dumaguete, fast hydrofoil ferries are available as well, from companies such as Oceanjet. Travel time is about half that of a RoRo and the comfort level higher, but prices are at least double.
Local ferries, such as one to Lapu-Lapu. are also available.
To get to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport you can use the Lapu-Lapu ferry which costs only ₱14, departs every 20 minutes from pier 3 and takes 20 minutes. A yellow jeepney runs between the Lapu-Lapu ferry pier and the airport for ₱7.
The passenger port is in Cebu City, near downtown. The parts of the port that handle containers and other freight extend for a long way north of that, reaching into Mandaue.
Buses go to and from most nearby cities, mainly along the north-south coastal highway. For more distant places — such as Dumaguete, Bacolod or even Manila — there are buses that ride ferries for parts of their routes.
There are two major bus terminals, the north terminal in Mandaue and south terminal in Cebu City. Ceres Bus lines operates regular bus services from these terminals and are considered the "safer" alternative to the smaller privately operated bus lines.
Transportation - Get Around
Do as the locals do and catch a colorful jeepney. Simply ask around for which route to take, or read the signs on the sides of the vehicles showing their routes. They are available 24 hr and cover most of the nooks and crannies of the city. Costs start at ₱8 and increase for longer distances. Beware of pickpockets and other theft, this is common and even locals fall victim.
There are no buses with routes within the city; jeepneys serve that function.
Small buses — vans that seat about a dozen passengers — run between all the towns that make up Metro Cebu, and are often the best way of getting between those towns, more comfortable than jeepneys and cheaper than taxis. Their terminals are generally next to major malls; for example a van goes from Ayala Mall in Cebu to Gaesano Mall in Lapu-Lapu for ₱35.
Taxis are ominpresent in Cebu City. Sadly, there's a decent chance you'll be overcharged by a taxi driver at some point during your trip to Cebu. This should be considered an unfortunate cost of visiting Cebu (or anywhere in the Philippines). You can (and should) report improper taxi behavior to the Department of Tourism in Cebu by phoning +63 32 254 2811.
Unless you're familiar with the city, always insist on a metered fare as a negotiated fare will almost always be much higher. If you know the city and need to go a long distance, it may be worth paying a negotiated fare so that the driver doesn't take the scenic route or you become victim of an uncalibrated meter. Late in the evenings, there could be taxis driving with an uncalibrated, inflated meter.
Most trips around the city should not cost more than ₱100. The fare from the airport to most of central Cebu should be ₱200-250 depending on whether you use the white or yellow cabs (white ones are reportedly cheaper).
If you know the name of the building, establishment, area or street you wish you reach, taxis are still the fastest way to your destination. Most drivers know where almost everything is. If the driver is pleasant, a ₱10-50 tip is warranted, especially if he loads or unloads your bags. Most drivers do not have, or will tell you they do not have change, so be ready with 50's and 20's when going on short trips.
It is best to avoid the "Private" taxis as they take advantage of tourists and charge 5-10 times the normal fare. You will find these taxis at the some of the high-class hotels. They are normally owned by the hotel to make money and may charge ₱500 for something that should cost ₱60. Some hotels make it hard for other taxis to pick you up at their premise and you may need to walk outside to save money.
Another place where private taxis are common is the airport. To avoid them, simply ask a porter for help and for a metered taxi. Downstairs at the exit for arrivals, there is a booth that will flag down a taxi for ₱70, but you can also go up the ramp and there are a large number of metered taxis waiting for you. You can also wend your way upstairs to Departures where many metered taxis are available. Fare down town to Ayala or SM Malls should be around ₱150 on the meter. You may be told "500" by the driver. Just grab the door handle and say "What, you don't have a meter?" Don't travel unless the meter is used; not using the meter is illegal, and you can report it to local officials.