A Travel Price Comparison for Philippines Palawan vs. Cebu for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Palawan or Cebu?

Should I visit Palawan or Cebu? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.


Palawan is an archipelagic province of the Philippines, named for its largest island which measures about 450 kilometers (or 280 miles) long. The island is known as an ecological frontier with plenty of beaches and resorts as well as opportunities to see a diverse array of wildlife and their habitats on land and sea.


Cebu Island is an important island in the Visayas region of the Philippines, characterized by its main port at Cebu City as well as many natural features. The most-visited areas include islands of Mactan, Bantayan, Badian, Malapascua and Camotes, all which have resorts and hotels. Scuba diving and snorkeling are common activities along the shoreline, while hiking the mountainous spine of the island is popular inland.

Which city is cheaper, Cebu or Palawan?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Palawan is $32, while the average daily cost in Cebu is $58. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Palawan and Cebu in more detail.


An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $24 in Palawan For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $22. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Cebu the cost is $44 on average.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Palawan $12
    Cebu $22
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Palawan $24
    Cebu $44


While meal prices in Palawan can vary, the average travelers spends about $10 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Palawan should cost around $4.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Palawan is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

On average, meal and food prices in Cebu cost around $19 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $7.60.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Palawan $10
    Cebu $19

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Palawan than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $14 on transportation in Palawan on average per day.

The cost of a taxi ride in Cebu is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $23 per person, per day, on local transportation in Cebu.

  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Palawan $14
    Cebu $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cebu

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cebu:

  • Cebu Departure Transfer from Mandaue city to Mactan Cebu Airport (CEB): $46

Is it cheaper to fly into Palawan or Cebu?

Prices for flights to both Cebu and Palawan change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.


Sightseeing expenses in Palawan, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $4.74 per day, per person.

Entertainment and activities in Cebu typically cost an average of $15 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Palawan $4.74
    Cebu $15

Tours and Activities in Palawan

For Palawan, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Yamang Bukid Eco Tour From Puerto Princesa: $80
  • Puerto Princesa Full Day City Tour (private): $189

Tours and Activities in Cebu

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cebu are as follows:

  • Cebu City Tour with Uphills Spots: $62
  • Cebu Safari Adventure: $86
  • Kawasan Falls Canyoneering & Cliff Jump Private Tour: $99
  • Moalboal Pescador Island Hopping Day Tour: $107


Typically, people visiting Palawan spend on average $6.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Cebu per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Palawan $6.78
    Cebu $13

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Palawan and Cebu, we can see that Cebu is more expensive. And not only is Palawan much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Palawan would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Palawan and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cebu would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cebu than you might in Palawan.

Budget Your Trip

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Palawan vs. Cebu Travel Comparison

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