First time to Cebu and confuse on how to commute from the airport to go to your hotel or next destination in the city? This latest commuting guide may help you to navigate the transport options from Mactan airport to Cebu City, SM Cebu, Ayala Center Cebu, and Fuente Osmena areas.
There are several options on how to do this, via white taxi, yellow airport taxis, airport yellow multicabs, MyBus bus, and Uber or Grab.
By the way, Penfires has a guide for South Cebu DIY itinerary you can check out if you prefer adrenaline packed adventures like canyoneering and climbing Osmena Peak or communing with nature in Bantayan Island in the North. Check out CATEGORY – CEBU for more articles about the Queen City of the South.
Updated Penfires Commuting Guide Mactan Airport to Destinations
I have produced commuting guides in the past but those are already outdated, to say the least. Jeepney and multicab routes have changed over the years. That’s why I am writing this updated guide.
Hope this will be useful to you! 😉
Other travel guide: Familiarize yourself with Cebu jeepney route codes.
Arrival in Cebu-Mactan Airport Transport Choices
White taxis and yellow airport taxis
White taxis as well as airport yellow taxis are available in the taxi bay area. As you exit the airport, turn right, at the end is a well-managed taxi bays with lanes for white regular taxis and yellow taxis. Am really proud that the Cebu Mactan airport has this facility.
Elderly, guests with kids, and pregnant women has a special priority lane for taxis.
*Airport to SM Cebu on normal traffic would probably cost you about P200 to P250 pesos.
250 pesos is about 5 USD at today’s exchange rate of $1 to Php 52.
MyBus bus going to Park Mall and SM City Cebu
The waiting area for the MyBus is just outside the taxi bay. Fare is P25 per passenger.
The Mybus SM Cebu to Airport and Airport to SM Cebu leaves every 20 minutes. For Airport going to the mall, this is available from 7 AM until 9:20 PM daily. For SM Cebu to Airport start of operation is 6 AM up to 8:20 PM every day.
Taking the MyBus is the best if you’ve got big luggages with you. However, please take note that traffic in Metro Cebu (Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City and Lapu – Lapu City) this 2018 has become horrendous, so there might be a delay to MyBus arrival in Mactan airport.
There is a MyBus card that you can load up and use the load to pay the fare. If you have SM EPass card, you can also use this. Mactan Airport is a reloading station for MyBus.
Unfortunately, the bus payment system is still clunky for me. Why? Because you have to queue to load your MyBus card (only if the current load in your card is not enough), then once there is enough fund for the fare you will then queue another line to buy ticket using the load in your card. You can’t just get inside the bus and swipe your card, which is how it should be for less-hassle.
Can you use one MyBus card to pay for other passengers? The last time we use this June 2017, yes, we were able to use one MyBus card to also pay for my companions. I’ll try my best to find the latest situation about this, if this is still in effect.
How about tourists who will not really use the MyBus card so they prefer buying ticket in cash, can they do it? Yes. You can pay in CASH but take not that “no change” policy is in effect. So prepare exact fare or pay in big bills and no change will be given. Drop the fare in the box as you climb up the bus.
Airport Yellow Multicab
Multicabs are little ‘jeepneys’, so this transport option is NOT IDEAL if you are bringing several baggage. If you are carrying just a small backpack, then this option would work well.
This vehicle is really narrow, that the knees of passengers on each side of the multicab will almost knock against each other.
The airport multicab terminal is located at the international arrival area. This cheap transpo option is usually intended for airport employees, but anyone can ride this to exit the Cebu Mactan airport. Fare is only 8pesos, and the route is airport – Marina Mall – Gaisano Mactan – Opon Merkado. 24 hours operation, the multicab will be filled in the airport before it will leave, so expect some waiting time for the vehicle to get full especially if you arrive past midnight.
There is no jeepney in Marina Mall / Island Central Mall which will go all the way to SM Cebu, Ayala, Fuente Osmena, Cebu City downtown Colon area, so if you will choose this route, expect multiple transfers before you will reach your destination.
A. Airport yellow multicab and jeepneys all the way to SM City Cebu , then downtown, or South Bus Terminal
If you will take an airport multicab and going to SM City – Get on one in the airport and ask to be dropped off in Marina Mall. This is a quick ride, 5 minutes. Then in Marina Mall, you will see lots of regular multicabs. Transfer to one with signage going to “Park Mall”, fare is P9.
In Park Mall jeepney terminal, transfer to a jeepney bearing the number 01K, signboard “Urgello”. This will pass by SM City Cebu.
01K will also pass by the corner of Cebu South Bus Terminal or SBT. Request driver to drop you off in EMall or Elizabeth Mall. SBT is walking distance from E-Mall.
Then once in SM, there is a jeepney terminal with lots of options. Some Labangon jeeps with “12” as the route code and Bulacao routes “10” will take you near* Plaza Independencia, Sto Nino Church, Magellan’s Cross, and Cebu Cathedral Church. These places are in downtown area. *Near, meaning not in front, you will need to walk a hundred meters or so to reach the mentioned places.
*I think only 12G will pass the corner near Taboan Market and South Cebu Bus Terminal. 10H, 12G, 12I will pass those historical sites mentioned above but I recommend that you still ask driver for confirmation when you get onboard.
You can also take 04L in SM jeepney terminal if you want to go to IT Park, Waterfront Hotel and Casino, and Lahug area. Take 03Q if you want to go to Ayala from SM. Fare for these two routes is P8.
I recommend that you ride the MyBus route ‘Seaside’ if you want to go to SM Seaside from SM Cebu. Fare is P25.
B. Airport yellow multicab and jeepneys going to Ayala Center
Ride the yellow multicab in the airport, then get off in Marina Mall. Cross the street to get on the side of Island Central Mall, you will then see multicabs with different routes. Choose one with signboard “Park Mall”. Then inform driver to drop you off in Mandaue Coliseum.
There are lots of jeepneys with different routes in Mandaue Coliseum area, choose a jeep bearing the number 20A or 20B with sign board “Ayala”, these jeeps will go to Ayala Center Cebu.
There is a central jeepney hub in Ayala Mall. You can find in there jeepneys that will pass by Mango Avenue – Fuente Osmena – Labangon (12L), a jeepney that will pass by Escario Capitol area then Fuente Osmena then Ramos – Colon (14D).
Choose 03Q if from Ayala Mall you want to go to SM Cebu mall, and vice versa
C. Airport Multicab to Fuente Osmena area
If what you want to do is to travel from airport to your hotel located in Fuente Osmena area, the quicker route will be to do #B above, except that when you get on a 20A or 20B, ask to be dropped off in “Mabolo carwash”.
Once in Mabolo, transfer to a jeepney bearing the signage “Mango” or “Fuente”, this bear the route code 03B.
The route 03B Mabolo will pass by Mango Avenue – Fuente Osmena – Jones – Colon – Mabolo. Get off in Fuente before or after the rotunda. There are lots of pensions houses, inns, and hotels in Fuente Osmena area including Sampaguita Suites, Summit Circle, Elegant Circle Inn, Dynasty Tourist Inn, and more.
Stay in an affordable Cebu City hotel and accommodations, look for options in the Fuente Osmena vicinity. Start looking for hotels with the highest rating or accommodations with rates from Low to High so you can explore your choices and find one that fits your budget.
D. Airport Multicab to SM City Cebu VIA Vhire in Gaisano Mactan
This public transport is an alternative way to get to SM City Cebu. Take the airport yellow multicab, tell driver to drop you off in Gaisano Mactan, fare is P8.
At the back area of “GMac” is their vhire terminal, ride the vhire van to go to SM City Cebu. Vhire fare is P40. The van will be filled before it will leave the terminal, so expect waiting time.
However, please note that vhire is available from 8 AM to 7 PM only in Gaisano Mactan or GMac. Also, expect the vhire vans to be ‘hot’, with poor air conditioning system. I wish this isn’t so but this is the reality on the ground, you can only find a handful of vhires with good working A/C. The vans are also tight, seats 4 passengers in each row, not ideal if you are carrying more than a regular backpack.
E. GRAB and TNVNs
Yep, TNVNs are available in Metro Cebu. They are also allowed in the airport. You may want to use Grab sharing app to navigate from Mactan Airport to Cebu City. If you haven’t downloaded Grab yet, download the app now via Apple Store or Google Play or go here GRAB PENFIRES. If you use my promo code, you’ll get P50 off on your first 4 rides, I will get a discount too. Win win! 🙂
I like taking TNVNs like Grab because you know how much you will pay before you take the ride and even if you hit the monstrous traffic that usually defines Lapu Lapu to Mandaue City crossing at peak hours, you will normally pay just the fare listed for your ride.
Among the options presented above, what would be Penfires’ ultimate recommendation when commuting in Cebu, specifically from the airport going to your hotel or destination? It’s the white regular taxis.
Grab would have been my first choice for hassle-free travel, but I know not everyone has data load in their smartphones at all times.
Taxi drivers in Cebu are way better than in Manila! If you are a group of 4, take a taxi, even if you are on a budget. The time you save from multiple multicab-jeepney transfers will more than make up for paying a bit more riding a taxi.
If you will arrive past 9 PM, I strongly suggest to ride a taxi or Grab all the way to your destination.
So that’s it, I hope this updated Penfires commuting guide on how to commute from Mactan airport to Cebu City, SM City Cebu, Ayala Mall, Fuente Osmena has been useful to you. Enjoy your future travels here in the Queen City of the South.
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