Is Cebu City Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Cebu City, Philippines
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 83 / 100 based on 12 user reviews.

Cebu City reigns in a group of islands that comprise the Visayas region of the central Philippines.

It’s one of the most popular destinations in all of the Philippines that tourists adore visiting, with the busiest seaport in the Philippines and the second largest air hub.

The city has just recently started flourishing and in every aspect, too, due to increasing foreign investments.

Rapid economic growth has caused the emergence of a modern urban skyline and the development of a widening middle class.

Tourism here is also thriving from all over the world, especially Australia, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, and China.

Warnings & Dangers in Cebu City

Overall Risk


In spight of the huge poverty of the city, it's still pretty safe here and foreigners won't have any problems if they just apply common sense.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Be wary of everyone and anyone (and their hands) sitting next to you on public transport and cover with your hands all pockets on backpacks and bags you're carrying.

Pickpockets Risk


Your biggest concern should be pickpockets and snatchers, most of whom are young children as Philippine law exempts them from jail time. Always leave your valuables home and keep an eye out for everything around you.

Natural Disasters Risk


Cebu City is susceptible to many natural disasters. It survives about 20 tropical storms each year and has active seismic faults where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

Mugging Risk


Despite the poverty in this city and the liberal gun laws, Cebu City is a relatively safe city by Western standards where violent crime towards foreigners is rare. Still, apply caution and avoid poorly lit and deserted areas.

Terrorism Risk


There have been numerous terrorist attacks in the Philippines' recent history. Explosions occurred in the Quiapo area of Manila on 28 April and 6 May 2017, with many fatalities. The motive for these attacks is still unclear. It is best to remain vigilant at all times.

Scams Risk


Always carry small bills with you. Vendors will try and make you buy more things by saying they have no change for large bills. Apart from that, be wary of people lurking around ATMs or anyone trying to distract you. Taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride.

Women Travelers Risk


Even though many women haven't had any problem in Cebu City, it is advised that women avoid walking alone after dark. Apply all precaution measures at all times and avoid dark and empty streets and locations.

So... How Safe Is Cebu City Really?

Cebu City is overall a safe city but it has many downsides and its dangers.

Although the Philippine people are known as friendly and welcoming, you should keep in mind that this is a poverty-ridden country, and this can be noticed especially in major cities like Cebu City.

What comes with this situation is, unfortunately, crime.

As an experienced traveler, you know that you should keep your belongings in a safe place, not to flash your valuables, especially parts of expensive technology, in public places, and not to carry all your money with you.

Pickpockets are mostly kids because Philippine law exempts them from jail time.

Even though Cebu City is crawling with pickpockets, it is not known for robberies and violent crimes.

If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, unfortunately, you cannot rely on the police. In many cases, you should be wary of them as they can be easily bribed and might even try to scam you.

The following parts of Cebu can be unsafe at night: some parts of downtown Cebu, areas along Colon Street and surrounding areas, Mango Square and the Fuente circle where most of the city’s homeless live.

Another thing to remembers is that unfortunately, Cebu City and the province have been a hotspot for human trafficking and sexual exploitation by foreigners.

How Does Cebu City Compare?

CitySafety Index
Cebu City53
Davao City71
Quezon City55
Manama (Bahrain)54
Tianjin (China)67
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52

Useful Information



U.S. residents do not need a visa for any stays shorter than 90 days. All other nationals will need to acquire a visa to enter the Philippines. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Philippine embassy for more details.



The Philippine peso is the official currency in Cebu City. Tourists are advised to exchange their money at the official establishments such as the Bank of the Philippine Islands or Banco De Oro.



The climate in Cebu City is tropical, with the hottest season lasting from March to May. The rainy season lasts from June to October and during this season you can expect strong typhoons. The coolest months are from November to February,



Mactan–Cebu International Airport is the second busiest international airport in the Philippines that serves Cebu City. The airport is located in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island, a part of Metro Cebu.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Cebu City, because it would cover not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Cebu City Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 27° C
Feb 27° C
Mar 28° C
Apr 29° C
May 30° C
Jun 29° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 29° C
Oct 28° C
Nov 28° C
Dec 27° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Philippines - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Cebu City53
Davao City71
Quezon City55

Where to Next?

12 Reviews on Cebu City

  1. I have been to Cebu for five times now, for Educational Related Projects, and just plain leisure.

    I have really fallen in love with this country, but the risks stated are quite true.

    I am glad that I have yet to face any robberies/pickpocketing/muggings, and I hope that it keeps that way.

    I believe the risk I face is mitigated as I have local connections that host and bring me around during my visits, so for those who are backpacking and traveling the first time without any network, just don’t offend the people and use common sense to avoid dangerous situations.

    (Stay away from Nightlife, don’t walk down dark alleys, etc.) Better 90% of the fun visiting than 100% of the fun and you get mugged… right? haha

    PS: There were children robbers that didn’t rob me, but tried to sell me robbed “items”

    1. T
      Trevor Lautner says:

      Street children now are brought to social welfare facilities. All drug addicts are now in jail and rahab. Police officers are doing well in their duties. Under Duterte administration the city of Cebu or perhaps the whole Philippines are cleansed from all bad elements of the society. The only menace to the country are the communist people and their frontliners who really want to destabilize the government. All in all the Philippines is the safest place to enjoy this side of the planet.

      1. K
        Keith Andrews says:

        Some of the worst liars and scamsters

        This is not true. Just take a look at Cabantan. Duterte has done a great job but very much still seems to be done. So many places are run by druglords still. And most women or girls try to love scam foreigners. Dont fall for that any philippine young woman loves you. They already have boyfriends and will scam you for money for her and her boyfriend. And they will have you killed if they need. Many cooperate in mafia like families love scamming foreigners, stealing, dealing drugs and whatever they can to get in money. And like said most americans and foreigners are so easily tricked and gullible because everyone wants to be there and get love and so on.

  2. Be smart and vigilant

    I have been to the Philippines 3 times now.

    Like any country including the US, you have to use good common sense.

    Keep your wallet in your front pocket with your passport in the other front pocket.

    I have never experienced any type of crime and the people there are very loving and friendly.

    Like any big city, you have to stay vigilant and know your surroundings.

    Don’t go into areas where it appears you are looking for trouble.

    If you look like a “victim”, you will become one.

    If you go out, DO NOT drink to where you have no idea where you are.

    This behavior will get you into trouble.

    Have fun and enjoy it!

  3. I love cebu so friendly and welcoming with both sides of life on show ive never had any problems here and plan to live there very soon with my wife and new family i would recommend cebu to the world 😁😁😁

  4. Amazing people

    Im amazed at most of the reviews I read. Perhaps they are being polite? As far as safety is concerned I would certainly agree ,it’s safe if common sense is used.
    The filth . Pollution ,and poverty I saw was so sickening. It made me angry.
    The food in general was discusting and well below acceptable. The people as always are amazing, so polite ,well mannered and friendly, I truly feel for the people they have no one to fight for them, but remain proud.

  5. Heavy risk place Cebu is ...not safe

    Heavy risk place not safe to live pickpocketing and robbery alwayss

  6. Love the place

    Been coming to Cebu for 18 years, now living here for the past 2 years.
    Never had any real problems, maybe the odd person trying to overcharge a few pesos. Driving here is crazy but ok with me, motorcyclists love to drive without lights at night as it’s considered macho and very cool, i think of mororcyclists as a person looking for somewhere to die they really are that stupid. Car driving pretty much the same. If you want to drive here best to buy (yes buy) your licence at SM shopping mall, oh there is no driving test here, just pass the eyesight test and you get a license for around £10 $15, pay 600 Pesos for insurance and anyone can drive your car (the insurance is for the cat not the driver).
    Lots of Laws here but not enforced except for Cebu city, no problem with the police, if you get caught just bribe them, very easy and works every time.

  7. Super cebu

    Fell in love with cebu from my first visit
    Love the people you care for them they love you for life
    Food is different simple cheap lots of offal and food combinations not found elsewhere but most us very edible
    7 visits never faced any crime of any nature at all just be smart and vigilant retiring to cebu city as soon after covid as possible such an awesome place my paradise

  8. B
    Buckwheat and Spanky says:

    Cebu city lifestyle

    Cebu city…lived here several years. Overall, safe and modern city with access to international products in the malls and markets. Fairly inexpensive for the 2nd largest city in PH.
    English is spoken most everywhere. Call centers and BPO are all around the city.
    Good international crowd of expats, students, and employees. Some good restaurants owned by filipinos and foreigners. Food overall is not as good as thailand or vietnam, but there are some excellents dishes. Lechon or roasted pig is tasty and each city has its specialty lechon. Same with roasted chicken.
    The Ugly: streets are dirty and trash in many places. Traffic sux and cebu city needs a rail or monorail system. Buses and jeepneys are cheap, but some still use diesel fuel. Thick black exhaust fills the air. Need more hybrids and electric vehicles. There are some buses modern, clean, and safe.
    Kids will rob you in mango area. Come up in groups and search your pockets. Little kids 7 to 14 years old! Women will ask for money on dating sites. Even if you never met them! The little beeches ! Expect all foreigners are wealthy…
    Be aware in bars, jeepneys, and walking in dark sidestreets alone. Ive had my necklace stolen and phones stolen by girls in bars and at home.
    Average wage here is less than 10 usd a day. Even for skilled workers.
    Overall, people are polite and friendly. I get called sir frequently. Its a good base for SE Asia. International airport and some nice places to see-beaches, waterfall, mountains.
    RATING 1 to 10. 10 being highest/best
    SEVEN. 7

  9. Staying safe in Cebu

    I’m an American expat retired U.S. Army living in Cebu since 2009. I have never been robbed, mugged, pickpocketed, etc. Do not come to the Philippines being flashy or boastful. This will bring negative attention to yourself. Do like the locals do, and don’t make yourself standout other than looking like a foreigner. Never tell anyone your wealth, how much you make, stay humble, and refuse to answer those questions. Even stating you are just a poor foreigner might help you. Remain vigilant of your surroundings and you should have a peaceful stay in Cebu and the Philippines.

Cebu City Rated 4.17 / 5 based on 12 user reviews.

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