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Arrival area in Mactan Cebu International Airport

Guide to Cebu Airport: Terminals, Airlines, Getting Around, Travel Tips

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Checkin counters at Mactan Cebu International AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport / Steve Lee  

The Philippine capital city of Manila via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is not the only entry point in the country. Some of the best tourist spots in the Philippines, especially the beaches and islands, can be easily accessed by direct international flights to Cebu.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the gateway to Central Visayas and parts of Negros Oriental. It is located in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island in the island province of Cebu. It is the perfect jump-off point if you plan to visit the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, and Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental that are known for their beaches and islands, diving spots, and nature attractions.



In 2019, the Mactan Cebu Airport Terminal 2 was recognized as the best airport in the world at the prestigious World Architecture Festival. Once you set foot at the Cebu Airport Terminal 2, you’ll see that the recognition was well-deserved.

From the high ceiling adorned with an intricate network of wooden arches to the handwoven counters and handcrafted tiles, the new terminal maximized locally sourced materials to reflect the artistry of the Viyasan Region. It is truly an architectural marvel that makes the airport a tourist destination in and of itself.

Beyond its physical beauty, it also promises pleasant arrival and departure experience. Despite being the second busiest airport in the Philippines next to Manila Airport or NAIA, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport also earns praise as one of the Top 10 Most On-Time Airports in Southeast Asia.

On top of basic amenities like Wi-Fi, charging stations, grab-and-go food choices, Cebu Airport also boasts top-notch amenities. The airport has a premium lounge with a shower, a smoking area, a dedicated breastfeeding area, duty-free shopping, and restaurants and cafes, and many more.

Read on to learn more about the Mactan-Cebu International Airport to help you plan your trip to Cebu and its neighboring destinations: 

Airlines and Destinations 

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is one of the largest airline hubs outside Manila. It hosts 36 domestic destinations and 37 international destinations and is served by 25 airlines.

You can conveniently travel to Cebu from major towns or cities in Luzon and Mindanao, including Manila, Palawan, Bacolod, Caticlan, Davao, Siargao, Camiguin, and Iloilo. Among the domestic carriers that serve this airport are Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, and Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Airport is also connected to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. International carriers that serve the Mactan Cebu Airport include Cathay Pacific, Emirates, and TigerAir. You can also catch long-haul flights to and from Los Angeles and Dubai.

Cebu Airport Terminals

 The Mactan-Cebu International Airport has two terminals. Terminal 1 is dedicated to domestic arrivals and departures, while Terminal 2 services international flights.

Terminal 1 (Domestic Flights)

Signages inside Mactan Cebu International AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Before the completion of Terminal 2 in 2018, Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s Terminal 1 accommodated domestic and international flights. Today, Terminal 1 houses domestic operations. If you’re going to the destinations below, head to Terminal 1:

  • Bacolod
  • Bantayan
  • Biliran
  • Busunga (Coron)
  • Butuan
  • Cagayan
  • Calbayog
  • Camiguin
  • Catbalogan
  • Caticlan
  • Clark
  • Cotabato
  • Davao
  • Dipolog
  • Dumaguete
  • El Nido
  • General Santos
  • Iloilo
  • Kalibo
  • Legaspi
  • Maasin
  • Manila
  • Masbate
  • Ormoc
  • Ozamis
  • Pagadian
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Roxas
  • Siargao
  • Sipalay
  • Siquijor
  • Surigao
  • Tacloban
  • Tagbilaran
  • Tandag
  • Zamboanga

Likewise, if you’ll be coming from those destinations, you will be arriving at Terminal 1.

Terminal 2 (International Flights)

Facade of International Departures area in Mactan Cebu International AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Terminal 2 handles all international flights. This terminal won an award at the World Architecture Festival 2019 for its awe-inspiring design.  If you’re going to the destinations below, head to Terminal 2:

  • Busan, Seoul–Incheon
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Shanghai–Pudong
  • Tokyo–Narita
  • Taipei–Taoyuan
  • Guangzhou
  • Dubai
  • Taipei
  • Muan
  • Nanjing
  • Daegu
  • Bangkok
  • Los Angeles
  • Nagoya
  • Osaka
  • Kaohsiung
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Shenzhen
  • Doha
  • Chongqing
  • Chengdu
  • Xiamen

Likewise, if you’ll be coming from those destinations, you will be arriving at Terminal 2.

How to Get Around Between Cebu Airport Terminals

Getting around Mactan-Cebu International Airport is easy thanks to their complimentary shuttle service, the Premium Airport Bus. It can transfer you between the Domestic and International terminals.

What is the Cebu Premium Airport Bus?

The Premium Airport Bus is a free shuttle service available 24/7 to all passengers who need to get from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 or vice versa. If you find yourself at the wrong terminal, you may also avail of the Premium Airport Bus to get you to the appropriate terminal. The Premium Airport Bus runs every 15 minutes.

How to Avail the Premium Airport Bus?

All you need to do is secure a coupon from the arrival transfer or information counter and present it to the bus dispatcher before boarding. 

Where are the Pickup and Drop-off Locations?

For Terminal 1, the pickup point is located at the Arrival forecourt. From there you will be dropped off at Terminal 2 Departure area.

For Terminal 2, the pickup point is by the Arrival area. From there, you will be dropped off at Terminal 1 North Wing departures.

Transportation to and from Cebu Airport

There are different modes of transportation you can take to get to and from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Your options include pre-arranged airport transfers, hotel shuttles, car rentals, taxis, car booking apps, and MyBus.

Cebu Airport Transfers

Getting Cebu Airport Transfer is the easiest way to ensure you have a hassle-free trip. Getting around Cebu and commuting to and from the airport with heavy luggage can be stressful, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area.

Instead of worrying about transportation during your trip, book an airport transfer in advance. This way, you have a sure ride waiting for you the moment you land or the second your Cebu City tour finishes.

These pre-booked services typically include a cozy air-conditioned private car and a uniformed driver who will also be your expert local guide. Before your trip, book a private Cebu Airport transfer service to take you to your hotel or the first destination on your travel itinerary. You can also book a transfer to drive you to Cebu's top tourist spots to/from the airport.

Car Rentals in Cebu

Another option is to avail of car rentals in Cebu. Renting a private car from trusted suppliers can be an excellent solution to your transportation woes for the trip. You can drive it on your own from the airport, you can select a vehicle you prefer, and there’s no need to wait around to be picked up. This is perfect if you want full control of your trip; you can drive anywhere you want at your own pace.

Book a car rental in Cebu before your trip to enjoy more freedom during your stay. You can explore the top Cebu City tourist spots or try several top things to do in Mactan anytime you want.

Hotel Shuttles

Several hotels near Cebu Airport provide free shuttle service for their guests. You can contact your hotel to ask about availability and other details.

Yellow Taxi and White Taxi

Cebu Aiport has official taxis you can avail of. You’ll know they are the official airport taxi by their yellow paint. Yellow taxis are accredited by the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority and operated by the Cebu Association of Tour Operators Inc. to cater to arriving passengers and ferry them to their local destination.

You can also hail an ordinary white taxi. These local metered taxis cater to both departing and arriving passengers to and from the city or the airport. 

You can find both taxis 24/7 at the Terminal 1 Domestic Arrival and Terminal 2 International Link Bridge Arrival.

 Car Booking Apps

Interface of Grab appPhoto from Apple App Store

Using a car booking app like Grab is another convenient way to get to and from Cebu Airport. Simply install the app on your phone and book when you need to. However, keep in mind that you may not be able to book immediately due to traffic and the availability of cars. So you may want to book a few minutes ahead of the time you originally intended to leave.

Additionally, off-peak hours might have lesser car options, so have a backup plan in case you are unable to book a Grab.

myBus

Shuttle of myBus in CebuPhoto by myBus

The Cebu myBus is an alternative public transportation that travels daily to and from SM City Cebu to Mactan-Cebu International Airport and vice versa. You can find the myBus at the Taxi Bay Area in Terminal 1 Domestic Arrival and the Bus Bay in Terminal 2 International Arrival.

myBus trips from SM City Cebu to Cebu Airport start at 6:00 AM to 1:20 PM daily, every 20 minutes. On the other hand, myBus trips from Cebu Airport to SM City Cebu start at 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily, every 20 minutes. 

Take note that myBus does not accept cash payment, so be sure to purchase a myBus ePlus Card at the myBus Cashiers in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, or SM Cinemas at SM Seaside City and SM City Cebu.

Every myBus is air-conditioned and can accommodate up to 90 passengers-including standing passengers. You can enjoy free WIFI or watch the television on board. 

myBus passes through Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, and Cebu City and offers several routes with various stops at each city. You can find a MyBus Station in SM Seaside Mall, SM City Cebu, Il Corso, City di Mare, Malancañang sa Sugbo, and Compania Maritima.

Nearby Hotels 

The Mactan Cebu International Airport is only a few kilometers away from Mactan, Cebu’s world-class hotels and resorts. So, if you’ve had a long and exhausting flight, you have a number of hotel options nearby. If you have time to indulge, you can also check out Cebu's best beachfront hotels.

Aerotel Cebu

A bed inside a room in Aerotel CebuPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

If you’re a departing or transit passenger, Aerotel Cebu may be your best accommodation option. This hotel is located inside the airport itself. You can find Aerotel Cebu inside Terminal 2, on the second level. They offer 11 rooms that feature en-suite bathrooms with showers and complete toiletries, a TV, a desk, a coffee machine, and more. 

Aerotel Cebu offers two types of rooms, a Solo Plus Room and a Double Plus Room. Solo Plus Rooms have a comfy single bed which is perfect for solo travelers. The Double Plus room is ideal for couples or groups of two since you have the choice of getting one double bed or two single beds.

You can book a room in Aerotel by the hour. If you book online, you can book a minimum of 6 hours. But if you book in person, you can book a minimum of 3 hours.  

Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino

Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan is right next door to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. This luxurious hotel is a few minutes' walk from the airport.

Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino Mactan spoil their guests with plush beds, marble bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen cable TVs, and minibars. There's also a buffet restaurant, a lavish cafe, and a lounge with regular live music. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, karaoke rooms, a gym, and a 24/7 casino. On top of that, the hotel also offers a complimentary airport shuttle.

Goldberry Suites and Hotel

Standard bedroom in Goldberry Suites and HotelPhoto by Goldberry Suites and Hotel

Goldberry Suites and Hotel is only 3 KM away from Cebu Airport. It's a budget-friendly yet classy hotel that is conveniently located along Mactan's main thoroughfare.

Goldberry Suites and Hotel offer cozy rooms with a modern vibe. Every room is equipped with a memory foam bed, flat-screen cable TV, hot and cold shower, a mini-bar, and coffee and tea-making facilities. Book their Standard Room to enjoy a view of the Mactan Bridge and the Mactan Channel. They also provide free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and free airport transfer. 

Practical Information and Tips

For a hassle-free experience at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, especially if it's your first time visiting, check out these essential tips: 

Check-in/Boarding Time

The Cebu Airport is one of the most on-time airports in Asia, so make sure you arrive at the airport early. Make sure you're at the airport at least two to three hours before boarding time. Traffic in Metro Cebu can be heavy during peak hours; you’ll risk missing your flight if you don’t head to the airport early.

Additionally, make it a habit to check-in online instead of at the airport. The web check-in function can make your trip so much smoother, especially if you're only bringing carry-on luggage. This way, you don't need to stand in long lines at the check-in counter, you can just head straight to the pre-departure area and chill.

Safety

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is equipped with the latest security equipment like CTTVs and scanners. Security personnel are always in sight. Nonetheless, keep an eye on your valuables. Keep your carry-on luggage near, and if you're charging your phone at the charging stations, don't leave it unattended. 

Additionally, take note of items you are not allowed to bring to the airport:

  • Nail cutters, swiss knives, scissors, any bladed items or sharp objects. 

  • Umbrellas 

  • Bicycle chains or other similar items. 

  • Butane Lighters

  • Matches

As for liquids, aerosols, and gels in your carry-on baggage, they should not exceed 100 milliliters and must be secured in a transparent one-liter plastic bag.

Security queues can get long. So, aside from arriving early, do not attempt to bring in any of the items above so you'll have a smooth experience going through airport security. 

Currency 

Philippine peso

The province of Cebu accepts payments in Philippine Peso (PHP). There are a number of ATMs and Money Changers inside the airport, near the airport, and in the central district of major cities like Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City.

You will find 11 ATMs from local and international banks and a Curex Money Changer inside the airport. You can convert your cash to Philippine Peso and other currencies at the foreign exchange counters located at Domestic and International Arrival and International Departure.

ATMs are available in most Cebu establishments, such as malls and convenience stores. However, not all establishments may accept credit card payments.

Language

When in Cebu, you can expect locals to converse in either Cebuano, Tagalog, or English. Most locals speak and understand English well, so don't hesitate to ask questions or directions. Say hi/hello first when approaching them to establish a friendly tone. 

Other Mactan-Cebu International Airport Amenities

Apart from basic amenities like an information desk, free Wi-Fi, charging stations, and free water, Cebu Airport has facilities to cater to the needs of every type of traveler.

From budget-friendly food stalls, classy mini bistros, cozy cafes, to creature comforts like the spa, premium lounge, and luxury shopping, you'll find what you need. 

Free Wi-Fi and Mobile Charging Stations

Waiting for your flight at the Cebu Airport doesn’t have to be boring. Connect to the airport’s free Wi-Fi and stream or surf to your heart’s content. If your phone runs out of battery, you can plug it in at the free mobile charging stations.

Dining

You have a wide array of food choices at Cebu Airport. To-go food options such as Cinnabon, Dunkin Doughnut, Fraiche Deli, or Krispy Kreme are perfect if you simply want to snack while you wait for your flight. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a filling meal at casual dining options like Zubuchon, Burger King, Tsim Sha Tsui, Nippon Ramen, or Jollibee. You can also grab a cup of coffee at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Bo’s Coffee, or IllyCafe.

Shopping

Shopping area in Mactan Cebu International AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

As for shopping, you can grab your electronic needs at Plug + Play, buy luxury apparel and accessories at Aviator, shop for affordable clothes at Bench, check out the extensive range of merchandise at WH Smith, or splurge at Duty-Free Philippines.

Business Center

If you need a computer with internet access, fax, photocopies, or a prepaid cell phone card, head to IKonnect.

Breastfeeding Area

Breastfeeding area in Mactan Cebu International AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Cebu airport has a dedicated area where nursing mothers can attend to their infants’ needs in private. The breastfeeding station is open 24/7 and features comfortable chairs with privacy curtains, a microwave, a refrigerator, a sink, changing stations, and more. You can find it at the Central Spine Departure Area, after the final security check.

Information Desk 

For any questions or concerns, you can visit one of the airport’s Information Desks for assistance. 

You'll find the Terminal 2 Information Desk near the Arrival exit and by the Departure area near Cabin Bar. on the other hand, the Information Desk at Terminal 1 is located at the Airport Village, in front of the Arrivals exit.

Massage and Spa 

If you want to be pampered while you wait for your flight, you can get a therapeutic massage at the airport. Try the Rest N Go Massage Chairs at the Terminal 1 Gates 4 and 25, or visit the Stress Away Massage Shop at the Terminal 1 Airside. On the other hand, Terminal 2 has The Spa at Cebu which offers spa and massage services at Terminal 2 Airside.

Medical Services 

For medical emergencies, head to the Airport clinic and ER. It is open 24/7, so if you feel unwell or if you injured yourself, go to the medical center in Terminal 2, Departures Hall Landside, near Check-in.

Mactan Cebu Airport also has a pharmacy. You can buy medicine at  K2 Pharmacy, which you can find at both Landside and Airside in Terminal 2.

Prayer Room 

If you want a moment of solemn silence and prayer, Cebu Airport has a chapel and a mosque. You'll find the prayer rooms at Terminal 1 Landside and Terminal 2 Airside.

Lounge

Lounge area in Mactan AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Mactan-Cebu Airport boasts one of the best lounges in the world, the Plaza Premium Lounge. The Plaza Premium Lounge spoils travelers with stellar service, a variety of food and beverages, a selection of TV channels, a shower room, and a plush lounge. As you relax and enjoy the TV or Wi-Fi,  you can keep tabs on flight information. You can find the lounge at Terminal 1 South Wing Pre-departure.

Plan Your Getaway to Cebu

Arrival area in Mactan Cebu International AirportPhoto by Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Whether you're flying in or from Cebu, you can expect no less than excellent service and amenities at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Beyond basic perks like Wi-Fi, charging stations, and fast food choices, Mactan-Cebu International Airport aims to give travelers the best airport experience. Before taking in Cebu's best beaches, dive spots, tours, and activities, make the most out of your time at Cebu Airport. Try out the exciting amenities like the premium lounge, massage therapy, duty-free shopping, casual restaurants, or cafes.



Keep the pointers above in mind for a stress-free time at the airport and to fully enjoy your trip to the province of Cebu.