Welcome to Cebu City
Cebuano people are some of the friendliest on the planet. The absolute friendliest of the friendliest can be found at Mad Monkey Hostel Cebu City! Mad Monkey is one of the biggest chains of hostels in South-East Asia. People typically head to Cebu City en route to Siargao, Moalboal, Bohol (Chocolate Hills), Oslob (Whale Sharks), or Palawan. Mad Monkey Cebu is the perfect place to start! While they tend to have a massive party reputation, their Cebu City location is what I would consider more “social” than rager. The atmosphere is created so that there are plenty of opportunities to chill even while a party is in full effect.
“Mad Monkey Cebu City is the ultimate go-to hostel in the Queen City of the South. Located 15 minutes away from the best tourist spots around the city, we offer budget-friendly private and dorm rooms with friendly staff & an upbeat social vibe. Enjoy our Filipino Fusion restaurant, laze by our infinity pool & sun deck; and in the evening, party with the best DJs in town. Enjoy a game of billiards or beer pong whilst mixing with 150 other travelers. If you’re thinking of coming to Cebu, Mad Monkey Hostel Cebu City is the place to be!”
Dorm Rooms at Mad Monkey Hostel Cebu City
“Guests can enjoy super comfy mattresses with crisp linens and soft, fluffy pillows. Our air-conditioned rooms are equipped with towels, bathroom with hot shower and personal locker storage to make sure that your valuables are safe and secured. Cable TV is available in the Deluxe Private Rooms only. You’ll enjoy our epic parties and events as you meet our friendly staff and backpackers from around the world that will surely make your stay a memorable one.”
When I arrived at nearly 3 AM I was exhausted, wired, and ready to head to bed. I headed to my room and was greeted by a grumpy old English man who had all the lights on, all his clothes off (save for a towel around his nether region), and was reading a book in the 4-person room. As a solo female traveler, I just wasn’t comfortable being the only person sharing this room. I popped down to reception and they arranged for another room right away.
This one (featured in the images above) had little cubbies rather than bunk-beds. I am always appreciative when there’s room for privacy, especially because I typically book into co-ed dorms (they tend to be more social). The bed was comfortable, but I could have definitely used a second pillow. Our air conditioner was a saving grace in the heat of the Philippines. My locker was massive and contained all of my luggage (carry-on) easily.
For the Mad Monkey Cebu City Menu, Click Here
Mad Monkey Cebu City Bar and Restaurant
Mad Monkey’s rooftop patio is the only place to socialize outside of your dorm room. In the mornings, people head up for breakfast/ brunch with your choice of traditional Filipino-style or Western breakfast. I opted for longaniza on day one (pictured above) and it kept me full as I ventured around the city. At 7:30 PM, the DJ starts to amp up and 30 minutes of open bar (beer and rail drinks) begins.
Every hour on the hour the rest of the night you’re invited to the bar for a free shot of what might as well be penicillin. Red or orange – choose wisely! Most people play beer pong, card games, or head’s up before heading out to the bars on the main drag. I would recommend eating at Mad Monkey before-hand. There are a number of restaurants near the bars and clubs, but the quality of the food isn’t nearly as good (see below).
About Cebu City
The City of Cebu was the first Spanish settlement and the first capital of the Philippines. It is the country’s oldest city and is also known as the “Queen City of the South”. It has a population of just under 3 million people and is the 2nd most-populated city in the Philippines. I was really excited to get out and explore the city. Mad Monkey is a bit of a walk from most places, but if you have the time (and appropriate footwear – sidewalks come at a premium) it’s great to get out and explore.
I headed down to find Fort San Pedro, and stumbled upon Magellan’s Cross on the way. On 7 April 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1565 and took possession of the island. Cebu city is considered to be the birthplace of Christianity in the Far East. Although I observed some extreme poverty in the Philippines, the Catholic churches were all incredibly ornate. The people are devout as can be.
Happy Beach Cebu City
I had hoped to venture outside the city on one of Mad Monkey’s tours, but the timing just didn’t line up, unfortunately. We did, however, make it to Happy Beach – an instagram paradise with an inflatable island on the water. We hopped in a Grab Car and ventured an hour out of the city and across the bridge to Mactan.
Once we got to the venue, it was honestly pretty ghetto. Our tickets gave us a “cabana” and a platter of food and non-alcoholic drinks. Service was painfully slow even though they were overstaffed for so few guests. We couldn’t find lockers, so someone had to constantly guard our things (*waves hello*) while the others played on the inflatable island (which closes relatively early in the evening). I wouldn’t go back, but on a cloudy afternoon with a bunch of new friends it was something to do before the festivities kicked off at Mad Monkey.
Thank-you Mad Monkey Cebu City!
When we landed back from El Nido, Palawan, we immediately returned to Mad Monkey. I knew there would be somewhere to put my feet up, charge my phone, check my flight details (the WiFi on the roof is top notch), and get some good grub before our long, long flights home. Big thank-you to the staff for hosting my stay and making me (and all my new pals) feel like celebrities. Our time in the Philippines wouldn’t have been the same without you!