Top 5 Most Affordable Places to Live in the Philippines

a beach
  • The Philippines is attractive for ex-pats and retirees due to its warm climate, beautiful scenery, and friendly people.
  • It’s also one of the most affordable countries in the world.
  • Cebu City, Cavite, Dumaguete, Bacolod, and Iloilo are some of the most affordable cities in the country, offering a high standard of living.
  • It’s essential to consider the cost of living, language & communication, visa requirements, and safety when moving to the Philippines.

The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia famous for its beautiful beaches, friendly people, and rich culture. It is also considered one of the most affordable countries in the world, making it an attractive destination for expats and retirees. If you are on a tight budget and looking for an affordable place to live in the Philippines, here’s a compiled list of the top five most affordable cities that offer an excellent quality of life.

Why Choose the Philippines

The Philippines is quickly becoming one of the favorite destinations for many people to live in. The country’s warm tropical weather, breathtaking natural scenery, rich culture, and hospitable people make it an attractive place for expatriates. Additionally, the cost of living in the Philippines is much lower than in other Asian countries, which offers foreigners the opportunity to have a high standard of living at an affordable price.

The Best Affordable Places to Live in the Philippines

Many cities and towns in the Philippines offer excellent quality of life at an affordable cost. Here are some of the top six:


Cebu City is the second largest city in the Philippines, known for its beautiful beaches, nightlife, and local cuisine. It is also one of the most affordable cities, with low rent prices, cheap food, and transportation costs. Cebu City is also famous for students, tourists, and digital nomads.


family in their new home

Cavite is situated south of Metro Manila and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. It offers an excellent quality of life at a much lower cost than its neighboring cities. This big province has a lot of options when it comes to housing.

For instance, you can find a low-cost house and lot preselling in Gen Trias Cavite that is perfect for families on a budget. With as many as 60,000 residents living here, Cavite is ideal for those looking for vibrant city life.


Dumaguete is a small city located on the southeast coast of the island of Negros. Its small size and laid-back lifestyle make it an attractive destination for retirees and ex-pats looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities. It is also an affordable place to live in, with a low cost of living and affordable real estate prices.


Bacolod is the capital city of Negros Occidental and is known for its delicious food, especially chicken inasal and other local delicacies. It is also one of the most affordable cities in the Philippines, with low rent prices, reasonable transportation costs, and a flourishing local economy.


family in the park having fun

Iloilo City is a historic city located on the island of Panay. It is known for its Spanish colonial heritage, beautiful churches, and heritage houses. It is also an affordable place to live in, with low real estate prices and a low cost of living. Iloilo is also a popular destination for investors and entrepreneurs.

Things to Consider

From stunning beaches to rich cultural heritage, moving to the Philippines to live can be full of adventure and excitement. However, before diving into the unknown, there are some essential things you need to consider.

The Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Philippines differs from place to place and lifestyle. It’s essential to consider your budget and expenses before moving. Although everything is relatively cheap compared to Western countries, some cities, such as Manila and Cebu, are more expensive. It’s advisable to research popular areas and make a realistic budget that includes accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment.

Language & Communication

English is widely spoken and understood in the Philippines. However, learning a few basic phrases in Tagalog (the national language) will make communication easier and smoother, especially at local markets and establishments outside the cities. Remember also to take time to understand the culture and traditions of locals.

Visa Requirements

To live in the Philippines, there are different visa types depending on your purpose of stay. Working, studying, retirement, and investment visas are just a few examples. Researching the best pass for you and the requirements, including medical tests, document authentication, and bank statements, is essential.


Safety is a top priority when moving to any country. While most of the Philippines is peaceful, some risky areas face security threats and violent conflicts, particularly in Mindanao and some of its adjacent islands. Researching the safety conditions and culture of the place where you plan to stay is a crucial step.

Final Thoughts

The Philippines is a great place to live, with its warm climate, beautiful scenery, and friendly people. These six cities offer an excellent quality of life, with a low cost of living, affordable real estate prices, and various business opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. Whether you are a retiree, student, digital nomad, or just looking for a more affordable place, these cities are worth considering.

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