6 Best Places To Live in the Philippines as an Expat For Quality life

Are you looking to settle here because you want to test if it really is more fun in the Philippines yourself? What better way to test out the waters than to live in the Pearl of the Orient Seas itself to fulfill your satisfaction. 

The Philippines is everything but unenjoyable. Thanks to its one-of-a-kind beaches, ecstatic urbanscape, and ideal cost of living that won’t leave your wallet agape, you wouldn’t want to miss out on living in the Philippines. That’s why even expats have made the choice to settle in here, whether it be a quick run or a long-lasting decision. You’ll find that living with a primarily English-speaking population would be a breath of fresh air for the rest of your life as well as the many opportunities its growing economy has to offer also add to the attraction.

Right now, you’re fully convinced to make the Philippines your 1st choice to live in. But you still don’t know where you just know it’s going to be in this country. So you ask yourself what the best places to live in the Philippines as an Expat are. Should you follow your close friend’s advice to choose Manila, where the city bustles 24/7, or that travel advisory specialist who you talked to over the phone telling you to go with Makati City as it is the business center of the Philippines? I know how hard it is to pick from all the options. That’s what this article is for!

To guide you throughout your decision-making, here are the 6 best places To live in the Philippines as an expat:

1. Makati City

Makati is a no-brainer when it comes to wanting to live in a highly sophisticated city in the Philippines. If you ever do land on Makati for your final decision, you’ll gladly witness hundreds and even more of your fellow expats around the block! Isolation would be your last worry because expat groups are all the more common in this city. Several studies show that more than 89% of trade and business buildings are located in Makati. This includes numerous main offices of local and foreign bank branches, world-class hotels, restaurants that cater exceptional international cuisine, and international schools.

Anyone interested in any urban type of pursuits for their lifestyle will have a hard time resisting what Makati has to offer. Makati is also a safe place both when the sun is out and when the night is on. Want to experience life in a business setting while taking in the bustling city life as it unfolds? The City of Makati is where it’s at.

One caveat to keep in mind with Makati is that the road is meant for high vehicle volumes. This would mean that kids who use bikes or walk alone as their primary transportation is prohibited. Combined with that thought, traffic rules are neglected on a daily basis. 

If you aren’t sold by Makati yet, the drive from the airport to the city won’t last you any more than 30 minutes. You’re exhausted with your flight, and you deserve somewhere to take a breather in an instant. You won’t regret choosing Makati.


2. Tagaytay, Cavite City

Looking for the most well-rounded location to land in? Tagaytay is your best buddy. It not only provides you with a perfectly stunning view of dozens of shorelines, but it also presents you with irresistible weather that sticks in the city all year round. Living in Tagaytay also lets you have the perks to be kilometers near Metro Manila as it only takes you no more than 2 hours to reach Manila. Nobody wants to hop on a vehicle for hours of traffic just to arrive at the SM Mall of Asia. Tagaytay offers all the necessary amenities that a typical expat needs to live every day. 

Once you step foot in Tagaytay, you’ll observe how it isn’t as dense as what Manila seems to be, unless you go out during the weekends, which you’ll then see the sudden influx of other expats within the city. Tourists hold a considerable part in the population of the city as Cavite is on the verge of being the center of real estate in the Philippines. Tagaytay is at its best during the weekdays as it doesn’t produce much noise and air pollution from Monday to Friday where residents have their own things to catch up to inside their homes. 

The consistent climate is, of course, going to be the main pro in choosing to stay here. Although the temperature that it offers isn’t as top-notch as the numbers that Baguio reaches, it takes the point for having a free-blowing breeze. Baguio may be seen as the coldest of all the areas in the Philippines, but it doesn’t come close to how Tagaytay consistently shifts the aerial fog within minutes apart. You got to love the variety that Tagaytay has up its sleeves!


3. Subic Bay

On the topic of best places to live in the Philippines as an expat, you might have come across the infamous Subic Bay. It’s been talked about a lot between tourists, and it’s been long word-of-mouth for a good reason. It’s basically a go-to for most expats in the Philippines. 

Subic offers diverse amenities that were left to the city for people to indulge by the US military. Fun fact: Subic has been a former US naval base. American naval soldiers used to be assigned to this particular area. Enthusiasts of the military have definitely bookmarked Subic bay for their next tourist destination.

As an expat, on the other hand, living in Subic means that you’re going to gain access to malls and convenience stores which include price tags incorporating dollar equivalents. This laid-back nature that Subic has to offer is definitely one of the main reasons why it is one of the best places to live in the Philippines as an expat. It’s primarily quiet, and the law there is strictly promoted, more specifically in traffic. Transportation is everything but a hassle. A well-mannered traffic system is frequently observable, with rules within the road that are commonly enforced.

If you’re still looking for reasons to convince you that Subic is your number one choice, let the beaches speak for themselves. Local expats expressed their adoration for the cleanliness of the beaches along Subic. Put it simply, Subic is a safe and pleasant choice for expats.


4. Cebu City

Cebu City is a large city screaming commercial life in every corner. Worried that you’ll be the only expat to live in a city in the Visayas? No worries! Most of the expats in the Philippines reside in Cebu City for multiple reasons. There’s a long list of reasons why expats mostly stuck with Cebu as their final decision, but it all boils down to one idea: Convenience. Cebu City is a great pathway for your economic desires since the city is booming with a passion for business and economic well-being. Your retirement plan won’t go down the drain once you choose Cebu!

Looking for a perfectly balanced place where you can experience an urban way of living while also taking hold of the Philippines’ rural ways? Cebu has your back. 

For those wanting to start from scratch, creating a family is trouble-free. But, with over one million Cebuanos living in Cebu, you’re bound to find one that wins your heart over with your charm!

Also, Cebu is known to be the center of transportation, so traveling to most tourist locations within the Visayas would be a hassle-free endeavor. That would mean that tourists can worry more about what they would do at the destination and not during the journey. Lots of tourists find the attractive nature of Cebu City to be a crowd-pleaser.

Expats also love how laidback the way of life in Cebu City is. Imagine being just a couple of miles away from beach life! Need I say more?


5. Baguio

Want to live somewhere outside Metro Manila, where you can experience a climate unlike any other during summer? Baguio is your way to go.

Located at the north of Luzon, Baguio keeps tons of surprises in its sleeves for being the City of Pines. Beating the heat is one of your priorities w

hen temperatures from Manila spike at 50°C. Tourists and even locals find Baguio to be the perfect getaway during the summer break. With its cool weather that stays all throughout the year, living here for retirement will definitely bring an ample amount of peace to your daily lifestyle. 

Greener pastures are found in Baguio, literally and figuratively. Taking a stroll at different malls will make you witness the beauty of a couple of green hills of Baguio. But, don’t worry, there are a handful of establishments where you get a better view of the beauty that Baguio brings forth. A couple of these will notably include a more detailed and up-close scenery of the pine trees that the city is known for.

As per the safety, Baguio is safer compared to the lowlands in Manila or any of the other large cities listed in this article. This is because you’re less likely to get mugged from any pickpockets than you would in Manila, where the dangers are more out there. 

Out of all the positive adjectives that could be said about the City of Pines, the quality of “Peace” is the right way to describe it. For those wanting to build a sound humble abode permanently, Baguio brings you a highland and tranquil vibe. You can practically live your life in a modern rural locality where only the freshest of produce is brought to your doorstep.

What can you say? Baguio can both be worthwhile once you live here and a memorable temporary stay.


6. Davao City

Davao is an underrated pick for places to settle in. Unfortunately, with how a handful of countries enforce travel laws forbidding any travels to Mindanao, the tough process of traveling has discouraged many expats from picking Davao City for their visit. But the number of tricks that the “Fruit Basket of the Philippines” has hidden up its sleeve made it deserve a sweet spot in the list of the best places to live in the Philippines as an expat. 

Davao City has made it apparent that it isn’t just a typical city in the Philippines and is soon becoming an upcoming hotspot for expats. Davao City is the largest city in the eastern part of Mindanao.

Davao City centers its way of life through culture, urban shenanigans, and nature. The city kept up with the ever-growing pace of the economy while maintaining what made Davao the Fruit Basket of the Philippines. Coming to Davao City, you’ll find that it is a place where peace is brought up constantly. It’s a friendly city that doesn’t leave any expat behind.

Of course, the single best thing about living in Davao City is that you’re within miles’ reach in seeing the one and only Mount Apo. It’s known for being the highest mountain in the country, and every neighboring province finds it as the best part of living in Davao. Not only that, the placement of Davao city is strategically situated near shorelines leaving you with close access to indulge the beach. Treating yourself with self-care measures through a weekend beach getaway is vital, and that’s what Davao strives for.

Final Note

With the thought of the low cost of living, long stretches of charming beaches, active nightlife, and a unique blend of climate, it’s no surprise that there has been a sudden influx of expats sticking to the Philippines for residence. 

Hopefully, fingers-crossed, one of the places in this list lands on your perfect retirement plan or even a temporary stay. So whether you were confused about where to live in the Philippines or you’re just curious about the best places to live in the Philippines as an expat, there’s a suitable place for everyone’s needs.

Now experience the beauty of the Philippines on your own!


Leave a Reply