Tagaytay: A Haven for Expats (Doc’s Passport Score: 86)

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Welcome to Tagaytay, a picturesque city nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes and cool mountain breezes. Known for its scenic views and proximity to Manila, Tagaytay has become a popular destination for expats seeking a budget-friendly place to call home. In this review, we’ll delve into the various aspects of Tagaytay that make it an attractive choice for expats, while also highlighting the challenges that may arise. Let’s explore this charming city together!


Affordability (14/15)

Tagaytay scores high when it comes to affordability. The cost of living is relatively lower compared to major cities, allowing expats to stretch their budgets without sacrificing comfort. From affordable housing options to reasonably priced groceries and dining, Tagaytay provides excellent value for money.

Safety & Security (12/15)

Safety is a prime concern for any expat, and Tagaytay excels in this area. The city boasts a low crime rate and a peaceful atmosphere, ensuring a secure environment for residents. While it’s always important to exercise caution, expats can feel reassured about their personal safety in Tagaytay.

Proximity to a Good Airport (9/10)

One of the key advantages of living in Tagaytay is its close proximity to Manila’s international airport. With a travel time of just over an hour, expats have easy access to international flights and can conveniently explore other parts of the world.

Public Transportation and Infrastructure (8/10)

Tagaytay’s public transportation system is well-developed, making it easy to navigate the city and its surroundings. Jeepneys, tricycles, and buses are readily available, providing affordable and convenient options for getting around. The infrastructure is generally reliable, although traffic congestion during peak hours can be a minor drawback.

Availability of Internet (7/10)

The availability of internet in Tagaytay is decent, with various service providers offering reliable connections. However, the speeds may vary depending on the location, and some areas might experience occasional outages. Overall, expats should be able to stay connected for work or leisure purposes, but it’s advisable to have a backup plan in case of any disruptions.

English Language Accessibility (7/10)

English is widely spoken in Tagaytay, making communication easier for expats who are not proficient in the local language. Most locals are accustomed to interacting with foreigners, and expats will find it relatively easy to navigate day-to-day conversations and transactions.

Cultural, Recreational Activities & Entertainment (5/5)

Tagaytay offers a vibrant mix of cultural, recreational activities, and entertainment options. From exploring the scenic Taal Volcano and Taal Lake to enjoying the thrills of ziplining and horseback riding, expats will find plenty of outdoor adventures to embark upon. Additionally, the city is home to art galleries, restaurants, and shopping centers, providing ample opportunities to indulge in cultural experiences and entertainment.

Expat Community & Services (5/5)

Tagaytay has a welcoming and supportive expat community that offers a sense of camaraderie and assistance to new arrivals. Expats will find various social groups, clubs, and organizations where they can connect with like-minded individuals. Additionally, essential services such as healthcare, banking, and education cater to the needs of the expat population.

Availability of Emergency Medical Care (4/5)

Tagaytay provides reliable emergency medical care facilities with several hospitals and clinics within reach. While the healthcare system is generally good, expats may find limited specialized medical services, requiring them to travel to nearby cities for certain treatments.

Food, Dining & Social Scene (3/5)

Tagaytay’s culinary scene is a treat for food enthusiasts. From local delicacies to international cuisines, the city offers a wide range of dining options to suit every palate. Expats can savor delicious meals while enjoying stunning views of the Taal Lake. However, the social scene might be relatively quieter compared to larger cities, and expats seeking a bustling nightlife may need to venture to nearby areas.

Natural Beauty & Outdoor Recreation (3/5)

Tagaytay’s natural beauty is unmatched, earning it the moniker “The City of Character.” Expats can revel in the breathtaking views of the Taal Volcano and lush landscapes that surround the city. Outdoor enthusiasts will find ample opportunities for hiking, trekking, and exploring nature trails. While Tagaytay offers a tranquil escape, those seeking more diverse natural landscapes may need to venture further.

Climate (2/5)

Tagaytay’s climate is characterized by cool temperatures and refreshing breezes, providing a respite from the heat of the lowlands. However, frequent rain showers and occasional typhoons are a part of the climate, which can be challenging for some expats accustomed to more stable weather conditions.

Final Results

Tagaytay proves to be a hidden gem for expats looking for an affordable and scenic place to settle. With its high affordability, safety, and proximity to modern amenities, it offers a comfortable and secure environment for expatriates. While challenges exist in terms of internet reliability, limited specialized medical services, and a relatively quieter social scene, the city’s natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and welcoming expat community make it a strong contender. With a Doc’s Passport Score of 86, Tagaytay earns a solid B+ grade, making it an attractive option for expats seeking a budget-friendly and picturesque home away from home.

This evaluation is geared towards expats seeking affordable living arrangements and not those looking for vacation spots or other purposes.  If you are younger and prefer more of a “passport bro” take on this city, check out my Passport Bro Score for it.  

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