Whether you want to get in touch with nature, see modern sights, or immerse yourself in its rich culture, Cebu is the perfect destination for you. Aside from being known for its picturesque tourist spots, the province is also a gateway to other travel-worthy local destinations like Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor, and others.
Ready to spend a few days in Cebu? This guide will help you make the most out of your trip to the Queen City of the South.
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Quick Facts About Cebu
- Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines and the first capital of the country.
- It’s also known as the first Christianized city in the country.
- The first battle of the Filipinos against conquerors happened on Mactan Island in April 1521. The Lapu-Lapu Shrine was built to commemorate the event.
2. Language and Culture
In Cebu, locals mainly use the English language and Cebuano dialect. Tourists are encouraged to use English instead of Tagalog when communicating with the locals since they’re more familiar with the language.
The following are some basic Cebuano sentences that you can use when exploring Cebu:
- How much is this? – Tagpila ni?
- Thank you very much! – Daghang salamat!
- Good morning – Maayong buntag!
- Good noon – Maayong udto!
- Good afternoon – Maayong hapon!
- Good evening – Maayong gabi!
- It is so delicious! – Kalami oy!
Cebu has several festivals and the most popular one is the Sinulog Festival which is held every 3rd Sunday of January. It’s one of the grandest festivals not just in the Philippines, but in Asia as well.
The festival honors Sto. Niño and has a mardi gras parade where residents from the different towns in Cebu and around the country participate in street dancing.
3. Modes of Transportation
Tourists usually have two options to explore Cebu: through private tours or DIY trips. If you prefer DIY trips, prepare to do a lot of commuting.
These are the available modes of transportation in Cebu:
- Tricycle – are usually licensed to operate in one city or town only. It’s also one of the cheapest transport options since the current fare is only P10 per kilometer.
- Jeepneys – follow different routes so it’s best to plan ahead and find out which jeepney routes you should be taking, depending on your hotel’s location and your destinations.
- Multicab – looks like a combination of van and jeepney. It also follows specific routes.
- Buses – follow a north-south route. There are two major bus terminals in the city–the North Bus Terminal in Mandaue City and the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City.
- Taxis/Grab – your best option if you’re staying in a hotel or somewhere that isn’t included in any jeepney routes. Always be cautious when riding taxis since some drivers charge more if they think you’re not a local.
- Private Car – the best choice if you’re traveling with a group and you want to see as many tourist spots as possible. Car rental for 4 pax with a driver usually ranges from Php 3,000 to Php 5,000.
4. Popular Dishes and Delicacies
Cebu has an amazing local cuisine. These are some of the most popular dishes and delicacies that you have to try:
- Bibingka – made primarily from glutinous rice flour and can be eaten as part of breakfast or as a snack.
- Cebu Lechon – or roasted suckling pig is Cebu’s most popular dish. You won’t be able to find a better-tasting lechon anywhere else in the country.
- Chicharon – or deep-fried pork rind is a must-try when you’re in Cebu. It’s crispy and flavorful; perfect for snacks. Carcar is well-known for selling the best tasting chicharon in Cebu.
- Danggit – or dried fish is a pride of Cebu. It’s perfect for breakfast and you can even bring some with you.
- Dried Mango – Cebu produces the best-tasting dried mango in the country which explains why it’s currently the major distributor of the product.
- Humba – a pork belly flavored with black beans, onion, garlic, and pineapple. It tastes best when served over rice.
- Masareal – another popular delicacy of Cebu made with just two ingredients: sugar syrup and peanuts.
- Otap – a sugar-coated biscuit that is both crispy and flaky. A home-grown pride of Cebu, it’s the perfect ‘pasalubong’ for your family friends.
- Peanut Broas – is Cebu’s version of the popular Lady Fingers.
- Rosquillos – is Cebu’s version of butter cookies and has been a popular product since 1907.
How To Get There?
1. By Land
You can reach Cebu by land if you’re coming from any of the nearby towns. There are several bus terminals with a lot of routes going in and out of Cebu.
If you’re coming from the northern part of Cebu like Maya, it will take up to 5 hours to reach Cebu City via bus. On the other hand, if you’re coming from the southern part of Cebu like Bato, Moalboal, or Oslob, you can also take the bus and expect the travel time to be around 3-4 hours.
2. By Air
If you want hassle-free travel, you can book a flight to Cebu. The Queen City of the South has its own airport. You can fly to Cebu if you’re coming from any of these major destinations:
- Local: Cagayan de Oro, Clark, Caticlan, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo (Boracay), Manila, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
- International: Hongkong, Singapore, Taipei, Taiwan, Tokyo, Japan
3. By Sea
You can also reach Cebu by ferry if you’re coming from any of these locations:
- Bohol (Tagbilaran and Tubigon)
- Leyte (Ormoc and Maasin)
There are also ferry trips coming from Manila and Cagayan de Oro but travel time takes up to 1 day. For a complete ferry trip schedule to and from Cebu, please refer to this site.
4. From Mactan-Cebu International Airport to City Proper
There are two ways to get to the city proper of Cebu from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:
It’s the cheapest mode of transportation from the airport to the city. Bus fare is only Php 40. Look for MyBus at the T1 Domestic Arrival’s Taxi Bay Area and T2 International Arrival’s Bus Bay.
MyBus connects SM City Cebu to the airport and vice versa. The buses leave every 30 minutes.
These are the current MyBus rates as of June 2019:
- SM CEBU to MCIA T1 & T2 and VICE VERSA – Php 40.00
- PARK MALL to MCIA T1 & T2 and VICE VERSA – Php 25.00
After getting off at the SM City Mall, you can either ride a taxi or jeep to go to your hotel. You can find the jeepney terminal at the mall’s other side. Take note that when riding taxis, KEN taxi is the best option.
b. Private Car
If you want a hassle-free trip from the airport to your hotel, you can opt for a private car transfer. You can reserve one from Klook. They can pick up and drop you off in the following areas: Busay, Cebu City, Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Mactan Island, and Mandaue.
Where To Stay in Cebu
1. High End
- Cebu Hotel Plus – Location: Don Marian Cui Street, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 2,520 per night
- Anika Island Resort – Location: Bantayan Island, Cebu. Rates start at Php 2,542 per night
- CSuites at 8 Newtown Mactan Cebu – Location: Mactan Island, Cebu. Rates start at Php 2,670 per night
- Bayfront Hotel Cebu – Location: North Reclamation Area, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 2,681 per night
- Best Western Plus Lex Cebu – Location: Escario Street, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 2,890 per night
- Fuente Oro Business Suites – Location: Capitol Site, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 1,008 per night
- Ging-ging Hotel & Resort – Location: Looc, Oslob. Rates start at Php 1,033 per night
- Leope Hotel – Location: Mandaue City, Cebu. Rates start at Php 1,059 per night
- Cebu R Hotel – Capitol – Location: Capitol Site, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 1,114 per night
- Holiday Spa Hotel – Location: Banilad, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 1,061 per night
- Cebu Budgetel – IT Park City Center – Location: Apas Lahug, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 306 per night
- 8th Street Hostel – Location: D. Jakosalem Street, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 254 per night
- Murals Hostel & Café – Location: Kasambagan, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 498 per night
- West Coast Beach House – Location: Panagsama Beach, Moalboal. Rates start at Php 331 per night
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Location: Capitol Site, Cebu City. Rates start at Php 568 per night
Where To Eat in Cebu
1. High End
- Abaca Baking Company – Location: The Crossroads, Kasambagan, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): American, European; Average Cost per Meal: Php 500
- Soho Park – Location: Ground Floor, Asian Premier Residences, Abad Street, Lahug City, Cebu; Cuisine(s): European, International; Average Cost per Meal: Php 600
- Casa Verde – Location: Ayala Center Cebu, IT Park, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): American; Average Cost per Meal: Php 550
- Zubuchon – Location: Escario Central, Capitol Site, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 550
- Anzani – Location: Panorama Heights, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Mediterranean; Average Cost per Meal: Php 1,400
- Feria – Radisson Blu Cebu – Location: Radisson Blu Cebu, Juan Luna Avenue Corner Osmena Boulevard, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Asian; Average Cost per Meal: Php 1,100
- Bintana Coffee House – Location: 181-K Elizabeth Pond Street, Kamputhaw, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 250
- Yolk – Coffee and Breakfast – Location: 80 Tres Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): American, Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 325
- House of Lechon – Location: Acacia Street, Kamputhaw, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 450
- Pizzeria Michelangelo – Location: Escario Central, N. Escario Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Italian; Average Cost per Meal: Php 350
- Albur’s Pizza Burger Grill – Location: General Lim Street, Villa Aurora, Kasambagan, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): American, Italian; Average Cost per Meal: Php 325
- Ramen Yushoken – Location: Oakridge Business Park, Banilad, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Japanese; Average Cost per Meal: Php 400
- Toraja Cafe – Location: Raintree Mall, Ramos, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Coffee, Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 175
- Silogan ni Gian – Location: Junquera Street, Jones, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 75
- AA BBQ – Location: Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 175
- Yakski Barbeque – Location: 268 Don Mariano Cui Street, Capitol Site, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 150
- Streetyard – Location: Parkmall, Tipolo, Mandaue City; Cuisine(s): American, Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 150
- Chowabungga – Location: IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City; Cuisine(s): Asian, Filipino; Average Cost per Meal: Php 150
Top 30 Most Popular Tourist Spots in Cebu You Should Visit
1. 10,000 Roses of Cebu
This Instagram-worthy tourist spot has gone viral and garnered a lot of interest from locals and foreign tourists, thanks to the 10,000 LED-powered roses lighting up at night to create a spectacular visual experience. It even has a café where you can hang out and admire the roses from the inside.
- Location: Day-as, Cordova, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island
- How to get here: The easiest way is to ride a taxi or book a Grab. Going to 10,000 Roses of Cebu from the city proper will cost around Php 250 – Php 300.
- Operating hours: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
- Entrance fee: Php 20
2. Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island gained a lot of following after it was featured in the local movie ‘Camp Sawi’. And it surely doesn’t disappoint, with two of its pride–the Paradise Beach and Kota Beach–being considered as some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Visit caves, go on a boat trip, explore fishing villages, and enjoy the nightlife like no other.
- Location: Bantayan Island, Cebu
- How to get here: You can take either the bus or van bound to Hagnaya. The fare costs Php 40-Php 160 for the bus and Php 200 for the van. Travel time is approximately 5-6 hours from the city proper. After arriving in Hagnaya, you have to take the ferry bound for Bantayan Island. The fare’s around Php 200 for a one-way ticket. Travel time is approximately an hour.
3. Basilica del Santo Niño Church & Museum
The Basilica del Santo Niño Church in Cebu is actually the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines. Built in 1565, the church has a nearby museum where religious artifacts and precious jewels–a testament to its rich history–are displayed.
- Location: Santo Niño Chapel Lane, Cebu City, Cebu
- How to get here: You can take a taxi or book a Grab since this tourist spot is right in the heart of the city.
- Operating hours (museum): Mondays to Sundays (except Wednesday), 8:00 AM to 11:45 AM and 1:30 PM to 4:45 PM
- Entrance fees (museum): Adult: Php 30; Senior Citizen: Php 15; Student & Children: Php 10
4. Carnaza Island
Carnaza Island is the best destination for budget travelers since it’s not as expensive as other nearby islands. It has a long stretch of white sand beaches ideal for beach bumming and camping.
- Location: Carnaza Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu
- How to get here: At the Cebu North Bus Terminal, ride a Maya-Bagay bound bus and inform the conductor that you’ll get off at the Tapilon Port. The fare is Php 212 and travel time is approximately 4 hours. At the Tapilon Port, ride the boat bound for Carnaza Island. One-way fare is Php 150 and travel time is approximately 2 hours.
5. Casa Gorordo Museum
The Casa Gorordo Museum is where the first Cebuano bishop, Juan Gorordo, lived. This cool museum successfully embodies the Philippine culture between the 1800s to 1900s through its wide array of photos and artifacts.
- Location: 35 Eduardo Aboitiz Street, Cebu City, Philippines
- How to get here: It’s only five-minute walking distance from the famous Jesuit House in Cebu City.
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Contact No.: +63322555645
- Entrance and other fees: Adult: Php 40; Students: Php 15; Children: Php 10; Foreign Tourists: Php 70.
6. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral & Museum
Located across the Mabini street, this church-cum-museum was built in the 1800s which makes it one of the oldest structures in the country. Visit this church to marvel at its amazing architecture and feast your eyes on its wide collection of artifacts and paintings.
- Location: P. Burgos St, Cebu City, Cebu
- Operating hours: Open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
- Entrance fees (museum): Adult: Php 55; Children: Php 25; Foreign tourists: Php 100
7. Cebu Safari and Adventure Park
Find the most fascinating combination of birds and exotic creatures in this park which features the biggest zoo in the Philippines and also the longest zipline in Asia. You can try the zipline, watch the bird show, ride a bike, pet and feed the zoo animals, among other interesting activities.
- Location: Brgy. Corte, Toril, Carmen, Cebu
- How to get here: 30 minutes away from Danao
- Operating hours: Open from Wednesday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Contact No.: +63 9958353460
- Entrance and other fees: Php 800 (with lunch)
8. Cebu Taoist Temple
Initially built to preserve the teachings of 600 B.C. Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse, this spectacular landmark that offers an amazing view of the city slowly made it to everyone’s bucket list for its unique design that somewhat resembles the Great Wall of China.
- Location: Beverly Hills Subdivision, Cebu City, Philippines
- How to get here: Ride a taxi or book a Grab since the location’s far away from the main road. You can also ride a jeepney. Ride via 17B/17C from the city proper which costs Php 10. Get off at JY Square Mall and ask a habal-habal (motorbike) driver to take you to the Cebu Taoist Temple. You can also walk since it’s only 10 minutes away from the mall.
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
9. Colon Street
Aside from currently being the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street is also the shortest national road in the country. Through the decades, it has maintained its position as the center of commerce and trade in Cebu. Even with the presence of malls and high-end restaurants, a lot of small businesses and old stores continue to thrive in the area.
You can find everything that you need along Colon Street; it’s like a one-stop-shop that can give you the best value for your money.
- Location: Colon Street, Cebu
- How to get here: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, take the Lapu-Lapu Road to Quezon National Highway. Keep driving until you reach the Mandaue Causeway and Legaspi Street. Travel time is approximately 50 minutes.
10. Dalaguete Sunflower Farm
Dalaguete Sunflower Farm is a one-hectare land where sunflowers and 20 other species of flowers grow abundantly. The path upon entering the Sunflower Farm is truly a sight to behold; it looks like a church aisle full of fresh flowers that leads to an altar. Tourists will also feel the cold breeze of the mountain while exploring the colorful flower garden.
- Location: Sitio Alang-Alang, Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Southern Cebu
- How to get here: It’s located 3 hours away from the city. At the South Bus Terminal, ride a Dalaguete-bound bus. One-way fare is Php 130. Let the conductor know that you’ll get off at 7-Eleven Dalaguete. You can rent a habal-habal (motorbike) for Php 100 per pax (one-way).
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Entrance fee: Php 50 per head
11. Fort San Pedro
The smallest and oldest fort in the Philippines, Fort San Pedro is home to Cebu’s rich culture and long history. It was built in 1738 and through the decades served as a defense against pirates, a prison for rebels, and even a zoo at one point. There’s a small museum inside where you can marvel at some Spanish artifacts like paintings, documents, and sculptures.
- Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
- How to get here: If you’re coming from the airport, it’s going to be a 40-minute drive. Take the Lapu-Lapu road to Quezon National Highway. Keep on driving along Mandaue Causeway and Osmena Blvd. to A. Pigafetta Street where your destination is located.
- Operating hours: Open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Contact No.: +63 32 256 2284
- Entrance fees: Adult: Php 30; Students & Children: Php 20
12. Happy Beach Cebu
With a Bali theme, giant inflatables, and an amazing pink pool, the Happy Beach Cebu is one of the most Instagrammable boutique locations both in Cebu and the Philippines. Guests can even stay overnight at the boutique hotel with quirky rooms and dine at an Asian fusion-inspired restaurant inside the resort.
- Location: Tambuli Beach, Buyong Rd., Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
- How to get here: Option1: You can just take a taxi or Grabcar and tell the driver that you’re getting off at Agasil Port. Option 2: At the SM Cebu City van terminal, ride a van going to Gaisano Island Mall Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City. The one-way fare is approximately Php 25. You can also ride a Maribago-bound multicab and get off at Buyong road. The one-way fare is Php 12.
- Fees (introductory rates): Beach Pass (Day Tour) – Php 699 per pax; Happy Jungle Lounge + Pink Pool – Php 1,500 for 4 pax
13. La Manok Island
La Manok Island may be a small speck of land in the ocean, but once you step foot on this mysterious island, you’ll know why it’s a popular destination among tourists despite the difficulty to travel there.
Located between Masbate and Cebu, the island is actually composed of three small land or rock formations connected by sandbars. The sandbars connecting the islets appear during low tide.
This almost secluded island will pamper tourists with its crystal clear waters, fine sand, and peaceful beach.
- Location: Badiang, Anda
- How to get here: At the Cebu North Bus Terminal, ride the bus bound for Bantayan. Get off at the Daanbantayan Public Market. Go to the port of Tapilon. Ride the boat bound for the island. It usually costs Php 100 per head and travel time is approximately 2 hours.
14. Malapascua Island
Malapascua is a small island that gained a lot of following because of its world-class diving spots.
A lot of local and foreign scuba divers frequent the island with the hopes of getting an encounter with the famous Thresher sharks. In fact, Malapascua Island is the only place in the world where Thresher sharks can be seen on an almost daily basis.
It’s also popular for having white sand beaches which are perfect spots to unwind while observing the waves and waiting for the sunset.
- Location: Daanbantayan, Cebu
- How to get here: At the North Bus Terminal, ride a Maya-bound bus. One-way fare is around Php 140-Php 200 and the travel time is approximately 4-6 hours. The boats from Maya to Malapascua start their operations at 6:00 AM to 6:30 AM.
15. MSDEA Ornamental Garden
MSDEA Ornamental Garden is the perfect location to unwind, hang out, and get the best views of Cebu City’s mountains. It’s a secluded garden with picturesque views but still highly accessible since it’s only 30 minutes away from the main road.
There are several cottages available and even staying overnight is allowed. It’s a great spot to check out if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Location: Pung-ol, Brgy. Sibugay, Cebu City
- How to get here: Coming from the JY Square Mall, take a habal-habal that will get you to MSDEA Ornamental Garden. The roundtrip fare is Php 400 but it’s good for 2 pax already. Travel time is around 30-45 minutes. You can also ride a van from the Ayala Cebu PUV Terminal for Php 50 per head. You have to get off near the Sibugay Barangay Hall. Once you arrive, you can hire a habal-habal to take you to the flower garden for Php 20 – Php 30 per head.
- Operating hours: Open from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily
- Contact No.: 0939-859-5421
- Entrance and other fees: Admission Fee – Adult & Kids: Php 60, Senior Citizens: Php 48; Cottage Fee – Free if less than 3 hours, Php 500 if 3-4 hours (with corkage); Overnight Fee: Php 2,000 for 2-4 pax
16. Kawasan Falls
The multi-layered waterfall is not only a great spot to watch cascading waters, but also to enjoy a wide variety of water activities. In fact, Kawasan Falls is known for its canyoneering adventure offered by different licensed agencies and tour providers. The typical canyoneering adventure involves jumping, climbing, swimming, and abseiling through the streams.
- Location: Badian, Cebu
- How to get here: At the South Bus Terminal, ride a Badian-bound bus. One-way fare is Php 140 and travel time is around 3 hours. From that point, you’ll have to walk to Kawasan Falls. The duration of the walk can be 15-20 minutes.
- Entrance fee: Php 40 for local tourists and Php 60 for foreigner
17. Lapu-Lapu Shrine
The shrine commemorates the heroism of Lapu-Lapu, the first Filipino hero who emerged victorious over Ferdinand Magellan and his men in the Battle of Mactan. Take pictures, look around the shrine, and appreciate the first successful resistance of Filipinos against the Spanish colonizers.
- Location: Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
- How to get here: The best way to get there is via multicab. However, it’s highly accessible so any mode of transportation can take you there.
18. Magellan’s Cross
A trip to the Queen City of the South won’t be complete without stopping by this historic spot which marks the exact location where Magellan planted the Cross that symbolizes Christianity. The cross is actually a replica while the real one is hidden somewhere to keep it safe and secure.
Did you know? Magellan nearly never made it to the Philippines
- Location: Santo Niño Chapel Lane, Cebu City, Cebu
- How to Get here: From the Basilica del Santo Niño, walk towards the Osmena Boulevard and then turn right to P. Burgos Street. Once you reach Magallanes Street, turn right. Travel time is approximately four minutes.
- Operating hours: Always Open
- Contact No.: +63324164579
19. Mt. Manunggal Eco Adventure Park (Baguio De Cebu)
This recently-opened tourist attraction offers several exciting activities for visitors to enjoy like sky biking, horseback riding, trekking, and more. Dubbed as the Little Baguio of Cebu, it’s surrounded by lush greenery and perfect to visit during the summer to escape the heat without going all the way to Baguio.
- Location: Brgy. Sunog, Balamban, Cebu
- How to get here: At the Ayala Center Cebu Terminal, ride a van going to Balamban. Inform the driver that you’ll be getting off at the alley of Mt. Manunggal or Cantipla. One-way fare is Php 120 per pax and travel time is approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Operating hours: Open 24/7
- Contact Nos.: 09494877781 & 09351932437
- Fees: Entrance: Php 80 per head; Skybike: Php 150 per head; Camping: Php 50 per head; Horseback Riding: Php 150 per head; Guide for Trekking/Hiking/Mountain Climbing: Php 400 for 5 pax
20. Neri’s Ville Selfie Corner
Dubbed as ‘Little Bali,’ this recently-opened ‘Instagrammable’ tourist spot has little selfie corners that are inspired by popular attractions in Bali. You can also find cute, little hobbit houses around the area, the reason why it also earned the title ‘Little New Zealand’ of Cebu.
- Location: Sitio Bombil, Barangay Lusaran, Cebu City
- How to get here: You can ride a Talamban-bound jeepney via Pit-os or 62B/62C jeep from Cebu City. Get off at the Flying V gasoline station in Pit-os. Look for a habal-habal that can take you to Sitio Bombil in Barangay Lusaran. One-way fare is Php 80 per head.
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
- Entrance fee: Php 50 per head
21. Oslob Whale Shark Watching
Hundreds of tourists head over to Oslob to watch whale sharks, the largest fish in the world that can weigh up to 20 tons and grow up to 40 feet. You may watch them from the shore or get up close with these gentle giants by swimming, snorkeling, or diving with them.
- Location: Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Oslob City, Philippines
- How to get here: At the Cebu South Bus Terminal, get on an Oslob-bound bus. The fare is Php 140 and travel time is approximately 3 hours. You should head to Oslob as early as possible in the morning since it’s the best time to watch whale sharks.
- Operating hours: Open from 5:00 AM to 11:00 AM
- Contact No.: +639151382988
22. Osmeña Peak
Osmeña Peak is the perfect destination for people who love outdoor adventures. It’s the highest point in the entire island peaking at about 1,013 meters above sea level. Aside from being an amazing place to hike and camp, Osmeña Peak is also a great spot for taking pictures since it has limestones with sharp and protruding peaks.
- Location: Brgy. Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu
- How to get here: At the Cebu South Terminal, get on an Oslob-bound bus. One-way fare is Php 100 and travel time is approximately 2 hours. Get off at the Dalaguete junction. From here, you can either ride a habal-habal or a bus. The habal-habal option costs Php 100 per person and you’ll be taken to the Osmeña Peak entrance. The bus option won’t take you straight to the entrance; you’ll have to ride a motorbike or walk for 45 minutes.
- Entrance fee: Php 30 per head
23. Simala Shrine
Simala Shrine started to become the most visited pilgrimage site in Cebu after the news, that its Blessed Virgin Mary statue sheds tears, broke out. Since then, thousands of devotees have been visiting the miraculous shrine where they intently pray to get healed and have their prayers answered.
A lot of tourists also visit the shrine since it looks magnificent with its castle-like features as it towers above the village hill.
- Location: Sibonga, Cebu
- How to get here: At the Cebu South Bus Terminal, ride a bus that’s bound for Oslob. After getting off at the bus stop in Sibonga, ask a habal-habal driver to take you to Simala Shrine.
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
24. Sirao Peak
If you want to get away from the city without going too far, you can head to the Sirao Peak or Mount Kan-Irag which offers an incredible view of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu City.
The location has something for everyone. The mountain is a perfect spot for people who are climbing for the first time. If you love nature, there’s also a nearby flower garden (Sirao Flower Garden) 30 minutes away from the Sirao Peak.
- Location: Cebu Transcentral Highway, Cebu City, Cebu
- How to get here: There are two trail options for you: the Budlaan trail and the Ayala Heights trail. If you’re taking the Budlaan trail, look for a habal-habal that will take you to Sitio Baugo, Budlaan. The fare is Php 25 per person. If you’re taking the Ayala Heights trail, hire a motorcycle driver in JY Square Mall (Salinas Drive) and ask him to take you to Ayala Heights. The fare is Php 75-100 per person.
25. Sky Experience Adventure
Crown Regency’s Sky Experience Adventure offers several extreme sports and theme park rides for thrill-seekers and daredevils. Play blacklight mini-golf, explore a 6D theater and try extreme activities like Edge Coaster and Skywalk Extreme that take theme park rides to another level.
- Location: Osmeña Boulevard, Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, Cebu City, Philippines
- How to get here: Since it’s located right at the heart of the city, it’s very accessible and you can just ride a taxi or Grabcar to go there.
- Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 2:00 PM to 12:00 AM; Saturday – 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM; Sunday – 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
- Contact No.: +63324187777
- Entrance fees: Student/Adult: Php 250; Combo 1 (Entrance + 1 Sky Experience Adventure): Php 600; Combo 2 (Entrance + 2 Sky Experience Adventure): Php 900; Combo 3 (Entrance + 3 Sky Experience Adventure): Php 1150
26. Strawberry de Cantipla Eco Farm
If you want to get the full strawberry picking experience but don’t have the time to go all the way to Dalaguete, then this strawberry farm located just within the city is the best option for you.
It officially opened its doors to the public in April 2018 and has since gained a lot of following because it allows you to sightsee a strawberry farm, go strawberry-picking, and even indulge in strawberry treats all in one place.
- Location: Sitio Cantipla, Brgy. Tabunan, Cebu City
- How to get here: At the Ayala Center Cebu PUV Terminal, ride a van going to Balamban. One-way fare is Php 120. Inform the driver that you have to get off at the Strawberry Farm in Cantipla.
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Contact No.: 09192317924
- Entrance fee (excluding meals): Php 40 per head
27. Temple of Leah
Temple of Leah was built by Teodorico Soriano Adarna in honor of his undying love for his deceased wife of 53 years, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. The 80-million-peso structure has a stunning exterior inspired by Greek and Roman architecture and has 24 chambers that include a library, museum, and an art gallery.
With magnificent gigantic lion statues and a grand staircase with brass angels, it’s no wonder why this attraction is dubbed as the Taj Mahal of Cebu.
Related Article: The Taj Mahal of Negros
- Location: Cebu Transcentral Highway, Cebu City, Philippines
- How to get here: You can either ride a habal-habal or book a taxi or Grabcar. The estimated cost for a one-way habal-habal is Php 150 (good for 2 pax). A one-way Grabcar ride to Temple of Leah costs around Php 200-250 (good for 4 pax).
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
- Contact No.: +639063245687
- Entrance fee: Php 50 per head
28. The Heritage of Cebu Monument
Built by Eduardo and completed on December 8, 2000, this monument depicts scenes during the conversion of Rajah Humabon and his followers to Christianity. It also portrays other historic events in Cebu including Spanish occupation and a battle against foreign colonizers. The historic monument stands tall in Parian Plaza, the heart of the city.
- Location: Sikatuna St, Cebu City, Cebu
- How to get here: You can either ride a jeepney or taxi to get to the monument. It’s within walking distance from Colon Street.
29. Tops Lookout
If you want to get a panoramic view of the entire city of Cebu, its skyline, surrounding islands, and mountains, then you should definitely include Tops Lookout in your itinerary.
The view’s even better at sunset with a breathtaking view of the Mactan Bridge and at night with all those bright city lights. You can even go on a picnic while enjoying the picturesque views since there are picnic areas and cafes inside.
- Location: Cebu Transcentral Highway, Cebu City, Cebu
- How to get here: At the JY Square Mall (Salinas Drive), ride a jeep and get off at Plaza Housing. Look for a motorcycle driver that can take you to Tops Lookout.
- Operating hours: Open from 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
- Contact No.: +639098905357
- Entrance fee: Php 100 per head
30. Carbon Market
Carbon Market is the oldest and the biggest public market in Cebu for all kinds of goods. Score great deals and find unique handicraft materials as well as food products in this market. It’s the perfect last stop before you head back home.
- Location: M. C. Briones St., Cebu City, Philippines
- How to get here: You can ride a jeep, taxi, or even tricycle to Carbon Market since it’s very accessible.
- Operating hours: Open from Monday to Sunday, 24/7
Sample Itinerary with Budget
a. 3D/2N Itinerary
10:00 AM: Arrival at Mactan-Cebu International Airport
11:00 AM: Arrival at Cebu City Proper/Check-In at Hotel
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Hotel Pick-up for Private Cebu Rediscovery Tour
Destinations of City Tour (Php 1,300):
- Fort San Pedro
- Taoist Temple
- Magellan’s Cross
- Plaza Sugbu
- Santo Nino Church
- Magallanes St.
- South Road Properties
- Osmena Blvd
- Fuente Osmena Park Cebu Provincial Capitol
- Asiatown IT Park & Ayala Business Park
5:00 PM: Hotel Drop-off/End of Tour
6:00 PM: Dinner
6:00 AM: Breakfast
7:00 AM: Hotel Pick-up for Cebu Kawasan Waterfalls & Osmena Peak Day Tour
Destinations of Cebu Kawasan Waterfalls & Osmena Peak Day Tour: (Php 1,500-Php 3,500):
- Kawasan Falls
- Osmeña Peak
7:00 PM: Hotel Drop-off/End of Day Tour
7:30 PM: Dinner
7:00 AM: Breakfast
8:00 AM: Pasalubong Shopping at:
- Colon Market
- Carbon Market
- Shamrock’s Pasalubong Center
12:00 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Hotel Check-out
2:00 PM: ETA at Mactan-Cebu International Airport
b. Total Expenses
Accommodation (Budget Option @ Php 450 per night): Php 450 x 2 nights = Php 900
Meals (Budget Option @ Php 175 per meal): Php 175 x 7 meals = Php 1,225
Private Cebu Rediscovery Tour: Php 1,300
Cebu Kawasan Waterfalls & Osmena Peak Day Tour: Php 1,500
Transportation Costs (including airport transfers): Php 750
Total cost of 3D/2N Cebu trip (excluding airfare & pocket money) = Php 5,675
Best Cebu Tour Packages
- Total Cost: P660 – P2,500 (depends on the number of pax)
- Inclusions: Private tour, entrance fees to attractions, hotel pick up and drop off, driver/guide
- Destinations included in the itinerary: Fort San Pedro, Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño, Yap Sandiego Ancestral House, Heritage of Cebu Monument, Taoist Temple, Guitar Factory, Magellan Cross, Mactan Shrine
- Total Cost: P1,300 – P1,600 (depends on pickup location)
- Inclusions: Private tour, entrance fees to attractions, and hotel transfers from Mactan area
- Destinations included in the itinerary: Fort San Pedro, Plaza Sugbu, Magellan’s Cross, Santo Nino Church, Taoist Temple, Magallanes St., South Road Properties, Osmena Blvd, Fuente Osmena Park Cebu Provincial Capitol, Asiatown IT Park & Ayala Business Park
- Total Cost: P5,130 – P13,000 (depends on number of pax)
- Inclusions: Hotel pick up and drop off, 3-day private transportation, driver/guide, entrance fees, city tour, Oslob whale swimming fee, a day trip to Sumilon Island sandbar, canyoneering safety gears, boat charter for Moalboal island hopping, snorkeling gears, 1 free meal after canyoneering activity
- Destinations included in the itinerary: Sirao Flower Farm, Temple of Leah, Taoist Temple, Basilica del Sto Nino, Magellan’s Cross – Fort San Pedro – Museo Sugbo, Mactan Shrine, 10,000 roses, Simala Church, Oslob Cuartel, Sumilon Island, Aguinid Falls, Badian, Moalboal Island
- Total Cost: P1,500 – P3,500 (depends on number of pax)
- Inclusions: Hotel pick up and drop off (roundtrip transfers are limited to Cebu City and Mactan Island), a local guide, entrance fees to Kawasan Falls and Osmeña Peak, life jacket, 12% government tax
- Destinations included in the itinerary: Badian, Kawasan Falls, Osmena Peak
- Total Cost: P1,790 for Philippine Passport Holder, P2,200 for Non-Philippine Passport Holders
- Inclusions: Join-in day tour, hotel pick up and drop off, driver-guide, snorkeling and swimming fee (Philippine passport holders: Php 500; Non-Philippine passport holders: Php 1,000), visit to Tumalog Falls, snorkel masks and life jacket fees, insurance, GoPro camera rental during Whaleshark swimming, motorcycle fee for Tumalog Falls
- Destinations included in the itinerary: Oslob, Tumalog Falls
- Total Cost: P2,050 – P2,150 (depends on number of pax)
- Inclusions: Join-in tour, local guide, snorkeling gear, safety gear, barbecue lunch and drink, entrance fees, towel
- Destinations included in the itinerary: Hilutungan Marine Reserve, Nalusuan Island, Pandanon Island
Tips and Warnings
- To book the cheapest flights for Cebu, try to book 2-3 months before your trip. Always remember to follow the social media accounts of airlines so you’ll instantly be updated if they have seat sales or low fare promos.
- Although traveling alone might seem like a great idea since you can go wherever you want and you’re the only one making the rules, traveling with some of your best buddies will make your trip cheaper since you’ll have someone to split the costs with.
- Buses in Cebu don’t operate 24/7 so you should always go to the ports or terminals as early as possible.
- Make it a point to wear comfortable clothes, apply sunscreen, and stay hydrated since it can get pretty hot in Cebu–even as hot as Manila.
- Traffic can get really bad in Cebu. The key is to avoid heavy traffic around 8-10 AM and 6-8 PM in these areas: Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City. Adjust your travel time if you think you’ll be stuck in traffic.
- Always be polite and respectful to the people around you.
- Cebuanos are very helpful so don’t hesitate to ask for directions or questions when you need to.
- Save money by buying products and goods from local markets instead of shopping malls. You can also find the cheapest souvenirs at Carbon Market.
- If unsure, use Google Maps for directions and to figure out the distance between your point of origin and the next destinations.
- Since you have a budget and a timeframe for your trip, choose the best destinations to go to according to your interests. Make a detailed itinerary before the trip.
- Although Cebu has a lot of budget hotels and luxury accommodations, it’s better to book your room ahead of time so you’ll have a guaranteed place to stay.
- Eat like a local. If you want to save money and get a taste of Cebu’s local cuisine, dine at local restaurants instead of fast-food chains.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is the best time to visit Cebu?
Summer is the best time to go to Cebu since it’s when the beaches are in their best condition. It’s also the ideal time to see sardine fish at the coast of Moalboal and go whale shark watching.
2. What’s the ideal duration of a Cebu trip to fully enjoy the place?
If you have little time and you just want to do a quick tour of the most popular tourist spots, then 3 days is the perfect duration of your trip.
However, if you want a more relaxed trip with additional activities to do and more places to visit, then a 5-day trip will do. If you want to do some island hopping and chase Cebu’s waterfalls, then a week-long trip would be ideal.