The people, the food, the architecture and the energy of Cebu are just some of the many reasons why it deserves a spot in your next travel plans. With this Cebu offers so many things to do in Cebu city.
Read about our travel tips for the Philippines here.
Being the center of commerce, tourism and trade in the country, you can look forward to seeing and doing a lot of things in Cebu. Here is some of the best things to do in Cebu city.
Take A Picture With The Cebu Heritage Monument in The Background
With centuries that have passed, that are filled with historic revolutions, battles and invasions. The city of Cebu has rich stories and tales to tell. The best way to get a synopsis is dropping by at the Cebu Heritage Monument.
Built using dark bricks and stone, this structure is the tangled sculpture of churches, ships, key figures in the history, and crosses which are mysterious and thought-provoking at the same time.
Boasting of centuries of tales and history, you can also hire a guide upon your arrival. You will surely love the interaction with a local, ask some questions. And get a good dose of background information that you might miss out on if you choose to explore on your own.
Stroll Down Colon Street
Your Cebu getaway will never be complete if you don’t take a stroll down Colon Street. At a mere glance, you might find this stretch of crumbling sidewalk a bit dull but come a bit closer, and you will learn that there is a whole lot more to taste, do and see here.
Filled with markets selling jewelry, colorful backpacks, shoes and clothing. Colon Street is a wonderful spot for shopping for your souvenirs. Feel free to engage with a few friendly haggling here and there with the smiley vendors.
Mingle with local residents, grab a bite of the sumptuous street foods, and snap photos during your visit.
Enjoy A Trip Down Memory Lane At The 1730 Jesuit House
You probably wouldn’t think that a hardware store will give you a memorable experience, but in Cebu, it will. The moment you step into the threshold of 1730 Jesuit House, you will feel like you stepped 100 years back to history.
This is a unique local project aiming to preserve one of the historic sites of Cebu. The ancient house managed to survive foreign invasions, earthquakes and typhoons. Remaining standing to tell its rich tales.
You can enjoy an hour-long exploration with your guide who can show you the restoration efforts, complete with antiques and artifacts such as carvings, furniture, cameras and the cedar chest that is already 100 years old but still giving off a wonderful aroma. The entrance fee was 50 pesos.
Be on Top of The World At Crown Regency Sky
Crown Regency in Cebu is not merely a simple hotel as this is also a paradise for all three seekers offering extreme sports which can conquer fears and defy gravity.
If you are not of weak heart, you can ride on the Edge Coaster that circles the 38th floor’s perimeter, strap up yourself and take a walk along the 126.55-meter high building’s floor made from translucent glass.
If you know about the country of the Philippines, you know that lechon is a national dish, which serves as joy and culinary pride of this nation. Lechon, in Spanish, actually means suckling pig and there’s no surprise to that.
With the colonization of Spanish people, this culinary gem came and this is often eaten and roasted at big family celebrations and gatherings. If you’re in Cebu, you will be glad to know that it’s available daily at various restaurants. It is the most flavorful, succulent, and juiciest pork you will ever have in your life.
More often than not, it is served with Pinaurat vinegar and rice and this dish is definitely something that you won’t forget.
Terazas De Flores Botanical Garden
If you want to surround yourself with nature in its purest form and wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the streets in the city, Terrazas De Flores Botanical Garden provides terraced flower gardens that are planted in the sides of the rolling mountains with a breeze, which balances the heat.
While this botanical garden is far from the city center, you will have fun during the road trip. You may hire a motor taxi for a thrilling day.
There’s a reason why this is still a famous tourist destination in the city of Cebu. The reason behind it is that you’ll get a spectacular 360-degree view from Tops Lookout.
It what makes the Philippines very special that you will get a glimpse of the intricate city, lush greenery, and winding waterways in just one visit.
During night-time, the view is beautiful as you will see the city’s veins all sparkling and lit up against the darkness. Try to visit this place at night or in the morning and don’t forget to bring your selfie stick and camera.
Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary
In Cebu, there’s a butterfly sanctuary where you could walk through a small rainforest teeing with the tropical flowers and plants with beautiful butterflies that flutter all around. Keep your smart phone or camera out in case you decide for a selfie.
What makes Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary unique is that it has a beautiful collection of butterflies encased in glass, which shows how diverse the butterfly family is.
Bring small amount of money with you because there is an entrance fee, yet it actually goes to a wonderful cause.
Basilica Del Santo Nino
In the Philippines, Cebu is the place where the oldest Catholic church is located. Founded in year 1565, Basilica del Santo Nino’s tenets are Mercy and Passion that bring a lot of locals here to worship regularly.
It holds a regular mass where kids and families come to show their faith. You can walk through the church halls to see gorgeous archways, ancient paintings, stained windows, and an awe-inspiring architecture.
You may view seventeenth century relics in this museum or you can visit the library that is filled with some books that cover different kinds of modern subjects.
Dive With Whale Sharks
This is not in Cebu City but Oslob is roughly about 4 hours drive by bus from Cebu city. It presents a great opportunity to dive or swim with the biggest fish in the world.
These particular Whale Sharks are considered wild, but instead of migrating to warmer waters for parts of the year, they stick around as the fishermen continue to feed them. That means this experience is available no matter what time of the year you visit.
The Oslob whale sharks only appear in the morning and then return to the sea. There is a government attempt to protect the whale sharks by restricting the human feeding of the sharks between the times of 6am to 12pm and not allowing tourist to touch the whale sharks.
If a tourist is caught touching or holding onto the whale sharks, they will be fined. Not sure what the fine was but I think it was about 2000/3000 pesos. They even said that you may even go to jail.
The cost to dive with the whale sharks was 3000 pesos. And half of this going to the government agency that is responsible to protect the sharks And the cost to swim with them was 1500 pesos.
Visit the Kawasan Falls
The Kawasan waterfall is about 130 km away from the Cebu city and you will need to hike for about a 30 mins from the main road to reach the water.
Kawasan Falls boasts clear turquoise waters that gush down from the mountain springs surrounded by the stone vaults or the lush tropical greenery surrounding the waterfalls. You can take a swim in a hidden lagoon in Kawasan River.
Where to Stay in Cebu City
Cebu city has loads of guest houses, hostels, and hotels. Here are a few places to check out if you are planning to visit Cebu city.
Remember to check the reviews and book a place that suits you interests while traveling.
Rating 8.1, Prices start from $48 for a double room
Cebu Parklane International Hotel offers accommodation in the heart of Cebu City. It features an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and guests can enjoy meals at 4 dining options. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and there is complimentary parking.
The cosy rooms at Parklane Cebu are designed to reflect the Cebuano culture and are furbished with murals depicting the daily life and history of Cebu. Air-conditioned rooms are fitted with large windows. Amenities include a cable TV and minibar. Hot shower facilities and toiletries are provided in the en suite bathrooms.
Guests can approach the 24-hour front desk for currency exchange, tour arrangements and concierge services. The hotel offers massage and in-room manicure services. Car rentals are also available.
Lahug is a great choice for travellers interested in
Rating 9.0, Prices start from $42 for a double room
Offering an outdoor pool and spa centre, Rumah Highlands Hotel is situated in Cebu City in the Visayas Region. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site.
The rooms are air-conditioned and come with a seating area with a sofa and cable TV. Rooms include a safe deposit box, wardrobe and electric kettle. Private bathroom is fitted with a bath or shower and hairdryer. Extras include slippers, towels and free toiletries.
You will find a 24-hour front desk where staff can assist guests with luggage storage, valet parking and ticket service. Guests can also relax in the hot tub or indulge in a pampering massage.
Rating 8.7, Prices start from $25 for a double room
Set in Cebu City, 700 m from Fuente Osmena Circle, Hostel Seven Cebu has a number of amenities including a garden, a shared lounge and a bar. Featuring a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. The hostel features an Asian restaurant as well as free WiFi throughout the property.
All guest rooms at the hostel are fitted with a seating area. The private bathroom is fitted with a shower. Guest rooms at Hostel Seven Cebu feature air conditioning and a desk.
Ayala Center Cebu is 1.2 km from Hostel Seven Cebu while Grand Convention Centre of Cebu is a 17-minute walk from the property. The nearest airport is Mactan Cebu International Airport, 9 km from the property.
There is so many great things to do in Cebu city with loads of resorts, restaurants, activities and bars to keep you busy. Cebu is the place to go if you want to relax and explore.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on things to do in Cebu city has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if you go.