Cebu, also recognized as the Queen City of the South. It is the most popular province in the Philippines located in the country’s central region of Visayas. The city retains some of its 16th-century landmarks of Spanish settlements. It is also one of the most prosperous cities of the Philippines.
With its rich pristine white sand beaches, beautiful coral gardens, delightful dining experiences along with its rich historical and cultural attractions, the city is full of vibrant energy attracting a significant number of tourists every year. The city is an all in one hub offering everyone with something cherish. So here we present you a list of the top 20 places to visit in Cebu: the Philippines to guide you through the perfect escape on your next tour.
Top 20 Places to Visit in Cebu
1. Cebu Heritage Monument
Cebu Heritage Monument is the finest piece of art that speaks of the city’s journey with a history of invasions, revolutions and numerous battles to hold onto the place it is standing today. Eduardo Castrillo is the talented artist behind the magnificently thoughtful sculptures. Moreover, each figure on the monument has a historical significance to depict the struggle of its past. Cebu Heritage Monument is one of the overpowering places to visit in Cebu. It is the Philippines where a guide can run you down to its historical tales.
2. 1730 Jesuit House Cebu
A famous tourist spot in Cebu that withstood the turmoil of battles, invasions and suffered numerous calamities for centuries and still stands firm to speak its story is the 1730 Jesuit House.
A rundown to the 100 years old tale can be experienced with a guided tour in this ancient two-storied warehouse of wooden floors and walls of coral stones. Do not miss out on one of the enchanting places to visit that still preserves the centuries-old artifacts including cameras, carvings, and an aromatic cedar chest.
3. Colon Street
Colon Street is the classic market place for anyone visiting Cebu City. The entire street is lining up with numerous collections of jewelry, beautiful clothes, colorful backpacks, traditional souvenirs, and whatnot with the liberty to haggle with a smiley face. The street also offers you to feed your taste bud with some local delicacies of the Philippines. There’s no way anyone can leave this street without grabbing some of the stunning souvenirs which makes Colon Street among the top places to visit.
4. Fort San Pedro
There is a mysterious blend of Spanish essence in the ambiance of the Philippines, be it the traditional cuisine, monumental architecture, or the language. The mystery gets resolved in the centuries-old Ford San Pedro. It is one of the momentous places to visit to dig insights into the great fortress. The architecture of the Spanish legacy spread-eagled over a large area was built back in 1738. It is during the period of Spanish colonization as protection against Muslim invaders is now among the foremost tourist attractions in Cebu.
5. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral unlike the other churches or cathedrals in Cebu upholds the history of how Christianity engraved its roots deep into the people of the country that has mostly been tied to Buddhism and Hinduism. The cathedral is not a buzzing tourist attraction. So if you love exploring the ancient tales in a quiet environment appreciating the splendid architecture of the cathedral, this is certainly in the list of the top places to visit in Cebu, the Philippines. You can enjoy a peaceful stroll around while being greeted by some friendly Filipino locals.
6. Oslob – Cebu
If you are to experience something rare, you must definitely head towards Oslob to encounter the Giant Whale Sharks. Unlike the deadly sharks we usually are familiar with from the movies, these ones are safe to engage with.
Swarm of tourists from all over the world gathers on the island of Cebu to go snorkeling and diving with these harmless giants. Shark Tour companies ensure safe sightseeing of these huge beasts of the seawater. Because of this unique sightseeing experience, Oslob has become one of the most popular places to visit.
7. Basilica del Santo Nino
The historic Catholic Church, Basilica del Santo Nino, founded back in 1565. It is a prominent historical monument that still stands firm in Cebu. Walking through the church halls, you can explore the beautiful ancient paintings and painted glass window. Furthermore you can see the captivating archways, and an overall breathtaking architecture that would make you long for this place. Tourists and locals visit this beautiful place of history to show great devotion surrounded by the serene ambiance of the church.
8. Taoist Temple
The beautiful architecture of the Taoist Temple, situated in the Beverly Hills of Cebu, is inspired by the Chinese community. Built on the hillside at an altitude of 300 m from the sea level, it is a long breezy path to make your way at the top to experience the beautiful temple and the scenic views of the surrounding island. The awe-inspiring design of the temple with vivid colors and carved dragons structure enlist the temple among the most inviting places to visit in Cebu.
9. Magellan’s Cross
Located just across the famous Basilica Church, Magellan’s Cross is likely to be the most popular historic tourist attraction that is a must-see among the many places to visit in Cebu. The structure of a colossal cross is placed inside a vault. In which it stands in for the cross planted by the Portuguese explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan to symbolize the birth of Christianity in the Philippines. There is no extravagant embellishment about this tourist site, instead, the deep-rooted historical significance is what makes the visit worthwhile.
10. Yap Sandiego Ancestral House
A great blend of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino, the fascinating architecture of Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is the one to look at. This is one of the most well-preserved ancient houses made of coral stones and the ceiling with terracotta tiles that deserves to be listed among the top places to visit.
You can explore the inside of the house and listen to exciting stories from the tour guide about the ancient paintings, antiques and other items collected by the merchants during the period of the 16th to 19th centuries.
11. Temple Of Leah
Temple of Leah has its existence built upon the remembrance of love. Teodorico Soriano Adarna built this temple in memory of his deceased wife Leah to honor her. The Greek and Roman-inspired architecture of the temple has magnificent decors both inside and out. With chambers featuring a library, gallery, and a museum along with some beloved belongings of Leah. The pure essence of love behind the foundation of this great architecture makes it among the most remarkable places to visit in Cebu, the Philippines.
12. Sumilon Island Cebu
A piece of tropical paradise lies just a small boat trip away from Oslob, the breathtaking Island of Sumilon with its crystal clear water and immaculate white sands lures tourists to this place. You will find a range of tour packages to this island that offers a delicious meal along with some exciting activities like snorkeling above the reefs, fishing, hiking and a lot more to enjoy a whole day trip. So, tick this place off among the amazing places to visit to experience the tranquility with some beautiful photographs.
13. Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary
The Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary is the perfect place for nature lovers to feast their eyes with the beautiful ambiance of this mini rainforest that is home to a wide collection of vibrant colored butterflies with an art gallery to explore. As you walk down the sanctuary, you would be amazed by the blooming flowers and tropical plants. The surrounding is full-fill with the butterflies teeming around. In addition, witnessing the increased specimen of butterflies portrays the rich biodiversity in Cebu making the sanctuary one of the mesmerizing places to visit in Cebu for travelers worldwide.
14. Ten Thousand Roses of Cebu (10 000 Roses Cafe)
As fancy as the name suggests, the appealing 10,000 Roses of Cebu is a café close to the island of Mactan surrounded by the ocean. The café has a magical view with the surround LED-powered roses that light up the area.
Moreover, this is a perfect spot to be with your loved ones to enjoy a great meal in a romantic atmosphere which makes it one of the wonderful places to visit in Cebu. Dusk is the ideal time to visit the café for some amazing pictures amidst the lighted roses.
15. Rico’s Lechon
A vacation to Cebu is incomplete without tasting the traditional national cuisine of the Philippines. It is the famous mouth-watering dish called the Lechon. This is a dish of legacy from the period of Spanish colonization with a unique blend of the Spanish and Filipino taste which has to be there in every big ceremony and occasion of the country. Nevertheless, you can have this juicy pork dish served with rice ball and Pinakurat vinegar every day at Rico’s Lechon restaurant which makes it among the finest places to visit in Cebu.
16. Osmeña Peak Cebu
Heading towards south of Cebu island, you get to explore the Osmeña peak which is the highest peak in the city with an altitude of 1013 m from the sea level. Trekking all the way to its summit, the breathtaking backdrop of high rising cliffs welcomes tourists from all around the world. Furthermore, you get to experience the beautiful sunset and engage in activities like hiking and camping. The panoramic views from the Osmeña peak indeed make it among the top places to visit in Cebu.
17. Kawasan Falls Cebu
Kawasan Falls, located South of Cebu. The amidst of the lush greenery covered rocks is another very famous tourist spot that attracts tourists in great numbers. It is a beautiful three-tiered cascading waterfall that deserves to be explored among the many places to visit in Cebu. The tranquility of nature and the refreshing Kawasan Falls guarantees you a surreal experience away from the regular chaotic environment. You can also get thrilled by the adventurous sports of Canyoneering and enjoy some great time here.
18. Sirao Flower Garden
Located in Cebu City, the stunning expanse of Sirao Flower Garden is a unique tourist attraction that gives you the vibe of the Netherlands. The place is also commonly known as ‘The Little Amsterdam’. It is to make sure to tick it off from your bucket list of places to visit in Cebu.
The blossoming garden is very popular for growing arrays of vibrant color Celosia flowers. Hence, it consist of red, yellow, purple, orange and many other colors.
19. Camotes Island Cebu
Going towards the Northern part of Cebu City lies the spectacular Camotes Island that offers the tourists some of the best places to visit in Cebu and things to indulge in. You can explore the caves and go kayaking to land on the beautiful sand islets. It surrounds by alluring waters, relax by the shoreline of the white sand beaches and appreciate the scenic view of the nearby places. Camotes Island is a great vacation spot and to experience the maximum out of this Island you would need to spend more than a day here.
20. Casa Gorordo Museum
Located in the historic city of Cebu, Casa Gorordo Museum was initially home to the first Bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo. Then the house has turned into a popular tourist spot of the city. It is built with wood and stone and the architecture was inspired by the Spanish colonial era. The museum manifests the lifestyle of a family that has observed the transformation from the colonial era to the present-day society. The walls and every item in the house speak of the centuries past stories of the Philippine culture that deeply overwhelms the visitors.
To conclude, Cebu city offers some of the unique tourist experiences in all of the Philippines. The city has a touch of the Spanish colonial era in its architecture and the significant historic sites. Along with the many fun activities and natural scenic beauties truly offer some of the ideal places to visit in Cebu.