Cebu, in the Philippines, offers powerful experiences in terms of natural beauty, culture, cuisine, and people. It was the first capital of the Philippines. Needless to say, the place has its place in history and that fact is on display in the dozens of cathedrals, temples, historical monuments, and other places to visit in Cebu. That is not to say that the ocean is not a living part of the city and island’s existence, but it has much more than meets the eye!
The Places To Visit In Cebu You Must Explore
Here is a list of the most charming and authentically Filipino places here for your next vacation:
1. Cebu Heritage Monument
The Cebu Heritage Monument is a postmodern work of art that depicts the history of the Cebu. The sculptures were built by the Eduardo Castrillo and the monument features all major landmarks of Cebu and the region’s history through the centuries. You can make out the Basilica del Santo Nino and the Magellan’s Cross, as well as scenes from Cebu history like the baptism of Rajah Humabon and the Battle of Mactan. For this, and the art, the place is one of the most important places to visit in Cebu.
Location: Mandaue City
Entry fee: INR 100
Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM
2. Colon Street
The quintessential market street of Cebu City, Colon Street is a place that you must go to if you are in Cebu. The colorful market is filled with shops selling clothes, backpacks, jewelry as well food. If you are looking for a taste of authentic Filipino food and culture, Colon Street is your best opportunity. You can find all kinds of quirky things to buy here, which makes Colon Street the best place in Cebu to buy souvenirs.
3. 1730 Jesuit House
There are few things that have remained unchanged in Cebu over the centuries of fighting and turmoil, but the 1730 Jesuit House, that now houses a hardware store, is a hidden Cebu tourist spot that has withstood the test of time. The two storey building has coral stone walls and fences and hardwood floors made of tugas and terracotta roof. The tour guide to the ancient house will take you through a tour of ancient artifacts housed here including cameras from centuries ago, carvings, and a 100-year-old cedar chest.
Location: Zulueta Street, Cebu City
Entry fee: INR 40
Timings: 8:30 AM to 5 PM
The Cebu island is most famous for its enormous herds of whale sharks that live off the shore near the town of Oslob. These enormous marine animals are not really the killer sharks that we have seen in the movies, in fact they are completely harmless. A large number of tourists go snorkelling and diving with the shark herds and there are plenty of shark tour companies that can offer guaranteed sighting and diving equipment. Shark sighting is one of the huge Cebu tourist attractions.
5. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
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The impressive architecture of this imposing place of worship is sure to impress you. The church offers more insights to how this country of more than 100 million people came to be mostly Christian in a region that has stuck to its Hindu and Buddhist roots. The fact that it is not on a regular tourist destination in Cebu means that you can have a quiet stroll and take in the beautiful arches and quiet ceremonies here.
Location: Mabini Street
6. Basilica del Santo Nino
One of the stars of Cebu sightseeing, this is the oldest Catholic church in the country and is featured prominently in the Cebu Heritage Monument. Founded in 1565, the place is a living piece of history. Take a walk through the halls to see the gorgeous ancient paintings, painted and stained glass windows, and the majestic arches of the church. Most of all, the beautiful architecture of the church is something that you just have to see, and the Basilica is one of the best places to visit in Cebu.
Location: Magallanes Street, Cebu City
Timings: 8:30 AM – 6 PM
Entry fee: INR 40
7. Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary
The butterfly sanctuary is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Cebu. Filled with tropical plants and flowers that are maintained in a near rainforest fashion, the reserve is teeming with all kinds of butterflies. There is an indoor collection of butterfly specimen that showcases just how rich the biodiversity is in Cebu, and there is also an art gallery here which you should take time out to visit.
Location: Julian N. Jumalon St. (former Macopa St.) Basak, Pardo
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Entry fee: INR 10
8. Tops Lookout
Tops Lookout is the only 360 degree view of the Cebu city that allows you to take in together the intricate beauty of the city. The gorgeous view point, at 2000 feet above the sea level at the very top of Mount Busay, is one of the best places in Cebu, and certainly one of the most popular. The view of the island city at night with all its lights is especially great, and you should try coming here late evening or night (or alternatively early morning around sunrise) so you can avoid all the crowds as well as the heat.
Location: Cebu Transcentral Highway, Cebu City
Timings: 12.15 AM – 11.45 PM
9. Fort San Pedro
This legacy of the Spanish colonization of Philippines was built by the Conquistadors to protect against oncoming Muslim invaders. The fort was built in 1738 and still stands in good, albeit crumbling condition. It is now a historical monument and the foremost of Cebu attractions of historical nature. The fort is basically a triangle with two sides that are sea facing and is sprawled over 22000 square metres.
Location: Pier Area, Cebu City
Entry fee: INR 40
Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
10. Rico’s Lechon
If you are in the Philippines, you should take time out to try the local cuisine, which is a curious fusion of Filipino and Spanish traditions. One such dish is the lechon, which has become the national food for the Filipino people. It is the dish for ceremonies and parties in Filipino life. However, at Rico’s Lechon, you can get this tasty pork dish every day. Lechon is usually served with rice and traditional Pinakurat vinegar and is something that will leave your senses stunned. The restaurant itself is one of the top 10 places to visit in Cebu.
Location: Mabolo, Cebu City
Cost for two: INR 1000-1200
Timings: 10 AM to 9 PM
Cebu is an experience of a lifetime. These fabulous places to visit in Cebu offer history, nature, architecture, and even sharks! There is no doubt that this is where you need to be this holiday season, so get going to Philippines now and have the best trip ever!