Over the decades, Cebu has come to rival Metro Manila as an urban hub and tourist destination. The difference between the two metropolises is that Cebu has taken the extra measures to conserve and preserve the rich natural wonders within the province.

Tourist Spots in Cebu

If you are visiting Cebu, here are some fun things that you need to include in your travel itinerary…

1) Visit Magellan’s Cross

magellan's cross cebu

Before you actually head out on your tour of Cebu, it would be best to first visit the city’s iconic landmark, Magellan’s Cross. Upon his arrival in Cebu on 15 March 1521, explorer Ferdinand Magellan ordered the cross plated on the ground.

The actual Magellan’s Cross is encased inside a wooden cross because the original had parts of it chipped off by souvenir hunters and religious devotees.

2) Visit Santo Niño de Cebu

No trip to Cebu would be complete without visiting the Basilica Menor del Santo Niño. In this Basilica, you will find in special room encased in bulletproof glass, the miraculous image of Santo Niño de Cebu, which was the gift of Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon’s consort, Lady Humamay.

What makes the Santo Niño de Cebu is its brown skin, which has made it a true Filipino religious icon.

3) Swim with Whale Sharks

oslob whale watching

If you want to see whale sharks (locally called “butanding”) up close and personal, you can check them out in the seas of Oslob.

You can hire a boatman to take you out into the sea where you can dive or snorkel in order to get close to these gentle giants.

4) Mountain climbing on Osmeña Peak


For the more adventurous types, you can go mountain climbing on Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete. Aside from being an excellent campsite, the peak gives you breathtaking views of Cebu.

5) Visit Kawasan Falls


Kawasan Falls is one of the more popular tourist destinations in Cebu. Not only can you take a dip in the pool beneath the falls, you can also enjoy other extreme activities like rappelling, rock climbing, and (for the daring!) waterfall diving.

6) Indulge in Freshwater Fishing

Nothing can be more rewarding than catching fish that you will eat later. You can indulge in freshwater fishing at a three specific locations in Liloan, namely Papa Kit’s Marina, Fishing Lagoon and D’pond. Simply rent a boat, take it out into the water, and catch as much fish as you want.

7) Check out the animals in Cebu Zoo

cebu zoo

Cebu Zoo is home to a number of birds, mammals and reptiles. Originally, the zoo’s main attraction was the Bengali tiger named Boggart. But since he passed away, daring visitors can go down and actually pet a real live crocodile. For a more unique experience, you can have a massage courtesy of four large pythons.

8) Gaze at the Butterflies at Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary


For those on a nature trip but wouldn’t want to see animals in cages, you should check out Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary. Here, you can find over 55 butterfly and moth species which are being carefully bred and protected.

It also boasts of the Butterfly Collection of founder Professor Julian N. Jumalon and an art gallery showcasing the beauty of butterflies.

9) Get a Water Massage at Tumalog Falls

If being massaged (and possibly have the breath squeezed out of you) by a python is not to your liking, you can consider visiting Tumalog Falls. After you check the gorgeous views and take a dip in the falls, you can have a water massage near the falls.

10) Get a Rejuvenating Experience at Esoy Hot Springs


Esoy Hot Springs is located in Catmon. With its hot spring water originating from nearby Mount Tabayag, the springs reportedly have healing and rejuvenating properties. Management of the hot springs strongly recommends that guests book a reservation in advance to prevent overcrowding.

11) Learn about Cebu’s history at Museo Sugbo

Museo Sugbo

If you want to learn more about Cebu’s past, you should check out Museo Sugbo. It was originally the provincial jail of Cebu from 1870 to 2004 (with its durability attributed to the hardy coral stone used in its construction) before it was converted into a museum with galleries devoted to specific periods in Cebu’s history.

Aside from Spanish colonial era relics, you can check out the American bomb in the World War II gallery and the Bronze Heart and Bronze Star of living Cebuano war hero Uldrico Cabahug (who also visits the museum from time to time to narrate his war experiences to guests).

12) Gave fun and relax at Cebu Westown Lagoon

A popular hangout right in the heart of Metro Cebu is the man-made lagoon of Cebu Westown Lagoon. It boasts of a water park and kiddie pools for the children while adults can play around in the slides with Aztec designs and Jacuzzis.

13) Look for Love at the Temple of Leah

The Temple of Leah is the most recent attraction in Cebu having completed construction in 2012. It was ordered built by Queensland motels owner Teodorico Adarna to his loving wife Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. Unlike the Taj Mahal, the Temple of Leah is reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman architecture.  It even has two gold lions guarding the temple itself.

14) Dine at Lantaw

lantaw cebu floating restaurant

If all that trekking around Cebu is making you hungry, you should treat yourself to a fine meal at the famous Lantaw Floating Restaurant in Cordova. The restaurant offers sumptuous local dishes as well as lovely views of the city and the sea.

15) Don’t forget to try out the local lechon!

cebu lechon special

Arguably, Cebu offers the tastiest and most scrumptious lechon. Many local restaurants make sure that the lechon is in their menu so you can easily sample the dish which had famous chef Anthony Bourdain raving about it.

16) Budget eating at Barangay Tisa

If you want to eat good food but are on a budget, you should check out the delicious street foods being offered in Barangay Tisa. Aside from the usual street fair like siopao, siomai, manok inasal, batchoy and pancit canton, you should also order the local ginabot (or chicharon bulaklak) which is crunchy and salty and best served with tasty vinegar.

18) Taoist Temple

taoist temple

Lao Zi is an ancient Chinese philosopher and the religion that shares his teachings is Taoism. The Taoist Temple in Cebu, located in Beverly Hills Subdivision is open for both worshipers and non worshipers alike.

The temple includes a chapel, a library, a souvenir shop and a wishing well. The spacious balconies offer a scenic view of the downtown Cebu because it is elevated for about 300 meters above sea level.

18) Shop at SM Cebu

Hankering for some shopping? Just head off to SM Cebu for that local shopping experience. Don’t forget to check out The Cube, which is now one of the popular landmarks of the city.


19) Visit (and Buy) Cebu Guitars Manufacturers

For a musician, a visit to Cebu will not be complete if they will not check out and visit at least one guitar factory.

Cebu is famous for guitars. Alegre guitars is one of the famous guitar manufacturers.

alegre guitars


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tourist spots in cebu