If you are still wondering where to go in Cebu for fun, you probably have already found your perfect introductory guide to famous tourist spots in Cebu.
Aside from the popular Cebu beaches, conservation areas, caves, waterfalls, and other enticing natural attractions, you can also explore interesting historical structures and sites in the province particularly in Metro Cebu. More specifically, structures built during the Spanish period are still extant, including cathedrals, baluartes, forts, ancestral homes, streets, offices, plazas, among others.
Below, you will find the few and select attractions and tourist spots in Cebu City that will serve as your introduction to Cebu's culture, history, heritage and representative provincial icons. Here we go...
Cebu Fort San Pedro, or Fuerte de San Pedro in Spanish, used to be a military defense structure built during the Spanish period under the authority of Miguel López de Legazpi, the first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines.
Now, you can still explore and see its original structure, learn and enjoy its historicity. It is not huge but enough to protect the soldiers and civilians from the attacks of pirates and enemies then. The place is neat and nice since it is well-maintained. The groomed flowers and other tropical plants are great to look at. Yes, you can rest or stroll inside.
Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
Visitation Time: 8 AM to 7 PM
Phone: +63 32 256 2284
Find out more here.
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is the Philippines’ oldest Catholic Church building still standing today. It is built in 1564 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi on the spot where the image of the Child Jesus or Santo Niño was found.
It is popularly known as the Santo Niño Basilica and used as a minor basilica which was founded by Frays Andres de Urdaneta and Diego de Herrera in 1565.
Either you are a believer or not, you will definitely be amazed by its architecture and sense of heavenly environment. You can also look at the religious relics and some books on religion and some of history, science, philosophy, and periodicals. Read more here.
Magellan’s Cross is also a famous religious structure and a landmark which is one of the most visited tourist spots in Cebu City. Inside the European-style roof stands a Christian cross which is believed to be the one planted by Ferdinand Magellan upon arrival on the island on March 16, 1521.
You can easily find Magellan’s Cross as it is located just outside Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. Many believed that the original Cross is encapsulated inside the visible one, or that the original cross was either not found or taken away.
Either it is the original or merely a replica, it is interesting to know the place and learn about a significant history about the Christianization of Cebu and spreads throughout the country. You can read more here.
Colon Street is where actions of celebrations, demonstrations, events, and shopping happen. It is named after the world navigator Christopher Columbus or Cristobal Colon in Spanish.
Up to this day, Colon Street is still with shopping centers, but it is losing its popularity due to the emergence of mega malls and shopping centers mushrooming outside the older city center.
However, if you want to see the older capital city of Cebu, you must visit Colon Street to learn a bit about how it looks today. Although it is not the most popular among the tourist spots in Cebu, students from universities nearby still enjoy the area. Read more here.
Just outside the capital, you can visit this religious site located at the sides of Beverly Hills Subdivision, Cebu. Aside from the usual Christian structure tourist spots in Cebu, the Cebu Taoist Temple is an excemption.
Cebu Taoist Temple, as it is popularly called, is a holy place where Taoism believers in Cebu offer supplications for good health, long life, wealth and fortune.
However, Cebu Taoist Temple is attracting even the non-believers due to its unique architecture and interesting structure (but a basic form as a Taoist temple) among those who are not familiar. You can find out more about it here.
Cebu Provincial Capitol Building is the seat of Cebu Province’s provincial government. You can find it at the north end of Osmeña Boulevard in the capital. The building is one of the most popular tourist spots in Cebu being a government structure among other government offices in the province.
The Capitol building structure is Neoclassicism style which was designed by Juan M. Arellano, a Filipino architect who lived in 1888 to 1960. The construction started in 1937 and was completed a year later.
The Capitol is positioned according to the concept of William E. Parsons who planned the City of Cebu. It is dramatically positioned at the end of Osmeña Boulevard to create a grand perspective.
You may visit the place if you have some business or discover more about its history and see where the governor of the province is doing his daily work and running the province. Read more here.
Mactan Shrine on Mactan Island, Cebu, is a very historical site and a symbol of Cebu people’s resistance against foreign domination. It is where you can find the statue of Rajah Lapu Lapu, the king of the island who defeated Ferdinand Magellan, the leader of the Spanish expedition in the 16th century.
The “Battle of Mactan” is the famous name coined for the encounter between Lapu Lapu’s soldiers and the Spanish invaders. Among many theories alluding to the defeat of Magellan is that they do not know well the terrain of the island and their heavy body armors prevented them from moving quicker against the islanders who are agile and lightly clothed with ‘bahag’ (a sort of g-string or loincloth) and headgears.
Anyway, to learn more about Lapu Lapu and the history surrounding the Mactan Shrine, you may read more here.
If you want to see the panorama of Cebu City and to spend in a serene space and relaxing atmosphere, it is the right place for you.
From The Tops Lookout, you can see the surrounding mountain range of Cebu bedecked with verdant trees and tropical plants. While observing the scenes, you can see from your vantage point you can sit comfortably and sip some drinks from some small cafés inside the place with a lawn covered with green grass.
The Tops Lookout is fantastic for families, couples, or friends seeking for time to spend quality time together. Find out more here.
Museo Sugbo can tell you Cebu’s story by even looking at the photos and relics exhibited inside this provincial museum.
Historians, students, travelers, families, and other curious visitors visit this Museo Sugbo to see and learn how this booming city look like in the past.
Inside, you will find that it is not a structure built for a usual museum. That is because it was once a provincial jail of Cebu. That is why you will be ‘shocked’ to learn that a café offers drinks that are named alluding to jail senses, such as ‘partners in crime,’ ‘shut gun hotdog,’ ‘parolled egg sandwich,’ among other witty and punned terms for drinks and snacks.
Keep visiting this page for more additional tourist spots in Cebu.