Cebu, Philippines is one of the metropolitan cities similar to Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
When people think of the Philippines, a trip to Manila probably comes to mind. But there are a ton of things to do in Cebu. The city has its own unique natural beauty and historical remnants that Manila doesn’t offer.
Cebu City offers a wide variety of historical sights and leisure activities. It also offers a lot of great beach and water activities.
As you plan your trip to Cebu City, you should be aware of what you want to do and where you want to visit. This post will offer 10 things you must do in Cebu while you are there to make the trip memorable!
Top 10 Favorite Tourist Spots and Things to Do in Cebu, Philippines
1. Visit Basilica del Santo Niño
One of the most famous landmark in Cebu, Philippines is the Basilica del Santo Niño. Also known as Santo Niño Church, it is located along Osemaña Boulevard.
As the oldest Roman Catholic Church built in the 16th century, the church was founded on the location where the image of Santo Niño de Cebu was seen.
You will want to visit since it gives a full experience of the church. Outside of the church, you can buy candles from candle vendors with personalized inscriptions. These are perfect souvenirs to bring back for family and friends.
2. Stop by Fort San Pedro
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Close to Basilica del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro is located in Plaza Indepedencia in the pier area of Cebu City and shows Cebu’s rich history. The construction started on May 8, 1565, by Spanish and indigenous Cebuanos under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi.
Here, as the oldest and smallest fort in the country, you can experience the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines with an entrance of only P30.
If you like historical experiences when you travel, you should visit here for a full colonial history of Cebu.
3. Check out Magellan’s Cross
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Beside Basilica del Santo Niño, Magellan’s Cross is one of the most historical places in Cebu. It is located in the middle of Magellanes Street.
This landmark was built after the first baptism of Rajah Humabon, his wife Queen Juana, and some of their followers on April 21, 1521. Here, you will see a splendid cross in which the original is now protected in the cross-shaped hollow wood case.
Here, you will see a splendid cross in which the original is now protected in a cross-shaped hollow wood case.
Similar to the first two historical sites, if you like historical experiences when you travel, you should visit here for a full colonial history of Cebu.
4. Visit the Mactan Shrine
If you are still interested in the colonial history of Cebu, Philippines, you should visit the Mactan Shrine located on Mactan Island.
Near the coast of Cebu City, the Mactan Shrine commemorates the Battle of Mactan between the Visayan (central Philippines) natives against the Spanish in 1521.
There are two other shrines – the Magellan Shrine and Lapu Lapu Shrine. Here, a life-size statue of Lapu Lapu stands tall and there are paintings that depict the war between Lapu Lapu and Magellan.
5. Snap Pictures of the Taoist Temple
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You should visit the Taoist Temple if you want to discover the Chinese culture within the Philippines. The Taoist Temple was built by Chinese people who were living in Cebu.
This temple is 984 feet above sea level. Taoist Temple in the Philippines is modeled based on the multi-tiered Taoist Temple in China.
When you step in, you will see the small Grand Wall of China at the entrance and 81 main staircases, which indicates the 81 chapters Taoism scriptures.
Tourists find this temple especially great for taking photos because of its vibrant red color and distinct Chinese culture.
6. Experience a Sky Adventure
While you are traveling to Cebu, you have the opportunity to experience thrilling sky adventures! There is a Sky Experience Adventure Place where you can do Tower Zip, the Edge Coaster, Sky Walk Extreme, and so on.
Here, an awesome restaurant and a sky bar exist as well. At night, you can experience the feeling of being closer, if not inside the sky while enjoying a tasty dinner with friends, families, and loved ones.
7. Visit the Cebu Provincial Capitol Building
While you are in Cebu City, take the time to take pictures in front of the Cebu Provincial Capitol Building. Located in Osmena Boulevard, Cebu City, this building offers a beautiful sight of the provincial capitol building in the Philippines. It may be worth stopping by and checking it out!
8. Explore Mango Square
Cebu is also known for its great nightlife. When you go with friends and you want to do something at night, give a visit to Mango Square, located on Gen. Maxilom Ave., 6000 Cebu City, which is the best place to experience the nightlife since there are many clubs and bars.
While you travel in a foreign country, you may want to meet those in the same shoes. In Mango Square, not only young Filipinos, but also tourists from all around the world come to enjoy their trip and experience a new night culture, and you may meet new friends and get more information about places to go in Cebu.
9. Go on a Food Trip
Food is a crucial part of any trip. When you go to Cebu, you must eat fruits that have exploding tastes with its juice! There are many tropical fruits, but mango is definitely one of the most abundant fruits you can eat in Cebu.
The Philippines is the biggest supplier of mangoes in Asia. Since the Philippines has a tropical climate, fruits in the Philippines has great sweetness.
Moreover, the popular native food will capture your heart! For example, lechon is famous pork food among Filipinos.
The famous TV chef Anthony Bourdain described it as the “best pig ever,” and it remains one of the must-eats when you visit Cebu, Philippines.
10. Shop at Ayala Center or SM City Cebu
One of the fun activities you can enjoy during your travels is shopping. You can shop various cultural items at Ayala Center and SM City Cebu! These are the biggest shopping centers in Cebu with many snacks, restaurants, souvenirs, even Starbucks. Before leaving Cebu, you should visit one of the malls and buy memorable souvenirs that remind you the great trip you had in Cebu.
SM Mall opens Monday through Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm while Ayala Mall is open 7 days a week, except the mornings on Christmas and New Years.
Before you leave, there are some items you must buy or at least check out. Dried mangoes, bead necklace, bracelets, pearl earrings and dried danggit and pusit are just a few of things you should buy and take home with you!
Final Thoughts on Our List of Fun Things to Do in Cebu, Philippines
Looking at the list above, Cebu has a lot to offer and things you would want to take advantage while you are there – the history, food, culture, and shopping.
Now that you have read about the 10 things-to-do, you should get a sense of activities and places to go at Cebu! Remember you don’t have to visit all the sites listed above as you may feel free to adjust the list based on the type of trip you want.