The Philippines consists of several islands and some of them are quite popular as tourist destinations. Cebu, which is the ninth biggest island, is one of them. If you are into marine explorations, this would be an ideal place to spend your holiday. But no need to worry if the sea doesn’t appeal you so much. There are other places of interest that may be more interesting to your taste. After all, Cebu has plenty of interesting spots to offer, thanks to the food, the energy, the architecture, and the people. It just has a right combination and mix that makes the island interesting.
Cebu Tourists Destinations
As it was mentioned before, Cebu has a lot of interesting spots – each of which has its own unique appeal and attraction. Whether you are into cultural exploration, historical journey, or fun activities with the families (or the kids), be sure that you can have everything on this island.
1. Spa Esc
A holiday is supposed to help you unwind and relax, and that’s the idea of Spa Esc. Situated in Radisson Blu Hotel, the spa has so many different services that will pamper you, including the overall body treatment. Aromatherapy or Filipino Awakening Hilot massage will be a part of your treatment. The therapists are all professionals and skilled. Not to mention that the place has this soothing and relaxing atmosphere. If you have a rough day or you are stressed out, you should go to this place.
2. Crown Regency Sky Experience
This is a great place to stay but it is also a great place for those adrenaline junkies. If you don’t want to go to the extremes, you can always walk on the transparent glass floor while being strapped to the safety rope. Since the floor is 126 meter high, it is super exciting as well as scary at the same time. If you want to more challenges, there is the Edge Coaster that will go circling the building. With 38 floors, nothing is more thrilling than that! Extreme and scary zip lines are also available if you want to. In short, this hotel is perfect if you want some dare and challenges throughout the day!
You probably have heard about Jollibee and its food chain existence in modern countries like America. Well, the food chain started here and you should give it a try. Don’t be put off by the choices of menu. Everything seems illogical and somewhat ‘not matching’ but keep an open mind. You may like the fried chicken and fried egg or the desert consisting of jello cubes, red beans, shaved ice, flan, and white coconut in the end. You’ll never know!
Most of the historical buildings, locations, or sites in Cebu are well preserved. They are maintained in good condition and they have their own ancient and old-school appeal.
1. Cebu Heritage Monument
This is the area that has witnessed a long history of revolutions, battles, and invasions happening to the island. You can say that the area is filled with a tangled mess of bricks and dark stones, filled with sculptures of crosses, ships, and churches. When you come to the area, it feels like each corner has its own history. The best way to enjoy your visit to this area is to hire a guide. While listening to their tale of the place, you can take your own moment to go back in time and imagine what’s happening right at your standing spot. It gives you a sense of respect and honour to be there, I assure you.
2. 1730 Jesuit House
If you want to travel back in time, this is a place to go to. This is basically a local project aiming to preserve Cebu’s history. This house is chosen because it has survived many natural disasters, such as earthquakes, typhoons, and also foreign invasions. It is like a monument, witnessing many events in history, but in a form of a house. If you want to visit the spot, there will be a guide that will accompany you for an hour. You can also see antique items and artefacts, including the cedar chest that is more than 100 years old, furniture, cameras, and also carvings.
3. Metropolitan Cathedral
The Philippines are mostly Catholic and they are pretty devoted. That’s why churches become one of the most common sights in this country. In Cebu, you will find lots of churches and cathedrals, but this one has witnessed the long history of Christianity in the country. The Philippines previously had deep Buddhism and Hinduism roots, but after Christianity came along, everything changed. You can learn about religious history in this place, as well as enjoying the view. The architecture still retains the old glory of the past. But you can also enjoy the Sunday mass if you want to.
4. Fort San Pedro
The Philippines is very much influenced by Spanish culture, as reflected through the language, architecture, food, and currency. If you want to learn more about the country’s history and how the Spaniards affected the culture, you should come to this spot. There are a lot of things to learn about the place as well as the history of the nation. For instance, this fort was actually built to protect the area against the Muslim raiders.
If you like being engaged to natural elements, there are some promising places to explore. Not only you can interact better with the surrounding environment, but you can also learn more about it.
1. Oslob Whale Sharks
Cebu is known for its many beautiful beaches and fishing spots. One of them is Oslob Municipality, more popular for the beautiful beaches and old churches. But then the whale sharks make this spot more popular as ‘swimming with the sharks’ location. The local fishermen have been familiar with the whale sharks because they feed the sharks. And then tourists interested in the feeding time, and later, diving or snorkelling with the sharks started to come. And now, they have Oslob watching or diving with the whale sharks. If you want such a thing, you should include this spot in your bucket list.
2. Nature Park Mountain View
This is a way to engage with nature in the modern and fun way. Kids will definitely love it because they can play in the water playground. They can also enjoy the jungle gym and spend their abundant energy playing around. What about you? Well, parents can enjoy the breathtaking view – you will appreciate Mother Earth and starts developing a sense of environmental awareness. Spend the day in the restaurant or cafe. Feel like spending a night there? There are hotel rooms that you can rent. You won’t regret coming to this place. At all.
3. Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary
This is a great place to learn about butterflies and their species. If you are a nature lover, then this place should be included in your list. There is a mini rainforest filled with tropical flowers and plants, and you can find tons of colourful butterflies fly freely. This sanctuary comes with impressive butterfly specimen collections – you’d be surprised at how many there are! You will have to pay for the entrance fee, but it is worth the spending. Moreover, you can carry along your camera if you want to snap some photos.
Cebu has some interesting places for shopping, especially if you want to try the local foods or you want to buy souvenirs. You will find no other places like Cebu!
1. Colon Street
If you want to buy shoes, clothes, jewellery, and backpacks, this is a place to visit. The street may not look like the regular establishment for shopping. In fact, it may look a bit plain and boring. But if you want to look closer and you aren’t afraid to explore your way through, you will later find stalls filled with interesting items. You definitely buy the souvenirs here. No need to worry about haggling – as long as you are polite and respectful, the sellers won’t mind. This is the perfect place to try the local foods, mingle and meet local people, buy inexpensive items, and also snap some photos.
2. SM Mall
This is a popular mall in Cebu, especially ideal for everyone. There is an ice skating rink for the kids, in case they want to escape the heat for several hours. There are also arcades and also the playground for them. With the width and size, you will have hours to explore the corners. You can have fun shopping time, and when you are hungry, there are food courts and restaurants to appease your appetite. Another bonus is that the mall is facing the ocean so you can have an amazing view – this is great for photo’s background or family photo.
3. Taboan Public Market
This is a market especially for foods, such as fresh fruits and other variants although you can also find some souvenirs and other items. They aren’t much but they are available on some stalls. If you want to take a look around or you want to try some local foods, head here. You will find piles of pineapples, shrimp, seafood, nuts, fresh mangoes, and so much more. Keep in mind that most of the items don’t come with a price tag so be sure to ask first and get the detailed information before deciding to buy. Haggling is okay but be sure to remain polite and logical.
There are some religious worship spots that are worth checking in Cebu. Although Catholic churches are the most popular options, you can also find other places of worships, such as the temples.
1. Basilica del Santo Nino
This is the oldest (and one of the ancient) Catholic churches in the country, set up in 1565. The great thing about the place is that the construction is still intact and it is still used for everyday mass. Besides praying, you can also marvel the decorations. If you come here to see the parts of the course of history, you can view the beautiful archways, gorgeous ancient paintings, unique stained windows, and the overall construction from the past. Even better, you can come to the library as well as the museum. It is a completely perfect place for religious as well as historical purposes.
2. Taoist Temple
Cebu has a subdivision called the Beverly Hills, and this is the area where you can find Taoist Temple. Getting to the temple, which is located on the top of the hill, isn’t easy. It is pretty challenging, really, involving going up the winding paths and steep steps. But it is a rewarding experience because you will be able to enjoy the amazing view from the top. A word of advice, though, you should clean your hands and remove your shoes before coming into the temple.
Transportation in Cebu
Fly is the fastest way to reach the island. Mactan International Airport in Cebu operates daily and it connects the island with other places in the world, such as Hong Kong, Japan, and others. If you want to come to Cebu from Manila, it only takes an hour by plane. You can also travel by sea because Cebu has tons of multiple ports and harbours. The options are various so you have a flexible pick.
Travelling around Cebu can be tricky because the options for public transportation is pretty unique. For instance, a tricycle is a common option for going around. It is a small cab, able to carry 3 people, and run by a motorcycle. The standard rate is around 7 pesos a kilometre. Multicabs and jeepneys are also other options to explore the island. If you want an exclusive ride and you don’t mind spending extra, the taxi is another popular option. You can also use the bus, but it is often exclusive to the south-north route only.
The best way to know your way around is to ask the hotel staffs. They are familiar with the daily routes and travel options, and they can definitely provide you with a detailed info.