Top 10 Places to Visit in Cebu, The Philippines
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Cebu, an island situated in the central Visayas regions of the Philippines, where coconut trees define the majestic shorelines fringed with white sands, and the cocktail of architectural style, ranging from Spanish, Roman, Chinese, and modern style, sets every tourist in jubilation. With the multitudes of places to visit in Cebu, the destinations will seem like it’s always cajoling you- waiting for you so you can explore its beauty from every inch!
There’s no doubt why Cebu has maintained its world-renowned charm even from centuries ago, pocketing the nickname “Queen City of the South.” Formerly the capital of the Philippines, Cebu remained as a center for commerce in the country is a center for tourism, famous cuisines, education, and much more. Its venerability stands strong, being home to many of the Philippines historical sites such as the Magellan’s Cross, the Heritage of Cebu Monument, and Fort San Pedro.
Not to mention its alluring beaches and waterfalls, including Kawasan Falls, Pandanon Island, Sumilon Island, and the ever famous Malapascua Island, where both locals and tourists enjoy a refreshing dip.
Whether you’re looking for some touch of adventure or splurge under a relaxing atmosphere, Cebu is the perfect place for you. If you fancy some thrilling activities, seek some sea adventures either you dive, snorkel, go canyoneering, or surf with the waves. However, if the latter is what you prefer more, visit the temples or enjoy the views above the mountains if you opt for Cebu sightseeing.
Once you reach this iconic island in South East Asia, you’ll surely doubt where to go in Cebu. Listed in no specific order, here are our top picks of Cebu tourist attractions you should never miss.
Useful travel tips for every traveler (Budget or not!)
→ Learn how to find cheap flights: Read our Skyscanner guide on how to find flights!
→ Save some money from your hotel bookings: Use this Booking.com link to find deals on hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Another tip is tp sign-up for an account and refer friends and for every 50USD worth of hotel bookings, you will get 10% of your money back!
→ Save money and use Airbnb: Get up to 26USD in credit to use on your next stay, use this link to avail this!
Table of Contents
- 1 Quick facts and Cebu travel tips
- 2 Find accommodations in Cebu
- 3 Find the best tours in Cebu
- 4 Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Cebu
- 5 Need help to plan your trip? Start with these useful tips!
- 6 Do you need inspiration for your next trip? Here are our top posts!
- 7 Other countries to visit in Asia
- 8 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Quick facts and Cebu travel tips
Quick facts about Cebu?
- Currency? Philippine peso ( ₱ )
- Languages(s)? Cebuano, Leyteño, Tagalog
- Where is this place located? Central Visayas Region, Philippines; Southeast Asia
- What is Cebu famous for? Cebu is best known for its stunning waterfalls to its historical landmarks, and beaches. Cebu is also most famous of its best tasting “Lechon” the very prominent traditional cuisine in Cebu
- Best time to visit Cebu and seasons? High season is between December to May, the weather is cooler and dry. Also, the Sinulog festival is held in January
- Transportation in Cebu? You can use the bus, jeepneys, tricycles (like tuk-tuk), boats, taxis, and vans could talk you around Cebu and its surrounding areas
- Which side of the road do they drive? They are driving on the right side of the road
- Which electric plug do they use? Type A, B, and C plugs. 220V. For more information, check our travel adapter reviews!
- Other famous places in the Philippines? Banawe, Batanes, Bohol, Camiguin, Catanduanes, Donsol, Iloilo, Legazpi, Manila, Mindoro, Palawan, Siquijor, Vigan, Tagaytay – read more here.
- Famous neighboring countries? By sea: China, Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Palau.
Do you need a visa for the Philippines?
The Philippines welcomes almost all nationality in the country by providing a loose regulation regarding visa exemptions. For instance, if you’re a citizen of Brazil and Israel, you can enter the country visa-free up to 59 days.
That said, if you’re a citizen of the EU group of countries, the US, most of Central and Southwest America, Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN group of countries can enter the Philippines up to 30 days on visa exemption.
However, if you’re a citizen of Taiwan, you’ll need to apply for an electronic travel authorization.
You can read more visa rules here.
Where to book your flights to Cebu?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need travel insurance for Cebu?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Find accommodations in Cebu
Find the best tours in Cebu
Here’s the list of the top places to visit in Cebu
You can’t completely say that you’ve been to Cebu if you never went to Mactan- the center and one of the most historical compared to any other Cebu City tourist spots. It’s a fusion of everything that Cebu offers!
From exploring the depths of the sea by snorkeling, diving, or sea excursions, to enjoy the panoramic view of the city in Scape Skydeck, or if you’re into exhilarating activities, then skydiving is an excellent choice!
Also, you can take a walk or a refreshing dip in Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary where thousands of marine life in Cebu.
If you feel hungry while discovering this amazing Cebu destination, stop by Lantaw Native Restaurant and enjoy its classy ambiance. Never miss the favorite local beer here! Native cuisines would feel and taste more authentic if matched with a bottle of San Miguel beer.
Considered as one of the most expensive places to visit in Cebu, Badian Island makes its visitors feel like the real king and queen of their vacation. With hotel prices ranging from about $250-$400, there’s nothing but pure tranquility and relaxation in this island.
As a lesser number of crowds visit the area, it may sometimes look like you have the beach all for yourself. It can serve as a relaxing refuge while you take a glance on the lush environment or the aqua blue waters trying to climb up to the shore. Not only that, prepare to lose your breath as you drink a fine cocktail during the tropical sunset set.
The long-list of Cebu beaches would never be complete without Bantayan Island, one of the best beaches in Cebu, flaunting its charm and uniqueness that bedazzles the heart of every tourist.
Situated in the remote area of Bantayan, a few kilometers away from Santa Fe Town, Bantayan Island fulfills every traveler’s dream of a laid-back ambiance. On this island, you can rent a scooter and drive your way throughout the island. You can explore cliff jumping sites, reach the northern tip of the place- the Kota Point, or discover hidden gems like secluded beaches!
Here you can also choose if you fancy the shores to work on your dream tan look or savor the pristine water as you row your boat. Going to Bantayan from Cebu City is just one bus ride away, which costs an affordable price of Php 380 (around $8). However, if you take the bus from Cebu to Hagnaya and book a boat after, you’ll save around Php 80 (around $1.20).
Aside from just immersing yourself in the barefoot luxury and underwater treasures that Cebu tourist spots offer, gazing upon jovial sea creatures is an exciting thing to do in Oslob. Many people ask about unique things you can find in Cebu or what to see in Cebu- with full pride, Oslob proudly presents whale sharks to wandering tourists.
Located just about 10 km from Oslob’s town proper, you can enjoy whale shark watching in Oslob as fishers throw some food. If you’re in for some thrilling experience, you can also swim with these whale sharks, go snorkeling, dive, or make a splash in Oslob’s beaches!
Also, these whale sharks contribute wonderfully to Cebu’s tourism. It has made Oslob one of the top tourist destination in Cebu. Although there is an impending concern about the wellbeing of these whale sharks, whale shark watching is genuinely something you shouldn’t miss.
Famous for having thresher sharks and breathtaking diving spots, Malapascua Island beguiles tourists with its refined beaches, and beyond the sea adventures, you can experience.
If you’re looking for some things to do in Cebu City, diving in Malapascua Island is one of the most sought for Cebu tourism activity, as well as contributing mainly to transforming the island of Malapascua into the top spot in the list of the best diving spots in the Philippines.
However, don’t you worry if diving is not your interest! Malapascua Island’s shorelines covered in pure, white sands give the perfect picture of a romantic and rustic getaway for every tourist.
As the palm trees dance with the wind while the waves kiss the shore, you can easily unwind and take immerse yourself with the calmness of the sea. Bringing all these opulence all at once, Malapascua Island will make your tropical getaway the most exhilarating and unforgettable!
Checking where to go in Cebu? Take a day trip from the bustling city of Cebu to Sumilon Island! If you’re searching for a cocktail of serenity, nature, and something historical, Sumilon Island is the island you’ve longed for. Located about 125 km away from Cebu City, it’s a pleasant refuge for day trips where you can enjoy the azure ocean and panoramic views that will make you come back.
Carpeted with nothing but greens and white sand shoreline, the refreshing vibe of peace and calmness covers the whole island. You can also find many places to visit in Cebu inside this astonishing island. It houses baluarte, which is a historical watchtower, a rustic lighthouse, and caves.
If you wish to linger in the place a bit longer, check out Sumilon Bluewater, the only resort you can find on the island with rates ranging from $316-$514.
If you’re asking where to go in Cebu, Lapu Lapu City is more than the ideal answer to your question. Named after one of the bravest Filipino warriors of all time, Lapu Lapu city is another urbanized city that weaves pleasure and commerce together.
It’s an excellent place to stop by in Cebu where you can witness the long history of the Philippines with the Spanish conquerors. You can find Punta Engaño in Lapu Lapu City where the bloody battle between the first Spanish conquerors and Filipinos happened. Finding a place to stay in Lapu Lapu City isn’t difficult at all as many world-class resorts are located in the area.
Once you visit this city, never miss playing the guitars locally designed and made by the hands of the natives who live there. Its acoustic sound will definitely bring you peace inside your soul!
There’s no place for gesticulation in a piece of heaven like Camotes Island. It’s like the people and ambiance in the place never recognized distress and hassle. All you can find is nothing but pure relaxation.
What’s interesting about Camotes Island is that it’s not a single island, as to what its name might impose. It has a total of three islands, namely Pacijan, Poro, and Ponson Island. Moreover, the island offers a great getaway for those people seeking less touristy destinations.
Searching where to stay in Cebu? The islands of Camotes have two main locations that will give you a seamless view of Cebu’s attractions. You can either stay in Santiago Bay where lots of decent resorts ranging from the most affordable to the luxurious options, or pick Mangodlong where only four resorts stand to accompany you in your Cebu vacation.
Set in the southern region of Cebu, Alcoy encapsulates a charm that attracts tourist to its awesome beaches. It’s a Cebu point of interest among tourists who want to sprinkle summer vibes in them. As previously mentioned, Alcoy is at its best every summer, where it transforms into a dynamic paradise.
The island is a top destination in Cebu where large crowds come, especially during holidays and weekends. Even if that’s the case, booking a hotel in Cebu, particularly in Alcoy, isn’t as hard as you thought it might be. There are plenty of resorts on the island, and you’ll surely find something that matches your taste perfectly.
With two captivating beach destinations, Moalboal will give you both those picturesque grains of sand and rocky shores. Once you set foot on this island, you’ll never ask what do in Cebu anymore! It’s everywhere- from taking picturesque snaps of the rocky shore in Panagsama or the enchanting sandy beach at White Beach to discovering what’s beyond the sea in Cebu through snorkeling!
Not to mention that there is a dazzling reef that lines Moalboal, making it one of the most exciting places to visit in Cebu with thousands of sea life waiting to say ‘hello!’ to the tourists! If you plan to stay for the day, consider renting a cottage, but if you fancy staying overnight, many resorts are lined in the beach giving you plenty of options.
Need help to plan your trip? Start with these useful tips!
- Best Carry On Backpack: Top Weekender Backpack Reviews
- Best Luggage: Top Suitcase Reviews
- Backpacking Minimalist: How to Travel with Less (Minimalist Travel)
- Minimalist packing list for women
- Minimalist packing list for men
- Backpack vs Luggage: Which One to Use for Long Term Travel
Important travel tips and tricks:
- Before Flight Travel Checklist: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need!
- How to Find Cheap Flights Everywhere (Using Skyscanner)
- Why You Should Get a Travel Insurance for Your Next Adventure
- Hotel, Hostel, Airbnb, or Guesthouse: Which One to Choose for Accommodation?
- Top Travel Tips to Use When You Get to Your Destination
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Other countries to visit in Asia
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, The Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
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- Have you been to any of these places to visit in Cebu?
- If yes, which ones?
- If not, which ones you’d like to visit one day?
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