Housed in a kiosk, this iconic and much prized monument marks the spot where the explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross after baptising the first Filippinos, so creating Cebu as the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines. Look skywards to admire the ceiling paintings depicting the historical event.
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño was the first Asian basilica, built in 1740. It teems with devotees clambering to catch a glimpse of the oldest and most celebrated religious icon in the Philippines, the Santo Niño statue, presented to Queen Juana of Cebu by Magellan.
Built in 1740 as a nucleus for Spanish settlers, this is the smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the country. The green setting makes this fine little fort a good place to take a breather from Cebu City’s chaotic streets. Within the bastion is the Regional National Museum, which from Wednesday to Sunday, exhibits artifacts from the San Diego ship wreck.
Twice a year during winter and spring, on one of the most important migratory flyways in the world, tens of thousands of birds touch down on this small island to rest their weary bodies. Plovers, red shanks, egrets and sandpipers are just some of the winged visitors that can be seen here.
Your city tour would not be complete without visiting this beautiful temple. Cebu Taoist Temple was built in 1972 and is located in the upscale area of Beverly Hills Subdivision in Cebu. The place is extremely peaceful and offers amazing photo opportunities since it is approx. 300 meter above sea level.
The oldest street in Cebu was constructed by the Spanish and named after Christopher Columbus, marked by an obelisk at its northern end. Today, it’s the heart of the city’s downtown district and teems with shopping and entertainment discoveries. The street is glittering during the evening.
At the Rizal Memorial Library & Museum, the first floor showcases a collection of antiques donated by the local, famous and rich Cebuano families. Also on display is a collection of classical and contemporary artworks by Cebuano painters and artists. The upper floor is used as a performing arts hall.
Situated 2,000 feet above sea level, this excellent sight-seeing spot offers breathtaking views of Cebu and islands. Arbours are available for daytime picnics and instant evening parties, and arriving in time for sunset is worthwhile for romantics. To reveal your intentions with a partner, ring the legendary iron bell. Once for a firm partnership, twice for lasting friendship or three times for love that never ends. It is located 10 minute walk from the car park.
Located in the northwestern tip of Cebu, Bantayan is just one of many serene and tranquil locations that boast fine white sandy beaches. The island is a favourite local holiday hangout, particularly during the Lenten (Easter) season with celebrations that boast one of the most elaborate processions in the country.
Despite the three hour drive and 25 minute walk along rocky paths, the panoramic waterfalls steeped in lush greenery on Cebu island's south western coastline is well worth the journey; it's a place where the heat, dust and grime of the city can be washed away beneath the cascading water. Bamboo rafts, swings and calm pools are also available for those wanting to stay dry. A great place to have a picnic but try to avoid the weekends.
Necessities of trade, industry and the airport, unfortunately, take up some of the space on Mactan. However, much of its coastline it is left to the abundant beauty of nature, and its dazzling white sandy beaches and resorts are a serious draw to tourists. The crystal clear waters attract snorkelling and diving enthusiasts.
Casa Verde is a family run restaurant chain and they are not hard to find since there are several around Cebu. The menu is affordable priced and you really get good quality food for the price. They are famous for their baby back ribs, cooked to perfection. You will find one of the restaurants on:
Jazz'n Bluz is a slick and sophisticated nightclub showcasing live quality entertainment. Contemporary continental, Filipino, Japanese and Creole cuisine is served and it’s not unusual to find the politicians and wealthy business types escaping the often crowded nightclubs to enjoy the laid back soulful sounds.
The ultimate shopping mall experience when in Cebu, Ayala Center is where many local and international boutiques are concentrated all under one roof. Besides shops, the mall offers a cinema, restaurants and bars including a children play area. Esprit, Guess, Levi's, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Lacoste are some of the stores located here.
This giant mega mall is currently the largest in the Philippines and the 4th largest in the world, and you will surely find no shortage of shopping and entertainment options here. Shops like Claires, Adidas, Crocs, Esprit, Guess, Mango, Levi´s, Nike, Sands and Quiksilver are all located here.
Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) is located on Mactan island, 9 km from the centre of Cebu city. Complaints about taxi fares are plentiful, so do consult information on standard fares at your time of travel. The white taxis are reportedly cheaper than the yellow ones and the journey from the airport to Cebu City takes approx. 20-30 minutes.
Do as the locals and catch a colourful Jeepney (routes are posted on the front). These are available 24-hours a day, cover most of the nooks and crannies and are the cheapest transport option. Buses are also available, but these tend to ply exclusively along the north-south routes and can be quite baffling and arduous, particularly in the rural areas. Tricycles are common in towns and villages and with a bit of haggling they provide a convenient and cheap method of transport.