Cebu City Sights and POI
In Cebu, everyone will find something to keep them busy. See our suggestions below on what to see while you are in Cebu City.
For those who enjoy churches and historical buildings, they will find themselves happy and occupied with landmarks in Cebu City. The largest church in town is the Basilica of Santo Niño, which has a long and storied history. There has been a church on the site since 1565 and contains a statue of Jesus as a baby which scholars believe is the oldest religious artwork in the country. The church is not only a tourist attraction, but rather a place where you will see many local Filipinos praying as well.
The admission to enter the church is PHP10 and there is a museum attached to the church which is open from 8am–11.45am and 1.30pm–4.45pm Tuesday through Sunday.
Casa Gorordo Museum
The Casa Gorordo Museum is located at 35 Lopez Jaena St. and is an example of what Spanish colonial mansions looked like when Spaniards lived in Cebu. It’s open from Tuesday through Sunday and costs PHP70 to enter. The mansion, like many others from the period, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and will transport you back 150 years in the blink of an eye.
In Plaza Sugbo, you can see a wooden cross brought by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. After he converted the island’s residents to Christianity, he left the cross which can be seen to this day. Lots of vendors sell trinkets and candles around the sight.
On Mactan Island, you will find the Lapu-Lapu monument, a gilded statue of the Philippines’ national hero. Lapu-Lapu was a local of Cebu who fought the aforementioned Ferdinand Magellan when he landed on the island in 1521. Not too far from the statue is also a marker which honors Magellan himself.
If you get too claustrophobic after a day spending time inside museums, Cebu is a great place to get out. Go to Tops, which is at the top of Mount Busay. It costs PHP100 to enter the beautifully maintained gardens, but you’ll have an incredible panoramic view of the city from the top. In addition to taking a motorbike or jeepney, you can also take a mountain bike to the top of the mountain, which certainly count for your workout for the day, as it takes between 45 minutes and an hour to arrive at the top.
Beaches near Cebu City
Also on Mactan are great beaches with the option of doing a little sunbathing or snorkeling, depending on what you fancy. There are luxurious resorts on the island which will allow you to use their beaches for a small fee.
Get a horse ride
On Mactan and in other neighborhoods of Cebu, you can take horse-drawn carriage rides, which is a great way to spend the afternoon. It’s a luxurious and fun way to take in the city for an hour or so. Prices are reasonable, about PHP50, but be sure to negotiate the charge with the driver before you get in to ensure that there aren’t any nasty surprises when the ride is finished.
Look who’s dancing!
One of the most bizarre attractions in Cebu is found at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, where you can take tours of the jail and then watch hundreds of inmates dance in the penitentiary’s gym. The dancing is part of the inmates’ daily exercise and their rehabilitation program. The inmates dance to songs like “Thriller” and “We Are The World” by Michael Jackson. Taxis from the center of Cebu cost about 130 pesos and the dance is free, but donations to the prisoners are appreciated.