What to Do in Cebu City

Cebu Attractions

Wondering what to do in Cebu City? Time spent admiring the natural and manmade wonders in the city and on the island is time well spent. From the original mark of Christianity in the Philippines – Magellan’s Cross, to the cascading waterfalls and prolific plant and wildlife, it offers both educational and eye-wateringly beautiful sights.

Take a walk around the colonial and religious architecture to invoke a sweet sense of nostalgia for times gone by. For something more strenuous embark on a trek to the magical Kawasan falls, a definite highlight of any visit to Cebu. Check out below the most notable attractions in Cebu City, this first class metropolis has a lot to offer in matter of interesting sites to visit during your holiday in the Philippines.

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Casa Gorordo Museum

Built in the mid-19th century, Casa Gorordo Museum seeks to illustrate the elegant lifestyle of over 100 years ago. One of Cebu's best-kept secrets, the unique architectural and design features include an upper-storey living quarters made from Philippine hardwood, held together by  wooden pegs, as opposed to nails. The lower part of the house has walls built out of Mactan coral, keeping the area nice and cool. The property also practices elements of feng shui and features antiques and historical furniture.

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday–Sunday from 9am to 5pm (closed on Mondays)
  • Location: 35 Eduardo Aboitiz St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
  • Tel: +63 (0)32 411 1767
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Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro was built in 1565 and was the brainchild of the conqueror of the Philippines, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the country, it’s served as an army barracks, a Filipino rebel stronghold, a prison and a city zoo.

It’s now a peaceful, crumbling ruin that offers visitors a respite from the chaos of downtown Cebu, especially at sunset. A beautiful structure with walled gardens, it’s triangular in shape with two sides facing the sea.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 7pm
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
  • Tel: +63 (0)32 256 2284
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Guadalupe Cave

Upon entering Guadalupe Cave, visitors are required to cover their heads with Our Lady of Guadalupe's blue veil to receive any of the healing powers the cave is believed to have. The water dripping from above is claimed to cure ailments. It’s a narrow cave, so you’ll have to join the long, slow-moving line to get in.

  • Location: Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines

Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary

Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary is not just a butterfly sanctuary but an art gallery and museum as well. Built in 1974 by local lepidopterist Julian Jumalon, the garden contains 100 butterfly food plant species, around which flutter 50 magnificent types of butterfly.

Guests receive both a tour and lecture on the various stages of the butterflies’ lifecycle. The sanctuary also houses a collection of artworks made from butterfly wings. We advise a morning visit and, if possible, between February and June – breeding season.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm
  • Location: J.N, Jumalon St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
  • Tel: +63 (0)32 261 6884
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Kawasan Falls

The 3 beautiful Kawasan Falls are near Badian, south of Cebu. When you arrive at Badian, a 15- to 30-minute walk along a narrow and rocky path awaits, which’ll bring you to this stunning destination once you’ve crossed 3 small bridges. Once there you can swim and dive under the waterfalls for the most natural sort of massage. The falls are surrounded by strangely shaped rocks and tropical vegetation that really set the scene here.

  • Location: Badian, 6031 Cebu, Philippines
  • Tel: +63 (0)918 654 4111
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Magellan's Cross

Magellan’s Cross was erected by the Spanish and Portuguese in 1521, and is among the Philippines' more revered Catholic attractions. It’s situated across the way from Cebu City Hall and is considered to be the most important religious relic after the Santa Niño. Essentially, the Cross of Magellan symbolises the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines.

  • Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 6pm
  • Location: P. Burgos St, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
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Santo Niño Basilica

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, which houses one of the country’s oldest relics. Santo Niño is a carving of a young Jesus, depicted as a black child, dating back to the 16th century. The church was founded by an Augustine priest (hence its former name of San Augustine Church) named Andres de Urdaneta in 1569. Having burnt down 3 times, it was rebuilt in its current form in 1737.

Inside the church is a small museum about Christianity in Cebu. The ceiling murals are pretty impressive, too. The church, in the heart of Cebu City, was purposely built on the spot where the Santo Niño was discovered. It has been built in a baroque and neo-classical style. English-language masses are held from 5.30pm to 8pm every day except Sunday.

  • Location: Pilgrim’s Center, Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
  • Tel: +63 (0)32 255 6697
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Cebu Taoist Temple

The Cebu Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills was built by the huge Chinese population in the province. On Wednesdays and Sundays, Taoist devotees climb the 99 steps of the temple to light joss sticks then have their fortunes read by the monks. Built in 1972, the temple is 300 metres above sea level and topped with a pagoda-style roof – something of a novelty in this city.

  • Location: Beverly Hills, Cebu City 6000, Philippines
  • Tel: +63 (0)32 254 6503
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