12 Amazing Things to Do in Cebu: Top Tourist Attractions

by Emil Backup
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Are you looking to visit Cebu soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Cebu. These diverse sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for a memorable vacation experience.

Welcome to the mesmerizing island of Cebu, a place where the sun kisses the endless beaches and the sea dances to the tunes of whispering winds. Cebu is a dreamy paradise offering a symphony of experiences that resonate with the soul of every traveler. It’s a place where the azure waters meet lush landscapes. It creates a canvas painted with vibrant shades of nature, and there are numerous things to do in Cebu that will make your visit unforgettable.

In Cebu, every moment is a celebration of life, filled with the laughter of the waves and the melodies of the tropical birds. Here, you can lose yourself in the enchanting beauty of the waterfalls. Dive deep into the ocean’s heart to dance with the colorful marine life, or just sit back on the sandy shores. Let the sea breeze whisper tales of the island’s timeless beauty.

Whether you are an adventurer seeking the thrill of the unknown, a nature lover longing for the embrace of the wild, or a wanderer looking for a moment of tranquility, Cebu welcomes you with open arms, promising a journey that’s as unforgettable as the island’s scenic beauty.

Embark on this journey with me, as we explore the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of Cebu. Discover the wonders this island paradise has to offer. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Cebu, the Philippines.

The best things to do in Cebu right now.
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Best Places to Visit in Cebu

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Cebu? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this top vacation spot in Asia. So keep reading to discover all these unique Cebu places to visit.

Are you looking to indulge in a plethora of activities, from exploring colorful coral reefs while scuba diving or snorkeling to savoring the delectable flavors of cuisine at local markets and eateries? Or would you prefer hiking through lush jungles and taking boat trips to nearby islands? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Cebu can accommodate your needs. Fly to the Philippines and so many gems will await you! Here’s all the best attractions in Cebu that you should know about.

1. Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls is a haven for those who find solace in the symphony of the cascading waters. This natural wonder is not just a visual treat but a soulful experience, making it one of the best places to go in Cebu. The journey to the falls is a scenic adventure, with trails adorned with the lush beauty of the tropical flora. Every step brings you closer to the melody of the falling waters, whispering the secrets of the untouched wilderness.

The turquoise waters of the falls invite you to dive into the essence of nature’s purity. It’s one of the Cebu places to visit where every drop tells a tale of the timeless beauty of the natural world. Swimming in the refreshing embrace of the waters, you feel a connection with the essence of life, a bond with the spirit of the earth. It’s not just about witnessing the beauty of the falls; it’s about becoming a part of this natural symphony.

Kawasan Falls exemplifies the unique things to do in Cebu, offering a journey into the heart of nature, a voyage into the soul of the island.

Cascading beauty: Nature's masterpiece at Kawasan Falls enchants with its crystal-clear waters and lush green surroundings.
Cascading beauty: Nature’s masterpiece at Kawasan Falls enchants with its crystal-clear waters and lush green surroundings.

2. Osmeña Peak

Osmeña Peak stands as a testament to the breathtaking beauty that Cebu holds. Reaching the summit, you are greeted with panoramic views that weave the tapestry of the island’s diverse landscapes. It’s a place where the land and sky dance in a symphony of colors, whispering the tales of the winds and waves.

Embarking on this journey, you traverse trails that are a mosaic of the island’s vibrant flora, each step a discovery of its rich biodiversity. The gentle breeze carries the whispers of the leaves, narrating the stories of the ancient lands. It’s more than a hike; it’s a conversation with the earth, a dialogue with the skies.

Visiting Osmeña Peak is one of the coolest activities in Cebu, a chance to witness the island in its full glory. Listen to the symphony of the landscapes, and to be a part of the island’s vibrant tapestry.

At Osmeña Peak, the highest point in Cebu, hikers are rewarded with panoramic vistas of jagged peaks and rolling hills.
At Osmeña Peak, the highest point in Cebu, hikers are rewarded with panoramic vistas of jagged peaks and rolling hills.

3. Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island is a serene escape. It’s a place where the sands whisper tales of the sea, and the waves sing of the lands they’ve kissed. Here, time seems to slow, allowing you to savor every moment, every breath of the salty air, every whisper of the ocean breeze.

The island is a canvas painted with hues of tranquility and vibrancy, where azure waters meet pristine sands. It’s a place to lose and find yourself, to write your story with the ink of the ocean and the quill of the palm leaves. Exploring Bantayan Island is one of those best things to do in Cebu where every sunset is a poem, and every dawn is a promise.

For the wanderers seeking solace in the arms of the sea, for the dreamers longing to converse with the stars, Bantayan Island is a symphony of nature’s most beautiful melodies, a dance of the earth and sky.

Bantayan Island boasts pristine beaches, azure waters, and a tranquil atmosphere, making it the ultimate seaside escape.

4. Moalboal

Moalboal is a treasure trove for those who find solace under the waves, where marine life dances in a symphony of colors. It’s not just one of the Cebu attractions. It’s a journey into the underwater realms, a gateway to a world where every ripple tells a story.

Dive into the azure embrace of Moalboal’s waters, and you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of coral gardens. Each one is a living masterpiece, a testament to nature’s artistry. It’s an exciting thing to do in Cebu where every dive is a new adventure, a new discovery.

The sapphire depths of Moalboal are a sanctuary for the ocean’s inhabitants, a place for every creature. From the smallest shrimp to the most majestic whale shark, finds a home. Here, the ocean’s heartbeat is the music to which the underwater world dances, a rhythm that speaks of the ancient, the eternal, the infinite.

The Best Things to Do in Cebu: Moalboal, an underwater wonderland, invites you to explore its diverse marine life.
The Best Things to Do in Cebu: Moalboal, an underwater wonderland, invites you to explore its diverse marine life.

5. Simala Shrine

Simala Shrine is a testament to architectural grandeur and spiritual serenity, nestled amidst the lush landscapes of Cebu. This sacred sanctuary is not just a place of worship but also a beacon of hope for many. Making a visit to the shrine, one of the Cebu things to do you shouldn’t miss.

Visitors are enveloped in a sense of tranquility as they traverse the intricate pathways of the shrine, each step echoing with whispers of prayers and tales of miracles. The air is imbued with a divine presence, a gentle reminder of the celestial and the eternal intertwined with the terrestrial.

The panoramic vistas surrounding the shrine add to its ethereal charm, with the azure skies above and the verdant hills below creating a symphony of colors. It’s a place where the divine and the natural converge, offering solace to the soul and feast to the eyes.

Simala Shrine, a place of worship and pilgrimage, captivates visitors with its ornate architecture and serene ambiance in Cebu.
Simala Shrine, a place of worship and pilgrimage, captivates visitors with its ornate architecture and serene ambiance in Cebu.

6. Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro is a testament to Cebu’s rich history and is one of the cool destinations in Cebu for history lovers. This military defense structure, built by the Spanish under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, whispers tales of battles and bravery. It’s a living relic, allowing visitors to step back in time and witness the enduring strength of Cebu’s heritage.

The triangular fortress, with its robust walls and well-preserved artifacts, offers a glimpse into the Spanish colonial era, revealing stories of conquests and resilience. Walking through its corridors, one can almost hear the echoes of soldiers’ footsteps and feel the pulse of history.

Wondering where to visit in Cebu to escape the city’s hustle? Fort San Pedro is your spot. Beyond its historical allure, the fort’s lush garden is a haven for those seeking a moment of respite. It’s a place where history and nature intertwine, creating a serene escape for reflection and relaxation.

Cebu's Historical Gem, where time stands still, offering a glimpse into the city's rich past through its well-preserved Spanish-era fortress.
Cebu’s Historical Gem, where time stands still, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich past through its well-preserved Spanish-era fortress.

7. Mactan Island

Mactan Island is not just a gateway to Cebu but a destination teeming with experiences, making it one of the unique places in Cebu. The island is a tapestry of rich history, vibrant culture, and aquatic adventures, offering a plethora of activities for every type of traveler.

Dive enthusiasts will find Mactan’s underwater world enchanting, with its diverse marine life and coral gardens, making it one of the coolest things to do in Cebu. The clear blue waters are a canvas of colors and movements, inviting divers to explore and discover the hidden gems of the sea.

For those with a penchant for history, the island’s landmarks narrate the tales of heroism and encounters between the natives and the Spaniards, with Lapu-Lapu’s monument standing as a symbol of bravery and resistance.

Mactan Island is also a hub for local craftsmanship, showcasing the intricate designs and exceptional quality of Cebuano handiworks. Visitors can witness the meticulous process of guitar-making and bring home a piece of Cebu’s artistry.

Mactan Island, a tropical bliss, beckons with sun-kissed beaches, water sports, and rich cultural experiences
Mactan Island, a tropical bliss, beckons with sun-kissed beaches, water sports, and rich cultural experiences.

8. Sirao Flower Garden

Sirao Flower Garden, often dubbed as the “Little Amsterdam of Cebu,” is a spectacle of vibrant blossoms and colorful flora. This garden is a visual feast, with flowers of various hues painting the landscape in a kaleidoscope of colors.

Visitors are welcomed by the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers, creating a serene and refreshing atmosphere. Walking through the garden feels like stepping into a painting, where every turn reveals a new array of colorful blossoms.

Curious about where to go in Cebu if you’re a photography enthusiast? In Sirao Flower Garden, you will find endless opportunities to capture its beauty, with the vivid colors and intricate patterns of the flowers providing a stunning backdrop. Every corner of the garden is picture-perfect, inviting guests to create lasting memories.

This floral paradise is not just a place for relaxation and photography but also an opportunity to learn about the different species of flowers and plants, adding an educational aspect to the visit.

Sirao Flower Garden: A captivating floral wonder in Cebu, perfect for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
Sirao Flower Garden: A captivating floral wonder in Cebu, perfect for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

9. Temple of Leah

Temple of Leah stands as a grandiose symbol of love, built by a husband in memory of his wife, making it one of the Cebu things to do that you shouldn’t miss. This architectural marvel, with its intricate designs and colossal pillars, offers a glimpse into the Roman-inspired artistry.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a majestic statue of Leah, the woman to whom the temple is dedicated. The intricate details and the lifelike representation are a testament to the craftsmanship involved in creating this masterpiece.

The temple isn’t just about its stunning architecture; it also offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape. The elevated location provides a vantage point where the beauty of Cebu unfolds before your eyes, a sight that photography aficionados would love to capture.

Exploring the Temple of Leah gives a sense of walking through a story of love immortalized in stone, where every detail speaks of the affection and reverence the creator had for his beloved.

A majestic monument in Cebu, honoring love and history with its grand architecture and breathtaking views.
A majestic monument in Cebu, honoring love and history with its grand architecture and breathtaking views.

10. Cebu Safari & Adventure Park

Thinking of what to do in Cebu to experience the wonders of the animal kingdom up close? Experiencing the Cebu Safari & Adventure Park is your dream come true. It’s a thrilling destination for those seeking a combination of the wild and the exciting. This expansive park is home to a diverse array of animals from around the globe, allowing visitors to experience the wonders of the animal kingdom up close.

The park’s meticulously designed habitats ensure that every creature feels at home, and guests can witness the animals in environments that mirror their natural surroundings. From the majestic lions to the graceful giraffes, each species is a testament to the beauty and diversity of wildlife.

Beyond the animal encounters, the park offers a plethora of activities designed to elevate the adventure quotient. Zip-lining over the verdant landscapes provides a rush of adrenaline and a distinct perspective of the park’s scenic beauty.

Visiting Cebu Safari & Adventure Park is not just about witnessing exotic animals; it’s about immersing oneself in an adventure that combines the allure of the wild with exhilarating activities. Is this park among the top things to do in Cebu, the Philippines? 100%!

11. Cebu Happy World Museum

Cebu Happy World Museum brings a splash of color and a dose of happiness to every visitor, making it one of the best places in Cebu. This museum is not your typical gallery of historical artifacts; instead, it’s a vibrant space filled with 3D art pieces that invite guests to become part of the exhibit.

Every corner of the museum is a playful interaction between art and observer, creating a myriad of photo opportunities. The whimsical paintings and installations break the fourth wall, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of imagination and creativity. It is indeed one of the unique things to do in Cebu both for the kids and the kids at heart.

The museum’s interactive nature makes it a delightful experience for people of all ages. It’s a place where art comes to life, and visitors can let their imaginations run wild, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Exploring the Cebu Happy World Museum is not just about viewing art; it’s a joyful journey through creative expressions, where every piece tells a story and every visitor becomes a storyteller.

Cebu Safari & Adventure Park: Explore the wild side of Cebu with thrilling safaris and exciting adventures.
Cebu Safari & Adventure Park: Explore the wild side of Cebu with thrilling safaris and exciting adventures.

12. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, with its majestic and historical presence, is a must-see in Cebu for anyone interested in the rich cultural tapestry of the Philippines. This religious landmark stands as a testament to the enduring spirit and faith of the Cebuano people, offering a serene space for reflection amidst the bustling city life.

The cathedral’s architectural grandeur, featuring intricate designs and a harmonious blend of Gothic and Romanesque elements, captivates every visitor, inviting them to explore the sacred halls and discover the stories etched in its walls. Each step within the cathedral is a walk through history, revealing the resilience and devotion of the local community.

Visitors are not merely observers but participants in a living tradition, experiencing the warmth and spirituality that permeate the air. The cathedral is not just a building; it’s a living symbol of hope and a beacon of light for the community.

The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral provides a distinctive insight into the cultural and spiritual heritage of Cebu, enriching the soul and expanding the mind.

A stunning symbol of faith and history in Cebu, with its remarkable architecture and spiritual significance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Cebu

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Cebu? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Cebu:

Is Cebu safe for tourists?

Cebu, a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, is generally safe for tourists. However, like in any city, petty crime can occur, so it’s wise to take precautions such as securing your belongings and being cautious in crowded areas. Overall, Cebu offers a welcoming and enjoyable experience for tourists.

What is the best time to visit Cebu?

The best time to visit Cebu is during the dry season, from December to April. These months offer sunny weather and ideal conditions for outdoor activities, including beach vacations and exploration of cultural sites. It’s advisable to avoid the typhoon season, which typically occurs from June to November, due to increased rainfall and potential disruptions.

Is there much to do in Cebu?

Absolutely! Cebu, an island province in the Philippines, is a treasure trove of experiences for travelers. It offers a blend of natural beauty, historical sites, vibrant culture, and modern attractions. Here are some of the things you can do and places to visit in Cebu:

  1. Beaches and Water Activities: Cebu is surrounded by stunning white-sand beaches. Popular spots include Bantayan Island, Malapascua Island, and Moalboal. You can go snorkeling, diving, island hopping, or simply relax on the beach.
  2. Kawasan Falls: Located in Badian, these cascading waterfalls are a must-visit. You can also partake in canyoneering adventures here.
  3. Oslob Whale Shark Watching: Swim alongside the gentle giants in Oslob. It’s a unique experience, though it’s essential to follow guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of the whale sharks.
  4. Historical Sites: Visit the Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, and Fort San Pedro. Also, visit the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House to get a glimpse of Cebu’s rich history.
  5. Sinulog Festival: If you visit in January, you might catch the Sinulog Festival. This is a vibrant and colorful celebration in honor of the Santo Niño.
  6. Tops Lookout: Offers a panoramic view of Cebu City and the neighboring Mactan Island.
  7. Simala Shrine: A majestic church located in Sibonga, known for its castle-like architecture.
  8. Local Cuisine: Don’t miss trying Cebu’s famous lechon (roasted pig). Also, enjoy other local delicacies like puso (hanging rice), su-tu-kil (a seafood meal), and dried mangoes.
  9. Shopping: From bustling markets like Carbon Market to modern malls like Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu, there’s plenty for shopaholics.
  10. Mountain Adventures: For those who prefer the mountains, Osmena Peak in Dalaguete offers a scenic hike.
  11. Tumalog Falls: Another beautiful waterfall located in Oslob, perfect for a refreshing dip.

Do I need a visa to visit Cebu?

Many nationalities, including most Western countries, can visit the Philippines, including Cebu, visa-free for tourism purposes for up to 30 days. However, it’s essential to check the latest entry requirements and visa policies with the Philippine embassy or consulate before your trip, as rules can change.

How many days is enough in Cebu?

The ideal duration for a visit to Cebu largely depends on the type of experiences you’re seeking. However, for a well-rounded trip that covers the major attractions and activities, here’s a general recommendation:

3-5 Days: This is a good duration for first-time visitors.

  • Day 1: Explore Cebu City’s historical sites such as Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro, and the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. In the evening, you can visit Tops Lookout for a panoramic view of the city.
  • Day 2: Head to the southern part of Cebu. Swim with the whale sharks in Oslob and visit the nearby Tumalog Falls.
  • Day 3: Dedicate this day for a trip to Moalboal for snorkeling. You’ll especially want to check out the famous sardine run. Later, visit the Kawasan Falls in Badian for canyoneering or a relaxing swim.

If you have additional days:

  • Day 4: Explore the northern part of Cebu. Visit Bantayan Island or Malapascua Island for pristine beaches and diving opportunities.
  • Day 5: Dedicate this day for relaxation, shopping, or exploring local markets. You can also take a day trip to nearby islands. Or, go on a food tour to savor Cebu’s famous dishes, especially lechon.

Is English widely spoken in Cebu?

Yes, English is widely spoken and understood in Cebu, Philippines. It is one of the official languages of the country and is commonly used in business, education, and tourism. Travelers should have no trouble communicating in English with locals and navigating the city.

Visiting Cebu: Explore the diverse wonders of this Philippine paradise, from pristine beaches to historical landmarks and vibrant culture.
Visiting Cebu: Explore the diverse wonders of this Philippine paradise, from pristine beaches to historical landmarks and vibrant culture.

Can I use my credit card in Cebu?

Yes, you can use credit cards in Cebu, especially in established businesses, hotels, and larger restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are commonly accepted, while American Express and other cards might be less widely used. It’s advisable to carry some cash for small purchases and in case you visit places that don’t accept cards.

Is it worth going to Cebu?

Absolutely! Cebu is worth visiting for its diverse attractions. It offers pristine beaches, historical sites, and a vibrant culture. You can explore the colonial past in Cebu City, relax on beautiful shores, and indulge in delicious cuisine. Additionally, Cebu’s warm hospitality and lively festivals make it a destination worth experiencing for travelers seeking a blend of history, natural beauty, and local charm. Cebu is a dazzling destination worth every moment spent there. It’s a blend of serene natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. 

What is Cebu known for?

Cebu, a province in the Philippines, is known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. It played a pivotal role in the country’s colonial history, hosting landmarks like Magellan’s Cross. Cebu is renowned for its stunning white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and water activities like diving. The province also boasts a lively food scene and the famous Sinulog Festival, celebrating Filipino traditions.

Is three days enough to see Cebu?

Three days in Cebu can offer a glimpse of its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, but it will be a whirlwind tour. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a three-day trip:

Day 1: Cebu City Exploration

  • Morning: Visit historical sites such as Magellan’s Cross, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, and Fort San Pedro.
  • Afternoon: Explore the Taoist Temple and take a stroll down Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines.
  • Evening: Dine at a local restaurant to savor Cebu’s famous lechon (roast pig) and enjoy the city’s nightlife.

Day 2: Southern Cebu Adventure

  • Early Morning: Head to Oslob for the whale shark watching experience.
  • Late Morning: Visit the nearby Tumalog Falls for a refreshing dip.
  • Afternoon: Travel to Moalboal and snorkel at Panagsama Beach to witness the sardine run.
  • Evening: Return to Cebu City or opt to stay overnight in Moalboal.

Island Hopping or Waterfalls Adventure (Day 3)

  • Option 1: Embark on an island-hopping tour. Possible destinations include Mactan Island, Hilutungan Island, and Nalusuan Island.
  • Option 2: Explore the famous Kawasan Falls in Badian. You can relax by the cascades or partake in canyoneering activities.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Cebu

Cebu, with its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. From the serene beauty of its white-sand beaches to the architectural marvels reflecting its colonial past, every corner of Cebu tells a story of resilience, faith, and enduring spirit. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or a beach lover, Cebu has something to offer that will leave your heart full and your spirit enriched.

Embark on a journey to explore the unique places in Cebu, immerse yourself in the local traditions, savor the delectable cuisine, and let the warmth of the Cebuano people embrace you. Discover the hidden gems, experience the coolest activities in Cebu, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Cebu is not just a destination; it’s an experience, a revelation, and a celebration of life’s beautiful moments.

Best Things to Do in Cebu for all types of travelers.
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