What are the best things to do in Cebu you might ask? The best things to do in Cebu City, of course, depend on what you like to do. However, I can give you a list of some of the most popular things to do in Cebu.

One of the first things you need to know is where to stay at in Cebu City. That too depends on the person and your budget. I use stay in a pension house. These generally are not as elaborate as a hotel. They are really though just that, a hotel. If you like to stay in a place that all the comforts of the Western world, then most pension houses will not be for you. The cost of a pension house usually doesn’t exceed p2000 or about $50 depending on the exchange rate. I often stay at these for P800 to P1000.


My favorite pension house in Cebu City has gone downhill and I probably will not stay there any more. It has a bug problem now and the last time I stayed there the air conditioning (air con) was pretty bad. However, two pension houses I have used are Pacific Pension House (I no longer can recommend) and Cebu View Tourist Inn.

Cebu View is not a lot better but no bugs. Cebu View no longer offers in the room wi-fi. It isn’t in the best area of town but I Taoist Temple Dragonfound that to be interesting. Its cost is P800 P1000 depending on your room. It does have free wi-fi in the lobby. The lobby is air conditioned but it is still quite warm in the lobby. Also, sometimes they turn it off. I’m also not a big fan of the staff at Cebu View. I’m going to be looking for a new place on my next stay but it will cost twice as much. The only issue with Cebu View is no wi-fi. The air con is not great either though. It is okay and the price is very good.

I have not stayed at any of the following hotels. I know people that have and I’ve been inside some. They are quite nice but I’ve not used the rooms. The cost of these are any place from $75 to $400 a night.

Hotels In Cebu Cebu

  • Waterfront Hotel and Casino
  • Radisson Blu
  • Crown Regency
  • Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa

Shangri-La is very nice and very expensive. It is located on Mactan Island which is a part of Metro Cebu City so I consider it in Cebu City. It isn’t a short taxi ride though not overly long. It is a resort with a beach. The Radisson Blu is also very nice and still expensive. It is located next to SM Mall. It is the largest mall in Cebu City. If you’re a fan of malls, it might be right for you and it is well located as well. A mid priced hotel is the Crown Regency. It is the heart of Cebu City and a popular expat hang out. There is a park nearby and all the popular Western fast food joints as well as some Filipino Cuisine. One such place is the Golden Courie and I love their baby back ribs.


These are just a few suggestions of places you can stay when in Cebu City. There are many more contenders. I prefer to save money but if you like the nice places, they are here. Just don’t expect The Radisson if you’re paying only $20 a night.

The Crown Regency as this on top of their building. I went to go ride it once but it was too early and they were not open yet.

Things to Do in Cebu

  • Taoist Temple*
  • Island Hopping*
  • Basilica Minore del Sto Nino*
  • Fort San Pedro*
  • Magellan’s Cross*
  • Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral*
  • Casa Gorordo Museum
  • Colon Street: Oldest Street in the Philippines*
  • Lapu Lapu Shrine*
  • Skywalk and Edge Coaster
  • Crocolandia in Talisay City
  • Tops*
  • Malacañang sa Sugbo
  • Plaza Independencia
  • Rajah Humabon Park
  • Heritage of Cebu Monument
  • Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
  • The Carbon Market
  • SM Mall*
  • The Imax Theater*

The asterisk (*) indicates places I have actually visited. I will be writing much more about that in subsequent articles but all of those will take some time. This page is meant to serve as an introduction to these locations. Giving you an idea of places to consider.

The Taoist Temple In Cebu City

Taoist Tower in CebuThe Taoist temple in Cebu City should be high on your list. If you have never visit a Taoist temple then don’t miss this chance to see one.. The best thing to do is hire a van or taxi for the day. There is not a lot of traffic there so you could have some difficulty getting back to the city if you let your taxi go while you visit the temple.

There are a lot of stairs to climb. If your health is not good you can get your driver to take you to the back entrance. I had to do that. Honestly, I would have enjoyed the stairs but just not a good idea. I didn’t even realize Jessie had bypassed that for me until we were back in our hotel.

This an anomaly within Filipino culture but it is an operating temple. You will likely see monks as well as hear them chanting. They have a lot of restrictions on where you can go and when. I think it is do not miss destination but it might not be right for you.

Island Hopping in Cebu

One of my favorite things to do in the Philippines is to go island hopping. Cebu provides an adundance of island to visit. I recently wrote about some of my adventures. I also included over 160 pictures. You can read the article and view the pictures here.

Basilica Minore del Sto Nino

Another of my favorite things to do in Cebu is to visit the Basilica Santo Nino as I call it. It is a rather old church that is rich in Filipino culture and history. There is a Santo Nino or child Jesus that is believed by the faithful to have miracle giving powers. It is revered by most Cebuanos.

It is said to have been given to the Queen of Lapu Lapu. Later there was a battle and the only thing left was the Santo Nino and it is housed within the wall of the cathedral.

The Basilica is in the heart of Cebu City and that makes it easy to get to. I have visited the church four or five times. Still, I usually find something new on each trip.

Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro is an old Spanish fort within Cebu City. It has a mini-museum within its walls. It is worth a visit but I Walls of Fort San Pedro in Cebu Citywouldn’t rate it as a do not miss location. The organization in charge of the fort claims that it is the oldest fort in the Philippines. I have no reason to doubt that other than my previous history with tourist destination in the USA making questionable claims. It could very well be the oldest fort in the Philippines.

There are nine gardens on the grounds. When I was there, there was a singer there and he had a really nice voice. It was interesting to stand on the wall of the fort and imagine attacking Filipinos or other invading countries approaching the wall.

Magellan’s Cross in Cebu City

Magellan’s Cross is next door to the Basilica Santo Nino so it is a good idea to visit both at the same time. Magellan is honored for bringing Christianity to the Philippines and he did it right here in Cebu. He gave a cross to King Lapu Lapu when the king was baptized. There is a large cross in a rotunda that is said to house the original cross given by Magellan to the king.

Magellan also lost his life here in Cebu. I’ve seen one article that said there was a disagreement over a woman that led to the battle. I don’t know if that is true but it seems entirely possible to me.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Things to do in CebuAlso near the Basilica Santo Nino is the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. It is a Catholic church but not Roman Catholic which is dominant in the Philippines. You can walk to it from the Basilica Santo Nino and can see it from the gates of the church.

It is a spectacular building, especially on the inside. There is a massive amount gold colored items. I don’t know if it is gold. If it is gold it must be worth a small fortune. The cathedral is worth a visit just to see that. When I was there, a wedding was in progress which was nice to see as I am very interested in the culture of the Philippines.

Colon Street in Cebu City

Colon street is the oldest street in the Philippines. It is also one of the least safe areas in Cebu City. Not a lot of violent crime but pick pockets are well known to frequent the street. They don’t just pick your pockets but will cut necklace and watches off your arm without you ever noticing. If you do notice then it might get violent. Best to let them take what they want in most cases.

A friend of mine had been walking on the street. When he got home, he noticed the band of his watch had been cut. It was so humid thought that it stuck to his arm and the thief didn’t get the goods.

I have been to  Colon several times. I didn’t have any problems. That doesn’t mean there are not problems there, there are problems there. It also has a lot of electronic shops with very good prices.


Lapu Lapu Shrine at Mactan Island

Mactan is an island adjacent to Cebu City and there are two bridges that you can take to get there. It is part of Metro Cebu Lapu Lapu Shrineand I consider it a part of Cebu City. As far as taxi rides go, it is a bit expensive to go there. I have been once after touring several locations that day and we got there after dark. It is very pretty at night but not that easy to take pictures without a tripod and I love to take pictures.

It is right on the bay and has some nice romantic places to hang out with your lady. I didn’t feel all that safe in those areas though. Nothing in particular, just that feeling we all have sometimes. Still, I went with Jessie and we had a nice time.

There are lots of shops there which I thought Jessie would have to visit all of. Two of the shop keepers where having an entertaining argument. It was over prices that one was charging. One of the vendors thought the other lady wasn’t charging enough. Suddenly they all broke out into laughter. I guess they were friends too. I want to go back to the Lapu Lapu Shrine but during the day.

The Tops In Cebu

The Tops is a popular location of things to do in Cebu for new comers. I’m glad I went but it isn’t high on my list of places to return to. I went during the day and I wanted to go at night. If you do go, try to go at night. On the day I went Cebu City had such a dense smog cloud that I could barely see the city. I did enjoy it but if I ever go back it will be at night. It would be nice to take your girl there at night. It is a good distance outside of Cebu City so you will need to hire transportation for a round trip. Otherwise, you will likely be stuck out there.

Final Thoughts

I want to visit every place on the list above. I don’t go to Cebu City very often but hopefully I’ll get to each one. When I do, I will write an article for each. I will be writing articles on the places I introduced in this article. I’m sure there are many other things to do in Cebu that I have never heard of. If I’ve left anything off that you know about, please tell me about it by leaving a comment. Also, if you have recommendations of places to stay in Cebu City, please tell me about that in the comments too. Maybe I’ll add it to my list of things to do in Cebu.

If you found this article on things to do in Cebu helpful, please hit the like and share buttons below or to the left. If you are on your way for your first visit to Cebu City, you now have a good list of things to do once you arrive.

Contact Information for the Things to do in Cebu City

I have added contact information for some of the locations mentioned in the article and one item that is not. Hopefully this will help you find the things to do in Cebu City.

Map for Pacific Pension House

Hotel De Mercedes
(032) 253 1105
7 Pelaez St, Cebu City
See on Google Maps

Crown Regency Hotel
(032) 418 8888
Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City
See on Google Maps

Diplomat Hotel Cebu
(032) 253 0099
F. Ramos St, Cebu City 6000
http://goo.gl/maps/ZhcnG

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu
(032) 231 0288
Punta Engaño Rd, Lapu-Lapu City 6015
Click For Google Map

Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu
(032) 402 9900
Serging Osmena Boulevard Corner Juan Luna Avenue, Cebu City 6000
Click For Google Map

Water Front Cebu
(032) 232 6888
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, Crowne Garden Hotel, Salinas Dr, Cebu City 6000
Click For Google Map

Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino
(032) 340 4888
http://goo.gl/maps/1f6a7
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
(032) 253 6422
P. Zamora Street, Cebu City

Click For Google Map

Santo Niño de Cebu Basilica
Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City 6000
Click For Google Map

Imax Theater Philippines
(032) 231 3876
3F, SM City Cebu, North, Reclamation Area 6000, 6000
http://goo.gl/maps/M9lVr

Carbon Market
M. C. Briones St, Cebu City 6000
http://goo.gl/maps/dke1n

Plaza Independencia, Cebu City
http://goo.gl/maps/aWUE1

Colon St, Cebu City
http://goo.gl/maps/MQWw2

Taoist Temple Cebu
Dona Modesta Singson Gaisano, Cebu City
http://goo.gl/maps/KfYA9

Lapu Lapu Shrine, Lapu-Lapu City
http://goo.gl/maps/UXFIP

Magellan’s Cross, Cebu City
http://goo.gl/maps/J6rLK

Fort San Pedro, A Pigafetta St, Cebu City
http://goo.gl/maps/pEXCg

Some of my pictures of things to do in Cebu City are below.

By Rusty Ferguson

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