Things to Do in the Philippines

10 Best Things to Do in Cebu City

Cebu is one of the most favored Philippine destinations for both Filipinos and foreigners. Undeniably, most visitors would opt to skip out on the mainland, and head out to the beautiful beaches instead.

Only a few realize that it’s a mistake to miss out on all the city has to offer. So, if you’re planning a visit to the Queen City of the South any time soon, here are 10 fun things to do on your trip:

1. Find the Philippine’s best lechon

Cebu Lechon

(photo via Flickr, @cb_agulto)

You can’t leave the city without sampling its many delicious versions of the world-famous lechon. After all, we have Cebu to thank for the well-loved delicacy.

If you ask a local about the best lechon in the city, you’ll probably get many different answers. But you can narrow down your search to maybe less than 10 shops such as Rico’s or Carcar’s. If you have time, the smartest thing to do is test-taste them all and decide for yourself.

Get an adrenaline rush

2. Crown Regency Sky Experience

The Crown Regency in Cebu City is home to one of the first Edge Coasters in the world. The ride goes around the outer rim of the hotel’s top floor, and tilts you in a 45 degree angle facing down.

The experience also includes the Sky Walk Extreme where guests are allowed to walk on a clear glass panel with only a harness protecting them from falling.

  • Type: mini theme park, hotel
  • Location: Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, Fuente Towers, Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City
  • Budget: Call hotel: 63 32 418 7777 for updated rates
  • Time: 2pm-12am
  • Activities: Sky Walk, Edge Coaster

Discover the city’s history

3. Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro Cebu

Fort San Pedro is a centuries old fortress formerly used as a military defense structure  during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Inside, you’ll learn of the fort’s changes throughout the  years  as it served as one of Cebu’s first line of defense against invaders attacking from the sea.

Today, the structure functions as a museum and park where visitors can learn about the Spanish occupation in Cebu.

  • Type: Museum, Park
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City
  • Directions: You can either take a cab or take a jeepney with Pier1 signboards and ask the driver to drop you at the nearest unloading station. It is 10-15 minutes away from  Colon Street.
  • Budget: P30/regular, P20/student, P24/senior citizen
  • Time: 8am-7pm
  • Activities: Learn about history, take photos

4. Yap Sandiego Ancestral House

The Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is one of the oldest and longest standing houses in the Philippines. Built in the 17th century, the home of Don Yap and Doña Maria Florido has still maintained its original structure and interiors.

Today, it is still owned by one of their descendants, and is filled with ancient and contemporary Cebuano art and furniture.

  • Type: Ancestral home/ Museum
  • Location: 155-Lopez Jaena corner Mabini St., 6000 Parian, Cebu City
  • Directions: Ride a jeep with 01K code at SM Cebu. Go down at Shamrock and take a short walk to the right until you see the Parian Plaza. From there you can find the Yap Sandiego Ancestral House located just across Cebu’s Heritage Monument.
  • Budget: P50
  • Time: 9am-6pm
  • Activities: Learn about history

Buy Pasalubong

5. Colon Street

Colon Street Cebu City

(photo via Flickr, @Constantine Agustine)

Colon Street used to be where one of the most prominent residents of the Queen City used to live. Trendy boutiques, shops and theaters filled the streets, up until the commercial giants came the city.

Though most of its high-society residents have moved away, the historic street still attracts crowds looking to go bargain shopping. Today, you’ll find ukay-ukays, and the annual night market with stalls that sell goods for as low as P5 pesos per item.

  • Type: Street, Shopping Area
  • Location: Colon Street, Cebu City
  • Time: 6pm-2am (Night Market)
  • Activities: Shopping, Bargain-hunting

6. Taboan Public Market

One of the must-try delicacies and favorite pasalubongs from Cebu is the the danggit also known as rabbit fish in english. And the best place to find the popular dried fish is Taboan Market.

While the bestseller in the market is the danggit, you can also choose from other local items such as chicharon bulaklak and dried mangoes, all sold for very reasonable prices.

  • Type: Market
  • Location: Pahina Central, Cebu City
  • Directions: Ride a jeepney marked 04D or 08G. Ask the driver to drop you off at Taboan. From there, you can take a trisikad ride to the market itself.
  • Time: 4am-8pm
  • Activities: Shopping, Eating

7. Shamrock

In true generous Filipino fashion, you can’t leave a place without shopping for your whole barangay back home. Here, you can score all things Cebuano and perfect pasalubong items such as otap, galletas de huevo, house-baked polvoron and many more.

  • Type: Bakery, Restaurant, Shop
  • Location: Shamrock Building, Mabini St. Cor. Vicente Gullas St, Cebu City
  • Time: 8am-6pm
  • Activities: Shopping

Do something adventurous

8. Cebu City Zoo Python Spa treatment

There’s nothing more relaxing than a good massage, and the Cebu City Zoo is aware of that. That’s why one of their most popular attractions and “services” is the Python Spa treatment. Zoo guests simply have to lie down on a bamboo bed and wait for the four giant reptiles to be placed on top of them.

They say that the combined slithering motion of the snakes gives a calming effect while the flickering of tongues gives you a tickling sensation. If you’re afraid about the possibility of getting bitten — have no fear, the snakes are served about 10 whole chickens each in order to curb their hunger before a treatment.

  • Type: Zoo
  • Location:  Capitol Hills, Cebu City
  • Budget: Entrance – P25/adult, 10/child (Massage is inclusive of entrance fee)
  • Time: 8am-5pm
  • Activities: Massage

9. Adventure Cafe

If you’re up for some good food and great adventure then head up to the Adventure Cafe in Balamban. The cafe is located up a beautiful municipality dubbed as the “little Tagaytay” of Cebu.

There you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding greens and even take a zipline to appreciate it further.  Other unique features of the restaurant include a “stress wall” where guests are encouraged to throw plates, and as well as a climbing wall. 

  • Type: Restaurant, park
  • Location: Cebu Transcentral Hwy, Balamban, 6041 Cebu
  • Directions: Ride a V-Hire going to Balamban from Ayala Center or Citilink Terminal.
  • Budget: Zip Line – ₱150, Climb/Rappel – ₱100/activity, Caving – ₱250/pax (minimum of 5 pax), Falls – ₱650/pax (minimum of 5 pax; Subject to booking 3 days prior)
  • Time: 7am-7pm
  • Activities: Ziplining, Caving, Exploring, Caving

Attend the country’s biggest street party

10. Sinulog Festival

Sinulog Street Dancers

If you’re planning a trip to Cebu then it’s a good idea to schedule it around the dates of the Sinulog festival. Though it’s is officially a celebration of the introduction of Christianity in the country, the festival is more known for its exciting and colorful street parties. People from all over the world flock to Cebu to witness the parades, the grand fireworks display, and a show of the Queen City’s most talented performers and artists.

  • Type: Festival
  • Location: Cebu
  • Activities: Party, Festival, Fireworks Display, Procession

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