Home to what was once dubbed “the best pig ever”, Cebu is filled with exciting things to do and breathtaking sites to see. From untouched virgin islands to a bustling metropolis and a mouthwatering food scene, every street, every alley and every part of the Queen City has something to offer.
If you’re planning a trip any time soon, here’s a 3 day, 2 night itinerary specially made for barkadas:
- Early lechon lunch (P300) – Start your Cebu trip right by having one of the best meals of your life! Take your pick from popular names like House of Lechon, CnT and Rico’s or even from the side-street-family-owned eateries, and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
- Cebu DIY walking tour (P250) – Walk along the historical Colon Street and make your way to Fort San Pedro, Basilica de Santo Nino, the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral house, and more.
- Sunset Viewing at Tops Lookout (P100) – Tops lookout offers panoramic views of Cebu City and is the perfect spot to end the day.
- Dinner at Sugbo Food Market (P250) – The night market is the best place to sample all of Cebu’s homegrown recipes under one venue. Find your favorite barbecued skewers, crispy lechon skin, refreshing drink, and other dishes sold by Cebuano entrepreneurs.
Estimated Total: P900
- Grab a hearty breakfast (P200)
- Magellan’s Marker & Lapu-Lapu Shrine (free) – Visit the large memorial tower that is said to be erected where the portuguese explorer was killed during the Battle of Mactan. Just a few meters away is the shrine of Lapu-Lapu, the native hero who defended the island from Spanish invaders.
- Island hopping tour (P2,800) – Rent a boat or join a tour to the nearby Nalusuan Island or Caohagan Island. Go snorkeling, jump into the cool blue waters, and visit marine sanctuaries.
- Seaside dinner and drinks in Cordova (P500) – Visit the Lantaw Native Restaurant, where you can feast on local dishes, while enjoying views of the City in the distance. If you arrive early enough, it’s a great place to catch the sunset.
Estimated Total: P3,500
Read 10 Best Things to Do in Cebu City
- Shopping at the Market (P500) – Make time for a trip to the Tabo-an Public Market where you can find everything from dried fish, and other standard pasalubong items like dried mango and other knick knacks. It’s the best place to visit if you want to shop at bargain prices, so, dress down and get ready to haggle!
- Lechon before leaving (P200) – You can’t just have lechon once or twice during your trip. Just as you began your vacation with a lechon meal, you have to end it with another. /li>
- Last-minute souvenir shopping (P500) – Drop by Shamrock Pasalubong Center for staple pasalubong items like otap or dried angoes.
Estimated Total: P1,200
Check 9 Must-Buy Cebu Pasalubong
Accommodation in Cebu
Finding a homebase for your Cebu trip is crucial because the city is huge and you have to decide the most strategic location. Are you spending most of your time in Cebu City? On the beaches of Mactan? Figure out the most convenient jump off point, and select from our top 10 Cebu hotel picks:
1. Bayfront Hotel Cebu
2. Tsai Hotel and Residences
3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
4. Sugbutel Family Hotel
5. 8th Street Guesthouse
6. Waterfront Cebu City and Casino
7. Big Hotel
8. Express Inn Mabolo
9. Travelbee Business Inn
10. Mayflower Inn
Book Cebu Hotels here
Cebu Food to Try
1. Lechon – Cebu was where Anthony Bourdain had his first taste of lechon, which he boldly declared the “Best pig ever!”, so you really cannot leave without having a meal (or three) dedicated to the roasted pig.
- Price: P635 per kilo
- Where: CnT, House of Lechon, Rico’s, Zubuchon
2. Ngohiong – Ngohiong is Cebu’s version of the lumpiang shanghai or the vietnamese spring rolls. It’s a deep-fried delicacy made of ground pork and bamboo shoots, and can be enjoyed as an ulam over rice or along with other street food like squid balls or kwek-kwek.
- Price: P7 per piece
- Where: Ngohiong Express
3. Sutukil – SuTuKil is basically any type of fish cooked in whichever way you please: “Su” for Sugba (meaning grill), “Tu” for Tula (meaning stew), and “Kil” for Kilawin (meaning cooked in vinegar). The trick is to order one of each to see which you like best.
- Price: Approx. P200
- Where: STK ta Bay!
4. Mango Pizza – Cebu is famous the world over for their sweet mangoes, and while having the fruit on its own is delicious, you better believe having it on a pizza is a must-try. Forget about pineapples on pizza because mango is the way to go.
- Price: P150
- Where: The Pitstop Restaurant
5. Puto Maya – Puto Maya is like the Thai mango sticky rice except better because it is served with tablea and they only use the sweetest of Cebu mangoes.
- Price: P125
- Where: Tablea Chocolate Cafe
6. Humba – Humba is a well-loved visayan dish, which is similar to the adobo except sweeter and fattier.
- Price: P85
- Where: Inigo’s Restaurant
Read 10 Best Restaurants in Cebu City
Breakdown of expenses
This breakdown is an estimation based on food prices, hotel bookings, activities, and entrance fees for one. These prices could go lower or higher depending on the amount of people in your group.
- Food – 1,450
- Hotel – P2,000
- Activities – 3,150
- Shopping – 1,000
- Roundtrip airport transfers – P1,000
- Bus fares – P500
Know Before You Go
- Visiting sites doesn’t have to be expensive – DIY your own walking tours and get lost in the city. Cebu is filled with historical sites and monuments, with little to no entrance fees.
- Try as much lechon as you can – People will have their favorites, but you won’t find yours until you try everything! Try both big-time and smaller family-owned restaurants and you be the judge.
- Have lunch on a boat – One of the best things to do while in Cebu is to go island hopping. A lot of providers come with their own rates and packages, but make sure to find one that offers lunch! They’ll catch fresh seafood straight from the water and grill it for you.
- Stay somewhere strategic – Find a hotel that is central enough and easily accessible to the places you plan on visiting. Cebu is quite huge so commute expenses might be expensive if you don’t think it thru.
- Bring a big group – Having a big group of friends is not only fun, it helps cut down your expenses too!
Ready for your Cebu barkada adventure? Now all you have to do is book your tickets, pack your bags, and you’re ready to go! Try to bring as many friends as possible, as package deals can save you so much money.
If you have more time, plan trips further out to Moalboal or Bantayan Island to make the most out of your Cebu trip.
Banner Editorial Credit: Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock.com
Make the best of your Cebu adventure and tick off the activities in this adventure checklist.