Cebu is one of the main destinations in the Philippines among local and foreign tourists alike. The island is blessed with white sand beaches, lush greeneries, historic places, great food and warm people. And Cebu City is the center of all touristic activities in the island.
Historically, Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu looking for spice to take back to Spain, but unfortunately fought one of Cebu’s chieftains (who’s also now recognized as one of the Philippine heroes) Lapu-Lapu and was killed. Many foreign tourists and locals from different parts of the country go here for their vacation not only because of its beaches but also because of a variety of activities that Cebu City offers.
Here’s a list of the Top Ten Places to Visit in Cebu City.
1. Basilica Minor del Santo Nino – This church is founded by an Augustinian priest named Andres de Urbanite on April 28, 1565. The church was built on the spot where the image of the Santo Nino de Cebu was preserved in a burned wooden box which was left behind during the Magellan expedition in 1521. Today, this church is one of the most visited places in Cebu.
2. Magellan’s Cross – This would probably be the most iconic symbol of Cebu. When Ferdinand Magellan and his troops arrived in Cebu on April 1521, he ordered his troops to install a Christian cross in the island. Now, the cross is in a chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino on Magallanes street. The original cross is said to have been covered by the wooden cross as its casing to prevent tourists from chipping the cross for souvenir.
3. Lapu-Lapu Shrine – A shrine dedicated to the chieftain and a Filipino hero, Rajah Lapu-Lapu. He and his compatriots defeated and killed Magellan when he was in Cebu in 1521. It is a 20 meter bronze statue located in Mactan Shrine Park. This is not technicality in Cebu City but it’s just a few minutes away by taxi.
4. Cebu Heritage Monument – This monument is created by local artist Eduardo Castrillo. The monument was built with the late Senator Marcelo Fernan with the help of some private individual. Various scenes are depicted in the monument like the baptism of Rajah Humabon, a procession of the Santo Niño, a Roman Catholic mass, and the battle between Lapu-Lapu and Ferdinand Magellan.
5. Fort San Pedro – This fort was built by the Spanish and the indigenous Cebuano labourers under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi and the Spanish government in Cebu. The fort was built in 1738 to repel Muslim raiders, and later served as a stronghold for Filipino revolutionaries near the end of the 19th century.
6. Cebu Taoist Temple – The temple was built by Cebu’s Chinese Community in 1972 at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level. It’s a magnificent, multi-tiered temple accessible by three separate winding routes. The temple is also open to worshipers and non-worshipers alike. It’s one of the most picturesque structures in Cebu City.
7. Museo Sugbo – This museum is designed by Domingo de Escondrillas in 1869. The building is said to have housed many criminals and Katipuneros alike during the revolution.
8. Cebu’s Celestial Garden – This garden is a memorial park owned by the Tanchan Foundation with an area of 12 hectares of hills covered with lush vegetation and trees. The garden is popular to both foreign and local visitors alike because of the life size statues depicting the passion and death of Jesus Christ and of course the gorgeous the panoramic view of Cebu City.
9. Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary – This is a treat for the nature lovers. This place stores a lot of varieties of butterflies and some of them are only found in the Philippines.
10. Colon Street – This Street is said to be the oldest in the Philippines and a good place to go to for shopping. You can find a lot of local delicacies being sold here such as danggit and other dried seafoods. This is aso a good place for the bargain hunters out there as there are many stalls selling “second-hand goods” or locally known as “ukay-ukay.”
This is just our list of top ten places to visit in Cebu City, spend more days in this city and discover more interesting places to visit.
Have you been to Cebu City? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations.