In the past few years, Cebu has become an ever-growing tourist destination in the Philippines for its idyllic white sand beaches, cheap but luxurious accommodation, colorful festivals, interesting cultures and a raging number of outdoor adventures. The southern, western, and northern parts of the region pride its caves, waterfalls, beaches, secluded hiking trails, camping sites and man-made adventure sites. While the provinces along the Cebu region offer exciting tourist spots, you don’t want to miss what’s in the metropolis. The city itself has enthralling places that should be included in your checklist.
Experience a jeepney ride
It is an incomplete journey to the Philippines without a ride on a jeepney. Jeepneys are every Filipinos’ go-to transportation. Bring some loose change and hop in for a ride. Minimum fare is typically under 10 pesos ($.20 cents). Fare varies on destination.
Colon Street, Downtown
Colon Street is the downtown part of Cebu; the oldest and shortest national road in the Philippines named after Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon). Though crowded most especially during the daytime, many things will catch your interest here. There is neat old architecture, fun thrift shops, and great food; from the everyday scene itself, you will get a slice of the real Filipino culture.
Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro
Go for a leisurely afternoon stroll at Plaza Independencia; the common weekend hangout place for locals. Plaza Independencia’s origin traces back to as far as the 1600’s when it was first named Plaza de Armas. The plaza is situated near the ocean so you will get to enjoy the sea breeze from time to time. The place is ornamented with trees, flowers, benches, and beautifully glimmering lights at night. There is even a skating rink! An obelisk dedicated to Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Spanish governor-general in the Philippines, is found at the center.
Within Plaza Independencia is the country's oldest triangular bastion fortress, Fort San Pedro (Fuente de San Pedro), a military defense structure built in the 17th century to repel Muslim raiders.
A number of paintings depicting Philippine’s and Cebu’s history back from the time of its Spanish conquistadors are displayed on the main door of Fort Santiago. Insides are rooms made of a collection of articles dated back to some countless years ago. They have also keep and restored a few pieces of the Spanish era including old historic canons, Spanish documents, artifacts, sculptures, and weaponry display.
I.T Park, Lahugg
I.T Park is the mini New York of Cebu; the center of career, contact centers, and tech companies. There are many food shops around, most to which is open 24/7. Casa Verde and Moon Café at The Walk corner offers great dining. Within short walks around I.T Park you will also find Everything Yummy, La Maria, Gusto and Abuhan Tres – all restaurants known by locals for their foods and unique dining experiences.
Basilica del Santo Nino
Sto. Niño de Cebu, among the oldest churches in the Philippines, was built in 1565. This aged church has remained the go-to place for locals until date. Each year, every 3rd week of January, the locals hold a gigantic celebration called Sinulog Festival in respect to the church and its patron, Sto. Nino. During this time of the year, there will be fluvial parades, colorful street dances and Grand Mardi Gras happening at the heart of Cebu. Outside the vicinity of Sto. Nino de Cebu, is the historic Magellan's Cross which was built by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan on March 15, 1521.
Take a walk at midtown Cebu
Unlike downtown Colon, midtown Cebu (known to locals as Fuente) has less crowds and is less chaotic. A small area as it may seem, this part of the town comes alive at nighttime. Around Mango Square area are pub houses, party places, and food shops. You can also walk around to take photos of the colorful street lights and buildings.