Breathtakingly beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, thriving business centers, diverse culture and tradition, and mouthwatering food. What’s not to love in Cebu? Everything about the “Queen City of the South” impresses tourists from all over the world because of its raw beauty.

Historically speaking, Cebu is considered the oldest city in the Philippines. It is where the Spanish Colony began when Ferdinand Magellan reached the shores of Cebu in 1521. This is also the reason why Cebu is hailed as the “Cradle of Christianity” in the Philippines. One of Cebu’s cultural landmarks is the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, the first-ever Roman Catholic church established in the country.


Aside from its rich history, Cebu is also blessed with countless natural wonders to die for. Some of the best white sand beaches with crystalline waters and are surrounded by world-class hotels and resorts can be found here in Cebu. No wonder tourists from different parts of the world travel all the way to our Visayan region. There are also several pristine islands scattered all over Cebu that are worth visiting, such as Camotes Island, Bantayan Island, and Sumilon Island.

Cebu is also one of the most developed cities in the entire country next to Manila and Davao. Towering skyscrapers, corporation centers, gigantic malls, widely developed roads, and many more are what make Cebu the center of trade, commerce, and tourism in the entire Visayan region. Oh, and the city is also home to one of the best-tasting cuisines in the country by beautifully combining its rich Spanish influence and authentic Filipino-style of cooking. So be prepared to go on a gastronomic adventure with mouthwatering treats and delights!

With all these irresistible reasons and more, I guess nothing can stop you now from visiting Cebu City soon! So join me and together we’ll discover the 15 Best Tourist Spots in Cebu!

1. Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island

Credit: Tripadvisor 

Located at the northern end of Cebu island is nothing short of a tropical paradise. With white-sand beaches, stunning saltwater lagoons, rock formations, and crystalline turquoise waters, the Bantayan Island truly deserves its moniker “The Boracay of the South”.

To see it with your own eyes is already a gift, what more if you actually have the chance to enjoy every bit of it? There are countless activities to look forward to during your unforgettable adventure in Bantayan Island such as island hopping, boating, diving, snorkeling, and having a simple romantic dinner under the mesmerizing view of the setting sun. The island is also filled with world-class hotels and resorts to take your vacation to another level!




2. Kawasan Falls

Next up is another breathtaking creation of mother nature that Cebu is blessed to have. The famous Kawasan Falls has long been a premier tourist destination in Cebu because of its undeniable beauty. The picturesque waterfall consists of three (3) different levels that tourists are free to swim at.

Kawasan Falls

Photo by Andrew Haimerl (andrewnef) on Unsplash

With ice-cold crystalline waters falling down from the stunning rock formations of Kawasan Falls, it would simply be wrong to not include this stunning natural wonder in your itinerary!


3. Temple of Leah

Ah, of course. The Philippine version of Taj Mahal is definitely one of the must-visit places in Cebu because of its raw beauty and captivating backstory. Similarly, the Temple of Leah was built by Teodorico Soriano Adarna as a gesture of undying love to his late wife Leah Albino-Adarna. They are the famous owners of an established hotel chain in Cebu City, the Queensland Hotels. Oh, and they are also the grandparents of the famous Filipina actress, Ellen Adarna.

The gigantic mausoleum consists of 24 chambers that house an art gallery, museum, library, bars, and several displays of Roman artworks and sculptures featuring gladiators, lions, and angels.


4. Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island

Credit: Culture Trip 

Another hidden gem that you can find in Cebu which is hailed as one of the best islands in the Philippines is a small settlement called the Malapascua Island. This small island only spans an area of 2,500 square meters but it is blessed with the whitest sands on its beach along with crystalline turquoise waters to die for.

Also known as Monad Shoal, this island is widely known for its underwater attractions making it a premier diving destination for international diving enthusiasts. The pristine condition of the island is perfectly preserved allowing the magnificent ecosystem underwater to thrive.

The center of attraction in Malapascua Island are the beautiful Thresher Sharks which can be seen every morning before sunrise. These are extremely rare species of sharks that have been listed as close to extinction since the year 2007.


5. Camotes Islands

Another natural wonder to die for in Cebu is the breathtaking Camotes Islands. This group of islands continues to defy the tests of time as it still maintains the pristine condition of its stunning white-sand beaches and turquoise waters.

Camotes Island

Photo Credit: Camotes Island Facebook Page

The group of islands is sometimes called “The Lost Horizon of the South” because of its calm and unspoiled environment. So if you want to achieve peace and serenity while still being close to nature, then visiting Camotes Islands could be one of the most life-changing decisions you’ll make in your life.

Aside from lazing off at the mesmerizing beach, you can also explore the nearby lush forests and be amazed by the thriving ecosystem living inside them.


6. Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island

Credit: Trip 

Next up is another island in Cebu that will certainly blow your mind. Sumilon Island is a treasure trove that can be easily reached from Oslob after a 15-minute boat ride. The island is widely known for its famous sandbar that gives you an opportunity to witness the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the island.

Sumilon Island is also dubbed as the Philippines’ first marine reserve that is blessed with hundreds of beautiful species of marine flora and fauna. Therefore, diving and snorkeling are definitely a must when you visit the island to maximize your experience!

White sand beaches, aqua blue ocean waters, majestic rock formations, lush forests, and spectacular diving spots. These are all waiting for you when you visit the one and only Sumilon Island of Cebu, so better check them all out!


7. Cebu Taoist Temple

Located in the Beverly Hills Subdivision, the Cebu Taoist Temple was built by the Filipino-Chinese community in Cebu as a testament to their influence on the diverse culture of the city. Towering at an elevation of 110 meters above sea level, the temple became a premier attraction in the city as it is accessible by everyone whether they’re worshippers or not.

The Cebu Taoist Temple is a significant cultural landmark because it is the center of Taoism in Cebu city.


8. Moalboal

Moalboal is a tiny coastal town in Cebu that deserves to be on a league of its own. It is severely blessed with countless diving and snorkeling spots that even people from the farthest parts of the world are flocking here to have a taste.

READ THE BLOG POST: 15 Best Beach Resorts in Moalboal


Basdaku Beach in Moalboal

Credit: Jubert Michael

It also features white sand beaches with crystal clear waters that tourists keep falling in love with. The town is also surrounded by lush forests indicating the thriving ecosystem within the area.

Among all these reasons, Moalboal is best known for one thing, the Sardine Run. It is an all-year-round phenomenon where you can swim with countless sardines near the surface of the water. This is a rare phenomenon that only happens at select locations all over the globe. Luckily, our country was blessed to have it in Moalboal, Cebu.

Read the Blog Post: Best Beaches in Cebu 


9. Sirao Garden

Ah, our next destination bears the interesting nickname of “Mini Amsterdam” because of its extensive collection of aesthetically pleasing plants and flowers. Sirao Garden spans a wide area of 8 hectares and is filled up with colorful flower species with the famous Celoria Flower taking center stage. This flower species is known for its beautiful bright colors and its unique characteristic, edibility.

One of Sirao Garden’s famous landmarks is the Giant Hand structure by the cliff where you can take breathtaking pictures with the scenic view of the mountains in the background.


10. Mactan Island Hopping

Thought we’re done exploring the beautiful islands of Cebu? Well, there’s still another we have yet to do and that’s Island Hopping at the famous Mactan Island. Despite being Cebu’s most densely populated island, Mactan is still a haven for everyone who’s craving an unforgettable tropical island adventure!Cebu Shangrila Mactan Resort

The island of Mactan is blessed with absolutely stunning islands with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundant marine and aquatic animals underwater. These are what make an island hopping tour even more exciting! Some of the islands to look forward to are Olanggo Island, Coahagan Island, and Nalusuan Island which is known for its fishing sanctuaries.

Read this Blog Post: Nalusuan Island in Cebu 


11. Magellan’s Cross

Magellan’s Cross


Finally, our Cebu trip wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the city’s most important cultural landmark. The Magellan’s Cross of Cebu serves as the iconic beginning of two important things of our country’s history, the start of the Spanish Colony and the Christianity of Filipinos.

It is believed that the wooden cross on display near Basilica Minore del Santo Nino is the very cross that was planted by Portuguese explorers headed by Ferdinand Magellan when they reached the shores of Mactan, Cebu. To this date, the Magellan’s Cross holds a huge cultural and religious importance to Filipinos.


12. Osmeña Peak

Climbing atop the highest peak in Cebu will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip. Standing at an elevation of 1,013 meters above sea level, a stunning sea of clouds and breathtaking scenery are waiting for you at the Osmena Peak of Cebu.

The tallest mountain in Cebu was named in honor of one of the city’s most influential families, the Osmena Family. The mountain is also a popular hiking spot because of its rugged landscape making the adventure challenging yet enjoyable.

Also known as Pico Osmena, the mountain also houses several vegetable farms on its foot that supply a huge part of the city’s fruits and vegetables. It also earned the nickname “Little Baguio” for its vegetable and fruit contributions.


13. Lechon Food Trip

Cebu is known for countless things. There are the stunning wonders of nature, cultural landmarks, and historical sites. However, there’s one thing that we are definitely missing, and our trip certainly wouldn’t be complete without including it!

Yup, you’ve guessed it right! I will never let our trip end without having a Lechon Food Trip at the very place that originated Lechon. Yes. The best Lechon can only be found in Cebu City because it is where the first lechoneros from Talisay came from! Ready your taste buds and prepare your tummies because here are some of the best Lechon you’ll ever find in Cebu City!Lechon Cebu the best

The first one is Leslie’s Lechon which was proudly featured in a Netflix documentary show depicting the participation of Lechon in Cebu’s street food scene. You’ve got to try this because they’ve been roasting Talisay-Style Lechon since the 1940s! Next up is the famous Zubuchon which expanded its operations all over the country. And finally, the famous Rico’s Lechon that captured the hearts of many even in Metro Manila!


14. Simala Shrine Castle Church

Simala Shrine Castle Church

Credit: TravelingCebu 

Another premier landmark in Cebu you shouldn’t miss is the famous Simala Shrine Castle Church. This is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches not only in Cebu but in the whole country. Having the mesmerizing and extensive design of a castle, the architecture of Simala Shrine Castle Church can compete with the famous castles of Europe!

Deemed as a place for solemn prayers, peace, and serenity, more and more tourists are visiting the church to devote prayers and enlightenment. Moreover, several people also visit the Simala Shrine Castle Church just to admire its undoubtedly mesmerizing appearance.


15. Fort San Pedro

Finally, to conclude our trip, it is best to explore yet another cultural landmark that played a huge role in the colorful history of our country. Fort San Pedro in Cebu was built during the Spanish Colony under the direct orders of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565.

Today, this is considered to be the oldest fortress in the city. It is said that there are still 14 cannons scattered around the fortress which serves as a leisure park today. You can just imagine the countless people who lived and died to protect the freedom that we enjoy today.

And with that, ending your trip in Cebu by paying genuine tributes to our brave heroes who served our country will be the most fitting way to honor the historical city. We are proud to be Filipinos!