Cebu is endearingly called the Queen City of the South by the citizens of the Philippines. Even though there is no official documentation of such designation, the title still stuck and this city at the heart of Visayas has earned the right to this title. It’s not only the metropolitan city that gave this place that prestigious title, but the province as a whole. Cebu is a complete package deal of an economic hub, a premier tourist destination and a treasure trove of culture and history. For international and local tourists seeking a complete and gratifying trip to a certain point in the Philippines, Cebu will definitely be a recommended destination. In the subsequent discussions, we’ll get to know the exciting ways of experiencing Cebu at its finest.
Travel back in time in Cebu’s historical sites
Cebu is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines and became the first Spanish capital during the country’s 300-year colonization. With a rich history like this, be sure to include historical and cultural sites in your Cebu tourist spots itinerary. Get to revisit remnants and relics of Cebu’s colorful history by exploring Basilica del Santo Niño where the image of the Child Jesus, brought by Ferdinand Magellan way back 1521, is enshrined. Outside of the basilica is “Magellan’s Cross”, a timberwood cross planted by the Spaniards when they arrived in Cebu in the 16th century. A few minutes’ walk is one of the oldest military fortifications built by the Spaniards around the 1500s – Fort San Pedro.
Dance to the beat of Sinulog Festival
The Philippines offer extravagant and many festivals and different towns and cities have their own celebrations and festivals. Cebu’s Sinulog Festival remains one of the biggest and most celebrated festivals in the Philippines. Held every third Sunday of January, this festival is not only colorful and vibrant; it is also a religious one – a celebration of Cebu’s devotion to the Holy Child Jesus.
A view from the top: looking at Cebu’s Skyline
Want to view the vast Cebu cityscape and skyline from an elevated point of view? Within the city, you can watch the city view and skyline from Horizons 101, Crown Regency Hotel or SM Seaside Tower among others. If you want a more inclusive view of Cebu city, you can try Tops Lookout at Lahug, Cebu City.
Try out the beaches around Cebu
If you want to get away from the busy city scene and try to relax and have fun under the sun, Cebu has beach resorts within the main island to offer and also there are some resorts on the small islands in the province. Beach resorts near the city of Cebu are Oslob beach resorts (3-4 hours drive south from the city), Moalboal beach resorts (2-3 hours southwest of the city), Alegre Beach Resort in Sogod town (2 hours northeast of the city). Island beach resorts include: Bantayan Island (3-hour land and 1-hour boat travel north of the city), Camotes Island (1-hour land and 2-hour boat travel northeast of the city), Sumilon Island (3 hours southeast of the city).
Go on a gastronomic adventure, Cebu style
Your Cebu experience is never complete without having a taste of Cebu’s lechon. Praised by celebrity chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain as the best pig, you will want to get a taste and find out for yourself.
If you are the adventurous foodie, you can try out other authentic local cuisine and street foods. You can try out Larsian (barbecue with wrapped steamed rice), SuTuKil (short for Sugba (grilled), Tula (stew), Kilaw (ceviche)), Danggit (rabbitfish) and the exotic Tuslob-Buwa (a dish prepared with pig’s brain and soy sauce).
Enjoy the city’s nightlife
Cebu is a city that pretty much never sleeps. The busy morning bustle of the city continues on until evening. If you like to sip a few drinks or go plenty drunk, Cebu is the place for you. The city has lively parties, electro dance music, and chillin’ hip hop and smooth R&B tunes. If you want to have a relaxed atmosphere outside the city, check out BLU Bar & Grill, where you can enjoy signature cocktails and feel the cool mountain breeze at night.
Swim with the gentle giants
The whale sharks are beckoning you to Oslob to witness their magnificence. You can say you have been to Cebu if you have seen the whale sharks up close and personal. You can include this destination in your nature trip bucket list. This is an early morning of noontime activity only, so you need to be at the site before dawn breaks. Tourists will be provided a short orientation, emphasizing on the proper approach to whale sharks, and will be taken on a ride aboard outriggers. Be sure to have an underwater camera to document your underwater adventure.
Cebu has many things to offer for your different travel preferences. Whether you are visiting Cebu for rest and relaxation, for adventure, for nature trips, or for an escape from your usual experience – you name it, Cebu’s got something for you. This gem of an island will definitely enthrall first-time tourists and returning ones alike. So check out more about this majestic four-letter province in the Philippines over the internet to see for yourself. Get your bags and stuff ready, and set your destination to Cebu!