Top 11 Best Tourist Spots in Cebu City: 2024 Itinerary, Places to Visit

Cebu City Tourist Spots
Cebu City is the capital city of the Province of Cebu. It is one of the largest islands in the Philippine Archipelago. It is considered the “Queen City of the South” because of its economic stability and other economic factors. Of course, in Philippine history, the province has a gigantic contribution in terms of religion. How to Get Here: From Mactan-Cebu International Airport, I took a cab to Colonade Supermarket and had breakfast in a fast food chain nearby. After breakfast, grabbed my map and started following the streets to my destination. With the help of the crew at the fast food and the tinderos and tinderas along the streets, I was able to find my first destination.

1. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

A few blocks away from Colonade Supermarket, I found my first destination - the Metropolitan Cathedral. It is the center of the Archdiocese of the city.  It was established as diocese on August 14, 1595 and was became the metropolitan archdiocese of April, 28, 1934 with its first archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes. The construction of the structure was interrupted due to lack of funds and other circumstances.  The facade features a trefoil-shaped pediment decorated with floral carves.

2. Cathedral Museum

Beside the Metropolitan Cathedral is its Cathedral Museum. It is an ecclesiastical museum of the Archdiocese. The building itself doesn't have an exact information when it was constructed because the archdiocesan archives were burnt along with the Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace during the trial bombing of the U.S. forces in September 1944.  However, according to a few historians, it was built by Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon during mid-1800s.  Bishop Marañon was known as a church builder and he even designed the Metropolitan Cathedral and other religious structures in the province.

3. Rajah Humabon Monument

In front of the Cathedral Museum is a small park with the statue of Rajah Humabon. Rajah Humabon or Rajah Hamabar was the Rajah or  a leader of Zubu (now Cebu) during Ferdinand Magellan's exploration in the Philippines in 1521. According to the writings on the statue's marble marker, Rajah Humabon was the first Filipino chieftain to embrace Christianity. When Ferdinand Magellan landed on the island on Sunday, April 7, 1521, Rajah Humabon made a blood compact with Magellan as a symbol of their new found friendship. Captivated by  the Holy Scriptures and teachings, Rajah Humabon was converted into Christianity. Also, Humabon was regraded as the wisest and bravest man in the island.

4. Heritage of Cebu Monument

Using my map, I continued walking on the streets to the Heritage of Cebu Monument situated at the original Plaza Parian.  It occupies a triangular portion near the end of Colon Street.  This Monument showcases the significance and symbolic events in history of the province during the reign of Rajah Humabon.  It was a work of art by the National Artist Edgardo Castrillo in July 1997 in cooperation with Mayor Alvin Garcia and was inaugurated in December 8, 2000.

5. Colon Street

Across the Heritage Monument is the oldest street and shortest road in the Philippines.  It was name after Christopher Columbus who bears different names (Spanish: Cristobal Colon, Italian: Cristoforo Colombo, Protuguese: Cristovao Colombo.)  It was established by the Spanish arrived in the island in 1565, led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (a Spanish conquistador.)  The local government erected Colon Monument at the intersection of the street.

6. Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

Not so far is the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. It was originally owned by Chinese merchant, Don Juan Yap and Doña Maria Florido.  It is one of the oldest residential house in the Philippines.  It was built between 1675-1700 and was made from Coral stones, used egg whites as glue and "Tigas" or clay for the roof.  The wooden parts of the house were made of "balayong" and "tugas" or molave which is the hardest woods in the country.

7. Casa Gorordo Ancestral House

Still using my map, I continued walking on the street on the left of  Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House towards Casa Gorordo Ancestral House. This ancestral house shows how a prominent family lives during their generations. From the floor, artistic walls, windows up to the roof top - it's really gorgeous. At the main entrance of this house, its historical background was written and here's what it says: "This house was built in the mid-19th century by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales and was bought by Juan Isidro de Gorordo, a Spanish merchant, in 1863.  Four generations of the Gorordo family lived in this house, including Juan Gorordo, first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, 1910-1932."

8. Magellan's Cross

On the same street, I headed back to Metropolitan Cathedral.  From there, I walked on the streets towards the famous landmark in the province - the Magellan's Cross. It is a Christian cross made up of wood erected by Ferdinand Magellan (a Portuguese explorer) during his exploration on April 21, 1521.  This cross can be found inside an octagonal chapel in front of the City Hall and beside Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.  This one of the most prominent tourist spot in Cebu and the entire Visayas.  The cross that is visible today is a tindalo wood where the splinters of the original Magellan's Cross were encased.  The wood of the original cross were deteriorated because the people were chipping some parts and making it as a souvenir in the belief that it's miraculous.

9. Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu

After Magellan's Cross, I entered the gate to the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child. This is one of the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country built in the same spot where the image of Santo Niño was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This statue is similar to the statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a gift during their baptism on April 14, 1521 at the exact location of the Magellan's Cross.

10. The City Hall

11. Fort San Pedro

Still using my map, followed the street names and the road signs, I reached Fort San Pedro or Fuerza de San Pedro situated inside the Plaza Independencia. Its purpose is the same as the Fort Santiago in Manila and Fort sa Cotta in Misamis Occidental. It is a military defense structure built by the Spanish and the locals under Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's (Spanish conquistador) command, but the date of the construction wasn't sure.  There were claims that Jesuit Antonio Campioni built the fort in 1630.  But, there were a lot of major renovations in the 19th century for the structural improvements.

As a first timer in solo-backpacking, discovering the stunning historical sites in the city was a rewarding experience. It will only be my first time and you can expect for a more detailed and comprehensive itinerary soon. This is a February 2013 itinerary. Other details are up to date.