Top 10 Tourist Spots to Visit in Cebu City, Philippines for a Day

December 22, 2018

by Liz Paelmo

Cebu City is the famed capital of Cebu Island which is located at the Central Visayas region of the country. The city is dubbed as the Queen City of the South, the First Capital of the Philippines, and the Oldest City of the Philippines. As of 2015, it has a population of 922,611 residents. Almost all of its people speak Cebuano, and 80% of the population is Roman Catholic.

It is also the birthplace of the BisRock (Bisaya + Rock) genre and is the city that hosts the largest annual Reggae Festival in the Philippines. Cebu City is also known for its yearly dance celebration called Sinulog Festival, which honors its former patron saint, Santo Niño.

The town has a lot to offer from historical edifices to magnificent landscapes and from vibrant gardens to praiseworthy restaurants. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, touring around Cebu City is a favor to oneself!


Spending One Day in Cebu City

If you only have a day to tour around the city (just like we did), and you don’t have time to visit the Southern part, then these are the best places to visit. Note: They are arranged according to when we visited them.


Sirao Flower Garden (The Original)

Entrance Fee: ₱100/head

Note: There are two Sirao Gardens, the one we visited was the first one established. In 2018, the Sirao Pictorial Garden and Camping Site (PGCS) was introduced, which included fountains, camping grounds, and a swimming pool.

From our hotel (Suites Ramos Tower), we took a jeepney ride to J.Y. Square Mall, where a lot of motorcycle drivers (habal-habal) were waiting for passengers. From there, we paid ₱500 for two people. It took around 45 minutes to get to the garden. The motorcycle drivers gave us an hour to take pictures before moving on to the next site (the ₱500 also covered transportation to the Tops and the Temple of Leah).

Why Go There: Just look at the pictures!

The Tops (Tops Lookout)

Entrance Fee: ₱100/head

Want to bask in the beauty of Cebu City? Check out this place! It boasts of its unique, concrete structure of rooms divided by circular passageways. It feels so calming to observe the stunning glory of the mountains, the skies, and basically the entire town.

Why Go There: The concrete structure is an excellent place to take creative photographs, and the panoramic view of the city is enchanting especially at night.

Temple of Leah

Entrance Fee: ₱50/head

Built in 2012, the temple was established as a symbol of Teodorico Soriano Adarna’s love to his wife, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. Unfortunately, we were not able to enter the main building because it was under construction during the time. Still, based on the reviews, it’s a sight to behold and a worthwhile place to visit especially when you’ve been feeling a bit like Zeus or Athena lately.

Why Go There: It’s a haven with Ancient Rome vibes that will make you feel in love with History (even just for a while).

Taoist Temple

Entrance Fee: Zero

Located at the Beverly Hills Subdivision, Lahug, Cebu, this tourist attraction is a quiet place for meditation. Tourists will need to climb (more or less 100 steps of) stairs before reaching the temple, and they are strictly instructed to remain silent. They are also prohibited from taking photos of the saints and using the temple as a background in a picture.

Note: Before you get to the stairs to the temple, you’ll have to walk up too. If you don’t have a vehicle, this could be difficult. Lucky for us, a Grab Taxi was heading down while we were going up, so we skipped a lot of walking.

Why Go There: It will make you appreciate and respect other religions and cultures, and enjoy a cinematic view.

Magellan’s Cross

Entrance Fee: Zero

Believed to be a Christian cross established by Ferdinand Magellan, this cross is a significant symbol of Cebu. The cross is located in an octagonal kiosk with paintings in the ceiling.

Why Go There: The cross will remind you of the only good thing that came out of the Spanish Colonization: Christianity.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu

Entrance Fee: Zero

This is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country and the symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines, as declared by Pope Paul VI in 1965.

Why Go There: Devoted Catholics can pay tribute to the church and pray solemnly.

Fort San Pedro

Entrance Fee: ₱30/head

If you’re feeling a bit historical, this is a great place to visit. The tourist spot is a military defense structure and was built to repel Muslim raiders. I am not an avid fan of history, but going around the stoned fort felt like honoring brave Filipinos.

Why Go There: It’s been there since 1738, making it the oldest triangular bastion fort in the Philippines.

10,000 Roses Café

Environmental Fee: ₱20/head

From the last location, we spent around 45 minutes to get here. Although there is no charge for the entrance, we still paid ₱20/head for the environmental fee. It somehow served as the maintenance fee for the tourist spot which features 10,000 artificial flowers with LED lights. The plastic flowers are around 3-feet tall, and fortunately, we arrived just before the lights were turned on.

Why Go There: The lighted roses are a sight to behold. It’s no wonder the spot has been a hit!

Lantaw Floating Restaurant (Cordova Branch)

Entrance Fee: Zero

Since it was near the café, we decided to take our dinner at the famous floating restaurant. The food is commendable and definitely satisfied our craving for good food. The restaurant, however, is a bit dark and mosquitos could be too annoying. Nonetheless, their food and service made every disadvantage too small to mind.

Why Go There: They sure know how to put the “delicious” before the food.

View from 10,000 Roses Café


La Vie Parisienne

Entrance Fee: Zero

After a whole day of touring, we decided to indulge in a bottle of good wine. From Lantaw, we took a tricycle ride to a van terminal heading back to the central part of Cebu City (it took us around an hour since we had to wait for a van). La Vie Parisienne is known for its extensive list of wines, relaxing ambiance, and Instagram-worthy lights, tables, and chairs. The place is too beautiful not to take pictures of, especially at night.

Why Go There: Freshly baked bread and good wine will make you love the place but hate how much you don’t have enough money to spend.


Why Go Through the Plan

IT’S WORTH IT! The exhaustion is worthwhile because of the constant excitement. Sure, the transfer from one place to another could be taxing, but trust me, Cebu City won’t let you down. You won’t just get your eyes satisfied; even your tummy will be pleased! The best part about this tour is it’s only for a day. And because your day is jam-packed, you’ll always feel thrilled for the next spot to visit, and there won’t be any time wasted. There’s no better way to treat yourself than going around Cebu City getting stressed and de-stressed at the same time. Weird yet true.

Liz Paelmo

By Liz Paelmo

Enthusiastic Writer. Grammar Nazi. Mass Communication Graduate. Development Communication Student. Drummer.


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