5+ Things To Do In Cebu, Philippines

The beautiful city of Cebu is an absolute must see destination for any traveller visiting the Philippines, experience all of its beauty and charm with these 5 things to do in Cebu!

Cebu upholds its reputation as the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines, with its abundance of activities and attractions that are suitable for everyone.

Imagine yourself strolling down a sandy, white beach, swimming, diving or snorkelling in crystal-clear water, basking in the ample sun and interacting with friendly locals. 

So whether you're on a budget, or a luxury vacation, Cebu has something to offer for everyone, keep reading for just 5 of the many things to do in Cebu, Philippines. 

  • Population: 1,000,000 
  • Currency: PHP
  • When To Go: Dec - May 

5. Experience the Colors of Sinulog Festival

Recognised as one of the grandest festivals in the Philippines, Sinulog Festival is a religious and cultural festival held annually to honour the Santo Niño (the baby Jesus), the patron saint of the province of Cebu.

This festival is a celebration of Filipino's acceptance of Christianity. Held every third Sunday of January, foreign and local visitors gather to experience the festivities.

Participants who are usually equipped with vibrant and creative costumes perform dance rituals along with the beat and rhythm of native gongs, trumpets, and drums.

Street parties after the main event are everywhere during the evening. This is the best time to engage with other people while experiencing face paints and beer showers with the locals.

4. Tasting the Flavours of Cebu's Lechon

Lechon is Filipino's favourite food prepared during birthdays, weddings, and feasts. There's no denying that it is rarely absent during a Filipino's celebration of some memorable events in life.

While there are lots of versions of Lechon in the Philippines, what does Cebu's Lechon have that other Lechons don't?

It is famed for its tender meat and crisp golden-like, brown-red skin that goes along as appetiser, viand, or finger food. 

3. Historical Sites

Cebu is also known for its historical sites that have become famous tourist attractions for years. Landmarks such as Santo Nino Basilica, Magellan's Cross, and Fort San Pedro are the usual places for people to visit while in Cebu.

Fort San Pedro served as a military defence structure against the Spaniards in the 17th century. This triangular-shaped fortress is one of the oldest forts in the country.

Another famous landmark is the Shrine of Lapu-Lapu. Lapu-Lapu is a national hero in the Philippines who led his tribe to defeat Ferdinand Magellan. 

2. Waterfalls

Cebu surely is blessed to have a lot of waterfalls worthy of everyone's attention.  One of them is the Kawasan Falls which is well-known for its comforting turquoise colour and clear water.

One of the ways to reach it is through canyoneering tour which will take you on a journey through the jungle before the main falls.

Walking, swimming, jumping, and climbing are among activities for tourists facilitated by accredited local guides.

Another is the Tumalog Falls that gives curtain-like water which falls from the cliff. What gives its effect is the moss-covered rocks which kind of spreads the water, hence the curtain effect.

Visiting Cebu's waterfalls is a great way to challenge one's self since tourists will have to go through trekking or whatnot before witnessing what nature offers.

1. Beaches and Sandbars

Just like those waterfalls, Cebu also offers a lot of beaches and sandbars to its tourists. Here, you can find white-sand beaches and a mesmerising view of the sky and the seas which put people in awe.

Yearly, tourists come and go during summer just to witness the beauty these beaches can give. There are lots of famous island beaches in Cebu where tourists find pleasing like Malapascua Island and Sumilon Island Sandbar.

How To Get To Cebu?

Getting to Cebu is pretty easy but taking Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific is your only option for a one stop flight from Melbourne or Sydney. 

The main gripe people have with airlines from the Philippines is the awful transit in Manila from International to domestic. You will need to allow for at least 3-4 hours during your connection as the terminals are connected by buses which are rather infrequent. 

You can usually score cheap flights on Cebu Pacific, although the leg room is non existent by western standards and like most budget airlines you have to pay for everything, which can drive the price up. 

A better option is a full service flight to Singapore or Bangkok where you can then jump on a 3 hour flight with Philippines Airlines direct to Cebu. This avoids the transit in Manila. From Cebu you can drive anywhere on the Island in up to 8 hours. 

If you're already in the Philippines, there's numerous flights connecting Cebu with other major cities around the country on the two main airlines as well as connections to smaller regional towns such as El Nido or Coron on airlines such as Air Swift

Kirsty Scott