15 Best Things to Do in Cebu Island

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S Dominique

Accommodation Cebu Philippines

Cebu Island is a tropical paradise in the Philippines, boasting a rich blend of historical landmarks, cultural treasures, and natural wonders.

Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or someone seeking spiritual solace, Cebu has something for everyone.

Best Things to Do in Cebu

Let’s dive into the 15 best things to do on this enchanting island.

1. Santo Niño Basilica

Santo Niño Basilica
Photo: Google Maps/Flo Luciano

History and Significance: The Santo Niño Basilica, also known as Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines.

Established in 1565, it houses the statue of Santo Niño (Holy Child) brought by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

Visiting Tips: When visiting the basilica, dress modestly and respect the local customs. The church is often crowded, especially during the annual Sinulog Festival in January, so plan your visit accordingly.

Location: Pilgrim’s Center, Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

2. Magellan’s Cross

Magellan's Cross
Photo: X/ArchaeoHistories

Historical Context: Magellan’s Cross is a significant historical landmark marking the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. Planted by Magellan in 1521, it symbolizes the beginning of a new era for the island.

What to Expect: The cross is housed in a small chapel next to the Santo Niño Basilica. Visitors can view the cross and learn about its history through various plaques and informational displays.

Location: P. Burgos St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

3. Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro cebu
Photo: X/PetualangCinta

Historical Importance: Fort San Pedro, built by Spanish and indigenous Cebuano laborers in 1738, served as a military defense structure. It is the oldest triangular bastion fort in the country.

Visitor Experience: Explore the fort’s museum, which showcases well-preserved artifacts, documents, and artwork from the Spanish colonial period. The lush gardens and panoramic views from the walls make it a delightful spot for history enthusiasts.

Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

4. Cebu Taoist Temple

Cebu Taoist Temple
Photo: Unsplash/Orbital 101 Studio

Cultural Importance: Built in 1972, the Cebu Taoist Temple is a center of worship for the city’s Chinese community. It stands 300 meters above sea level, offering a serene retreat with a stunning view.

Exploring the Temple: The temple complex features a replica of the Great Wall of China, beautiful dragon statues, and a wishing well. Remember to be respectful and follow the temple’s guidelines during your visit.

Location: Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

5. Casa Gorordo Museum

Casa Gorordo Museum
Photo: Instagram/Yezsa Karylle Rico

Historical Insights: Casa Gorordo, a historic house museum, offers a glimpse into the colonial lifestyle of Cebu’s elite. Built in the 1850s, it belonged to Juan Gorordo, the first Filipino bishop of Cebu.

Exhibits and Artifacts: The museum showcases antique furniture, religious relics, and traditional costumes. Guided tours provide in-depth historical context and fascinating stories about the house’s former inhabitants.

Location: 35 Eduardo Aboitiz St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

6. Cebu Ocean Park

Cebu Ocean Park
Photo: X/Cebu Galaxy Tours

Marine Life Attractions: Cebu Ocean Park is the largest oceanarium in the Philippines, featuring a vast array of marine life exhibits. It offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with underwater creatures.

Visitor Information: Highlights include the deep tank lagoon, where you can walk through an underwater tunnel, and the jungle trek showcasing terrestrial animals. It’s a perfect destination for families and marine enthusiasts.

Location: SM Seaside Complex, F. Vestil St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

7. Yap-San Diego Ancestral House

Yap-San Diego Ancestral House
Photo: X/Sugbo.ph

Architectural Beauty: The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, built in the late 17th century, is one of the oldest residential structures in the Philippines. It stands as a testament to Cebu’s rich architectural heritage.

Historical Relevance: This house-turned-museum offers a look into the traditional Filipino-Spanish way of life. Original furnishings, religious icons, and decorative art pieces are displayed, reflecting the era’s lifestyle.

Location: 155 Mabini St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

8. Temple of Leah

Temple of Leah
Photo: Pexels/Christian Paul Del Rosario

Architectural Marvel: The Temple of Leah, often dubbed Cebu’s “Taj Mahal,” is a grand structure built as a symbol of undying love. Teodorico Soriano Adarna built it in honor of his late wife, Leah Albino-Adarna.

Visitor Tips: The temple’s ornate design and stunning views of Cebu City make it a popular tourist spot. Visit during sunset for a breathtaking experience.

Location: Cebu Transcentral Hwy, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

9. Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls
Photo: Envato Elements/Oneinchpunchphotos

Natural Beauty: Kawasan Falls is a three-stage cascade of clear turquoise water, nestled in the lush jungles of Badian. It’s one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines.

Activities and Adventures: You can enjoy canyoneering, swimming, and bamboo rafting. The falls are accessible via a scenic 1.5 km hike through the jungle, adding to the adventure.

Location: Minglanilla, Cebu, Philippines.

10. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Photo: Instagram/Kris

Architectural Grandeur: The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is an architectural marvel with a rich history dating back to the 16th century. It serves as the ecclesiastical seat of the Archdiocese of Cebu.

Religious Significance: The cathedral’s grandiose design and tranquil ambiance provide a spiritual haven for visitors. Attend a mass or simply marvel at the intricate details of the building.

Location: 6000 Mabini St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

11. Monastery of the Holy Eucharist

Monastery of the Holy Eucharist
Photo: Instagram/Richvillagephotography

Spiritual Retreat: Commonly known as Simala Shrine, this monastery is renowned for its miraculous stories and the Virgin Mary’s statue. It’s a pilgrimage site for many devotees.

Visiting Guidelines: Visitors should dress appropriately and observe silence and respect within the sacred grounds. The monastery offers a peaceful environment for reflection and prayer.

Location: Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines.

12. Heritage of Cebu Monument

Heritage of Cebu Monument
Photo: Instagram/Santi

Historical Representation: The Heritage of Cebu Monument is a sculptural tableau depicting significant events in Cebu’s history. It was created by local artist Eduardo Castrillo.

What to See: The monument includes representations of key historical figures and moments, such as the arrival of Magellan and the Battle of Mactan. It’s a great spot for history enthusiasts and photographers.

Location: Sikatuna St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

13. Tumalog Falls

Tumalog Falls
Photo: Unsplash/Marvin Galang

Scenic Beauty: Tumalog Falls, located in Oslob, is a majestic waterfall with a gentle cascade and a serene pool. The misty curtain of water creates a magical ambiance.

Travel Tips: A short trek is required to reach the falls. It’s best visited during the dry season when the water is clear and inviting for a refreshing dip.

Location: Brgy Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Oslob, Cebu, Philippines.

14. Guadalupe Cave

Guadalupe Cave
Photo: Google Maps/Guadalupe Cave Philipine

Natural Wonder: Guadalupe Cave, also known as Lanipao Rainforest, is a hidden gem in Cebu City. It’s a natural cave adorned with stunning rock formations.

Exploration Tips: The cave is accessible via a short hike through a lush forest. Bring appropriate footwear and be prepared for a bit of adventure as you explore this natural wonder.

Location: Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines.

15. Cebu Westown Lagoon

Cebu Westown Lagoon
Photo: Instagram/CEBU Westown Lagoon

Fun and Relaxation: Cebu Westown Lagoon is a family-friendly waterpark and resort offering a variety of pools, slides, and relaxation areas. It’s an ideal place for a fun day out.

Amenities and Activities: The lagoon features themed pools, cabanas, and a range of dining options. Whether you’re looking to splash around or unwind by the pool, there’s something for everyone.

Location: 6014 Cebu N Rd, Tipolo, Mandaue City, 6014 Cebu, Philippines.


Cebu Island is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. From historical landmarks and cultural sites to natural wonders and recreational spots, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Cebu promises a memorable adventure filled with beauty, history, and excitement.


What is the best time to visit Cebu Island?

The best time to visit Cebu Island is during the dry season, from December to May, when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities and exploring.

How can I get around Cebu Island?

You can get around Cebu Island by using public transportation such as jeepneys, buses, and taxis, or by renting a car or motorcycle for more convenience.

Are there any entrance fees for these attractions?

Some attractions like the Santo Niño Basilica and Fort San Pedro have minimal entrance fees, while others like Kawasan Falls and Cebu Ocean Park may have higher charges. It’s best to check each site’s official website for updated information.

Is Cebu Island family-friendly?

Yes, Cebu Island offers many family-friendly attractions, such as Cebu Ocean Park, Cebu Westown Lagoon, and various historical and cultural sites that are suitable for all ages.

What should I pack for a trip to Cebu Island?

Pack light, comfortable clothing, swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beautiful sights!

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