Carbon Night Market - Cebu City Tourist Attractions

Cebu City Tourist Attractions: 15 Top Tourist Spots in Cebu City

Whether you are looking for the coolest spots in the mountainside of Cebu City or to discover the historical landmarks downtown, we break down Cebu City’s top tourist attractions.
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A lot of tourists visiting Cebu would skip the city because they think “there’s nothing to do in the city.” Mistake! In this guide, we break down the best tourist attractions in Cebu City to give you an idea of where to go.

Cebu City is renowned for its rich historical and cultural background. It is the oldest city in the Philippines and the birthplace of Christianity in the country, so you can only imagine its history.

Located in the heart of the Philippine archipelago, Cebu City is a strategic hub for tourists, businesses, and trade activities, thus gaining the moniker “Queen City of the South.”

Cebu City is the perfect base for digital nomads in the Philippines, with white sand beaches, dive sites, and unique nature activities only a couple of hours’ drive away. Not to mention Cebu City has direct trips to the best places to visit in the Philippines, including Palawan, Siargao, Boracay, Bohol, Siquijor, and Dumaguete.

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If you happen to be visiting Cebu City for work or vacation or have a stopover and don’t know what to do, get ready to go out of your hotel room! From the coolest spots in the mountainside of Cebu City to the historical landmarks in downtown Cebu City, we created a list of the worth-visiting tourist attractions in Cebu City. Here are the 15 Top Tourist Spots in Cebu City:

1. Top of Cebu

Top of Cebu City Tourist Attractions
The view from Top of Cebu restaurant in Busay, Cebu City

Located in the hills of Busay, Top of Cebu is a Filipino-Asian restaurant known for its breathtaking view and affordable meals and delicacies. Having a wide range of choices on the menu, this restaurant mainly offers vegetarian or vegan-friendly foods.

It is open from 11 AM to 11 PM. They do not take reservations, but there are a lot of seats provided anyway. However, I recommend you arrive early to secure a spot to witness a clear “atop the mountains” view.

We had the opportunity to go to this restaurant in Cebu City with my comrades. It might be a good idea to bring a jacket since it can get quite cold, especially at night. Overall, it’s a different dining experience you’ll never regret!

2. Tops Lookout

Tops Lookout - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
An aerial shot of the Tops Lookout which is currently under renovation

If you seek the serenity of nature under the cloak of night while being treated to a breathtaking panorama of city lights, this destination is an absolute must-visit. Although temporarily closed, Tops Lookout is an experience you should check out soon once it reopens.

Tops Lookout is also situated in the hills of Busay, about 600 meters above Cebu City, right next to Tops of Cebu. Be there before evening to behold a supernal sunset!

3. Cebu Ocean Park

Cebu Ocean Park - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
A kid gets close to a school of fish inside the oceanarium at Cebu Ocean Park in Cebu City

If you are looking for the best things to do in Cebu with kids, Cebu Ocean Park is an ideal getaway. Upon arrival, you can already see a variety of sea creatures that will leave you in awe and gasp of surprise.

Cebu Ocean Park is located within SM Seaside Complex, operating from 10 AM to 6 PM. During weekdays, tickets range from 549 to 600 PHP (~11-12 USD), while 649 to 800 PHP (~13-16 USD) during weekends. To avoid long lines, get your Cebu Ocean Park ticket in advance.

4. Magellan’s Cross

Magellan's Cross - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
The structure housing Magellan’s Cross, one of the most significant landmarks in Cebu City

Magellan’s Cross is one of the most important historical landmarks not only in Cebu but in the whole Philippines. It was in 1521 that the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, planted this cross, indicating the first baptism in the country.

Magellan’s Cross is in Plaza Sugbo, right beside Basilica del Santo Niño. This tourist attraction is open daily, from 8 AM until 6 PM.  With no entrance fee, this site is a free-for-all experience; only donations are accepted.

5. Santo Niño Basilica

Santo Nino Basilica - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
Inside the intricate altar of Santo Niño Basilica in Cebu City

Locally known as Basílica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu, Santo Niño Basilica was founded in 1565 and was proclaimed the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines.

It is open for FREE every day from 6 AM to 7 PM. No matter what religion you practice, you will be astounded by how the church was constructed and renovated over time.

When I got there, it was like any other church; this is an aesthetic art!

6. Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
Fort San Pedro’s towering gate welcomes visitors in Cebu City (Photo by Mario Manlupig / CEBUINSIDER.com)

Another revisit in history is brought to you by Fort San Pedro. This historical site is a defense structure built by the Spanish colony inside Plaza Independencia.

The entry fee for availing of this moment of rediscovery would cost you 30 PHP (~0.50 USD) for adults and 20 PHP for kids (~0.40 USD).

For me, this is one of the most interesting must-see places to visit, especially when the weather is a bit chilly and not too hot.

7. Museum of Emotions

Museum of Emotions - Cebu City Tourist Spots
A ballpit inside the Museum of Emotions in Cebu City

Located on the 4th floor of Ayala Center Cebu, the Museum of Emotions is accessible daily from 11 AM to 8 PM (the last call is 6 PM). Inside, the place is vibrantly pleasing while you learn about all sorts of emotions. It’s either a perfect place for solitude or family bonding.

A pass would cost 499 PHP (~10 USD) per pax or 350 PHP (~7 USD) per pax for a group of four persons. Get your Museum of Emotions ticket in advance!

8. Yap-San Diego Ancestral House

Yap-San Diego Ancestral House - Cebu City Tourist Spots
Outside the 17-century Yap-San Diego Ancestral House in Cebu City

Step into this exquisite historic residence, a charming haven constructed in the 17th century. Adorned with meticulously hand-carved furniture and an impressive art collection, Yap-San Diego Ancestral House invites you to experience a journey through time. 

You may also wander through its lush garden. Your stay here promises a unique blend of comfort and history, where each corner resonates with the elegance of Philippine history.

Opens daily from 9 AM to 6 PM. The entrance fee to this heritage site costs 50-100 PHP (~1-2 USD).

9. Cebu Cathedral

Cebu Cathedral - Cebu City Tourist Spots
The grand facade of Cebu Cathedral in Cebu City

Also known as Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, it is one of the earliest churches dedicated to St. Vitalis, alongside the Basilica del Santo Niño. 

The architectural design is clearly defined. This place is charming for those seeking a peaceful environment to pray and take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Cebu Cathedral is accessible daily from 8 AM–12 PM and 1–5 PM daily.

10. PlayLabs Robinson Galleria

PlayLabs - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
Kids enjoy PlayLabs in Cebu City

Located inside Robinson Galleria, PlayLabs is one of the top recreation centers for kids and young-at-heart adults alike. It is a digital playground suitable for children 0-12 years old.

The entrance fee for two (2) hours is 450 PHP (~9 USD) per person. For guardians, they request a fee of 225 PHP (~4.5 USD) per person for a duration of two (2) hours.  Note that this fee applies for a maximum of two (2) hours per child. Get your PlayLabs ticket in advance!

11. Temple of Leah

Temple of Leah - City Tourist Attractions
The grand facade of the Temple of Leah in Cebu City

Being one of Cebu’s most popular tourist spots, the Temple of Leah is a Roman-style temple built by Teodorico Soriano Adarna dedicated to his wife, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. The structure is truly magnificent and has a fascinating backstory, much like the Taj Mahal of India. If you’re a photography enthusiast like me, it’s an ideal spot!

It opens daily from 6 AM to 11 PM, with an entrance fee costing 120 PHP (~2.4 USD) during weekdays and 150 PHP (~3 USD) during weekends.

12. Cebu Taoist Temple

Cebu Taoist Temple - Cebu City Tourist Attractions
The elaborate structure of Cebu Taoist Temple in Cebu City

Aside from the prevalent practice of Christianity in the region, Cebu has another belief system that displays its inclusiveness. The Cebu Taoist Temple, for example, is a place of worship for people who follow the teachings of Lao Zi, a Chinese philosopher.

While it may not traditionally be considered a tourism destination, this place has gained popularity for its unique structure and aesthetic appeal, which can captivate even those who do not necessarily share the same beliefs.

13. Carbon Night Market

Carbon Night Market - Cebu City Tourist Spots
Lechon is one of the local delicacies you will find at the Carbon Night Market in Cebu City

The Carbon Night Market is a vibrant night market that showcases a diverse range of locally produced goods conveniently located in the heart of Cebu City.

It is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 4 PM to 11 PM. This place is conveniently situated at Quezon Boulevard, in close proximity to the Senior Citizen’s Park.

14. Sirao Garden

Sirao Garden - Cebu City Tourist Spots
The sea of flowers you will find at Sirao Garden in Cebu City

Sirao Garden is a destination you don’t wanna miss in Cebu City if you are looking to be surrounded by a sea of flowers. Sirao Garden is indeed a wonderful destination for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating experience. I’m ecstatic that I finally had the opportunity to see this beautiful landmark!

Opening hours are from 8 AM to 5:30 PM. The cost to enter Sirao Garden is 100 PHP (~2 USD) per person, and the cost to park is 50 PHP (~1 USD).

15. CCLEX

CCLEX - Cebu City Tourist Spots
CCLEX is the longest bridge in the Philippines, connecting Cebu City and the town of Cordova in Mactan Island

The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, or CCLEX, is a remarkable infrastructure achievement, currently holding the title longest bridge in the Philippines, spanning 8.9 kilometers. It connects the South Road Properties reclamation area in southern Cebu City and the municipality of Cordova in Mactan Island.

The architectural design of CCLEX has been constructed with great attention to strength and resilience, making it highly resistant to earthquakes.

Take a moment to appreciate the stunning view and ensure your safety while driving across this splendid bridge!

Your Complete Cebu Travel Guide

Cebu City is the perfect place to be your jump-off point to other tourist destinations in Cebu and the Philippines in general. If you are still planning for your trip to Cebu, check out our range of travel guides to help you out:

Got questions about your trip to Cebu? Drop them in the comments. We’ll get back to you ASAP!

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Cebu Insider Team
Cebu Insider Team

Cebu Insider aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date Philippine travel guides to digital nomads, expats, full-time travelers, and remote workers.

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