Eric and I visited Cebu at the end of January, mainly for a change of scenery. The island of Cebu has beautiful beaches and geography, but this trip for us was more leisure than adventure: hanging out in our Air BnB, taking strolls in the neighborhood, eating all the Mexican/American food we could find, and just taking a break from Korea.
….On the other hand, I love exploring cities and couldn’t pass up a chance to learn more about the interesting history of Cebu City. We visited all of these sites in less than one day, with hours to spare, and most of them were free or incredibly inexpensive. I included suggestions for more sites to see or things to do, which we didn’t get to see but can easily be added to this one-day itinerary if you start in the morning instead of the afternoon like we did.
We were staying near Cebu IT Park, so we used the GrabCab app to get a taxi to take us closer to our first attraction. From there, we walked everywhere until we went to the mall and then back to the IT Park. Click the links for more info about each place.
First stop: Fort San Pedro, the oldest military fort.
Across the street from the fort is Magellan’s Cross, where the explorer ordered the Spanish and Portuguese with him to plant the cross and begin the spread of Christianity in the Philippines.
A few yards away from the cross: Basilica del Santo Nino, the first church in the nation.
A couple of blocks away from the church is Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
A few blocks from that is the Heritage of Cebu Monument, which displays important events in Cebu’s history.
Grab a taxi (or a jeepney if you feel adventurous) and head over to Colon Street, named after Christopher Columbus and full of colorful markets and hustle & bustle.
Visit one of the city’s many malls–we went to SM City Cebu Mall.
Head back to Cebu IT Park and sample the many restaurants there. Our favorite? Mooon Café! I don’t know how or why Spanish history on an Asian island leads to Mexican and Tex-Mex food, but good cheap Mexican food is so hard to find in Korea so I didn’t ask any questions. We hadn’t had a real taco in almost a year, so we pigged out like we might never see another taco again (and we might not). Best tacos I’ve ever had!
Before heading to the airport, take a pit stop at Lapu-Lapu Shrine on Mactan Island, which honors the native leader of the island who defeated Magellan
BONUS: We visited just DAYS after the infamous Sinulog Festival, which is a bit like Mardi Gras and Lunar New Year, but Filipino style. Cebu is the hub of all these events and we were so sad that we missed it! We could still see remnants and traces of the events. Visit at the right time of the year to experience this cultural event!
Check out my YouTube to see some of the sites we saw in Cebu City!