Cebu City has so much to offer for tourists in terms of Filipino-Spanish heritage sites, famous churches, museums and popular festivals. A few of the gated communities located on the mountainsides also offer great views of the city. Here are some of the popular attractions in Cebu City that you should not miss.
Basilica Del Sto. Niño
Built in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the Basilica Del Sto. Niño is the oldest church in the Philippines. This church houses the most famous statue of the child Jesus called Santo Niño. The church’s beautiful antique chandeliers, painted ceilings, gilded statues of saints inspire awe among visitors.
Just steps away from the Basilica Del Sto. Niño is Magellan’s Cross. Explorer Ferdinand Magellan brought the cross to the islands when he arrived on March 31, 1521. An outer shell now houses the actual cross which now stands in a chapel/monument fronting Cebu City Hall. Magellan’s Cross is one of the top tourist attractions in the city because of its great historical significance.
Known as the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street is also the center of commerce and tourism of Cebu City. Because of its history, this street never fails to fascinate its visitors. Its old stores and new shops sell much cheaper prices compared to that of their competitors in the malls.
Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod
The Chapel of Pedro Calungsod boasts of 100 walls of varying heights, making it look like a giant concrete puzzle. Consequently, it is considered the most modern church in Cebu City. The unique walls face one direction so it would look completely opaque on one side and totally transparent on the other. It’s definitely a sacred place of prayer and meditation and one not to miss.
The Cebu Taoist Temple sits on Beverly Hills Subdivision in Lahug, Cebu’s millionaires’ quarter. It’s about six kilometers from the city center and is three hundred feet above sea level. This towering temple is the center of worship of Taoism and is open for worshipers and non-worshipers alike. You’ll also enjoy the scenic view of downtown from the balcony.
Yap-San Diego Ancestral House
The Yap-Sandiego house is located on Mabini St. Cebu, a few meters away from Colon Street. The 300-year-old house is made of wood and coral stones. Inside, you will see antiques passed from the family’s eight generations. It’s one of Cebu’s best-kept secrets.
The Sinulog Festival is the most awaited street parade festival in Cebu City in honor of the Santo Niño. Every third Sunday of January participants with their colorful costumes dance to the beat of drums and trumpets. You can also see a number of famous actors and actresses on board the floats. Tourists are advised to book in advance as hotels and pension houses may be jam packed for the event.
Heritage of Cebu Monument
This historic monument is located at the original Plaza Parian in Cebu City. A gigantic tableau of sculptures made up of metals and concrete showcases the history of Cebu from the time of Ferdinand Magellan to the recent beatification of Cebuano martyr Pedro Calungsod.