Cebu Itinerary Guide: Best Places to Go & Must-Try Activities

Cebu Itinerary Guide: Best Places to Go & Must-Try Activities
cebu tourist spots
Spread the love ❤️

Cebu is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines because it has a lot of beautiful places to see. And when we say a lot, we mean A LOT. That’s why planning a Cebu itinerary can be quite a challenge.

From the pristine beaches and breathtaking mountains to religious sites and Instagrammable flower gardens, it’s hard to pick where to go first. 

Sample Cebu itinerary 5 days

stunning cliff diving site at camotes island

Prepare a weeklong leave if you want to explore the best of Cebu from north to south, because you’ll need at least five (5) days to spend in Cebu. Here’s a sample itinerary.

Day 1 – City tour

  • 7am – Leave the hotel
  • 8am – Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, Simala Shrine
  • 1pm – Lunch
  • 2pm – Sirao Flower Garden, Temple of Leah, Cebu Taoist Temple
  • 5pm – Back to hotel

Day 2 – North Cebu (Bantayan Island tour)

  • 6am – Leave hotel for Bantayan Island
  • 10am – Arrival at Hagnaya Port
  • 11am – Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Port
  • 12pm – Lunch
  • 1pm – Island hopping in Bantayan Island
  • 5pm – Back to hotel

Day 3 – North Cebu (Malapascua Island tour)

  • 5am – Leave hotel for Malapascua Island
  • 6am – Santa Fe Port to Hagnaya Port
  • 10am – Arrival at Hagnaya Port; Lunch
  • 12pm – Hagnaya Port to Maya Port
  • 2pm – Arrival at Malapascua Island
  • 3pm – Island Hopping
  • 6pm – Back to hotel

Day 4 – South Cebu (Moalboal)

  • 5am – Leave hotel 
  • 9am – Arrival at Hagnaya Port
  • 11am – Lunch
  • 2pm – Arrival at Moalboal
  • 3pm – Swim with millions of sardines
  • 6pm – Back to hotel

Day 5 – South Cebu (Oslob + Kawasan Falls)

  • 5am – Leave hotel
  • 6am – Whale Shark watching at Oslob
  • 9am – Depart for Kawasan Falls
  • 11am – Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls
  • 4pm – Back to hotel

Read this Cebu travel blog to guide you on planning your Cebu tourist spots itinerary as we round up some of the most stunning places to visit.

Day 1 – Cebu City Tour

Exploring the city proper can take you more than a day but as long as you have a well-planned Cebu City tour itinerary, you can tick off the best of the city in one day.

Visit Magellan’s Cross

facade of magellan's cross

Within walking distance from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, you can find the famous Magellan’s Cross. While Filipinos consider Ferdinand Magellan a villain in Philippine history, this landmark is considered as one of the most important historical markers in Cebu. That’s because it was established upon Magellan’s order to mark his arrival in the country. This also serves as a reminder of the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.

Entrance fee: Free 

Explore Cebu Taoist Temple

facade of cebu taoist temple

Another addition to your Cebu tourist spots itinerary is the Cebu Taoist Temple. The temple was built to preserve the teachings of a Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tse. While it wasn’t built for tourism purposes, it became one of the most famous Cebu tourist spots because of its beautiful architecture. Visitors will get an overlooking view of the city from a balcony. The temple’s entrance even looks like the Great Wall of China. 

Entrance fee: Free 

Reflect at Simala Shrine

facade of simala shrine

Simala Church is a prestigious castle-like structure that is frequented by tourists. Home to the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, people from all over the world visit this pristine church to witness traditions and religious gatherings.

Entrance fee: Free 

Take lots of photos at Sirao Flower Garden

tourists at sirao flower garden

Your Cebu City tour itinerary isn’t complete without the famous Sirao Flower Garden. You can find different kinds of flowers on the farm like Celosia. There’s an entrance fee of PHP 50 per person. Although the flowers are worth checking out, be prepared as the place can get crowded due to flocking tourists who wish to have a good photo at the farm, too. 

Entrance fee: PHP 50/person

Check out the P80M temple made out of love

facade of temple of leah in cebu

Dubbed as Cebu’s version of India’s Taj Mahal, the Temple of Leah has been attracting foreign and local tourists for its Greek-inspired architectural shrine. Unlike India’s Taj Mahal, the Temple of Leah is not a mausoleum but serves as home to the treasures and memorabilia of the late Leah Albino-Adarna, the grandmother of Filipina actress Ellen Adarna. Her husband, Teodorico Soriano Adarna, reportedly spent 80 million pesos to put up this temple as a symbol of his undying love for her. While there, you can also enjoy a scenic view of Cebu from the top as it is located on top of a hill in Busay. You shouldn’t miss this in your Cebu itinerary.

Entrance fee: PHP 50/person

Travel back in time at Fort San Pedro

facade of fort san pedro

Fort San Pedro is one of the most visited tourist spots in Cebu City. Similar to Manila’s Fort Santiago, it served as a military defense structure during the 17th century. Spanish conqueror Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who founded the earliest settlement in Cebu, had the initiative to put up this. At Fort San Pedro, you’ll discover the history of Cebu, the Spanish government, and well-preserved Spanish artifacts. About 14 cannons can still be found in what has become a leisure park today. 

Entrance fee: PHP 30/person


Day 2 – North Cebu

If you’re only looking for a chill retreat in Cebu, Bantayan Island in the northern part is enough to relax you and take away all your stress. A Cebu itinerary 3 days is perfect for this trip.

Be captivated by the surreal beauty of Bantayan Island

empty beach of bantayan island

One of the most beautiful and must-visit North Cebu tourist spots is Bantayan Island. It is a place where you can find calmness and serenity in spite of the numerous tourists who travel there every day. Once you step out of your boat and walk to Bantayan’s fine white sand, you’ll be welcomed by fresh air and crashing waves of its clear blue waters that become a perfect harmony letting you hear the sound of nature. 

From the Virgin Island to Kota Beach, you will be amazed at how pristine these beaches are! And if you’re into seafood, this place is perfect because you can indulge yourself in an eat-all-you-can seafood for as low as P250 per person! 

Some of the best places to visit in Bantayan Island are Virgin Island, Kota Beach, Pradise Beach, and Ogtong Cave.

Budget for tour: PHP 1000/person


Day 3 – North Cebu 

Your North Cebu itinerary won’t be complete without visiting Malapascua Island.

Go island-hopping at Malapascua Island

While the island’s name means “Bad Easter,” this place is far from giving you a bad experience. Malapascua is a great destination for both divers and non-divers. You won’t get disappointed upon seeing its unspoiled white sand beaches, beautiful coral gardens, and rich marine life. That’s why it has caught the attention of travelers across the world and eventually gained the title of being one of the Philippines’ best diving spots. Plus, Malapascua Island is one of the few places in the world where you can see the elusive thresher sharks regularly!

Some of the must-visit places in Malapascua Island are Monad Shoal, Logon Beach, Guimbitayan Beach, Langub Beach, Gato Island, and Bugtong Bato.

Budget for tour: PHP 1000/person


Day 4 – South Cebu 

Your South Cebu itinerary must include Moalboal if you want to witness an incredible sardine run. 

Watch an incredible sardine run at Moalboal

a woman diving with sardine run in moalboal

Just around 2-3 hours south of Cebu City, Moalboal is a favorite destination of water lovers, specifically scuba and free divers. This small coastal town is best known for its amazing sardine run, wherein millions of sardines form bait balls. What makes this spectacle magical is that the sardines don’t leave the shallows of Panagsama Beach.

You can see them year-round, whether you’re diving deep or just snorkeling. A lot of sea turtles can also be spotted in the area.

Budget for tour: PHP 500 – PHP 1500/person

Swim up close with the whale sharks 

aerial view of whale sharks in oslob

If you want to make the most of your Cebu itinerary, make sure to visit Oslob. We’re pretty sure that you’ve already heard about it because of the famous whale sharks that you can watch up close or swim with them!

Budget for tour: PHP 1000 – PHP 2000/person

Go canyoneering at Kawasan Falls

a man standing in front of kawasan falls

Another place you must not miss in your Cebu itinerary is the Kawasan Falls. It is a three-stage cascade of clear turquoise water from mountain springs of Mantalongon mountain range. Aside from its natural beauty, Kawasan Falls has also become famous because one of the most popular activities in Cebu is done here—Canyoneering.

The canyoneering adventure starts at Canlaob river downstream going to Kawasan Falls. There are local accredited guides who accompany all tourists and facilitate activities such as walking, jumping, swimming, climbing and abseiling through the streams.

Budget for tour: PHP 2000 – PHP 4000/person

Check out Aguinid Falls

stunning aguinid falls

While it is not as famous as Kawasan Falls, Aguinid Falls is equally captivating and definitely IG-worthy! This 8-level waterfall continues to draw attention to travelers thanks to its stunning waters and relaxing ambiance. 

If you don’t have a week to spare in Cebu, here’s are other sample itineraries with the best places to visit:

Cebu itinerary 4 days

Must-visit places: 10,000 roses, The Pyramid, Sirao Flower Garden, Temple of Leah, and Oslob, and Moalboal.

Cebu itinerary 3 days 2 nights

Must-visit places: Sirao Flower Garden, Temple of Leah, The Pyramid, and Bantayan Island.

Cebu itinerary 2 days

Must-visit places: 10,000 roses, Sirao Flower Garden, Temple of Leah,Simala Shrine, Magellan’s Cross, and Cebu Taoist Temple.

Where to stay in Cebu

When looking for places to stay in Cebu, don’t worry! You’ve got plenty of choices. We’ve rounded up some of the best budget hotels in Cebu that offer quality accommodations at a very affordable price.

  1. ZEN Rooms Alicia Tower Cebu
    Price range: PHP 714 – PHP 800 per night
  2. ZEN Premium Banilad
    Price range: PHP 1300 per night
  3. ZEN Rooms S Hotel & Residences Cebu
    Price range: PHP 1000 per night
  4. ZEN Rooms Hamersons Cebu
    Price range: PHP 1400 per night

With so many divine places in Cebu, it’s no doubt that travelers include Cebu in their bucket list. It’s not called Queen City of the South for nothing!

Frequently Asked Questions About Cebu Itinerary

Q: How many days do you need in Cebu?

A: If you want to explore all parts of Cebu from north to south, you’ll need at least five (5) days to spend in Cebu.

Q: Where can I go in Cebu for 3 days?

A: Frankly speaking, you can’t explore the whole Cebu in three days but here are some of the best spots you can visit for a 3-day trip in Cebu:

  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Simala Shrine
  • Sirao Flower Garden
  • Temple of Leah
  • Neri’s Ville Selfie Corner
  • Bantayan Island
  • Oslob

Q: How much should I budget for a trip to Cebu?

A: It depends on your prefered Cebu trip. But the average budget for a trip to Cebu is around PHP 10,000.

Q: What are the beautiful spots in Cebu?

A: Cebu is a huge province and each part of Cebu has its own unique beauty. Here are some of the most beautiful spots in Cebu:

Cebu City

  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Cebu Taoist Temple
  • Simala Shrine
  • Sirao Flower Garden
  • Temple of Leah
  • Fort San Pedro
  • Neri’s Ville Selfie Corner
  • The Pyramid

North Cebu

  • Malapascua Island
  • Bantayan Island
  • Camotes Island

South Cebu

  • Moalboal
  • Oslob
  • Kawasan Falls
  • Aguinid Falls

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Leave a comment