Cebu may be popular among travelers to be the capital of the world’s best Lechon (roasted pork), or to be the host of the globally famous Sinulog Festival. But beyond eating some of the most mouth-watering dishes in your life and partying in the streets with festive music and warm hospitality from strangers, Cebu has a lot of hidden gems that you shouldn’t miss out on. Of course, these two should still be on your bucket list – but it wouldn’t hurt to add more!
1. Temple of Leah
Located on Cebu Transcentral Highway, Temple of Leah is a newly opened attraction in Cebu. This attraction is a monument of love made for the owner’s wife named Leah – and you feel the love indeed. For only PHP 50 (1 USD), you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported through time and through continents, as the Temple of Leah enchants you with its Greek-inspired landscape design.
Temple of Leah
Address: Cebu Transcentral Hwy, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Price: from 1 USD
Opening Hours: 6am - 11pm
Website: Temple of Leah
2. Eat Lechon at Zubuchon
There are many stores you can get the famous Cebu Lechon from, but none quite like Zubuchon. Dubbed by world-acclaimed chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain as the “best pig ever,” Zubuchon’s Lechon is simply a treat for the senses that you shouldn’t miss out on. Aside from Cebu Lechon, Zubuchon also offers many dishes that will surely leave you wanting for more. Try out their Slow-Cooked Adobo (pork marinated in vinegar and soy sauce), their Zubuchon Sisig (chopped pork parts served on a sizzling plate with calamansi, soy sauce and chilli), and their Tokwa’t Lechon (tofu and roasted pork). Entrees here start at PHP 130 (2.60 USD).
Address: Escario Central, N. Escario St. Cebu City
Price: from 2.60 USD
Opening Hours: 10am - 11pm everyday
3. Siomai sa Tisa (Siomai at Tisa)
Located in Barangay Tisa, Siomai Sa Tisa is an unassuming stall that serves what many call the best siomai in Cebu. Siomai is the Filipino version of steamed Chinese dumplings filled with ground pork. At a rate of PHP 7 (0.14 USD) per piece of siomai, you get a pretty sweet deal considering that this is the best in the region. Be warned though, Siomai sa Tisa is not a restaurant and is only a humble street food stall, so this is only recommended if you’re on the hunt for a good afternoon snack!
Siomai sa Tisa
Address: Katipunan Street, Barangay Tisa, Cebu City
Price: from 0.14 USD
Opening Hours: None mentioned
4. Museo Sugbo
Found along M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Museo Sugbo is a museum showcasing a gallery of standing strong since the Spanish and American eras, so this is perfect for history buffs and art aficionados alike. What’s interesting about Museo Sugbo though is that this isn’t any kind of museum – it was actually a provincial jail of Cebu before becoming what it is today. Entrance rates here come very cheap: PHP 30 (0.60 USD) for Filipinos and PHP 75 (1.50 USD) for foreign tourists.
Address: M. J. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
Price: from 0.60 USD - 1.50 USD
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on Sundays.
5. Taoist Temple
While many don’t really know what to expect when in Cebu – after all, Cebu is a blend of many pleasant surprises for travelers – you might be surprised to find that Cebu’s residents not only accept people from all walks of life but celebrate this diversity too. You can find evidence of this at the Taoist Temple. Located in Dona Modesta Singson Gaisano, the Taoist Temple lets you unwind for an afternoon while enjoying the intricate architectural designs of the temple and understanding Taoist religion. The entrance to the temple is also a replica of the great wall of China, and you can enjoy all of this at no cost!
Address: Dona Modesta Singson Gaisano, Cebu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines
Price: Free of charge
Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm
6. Python Massage
Yes, it’s as adventurous as it sounds – and it’s definitely for the brave of heart. Python Massage is located in Capitol Hills, Cebu City, and is probably the only place where you can actually get massaged by 5 pythons for free. This attraction is part of the greater Cebu City Zoo, which is filled with more sites for animal-lovers and adventure-seekers. For the zoo itself, the entrance fee is at PHP 25 (0.50 USD) for adults and PHP 20 (0.40 USD) for children, but the python massage is free.
Python Massage at Cebu City Zoo
Address: Cebu City Zoo, Capitol Hills, Cebu City
Price: from 0.40 USD
Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm
Website: Cebu City Zoo
7. JVR Island in the Sky Resort
Also known as Little Baguio, JVR Island in the Sky Resort is a perfect way to spend the day if you’re a little bit of both fun-loving and thrill-seeking. Located along Transcentral Highway, JVR Island in the Sky Resort offers its guests many amenities beyond just a swimming pool and a place to hang out: for only PHP 150 (3.00 USD), you can ride a cable car to enjoy breath-taking views from the sky, or even try out their zip line facilities! Entrance fee starts at PHP 50 (1.00 USD) for adults and PHP 25 (0.50 USD) for children below the age of 10.
JVR Island in the Sky Resort
Address: Transcentral highway, Gaas Balamban, Cebu City
Price: from 0.50 USD
Opening Hours: none mentioned
Website: JVR Island in the Sky Resort
8. Swim with or watch the butanding
The “Butanding” is what many call the Whale Shark in English. These gentle, friendly creatures can really put on a great show, and so for affordable rates, you can watch them up close and personal – or even swim with them! If you want to watch from a boat, rates start at PHP 600 (12.00 USD), and if you want to swim with the sharks, rates start at PHP 1000 (20.00 USD). That’s not all though: if you’re a serious marine life lover and want to explore the deep blue ocean while swimming with the sharks for a bucket list-worthy adventure, you can do so for only PHP 1500 (30.00 USD)!
Swim with or watch the butanding
Address: Natalio Bacalso, Tan-awan Oslob, Cebu
Price: from 12.00 USD
Opening Hours: 6am-12:30pm
Website: Oslob Whale Sharks
9. Adventure Cafe
Who says cafés are only for sitting around, eating and sipping coffee? Luckily, someone had the bright idea to merge outdoorsy, active fun with the comfortable ambience of a café – and the blend brought about Adventure Café, the first restaurant adventure café in Cebu. Here, aside from munching on some grub or drinking coffee, you can ride on the zip line and do some wall-climbing! Rates here for either riding the zip line or wall-climbing start at PHP 150 (3.00 USD) on weekends and PHP 100 (2.00 USD) on weekdays.
Address: Cebu Transcentral Hwy, Balamban, 6041 Cebu
Price: from 2.00 USD
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm. Sat-Sun, 8am-6pm.
Website: Adventure Cafe Cebu
10. Tumalog Falls
Looking for a place to let off some steam? If you’re charmed by nature’s wonders, you’ll surely be charmed by Tumalog Falls. Located along Cebu South Road in Oslob, Tumalog Falls is a horsetail waterfall that remains in contact with the rocks, with water running in a deep blue color because of the limestone concentration found in the area. Aside from being a real beauty to look at, Tumalog Falls is also a great place to swim – and an affordable one at that too, with a PHP 20 (0.40 USD) entrance fee.
Address: Cebu South Rd, Oslob, Cebu, Philippines
Price: from 0.40 USD
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Transform your Cebu itinerary
With these activities, you wouldn’t miss out on all the fun Cebu has to offer – you might even have to plan for a second trip just to come back and experience it again! Of course, Cebu has more hidden gems than the ones mentioned here, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the many options to choose from, you can start with these 10. Who knows, maybe you’ll stumble upon more adventures!
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