Coming to Cebu? First timer? Heed the call, come here, and explore the city with this Penfires recommended Cebu City Tour version 2018.
Metro Cebu is huge! Thus, there are lots of choices out there for a city tour including a historical walking tour, full mountain tour, mountain plus a side trip to Mactan Island and Cordova, the old favorite route Cebu City day tour, and more.
In this post, I’ll be sharing the city tour that me and family recently enjoyed but I’ll tweak it a bit for it to become more tourist-friendly.
These are the popular spots these days, or as some will say, must see places. Most of these can be visited DIY style but for tourists on limited time, I strongly suggest that you get a van. You’ll cover more places that way, plus it is less hassle compared to transferring from one jeepney to another.
First Stop: If you are billeted in a hotel in Colon / Fuente / Mango / Lahug area, I suggest that you go to Sirao first. Sirao is an upland district in Busay, Cebu City. It’s the famous flower place. There are a few flower farm choices up there but the most famous I think is the original Sirao Flower Garden. Entrance fee is P50 per pax.
*If you are coming from a hotel or resort in Mactan Island, Lapu – Lapu City, I suggest that you drop-by the Lapu – Lapu Monument in Punta Engano first. You’ll see the statue of Datu Lapu – Lapu there, before making it to the mountain area of Cebu City.
Second Stop: Our second stop was Terrazas de Flores. Unfortunately, I don’t recommend this because I think this place is best enjoyed if you will stay there for a couple of hours at least to eat and just relax. Terrazas entrance fee is P100 per person. If you can only afford 30 minutes or so in this place, I’d suggest skip this spot.
My recommendation for second stop is Temple of Leah. Yep, the famous building dedicated to the grandmother of Ellen Adarna. Their family is one of Cebu’s old rich families. This tourist spots offers a great overlooking view of Cebu City.
Third Stop: Our third stop was Mountain View, where we took our lunch. If you have packed a lunch, the Mountain View top level is a great place to take lunch, no corkage fee. There are tables there with an overlooking view. Mountain View entrance fee is P50 per person.
Alternative 3rd stop: Suppose you and your group are not hungry yet. After Temple of Leah, you can go to The Top. More people refers to this Cebu popular tourist spot as Tops. Entrance fee is P100 per person. You can also have lunch here if you brought food, no corkage fee. Overlooking view.
*You can also do Top first, then Temple of Leah.
The Top pictures above are from The Travelling Feet as well as the pics from the yacht club. 🙂
Now, if you did not pack a lunch, I would suggest you have lunch in either “Top of Cebu” restaurant, “Mr. A in Busay” or in “Lantaw Restaurant Busay”. These three choices offer amazing overlooking view too. However, prepare ample budget for this, since the food prices in these restos are not very friendly for budget-travelers.
Fourth Stop: Taoist Temple, free entrance.
Fifth Stop: Sto Nino Church and the Magellan’s Cross. For those who will visit Cebu for the first time and are Catholics, the Basilica Minore Del Sto Nino and the Magellan’s Cross are a must visit tourist spots. And I wholeheartedly agree. No entrance fee.
Sixth Stop: Make your way to Mactan Island in Lapu Lapu City, cross the bridge! These are your choices, best to choose 1 site only due to time constraint plus these spots are a bit far from each other.
5.1 Go to Punta Engano and see Datu Lapu – Lapu and the Magellan’s Monument. Great sunset view not present here, but if you want more of history this is the place to go to in Mactan.
*I don’t recommend the sutukil restaurant places nearby the monument, the charges per seafood paluto in most restaurants in this area are exorbitant! Dollar $$$. Lol.
5.2 If you love Sunset, I recommend you catch it at either of these two sites:
A. Go to Lantaw Restaurant in Cordova, prepare to wait a loooong queue if you did not make any reservation ahead. Nearby this resto is the 10,000 Roses and Café complex.
B. Go to the Cebu Yacht Club, and take a light snack, coffee, or meal in the second level / rooftop of Clove restaurant. This resto has the best vantage view for sunset watching in the area.
Cebu Yacht Club is walking distance to Island Central Mall. There are also several restaurants in the yacht club complex including Bucket Shrimps and Vue Dine and Drink.
We had snacks in the airconditioned room on the first floor of Clove, then when it was near dusk, we climbed to the rooftop to wait for sunset. 🙂
Island Central Mall (adjacent to Marina Mall) is home to good restos like Gerry’s Grill, as well as cake and coffee shops like Dove St and La Marea, as well as fast food choices like Jollibee and McDonalds, etc. *There is a Bohol Bee Farm ice cream kiosk inside Central Mall!!! Don’t miss it if you are nearby.
Across the road to Cental Mall is Marina Mall which offers Zubuchon, Mang Inasal, Korean restaurants, La Tegola, etc.
How much does it cost to get a tourist van for the Cebu City Tour? It depends on the tour outfit that you will approach. But to give you an idea ours was P4,000 because it includes a visit to Lantaw Cordova. But if no Lantaw, the private tour would have been only P3,500.
We followed this day tour: Sirao Flower Farm > Terrazas de Flores > Mountain View (lunch) > Temple of Leah > Lantaw Cordova.
2018 CEBU CITY TOUR RECOMMENDATION
To sum up, this would be Penfires Cebu City Day tour recommended for first timers:
- Sirao Flower Farm > Temple of Leah > Taoist Temple > Sto Nino Church and Magellan’s > Lantaw Cordova.
Now, if you want more of nature, go for the Cebu Mountain Tour which normally includes these places: West 35 Eco Mountain Resort, JVR island in the Sky (hanging bridge with mountain backdrop), Buwakan ni Alejandra (pictorials pictorials!), Adventure Café (zip line), Sirao Flower Farm, Temple of Leah. Some tour guide /van driver will throw in a visit to Taoist Temple to wrap up the tour.
Most tour operators priced the Cebu Mountain Tour anywhere from P4.5K to P6K. This is a bit expensive than the earlier tour mentioned because this tour takes you all the way to Balamban area, far, far from the city proper.
There are lots of private tour operators in Cebu, try to request for quotes from several tour agencies / van for hire before you finalize your selection. Or you can also be a tour joiner, there are group tours being organize by agencies too!
Just in case you are thinking of exploring more of Cebu, I suggest the South Cebu Tour.
Lastly, I hope you enjoy the tour and leave Cebu with good memories and full tummies! Enjoy Cebu this 2018 or beyond!