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Asia > Southeast Asia > Philippines > Visayas > Cebu Province > Metro Cebu > Cebu (city)

Cebu

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Cebu is the main city on Cebu Island in the Philippines and is known as the Queen City of the South. It is the capital of Cebu Province, a transport hub, and a popular tourist destination in its own right.

Cebu is part of the country's second largest large urban area, Metro Cebu, whose other main components are the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu. This is a booming metropolitan area with all the conveniences of a modern city, as well as many of the problems of squalor, traffic, noise and pollution. Cebu City is clearly the center of the urban region, though the other towns are far from insignificant.

The area has excellent transport links and is the main hub for travel in the central and southern Philippines either by sea or by air. Cebu City has the busiest seaport in the Philippines. Lapu-Lapu has the Mactan-Cebu International Airport with direct international flights and many domestic flghts. It is far cleaner and more traveller-friendly than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila.

Understand[edit]

The term "Cebu" is somewhat ambiguous; it can refer to the city itself (the commonest usage), to the whole Metro Cebu urban area, to Cebu Island or to Cebu Province which includes Cebu Island and a few nearby smaller islands.

The Colon district near the port is the oldest part of Cebu; it was the first Spanish city in the country and has tourist sites from that era, listed under #See. It also has much of the low-cost accommodation and a lot of department stores or small malls which, while not as large and/or upscale as those in other areas, are often more affordable.

Osmeña Boulevard is one of the city's main streets, running approximately north from Colon district out to the provincial capitol. About halfway along is Fuente Osmena or Osmena Circle.

Mango Avenue, officially General Maxilom Avenue, runs east from Osmena Circle. During the day it is a busy area full of shopping centers, restaurants and some hotels. In the evenings, it becomes a major nightlife area with many bars and clubs, including most of Cebu's "girlie" bars.

Get in[edit]

Cebu City Harbor

By plane[edit]

  • MyBus travels from SM City to Mactan Airport. Buses depart from 06:00-21:00 at 15-min intervals) and cost ₱25 per person. All the MyBus vehicles have air-conditioning and CCTV.
  • Sugbo Airport buses run from the Cebu airport to the south bus terminal via both Robinsons malls. The fares are ₱25-40. The buses start at 05:00 and go every 30 min. the Sugbo airport buses have free wifi. (Aug 2018).
  • Taxis are also readily available for ₱300-450.

For either the bus or taxi, 45 minutes is a typical time. However, either can sometimes be a bit faster or much slower depending on traffic conditions.

By ferry[edit]

Cebu City's domestic port is the country's busiest and is home to almost 80 percent of the country's passenger vessels.

If planning a trip, consider buying a Sun Star newspaper for ₱8; it has a shipping guide with information on passenger shipping schedules, updated daily.

The shipping lines that depart from Cebu city are.

Fast ferries[edit]

Large passenger ferries with a capacity of 400 or more passengers ply the routes such as to Manila, Iloilo, Butuan, Tagbilaran, Maasin, Ozamiz, Iligan, Dipolog, Surigao, Dumaguete, Masbate, Calbayog, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro.

Medium-sized vessels such as the roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) types go to nearer destinations: Ormoc, Baybay, Hilongos, Naval, Palompon, Tubigon, Tailbon, Getafe, Catbalogan, Larena Siquijor, and Plardel.

For destinations, such as Camotes, Ormoc, Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor fast hydrofoil ferries are available from companies such as Oceanjet, 2GO Super Cat, and Weesam Express. Travel time is about half that of a RoRo and the comfort level higher, but prices are at least double.

Local ferries, such as one to Lapu-Lapu, are also available. That ferry costs ₱16, departs every 20 minutes from Pier 3, and takes 20 minutes.

The passenger port is in Cebu City, near downtown. The parts of the port that handle containers and other freight extend for a long way north of that, reaching into Mandaue.

By bus[edit]

Buses go to and from most nearby cities, mainly along the north-south coastal highway. For more distant places — such as Dumaguete, Bacolod or even Manila — there are buses that ride ferries for parts of their routes.

There are two major bus terminals, the north bus terminal in Mandaue and south bus terminal in Cebu City. Ceres Bus lines operates regular bus services from these terminals and are considered the "safer" alternative to the smaller privately operated bus lines.

  • 1 Cebu South Bus Terminal, Natalio Bacalso Avenue,.

Get around[edit]

See the Metro Cebu article for a more general discussion of getting around in the large urban conglomerate of which Cebu City forms a part.

By jeepney[edit]

Jeepney in Cebu City

Do as the locals do and catch a colorful jeepney. Ask around for which route to take, or read the signs on the sides of the vehicles showing their routes. They are available 24 hours and cover most of the nooks and crannies of the city. Costs start at ₱7 and increase for longer distances. Beware of pickpockets and other theft, this is common and even locals fall victim.

By bus[edit]

Small buses — vans that seat about a dozen passengers — run between all the main towns in Metro Cebu, and are often the best way of getting between those towns, more comfortable than jeepneys and cheaper than taxis. Their terminals are generally next to major malls; for example a van goes from Ayala Mall in Cebu to Gaisano Mall in Lapu-Lapu for ₱35.

MyBus air-con buses have five routes around Metro Cebu, fares from ₱25.

  • Route 1. SM Seaside, SM City, North bus terminal, Park mall.
  • Route 2 SM Seaside, Talisay.
  • Route 3 SM City, Park mall, Mactan Airport.
  • Route 4 Park mall, North bus terminal, SM City, Talisay.
  • Route 5 BDO bank Fuente going to SM Seaside.

Robinson's stores run a free shuttle bus to/from Robinsons Fuente & Robinson's Cybergate going to Robinsons Calleria every 30 min.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are omnipresent in Cebu City. But there's a decent chance you'll be overcharged by a taxi driver at some point during your trip to Cebu. This should be considered a cost of visiting Cebu (or anywhere in the Philippines). You can (and should) report improper taxi behavior to the Department of Tourism in Cebu by phoning +63 32 254 2811.

Unless you're familiar with the city, always insist on a metered fare as a negotiated fare will almost always be much higher. If you know the city and need to go a long distance, it may be worth paying a negotiated fare so that the driver doesn't take the scenic route or you become victim of an uncalibrated meter. Late in the evenings, there could be taxis driving with an uncalibrated, inflated meter.

Most trips around the city should not cost more than ₱100. The fare from the airport to most of central Cebu should be ₱200-400 depending on whether you use the white or yellow cabs (white ones are reportedly cheaper).

If you know the name of the building, establishment, area or street you wish you reach, taxis are still the fastest way to your destination. Most drivers know where almost everything is. If the driver is pleasant, a ₱10-50 tip is warranted, especially if he loads or unloads your bags. Most drivers do not have, or will tell you they do not have change, so be ready with 50s and 20s when going on short trips.

It is best to avoid the "Private" taxis as they take advantage of tourists and charge 5-10 times the normal fare. You will find these taxis at the some of the high-class hotels. They are normally owned by the hotel to make money and may charge ₱500 for something that should cost ₱60. Some hotels make it hard for other taxis to pick you up at their premise and you may need to walk outside to save money.

Another place where private taxis are common is the airport. To avoid them, simply ask a porter for help and for a metered taxi. Downstairs at the exit for arrivals, there is a booth that will flag down a taxi for ₱70, but you can also go up the ramp and there are a lot of metered taxis waiting for you. You can also wend your way upstairs to Departures where many metered taxis are available. Fare down town to Ayala or SM Malls should be around ₱150 on the meter. You may be told "500" by the driver. Just grab the door handle and say "What, you don't have a meter?" Don't travel unless the meter is used; not using the meter is illegal, and you can report it to local officials.

Talk[edit]

The main language spoken throughout Cebu Province and in many nearby areas is Cebuano, the most important of many Visayan languages in the Philippines.

English and Tagalog are common as additional languages. Sometimes, they also speak in Bislish (Bisaya Cebuano + English) and/or Taglish (Tagalog + English) when they cannot find the appropriate word to use. Younger people speak English with a Cebuano accent, often interchanging i and e, and o and u.

The city also has some speakers of other Visayan languages such as Ilonggo and Waray, and the Chinese minority speak Hokkien, but most speakers of those languages can also speak at least one of Cebuano, English or Tagalog.

See[edit]

The city was well established as a trade center and regional capital even before the first Europeans, under Magellan, arrived in the 1520s. When the Spanish returned to colonize in 1565, Cebu became the first Spanish city in the country and (briefly) the capital. Many of today's tourist sites go back to the period of Spanish rule which lasted until the Americans took over in 1898.

Shrines and historical landmarks[edit]

  • 1 Basilica of Santo Niño (Basilica del Santo Niño (Basilica of the Holy Child)), Osmeña Boulevard, +63 32 2556697. A large and venerable church that traces its history to the founding of the convent of the Santo Niño de Cebu in 1565. It contains a statue of the Santo Niño (Holy Child) that is regarded as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines. The statue was presented by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana during the baptism of King Humabon and his wife Queen Juana on 14 April 1521. The natives of Cebu were formally Christianized by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Father Andres de Urdaneta on 27 April 1565. However, as they found the natives hostile, the village was set on fire. Later on, in a burnt-out house, a soldier named Juan Camus found the statue untouched. This was proclaimed a miracle. The statue, adorned with gold and precious stones, is in a glass case to the left of the altar. The church sees a constant stream of devotees praying at pews in the sanctuary and in front of statues of saints. The Basilica del Santo Niño Museum (open Tu-Su 08:00-11:45, 13:30-16:45) contains the vestments used to dress the Santo Niño and jewellery offered to the Santo Niño for use during his feast (#Sinolog) on the third Sunday of January. ₱10. Basilica del Santo Niño on Wikipedia Minor Basilica of the Holy Child (Q666552) on Wikidata
Magellan's Cross
  • 2 Magellan's Cross, Plaza Sugbo, off Magallanes St (between the Colegio de Santo Niño (south of the Basilica of Santo Niño) and Cebu City Hall - if you approach the Basilica from Osmeña Boulevard, walk through the courtyard of the Basilica and the Colegio to reach the Plaza). An octagonal building decorated with murals containing a large wooden cross that commemorates the Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who planted a wooden cross upon converting the original inhabitants to Christianity. A plaque states that the visible wooden cross contains the original cross, but some historians say the original cross was reduced to firewood by local inhabitants when the Magellan fleet headed elsewhere. Take time to appreciate the various candle sellers who dance around during worship and while selling the candles. Magellan's Cross on Wikipedia Magellan's Cross (Q772656) on Wikidata
  • 3 Colon St. Brave the cacophonous traffic to see the oldest street in the Philippines with some nice worn-out classical buildings dating back to the American Era. At night, this street transforms into a market with good buys everywhere. Be wary of pickpockets though. Colon Street on Wikipedia Colon Street (Q3545735) on Wikidata
  • 4 Fort San Pedro (Fuerza de San Pedro). The smallest Spanish outpost in the Philippines during the colonial era. It has a small museum showcasing the wreckage and treasures from the sunken San Diego galleon from Mexico. The area is scenic with the newly renovated and open-air Plaza Independencia at the entrance. Fort San Pedro on Wikipedia Fort San Pedro (Q1472845) on Wikidata
The Taoist Temple reflects the Chinese heritage of Cebu.
The Taoist Temple dragon
  • 5 The Chinese Taoist Temple. There are many people of Chinese ancestry in Cebu, and several Chinese temples; one is the Taoist Temple. From there you can see a nice view of the city because it is located on a hill. Cebu Taoist Temple on Wikipedia Cebu Taoist Temple (Q1869800) on Wikidata
  • 6 Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. A church built in 1565 by the first Spanish missionaries in Cebu, seat of an Archbishop who has subordinate Bishops in many cities of the Visayas. It was mostly destroyed during World War II and had been rebuilt a bit differently. Behind the church is a cemetery where several prominent churchmen including Cardinal Rosales are buried. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Wikipedia Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (Q2692999) on Wikidata

Museums[edit]

  • 7 Casa Gorordo Museum, 35 Lopez Jaena St, +63 32 2555630, fax: +63 32 2555630, e-mail: . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. A well-preserved Spanish colonial mansion constructed largely of wood, set in a pleasant, manicured garden. The lower floor has a collection of old tools, and an A/C room that has changing displays such as art exhibitions. The more interesting upstairs level was the former living quarters of the Gorordo family. It features lovely carved wooden furniture and a wide patio. The kitchen is particularly interesting, as it contains a traditional dirt stove, a wooden food safe, and a traditional dish drying rack fitted to the outside of the window. Adults: ₱70. Casa Gorordo (Q46793290) on Wikidata
  • 8 Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum (V. Gullas St. (former Manalili) and D. Jakosalem St.). A museum that pays homage to the musical heritage of Cebu. This museum is operated under the Tipiganan sa mga Handumanan sa Kanta ug Kinaiyang Sugbuanon (Treasury of Memories) Foundation. In the old building of The Freeman Newspaper. Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum on Wikipedia Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum (Q2110702) on Wikidata
  • 9 Cebu Provincial Museum (Museo Sugbo) (a short taxi ride from Fort San Pedro). The museum is housed in the former Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, which was once the Carcel de Cebu. Its four Spanish-era buildings made of coral stone contain artifacts relating to the history of Cebu. Museo Sugbo on Wikipedia Museo Sugbo (Q2110972) on Wikidata
  • 10 Rizal Memorial Museum, Osmena Blvd. 09:00-17:00. Paintings and sculptures by local artists and antiques donated by wealthy Cebuanos. ₱20.

Other sights[edit]

  • 11 Provincial Capitol. Particularly scenic at night, is by far the largest provincial capitol building anywhere in the entire archipelago. It was built during the American Era and the design is a miniature of the White House. Cebu Provincial Capitol on Wikipedia Cebu Provincial Capitol (Q5055817) on Wikidata
  • 12 Heritage of Cebu, Sikatuna St, (Eastern end of Colon St). A massive and particularly detailed monument showcasing the heritage of Cebu from the old Spanish to the American colonial era.

Do[edit]

Cockfighting
  • 1 Tops Lookout. This sits at the top of the Mt Busay and has an unobstructed view of the entire city at night. A few shops and restaurants stand along the way for a short stop. Taxi drivers may want as much as ₱1000 for a trip to Tops, so the best way to get there is by mountain bike. This is a world class climb and on any given day, Cebu's bikers are humping the 45-minute to 1-hr trek filled with switchbacks and views better than you see actually at the very top. Ask your hotel where you can rent a mountain bike. They may have to ask around a bit, but it's worth it.
  • Ride a tartanilla - Head to Cebu's old quarters in Carlock St and try riding a horse drawn carriage called a tartanilla. Remember to negotiate with the driver before taking a ride.
  • See the scenic view of Cebu City's skyline - The Marcelo Fernan Bridge or Second Mactan Bridge offers some interesting views of the city at night, and is even picturesque from below. Arrange for a taxi to take you there.
  • 2 Sky Experience Adventure (Xtreme Rides) (Adjacent Robinson's Mall in the Crown Regency Cebu), +63 32 418 7777. The tallest building in the city. Adventure seekers may head to the top floor to experience a breathtaking view of this modern city and its environs. You may also opt to join in the Xtreme Rides that puts you on the edge of the city, or you may walk around the edge of the building (don't worry, safety cables are attached) to experience this for a fee.
  • Backstreet Academy (Backstreet Academy), Capitol Site, Cebu City, Philippines., +63-9772033565, e-mail: . 09:00-18:00. An alternative tour experiences platform, they enable locals to offer authentic and unique activities to tourists such as street food tours, weaving workshops, landscape painting classes, Lechon feasts with locals and various types of Filipino Martial Art lessons with masters. A social enterprise, they work with many underprivileged people who either serve as hosts or facilitators. The facilitators will be your medium of communication with the local hosts. Transport is provided for some of the activities. US$10-25.
  • Abellana Cebu Sports Center & Public Swimming pool, 179 R R Landon Road off Osmmena Blvd, +63 32-2531091. 09:00-17:00. Full-size outdoor swimming pool 50 m by 25 m. Has ten lanes. ₱30, over 60 years old pay ₱20.

Sinulog[edit]

This festival honouring Santo Niño, the Holy Child, is held annually on the third Sunday of January. It is centered on the Basilica in Cebu City but is celebrated throughout Cebu Province and to some extent even in nearby provinces; it attracts large numbers of both tourists and pilgrims. Festivities last for about a week leading up to the Sunday climax.

There are colorful parades in many towns. Main thoroughfares around the city are blocked for an all-day and all-night loud and colourful street party. Don't forget your dancing shoes!

On one hand, Sinulog can be one of the most interesting times to visit Cebu. On the other, hotels tend to sell out, streets and restaurants are crowded, and traffic may be horribly jammed so some consider it a time to avoid.

Buy[edit]

There is quite a bit of shopping in various neighbourhoods of Cebu, especially in the old downtown Colon area and around Fuente Osmena Circle. The area around the IT Park also has some and there are many malls.

For convenience stores, sari-sari shops (usually small family businesses) are ubiquitous here as they are anywhere in the country, and there are several chains as well, including 7-Eleven and Mini-Stop.

Ayala terraces
Mangos in Carbon market
  • 1 Ayala Mall. Has several department stores, two supermarkets (Robinsons & Metro) and a movie theater, and it offers lots of restaurants and hundreds of stores. The terraces have a central park-like area and several floors of shopping, mostly restaurants, on either side.

    The mall is in the Cebu Business Park which also has many offices including the Cathay Pacific office, several foreign banks and some consulates, a lot of high-end apartment buildings, and the Seda (formerly Marriott) hotel. Ayala Center Cebu on Wikipedia Ayala Center Cebu (Q4830868) on Wikidata

  • 2 SM Seaside. A huge mall (470,000 m2 or over 5 million ft2 of leasable area) with a large department store, 18-lane bowling center, movie theaters, Olympic-size ice skating rink, and 447 shops and restaurants. Has a large Savemore supermarket. SM Seaside City Cebu on Wikipedia SM Seaside City Cebu (Q7391504) on Wikidata
  • 3 SM City Cebu. Another SM mall, not as large as Seaside, to the northeast of downtown. Has a large Savemore supermarket SM City Cebu on Wikipedia SM City Cebu (Q3198873) on Wikidata
  • 4 Robinson Mall Fuente, B Rodriguez Street (right on the circle), +63-32-2555590. 20:00-20:30. A bakery on the ground level is popular for coffee. The mall has a very good food court, and the Cebu Pacific airlines main ticket office. Has a large Robinson's supermarket.
  • 5 Elizabeth Mall, Natalio B Bacalso Avenue. 09:00-20:00. Has a SM Savemore supermarket, travel agents, cellphone shops, and lots of places to eat.
  • 6 Carbon Market. The largest farmers' market in the city, both a shopping area and a tourist attraction Carbon Market on Wikipedia Carbon Market (Q5037917) on Wikidata

A lot of the locals shop mainly along Colon Street which has several department stores which are generally cheaper than those in major malls, plus a lot of smaller shops.

Banks, ATMs & foreign exchange[edit]

Most ATMs in the Philippines accept foreign ATM cards and a few will issue cash advances against foreign credit cards. In nearly all cases there is a fee (usually ₱250) for the service, only Philippine pesos can be withdrawn, and there is a limit (often ₱10,000) per transaction.

  • 7 HSBC Bank (UK), Taft Ayala bldg, Cardinal Rosales Avenue (Cebu business park near Ayala Mall). 24-hour ATMs. Has the only Mastercard and Visa card ATMs in Cebu without a fee for overseas cards. Also the only ATMs in Cebu where you can take out up to ₱40,000 per time.
  • 8 Citi Bank (USA), Ground Floor, Ayala Life-FGU Center, Mindanao Avenue corner Biliran Road (Ayala Business Park), +63 234 9999. 09:00-15:00. Has a 24-hour ATM with a max of ₱15,000 per use and a ₱250 fee.
  • 9 Alco Foreign Exchange, Shop 108 Rain Tree Mall, General Maxilom Avenue, +63 32-2552704. 08:30-17:00. Good foreign exchange rates.

Books[edit]

  • National Book Store, Locations: Ayala Center, Mango Avenue; and SM City Cebu, e-mail: . Bookshop chain with local and foreign books, academic texts and stationery.
  • Book Sale, Locations: Elizabeth Mall; Park Mall; Robinsons, SM City, Gaisano. 09:00-20:00. Used books and magazines, mostly imported from the UK & US. It may take some searching but there are often gems to be had. From ₱20, nearly all under ₱150.

Eat[edit]

The great thing about Cebu is that, while being an island paradise, on the one hand, it's also a sophisticated city, with a wide range of pretty decent restaurants to choose from. Street-food abounds in Cebu. You can buy all sorts of Philippine delicacies from the many street stalls scattered around Cebu City.

IT Park

For tourists who want upmarket restaurants, two good areas are Ayala Mall and the IT Park.

  • 1 Cebu IT Park. Offices, rental and condo apartments; the area has many foreign employees and a good selection of western restaurants. Not much shopping. Cebu IT Park on Wikipedia Cebu IT Park (Q5055810) on Wikidata
  • 2 Ayala Terraces (one side of Ayala Mall). Many restaurants including several foreign chains such as Burger King, Army-Navy and TGI Friday's, Filipino chains, and many non-chain places.
    • Flame It (4th floor of mall). excellent burgers, moderate prices

Also, nearly all hotels have restaurants and many offer western-style food.

Food courts[edit]

All the major malls (listed under #Buy) have food courts, and major chains — KFC, Shakey's Pizza, Starbucks, Bo's Coffee and others — have locations in many of them. The downtown area around Colon Street has a large number of restaurants including many budget places and many fast food chains.

  • 3 Robinsons Fuente food court, B Rodriguez Street (Right on Fuente Circle). 10:00-20:30. Lower ground floor near the Robinson's supermarket. Good bakery and coffee shop with quite a few expatriate customers.
  • 4 Gaisano Main food Court, 5th floor Gaisano Main, Colon street. 10:00-20:00. Meals with a drink from ₱49.

Chains[edit]

Some Filipino chains have multiple locations in Cebu and some in nearby towns:

  • 5 Alberto's Pizza, 15 B. Rodriguez Ave. (opposite Vicente Sotto Hospital), +63 32 254 0042. 09:00-23:00. Offers a good and rather affordable locally made thin crust pizza. Has branches all over Cebu. from ₱75.
  • 6 Ngohiong Express, J. Luna Ave. 24 hours. Has many branches all over Cebu. low cost.
  • 7 Orange Brutus, Fuente Osmena Circle (Cinco Centrum), +63 32-2554783. 24 hours. Burgers, rice meals, sizzing pork chop. Meals from ₱70.
  • 8 Jo's Chicken Inato, Gospel Building V Ranudo Street, +63 32-2540194. 06:00-21:00. Native chicken. meals from ₱99.
  • 9 Julie's Bake shops, 252 Gorordo Avenue, +63-32-2310593. open 24 hours a day. Bread & cakes & drinks. There are over 100 Julie's bakes shops on Cebu Island. lower prices.

Others[edit]

There are also many non-chain places:

  • 10 Persian Palate Restaurant, Mango Sq Mall Gen Maxilom Avenue, +63-32-4126795. 11:00-22:00. Indian and Persian food. (Friday and Saturday all you can eat buffet for ₱195). All day breakfast for only ₱145.
  • 11 New York Pizza Depot, F Cabahug street (over street from SM city), +63 32-2733690. 11:00-20:00. All you can eat pizza & pasta & chicken & fries. All you can drink ice tea. ₱215 pesos.
  • 12 Larsian, Don Mariano Cui St, +63 922 620 5921. Barbecue in open-air food-court
  • 13 Bente Silog Restaurant, 300 Junquers street. 24 hours. Ham egg rice or burger egg rice for ₱20. meals from ₱20.
  • 14 La Vie Parisienne, 371 Gorordo Ave, +63 32 505 0274. French bakery

Drink[edit]

Mango Avenue (officially General Maxilom Avenue) and Mango Square is where the bulk of the nightlife is located. The typical venues are nightclubs, bars and karaoke boxes.

Prostitution

Prostitution is illegal in the Philippines, but quite common. Enforcement is generally lax but see Philippines#Prostitution.

Sexually transmitted diseases are moderately common in general and a large risk with prostitutes.

There are many girlie bars, mostly along Mango Ave. It is fairly common to visit these clubs just to enjoy the show, a lot of scantily-clad dancers who compete to catch customers' eyes. However, the dancers are more-or-less all also available for sexual services.

Dancers often spend time at customers' tables chatting and flirting; buying a "lady drink" for one of them will cost at least double the price of a regular drink, and she will get a share of the price. If a customer wants more than just flirtation, then he pays a "bar fine" to take her out of the club for the night; she gets a share of that but she will also expect a tip in the morning.

There are also a number of western-style pubs popular with the local expat community; most are listed below.

  • 1 Mango Square (Mango Avenue, near Osmena Circle). A mall with shopping by day and entertainment by night.
Howling Dogs Bar & Grill, Juana Osmena Street (behind Mango sq.), +63-9399527627. 07:00-03:00. Six big screen TVs. Pool table. Happy hours beer ₱50.
Marshalls Irish Pub, General Maxilom Avenue (Mango Sq.), +63 9176312413. 10:00-03:00. Sells Irish/British food. Has happy hours every day from 16:00-19:00 where a beer cost only ₱50. Live music.
Semi-Final Sports Bar, General Maxilom Avenue (2nd floor mango Sq), +63-977-7827876. noon-4am. Has two pool tables, two darts, live band every night. 100" main screen. 100 sport channels. happy-hours beer 60.
  • 2 [dead link] Time Out Sports Bar, 301 F Ramos street, +63-32-5132706. 12:00-02:00. A bar with chicken wings for ₱10 each every Monday and Friday. A beer in happy hour is ₱55.
  • 3 [dead link] El Gecko Resto Bar, Gen Maxilom Corner D Jekosalem street, +63 32-4164983. 09:00-03:00. A good expat bar which also sells food. Has breakfasts from 09:00. Happy hours are 11:00-18:00 beer for ₱50.
  • 4 Our Place Pub & Restaurant., Pelaez street (down town cebu), +63 32-4168243, +63 32 888 9523. 07:30-23:00 every day. Established 1978. Meet other expats from all over the world. Good British & European and US food at a great prices. Sells beer for only ₱45. meals from ₱99.
  • 5 The Joker's Arms Pub & Restaurant, Dioisio Jakosalem Street (off mango ave.), +63-32-4120263, +63-9988822396. 17:00-03:00. A British pub with pool table, dart board. Has a varied selection of food, but a bit overpriced: bangers and mash and house-made pies are ₱450 each. happy hour beer ₱60..
  • 6 All-Stars Sports Bar, General Maxilom Avenue (next to fooda supermarket), +63-32-4155369. 14:00-02:00. Has a pool table. Happy-hour. Free Wi-Fi. beer from ₱50.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget under ₱1000
Mid-range ₱1000-3000
Splurge over ₱3000
Cebu City.jpg

You can pay by the month at most pension houses, from ₱15,000 a month.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 SanJose Pension House, 131 Rahmann Street (a 10-min walk from Robinsons mall or Ayala Mall), +63 32 2534052, +63 32 2550524. Check-in: any time, check-out: 12:00. One-star hotel with A/C double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. Free Wi-fi in all the rooms. ₱599 a night.
  • 2 Cebu Century Hotel, Corner Colon and Pelaez St, +63 32 255-1652, fax: +63 32 2551600. Check-out: 12:00. Double rooms with cable TV, hot water and A/C. From ₱740.
  • 3 Hotel de Mercedes, 7 Pelaez Streeet, +63 32 253-1105, fax: +63 32 253-3880. Check-out: 12:00. A/C double room with own hot water bathroom and cable TV. From ₱880.
  • 4 Sugbutel Bed & Bath, S Osmena St, North Reclamation area (near SM mall and the sea port), +63 32 232-8888. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 5-min walk from SM City Mall complex and 5-min walk from the New Robinson's mall and close to Cebu International Convention Center (CICC). near Pier 5. Hostel accommodation with A/C accommodation area free WiFi, 24 hr security with CCTV cameras, 24-hr back-up generator and entertainment area with wide screen LCD TV. Has 136 dorm beds. Best to book online. Dorm bed from ₱315 per person.
  • 5 Mc Sherry Pension House, Pelaez Street, +63 32 254-4792. Check-out: 12:00. In quiet lane next to hotel de Mercedes. Fan/A/C rooms with own bathrooms and cable TV. All rooms double occupancy. You can pay by the month at ₱15,000 for the A/C double. Double fan ₱500, double A/C ₱600.
  • 6 La Guardia Hotel, Osmena boulevard, +63 32 416-7889, +63 32 416-7881. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. A/C double rooms with hot water and cable TV. Free Wi-Fi. 11 rooms at ₱700 a night and 11 rooms at ₱750 a night. You must pay a ₱300 deposit when you book in. From ₱700.
  • 7 Capitol Tourist Inn, Don Gil Garcia street (Uptown Cebu near the Robinsons Mall), +63 32-253-2850. A/C single rooms with own bathroom, cable TV, A/C double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV, nice size rooms. from ₱550/₱630.
  • 8 L S Pension House 1, 2 and 3, RR Landon Street, +63 32-256-2893. A/C single rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. A/C double rooms with own bathrooms and cable TV. Has 24-hour security and a standby generator. There is also LS pension house 2 and LS pension house 3 all near LS Pension House 1. Free Wi-fi. Single from ₱600, double from ₱700.
  • 9 Wins Pension, Rahmann Street (near Sanjose pension house), +63 32- 2561977. A/C double rooms with own bathrooms and cable TV. Has a good rate for the month. ₱15,000/month.
  • 10 Cest La Vie Pension House, 13 Juana Osmena Street, +63-32-2532376. Check-in: any time, check-out: noon. 2-star hotel with A/C double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV. Free Wi-Fi. 699.
  • 11 GV Tower Hotel, Osmeña Boulevard. GV Tower Hotel on Wikipedia GV Tower Hotel (Q30594905) on Wikidata

Backpacker hostels[edit]

  • 12 Le Village Guest House & Backpackers Hostel, 84 Gorordo Avenue (near Ayala Mall), +63 32-4203405. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Has a bar. Free Wi-Fi. Fan dorm bed ₱300.
  • 13 Cebu Guest Inn, Holy Family Road Brgy Busay, +63 32-2361839. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 4-6-8 bed dorms. Free Wi-Fi. Dorm bed from ₱275 per person.
  • 14 Hey Fellas Guest House, 22-K General Maxilom Avenue, +63-9166465789. Check-out: 12:00. A/C and fan 4-6 bed dorms. Free Wi-Fi. A/C dorm ₱350, fan dorm 250..
  • 15 Food District Hostel, 12 Torralba Street Cor Wilson street Brgy Apas Lahug (near Camp Lapa-lapu), +63-9778531685. Check-out: 12:00. 8-bed dorm with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Dorm bed ₱380 per person.
  • 16 Naps X Adventures Hostel, 145 M Velez Street Guadalupe, +63 32 4151065. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A/C dorm with 10 beds, free Wi-Fi. ₱350 per person.
  • 17 City Circle Guest house & Backpackers Hostel, Fuente Osmena Circle (3rd floor Benigno Du Building), +63-9239137585. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Dorm beds and single/double rooms. Free Wi-Fi. from 390 per person.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 18 Castle Peak, F. Cabahug cor. Pres. Quezon St, Villa Aurora Mabolo. Standard- ₱2188.
  • 19 NS Royal Hotel, Juana Osmena Street, +63 32 254-5358. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. 2-star hotel with A/C rooms with hot water bathrooms, cable TV. From ₱1888.
  • 20 Azia Suites, 8 Rahmann Extension, +63 32 260-1111. 5-storey hotel, 60 A/C rooms with hot water bathrooms and cable TV, view of the city. From ₱1899.
  • 21 Holiday Plaza Hotel, F Ramos Street (near Robinsons Fuente Circle), +63 32 254-9880. A/C rooms with coffee and tea-making facilities, 21” cable TV, full baths. From 1799.
  • 22 Metro Park Hotel, Saint Lawrence Street La Guardia Lahug (near IT Park), +63 32 233-3677. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. A/C rooms with hot water bathrooms cable TV, safe. Presidential suite ₱1800.
  • 23 Elegant Circle Inn (Fuente Osmena Circle). Central location, at one end of Mango Avenue. From ₱1220.
  • 24 The Golden Peak Hotel and Suites, Gorrordo Avenue corner Escario Street, +63 32 233-9770, fax: +63 32 231-5611, e-mail: . In Cebu's commercial and financial district. 140 guest rooms and suites with sat/cable TV, bathtub, A/C, telephone with IDD and NDD. From ₱1,900.
  • 25 Cebu R Hotel Capitol, 101 Don Mariano Cui Street, +63-32 505-7188. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. TV, free Wi-Fi, hot showers. Nice place, and better price than most in the area though there are some cheaper. ₱1790 and up.
  • 26 Beverly Boutique Business Hotel, F Manalo Street Cor Queens Road, +63 32-254-8570. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. A/C rooms with hot water bathrooms. Cable TV. Wi-Fi. Superior Room ₱1980.
  • 27 Travel Bee Business Inn, Dionisio Jokosalem Street, +63-32 505-8884, +63 32 236 1111. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A/C rooms with hot water bathrooms, cable TV. Wi-Fi, free breakfast. Deluxe room ₱1580.
  • 28 Maxwell Hotel Cebu, N. Escario Street, Brgy. Camputhaw, +63 32 255 7800. Maxwell Hotel Cebu on Wikipedia Maxwell Hotel Cebu (Q17078481) on Wikidata

Splurge[edit]

  • 29 Cebu Parklane International Hotel, Corner Archbishop Reyes Avenue and Escario Street, +63 32 234-7000. Cebu Parklane International Hotel claims to be a five-star hotel but does not really live up to that title. Elevators (lifts) are totally inadequate and you can spend 15 minutes waiting to get to your room when the hotel is crowded with conferences.

Stay safe[edit]

Cebu is a relatively safe city where violent crime is rare. Your biggest concern should be pickpockets who are active in downtown Cebu and on jeepneys.

Parts of downtown Cebu are unsafe at night, particularly along Colon and areas immediately to its north. If you're male and look remotely foreign or tourist-like, you will likely be accosted by prostitutes (both genders, plus ladyboys) and pimps. Even if you do want a prostitute, these girls should be avoided; highly available women patrol all the major malls and they can be picked up there under safer conditions, with no pimps and better lighting. Or go to a girlie bar where you can select among a dozen or more, albeit at higher prices since the bar takes s large cut.

Stay healthy[edit]

  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, B Rodriguez Street, +6332 2539898. DOH Hospital with lower fees
  • Cebu City Social Hygiene Clinic, Room 103. City health office. General Maxilom Aveune, +63 93 21081556 (mobile). free STD and HIV testing and treatment. For Social Hygiene Clinics in Mandaue & Lapu-Lapu, see Metro_Cebu#Stay_healthy.

Dental clinics[edit]

The dental clinics listed here have good prices. There are also clinics in the malls, but they are about three times as expensive.

  • Comfort Dental Centre, Joeilno building 4th floor room 4D Kalubihan Sanciangko Street, +63 32 2623062. Dr Rhebecca Marie Rebalde Osorio. From ₱500.
  • RT Clinika Dental Centre, room 148 1/L Raintree mall General Maxilom Avenue, +63 32 2549648. From ₱500.

Cope[edit]

Most of the foreign consulates are in Cebu City, but some are in Mandaue. For a list, see the Metro Cebu article.

Government offices[edit]

Cebu City does not have an immigration office; the "Cebu office" is actually in Mandaue. For information on that and the Lapu-Lapu office, see Metro Cebu.

  • Department of Tourism Cebu tourist office, Gf LDM Bldg Corner Legaspi & MJ Cuenco streets, +63 32 2542811. M-F 08:00-16:00. Free maps for Cebu Island & Bohol island & Siquijor Island. There is also a tourist info counter at the airport.
  • Tourist Police office, Plaza Sugbu (near Magellan's Cross), +63-32 2538536, +63-32 2540080 (after 17:00).
  • Cebu Public Library, Osmena Blvd. (Gf Rizal Memorial Library & Museum Bldg). M-F open 24 hours. free wifi
  • Main Central Post office, Plaza Independencia (behind Fort San Pedro).
  • Phil Health office, Golden peak. Gorordo Avenue, +63-32-2333270. if you stay in the Philippines more than 59 days and get a I-card you can in roll on Phil Health for ₱1250 a month.

Airlines offices[edit]

Quite a few airlines have offices in town:

  • Cathay Pacific airlines, 12 floor FGU Center. Mindanao Avenue Ayala Business Park, toll-free: 18001441101.
  • Cebu Pacific Airlines, Robinsons Fuente. Osmena Blvd., +63-32-2308888.
  • Philippines Airlines, Osmena Blvd., +63 32 2544655.
  • Singapore Airlines & Silkair, Cebu holding center Cardinal Rosales Avenue Ayala Business Park, +63 32 2326211.

Others have offices at Mactan-Cebu International Airport:

  • Emirates Airlines, toll-free: 1800 77739999.
  • Asiana Airlines, +63-32-3428066.
  • Korea Airlines, +63-32-2531753.
  • Air Asia.
  • Scoot airlines.
  • Eva Air, +63 32-2323395.
  • China Eastern Airlines.
  • Xiamen Air.

Of course there are plenty of travel agents in the city, so for many things you need not deal directly with an airline.

Go next[edit]

Anywhere in Cebu Province is easily reached, and anywhere in Metro Cebu is close; see those articles for lists of all the possible destinations. Popular beach resorts in the province include:

  • Moalboal beach, bus 2½-3 hr from south bus terminal, ₱115 + tricycle to beach around ₱60, a diving destination with generally moderate prices
  • The Camotes Islands, fast ferry from Cebu city (to Poro port) or by Jomalia ferry from Danao City to Consuelo port (bus ~₱60 from Cebu City, 1-2 hours).
  • Bantayan Island, off to the north of Cebu island.
  • Oslob, south of Cebu, known for whale shark watching, can be visited en route to Dumaguete

Other parts of the Visayas, and the main cities of northern Mindanao, are also easily reached. Popular Visayan tourist destinations usually reached by ferry from Cebu are:

  • Bohol, an island province east of Cebu, popular for its scenic Chocolate Hills and tarsiers.
  • Dumaguete, capital of a neighboring province, with a relaxed bar scene and good diving nearby.
  • Bacolod, capital of a neighboring province and second-largest city in the Visayas, is reachable by taking a bus to Toledo, a ferry to San Carlos and then another bus.


Routes through Cebu City
Danao CityMandaue  N N8 (Philippines).svg S  Talisay (Cebu)Carcar
Balamban  W N80 (Philippines).svg E  END
Mandaue  N N840 (Philippines).svg S  Talisay


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