Cebu’s immense mix of historical landmarks, breathtaking landscapes, and notable dining spots make it a worthy destination among travelers hoping to experience local culture at its finest within the Philippines. It’s no wonder Cebu has also become a favorite photo destination among Instagrammers! Here are 10 places to spice up your feed.
Dubbed 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 the Taj Mahal, which is a mausoleum, the Temple of Leah serves as home to the treasures and memorabilia of the late Leah Albino-Adarna. Her husband, Teodorico Soriano Adarna, reportedly spent 80 million Philippine pesos to put up this temple as a symbol of his undying love for her. Visit this attraction located on top of a hill in Busay in Cebu City, and have the chance to capture a stunning view from the top.
Built in 1972, this landmark aims to preserve the the teachings of Lao-Tse, the 600 B.C. Chinese philosopher. While it was not built for tourism purposes, it caught the attention of travelers because of its peculiar and artistic appeal. It has two temples, namely Phu Sian Temple and the Main Temple, which is open even to non-shippers. You can also find a chapel, library, souvenir shop, and a wishing well. The entrance to the temple would instantly remind one of the Great Wall of China. Plus, it also gives an overlooking view of the city from its spacious balcony.
Simala Shrine, one of the best known religious places in the Philippines and the most-visited church in southern Cebu, has thousands of devotees visiting every day. The popular church was built by Marian Monks from Pampanga after several miraculous events had occured, including the shedding of tears of Mama Mary. Thus, devotees and believers have been traveling down south in the belief they will be healed and their prayers granted if they visit the Shrine. Because of its majestic castle-like features, even tourists with different religious beliefs head down to Sibonga to take photos of the picturesque structure.
Similar to Manila’s Fort Santiago, Fort San Pedro is a triangular-shaped bastion fort which served as a military defense structure during the 17th century. Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who founded the earliest settlement in Cebu, had the initiative to put up this fortress. Here, you’ll discover the history of Cebu, legacies of the Spanish government, and have a closer look at well-preserved Spanish artifacts. If you’re hoping to add an ancient feeling to your Instagram feed, then it’s a must to visit the country’s oldest and smallest fortress.
Casa Gorordo Museum is a former private home originally built in the mid-19th century. It was previously owned by one of Cebu’s most prominent families, the Gorordos, and later served as residence to the archbishop of Cebu. Within the museum, you’ll find Mactan coral stone blocks, antique furniture, and pure Philippine hardwood. Travellers are sure to have a trip down memory lane in this wood-and-stone type house in the Spanish era which turned into a museum housing period costumes, paintings, decorative art, and more.
To every Instagrammer who’s hoping to get a stunning panoramic view of Cebu City’s skyline, there’s a place for your dream! Tops Lookout is a relaxing spot located 600 meters above Cebu City and the perfect place for anyone to get a good, full view of Cebu’s panoramic skyline. Best visited at sunset, this excellent sightseeing spot offers a breathtaking view of the Mactan Bridge and neighbouring islands. It’s surely worth the motorcycle ride (habal-habal) to the top to enjoy the view and amenities of the stone-walled park. There are cafes and picnic areas for those who’d like to stay longer and appreciate the view.
While the island’s name means “Bad Christmas”, the tiny island of Malapascua should not give you a bad experience. You won’t surely get disappointed upon seeing its unspoiled white sand beaches, beautiful coral gardens, and beaming marine life. Thus, it has earned the attention of local and foreign travellers as Malapascua eventually gained the title of being the country’s best dive spot. Take the chance to spot thresher sharks, enjoy taking photos of the unlimited scenic views, and immerse yourself in a laidback, relaxing atmosphere.
The Sirao Flower Gardens, more commonly referred to as Cebu’s ‘Mini-Amsterdam,’ is one of the best attractions located in Cebu’s Transcentral Highway that attracts tourists for its colorful fields of flowers. When the flower farm craze went viral on social media in 2015, hundreds of visitors flocked the barangay of Sirao to catch glimpse of the fiery multi-colored field of celosias — the main flower grown in Sirao Garden. Apart from the celosias, you’ll find a variety of flowers such as the sunflower, chrysanthemum, daisy, and aster. These flowers form a scenic background that’s definitely worth posting on your Instagram feeds!
You might have heard of the popular café known as the 10,000 Roses Café & More after it went viral on Facebook. This Korean café is home to 10,000 artificial LED-powered roses that definitely are gorgeous to look at during dusk until night. Located in Day-as, Cordova in Cebu, travellers are heading over to see the field of roses, feel the romantic ambiance, and take photos of the roses that dance with the sea breeze. Additionally, the café itself also has a viewing deck for guests to enjoy the view of the ‘planted’ roses and get an amazing view of the island and the sea.
If you prefer something fancy and sophisticated, then better head over to La Vie Parisienne for a memorable night. This notable wine bar and bakery, which means Parisian Life, is the best place for you to have a chilled night out under cherry blossom looking trees that light up the night. They’ll give you a taste of Italy as they offer dozens of pastries, cheese, and wine. Apart from the great ambiance and good food, the overall romantic feel of the place not only make it an ideal hangout place, but also make for Instagram-worthy photo sessions!