Historical Landmarks and Tourist Attractions in Cebu

Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Cebu

Cebu is the oldest Spanish settlement in the country. This fact is clearly evident in modern Cebu’s colonial heritage. Centuries-old churches and museums, high-rises and other modern buildings make Cebu a fascinating city to visit.

Explore the Island with the Top Tourist Attractions in Cebu

The Osmeña Residence

The Osmeña residence holds some of General Douglas McArthur’s memorabilia and the personal mementos of Sergio Osmeña, the first President of the Philippine Republic (and Cebuano) after World War II.

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Magellan’s Cross

Magellan’s Cross, the replica of which contains the remnants of the original one planted by Ferdinand Magellan on Cebu’s shores, stands within a wayside shrine commemorating the conversion of the first Filipinos to Christianity. The first Catholic mass celebrated on Philippine shores is depicted in the shrine’s ceiling murals.

Cebu Capitol

The seat of provincial government, Cebu Capitol’s white dome rises against a backdrop of mountains in the distance. This remarkable architectural accomplishment of pre-war American rule has statues of President Osmeña and the provincial hero Lapu-Lapu.

Fort San Pedro

The smallest and oldest bastion in the country, Fort San Pedro was built in 1738 to repel Muslim raiders. It was also a stronghold for Filipino revolutionaries and has functioned as a US army barracks and a prison camp during the Japanese occupation. Contrary to its violent past, Fort San Pedro is now a historical park.

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Fort San Pedro also has a museum with a fascinating array of artifacts taken from the old Spanish galleon, San Diego, that sank in deep waters near Fortune Island off the coast of Nasugbo, Batangas. Ming porcelain, coins, lockets, sword fragments, cannons, and helmets can be found in the museum, which previously housed the offices of the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority.

Lapu-Lapu’s Monument

The statue in Mactan Island was built to honor the first Filipino chieftain who fought against foreign rule. Magellan’s marker, adjacent to Lapu-Lapu’s monument, identifies the spot where the Portuguese explorer was slain by the Filipino chieftain.

Colon Street

The oldest street in the Philippines was named after the renowned explorer Cristobal Colon aka Christopher Columbus. Colon is the heart of “downtown” Cebu City and Cebu’s longest street. Colon glitters by night as it is lined with movie houses, department stores, and other establishments. Colon was the center of Cebu City shopping before the malls were built.

Fuente Osmeña

One of Cebu City’s most famous landmarks, this circular park with a fountain in the middle was built to honor Cebu’s favorite son, the late President Sergio Osmeña, Sr. Fuente Osmeña dominates “uptown” Cebu City lined with commercial and banking establishments.

Cebu Churches

Basilica Minor del Santo Niño

Considered as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines and Cebu’s patron, the Image of Santo Niño de Cebu was given as a baptismal gift by Magellan to Queen Juana on April 14, 1521. Today, the image is enshrined at the Basilica del Santo Niño. A constant line of devotees flocks to kiss the image and offer prayers every day.

Cebu Cathedral

One of the two oldest churches in the city, Cebu Cathedral was newly renovated to its original splendor.

Chapel of the Last Supper

The chapel has a 250-year-old life-size replica of the Lord Jesus with the 12 apostles seated for the Last Supper.

Cebu Museums

University of San Carlos Museum

The University of San Carlos Museum within the city proper houses a wide collection of interesting finds from all over the country. Here, you’ll find a motley collection of artifacts dating to pre-Spanish times, which belies the popular myth (one would assume by the Spanish) that the Filipinos were savages when the Spaniards came and conquered.

The San Carlos Museum exhibits of religious relics, archaeological and ethnic artifacts, botanical and zoological specimens and other finds are a must for history buffs and curio enthusiasts. Its four galleries are Spanish Colonial, Ethnographic, Archaeological, and Natural Science.

Aznar Museum (Southwestern University Museum)

The Aznar Museum has a collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts, many of which were taken from an archaeological dig in Camotes Island that unearthed a whole pre-Hispanic village. Lydia Aznar-Alfonso’s extensive collection of objects that reflect Cebu trade, lifestyle, and culture during the Spanish era is housed in this museum.

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Casa Gorordo Museum

Casa Gorordo, once the residence of the first Catholic bishop of Cebu, has been restored as a reminder of a more gracious bygone era. A tour inside this house offers a brief journey into a Filipino lifestyle between 1860 and 1920. Its opulent halls display cultural and historical relics of the 18th century and a collection of old prints and paintings. Casa Gorordo, open from Monday to Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm, also has a courtyard and antique household items and furniture.

Rizal Museum and Library

Located within Cebu City along Osmeña Boulevard, the Rizal Museum and Library showcases a collection of antiques donated by famous and rich Cebuano families as well as artworks of Cebuano painters and artists. The museum’s upper floor serves as a performing arts hall for concert and theatre productions by Cebu talents. Its ground floor is occupied by the Rizal Memorial Library, which keeps some important books on Cebuano history and culture.

Osmeña Memorabilia & Cap Art Gallery

The Osmeña Memorabilia & Cap Art Gallery has about 500 belongings and documents owned by the late President Osmeña. The materials were donated by generous friends and relatives of the former president.

Rizaliana Museum

The Rizaliana Museum in the University of Southern Philippines (Lahug) contains memorabilia of Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. Dr. Rizal’s belongings were given by his sister to the school.

Sala Piano Museum

The Sala Piano Museum, which houses the Ingrid Sala Sta. Maria Miniature Piano Collection, is full of the said instruments in varying sizes and shapes. It also serves as a venue for classical concerts and houses a music foundation.

Special Interests

Julian Jumalon’s Butterfly Sanctuary and Art Gallery

One of a kind anywhere in the world, Julian Jumalon’s Butterfly Sanctuary is home to trees and plants that are food to different species of butterflies. You can see plenty of butterflies in various stages of development as well as the Lepido Mosaic Art Collection with butterfly wings as medium.

Rose Ong Orchid Collection

Beautiful and varied, this place has the biggest orchid collection in the entire province of Cebu.

San Miguel Industrial Factory

San Miguel Industrial Factory is the biggest glass factory, brewery, Coca-Cola and Agro Industrial Complex (all rolled into one) outside Metro Manila. The brewery alone must provide an incredible amount of headaches on a daily basis!

Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ)

MEPZ is the country’s largest export processing zone with companies producing goods and items exclusively for export. This area has been a big factor in Cebu’s strong economic position in the country.

Other Cebu Attractions

Cebu Botanical Garden in Camp Marina, Capitol Hills
Liloan Lighthouse built in 1904 by the Americans
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Mandaue-Mactan Bridge built in 1972 to connect Mactan Island to mainland Cebu

About 2,000 above sea level in Busay, Tops is an excellent sightseeing spot offering a breathtaking view of Metro Cebu and the islands of Mactan and Olango. Open kiosks for daytime picnics and instant evening parties are available.


Built beside the Mananga River in Talisay City, Crocolandia has a mini zoo, a botanical garden, picnic areas, souvenir shops, a butterfly sanctuary, fishing area, and a library.

Cebu has many other must-see historic and cultural attractions! For more information on Cebu tourist spots, visit Cebu Lifestyles.

And for your Cebu travel and tour, stay at SDR Apartments for accommodation at par with 5-star Cebu Hotels without the costs. Contact SDR today!

Historical Landmarks and Tourist Attractions in Cebu was last modified: June 24th, 2015 by SDR Apartments