Cebu City, also known as the Queen City of the South, is one of the top destinations in the Philippines. Cebu has everything you are looking for, from Instagrammable spots, beautiful islands, temples, churches, and many more. I love how there’s also a lot I can do in one day in Cebu.
You can also easily take day trips to other cities from Cebu. If you are a big fan of adventure, take a day trip to Oslob from Cebu and swim with whale sharks. If you are more into nature, then you would enjoy taking a day trip to Bohol and see the famous chocolate hills. For this blog post, I will be writing about my one day in Cebu Itinerary.
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One Day in Cebu Itinerary
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I like starting early, especially when we are traveling. The early bird catches the worm. When we start early, we are usually the first ones to arrive and will have the whole place for ourselves. This is really perfect especially if you like taking Instagram worthy photos. There will be no photobombers.
7:00 A.M – Sirao Flower Garden
We booked the Cebu Private Car charter so we can travel around Cebu comfortably. I really highly recommend this because public transportation in Cebu is so complicated. There are no trains like in Manila. The taxi drivers might also take advantage of tourists so it is best to book a private car with a personal driver instead. The driver picked us up in our Airbnb.
Our first stop for the day was the Sirao flower garden, it is one of the top Instagram spots in Cebu. Their main attraction is the giant hand, it is the most photographed attraction in this garden. It feels like you are in Indonesia or Vietnam.
There’s actually usually a long queue to get a photo with the giant hand but since there was nobody else when we visited, we did not have to wait. There are also Bali inspired photo spots in the garden.
8:30 A.M – Temple of Leah
After exploring the Sirao garden for an hour, we went to our next stop, the Temple of Leah. I love the backstory of this temple. This temple is also called as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines. Just like the story behind the Taj Mahal where the Emperor built it in memory of his favorite wife, Teodoro also built Temple of Leah for his wife, Leah Adarna.
The design and architecture of this temple are so beautiful. It makes me feel like I am in Rome or Greece. Temple of Leah is also one of the best Instagram spots in Cebu. Every corner of this temple is just so photo-worthy.
9:30 A.M – Cebu Taoist Temple
Our third stop for the day was the Cebu Taoist temple. My favorite part about this temple is there is no entrance fee. Anyone can visit this temple for free. The design and architecture are so oriental and it reminds me of the Chinese Garden in Singapore.
Sirao Garden, Temple of Leah, and Cebu Taoist Temple are located near each other. They are located in the mountainous part of Cebu. After exploring the three places, we head to downtown Cebu.
11:00 A.M – Downtown Cebu
It took us a while before we reached Heritage Park. The traffic in downtown Cebu is just so bad. Heritage Park is also one of the free things to do in Cebu. It is one of the historical sites in Cebu. The heritage park is located in Parian District. This is also the place where prominent families in Cebu resided in the past.
There are also some locals who would approach you and sell you “pearls” outside the park. Just politely decline them, but if they won’t stop, you can also just ignore them and they will leave you alone.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Our driver also suggested us to visit the ancestral house in Cebu. There is an entrance fee of 50PHP or a dollar. There was not much to see for me so I was not really impressed. It was still fun to see how it was in the past though.
Magellan’s Cross is another historical site in Cebu. It is a Christian cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan. Some people believe that it is the original cross he planted, yet some also believe that it is a replica.
Visitors can actually go inside this Spanish style Pavillion where the cross is located. However, they closed it from time to time. We went after the Sinulog festival so the staff was cleaning up the mess left by the visitors from the festival. There are also some souvenir shops beside the Spanish style Pavillion. We bought an ice cream while waiting for our driver to pick us up.
12:00 P.M – Lunch at SM City Cebu
For lunch, we went to SM City Cebu. We decided to eat at S&R. After lunch, we decided to just stroll in the mall for a while. We have been outdoors almost the whole morning so we wanted to cool off in the mall. Most shops inside the mall are similar to any other malls in the Philippines. But there are also some restaurants I have never seen in other malls that I only saw in Cebu.
3:00 P.M – Rest in our Airbnb
After exploring the mall, we decided to rest in our Airbnb for a while. It was our first Airbnb experience and we enjoyed our stay. If you would also like to have your first Airbnb experience, you can use my referral code and get $45 off on your first stay.
If you are not interested to rest for a while in the afternoon, there are also several things to do in Cebu that you might enjoy. You might want to try out the local cuisine in Cebu, you can join on a half-day food tour in Cebu. If you are not interested in joining a food tour or if you are interested in adventure, you’ll enjoy the Crowne Plaza’s sky experience pass. It will be a memorable experience to walk on a glass floor and see the entire Cebu city below your feet. But if you are not interested in both food tour and adventure experience, the best thing to do is to just relax and have a grand spa experience in Cebu. It is a Korean style spa and it is a much-needed pampering after touring a lot of places.
5:00 P.M – Dinner at 10000 Roses Cafe
We went to 10000 roses cafe for dinner. This cafe is famous for their led roses and it’s even more beautiful at night time since it will be lit up. I highly suggest visiting at sunset so you can see both the daytime view and night time view. This cafe reminds of the DDP in Seoul, South Korea.
Dinner at 10000 Roses Cafe was a great way to end our one day in Cebu. One day in Cebu is not enough time to visit every attraction but there are also a lot of places you can visit in just a day. If you would like to spend more than just one day in Cebu, then you might want to join the 3 Day Cebu Highlights Tour. You’ll definitely get the most out of your experience since you will be able to visit the major highlights of Cebu including day trips to beautiful islands and beaches.
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As always, thank you so much for reading 🙂 I hope you enjoyed reading my adventure in Cebu and how I spent my 24 hours in Cebu. If you like to read more content like this, subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a notification from me.