Cebu is – by far – one of my favorite travel destinations in the Philippines. This island is home to an amazing variety of travel-worthy places to see and experience. 

From gorgeous beaches to modern city sights, Cebu has it all! If you ever get the chance to visit Cebu, go for it! Make sure to spend a couple of days exploring the city and different places around the island.

Traveling to Cebu for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time.

Contents

Getting There

By plane, Cebu can be reached on a one hour flight from Manila. Cebu Airport is a major international gateway and transport hub in the Philippines. It serves direct flights to popular domestic destinations including Davao, Palawan, Boracay, Kalibo, Iloilo as well as major cities in Asia. Travel time from Cebu Airport to Downtown Cebu is around 30 minutes (or more during depending on traffic).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Getting Around Cebu

There are a lot of transport and tour options available whether you want to go on a private tour or a DIY trip. You can even go full local and try the jeepney/bus commute to get around although this is quite complex especially to first-time travelers. If you plan on commuting, here’s a helpful website that has jeepney routes in Cebu. Although this is cheap, it will eat up your time as you need to wait for the right number/route. These multicabs and jeepneys are generally small as well so it’s not recommended to those who have a large backpack or those traveling with luggage. I highly suggest taking a cab – it will save you time!

If you’re traveling in groups, I highly suggest riding a cab or using Grab. To get to my destination, it usually costs P100 ($2) – P150 ($3), depending where it is.

If you’re traveling solo, you can also take advantage of riding the habal-habal. It made me reach my destination quicker especially during rush hour. Thankfully, I know a little bit of their dialect so I was able to haggle the price per ride. It would usually cost me P70 ($1.40) – P100 ($2) depending on the location.

Cebu Itinerary

Here’s a suggested itinerary that you can follow on your travel to Metro Cebu. Scroll down for the budget and list of expenses. Followed by extra travel tips & top spots to visit/things to do in Cebu.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Day 1: Cebu City tour

Time Activity
  Flight to Cebu
7:30 AM ETA Cebu-Mactan International Airport
8:00 AM Cebu Airport to Hotel transfer
8:30 AM Hotel check-in
9:00 AM Start Cebu Downtown tour — Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, Basilica de Santo Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral & more.
11:00 AM Crown Regency Observatory, Sky Walk, Edge Coaster, Tower Zip
12:00 PM Lunch at Casa Verde, Zubuchon
2:00 PM Taoist Temple
3:00 PM Sirao Garden / Sirao Peak / Celosia Flower Farm
4:00 PM Tops Skyline Garden
5:00 PM Temple Of Leah
7:00 PM Dinner at Larsian

Day 2: Mactan Tour

Time Activity
8:00 AM Hotel to Mactan transfer
9:00 AM Lapu-Lapu Monument & Magellan Shrine
10:00 AM Mactan beaches/island hopping — Pick a resort that offers day tour packages if you are not booking a room in a beachfront resort on the island. I’ve posted some options on the extra tips below. You can also book an island hopping tour in case you want to see more beaches & do some snorkeling nearby.
3:00 PM Transport to Hilton Port/Angasil Port — Go by taxi or Punta Engaño jeep. Hilton Port is located beside Movenpick Resort, formerly Hilton Hotel. Meanwhile, Angasil Port is located near Mactan Newtown.
4:00 PM Mactan to Santa Rosa Port, Olango Island ferry — Remember to ask the schedule of the last trip back to Mactan.
  Transport to Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
  Sunset at Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary observation deck
6:00 PM Transport to Santa Rosa Port & Ferry to Mactan
  Transport to SuTuKil & dinner

Day 3: Continue Cebu city tour

Time Activity
8:00 AM Continue Cebu downtown tour — Casa Gorordo, Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, Heritage Monument of Cebu, Museo Sugbo.
10:00 AM Transport to Tabo-an Market & pasalubong shopping

I’ll be publishing a South Cebu itinerary + budget blog on a separate post. I’ll also be sharing an itinerary, accommodation options, and budget when in Bohol as I did a side trip to Bohol during this particular travel.

Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations, and food. To get you started with budgeting your upcoming Cebu trip, here are budget estimates if you follow the 3D/2N itinerary posted above.

Prices below are ‘per person’, calculated based 2 people sharing the travel expenses.

Transport Expenses Breakdown Activity
PHP 500 ($10) Cebu Airport to Hotel transfer— To Downtown Cebu City. P500 one-way taxi fare x 2 (round trip) = PHP 1000 / 2 pax.
PHP 300 ($6) Cebu City-Mactan shrine transfer — P300 one-way taxi fare  x 2 (round trip) = PHP 600 / 2 pax.
PHP 120 ($2.40) Olango Island tricycle — PHP 120 one-way rate per tricycle x 2 (round trip) = PHP 240 / 2 pax.
PHP 30 ($0.60) Mactan-Olango ferry — PHP 15 one-way fare per person + return trip.
Activities Costs Breakdown
PHP 50 ($1) Fort San Pedro — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 50 ($1) Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral — Museum entrance fee per person. No admission fees if visiting the church only.
PHP 30 ($0.60) Sirao Flower Farm — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 100 ($2) Tops Skyline Garden — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 50 ($1) Temple Of Leah entrance fee — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 30 ($0.60) Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary— Entrance fee per person.
PHP 50 ($1) Casa Gorordo — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 50 ($1) Yap-San Diego Ancestral House— Entrance fee per person.
PHP 30 ($0.60) Museo Sugbo — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 550 ($1) Crown Regency — Admission to Observatory + 1 Sky Experience Adventure Ride

Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment down below or message me through my contact form. I’d be happy to clarify any confusion you might have!

Happy travels!

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