Discover Cebu: Top Things to Keep in Mind While Exploring the Queen City of the South

tips when traveling to cebu

Welcome to Cebu, the Queen City of the South! This bustling metropolis is perfect for adventure seekers, culture lovers, and history buffs. Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural attractions. As you explore this vibrant city, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your experience. From the best places to visit to the tastiest local dishes to try, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in Cebu. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and excitement of this incredible city. Let’s explore Cebu together!

Tips when exploring Cebu

Best times to visit Cebu

Cebu is a tropical paradise that can be enjoyed year-round. However, the best time to visit Cebu is between December and May, when the weather is dry and sunny. The months of January and February are the perfect time to visit if you want to experience the famous Sinulog Festival. The Sinulog Festival is a grand celebration of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, the patron saint of the city. During this festival, the city comes alive with colorful parades, street parties, and cultural performances. If you’re planning to visit during this time, make sure to book your accommodations and flights early, as it can get very busy.

If you’re on a budget, the best time to visit Cebu is during the rainy season, from June to November. The downside is that the weather can be unpredictable, and there’s a higher chance of typhoons. However, the upside is that there are fewer tourists, and accommodations can be more affordable.

Sinulog Festival

One of the biggest and most popular festivals in the Philippines is the Sinulog Festival. Held every third Sunday of January, the Sinulog Festival is a celebration of the Sto. Niño de Cebu. The festival draws millions of tourists worldwide who come to witness the colorful parades, street parties, and cultural performances. The highlight of the festival is the grand parade, where participants dress up in colorful costumes and dance to the beat of the drums. The parade starts at the Basilica del Sto. Niño and ends at the Cebu City Sports Complex.

Aside from the parade, there are also other activities during the festival, such as the Sinulog sa Kabataan, where young dancers showcase their talent, and the Sinulog Idol, where singers compete for the title of the Sinulog Idol. If you’re planning to attend the festival, make sure to book your accommodations and flights early, as it can get very crowded.

Getting around Cebu

Getting around Cebu is relatively easy, with a variety of transportation options available. The most common modes of transportation are jeepneys, taxis, and motorcycles. Jeepneys are the cheapest mode of transportation, with fares starting at Php 8. Taxis are more expensive but are more comfortable and convenient, especially if you’re traveling with luggage. Motorcycle taxis, also known as habal-habal, are popular for short distances.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also rent a motorbike or a car to explore the city at your own pace. However, be prepared for heavy traffic, especially during rush hour.

Language and culture of Cebu

Cebu is a melting pot of different cultures, with influences from Spain, China, and America. The official language of Cebu is Cebuano, but most people also speak Tagalog and English. Learning a few basic phrases in Cebuano can go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable.

Cebuano culture is deeply rooted in Catholicism, and you’ll find many churches and religious monuments throughout the city. The people of Cebu are known for their hospitality and friendliness, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a local.

Must-try Cebuano food

Food is an essential part of the Cebuano culture, and you’ll find a variety of delicious dishes to try. One of the most popular dishes is lechon, a roasted pig that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Other must-try dishes include puso, a rice dish cooked inside a coconut leaf, and danggit, a dried fish that’s usually eaten for breakfast.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try balut, a fertilized duck egg that’s boiled and eaten with salt and vinegar. For dessert, make sure to try the famous mangoes of Cebu, which are sweet and juicy.

Accommodations around Cebu

Cebu has a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. If you’re on a budget, there are many hostels and guesthouses that offer clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price. Mid-range hotels are also prevalent, with prices ranging from Php 1,500 to Php 3,000 per night. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, there are also many five-star hotels and resorts that offer world-class amenities and services.

When choosing your accommodations, consider the location and proximity to the attractions you want to visit. Downtown Cebu is a great option if you want to be close to the city’s historical sites, while Mactan Island is ideal if you’re looking for beachfront accommodations.

Safety tips when traveling in Cebu

Cebu is generally a safe place to visit, but like any other destination, taking precautionary measures is essential to ensure your safety. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in dimly lit areas. Be mindful of your belongings and keep an eye on your bags and pockets, especially in crowded areas. It’s also a good idea to carry a photocopy of your passport and other important documents.

When taking public transportation, make sure to keep your valuables close to you and avoid displaying them openly. If you’re renting a motorbike, make sure to wear a helmet and follow traffic rules.


Cebu is a vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in Cebu. From the colorful Sinulog Festival to the delicious local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this incredible city. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can have an unforgettable experience in the Queen City of the South. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore Cebu!

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