A PRACTICAL DIY WALK TOUR AROUND 14 HERITAGE STRUCTURES IN CEBU CITY (UPDATED as of 2021)

Note: As a precautionary measure in this time of COVID-19 pandemic, it is best to check with the authorities the updated travel requirements and possible restrictions that might affect your travel plan. Contact Cebu Tourism Office at cebuprovincialtourism@gmail.com or at (032) 888 2328 to know the latest update.

Remember to always follow the health and safety protocols imposed from your travel origin to your destination. I wish you a safe trip ahead!

Planning to walk around the heritage sites of Cebu City for the first time? This detailed DIY travel guide is exactly what you need. Scroll down and take note of the outlined information from sample itinerary and budget, best places to visit, top things to do, and other travel tips. Have a fun and enjoyable trip ahead!

START HERE!

CEBU HERITAGE WALK AT A GLANCE

OLD CEBU was home to people of Malay origin that observed pagan and Muslim beliefs until the conquest of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, in 1521. Because of him, Cebu was made the first capital and the birthplace of Christianity in the Philippines. In the same effect, by him the influence of Spain started to flourish in the local communities, from religion practices down to their choice of settlement; some of these early fortifications can still be found today.

The fourteen (14) heritage stops in Cebu City from Fort San Pedro to Museo Sugbo, as shown in the map, are the very representation of these old fortifications which can be covered in half to a whole day tour depending on your pace.

IF YOU PREFER TO CHECK THE HERITAGE SITES ON A VIDEO, CHECK MY VLOG BELOW. IF YOU LIKE IT, DON’T HESITATE TO SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL. ENJOY!

1st stop: FORT SAN PEDRO

FORT SAN PEDRO
  • Description: Fort San Pedro, the oldest and smallest triangular fort in the Philippines, is an 18th-century structure which served as an army garrison to repel aggressors during the Spanish regime. In the later years, through the advent of colonization, the fort was turned into a barracks (during the American reign), a school, an emergency hospital, a prison (during the Japanese reign), and a zoo before it became a historical park as it is seen today. Notable items inside the fort include paintings, real cannons, old photographs, and a triangular roof deck.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 8:00 a.m.-08:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: P30
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
  • To get there:  You may take a cab which will cost around P70, from Ayala shopping mall or uptown area. You may also take a jeepney for P8. Look for a jeepney with Pier 2 or Plaza signboard on the windshield.
  • Rating:  2.5/5

2nd stop: PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA

PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA
  • Description: The plaza signifies independence of Cebu from the colony of the Spaniards and Americans. It has an obelisk at the center in honor of the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
  • To get there:  The plaza is just outside Fort San Pedro.
  • Rating: 2/5

3rd stop: MALACAÑANG SA SUGBO

MALACAÑANG SA SUGBO
  • Description: The structure was built in 1910 and was used to be the Bureau of Customs building until 2004 when former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo converted the place as the official residence of the President of the Philippines in the Visayas. As of December 2017, the place looks inaccessible and can only be enjoyed from outside.
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
  • To get there:  Fronting Fort San Pedro, Malacañang sa Sugbo is on the right. Walk some meters and find the exit of Plaza Independencia. The old building should be a glance away.
  • Rating: 1/5

4th stop: MAGELLAN’S CROSS

MAGELLAN’S CROSS
  • Description: Magellan’s Cross was planted by the explorers in 1521 as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan to mark the start of Christianity in the Philippines. To preserve its form, the cross is encased in a bigger wooden cross and housed in an octagonal kiosk which has a ceiling decorated with murals that depict Cebu’s conversion to Christianity.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: none
  • Location:  Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there:  Cross the road to the right facing Malacañang sa Sugbo. Straight ahead, take a short walk to find the kiosk. It is between the City Hall and Basilica del Santo Niño.
  • Rating: 3/5

5th stop: BASILICA MINORE DEL SANTO NIÑO DE CEBU

BASILICA MINORE DEL SANTO NIÑO DE CEBU
  • Description: The Basilica was founded in 1565 which keeps the oldest image of Sto. Niño (the child Jesus Christ) that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana, the chief consort of Rajah Humabon, during her christening on April 14, 1521. Over the years, the image has acquired an increasing number of devotees which are now accommodated at the pilgrim center at the same compound. The devotion to the child Jesus is mostly celebrated during the Sinulog festival which happens every 3rd Sunday of January.
  • Operating Hours (for the museum):  Mondays to Sundays (except Wednesdays), 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee (for the museum): P30.00
  • Location:  Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, Cebu
  • Note: Cameras are not allowed inside the museum.
  • To get there:  The Basilica is beside Magellan’s cross. You may enter through Colegio del Santo Niño gate, found just a few feet away from the kiosk. Upon entering, the Basilica can be found on the left side while the museum and the pilgrim center are on the right.
  • Rating: 3/5

6th stop: CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL

CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL
  • Description: The cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu. Its architecture is typical of a Spanish colonial church which has thick walls to withstand natural calamities.
  • Location: Legazpi St. corner P. Burgos St, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: Leave the Basilica from its main gate which is to the right when facing its front wall. Walk to the street with a Chowking fast food chain. It will lead directly to the side entrance of the cathedral in less than hundred meters.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

7th stop: CEBU CATHEDRAL MUSEUM

CEBU CATHEDRAL MUSEUM
  • Description: The museum is an old colonial house which deposits various, old religious handiworks of Cebu province; the most notable are the carved portion of the floor at the lobby, the silver-etched altar at the chapel and the Mercedez Benz that Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Vidal used when the Pope visited Cebu.
  • Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: P50 (local), P100 (foreigner)
  • Location: F. Urdaneta St. corner P. Burgos St., Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: The museum is the old brown house that can be seen across the street from the parking area of the cathedral.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

8th Stop: RAJAH HUMABON MONUMENT

RAJAH HUMABON MONUMENT
  • Description: The monument honors Rajah Humabon, the first Filipino chieftain to have been converted to Christianity by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. He was baptized and given the name Don Carlos.
  • Location: P. Burgos St., Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: The tattooed image of Rajah Humabon is on the opposite side of the cathedral and museum, separated only by the narrow P. Burgos St.
  • Rating: 1/5

9th stop: COLON OBELISK

COLON OBELISK
  • Description: The obelisk marks the start of Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines established in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Colon is derived from Cristobal Colon, the Spanish name of the explorer known in English as Christopher Columbus.
  • Location: Colon St, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: The obelisk is two blocks away from the Cathedral. Facing the Cathedral museum, walk for few minutes to the right until you see the obelisk in the middle of an intersection.
  • Rating: 2/5

10th stop: HERITAGE OF CEBU MONUMENT

HERITAGE OF CEBU MONUMENT
  • Description: The monument is a tableau of cement, iron and steel which portrays the major events of Cebu’s history. It was completed in year 2000 by Edgardo Castillo after 3 years of construction. The monument stands at the heart of the Old Parian district which believed to be the place of wealthy Filipino businessmen and Chinese merchants in the early years.
  • Location: Lopez Jaena, Parian, Cebu City
  • To get there: The monument is only few minutes away from Colon Obelisk. Walk through the P. Burgos street until it branches to two streets.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

11th stop: JESUIT HOUSE OF 1730

JESUIT HOUSE OF 1730
  • Description: The latest addition to Cebu’s heritage houses and believed to be the oldest in the Philippines – the Jesuit House of 1730 was the house of the Jesuit Superior of Cebu until they were banished by the Spaniards. The structure is inside a warehouse and is well-preserved with the architectural details of its time. Some notable items that can be found in the old house include a telephone, jukebox, cash register, pottery pieces, red clay tiles on its ceiling, ceramic wall photo that exposes its color when photographed and the  year “1730” marker.
  • Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Entrance Fee: P100
  • Location: 26 Zulueta St, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there:  The house is a short walk from the Heritage monument. Take the right branch of Mabini Street to find the entry point of Zulueta Street. Walk few steps until you see a warehouse with the Jesuit House of 1730 posting.
  • Rating: 3/5

12th stop: YAP-SAN DIEGO ANCESTRAL HOUSE

YAP-SAN DIEGO ANCESTRAL HOUSE
  • Description: The house is a 17th-century structure made of coral stones and hardwood brick roof tiles; its windows are ornamented with Capiz shells. It said to be the oldest Chinese house outside China. Antique accessories, furniture, utensils, jars and other artworks are kept in the house
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: P100
  • Location: Lopez Jaena, Parian, Cebu City
  • To get there: Walk back from Zulueta street and turn right to Mabini street. Walk past the Heritage monument to a corner where the old house is situated.
  • Rating: 3/5

13th stop: CASA GORORDO MUSEUM

CASA GORORDO MUSEUM
  • Description: A 19th-century house which serves as a museum with a shop and a café, Casa Gorordo Museum is notable for being the residence of Juan Gorordo, the first native bishop of Cebu. Some items displayed in the house include wooden carvings, kitchen utensils, household items, art collections and clothes.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: P120
  • Location: Lopez Jaena, Parian, Cebu City
  • To get there: From Yap-San Diego ancestral house, turn right to Lopez Jaena street. The old house should only be a 2-minute walk.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

14th stop: MUSEO SUGBO

MUSEO SUGBO
  • Description: The last stop of the heritage walk, Museo Sugbo was once a Spanish jailhouse which now serves as a museum for artifacts that were accidentally excavated in 2006 at Plaza Independencia when a tunnel was being constructed.
  • Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: P30 (local), P75 (Foreigner)
  • Location: M. J. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City
  • To get there: From Casa Gorordo, continue to walk until the end of Lopez Jaena where it merges with MJ Cuenco avenue. Turn left and follow the avenue to R. Mercado St. found on the right side.
  • Rating: 3/5

TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

  1. Some heritage sites like Museo Sugbo, Jesuit House of 1730 and Cathedral Museum of Cebu are closed on Sundays.
  2. Bring a bottle of water. A full tour might take half to entire day and can be exhausting when walking under the heat of the sun.
  3. Pickpockets are possible while strolling around the area. Keep your gadgets and wallets well attended. It is advisable to walk with a partner.
  4. Don’t hesitate to ask questions from the locals. Cebuanos are warm people who are ready to entertain visitors.
  5. Keep that smile and enjoy the artifacts!

MORE TIPS

While this article is best suited for DIY budget travelers, we also share the same sentiments with those who love to go on a tour package. Contact Cebu Rainbow Tours on the information below or click the link to arrange a city tour or avail to any of their tour services.

KLOOK also offers the most affordable and hassle-free tour services for Cebu. Here are some of its tour packages. Click each link for more details.

For other KLOOK services like transport and tour offers, use the search box below:

Klook.com

WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU CITY

When spending a day or two around Cebu City, you want to consider an accommodation that is within or near the city proper for easy access to transport. Below are some of the top-rated accommodations at the city proper. Click the photo for more details.

1075 DORMITEL CEBU
Rating: 9.8 | Price: P2,329 for a room good for 4 persons
Cozy, 2-BR condo w/ Wifi,near SM Seaside
Rating: 9.4 | Price: P1,489 for an apartment good for 4 persons
OYO 476 Hedda Hotel
Rating: 8.8 | Price: P1,277 for a family room good for 4 persons
18 SUITES CEBU
Rating: 8.8 | Price: P2,015 for a room good for 3 persons
HORIZONS 101, 34 CVIEW
Rating: 8.9 | Price: P1,600 for an apartment good for 3 persons
THE PARTRIDGE GUESTHOUSE
Rating: 9.3 | Price: P2,478 for a dormitory room good for 4 persons
MURALS HOSTEL & CAFE
Rating: 8.9 | Price: P2,223 for a room good for 4 adults and 2 kids

MORE OF CEBU

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