Travel and Tourist InformationTravel Information for Cebu includes a lot of detail about travel, tourist attractions, shopping, accommodation, dining, entertainment and tours. It is provided by the Department of Tourism.
Visa InformationConsult this official webpage regarding Visa requirements.
Cebu City, Philippines
The City of Cebu, the capital city of the province of Cebu, is the oldest city in the Philippines and is known as the second most significant metropolitan center in the country. The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu province in the Central Visayas Region and was the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. Cebu is the Philippines’ main domestic shipping port and is home to about 80% of the country’s domestic shipping companies. Cebu also holds the second largest international flights in the Philippines and is a significant centre of commerce, trade and industry in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. According to the 2009 census, the city has a population of about 822,628 people.
The city boasts of famed Cebuano hospitality and faith, reputable economic activity, competitive administration and renowned scenic spots. It is known for many names: The Queen City of the South, The Gateway To A Thousand Journeys, Island of the Pacific, Oldest Spanish Settlement in Asia, Financial Capital of Southern Philippines, City of Fashion and Designs, First Asian Christian City, Heart of Visayas, and Most Visited Tourists Destination of the Philippines. Recently, it was chosen as the ASEAN City of Culture/ ASEAN Cultural City for 2011-2012.
Cebu City is a significant cultural centre in the Philippines. The imprint of Spanish and Roman Catholic culture is evident. The city’s most famous landmark is Magellan’s Cross which is now housed in a chapel, is reputed to have been planted by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão Magalhães), when he arrived in the Philippines in 1521. Revered by Filipinos, the Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Christianity in the Philippines. A few steps away from the Magellan’s Cross is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño (Church of the Holy Child). This is an Augustinian church elevated to the rank of Basilica in 1965 during the 400th year celebrations of Christianity in the Philippines, held in Cebu. The church, which was the first to be established in the islands, is built of hewn stone and features the country’s oldest relic, the figure of the Santo Niño de Cebu (Holy Child of Cebu).
Cebu City is considered as one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines. The city is readily accessible by air via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport located in Lapu-Lapu City which has direct international flights to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China, Qatar, South Korea and domestic destinations. Many international and cargo airlines fly to Cebu. There are also direct transfer flights via the Philippine capital’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport that readily connects the city to other destinations in the world. Mass transportation throughout the city and the metropolitan itself is provided by jeepneys, buses and taxis.
Cebu City is one of three centres of education in the country, the others being Metro Manila and Davao City. It currently has nine large universities and more than a dozen other schools specializing in various courses. Among these schools is the University of San Carlos, a private sectarian university administered by the Society of the Divine Word which traced its roots during the early Spanish regime back in 1595, thus making it the oldest school in the Philippines.
Cebu City derives significant income from tourism. It hosted the 1998 ASEAN Tourism Forum. The city also hosted the East Asian Tourism Forum on August 2002, in which the province of Cebu is a member and signatory. There are a number of significant Spanish colonial buildings in Cebu City, including the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, Fort San Pedro, Casa Gorordo Museum and Magellan’s Cross.