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Cebu seriously has it all! Gorgeous beaches, amazing waterfalls, superb hiking, and a modern city to explore. If you’ve only got a limited time here, we’re here to help you make the most of it! Check out our Cebu itinerary so you can see the best of these islands without wasting any time!


Cebu Itinerary: Things to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Cebu Itinerary: Things to do in Cebu in 48 Hours © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Best Time to Visit Cebu, Philippines

In a tropical area where monsoons are a common occurrence, it’s definitely a good idea to plan your trip strategically. Wintertime (December – February) is an ideal time to visit Cebu. You can enjoy cooler days and nights and beautiful, sunny skies. As a bonus, the biggest festival of the year, Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival, happens the third week of January, so you can party with the locals and get a unique taste of their culture. Like most tourist destinations, traveling during peak season often results in higher prices.
Rainy season is from June to August and typhoons are to be expected, which sometimes means boats to other islands will not run due to the heavy downpours. May, April and June are the hottest months of the year in Cebu, but are also the cheaper months to travel in.


Best Time to Visit Cebu, Philippines - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Cebu at sunset © Courtesy of Unsplash


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Morning

First up on your Cebu itinerary is exploring the city. The landmarks in Cebu are a juxtaposition of historical monuments and modern architecture. You’ll start your DIY city tour at Fort San Pedro, a military defense structure that now houses a museum showcasing Spanish artifacts. After learning a bit of Cebu’s history, you’ll head to the famous Magellan’s Cross and Basilica Minore del Santo Nino. Once you’ve snapped some photos of the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines, walk ten minutes to the Heritage of Cebu Monument. Admire the sculptures here that symbolize significant events in Cebu’s history. Next, grab some food before catching a ride to the next part of your tour.


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Morning - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Heritage of Cebu Monument © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Afternoon

Your next stop will take you a bit further from the city center. Hop in a car, jeepney or motorbike and make your way to the Temple of Leah. Get a little taste of Greece while exploring this gorgeous temple. Next, get some fresh air at Sirao Garden. Known as “mini Amsterdam”, this picture-perfect garden is insanely Instagrammable, especially when the flowers are in full bloom. Afterwards, check out the epic views at Tops Lookout. This popular observation deck is best at around sunset so you can enjoy both the daytime and nighttime views. Buy some beers and BBQ at one of the food vendors and kick back and relax after a long day of exploring!


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Afternoon - Sirao Garden - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Sirao Garden © Courtesy of Shutterstock


More Things to do in Cebu:

If you have more time, there are a few other spots worth checking out. The Cebu Taoist Temple located in the Beverly Hills area offers some spectacular views at 300 meters above sea level. To get your souvenir shopping done in one go, head to Colon street where you’ll find markets full of jewelry, trinkets, clothes and street food to munch on. If you love visiting beautiful churches, be sure to check out Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. For the beach and ocean lovers, head down to Moalboal for a day trip. Sunbathe on the white sand beaches, go kayaking, snorkeling or kite surfing. Of course, there’s always the option to go island hopping. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Bantayan Island, dive with thresher sharks at Malapascua, or explore the caves of Camotes Island. Check out our Cebu Island Hopping Guide for more.


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Afternoon - Bantayan - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Bantayan Island © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Evening

By now, you’ll be ready to feast on some delicious Cebuan food. Head to Larsian, an open air night market popular with locals and tourists alike. Here, you can eat some incredible local dishes like BBQ, chorizo de Cebu, grilled chicken, “puso” (rice cooked inside coconut leaves) squid and more. As an alternative to this market, you can try the famous Cebu lechon (whole roasted pig cooked rotisserie style), which many say is the best in all of the Philippines. One of the popular spots to try this crispy, suckling pig is Rico’s Lechon. Afterwards, hit up one of the many karaoke spots. Filipinos love karaoke so join in and mingle with the locals!


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Evening - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Lechon © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Cebu Transportation: Getting Around Cebu

While you can always book a tour to simplify things while traveling, we prefer DIYing. There are many forms of transportation you can take advantage of while traveling around Cebu. To travel like a local, hop on a “jeepney”, a Filipino bus where you’ll sit in the bed of the truck, where there are two parallel benches. These brightly colored jeeps usually have designated routes, denoted by their displayed code. If time is your issue, jump on the back of a motorcycle or “habal-habal”. If you want something a bit more comfortable, you can always hail a metered taxi or book a private driver.


Cebu Itinerary Day 1: Evening - Jeepney - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Colorful jeepneys © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Cebu Itinerary Day 2: Morning and Afternoon

The adventurers and nature lovers out there are in for a treat. For your second morning in Cebu, you’ll be venturing to Osmeña Peak and Kawasan Falls. Hop on a bus and make the 3ish hour trek to these gorgeously green and jagged hills. After admiring these epic views, cool off at Kawasan Falls. Take a dip in the vibrant turquoise waters or hire a bamboo raft to float around. For the adrenaline junkies, you can try out some canyoneering, trekking, rock climbing, or cliff jumping. There are also two other waterfalls nearby that are just a 10-15 minute walk if you’re looking for something quieter.


Cebu Itinerary Day 2: Morning and Afternoon - Osmena Peak - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Osmeña Peak © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Mad Monkey Insider Tip:

To summit Osmeña, you can either make the fairly easy hike to the peak, which will take around two hours, or hire a motorbike to bring you the majority of the way up and then take a short hike to the top. The latter takes a little less than an hour total and is ideal for those on a stricter timeframe. For those looking for an even bigger adventure, you can actually hike from Osmeña to Kawasan Falls, which will take around 6 hours. Some even camp at Osmeña to get the full nature experience.


Cebu Itinerary Day 2: Morning and Afternoon - Kawasan Falls - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Kawasan Falls in Cebu, Philippines © Courtesy of Shutterstock


Cebu Itinerary Day 2: Evening

So it’s your last night in Cebu so you should obviously celebrate by immersing yourself in Cebu’s thriving nightlife scene. For a classy spot with epic views, check out Blu Bar and Grill. Sip on cocktails while admiring the glowing lights of Cebu. If you’re looking for live music, head to Cubana to dance the night away. For those looking for a serious night of partying, check out The Social or Liv Super Club, both of which regularly host international DJs guaranteed to give you an epic last night in Cebu. If you’re into something more mellow, the craft beer scene is growing on these islands. Check out The Cebruery or Turnign Wheels Craft Brewery for some unique beers and great vibes.


Where to Stay in Cebu, Philippines

With only two days in Cebu, we recommend staying in the city center so you have access to all of the main forms of transportation and popular attractions. Mad Monkey Cebu is located near most of the top tourist spots in the city and has plenty of amenities to make your stay both comfortable and memorable. Sunbathe on the rooftop deck and take a dip in the infinity pool, grab a meal at the Filipino Fusion restaurant, and enjoy the regular events held at the hostel. To book your stay, go here.


Where to Stay in Cebu, Philippines - Cebu Itinerary: What to do in Cebu in 48 Hours
Mad Monkey Cebu City © Courtesy of Mad Monkey Hostels



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Did you love this article about how to spend two amazing days in Cebu? Are you looking for more activities to add to your Cebu itinerary? Then check out these other articles we’ve rounded up so you can plan the perfect trip to Cebu, Philippines!


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About the Author

Kirsten Joelle is the RevOps Marketing Director for Mad Monkey. When she’s not working, you can find her doing yoga while Netflix binging, or more so just the latter.