Historic Landmarks and Delicious Local Cuisines

If you’re planning to go on a Cebu city tour, then don’t forget to visit these amazing historic spots. You’ll surely be enthralled with its colorful past and also discover why it’s known as The Queen City of the South.

While Cebu is known for its captivating beaches, it’s also a place steeped in history and culture.  In fact, Cebu is home to several historic landmarks that can be traced back to the Spanish Colonial era.  During the 9th century, the Malays have already inhabited Cebu and they traded and fished to survive.

At present, Cebu is a bustling and thriving island city and it boasts of modern buildings and structures. However, despite all these rapid development Cebu has remained true to its roots and has preserved its magnificent historical spots.

The Historic Landmarks of Cebu

If you’re planning to go on a Cebu city tour, then don’t forget to visit these amazing historic spots. You’ll surely be enthralled with its colorful past and also discover why it’s known as The Queen City of the South.

Cebu Heritage Monument

This majestic monument was built by Cebuano artist Eduardo Castillo and showcases the significant events that took place in Cebu. It features scenes like the beatification of Pedro Calungsod, the reign of Rajah Humabon, the Spanish invasion, and other key historical events.

Fort San Pedro

This historical spot is famous among local and foreign tourists alike and it’s usually the first stop during sightseeing Cebu tours. Miguel López de Legazpi was the one responsible for building the fort and he also led the Spaniards when they conquered the city. You’ll find a museum and several Instagrammable spots inside this charming historic landmark.

Plaza Independencia

The Plaza Independencia is one of the highly renowned places in Cebu’s history. It symbolizes the freedom and independence from the conquerors who tried to take ownership of the island of Cebu. It’s also easily accessible from Fort San Pedro and you only need to take a few steps to reach this charming park.

Magellan's Cross

A few blocks from Fort San Pedro stands Magellan’s Cross – another historical spot you must not miss. Although it’s a relatively small structure, this recognizable landmark plays an important part in Cebu’s rich history.  Inside you’ll find the cross that’s rumored to be the exact one that the Spaniards and Portuguese erected on March 15, 1521 to signify the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.

Cebu Provincial Capitol

The impressive neoclassical architecture of the Cebu Provincial Capitol is such a sight to behold.  It’s truly Cebu’s pride and it was designed by Juan Arellano and built by the construction firm, Pedro Siochi & Company.

Other Historical Landmarks to Visit

Cebu has a lot more to offer besides those previously mentioned. Here are other historical places you can visit on your own or with the help of a Cebu tour guide:

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu

A Cebuano worthy to be called as such has visited the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu at least once in their lifetime. It holds the record for being the only minor basilica in the entire country and South East Asia.  Inside you’ll see numerous relics of saints and exquisite murals on its ceilings.  Stepping outside, you’ll find people attending the mass, offering prayers, and lighting candles in honor of Senor Sto Nino.

Campaña Maritima

This historical structure was built in 1910 and was considered one of the most iconic buildings during the American Colonial period. Campana Maritima was one of the prominent shipping companies in Cebu and it used to occupy this impressive building.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

If you want to visit the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, then just head to 155-Lopez Jaena corner Mabini Street in Parian. This quaint house is known to be one of the oldest residential houses in the entire country.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Fondly called Cathedral by the locals, this church is one of the first churches in the Philippines that was erected near the fort. The men credited for building this alluring structure are Fray Andrés de Urdaneta, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, and Fray Diego de Herrera.

Museo Parian-1730 Jesuit House

This enchanting structure is considered the oldest dated house in Cebu. It also became the residence of the highest Jesuit official in the Philippines. Now, it’s called the Museo Parian and it houses significant remnants and artifacts of old Cebu.

Casa Gorordo Museum

This captivating structure was the home of Juan Gorordo- the first Filipino Bishop, and it is now a well-known museum.  Its location is at 35 Lopez Jaena Street situated in the historic district of Parian, Cebu City. It houses several relics that reflect the fuss free lifestyle of the Filipinos back in 1860 up to 1920.

Colon Street

The oldest street in the country is Colon Street and it’s located in the heart of downtown Cebu. Thousands of years ago, it was a bustling place where trade and barter regularly happened.

The Delicious Cuisines & Delicacies of Cebu

It’s no secret that aside from amazing historical places, Cebu also has the best restaurants and local delicacies in the country.  Let’s discover the culinary delights that you can enjoy aside from Cebu’s best – the famous lechon.


Did you know that fishing plays a huge role in the livelihoods of the Cebuanos due to Cebu’s rich marine life and biodiversity. It’s no surprise then that sutukil has influenced and dominated Cebu’s culinary culture.

Sutukil or STK got its name from 3 famous Filipino cooking methods: “su” means sugba or to grill, “tu” stands for tuwa or to stew, and “kil” for kilaw or to eat raw. Sutukil has been part of Cebuano cuisine for hundreds of years. Ferdinand Magellan’s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, mentioned that the natives prepared and served fish/ seafood using the sutukil technique when their expedition team arrived on April 7, 1521.


This famous delicacy can be found in most local markets. Otap is a biscuit made with puff pastry and it’s coated in sugar and it has a crunchy and crumbly texture. If you’re looking for a light afternoon snack to go with coffee or hot chocolate, then Otap is the perfect choice. Titay’s and Shamrock are two of the well known local brands that produce otap.


This sumptuous delicacy hails from Liloan and it’s one of the more famous pasalubong items from Cebu.  These ring-shaped cookies were said to be made by Margarita “Titay” Frasco and got its name from the Spanish word for ringlet.

Dried Mangoes

If you’re looking for something sweet, then you must try dried mangoes. These yummy treats are made of mangoes that are dried under the heat of the sun. It has a chewy texture and you can even compare it to gummy candies. The Philippines is known to produce some of the best mangoes in the world, so a bag of dried mangoes would be a great gift to give to someone. Do drop by public markets such as Carbon and Tabo-an and stock up on these addicting delicacies.  However, If you prefer to shop in comfort, then you can easily find them in local grocery stores.


This rectangle shaped delicacy hails from Mandaue. The ingredients for masareal are peanuts, water, and sugar. You can easily find these delicious snack bars in pasalubong centers and supermarkets all over Cebu.  Look out for Masareal bars with the Didang’s brand since it’s considered to be the best tasting one in the market.


Should you find yourself in the southern area of Cebu, then do try to get your hands on this famous delicacy- the torta. Also known as Torta Cebuana or Torta Bisaya, this scrumptious cake is very fragrant and has a crumbly texture. It’s typical to find torta being served during fiesta and family celebrations in Cebu. 

Do yourself a favor and bring several tortas to take home with you so you can enjoy it as a snack. There are numerous shops in the south that sell torta since it plays a huge part in their local tourism. Argao even has a local festival promoting torta.  It’s highly recommended that you pair the torta with sikwate, a hot choco beverage that’s also a popular product from Cebu.


There are people who don’t like sweet treats and if a salty delicacy is more your vibe then danggit is a good option.  It’s made from salted, sun-dried rabbitfish or spinefoot which is very abundant in Cebu’s waters.  Rabbitfishes can grow up to 14 inches or even more and locals call them kitang or samaral.  Danggit can also be fried or used as main ingredients in soups.

Danggit is split open and it’s best cooked to a crisp and Cebuanos usually serve them during breakfast.  Spicy vinegar or suka is the best dip for freshly cooked danggit.

Cebu remains to be a top destination for tourists because it offers amazing sights and incredible food.  No wonder countless people visit this tropical island multiple times because they just can’t get enough of the things that only Cebu can offer.