Eco-friendly travel guide to Cebu advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Cebu, Philippines.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4.5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $80
- Budget per day: US$20 - $100
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Cebu is a very popular province in the Philippines that is very well known by tourists. This place is surrounded by many little islands and the scenic beauty of this region makes travelers jump over from other cities and enjoy the beauty. The capital of this region Cebu city still has some remains of the 16th-century landmarks. The city also contains the busiest seaport in the Philippines. When you are visiting this city, make sure to keep these points in your head to be a complete eco-friendly traveler.
- Make sure to buy goods and other products from the local stores to help them survive and support the local economy.
- Make your stay comfortable along with helping the city get pollution free by choosing green hotels.
- Just like big restaurants, do not forget to make a stop at the street food stalls. They are equally delicious and mouth-watering.
- Play your part in keeping the city clean by choosing local transportation and electronic cars for traveling in the city.
- There are many parks and gardens in the city where you can get fresh air and are close to nature. Keep them on your list to experience the best green in the city.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality of this region is good for travelers. The average Air Quality Index (AQI) of this city is around 15. You will be able to breathe fresh, crisp air. If you do not have any breathing complications, then, you can visit the city without any worry.
However, people who have breathing problems or serious asthma might need to carry some medicines and other equipment in case of an emergency. Make sure to visit a doctor and check everything before visiting the city. The pollution in the air is very low compared to other places. Although the pollution levels keep fluctuating mostly it is not alarming.
Respect the Culture
You will be able to see a very diverse culture in this region as it has people from over 7017 islands residing here. People of these islands are divided into 3 different regions such as Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon. You will witness Spanish to Malay influences in the culture.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Cebu is a fantastic place where people from different parts of the globe love to visit. But if you want to make your trip more interesting, then these are the top 10 places in the city where you have to visit.
- Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu: One of the finest churches in Cebu which is famous for its holy prayers. Visit anytime during the day if not to pray then to witness it in all its architectural glory.
- Cebu Taoist Temple: It is a Taoist temple that tells you about the Chinese prayers and many more things. You do not have to be a worshipper to visit the temple. It is open for everyone. The beautiful architecture and the prayer ritual are worth witnessing.
- Tops Lookout: If you have never seen an observation deck before then this is the right opportunity. After visiting here, you can see the whole Cebu city from the top, and it will give you a great feeling. Try it out and get the best experience of your life which you never had before.
- Carbon Market: Now, after visiting these three places, just take a break and come to this market. It is one of the most crowdest markets where you will get the best hand-made crafts. Buy them, and you will never get any chances of dissatisfaction or complaints.
- Budlaan Falls: The best waterfall which entices the majority of the people and they love it. Besides the waterfall, this place is also famous for hiking and having a family picnic. Whoever missed it has regretted and cursed themselves throughout life.
- Casino Filipino: Want to try out your luck in playing a game of casino? Never think of anything and just do it because in this casino you can play the best games. Go for it, and you will have a lot of fun.
- Sirao Flower Garden: People in the city call it a park and thinks that there is no reason behind calling it a garden. But the actual fact is that it is a garden which is surrounded by wonderful flowers. After visiting here, people have given their best feedbacks and shared their experiences vividly.
- Temple of Leah: Do not go by its name because it is a modern Roman temple which gives you a vast history. The moment you come here, then you will feel like writing some important facts about it. Make a note of this place and mark it as a very important one.
- Sirao PCGS: If you want to go for a camping trip, then it is the right place. Join here with a group of friends and have a live experience the whole day. But if you listen to unnecessary comments about this place, then you will never get to know anything about it.
- Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden: You might find the botanical gardens an uninteresting place where no one likes to visit. But this garden has a specialty and people love to capture all their beautiful moments spend here.
Nowadays, there is no such person who would say no if they get an opportunity to visit Cebu. Every year the city attracts more than thousands of tourists, and after coming here, they feel like a second home. You will never have a feeling that by coming here you have made a colossal mistake which you should avoid. The reason is that some of the famous city parks and museums also becomes a point of attraction.
- D' Family Park: This is the best park which no one misses as everyone can have a nice family picnic over here. Visit in the morning time and enjoy the whole day with your family. People say a lot of rumours about this place and thinks that it is nothing. But rather than hearing those rumours, you have to try it yourself and get a different level of enjoyment.
- Gate walk Park: This park is not so famous, but you have to at least make a fair trial by coming here once. The greenery is awesome, and you can also say that people who want to get peace always explore it. Rather than having any second thoughts just visit here and then see something which you have never imagined earlier.
- Lapulapu: It is a place for the children as they come here and never feels like returning back. The playground is fabulous with the finest seesaws and children's swings. Bring your children, and they will love it to an extent level.
- Sudlon: Believe it or not, but it is true that here fresh lettuce farming is done and you can easily eat them. People refer to it as a lettuce park and come here more than twice or thrice. Without having any questions, you should have exposure to this place and experience something better.
- Central Cebu Protected landscape: You cannot imagine that this place has got the best reviews on the internet. The scenic beauty is great, and people also get absorbed after exploring it. After trying out, it is guaranteed that you would not have any scope of complaints.
- Matutiano: If you ask about this beach to anyone, then they will tell you that it is beyond lovely. The shore has a lining of trees and whoever visits here wants to know more about them. You would have a pleasure to enjoy this place and never feel like going back to your normal life.
- Logon: This is a calm beach which is recommended to all the visitors who are looking for relaxation during their travel. Take a nice rest over here and then move on to your next destination.
- Bantayan Island Beach: If you visit this island, you will be mesmerised by its beautiful white beaches, the scenic view and the calm atmosphere.
- Lapulapu Monument: One of the most popular historical landmark which has a vaster significance in Philippines history. If you have any doubt about this place, then you should know it very well before visiting.
- Rajah Humabon- This palace is named after the famous king Humabon who was a great ruler. You will see it has famous historical artifacts and some works of the king. Utilize this opportunity because it might not come again and again.
- Casa Gorordo: An 18th-century museum that depicts the famous background of the city and gives you a lot of historic details. In the beginning, you might not find it interesting, but later on, things will develop slowly. Take it into consideration and make a double tick of this place in your travel diaries.
- Halad: Never think that it has a strange name, that is why it will be a boring place. No, absolutely not this place tells you a lot about the musical culture and its significance. Once you discover this place, then you will also be fond of music.
- Jesuit House: This is the most interesting museum that tells you how a war used to happen in the 19th century. Even the even who do not like history is always fascinated by this museum and suggest it to their friends. No one feels unhappy as it is something that can fulfill all your needs and demands within a short span of time.
You will be able to see a very diverse culture in this region as it contains many people of a total of 7017 islands. All people of these islands are divided into 3 different regions such as Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon. You will witness many influences in these cultures from Spanish to Malay.
But all people who live in this region and all over the Philippines are known or considered as Pinoy. The mixed cultures of this place offer different things to customers that will take your breath away. Some of the customs and traditions are very old and rare for the rest of the world. While traveling to this place make sure to respect all of their cultures and witness closely to learn more.
Traditional Local Restaurants
If you want to get the best experience of eating food, then eating the traditional food is mandatory. Before trying different cuisines, make sure to try the authentic traditional foods in this city. You will get the best raw experience of eating traditional food in this region compared to any other place.
As the place is situated surrounded by islands, you will get many kinds of seafood in this place. Here are some of the best places that you can visit for the best traditional food in this region.
- Rico's Lechon Restaurant: This is one of the first restaurants that comes into mind when thinking of traditional food. This place is very popular with locals and tourists and you will get some of the best traditional foods including Lechon and other ones.
- Cafe Laguna: Another pace that you can't afford to miss if you love to eat traditional seafood dishes. Also, the Filipino cuisine of this place is very well known in the area. Make sure to taste dishes like Puto Bumbong, bouillabaisse soup, and others.
Vegetarian and Vegan
You do not need to worry about eating even if you are a vegetarian. This city offers some of the best places that serve vegetarian dishes that can beat even non-veg ones. Many people like to stay on veg on their trip to make sure that their health is okay while exploring the city.
You will get many different types of vegetables in this city that you might have not seen anywhere else in the country. Here is a list of places that you can visit to get the best vegetarian food.
- Live Life - This restaurant is located in Cebu city and is very well known for having plant-based dishes. You will get many traditional vegan dishes in this place along with international cuisines.
- Wellnessland Health Institute and vegan Cafe - The specialty of this place is the mixture of raw and cooked vegetables. Some of the dishes are so juicy that they taste better than any non-veg item.
Street food is the best thing for foodies that give them heavenly eeling. Street foods change dramatically with each and every city and its culture. Just like other cities, there are some street foods that are exclusively available in this city.
So, do not make the mistake of not trying them on your tour to the Cebu region. You will get a lot of seafood and local dishes in the small stalls around the city that comes at a reasonable price. You will come across many food markets that are filled with these street food stalls.
You need to know what are the best street foods in this city that need to be on the list. Some of the must-try street foods in Cebu are *Bibingka
- Tuslob buwa
Drinks are very important on a trip to keep yourself refreshed and energetic. When you are in a new place, it might be hard for you to know what drinks are available and not. Well, just like food, drinks also have a very wide diversity in this place. You will be able to get different types of drinks in this city including mocktails, cocktails, beers, whiskey, soft drinks, energy drinks, and others.
But when it comes to exploring the city, coconut water works best as an energy booster. If you want to know how different these drinks taste, then you have to try all of them. There are many nightclubs, bars, and pubs in the city that will offer you all of these drinks at a cheap price.
Many tourists have the same question in their minds about the safety of drinking tap water before they start drinking it. Well, the tap water of Cebu is not safe to drink and you should not drink it without boiling and filtering it.
Although many travelers do not drink tap water at all even after boiling and filtering. It might be unhealthy and bad for your health even after filtering. The effect might not be very fast but it will be harmful to your health. So, it is better to avoid tap water at all even for brushing your teeth.
You will find shops all around the region that sell mineral water bottles. Buy any branded mineral bottle from these shops and carry one with you to ensure the safety of your health. The water bottles are not that much costly and very well available around the city.
If you are concerned about your health and only want to eat organic foods and dishes, then you will not be disappointed in Cebu. You will be able to find many organic cafes in the region that offer the best healthy foods without any chemicals that will help you to explore the city with lots of energy.
While they are made with full organic vegetables and meats, the taste of these dishes is not any less than the other type of dishes. But the shops are scattered throughout the city, you need to know what are the best organic cafes in the region. Here is the name of those cafes that you need to visit to get the best experience of organic foods.
- Lunhaw Vegan Cafe
- Wellnessland Vegan Cafe and Health Food Store
- The Buzzz Cafe
When you are done exploring the beautiful places of this city in the day, you can take a rest at bars and pubs in this place to enjoy the nightlife with a variety of Breweries. From local to international, every type of brew is available in this region. You will be able to relax and get your energy back with just one sip of these amazing drinks.
Some local brands of beers and other drinks are very well known in the region and tourists. Make sure to try the local ones instead of internationals to get the cultural and traditional touch. Make sure to visit these places given below to get some of the best brews.
- Cebu Beer Factory
- Cebu Brewing Company
- Baguio Craft Brewery
You will be able to do many different activities in this city starting from visiting the famous attractions to outdoor activities. Being one of the best islands in the country, you will be able to get many activities. As the place is surrounded by the sea, you will be able to get many sea activities such as fishing, snorkeling, and other water activities.
All of these activities will help you to get the best experience in this city. If you want to get away from all the cross, then you can also participate in many different yoga classes that are available in this city. Here are some of the details about these activities that will help you with your trip.
Yoga and Retreats
As mentioned above, yoga is one of the best ways to improve mental and physical health in the middle of your trip. You can take a break from all the crowd and roaming all day and join the yoga classes to calm your mind and get back the lost energy.
As the people of Cebu are very well aware of their health, most of them take the yoga classes daily. You will find many yoga and retreats in the region. However, you might need to look for these yoga centers for hours to find them. Here are some names that are given below that will help you to find them easily and save time.
- The Gassho Center
- Ananda Marga Yoga Center
- Wellnessland Wholeness Center and Medi-Spa
Another very important part of your travel is choosing the place to stay in the city. You will find many different options available in the city for your stay. But choose one that matches you perfectly along with all of your requirements.
You will be living a lot of time in your hotel or apartment when you are not roaming the city. So, you need to choose a very comfortable option for you to stay in the city. From rented apartments to hotels everything is available in this city.
As the place is known for being famous by the tourists, you will need to book the spot in advance to get a room available successfully. Here are the details of the accommodation given below that will help you to know more.
As an eco-friendly traveler, green hotels are the best choice for you and your stay. This is the most eco-friendly option available for you that you can use to keep the city clean and enjoy a comfortable time. Green hotels are almost the same as other hotels but they take some steps and use some special methods that help to minimize pollution.
Green hotels are available in this region as this place is very well known by tourists. Stay at these hotels to get the best experience and keep the city out of pollution. It is best to book the hotel in advance using online services to ensure room availability. Here are some of the names of the green hotels given below.
- Green One Hotel Mactan
- Radisson Blu Cebu
- Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu
Hostels and Guest Houses
When you are planning to stay in the city or region for a long time, hostels and guest houses are far better options for you than the hotels. It will both save your money and help you to stay comfortably in the region for as long as you want. You will get many different price options based on features and offerings of these hostels or guest houses. Most of them are very cheap in price compared to hotels. Here are some of the popular hostels and guest houses in Cebu that you can choose for your stay.
- 8th Street Guesthouse
- HQ Hostel Cebu
- Food District Hostel Cebu Central
- TR3ATS Guest House
If you are planning to extend our stay and enjoy the city for a long time, then another very good and pocket-friendly way is renting apartments. You can rent apartments in this city to just stay like locals for as long as you want.
The city offers apartments at various prices, which you can rent for as long as you want. It is better to look for them in the online services and book through them to avoid any type of last time cancellation.
Most of the apartments provide basic benefits like free wi-fi, parking spots, and others. You will be able to look at the life of local people very closely being their neighbor. This list of popular apartments will help you very much.
- TSL Apartment
- Dacanay Apartments and Rooms for Rent
- Calyx Residences
If you want to visit and travel to Cebu city like a local person, then the best option for you is Couchsurfing. It is a travel community that is very well known around the world. You will be able to get them in almost all the cities. The members of this community who stay in Cebu City can help you to stay in their house as a host.
You will be able to stay comfortably among the locals without any price. Also, the people will help you to know about different information or take you out for giving the best tour of the city and it is needless to say that locals know a lot more about the region than any other people.
If you are an adventure lover, then the best accommodation option for you is camping. Camping is one of the ways to get close to nature and enjoy the fresh air during your stay in different places. You will be able to lie down under the open sky and surrounded by greens at a reasonable price and most of the time it is cheaper than other accommodation options in the city.
The region is filled with camping places where you can stay comfortably and enjoy your trip. Although, it is best to book these places before stepping in as many bookings are done in advance and you might not be able to get a camp if you are late. You can use online services to book them easily from your home. Some of the popular ones that you need to check out first are given below.
- Chalet Hill-Babag Campsite
- Camp Marina grounds
- Bacalla Woods Campsite
How to Get There
Before planning your trip to Cebu, you need to know how you can get there and how many ways are available for you. If you are traveling from another country, then many ways might not be available to you. Some might be time taking and others easy for you, but the air is the most convenient way for most of the countries to reach Cebu.
Also, options like train, bus, hitchhiking, and many others are not available to you that are cheaper than air. As the island is separated, you might not be able to get a lot of options to reach this place directly. The details about reaching this place are given below to help you out.
As mentioned above, the air is the most convenient and easiest way for you to reach Cebu. From most of the countries, you will be able to catch a direct flight for the Mactan Cebu International Airport. The main Cebu city is only 1-hour drive away from this airport that you can reach by booking a cab.
From international to local, you will find many different airline services that go on this island such as Cebu pacific Air.Com, Zest Air, Cathay Pacific, Asiana Airlines, and others. You will be able to catch a flight by booking the ticket in advance and the flights are available daily from different airports. So, you do not have to wait much if you want to catch a flight to the beautiful Cebu city.
You will not be able to get any buses from other countries that go directly to Cebu. There are no direct buses available too if you are traveling to Cebu from a city in the Philippines. However, if you want to break your journey, then you can reach the place by bus but it will take a lot of time and you have to change your bus more than 3 times based on your location.
You have to catch a bus to reach Manila Pasay and catch a ferry from there to cross the sea. After reaching Liolan, catch another bus that goes to Cebu North Bus Terminal and you will be in Cebu in no time.
Just like a bus, you will not find any direct trains that go to Cebu from other countries or cities of the Philippines. You can catch a train to reach Manila and take a flight from there to arrive in Cebu. However, you have to check if any trains are directly available from your country for Manila.
If there are no direct trains, then you might have to take the help of many trains to reach this place. However, you will be able to reach Cebu faster than the bus by taking a train but as it is on a separate island, there is no route that connects the region to other places. Make sure to book the tickets using online services to avoid any type of inconvenience.
You will be able to hitchhike until a certain point to reach the Cebu region, then you will have to take the help of local transportations. The island is not connected with any roads, which makes it impossible to hitchhike your way to the island. If you are hitchhiking from another country, then you will be able to reach Manila by road but then you have to take a flight or ferry to reach the region.
However, you can hitchhike your way to Cebu city from the airport after reaching the island. It is a journey of 1 hour that takes up the road, you can easily take a lift on the road from the local people or tourists.
Apart from all these options, you can also use another popular transportation option to reach the Cebu region directly which is by water. If you are traveling from other cities in the Philippines, then you can catch a boat, ferry, and others to reach Cebu. Cebu has many ports that make it easier to reach the island by water than any others.
You can check the schedule of ferries and boats that go to Cebu from different cities and catch them daily. Mostly, these boats and ferries are very widely available in the city but booking a ticket or knowing the time will prevent you from waiting. You can also get ferries for the Cebu region from other places as well.
Different tourists like to take different transportation modes for moving around the city. While many people prefer moving around walking, others like to take cars. As an eco-friendly traveler, make sure to choose a way of moving around that does not pollute the environment. You can take the help of electronic cars to move around the city along with many other options like cycling, public bus, train, and others.
Some of the transportation modes are very good to explore the city in detail and some of them help you to move faster to your destinations. Here are the details of these transportations are given below that will help you to know which one is better for you.
If you are health conscious, then you can walk your way around the city to explore it. It is a great exercise for you and one of the best exploration experiences. Most of the travelers choose to walk around the city and this region to get the full experience of the tradition and culture of the local people.
You will get many advantages by choosing to walk as you will be able to enter many markets and lanes where only pedestrians are allowed. You will be able to take shortcuts to reach popular points in the city. Make sure to get different things like water, umbrella, and others to be safe.
Another very good way to explore the city while doing exercise is by riding a bicycle. You will be able to get many services that will provide you a bicycle on rent. As the city is very well connected with roads to the most famous attractions, you will be able to reach most of the destinations riding bicycles.
There is a separate lane in most of the places for bicycle riders, which makes it easy to reach the destination without waiting in the traffic. This might be the best way to keep your health top-notch and help the city stay pollution-free. Before entering the hotel make sure to check if they provide cycle services to tourists for free.
Both walking and bicycle might take a lot of time to reach your destination. If you want to reach faster, then you can take a cab but make sure that the cab is run by batteries. As an eco-friendly traveler, you need to take care of the city and reduce pollution, and the best way to do it by avoiding normal cabs that are run by fuel.
Electric vehicles are as fast as any other mode of transportation and it helps you to reach your destination very fast. But whenever you are catching a cab, make sure to have some extra time on your hand and be patient as traffic can play a big part in your journey. The best car service company is known by the name of grab.
Local public buses are the cheapest option to explore the city comfortably. Compared to all different transportation fares, you will be able to get the cheapest one on buses. As the region is quite big and well connected with every corner by bus, you will be able to cover all the areas.
Reaching the famous attractions will be easy for you as the buses offer stops at all the tourist attractions. Local buses are quite frequent and you will be able to catch one without waiting for a long time. However, just like cars, the buses will also get in traffic and might be late to reach their destination. So, take time on your hands and be patient while traveling on buses.
Tram, Train and Subway
You will not find any railway tracks or trains in this region and no trams. There are some subways in the city that help to move fast in the city. However, Cebu Light Rail Transit System is still in process that will help the locals and other people to move rapidly. It will be the first Rapid transit line in the metro in the whole world. However, if you are traveling the region now, then it is best to stick with walking, renting motorcycles or cars, or taking buses.
Shopping in the heart of every travel destination, without it the travel is not complete. But as an eco-friendly traveler, you will have to choose sustainable shopping that promotes zero waste and maximum green products. It is a very nice way to keep the environment of the city clean and reduce pollution.
Like many other cities, this place has adopted the reduction of waste ideas very well. So, you will find many sustainable markets in this region that sell second hand, eco-friendly, and old vintage products to the people that are priceless. You might not be able to get these things anywhere else in the country. So, here are some details about these markets given below.
Food markets are often the best and favorite palace of tourists as the place is filled with cooking mysteries. You will get to know all the secret ingredients that they use to make their dishes so taste so good. You will also find many food stalls to taste different dishes while exploring the market. These food markets will help you to get the best feeling and experience. Some of the names are given below:
- The Market by Sugbo Mercado
- Inayawan Public Market
Flea markets are the best places for people who like to buy collectibles, antique goods, vintage collections. From second-hand products to old rare products, you will be able to get all of them in one market. Eco-friendly and zero waste items will help you to buy products at a cheap price while making the environment green. You will find many local people and tourists in these markets. Here are some of the best flea markets in the region.
- Carbon Market
- Tintay Market
- Taboan Public Market
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand shops are scattered throughout the city where you will be able to buy some quality products at a cheap price. By purchasing these products, you will help the city to stay pollution-free. But you need to know what are the shops that you need to visit. Here are some names of shops given below where you can visit to get the best second-hand products.
- J Bee Thrift Shoppe
- Cebu Thrift House
- Xxyron Trading
You will find many eco-fashion products in most of the markets from clothes to accessories. The local people have well adopted eco-friendly products that cost less but very high quality like all the others. Make sure to buy these products to help the city stay pollution-free and help the locals like an eco-friendly traveler.
The region is very well focused on recycling waste and other materials throughout the city. They have taken many big steps and initiatives to reduce pollution from waste and successfully recycle them to use in the city. Both government and local companies have helped the city to improve its recycling process. As an eco-friendly traveler, you can also contribute very much to keep the city clean.
Cebu has introduced a solid waste management system for the local people that will help them to recycle leftover foods, water bottles, rotten vegetables, plastics, and others. Mostly 67% of waste is organic in this city that is biodegradable and others are papers and plastics. All the plastic trash is burned in this region and others in the Philippines. Local people play a huge role in keeping the city waste-free.
Work and Study Abroad
You will come across many students who have come from different places to study abroad and pursue higher studies. This region offers some of the best universities and colleges in the Philippines, that provide higher degrees at a reasonable price and many other facilities. Students from different places are attracted by these offerings and come to study. Some people also visit the region to work and earn some money.
One of the most helpful things for students that help them to study abroad in great and famous colleges who have a partnership with their home college. If you are able to get nominated by the home institute, then you will be able to easily come and study in these universities and colleges in Cebu. Many of them have partnerships with other colleges and universities all around the world.
Au Pair is a very helpful option for tourists, students, workers, and other people who have come to the city. You will be able to come across many people who want an Au Pair to take care of her child, elder people, and other things. In exchange for taking care of them and the household in the absence of the host, you will be able to get shelter, food, and some money.
If you want to contribute to the city or keep the city clean, then you can volunteer to keep the city clean with many options. You can choose to help out the librarian by being his assistant, keeping the famous places clean, helping out the local people learn English, and many more.