Metro Cebu

Metro Cebu is in Cebu Province in the Philippines. It is the country's second largest urban area, after Metro Manila, and the main urban center of both the province and the larger Visayas region.


Metro Cebu in red

Three main cities make up the core of Metro Cebu:

There are two large bridges between Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu. For all road-based transport taxis, jeepneys and buses the three are in effect a single city.

The official administrative region of Metro Cebu, shown in red on the map, extends well beyond the three core cities. It includes various suburbs or towns for which we have separate articles:

There is a coastal highway that runs north-south through all parts of Metro Cebu that are on Cebu Island; roads branch off it to the parts on Mactan Island (Lapu-Lapu and Córdova).

Other destinations

Olango Island


This is an overview article. The tourist attractions, hotels, eateries and bars are described in the articles for cities within the urban conglomerate, mainly Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu.

Get in

For most travellers Cebu City is the main destination.

It is also possible to arrive at the airport, go directly to one of Lapu Lapu's resorts, not visit Cebu City (or only go there on a guided tour), and be almost entirely insulated from the Philippines; some package holidays (mainly for Japanese and Koreans) do exactly this.

Get around

Jeepney station in Cebu

There are taxi, jeepney and bus services anywhere in the region. Taxi can get expensive since the urban area is quite spread out; for example the run from the airport in Lapu Lapu to downtown in Cebu City is ₱250-400.

There are also vans used as small buses, mostly running between stations next to major malls in the various cities. A van ride from Ayala Mall in Cebu City to Gaetano Mall in Lapu Lapu is ₱35.

Traffic is sometimes awful, especially in Mandaue since it is between the two larger cities, there are only a few ways through and (as of March 2016) there is construction work on one of the main ones. Travel during rush hours should be avoided if possible.

Jeepneys are a cheap and convenient, though often not very comfortable, way to get around within each city. Look for signs painted on the side saying where they go. For intercity travel, the vans are generally preferable.

There are also motorcycle-plus-sidecar tricycles for hire in some areas. In the cities, they are cheaper than taxis but much less comfortable. They are less crowded than the jeepneys, and therefore better if you have luggage and with less risk of pickpockets. On Olango Island, the tricycles are the only available option.

There are also ferries within the region. One runs from the port in Cebu City to a pier in downtown Lapu-Lapu for ₱16.


Statue of Lapu-Lapu

See the the articles for individual cities for descriptions of most of the area's attractions. Here we mention only a few of the most important, and even for those the details are in the city articles.

Magellan's expedition in the 1520's was the first to circumnavigate the Earth, but Magellan himself did not make it all the way; he was killed in a battle on Mactan Island with the forces of a local chief named Lapu-Lapu. Today the island's main city is called Lapu-Lapu and it has a statue commemorating the warrior.

Magellan was fighting Lapu-Lapu at the request of Rajah Humabon of Cebu, who was friendly with the Spaniards and had been baptised a Christian. Two of Magellan's gifts to the Rajah are now among Cebu City's most important tourist sites. One is Magellan's Cross, the other a statue of Santo Niño (the Holy Child). Cebu's greatest church is the Basilica of Santo Niño; the statue is inside and the cross nearby. These draw pilgrims from all over the Philippines, and some from further away.


The main language of the region is Cebuano, also known as Bisaya to its speakers and Visayan in English. As anywhere in the country, English is quite widely spoken and the level varies from fairly awful to completely excellent.

Tagalog is also fairly commonly spoken since the central government promotes it as a national language and it is used in some schools, but it is not indigenous to this region. Several of the country's many minority languages including Waray, Illongo and Hokkien Chinese are also spoken in the area, but most speakers of those will also speak at least one of Cebuano, Tagalog or English.

Stay safe

The area is poor; there are beggars and it is wise to take precautions against pickpockets and common scams.

In general, the region is reasonably safe and violent crime is rare but parts of Cebu City are considered risky at night.



Most consulates are in Cebu City, but there are also several in Mandaue.

  • Chile, Deligourmet, DGU Bldg, F. Cabahug St, Mabolo,  +63 32 231-0157.
  • France, Blue Planet, 556 Juan Luna Ave, Mabolo,  +63 32 320935.
  • Slovakia, Grand Cement Manufacturing Corp., G/F Insular Bank Bldg, Gorordo cor. Maxilom Ave,  +63 32 343-6445.
  • South Korea, c/o University of Cebu-Banilad Campus, Banilad,  +63 32 231-6345.
  • Turkey, B. Benedicto and Sons Inc, 103-107 Plaridel St,  +63 32 253-0769.
  • United States (Honorary), #1, G/F Waterfront Cebu City Hotel Bldg, Lahug,  +63 32 231-1261.

Go next

Anywhere on Cebu Island is readily accessible by road; the main bus stations are in Cebu City. There are two stations, North and South; to discover which one has buses for where you want to go, see the article on your destination.

There are also some bus-and-ferry combination journeys to nearby islands, in particular to Dumaguete or to San Carlos (Negros Occidental) and on to Bacolod.

For air travel, Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in Lapu Lapu; it has flights anywhere in the Philippines and many international flights. For travel by sea, the port in Cebu City is the busiest in the country; it is the main hub for the Visayas region and has connections to many cities outside that region.

Popular tourist destinations reachable with a short ferry ride are Bohol and Dumaguete. Boracay is somewhat further away but easily reached by plane to Caticlan or Kalibo then ferry.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.