Twin City Tour: Cebu + Lapulapu

There are many tourists who come to Cebu with very limited times. They sure want to maximize whatever time they have to enjoy local culture, food, and tourist spots. One of way for them to make good use of their time is to do a twin city tour

In the past, we posted about quick tours they can do at certain locations in Metro Cebu. Let us explore another one in this post. This itinerary shall focus on Cebu City and Lapulapu City. We recommend the services of South Shore Tours for vehicles you will need on this tour. They have a twin city tour package that can be availed for a price as low as PhP 900 per person.

Have your driver pick you up at your hotel right after you have breakfast. We recommend that you start early. Start your twin city tour no later than 9 a.m. 

Flower Garden

You may have heard of the flower gardens in Cebu's mountain barangays. Start your twin city tour with a visit to one of them. Sirao's Celosia gardens may be the most popular. There is Terrazas de Flores which is nearer to urban Cebu City. There is also Balamban's Buwakan ni Alejandra. Although Balamban is not part of Cebu City. Enjoy the scenery and take photos for your Instagram. 

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Sirao Flower Garden
Sirao Flower Garden


Your second stop will be at Tops Lookout. Tops is a popular hangout for both locals and visitors. The former helipad of the Osmeña family gives good views of the city. This is true specially at night.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Tops

Temple of Leah 

The Temple of Leah is the third stop. This temple is a new structure. There are a few interesting things about it. For one, it was built as a copy of the Parthenon in Greece. Second, it is a mausoleum a man built in loving memory of his late wife. In the future, they plan to add more value to this destination by adding museum pieces.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Temple of Leah
Temple of Leah

Taoist Temple

Move on to the Taoist Temple. This temple was built in 1972. It showcases Chinese influences in Cebu. This is a popular stop for tourists as well. The dragon sculptures, botanical gardens, and landscaping are the things to see here.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Taoist Temple
Taoist Temple

Spanish-era Structures

Next up is a walking tour of Spanish-era structures. Ask your driver to drop you off at Fort San Pedro. Fort San Pedro is the country's oldest and smallest tri-bastion fort. The fort hosted the earliest Spanish settlement in the archipelago. At certain times of the year, they have tourism interns who guide tourists around the structure. Right outside Fort San Pedro is Plaza Independencia. It is a very old park that also has a very interesting history.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Fort San Pedro
Fort San Pedro

Walk to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. This church is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines. The Magellan's Cross is right outside it's premises. The cross was erected to celebrate the conversion of natives to Christianity. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted this cross. The kiosk that houses this cross is one of Cebu's most iconic symbols.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Magellan's Cross

Take another short walk to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. The cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Cebu. It took several years to complete. It also has a very interesting history. Right beside it is the cathedral museum.

Further down the road is Shamrock Pasalubong Center. You can buy local delicacies at this place. Cross the bridge over Estero de Parian. Stop at the eastern end of Colon Street. Here you will find the Colon Street Obelisk. It indicates that Colon Street is the oldest and shortest national road in the country. From Colon Street, one can see the Heritage of Cebu Monument. It was built on the old Plaza Parian. The monument depicts many historical events in Cebu.

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is a stone's throw away from the monument. This house was built in 1675. Walk another block and drop by Casa Gorordo. This is the ancestral home of Cebu's first Filipino archbishop. Ask your driver to pick you up at this location and drive to Museo Sugbo.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

Museo Sugbo is the Cebu branch of the National Museum of the Philippines. This edifice used to be the Carcel de Cebu. It served as a jail facility for centuries. It was converted into a museum in 2008. This is the end of the Cebu City leg of your. Eat some lunch before proceeding to Mactan Island. Check out Cebu City's buffet restaurants for a good meal.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Museo Sugbo
Museo Sugbo

A good place to start the Lapulapu City leg of your twin city tour is at the Mactan Shrine. This is the site of the Battle of Mactan. It was here where Lapulapu and his men fought and killed Magellan. Alternatively, you can have a real Cebuano lunch beside this shrine. It is where you will find many sutukil restaurants. Sutukil is a Cebuano meal of grilled seafood, soup, and fish ceviche.

After the shrine visit, immerse yourself in the Cebuano musical culture. You can either visit Susing's Guitar factory or the Ukehub Kafe. If you're lucky, you might be able to attend a ukulele workshop at 

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: Ukuleles
Ukuleles on display at Ukehub Kafe

Roman Catholics may want to say a prayer at the Birhen sa Regla church. Cebuanos often come to this church to ask for divine favors. Those who are not too religious may choose to marvel at the Muelle Osmeña lighthouse instead. The lighthouse is more than 100 years old.

End your tour at the 10000 Roses Cafe. Technically, the cafe is located in the town of Cordova. Consider it a bonus in the twin city tour. Enjoy the view of 10000 LED-powered artificial white roses. This place is best visited at night.

Twin city tour in Cebu stop: 10000 Roses Cafe
10000 Roses
I hope you enjoy your twin city tour!

Note: Some photos are contributed by Cheska Baynas and South Shore Tours.