Cebu City

The capital of the Southern Philippines, Cebu City is a bustling metropolis, the hub of a three-million-strong conurbation. Aesthetically, it's gritty and not exactly easy on the eye, but the city is also relatively cosmopolitan thanks to a surging English-language school industry (many Koreans and Chinese study here) and well-regarded universities (which draw Filipinos from across the nation). Historic sights are slim on the ground, though there are some colonial-era buildings, and the traffic is notorious – but you'll still find plenty to do. Cebu City's energy is infectious: its bar and club scene is justly famous throughout the archipelago and dining out is a delight, with a dizzying choice of restaurants. And with Cebu airport being expanded to accommodate many more domestic and international flights, the city's continuing prosperity seems assured.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cebu City.