Tops Cebu is arguably the most famous lookout in Cebu City, with panoramic views of the sprawling metropolitan, all the way out to Lapu Lapu and its neighbouring islands. Its a popular spot amongst both locals and tourists to watch the sunset, take their significant others on dates and have a cheap dinner under the stars. The best part is, it’s just a short drive from the city centre.
HOW TO GET TO TOPS CEBU
Tops Cebu is in the mountainous town of Busay, around 25 mintues from Lahug City. If you have your own car or motorbike you can just use the map below or Google Maps and search for Tops Lookout. If you’re taking public transport, you can take any jeepney going to Busay and get off at JY Square Mall. There will be plenty of motorcycle taxis (habal-habals) fighting for your attention. Tell them you want to go to Tops Lookout and make sure you don’t pay more than ₱100/USD $2. Lost looking tourists that don’t know any better can get ripped off, so now you know the going rate is only ₱100.
TOPS CEBU ENTRANCE FEE
There is a ₱100/$2 entrance fee at Tops Cebu, which covers parking and if you’re lucky you can also get a table in the covered semicircle. This is probably the only place in the Philippines we’ve been to where there isn’t an additional charge for a table! Bring a little extra for snacks, or if you’re visiting in the evening they also have barbeque and rice.
BEST TIME TO GO TO TOPS CEBU
Sunset is definitely the best time to visit Tops Cebu, but you should expect crowds. We recommend getting there early if you have the afternoon free so you can snag a table before all the sunset watchers arrive. We watched the lighting turn from golden to a hazy sunset, and eventually the city lights of Cebu sparkled in the dark.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT TOPS CEBU
We’re not sure who’s behind the architecture of Tops Cebu, but it’s very unique! The circular lookout has a stone semicircle seating area, which reminds us a bit of Lord of the Ring’s Hobbit House. The open space has honeycomb patterned cement tiles and additional seating if you miss out on a stone booth.
Like we said, Tops Cebu is very popular for date nights, as well as whole family outings (dogs included!) and just about anyone looking for an Instagrammable snap. If you keep this in mind when you visit, your expectations won’t be shattered by the throngs of people. Tops Cebu is beautiful, but it’s far from being a secret spot.
VIEW FROM TOPS CEBU LOOKOUT
The view from Tops Cebu is second to none, with a complete outlook on the Queen City of the South. It’s interesting to see the landscape change abruptly from a mountainous region to the bustling, overcrowded city of Cebu, and again when it hits the water. Once night falls, the city lights up like stars and you’re reminded again of just how many people live down there.
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WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU CITY
BUDGET/HOSTEL: DOWN SOUTH HOSTEL
Down South Hostel in Cebu City is our home away from home. We’ve spent a lot of time in Cebu City and this is our favourite budget accommodation. It’s clean, the rooms are spacious, modern and comfortable, and the communal spaces are beautifully decorated and well designed. There are private rooms as well as dorm spaces to choose from if you’re on a tight budget.
MIDSCALE: THE HENRY HOTEL
The Henry Hotel in Cebu is an urban, art-centric hotel in Banilad. The rooms are colourful and curious, very spacious and the amenities are great for a mid-scale hotel. If you’re looking for something different from your regular copy+paste hotels, this is it.
LUXURY: MARCO POLO PLAZA
Marco Polo Plaza is one of, if not the most, iconic hotels in Cebu City. If you’ve got a little extra cash to splash Marco Polo Plaza is a top pick in a prime location, close enough to the city centre to be convenient but far enough away from the chaos to afford you a little peace of mind.
MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES
Inambakan Falls Ginatilan
Kabutongan Falls Malabuyoc
Kawasan Falls Badian
Montpellier Falls Alegria
Cancalanog Falls Alegria
Binalayan Falls Samboan
Balaygsawa Falls Samboan