Dagupan Bucket List: 10 Best Things to do in Dagupan City

Dagupan Tourist Attractions: Best Activities to do and Places to see in Dagupan City, Philippines

Ciudad Elmina Fishing Village
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What is Dagupan City famous for?

Did you know that Pangasinan was derived from the word “asin”, as the province is known to be the largest producer of salt in the Philippines? Other than that, it’s surrounded by cities worth visiting, such as Alaminos and Dagupan. While some of us may be familiar with the Hundred Islands and nearby beaches in Pangasinan, there are also exciting parts of Dagupan you should also discover to satisfy that inner wanderlust.

Bangus Festival photo via Dagupan City Bangus Festival FB Page
Bangus Festival photo via Dagupan City Bangus Festival FB Page

The best thing about the city is that it’s easily accessible by several bus liners such as Victory, Five Star, and Solid North buses. From food trip, exotic destination, to heart-racing activities – Dagupan – the Milkfish Capital of the Philippines – has got you covered!

No need to worry about planning your itinerary! Here we listed our top 10 best things to do in Dagupan City!

Visit the Pacific Salt Farm

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Salt Bed at Pacific Farms
Salt Bed at Pacific Farms

Boasting 500 hectares in Bolinao, the Pacific Salt Farm is named as one of the biggest salt suppliers in the country since 1956. The salt farm has also provided jobs to the residents of Dagupan, and in case you’re wondering how they make their gourmet salt, the farm offers an immersion tour and harvesting experience for guests. Make sure to try the Binungey or “bamboo rice cake” which they take pride in.

Experience the Dawel River Cruise

Join the Dawel River Cruise in Dagupan, which was opened to the public during the Bangus Festival 2011. This is the perfect activity for tourists to be able to showcase the calm and serene rivers of Dagupan, and also to provide livelihood to boatman, cooks, and eco guides. During the cruise, you’ll see thriving mangroves and some migratory birds, if you’re lucky. The cruise will be coursing from Dawel to Watac River.

In case you’re interested, take note that boats leave every hour and are docked at San Marino Place, Bonuan Catacdang, Dagupan City.

Visit the Instagram-worthy graffiti art at Bonuan Tondaligan Beach

If you want to take your IG gaming to a different level, then why not head over at the Bonuan Tondaligan Beach, enjoy the sunset and appreciate the stellar graffiti arts in the abandoned building. You can also rent a cottage and bring you own snack while enjoying the scenic view.

Dine at Ciudad Elmina Fishing Village

Dagupan is called the Milkfish capital of the country for nothing. Head over at Ciudad Fishing Village owned by former City Mayor Alipio Fernandez at the Mayombo District, Dagupan City and make a meal out of your fresh catch. Aside from bangus, you can try other seafood dishes from some sinigang na sugpo and tilapia. You can also try meat dishes too!

Ciudad Elmina Fishing Village
Ciudad Elmina Fishing Village

It’s not only a restaurant, but this property also offers regular rooms and recreational activities perfect for those traveling with their family or in huge groups.

Visit the Dagupan City Museum

Dagupan Museum Locomotive, Train photo by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikipedia CC
Dagupan Museum Locomotive, Train photo By Ramon FVelasquezOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

To better gain information in a specific city or province, then the best thing to do is visit a museum. Located right across from the town hall and park lies the Dagupan City Museum where they collect historical artifacts from photos relating to the city cathedral renovation and several WWII era relics, antique household items, clothes contributed by Dagupan residents. There are also photos during the WWII when MacArthur landed and toured around the quaint town.

Stroll Around Tondaligan Beach

Tondaligan Beach
Tondaligan Beach

Its sand may not be as white and fine as compare to Boracay, but Tondaligan Beach can give you the utmost relaxation you can ever think of. For daytrippers, it’s best if you rent a cottage for the whole day and wait until the sunset. If you’re traveling from Cubao, ride a bus going to Lingayen or Dagupan, Pangasinan. Travel time is around 4 hours. From Dagupan, ride a jeep going to Tondaligan Beach. No need to worry getting lost, the locals are very much welcome to accommodate your questions regarding directions.

Visit the Pantal River

Another attraction to check out in Dagupan is the iconic Pantal Bridge, a man-made structure located in the Pantal River. It offers a one-of-a-kind view, as you can see the different vessels behind the bridge and its clear waters. You can also rent a boat for Php50 if you want to join the one-hour tour and check out some attractions like the sand bar.

Visit Dagupan Church

People say that whenever you visit a church for the first time, make sure to light a candle and wish, and that’s exactly what we suggest you do when you dropped by at Dagupan Church. Rebuilt in the early 1800, visiting the Dagupan Cathedral should be on your buckelist the next time you visit. After it was destroyed during the 1991 quake, it was reconstructed in 2001 where a grand inauguration mass was held, and was attended only by priests.

Explore Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Headquarters in Dagupan

Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters photo via Jayceeken Dagupan FB Page
Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters photo via Jayceeken Dagupan FB Page

If you’re curious where Gen Douglas MacArthur stayed after World War II, then check out the West Central Elementary School I Home Economics Building. Inside you’ll see the famous white bathtub, photographs of MacArthur and other American soldiers walking around the streets of Dagupan, and the dresser. Although it has been reported that the restoration has been stopped, this headquarter remains to be an iconic site in Dagupan.

Japanese-Philippine Friendship Garden

Make sure to include the Japanese-Philippine Friendship Garden in your itinerary located right by the Tondaligan beach. It was built in 1975 to commemorate the heroism and valor of all soldiers who sacrificed during World War II. It’s not only a perfect hangout place of the locals but is also an ideal location for jogging, morning or before sunset walk or for meeting up with someone.

Searching for best hotels and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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