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Top 13 Best Things to do in Dagupan City

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

Ciudad Elmina Fishing Village

Dagupan Bucket List: What is Dagupan City famous for?

Did you know that Pangasinan was derived from the word “asin,” as the province is the largest salt producer in the Philippines? Besides, 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 trips and exotic destinations 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

Salt Bed at Pacific Farms
Salt Bed at Pacific Farms

Boasting 500 hectares in Bolinao, the Pacific Salt Farm has been named one of the country’s biggest salt suppliers 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 guests an immersion tour and harvesting experience.

Make sure to try the Binungey or “bamboo rice cake,” which they take pride in.

Experience the Dawel River Cruise

Dawel River Cruise in Dagupan
Dawel River Cruise in Dagupan

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 showcase Dagupan’s calm and serene rivers and provide a livelihood to the boatman, cooks, and eco guides.

If you’re lucky, you’ll see thriving mangroves and some migratory birds during the cruise. The cruise will be coursing from Dawel to Watac River.

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

Visit the Instagram-worthy graffiti art at Bonuan Tondaligan Beach.

Suppose you want to take your IG gaming to a different level. Why not head over to Bonuan Tondaligan Beach, enjoy the sunset, and appreciate the stellar graffiti art in the abandoned building.

You can also rent a cottage and bring a 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 to Ciudad Fishing Village, owned by former City Mayor Alipio Fernandez in 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 standard 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

Visiting a museum is the best to gain information about a specific city or province.

Located right across from the town hall and park lies the Dagupan City Museum. They collect historical artifacts from photos relating to the city cathedral renovation and several WWII-era relics, antique household items, and clothes contributed by Dagupan residents.

There are also photos taken during 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 Boracay, but Tondaligan Beach can give you the utmost relaxation you can ever think of.

It’s best for daytrippers if you rent a cottage for the whole day and wait until the sunset. If you’re traveling from Cubao, ride a bus to Lingayen or Dagupan, Pangasinan. Travel time is around 4 hours.

From Dagupan, ride a jeep going to Tondaligan Beach. No need to worry about getting lost. The locals are very much welcome to accommodate your questions regarding directions.

Visit the Pantal River

Pantal River in Dagupan City by Judgefloro via Wikipedia CC
Pantal River in Dagupan City By Judgefloro – Own work, CC0, CC

Another attraction to check out in Dagupan is the iconic Pantal Bridge, a man-made structure 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 to join the one-hour tour and check out some attractions like the sand bar.

Visit Dagupan Church

Dagupan Cathedral by Oyayi via Wikipedia CC
Dagupan Cathedral By Oyayi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

People say that whenever you visit a church for the first time, make sure to light a candle and wish, and that’s precisely what we suggest you did when you drop by Dagupan Church.

Rebuilt in early 1800, visiting the Dagupan Cathedral should be on your bucket list 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 about where Gen Douglas MacArthur stayed after World War II, 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 the restoration has been reported to have been stopped, this headquarter remains an iconic site in Dagupan.

Japanese-Philippine Friendship Garden

Make sure to include the Japanese-Philippine Friendship Garden in your itinerary. It’s just close to Tondaligan beach.

It was built in 1975 to commemorate the heroism and valor of all soldiers sacrificed during World War II.

It’s not only a perfect hangout place for the locals but also an ideal location for jogging, morning or before sunset walks, or meeting up with someone.

Visit the ruins of PNR Dagupan Station

PNR Dagupan Station
PNR Dagupan Station

PNR Dagupan Station was opened on November 24, 1892, as the terminus of the then Manila-Dagupan Railroad. Although the line was abandoned years ago, both of the two station buildings still stand up to this day, the platform area of the original station building currently serves as a dump site.

Eat Pigar-Pigar

Eat Pigar-pigar
Eat Pigar-pigar

Pigar pigar, is a very popular street food in Dagupan City. It is made from thinly sliced beef or carabao meat with liver. The ingredients are deep-fried, and once cooked, it is served with fresh sliced white onions and other garnishings.

Dine at El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino

Wine and Cheese Platter at El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino
Wine and Cheese Platter at El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino
Paella Laing Con Bagnet at El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino
Paella Laing Con Bagnet at El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino

A beautiful garden-setting restaurant and events place, this place is one of the most instagrammable places in Dagupan. El Jardin by Ciudad Fernandino is owned and operated by the same owners of Ciudad Fernandino Hotel and Cafe Dos in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan.

Address: 185 Tambac-Tebeng Road, Brgy. Tambac, Dagupan City, Philippines
Mobile number: 0956 364 7524
Email: [email protected]

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

Want more updates about other tourist spots and exciting activities in Dagupan City? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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