5 Things you cannot miss in Vigan

Located in the province of Ilocos Sur in the northern Philippines lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vigan. It is a town well-known for its picturesque cobble-stone streets, ancient mansions and preserved Spanish colonial architecture.

Vigan belltower
Vigan belltower

Perfect for a 2-day weekend excursion this small town has a few sights and attractions that should be seen once there. Since it is quite a small town you can easily reach each spot either by foot or tricycle. Here are our top-5 things to do:


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Vigan calle crisologo
Vigan calle crisologo

One of the major attraction in town, this cute cobble-stone street best displays the vibe of Vigan. It is surrounded by old Spanish houses which now have been turned into restaurants, cafes, small hotels or souvenir shops. The street is closed for public traffic and you will only see and hear Calesas (horse-drawn carriages) passing by. Here you can indulge in some shopping of typical Vigan products at day time and enjoy a nice stroll along with some food and drinks during the night.

2. Enjoy the views from the Bantay Bell Tower

view from the Bantay Bell Tower
view from the Bantay Bell Tower

The Bantay Bell Tower is located aside the Bantay Church and once served as a pirate watchtower during the colonial period. It now serves as a platform to enjoy some spectacular views across Vigan town and the cemetery with its array of tombs and mausoleums all held in white. A truly nice place of getting a somewhat different perspective of the town.

3. Visit the Syquia Mansion

Syquia mansion in Vigan
Syquia mansion in Vigan

The Syquia Mansion, once home to Vigan-native Elpidio Quirino, the 6th President of the Philippines, is now a museum and provides a nice glimpse into a Vigan’s bygone era. It exhibits a wide range of antique furniture, capiz windows and artistically decorated floors and walls.

4. Eat some Vigan Empanadas

Vigan empanadas
Vigan empanadas

A true must-eat food and very typical for this town are the Vigan Empanadas. Fried to a crisp and stuffed with vegetables (such as green papaya and carrots) or meat-fillings (such as Vigan longanisa) they provide you a good basis for discovering the town. They are usually served hot along with some Illocos vinegar.

5. Take a stroll along Mindoro Beach

Mindoro Beach in Vigan
Mindoro Beach in Vigan

Located roughly a 20-minute tricycle ride out of town lies Mindoro beach – not particularly a sort of paradisiac beach that you would imagine but definitely a unique place to see. The sand is black and waves are intimidatingly high here so it is not advised to go out for a swim. Yet, what it lacks is made-up by some nice views, soothing beach sounds, beautiful sunsets and a nice ocean breeze.

Where to Stay in Vigan? Checkout Top 10 Hotels In Vigan.

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