The Ultimate Travel Guide to Vigan City, Philippines
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Many people travel through Vigan on their way to and from destinations in Ilocos Sur. It’s common for other people to skip a night in this small city because they have other plans. But don’t skip Vigan. It’s an old city with soul and you can spend a few days enjoying its charms if you’re not in a hurry. Great food, homes of prominent historical figures turned into museums, a ride in a kalesa, or horse-drawn carriage – there’s a lot to enjoy in Vigan.
A Historic City: Vigan Travel Guide
Unlike many cities in the Philippines, Vigan’s heritage has been preserved. You’ll see architecture influenced by Chinese, Mexican, and Spanish styles. Old cobblestone streets are beautifully preserved and make for that classic sound when horse hooves come down the lanes. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, to a more romantic era.
The historic homes in the city have been transformed into museums so that you can actually see what it was like to live in this city during a different age. The Kamestizoan District is the old city, where you should hop on a horse-drawn carriage and get a tour.
In this Vigan Travel Guide blog, we listed helpful DIY Vigan Itinerary and advice on how to get there, get around, things to do, restaurants, best hotels, travel packages and more.
How to get there
By bus or car – Vigan is seven to ten hours’ drive along the scenic Ilocos Highway from Manila. Partas Bus Co., Dominion Bus Lines, Viron Transit, and St. Joseph/Aniceto Transit have regular trips to Vigan. Bus lines like Philippine Rabbit Bus Line, Farinas Transit, Maria de Leon, Florida, and RCJ Transit have regular trips plying the Manila-Laoag route, which passes by Vigan.
Activities in Vigan
Visit Calle Crisologo
But make sure you see the Calle Crisologo on foot, so you can take the time to view the ancestral homes of the Spanish colonial period. The Crisologo family’s belongings are housed at the Crisologo Museum.
Visit Burgos Museum
Also of note are the Burgos Museum, where Jose Burgos, a martyred priest, once resided.
The home of Doña Alicia Syquia, the wife of the 6th President of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino.
Also known as the Saint Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, is hard to miss. You’ll want to see the Plaza Salcedo and hear about the heroes and heroines of Vigan, from Maria Josefa Gabriela Silang, who was hanged in the square, to the martyred priests the Gomburza trio.
And finally, for something different visit the local zoo, Baluarte. Yes, there are giant dinosaur statues. Go have a beer at the Hidden Garden Restaurant on Bgry. Bulala and then take photos of yourself with the dinosaurs. There are also lions, tigers, monkeys, camels, deer, and a variety of birds inside the zoo itself.
Read: Top Things to do and See in Vigan
What and Where to Eat in Vigan
- sinanglao (soup made from beef innards)
- arroz caldo (rice soup with chicken)
- miki (flat noodles in a thick soup with meat bits and sometimes drizzled with eggs)
- empanada (turnover with a filling of eggs, Vigan longganisa, sage and vegetables wrapped in a rice flour crust/shell)
- okoy (a pancake made with local shrimp).
- Try Royal Bibingka located at #8 Florentino St., Vigan City–just a street away from Plaza Burgos.
- Eat Vigan longganisa – a garlic sausage similar to Lucban Longganisa.
- Eat tinubong, a sticky sweet rice cake that’s sold in bamboo tubes.
- Drink Basi, a local wine (native rum) made from sugarcane.
Places to Stay in Vigan
Villa Angela Heritage house
[Check Rates and Availability]
Address: #26 Quirino Blvd (Two Streets away from Calle Crisologo)
Telephone: +63 77 722-2914, +63 2 425-6473, +63 927 894 0610
Villa Angela Heritage House is actually more like a house than a typical hotel. The owners decided to keep the house like how it was during the time of their ancestors, except that with the modern comforts of air-conditioning, cable TV, and en suite toilet and bath have been installed. There are only six rooms or one room of each type. The rooms on the ground floor used to be storage areas for harvest from the farms until they were converted into dormitory rooms to accommodate bigger groups. All the rates include breakfast.
- Hotel Salcedo De Vigan, V. de los Reyes corner General Luna Streets, +63 (77) 722-1200, +63 (77) 722-2798,. Their air-conditioned rooms are very spacious. They have an elegant restaurant serving superb local and international cuisine.
- Grandpa’s Inn (1 Bonifacio St. cor. Quirino Blvd; phone: (6377)722-2118; fax: (6377)722-1446; email: [email protected]; rooms from P730) is in a charming old residence and is also one of the cheapest options in town. The downstairs restaurant serves good food (from 60) and even espresso (40). Room with ensuite, AC 1780. Room with share bathroom, fan 730 with cable TV and WIFI.
- Ciudad Fernandina Hotel, 26 Mabini St., cor. Plaridel St., +63 77 722-3765, . All rooms in Ciudad Fernandina Hotel are equipped with safe, cable television, air conditioning, electronic door lock, hot and cold shower. Some of its facilities are restaurant, bar and function room. Rates start at 2,236.00.
- Taj Resort, Pantay daya, Vigan, (077)722-7476.
- R.F. Anicieto Mansion Hotel, near Plaza Burgos, (077)-722-2383/fax: 722-2384.
- Vigan Plaza Hotel, Mena Crisologo Street, Brgy 2 (near Plaza Burgos), +63 77 7221527, 77 6320317, 2 2461501,. Showcasing Spanish-Colonial accommodations combined with modern luxury. Rates start at PHP 2,100.
- Vigan Hotel, Burgos Street, (077)-722-2588. Basic hotel in an old colonial house with old-style wooden floors and furniture. The rooms are very basic but acceptable. At 500 php for double, this is one of the few budget option. No food, breakfast or whatever. PHP 500-800.
- La Feliza Tourist Inn, # 8 V. delos Reyes St., (077)-722-2994.
- Mom’s Courtyard, Bongtolan, (077)-722-2105.
- Socio-Pastoral Center, besides the Archbishop Palace, (077)-722-1442.
- Cordillera Inn, Crisologo St., (077)-722-2727
- El Juliana Hotel, 5 Liberation Blvd. Cor Quirino Blvd., (077)-722-2994/09123508350
- NSCC PLAZA, Don Alejandro Quirolgico, Caoayan, (077)7223281
Vigan Tourism Contact Info
Vigan City Tourism Office
Address: Burgos Street, Vigan City Ilocos Sur
Tel. Nos.: (077) 722-8772; 722-8776
Email: [email protected]
Where to Shop
You’ll be sure to find lots of souvenirs in Vigan, and be sure to stop by the Camarin jar factory, family-owned for generations since the first Chinese potter came to Vigan. Take home your own burnay or a miniature version that packs more easily.
Buy Vigan Longganisa and Bagnet
There are several places you can visit if you want to buy and take home Vigan Longganisa and Bagnet but the most reliable place to get them is at the Vigan City Public Market. Located at Alcantara Street, this public Market is hard to miss since its just located right in front of Partas Bus Station.
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