Vigan is a city in the Philippines located on the western coast of the island of Luzon. The city is small with a population of over 53,000 people. The city is it UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its rich Spanish colonial history with most of the Spanish buildings well-preserved. What are the best things to do in Vigan Philippines?
In Vigan, you can start by walking down Calle Crisologo or visit the other historic sites worth visiting like the Bantay Belfry or the local museums, enjoy the local food, and more. There are a lot of festivities in Vigan throughout the year and you can enjoy one if you get your timing right.
In this post, we will go through things to do in Vigan Philippines. Let’s get started!
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Is Vigan Worth Visiting?
Vigan is worth visiting especially if you are interested in seeing old Spanish colonial buildings that are well-preserved from the 16th century. There are other things to do from enjoying the local food or taking a cruise.
What Is Vigan Famous For?
Vigan city is it UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is because it is a well-preserved Spanish Colonial town. There are plenty of historical sites around the city and there is a good range of good local delicacies dotted around the city.
Things To Do In Vigan Philippines
Vigan is a small city but is blessed with a lot of Spanish colonial architecture like the pavements and buildings are intact, this is the main reason it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are other fun things to do in Vigan that will keep you busy for a couple of days.
Here is our list of things to do in Vigan Philippines.
Walk Down Calle Crisologo
The old cobblestones are one of the things that make Vigan’s Calle Crisologo uniquely Filipino. Particularly at night time, the street comes to life with loads of food vendors, and delicacies available. Walking the street gives you a first-hand experience of the Philippines’ Spanish era.
Also known as Mena Crisologo street, the mestizo district is distinctly lined with houses of Spanish architecture and style. There are souvenir shops and restaurants along the street.
Until now, the windows made from capiz shells and the red-tiled roofs have been carefully preserved, something that you can not find anywhere else. You will feel like you have been taken back to the 18th century when you take a stroll along the lanes lit with lamps.
Enjoy View From Bantay Belfry
Bantay Belfry is the high tower perched on a hill 10 minutes away from Vigan. Built-in 1591, the belfry is the perfect spot to get a glimpse of the panoramic view of the city from a higher point, something that is both an empowering and uplifting experience.
But, be warned because it is not easy to reach the top, especially for people who are tall, and the number of steps. The belfry is also called the people’s tower as it alerts town people of any coming danger.
Enjoy A Mestizo River Cruise
It is an interesting experience to cruise Vigan’s famous Mestizo River. The cruise lasts for around 45 minutes where you will learn the city’s story. Starting from its discovery, to how the Spaniards took over and how it is one of today’s most visited cities in the country.
This short excursion will promise you a chance to learn more about the city through the eyes of the locals. What makes the Mestizo River even more beautiful is the yearly candle floating ceremony held during the Raniag Twilight festival. It is particularly done in Celedonia Garden at Barangay Beddeng Laud.
Visit Local Museums And Churches
Spanish people came to the Philippines and introduced Catholicism to the Filipinos. The Filipinos have a strong faith in their religion. To see why Filipinos have declared a strong faith you can start by visiting churches and museums is worth the experience and time for the reason that these are the living testaments of how Filipinos came to be.
There are several churches you can visit from the baroque St. Paul Cathedral to Saint Augustine Church. As well to that there are museums that are worth visiting like the Crisologo Museum, Father Burgos Museum, and Leona Florentino House.
Explore Vigan In Kalesa
You will be missing out if you do not take a ride on a Kalesa. It’s a horse-drawn carriage that was used during the Spanish period in the country. There is a Kalesa parking or bay area right near Calle Crisologo.
At only 150 pesos for every hour, you can tour the city of Kalesa. The coach drivers will bring you to different locations.
Learn How Burnays Are Made
The jars that are made in Vigan are known as Burnay. Visiting Pagburnayan, the place where jars are made, makes your trip to Vigan more interesting.
It was in the Spanish pre-colonial period when Pagburnayan started making jars and this was the time when the Chinese immigrants came into the city. Because of the quality of the Burnays, they are mostly exported.
See The Dancing Fountain
It is not known to a lot of people, yet the Plaza Salcedo in Vigan takes pride in its dancing fountain each night, which starts at 7:30 and often lasts for about thirty minutes.
You will be amazed and surprised at how extravagant the dancing fountain of the Plaza Salcedo.
Watch The Traditional Loomweavers
The traditional woven product in the region of Ilocos is called Abel. These are beautifully handcrafted with a colorful cloth that is made of cotton and they are known as the sagut.
The industry of Abel started during early Spanish colonization and is still practiced these days. Rowilda’s loom weaving is one of the famous Abel weaving factories in the city of Vigan.
Visit The Zoo
The zoo in Vigan is called Baluarte Chavit Singson or Baluarte Zoo. There are shows where you will see snakes, parrots, Philippine eagles, tigers, and many more. The zoo is about 15 mins outside Vigan city and there is no entrance fee.
Enjoy The Various Festivities In Vigan
Vigan has a rich culture that has always some vibrant festivals. A weeklong celebration that’s usually held during the month of May is the Viva Vigan Festival of Arts, which is celebrated for promoting Vigan’s value as the center of history.
Also, it aims to strengthen advocacy to protect and preserve the city’s cultural identity. Another festivity is the city fiesta of Vigan, which is held yearly on the 25th of January.
This commemorates St. Paul’s conversion. Tres de Mayo Celebration is another religious celebration wherein people remember St. Helena and Prince Constantine in their journey to look for the cross Jesus died on.
Finally, Vigan is a good place to visit especially if you are interested in colonial history where you can start by walking down Calle Crisologo or visit the other historic sites like the Bantay Belfry or the local museums. And enjoy the local food, and more. There are a lot of festivities in Vigan throughout the year and you can enjoy one if you get your timing right.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the fun things to do in Vigan Philippines has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if you go.