As part of UNESCO World Heritage List, Vigan, Philippines is one of the country’s oldest cities. Mainly because of its Spanish colonial history and rich Hispanic towns.
- Fun Things To Do
- Travel Back in Time At Calle Crisologo
- Enjoy View From Bantay Belfry
- Go On a Mestizo River Cruise
- Visit Crisologo Museum, Leona Florentino House and Father Burgos Museum
- Explore Vigan in Kalesa
- Learn How Burnays Are Made
- Witness the Pretty Dancing Fountain
- Watch the Traditional Loomweavers
- Visit The Zoo
- Enjoy Various Festivities in Vigan
- Where to Stay on Vigan Philippines
- Wrapping Up
Up to this day and age, the heritage in Vigan has remained well-preserved in the most intricate way.
A visit to Vigan will make you feel nostalgic and euphoric at the same time.
Fun Things To Do
If you happen to find yourself wondering around the city of Vigan, here are some of the fun things to do in Vigan that you might want to try to do.
Travel Back in Time At Calle Crisologo
Calesas and cobblestones are two things which make Vigan’s Calle Crisologo uniquely Filipino.
Particularly when night time comes as empanadas and other special delicacies of Vigan are available for those who want to get a first hand experience of Philippines’ Spanish era.
Also called Mena Crisologo street, the mestizo district is distinctly lined with houses of Spanish style, as well as souvenir shops which have been an inspiration for many Filipino writers through the years.
Until now, the windows made from capiz shells and the red-tiled roofs have been carefully preserved, something that you can never 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.
This sentimental street’s name was after one of Ilocos’ most respectable sons, Mena Pecson Crisologo. He was a very prominent writer in his time, and was famous Don Quixote’s Ilocano version.
Enjoy View From Bantay Belfry
Bantay Belfry is the high tower perched on a hill 10 minutes away from Vigan.
Established 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 an easy feat to reach the top, especially for people who have problems with height and the number of steps.
The belfry is also called the people’s tower as it alerts town folks of any coming danger.
There are several churches near it, including the baroque St. Paul Cathedral and the Saint Augustine Church with its almost gothic exterior.
Go On a Mestizo River Cruise
It is a fascinating 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 some time of refreshment as you learn more about life through the eyes of Ilocanos.
What makes Mestizo River even more beautiful is the yearly candle floating ceremony held during Raniag Twilight festival. It is particularly done in Celedonia Garden at Barangay Beddeng Laud.
Visit Crisologo Museum, Leona Florentino House and Father Burgos Museum
Spanish people made the country of the Philippines to have faith in Catholicism.
To know why Filipinos have strong faith, visiting churches and museums are worth the experience and time for the reason that these are the living testaments of how Filipinos came to be.
Some of the best museums are Crisologo Museum, Father Burgos Museum, and Leona Florentino House.
Explore Vigan in Kalesa
You’ll absolutely miss half of your Vigan adventure if you won’t ride a Kalesa. It’s a horse-drawn carriage that was used during Spanish period in the country.
There’s a Kalesa parking or bay area right in capitol’s front area. At only 150 pesos for every hour, you can tour the city in a Kalesa.
The coach drivers will bring you to different destinations.
Learn How Burnays Are Made
The jars made from Vigan are known as Burnay. Through visiting Pagburnayan, the place where jars were made, makes your trip to Vigan more interesting.
It was in Spanish pre-colonial period when Pagburnayan started making jars and this was the time when the Chinese immigrants came in the city.
Because of the quality of the Burnays, they are being exported.
Witness the Pretty Dancing Fountain
It isn’t known to a lot of people, yet the Plaza Salcedo in Vigan takes pride of its dancing fountain each night, which starts at 7:30 and often lasts for about thirty minutes.
You will be amazed and surprised 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 handcrafted beautifully with colourful cloth that’s made of cotton and they’re known as the sagut.
The industry of abel started during earl Spanish colonisation and still practiced these days.
Rowilda’s loom weaving is the 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 and you will see snakes, parrots, Philippine Eagle, tigers and many more.
The zoo is about 15 mins outside Vigan city and there is no entrance fee.
Enjoy 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 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.
Typically, a drama is often performed to relive the plight of Helena.
Where to Stay on Vigan Philippines
Vigan has a limited variety of guest houses, hostels and hotels. Here are a few places to check out and give you an idea of what is available in Vigan.
Remember to check the reviews and book a place that suits you interests while traveling.
Escolta’s Homey Lodge
Rating 8.2, Prices start from $20 for Double room
Escolta’s Homey Lodge is set in Vigan, 100 m from Calle Crisologo. This property is located a short distance from attractions such as Bantay Bell Tower. The property features a 24-hour front desk.
Hotel Luna Annex
Rating 9.0, Prices start from $82 for Double room
Located in Vigan, Hotel Luna Annex features free WiFi.. All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. At the hotel, all rooms come with a desk.
West Loch Park Hotel
Rating 8.6, Prices start from $60 for Double room
West Loch Park Hotel offers comfortable accommodation with free WiFi access in the entire property. It also offers an outdoor pool and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Fitted with sound proofed walls, air-conditioned rooms come with tiled flooring, a flat-screen cable TV, electric kettle and en suite bathroom.
Finally, as you can see, there are so many fun things to do in Vigan. And, the list above is only a few of them. All you have to do is to choose the activities you prefer and start enjoying what Vigan has to offer.
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.