Things to do in Bacolod: A Comprehensive Guide

Bacolod, also known as the “City of Smiles,” is a charming city in the Philippines that offers a lot of things to do and see. From cultural and historical attractions to delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone in Bacolod.

One of the most popular things to do in Bacolod is to experience the MassKara Festival held every October. This vibrant and colorful festival is a celebration of the city’s resilience and optimism in the face of adversity. Visitors can enjoy the festival’s street parties, parades, and cultural performances.

Aside from the MassKara Festival, there are plenty of other things to do in Bacolod. Visitors can feast on the city’s famous Chicken Inasal, relax at the Capitol Building and Lagoon, visit the San Sebastian Church, and try local delicacies like Cansi and Piaya. The Negros Museum is also worth a visit for those who want to learn more about the history and culture of the city.

Historical Landmarks

Bacolod is home to several historical landmarks worth visiting for those interested in history and culture. Here are some of the most popular ones:

The Ruins

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The Ruins is a must-visit attraction in Bacolod. It is a 19th-century mansion built by a sugar baron for his wife. The mansion was burned down during World War II, but the ruins remain. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion and learn about its history. The entrance fee is PHP 100 per person.

San Sebastian Cathedral

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San Sebastian Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod. It was built in the early 20th century and is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. Visitors can attend mass or simply admire the cathedral’s beauty.

Church of the Angry Christ

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The Church of the Angry Christ is a unique church located in Talisay, just outside of Bacolod. The church is known for its striking statue of Christ, which depicts him with an angry expression. The church also has a beautiful interior that is worth seeing.

Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol

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The Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol is a historic building built in the early 20th century. Juan Arellano, a famous Filipino architect, designed it. Visitors can take a guided tour of the building and learn about its history. The entrance fee is PHP 25 per person.

Bernardino Jalandoni Museum

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The Bernardino Jalandoni Museum is a private museum that is located in Silay City, just outside of Bacolod. The museum is housed in a beautiful mansion that was built in the early 20th century. It contains a collection of antique furniture, paintings, and other artifacts. The entrance fee is PHP 100 per person.

Balay Negrense

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Balay Negrense is a historic house museum that is located in Silay City. It was built in the late 19th century and is a beautiful example of a traditional Filipino house. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and learn about its history. The entrance fee is PHP 60 per person.

These historical landmarks offer a glimpse into Bacolod’s rich history and culture. Visitors can learn about the region’s past and appreciate its beauty.

Culinary Adventures

Bacolod is known for its delicious food, and no visit to the city is complete without indulging in its culinary delights. Here are three must-visit places for foodies:

Manokan Country

Manokan Country is a popular food hub in Bacolod that serves the city’s famous chicken inasal. This dish is made with marinated chicken cooked on a charcoal grill, giving it a smoky flavor. Visitors can choose from a variety of chicken parts, such as leg, thigh, wing, and breast, and pair it with unlimited servings of rice and chicken oil. The atmosphere in Manokan Country is lively, with several restaurants competing for customers. It’s a great place to try authentic inasal and mingle with the locals.

El Ideal Bakery

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El Ideal Bakery is a century-old institution in Silay, a city near Bacolod. It’s famous for its freshly baked bread and pastries, such as the guapple pie made with guava and apple. Visitors can also try the piaya, a sweet flatbread filled with muscovado sugar. El Ideal Bakery has a rustic charm, with wooden floors and vintage decor. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs and gifts for loved ones.

Pala-Pala Market

Pala-Pala Market is a seafood market in Bacolod that serves fresh seafood cooked to order. Visitors can choose their preferred seafood, such as fish, shrimp, crab, and squid, and have it grilled, fried, or steamed. The market also has a wet section where locals buy fresh produce and ingredients. Pala-Pala Market has a casual, laid-back atmosphere, with plastic tables and chairs. It’s a great place to have a seafood feast with friends and family.

Bacolod’s culinary scene is diverse and flavorful, with something for every taste and budget. Visitors should be adventurous and try local delicacies such as cansi, a soup made with beef shank and bone marrow, and batchoy, a noodle soup with pork and liver. The locals are proud of their food and are always happy to recommend their favorite restaurants and dishes.

Art and Culture

Bacolod is a city rich in art and culture, with various museums, festivals, and heritage sites that showcase the city’s history and traditions.

Negros Museum

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One of the must-visit museums in Bacolod is the Negros Museum. Located in the Capitol Park and Lagoon, the museum features various collections that highlight the rich history and culture of Negros Island. Visitors can explore the different galleries showcasing the island’s art, music, literature, and natural resources.

Silay Heritage Tour

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For those interested in exploring Bacolod’s heritage sites, the Silay Heritage Tour is a great option. Silay is a neighboring city of Bacolod known for its well-preserved heritage houses and buildings. Visitors can walk around the city to see the various ancestral homes, museums, and churches showcasing the city’s rich history and culture.

Masskara Festival

One of the most famous festivals in Bacolod is the Masskara Festival. Held every October, the festival is a celebration of the city’s resilience and optimism in the face of challenges. Visitors can witness the colorful street dances, music performances, and mask-making competitions that showcase the city’s creativity and artistry.

Whether it’s exploring museums, heritage sites, or festivals, Bacolod has something to offer for every art and culture enthusiast. From the Negros Museum to the Silay Heritage Tour and the Masskara Festival, visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s rich history and traditions.

Natural Attractions

Bacolod is a city rich in natural attractions that offer visitors a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature. Here are some of the natural attractions that you can visit in Bacolod:

Mambukal Resort

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Mambukal Resort is a popular destination for tourists who want to experience nature at its finest. The resort is located at the foot of Mount Kanlaon and is surrounded by lush forests and natural hot springs. Visitors can explore the resort grounds, including a lagoon park, butterfly garden, and a bat sanctuary. The resort also offers guided tours of the nearby sugar industry and the city of Sipalay.

Campuestohan Highland Resort

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Campuestohan Highland Resort is a mountain resort that is located in Talisay City. The resort is known for its beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and lush forests. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities such as zip-lining, rope courses, and horseback riding. The resort also has accommodations for overnight stays.

Bacolod has plenty of natural attractions to offer visitors looking to experience nature’s beauty. From mountain resorts to beautiful beaches, there’s something for everyone in this city.

Travel Information

How to Get to Bacolod

Bacolod City is accessible by plane, bus, and ferry. The Bacolod-Silay International Airport is the main gateway to the city, with flights from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and other major cities in the Philippines. From the airport, travelers can take a taxi or shuttle to the city center.

For those who prefer to travel by land, several bus companies operate daily trips to Bacolod from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, and other cities in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Some ferries connect Bacolod to Iloilo City, just an hour away by boat.

Best Time to Visit Bacolod

The best time to visit Bacolod is during the MassKara Festival, which is held every October. This city’s most famous and colorful festival features street dancing, parades, food fairs, and other cultural activities. However, travelers should book their accommodations and flights in advance, as the festival attracts a large number of visitors.

For those who prefer a quieter and more relaxed trip, the months of December to February are ideal, as the weather is cool and dry. March to May is the summer season, with temperatures reaching up to 35°C. June to September is the rainy season, with occasional typhoons and heavy rainfall.

Bacolod Itinerary

A typical Bacolod itinerary includes visits to historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and food destinations. Here are some of the must-visit places in the city:

  • The Ruins in Talisay City, a mansion built in the early 1900s that was burned down during World War II
  • San Sebastian Cathedral, a neo-gothic church that is one of the oldest in the province
  • The Negros Museum, which showcases the history, culture, and art of Negros Occidental
  • The Bacolod Public Plaza, a park that is popular among locals and tourists alike
  • Manokan Country, a food complex that serves authentic Bacolod chicken inasal and other local delicacies

Travelers can also explore nearby cities and towns, such as Silay City, known for its well-preserved heritage houses, and Victorias City, home to the Church of the Angry Christ.

Best Hotels in Bacolod City

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Bacolod City has a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Some of the best hotels in the city include:

  • L’Fisher Hotel Bacolod, a 4-star hotel that is located in the city center and offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and a fitness center
  • Avenue Suites Hotel, a boutique hotel that is known for its modern and stylish interiors, as well as its excellent service
  • Go Hotels Bacolod, is a budget hotel that is perfect for travelers who are looking for affordable yet comfortable accommodations
  • The Suites at Calle Nueva, a heritage hotel that is housed in a restored colonial mansion and features elegant rooms and suites

Overall, Bacolod City is a great destination for travelers who are interested in history, culture, and food. With its rich heritage, vibrant festivals, and delicious cuisine, this charming city always has something to see and do.


Bacolod is a great place for shopping, with a wide variety of stores and markets to choose from. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, clothing, or local delicacies, there’s something for everyone.

Negros Showroom

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One of the best places to shop for souvenirs and local handicrafts is the Negros Showroom. This store features various products made by local artisans, including woven baskets, pottery, and hand-carved wooden figurines. Visitors can also find a selection of locally-made food products, such as muscovado sugar and piaya, a sweet pastry filled with muscovado and coconut.

Robinsons Place Bacolod

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For a more traditional shopping experience, Robinsons Place Bacolod is a popular destination. This mall features various stores, including clothing retailers, electronics stores, and department stores. Visitors can also find a selection of restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to take a break and grab a bite to eat.

Overall, Bacolod offers a great shopping experience for visitors, with a wide variety of stores and markets to choose from. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or everyday items, there’s something for everyone.


Bacolod offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. There’s something for everyone, from exercise to strolls in the park.

Provincial Capitol Grounds

The Provincial Capitol Grounds is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The sprawling green space is perfect for a morning jog, an afternoon picnic, or a relaxing walk. Visitors can admire the impressive architecture of the Capitol Building and take in the beauty of the surrounding gardens. The grounds also host various events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and sports tournaments.

Panaad Stadium

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Sports enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Panaad Stadium. The stadium is home to the Negros Occidental Football Association and has hosted numerous national and international tournaments. Visitors can catch a game or take a tour of the facilities. The stadium also has a track and field area, making it a great place to get some exercise.

Lagoon Park

Lagoon Park is a picturesque park located in the heart of Bacolod. The park features a large lagoon, which is home to various fish and bird species. Visitors can rent a paddleboat, explore the lagoon, or take a stroll around the park. The park also has a playground for children and a fitness area for adults.

Overall, Bacolod has plenty of options for those looking to stay active or simply relax and enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s a jog around the Provincial Capitol Grounds, a game at Panaad Stadium, or a peaceful afternoon at Lagoon Park, visitors will surely find something to suit their interests.