Vigan City is a charming destination located in the Ilocos Sur province of the Philippines. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages. Vigan City is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and architecture.
There are many things to do in Vigan City to keep visitors entertained and engaged. One of the top attractions is Calle Crisologo, a picturesque street lined with historic houses and shops. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone street, admire the architecture, and shop for souvenirs. Other popular attractions include the Bantay Bell Tower, the Vigan Cathedral, and the Syquia Mansion Museum. In addition to sightseeing, visitors can also enjoy local food tours, pottery-making classes, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
Vigan City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is no wonder why. The city is home to numerous historical landmarks that have been standing for centuries, each with its unique story. Here are some of the must-visit historical landmarks in Vigan City:
Calle Crisologo is a well-preserved cobblestone street that dates back to the Spanish era. It is lined with ancestral houses that feature Spanish-inspired architecture, making it a popular tourist attraction in Vigan City. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll down the street and admire the beautiful buildings, or shop for souvenirs and handicrafts at the various stores and stalls.
The Syquia Mansion is a historic house that once belonged to the Syquia family, one of the wealthiest families in Vigan City during the Spanish colonization. The mansion is a fine example of baroque architecture. It features a collection of antique furniture, paintings, and other artifacts that give visitors a glimpse of what life was like during the Spanish era.
The Crisologo Museum is another must-visit attraction in Vigan City. It is located in a beautifully restored ancestral house that once belonged to the Crisologo family, a prominent political family in the city. The museum features a collection of antique furniture, paintings, and other artifacts that tell the story of the Crisologo family and their contributions to the city’s history.
Padre Burgos House
The Padre Burgos House is a historic house that once belonged to Padre Jose Burgos, a Filipino priest and nationalist who played a key role in the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers. The house is now a museum featuring exhibits on Padre Burgos, the Philippine Revolution, and artifacts from the Spanish era.
Bantay Church Bell Tower
The Bantay Church Bell Tower is a historic landmark that dates back to the Spanish era. It is located in the town of Bantay, just a few kilometers from Vigan City. The bell tower was used as a lookout post during the Spanish colonization and played a key role in defending the town against invaders.
The Arce Mansion is a historic house that once belonged to the Arce family, one of the wealthiest families in Vigan City during the Spanish era. The mansion is a fine example of Spanish-inspired architecture. It features a collection of antique furniture, paintings, and other artifacts that give visitors a glimpse of what life was like during the Spanish era.
Vigan City is a treasure trove of historical landmarks that glimpse the city’s rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the cobblestone streets, admire the beautiful ancestral houses, and learn more about the Spanish colonization and its impact on the city.
One of the best ways to experience the local culture in Vigan City is through its food. The city is known for its unique dishes, a fusion of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino influences. Here are some must-try local delicacies when in Vigan City:
Vigan Empanada is a popular street food that is a staple in the city. It is a deep-fried pastry filled with grated green papaya, bean sprouts, egg, and Vigan longganisa (local sausage). The dough is made from rice flour, which gives it a unique texture. It is usually served with a vinegar dipping sauce that adds a tangy flavor to the dish.
Vigan Longganisa is a sausage made from ground pork, garlic, and local spices. It has a distinct garlicky flavor and is usually served for breakfast with garlic rice and fried egg. It is also a popular ingredient in Vigan Empanada.
Bagnet is a deep-fried pork belly that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It is similar to lechon kawali, but bagnet is cooked twice to achieve its crispy texture. It is usually served with a dipping sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, and chili.
Café Leona is a restaurant located in the heart of Vigan City. It is housed in a Spanish colonial building restored to its former glory. The restaurant serves various local dishes, including Vigan Empanada, Bagnet, and Vigan Longganisa. It also offers international cuisine, such as pasta and pizza.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Vigan City is known for its rich cultural heritage, and one of the best ways to experience it is through shopping for souvenirs. Visitors can find unique items that reflect the city’s rich history and traditions. Two popular shopping destinations for souvenirs are the Pagburnayan and Calle Crisologo.
One of the most popular souvenirs in Vigan City is the earthen jar, which is made using traditional methods. Visitors can watch the jar-making process at the Pagburnayan, where skilled artisans shape and fire the clay pots in large kilns. The jars are beautiful and functional, as they are used to store water, vinegar, and other liquids.
Another popular souvenir in Vigan City is the pasalubong, a gift or souvenir brought back from a trip. Visitors can find various pasalubong items along Calle Crisologo, including hand-woven clothing, blankets, and other accessories at Rowilda’s Weaving. Visitors can also buy wallets, coin purses, sweets, longganisa, and hand-rolled cigars in the shops along Calle Crisologo.
Shopping for souvenirs in Vigan City is a great way to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can find unique items that reflect the city’s traditions and history, such as earthen jars and hand-woven clothing. Whether visitors are looking for a gift for a loved one or a memento of their trip, they will find something special in Vigan City.
Vigan City offers a variety of outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy during their stay. Here are some top outdoor activities visitors can experience in Vigan City.
Baluarte Zoo is a popular attraction in Vigan City that allows visitors to see wild animals. The zoo is home to several animals, including Bengal tigers, the main attraction. Visitors can also explore the Safari Gallery, which features a collection of preserved animals. The zoo is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and admission is free.
Mindoro Beach is a beautiful beach located in Vigan City. The beach is great for relaxing and enjoying the sun and sand. Visitors can swim in the clear waters of the beach, sunbathe on the sand, or enjoy a variety of water sports, such as kayaking and paddleboarding. There are also several restaurants and cafes near the beach where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink.
Dancing Fountain Show
The Dancing Fountain Show is a popular attraction in Vigan City that offers visitors a chance to see a spectacular water and light show. The show features a variety of water fountains that are synchronized to music and lights. Visitors can watch the show from a nearby viewing area. The show is free and is held daily from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Vigan City offers a variety of outdoor activities that visitors can enjoy during their stay. Whether visitors want to see wild animals at Baluarte Zoo, relax on the beach at Mindoro Beach, or watch the spectacular Dancing Fountain Show, there is something for everyone in Vigan City.
Getting to Vigan City is easy thanks to its accessible location and various transportation options. Visitors can choose from different modes of transportation such as planes, buses, and private cars. Once in the city, visitors can also get around using various modes of transportation, such as kalesas or horse-drawn carriages.
One of the most popular modes of transportation in Vigan City is the kalesa or horse-drawn carriage. Kalesas are a unique and traditional way to explore the city’s historical landmarks and attractions. Visitors can rent a kalesa for a tour around the city or use it as a means of transportation to get from one place to another. Kalesas can be found in different parts of the city, such as Calle Crisologo and Plaza Burgos.
For visitors coming from Manila or other parts of the Philippines, the fastest way to get to Vigan City is by plane. The nearest airport is the Laoag International Airport, which is about 80 kilometers away from Vigan City. Visitors can take a bus, van, or private car from the airport to Vigan City. Another option is to fly to Manila and then take a bus or private car to Vigan City.
Festivals and Events
Vigan City is known for its vibrant and colorful festivals and events that showcase its rich cultural heritage. Visitors can experience the city’s unique traditions and customs through yearly celebrations.
Viva Vigan Festival
The most popular and highly anticipated event in Vigan City is the Viva Vigan Festival. It is a week-long celebration held every first week of May in honor of the city’s patron saint, St. Paul. The festival features various activities such as street dancing, cultural shows, parades, and beauty pageants.
The city comes alive during the festival with colorful decorations, lively music, and delicious food. Tourists can witness the grand parade that showcases the city’s rich cultural heritage, with participants dressed in traditional costumes and performing traditional dances.
Besides the grand parade, visitors can enjoy the nightly cultural shows featuring local talents and artists. The festival also includes a beauty pageant, where contestants from different barangays compete for the title of Miss Vigan.
Other Festivals and Events
Aside from the Viva Vigan Festival, some other events and celebrations take place in Vigan City. These include the Longganisa Festival, which celebrates the city’s famous longganisa, and the Raniag Twilight Festival, which features a spectacular display of lights and colors.
Visitors can also join the city’s fiestas, which are celebrated in different barangays throughout the year. These fiestas feature street parties, parades, and cultural shows that showcase each barangay’s unique traditions and customs.
Overall, Vigan City offers a variety of festivals and events that highlight its rich cultural heritage. Visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s unique traditions and customs through these celebrations, making their stay in Vigan City a truly unforgettable experience.