Travels and Festivals

Vigan City Adventure: Exploring the Fascinating Heritage Sites

Vigan City

One of the top destinations is the City of Vigan, particularly if you want to experience the history and culture of the Philippines. It is because it has preserved its Spanish colonial heritage in the old buildings and cobblestone streets. Furthermore, you will also see some beautiful churches and fortresses that people still use today.

If you’re a history buff, Vigan is the place for you. It is home to some of the fascinating heritage sites in the Philippines. In addition, the city has preserved its unique Spanish colonial architecture for over 400 years.

Vigan is a UNESCO heritage site in the Philippines. It is known as the “Living Museum.” Therefore, you can spend two or three days exploring Vigan since there are many things to see and do.

A Walking Tour of Vigan’s Historic Landmarks

I. Cuartel Bell Tower: 

  • One of the most popular attractions in Vigan City is the Cuartel Bell Tower. 
  • Fray Diego Aduarte built this structure back in 1757, and it served as a watchtower during Spanish rule. 
  • It is now an observation deck where you can get a good view of Vigan City’s skyline, especially at night when all its lights come alive!

II. Vigan Heritage Village

  • The place is known as Mestizo District. 
  • Spanish Era ancestral houses line the streets.
  • Features:
    • Spanish-style tile roofs
    • Massive hardwood flooring
    • Balustrades
  • Cobble-stoned roads also led to Vigan’s inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

III. Vigan City Baluarte

  • Baluarte Zoo is a must-visit attraction at the heart of Vigan City for animal and nature-loving folks. 
  • The zoological park aims to protect and conserve endangered species and wildlife.
  • The owner, Mr. Chavit Singson, opened it to the public primarily as a gesture to his people.

IV. Calle Crisologo

  • Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, is one of the most beautiful streets in the Philippines. 
  • It boasts centuries-old stone houses, lovely tungsten lamps, antique cobblestone, and horse-drawn carriages or kalesas.
  • The stunning colonial-style buildings, authentic to its olden days, line the entire street.
  •  The most famous among them is the Crisologo Museum. 

V. The Vigan Cathedral

  • The Vigan Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church in the city of Vigan. 
  •  The church is at the center of Calle Crisologo, one of the main streets in Vigan City. Thus, it offers expansive views of the town’s architecture and culture.

VI. Bantay Church Bell Tower

  • The belfry lies on a hill overlooking the Bantay district in northeast Vigan. 
  • To reach the top of the brick building with a giant bell hanging in the tower’s center, you must ascend a twisting stairway.
  • During the Spanish Era and World War II, the watchtower provided the inhabitants of Ilocos with a good vantage point from which to see approaching enemies.

Finding the Perfect Lodging for Your Trip in Vigan

There are different hotels where tourists can stay in Vigan City, depending on your needs, the size of the group, and your budget. Find out which type of accommodation is perfect for your trip to Vigan with these choices:

I. Ciudad Fernandina Hotel

  • Address: corner Mabini Street, 26 Plaridel St, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur•(077) 722 3765
  • In a Colonial-style building dating from 1758, this informal hotel in the historic city center is a walking distance of many restaurants and shops.
  • Popular amenities:
    • Parking free
    • Breakfast free
    • WiFi free
    • Air conditioning

II. Grandpa’s Inn & Restaurant 

  • Granpa’s Inn and Restaurant is only 120m from Calle Crisologo and 220m from Plaza Burgos.
  • It has plenty of comforts despite its rustic decor. 
  • Flatscreen TVs, free WiFi, and air conditioning are amenities in every room. 
  • If you need souvenirs to take home, a store across the main structure sells souvenirs.

III. Hotel Felicidad 

  • In Vigan City, the magnificent Hotel Felicidad is the only heritage hotel with a convention center. 
  • Attractions like Plaza Burgos, which is 160 meters away, and Calle Crisologo, a block away, are easily accessible on foot.

IV. Hotel Veneto de Vigan

  • At the Hotel Veneto de Vigan, electronic door locks, WiFi, and flatscreen cable TVs are standard in every accommodation. 
  • Coffee and tea facilities are an addition to their amenities.
  • Since Calle Crisologo is only 80 meters away, the Hotel Veneto de Vigan is ideal for observing the stunning buildings. 

V. Vigan Plaza Hotel

  • One of the most excellent spots to begin a walking tour of Vigan City is the Vigan Plaza Hotel.
  • Additionally, Plaza Burgos is across the street, and St. Paul Cathedral’s entrance is 200 meters away.

Indulging Vigan’s Iconic Food Scene


  • If you’re in Vigan, you should take advantage of their famous empanada. 
  • You will find almost anywhere within the plazas of Vigan.
  • Empanada is something Vigan takes pride in. 
  • Sellers make it right before your eyes, which is another exciting sight.


  • Bagnet is famous as the region’s delicacy symbol. 
  • You can eat the massive chunk of meat with crunchy golden skin fried to perfection at any time of the day.
  • The bagnet is convenient for travelers as it is available everywhere. 
  • Be careful of this cholesterol-rich piece of heaven because it just takes one taste to have you addicted.

Longganisang Iloko

  • Longganisang Iloko, a famous dish like Vigan Longganisa among locals, is the town’s traditional sausage version. 
  • If you dip it in vinegar, the flavor comes to its fullest.

Royal Bibingka

  • The royal bibingka became a sweet tooth must-try and one of Vigan’s specialties. 
  • The most popular bibingka among the audience has a crusty top and a sticky, soft, cupcake-sized body. 
  • A Royal Bibingka, topped with cheese and butter, is always a good choice.

Getting There: A Guide to Reaching Vigan

By Plane

There are no direct flights, but you can fly from Manila to Laoag Airport and ride a bus to Vigan. The entire trip will take around 3 hours. So if you’re coming from Visayas or Mindanao, fly to Manila first, then to Vigan.

By Bus

You can take a bus from the North Bus Terminal in Quiapo, Manila, or Alabang Terminal in Muntinlupa City. 

The fare costs around P200-P300 for an ordinary seat and about P400 for a VIP seat. 

There are also air-conditioned vans that will take you to Vigan. However, these only leave during peak hours, such as morning rush hour, so it’s better to stick with the buses.

Vigan’s Charm: The Ideal Time to Experience the City’s Beauty

Vigan enjoys two kinds of seasons: 

  • The dry season from November to April
  • The wet season is from May to October. 

Travelers should visit during the dry season, especially from December to February. Moreover, the temperatures are much more relaxed, and touring will likely not be interrupted by rain.

What to Pack During Vigan Tour

  1. Pack light with comfortable clothing, preferably cotton.
  2. Wear well-soled sneakers or slippers for walking on uneven cobblestone streets. 
  3. Bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen protection to protect your hair and skin. 
  4. Bring your own medicine and batteries.
  5. Bring a foldable umbrella, a fan, and a water bottle in your bags for your tour around Vigan.
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