10 Things To Do When In Vigan: Our Weekend Adventure in Vigan!
In case you were wondering, “Where did those guys went? I never heard of their travel adventures anymore!” We’re sorry guys, we’ve been a little busy but now we’re back! And we will share with you our experience on our recently-concluded trip to the North — VIGAN! Vigan celebrated its Longganisa Festival last 22nd of January, but we got there a few days though so it was kind of sad to miss the big event. However, the weekend we arrived it was still the town fiesta, so all is good!
Vigan is one of those places that you can visit for a weekend and during our two days stay there, let me share with you our experience and our own list of 10 Things to Do When In Vigan!
1. Stay in the Hotels around the Heritage Zone
One of the ways to make your Vigan trip memorable and complete is to stay in one of the ancestral houses in the Heritage area and our top pick for it is Gordion Hotel which is just parallel to the famous Calle Crisologo.
Gordion Hotel has been around since the 1970s and is already an institution in Vigan, so it is assured that your stay with them is definitely top notch.
Welcome to our Junior Suite! Look at that four-poster bed! Felt like I’ve been timewarped!
Thanks to Ms. Frances, Ms. Diane and Sir Kurt for taking good care of us during our stay at Gordion. They were very helpful to us and even assisted us on our itinerary.
For the budget-conscious travelers, you also have various options for accommodation. Hotel ni Among is highly recommended! They offer dorm type rooms for the solo travelers and bigger groups for very affordable rates. And they also have these airconditioned huts that are perfect for families — best thing at Hotel ni Among is that they have a well-maintained pool!
Cap off your busy day in Vigan with a dip in Hotel ni Among’s pool
2. Stroll along Calle Crisologo
It is like a given rule that when you visit Vigan, you should visit Calle Crisologo. This cobble-stoned street lines with beautifully restored ancestral houses of the Spanish era will make you feel like you have time traveled. Calle Crisologo is also very popular to photographers as it is truly a gem — it gives off a different feel at various hours of the day, my favorite would probably be when the sun is close to set and the streetlights are starting to get lit. Wake up early and catch Calle Crisologo at dawn, you’ll be glad you did. 🙂
There are lots of establishments along Calle Crisologo that sells antique furnitures and various pasalubongs.
Stay a little late when all the shops are closed and only a few people are around, best time to take a romantic stroll with your special someone.
Ice cream while walking along Calle Crisologo, I highly approve!
You won’t get hungry as there are restaurants along this street and food vendors are there as well.
3. Explore Vigan in a Kalesa
Vigan City can be explored in a day. For a small place, it has quite a lot to offer — and since you’re in Vigan to make the most of it, best to explore it in a kalesa!
The awesome staff of Gordion Hotel gave us a map of Vigan to help us plan our day’s activities and spots to visit.
Off we go in our Kalesa tour! It costs Php150 per hour to roam around Vigan in a kalesa and it will take around 3-4 hours to visit the major spots. I highly recommend our kutsera-cum-tour guide Ate Ditas. She is really nice and fun and we even found out that she already toured numerous celebrities around Vigan, including Kris Aquino! We suddenly felt like celebs! Haha!
One of the Kalesa tour stops is the Bantay Bell Tower! Be sure to climb up the top and enjoy the sight that it offers!
No fee to enter the Bell Tower but donations are encouraged.
We also get to visit Hidden Garden, which is a very refreshing place filled with lots of interesting things to see.
Bask in nature! Plants, plants, plants everywhere!
BALUARTE!! One of my must-visit places in Vigan! I fell in love with this place some years ago when I first visited Vigan and my second visit was nothing short of awesome.
I love animals so what I really love about Baluarte is their animal interaction show. I just there in time before they took out the last animal, and of course, I volunteered! The result: Holding an albino snake and got a coiled snake on my head!
You can also have your photo taken with a tiger! This obviously made me very happy and I was so close to hugging the big cat but it’s a no-no.
Entrance to Baluarte is free. Having a photo with one of their resident tigers would cost Php100.
Thumbs up for Ate Ditas our cool kutsera!
There are a few more spots that you will visit on your Kalesa tour but we will get to that as we go along our list.
4. Go Empanada-Hopping
Ilocos is famed for its empanada and this is something that you shouldn’t miss when you visit Vigan! Irene’s Empanada was highly recommended to me by friends but we decided, why not try all the empanada that we come across with? Sounds like a great idea!
First up! Irene’s Empanada along Calle Crisologo — we got ourselves the Jumbo Special for Php60. Real steal if you ask me. I was so full after eating one of these filling and delicious treat. You can watch how they make their empanadas as you order and it will just make you salivate more.
The Verdict: I’m In Love. I love it when you take your first bite and that crisp is memorable, then the smooth texture of the eggs will greet your tastebuds and bam! the flavor of the meat hits you together with the vegetables. Did I just make you crave for an empanada? Yep, it’s that good.
You can also get your empanada fix at Plaza Burgos. A lot of stalls there sells empanada and okoy, we ordered from two different stalls and these regular empanadas costs Php35. The verdict is, they are still good but I felt there were more crust than the filling. As for the filling, this was much more refreshing, probably because it is not meat-loaded unlike the one we got from Irene’s.
In the end, we ended up going back to Irene’s and I stuffed myself more with Vigan’s empanada! I actually miss it already!
5. Visit Vigan’s Historical Museums
Two of the stops in the Kalesa tour are historical museums: The birthplace of Padre Burgos of the Gomburza and the Syquia Mansion of President Elpidio Quirino. Vigan offers a rich history and they have successfully preserved a lot of it – so while you’re in there, give it a visit.
Padre Burgos museum has an entrance fee of Php20.
The last stop of our Kalesa tour was the Syquia Mansion which was the home of the late president Elpidio Quirino. Listen to the tour guide’s discussion of its history and stories, it was interesting! We even saw an actual seal of a Chinese emperor!
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