Reasons to visit Vigan Philippines

Reasons to visit Vigan, Philippines at least once in your lifetime

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10 Reasons to Visit Vigan, Philippines: Discover the Charm of a UNESCO World Heritage City

Welcome to Vigan, a city steeped in history, culture, and architectural marvels that will transport you to another era. Nestled in the heart of the Philippines, this charming destination is a must-visit for travelers seeking a unique and enchanting experience. Whether you are a history buff, a culture vulture, or simply someone in search of awe-inspiring sights, Vigan has something for everyone. So pack your bags, leave the ordinary behind, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through time. Here are 10 reasons why Vigan should be on your travel bucket list:

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the UNESCO World Heritage charm of Vigan’s well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture.
  • Explore the picturesque cobblestone streets lined with ancestral houses and charming boutiques.
  • Savor the flavors of traditional Filipino cuisine, especially the popular local delicacy, Vigan longganisa.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Vigan by visiting its fascinating museums and heritage sites.
  • Discover the beauty of Vigan’s natural landscapes, from the breathtaking sand dunes to the serene rivers.
  • Witness the vibrant festivities and celebrations that showcase the lively spirit of the Vigan locals.
  • Experience a unique mode of transportation with a memorable ride on a kalesa, a traditional horse-drawn carriage.
  • Shop for intricately woven textiles and other handicrafts at the world-famous Vigan Heritage Village.
  • Indulge in the soothing rhythms of Philippine folk music with live performances of traditional instruments.
  • Create lasting memories as you take part in immersive cultural activities such as pottery making or weaving demonstrations.

1. Step into Living History:

Prepare to be awestruck as you stroll through the streets of Vigan, where Spanish colonial architecture is beautifully preserved. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Vigan offers a glimpse into the Philippines’ colonial past, with its well-preserved ancestral houses, churches, and public plazas. With each step, you’ll feel transported to a bygone era, where the stories of the past come alive.

2. Lose Yourself in Cobblestone Streets:

Leave the worries of the modern world behind as you wander through Vigan’s picturesque cobblestone streets. Take a leisurely stroll along Calle Crisologo, the city’s most iconic street, lined with beautifully preserved ancestral houses that epitomize the grandeur of the Spanish colonial era. Enjoy the sight of colorful “calesas” (horse-drawn carriages) passing by, and indulge in retail therapy at the charming boutiques that offer an array of local handicrafts and souvenirs.

3. Taste the Flavors of Vigan:

No trip to Vigan would be complete without savoring the flavors of the local cuisine. Make sure to try the famous Vigan longganisa, a garlicky and slightly sour sausage made from locally sourced ingredients. Other delectable treats include bagnet (deep-fried pork belly), empanada (meat-filled pastry), and sinigang (a savory and tangy soup). Don’t forget to visit the bustling public market, where you can find an array of fresh produce, spices, and traditional delicacies.

4. Immerse Yourself in History and Culture:

Vigan is a treasure trove of historical and cultural gems, waiting to be explored. Visit the Burgos Museum, located in the ancestral house of martyr Fr. Jose Burgos, to learn about the city’s revolutionary past. Marvel at the baroque beauty of the St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral or explore the hidden treasures of the Crisologo Museum. For a deeper understanding of Vigan’s cultural heritage, take a trip to the Pagburnayan Pottery Making facility, where you can witness the traditional art of pottery making firsthand.

5. Discover Natural Beauty:

While Vigan is known for its architectural wonders, it also offers breathtaking natural landscapes that will leave you in awe. Experience the thrill of sandboarding down the towering sand dunes of Paoay or go on a serene river cruise along the Mestizo River. Be captivated by the lush greenery of Baluarte Zoo, where you can encounter a wide array of exotic animals in a beautiful natural setting. Vigan’s natural beauty is a testament to the diversity and wonder of the Philippines’ natural wonders.

6. Celebrate Life with Festivities:

Vigan is a city that loves to celebrate, and you can be a part of the exciting festivities that immerse you in the local culture. The city comes alive during the annual Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts, a month-long celebration filled with colorful parades, street dances, and cultural performances. If you happen to visit during Holy Week, witness the dramatic reenactment of the Passion of Christ during the Semana Santa, a deeply religious and moving event.

7. Take a Ride on a Kalesa:

Experience a one-of-a-kind mode of transportation as you take a memorable ride on a kalesa, a traditional horse-drawn carriage. Let the clip-clop of the horse’s hooves serenade you as you explore the historic streets of Vigan in style. Sit back, relax, and let the charming kalesa driver regale you with stories about the city’s past, making your journey even more enchanting.

8. Shop at Vigan Heritage Village:

Indulge in a shopping spree like no other at the world-famous Vigan Heritage Village. This bustling area is home to a wide selection of shops selling intricately woven textiles, antique furniture, and delicate handicrafts. Take home a piece of Vigan’s heritage by purchasing handwoven blankets, vibrant abel Iloko fabrics, or the signature burnay jars, a testament to the city’s pottery-making tradition.

9. Soothe Your Soul with Philippine Folk Music:

Immerse yourself in the soul-stirring melodies of traditional Philippine folk music. As you explore the streets of Vigan, you may chance upon local musicians playing traditional instruments such as the kubing (bamboo mouth harp) or the banduria (a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin). Take a moment to listen and let the soothing sounds transport you to a world of tranquility.

10. Embrace Cultural Activities:

In Vigan, you have the opportunity to engage in immersive cultural activities that offer a hands-on experience of the local traditions. Join a pottery-making workshop and learn the art of creating beautiful earthenware. Try your hand at weaving and discover the intricate process behind the creation of the famous Abel Iloko fabric. These activities not only provide a deeper appreciation for Vigan’s cultural heritage but also allow you to create lasting memories and connect with the local community.

Your journey to Vigan promises a delightful fusion of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its well-preserved architecture to its vibrant festivals, this charming city invites you to step into a world where the past seamlessly intertwines with the present. So, cast aside your reservations, embark on an adventure, and fall in love with the enchanting spirit of Vigan, a city that captivates the hearts of all who visit.

Why go to Vigan, Philippines?

You must visit Vigan, Philippines, at least once in your lifetime because, unlike many other Spanish colonial towns, Vigan retains much of its colonial character, including its grid street pattern and ancient city layout. For its part, the townscape is significant because it combines several architectural styles into one cohesive whole.

Places to go in Vigan, Philippines:

  1. Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo
  2. Banaoang Bridge
  3. Bantay Watch Tower
  4. Café Leona
  5. Calle Crisologo
  6. Ciudad Fernandina Hotel
  7. Crisologo Museum
  8. Grandpa’s Inn & Restaurant
  9. Hidden Garden
  10. Hotel Luna
  11. Hotel Veneto de Vigan
  12. Mestizo River Cruise
  13. Mindoro Beach
  14. Padre Burgos House
  15. Paradores de Vigan
  16. Plaza Salcedo
  17. RG Jar Factory
  18. Syquia Mansion Museum
  19. Vigan Cathedral
  20. Vigan Plaza Hotel

What is Vigan, Philippines, famous for?

Vigan, Philippines, is famous for its well-preserved Spanish Colonial town, historic Vigan tourist attractions, and mouthwatering food and specialties. “It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its beauty.

Fun Facts about Vigan, Philippines

  • Spanish colonial architecture at its peak, this Unesco World Heritage Site is Asia’s finest example of the style.
  • Vigan’s grid street pattern and historic urban layout make it a one-of-a-kind city in the Philippines.
  • 1572 was a turning point for the Philippines when a colonial settlement at Vigan was established.
    Why visit Vigan Philippines

How big is Vigan, Philippines?

Vigan, Philippines, is about 28.86 square km or 11 square miles in size.

When is the best time to visit Vigan, Philippines?

The best time to visit Vigan, Philippines, is the months of December to February when the weather is cooler, and there are fewer chances of rain interrupting a trip.

How many days do you need to see Vigan, Philippines?

Vigan can be enjoyed from sunrise to sunset. Still, it can also be included in a two- to the three-day itinerary. Riding the kalesa, which stops at eight to ten of Vigan’s most prominent tourist attractions, is the most popular and highly recommended method of moving around.

What is the cheapest time to go to Vigan, Philippines?

The low season (flights) to visit Vigan, Philippines, is in January to February and July to December. Tourists are advised to visit during the dry season.

Is Vigan, the Philippines, an expensive city to visit?

Hotels in Vigan run the gamut from $13 to $149 a night, with an average price of $45, while most vacation rentals cost between $80 and $360 per night for the full property.

How to save money when visiting Vigan, Philippines?

The best ways to save money when visiting Vigan, Philippines, are:

  • Book wisely- Another option is to rent a hotel room away from the city’s most popular attractions. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to save money by staying at one of these locations.
  • Ride a kalesa-It’s a common sight in the Calle Crisologo neighborhood to see these horse-drawn carriages in action.
  • Tricycle-You can take a tricycle to get about Vigan City if you can’t walk the distance (auto-rickshaw).

What food (and drinks) is Vigan, Philippines, known for?

Things you need to eat in Vigan, Philippines, before you die:

  • Pakbet or Pinakbet is another of Ilocos’ preserved delicacies. Ilocanos employ backyard-grown eggplants, okra, string beans, chili peppers, and bitter gourd.
  • Bibingka- If size were the criterion, Vigan’s royal bibingka fails. True, little is bad. In this scenario, yummy! The crusty top and sticky but soft cupcake-sized body make up bibingka.
  • Iloko Longganisa- if you’re a breakfast nerd, Longganisang Iloko, also called Vigan Longganisa, is the town’s traditional sausage.
  • Empanada is Vigan’s specialty. Orange-colored Empanada is filled with Longganisang Iloko, beans, shredded cabbages, grated unripe papayas, onion, garlic, and egg.
    Visit Vigan Philippines at least once in your lifetime

Is Vigan, Philippines, safe to visit?

Tourists and backpackers are safe in Vigan. For a little town, they really have a lot of CCTV cameras. Minors have a 10pm curfew, and pubs and karaoke joints close at midnight. Friendly locals are another plus.

What is the best way to get around in Vigan, Philippines?

The best way to get around in Vigan, Philippines, are:

  • Vigan’s transportation options are limited to walking, riding a bike, or taking a bus. jeepneys, tricycles, van-for-hire, and calesas are some public vehicles that can be used to get around the city.
  • Most of Vigan’s metro transportation consists of tricycles painted in various colors and numbered.
  • A horse-drawn carriage (calesa)

What neighbourhoods or areas should I stay in when I visit Vigan, Philippines?

The best areas you should stay in when visiting Vigan, Philippines are:

  • City Center (Poblacion) 
  • Neighboring Barangays 
  • Hotel Luna
  • Paradores de Vigan

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for food?

The best areas for food and drinks when visiting Vigan, Philippines, are:

  • Lilong and Lilang Restaurant – Hidden Garden.
  • Uno Grille – Grandpa’s Inn.
  • Coffee Break Vigan Co. – Salcedo St.
  • Kusina Felicitas – Grandpa’s Inn.

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for shopping?

The best areas for shopping when visiting Vigan, Philippines, are:

  • Cristy’s Loomweaving & Souvenir Shop
  • Tongson’s Royal Bibingka
  • RG Jar Factory
  • Marsha’s Delicacies
  • Vigan City Public Market

What should I do on my first trip to Vigan, Philippines?

If you are visiting Vigan, Philippines, for the first time, visit Plaza Salcedo and catch the show by the fountains. Plaza Salcedo is Vigan’s major square and a gathering spot next to Calle Crisologo. Attend the Mass at the Cathedral of Vigan. Pay a visit to the bell tower at Bantay. Pagburnayan is where to try your hand at weaving or pottery. Go, Museum Hopping.

Is Vigan, Philippines, a good place for solo travel?

When traveling solo, Vigan is an ideal destination for lone travelers as it is considered to have a low crime risk for tourists and backpackers.

Is Vigan, Philippines, a good place to visit for a family with kids?

When visiting Vigan, Philippines as a family with kids, a charming town can be found further north, and it is just the place for having fun with the kids. Ilocos Sur is home to the culturally significant city of Vigan. Because of the city’s successful efforts to preserve its historical sites, Vigan City was recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site in December 1999. This honor was bestowed upon the city in recognition of its efforts.

Is Vigan, Philippines, a good place for couples?

When visiting Vigan, Philippines, as a couple, you’ll find kalesas and historical sights, as well as a wide variety of delectable food. Nothing quite like the enchanting aroma of nostalgia filling this city’s air! Vigan City, a Spanish colonial town that is one of the best preserved in the world, has a special appeal that draws visitors from all over the world. One of the most romantic spots in the Philippines, Vigan is a must-visit for couples.

What are the best annual events in Vigan, Philippines?

The best annual events in Vigan, Philippines, that you cannot miss are

  • Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts in May 
  • Sinait Garlic Festival in May
  • Longaniza Festival in January 
  • Pinakbet Festival in March 


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