Touring Vigan City Destinations on a Budget
The sound of kalesas (horse-drawn carriages) against cobblestone streets, the aroma of freshly baked empanadas wafting in the air, tourists chatting with antique store vendors along streets lined with 18th-century mansions—these are just some of the things that make Vigan such an intriguing city to visit. What better way than to revisit Philippines’ rich history than by experiencing it first-hand?
First, some tips for convenience:
- Wear breezy, comfortable clothes as this itinerary relies heavily on walking and having tricycle rides.
- Bring water with you before you leave, as it can save you the trouble of having to add a stopover to your itinerary.
- Sunglasses are a must since most, if not all destinations, don’t have shaded areas.
- Don’t forget to bring bills of small values as the base fare for tricycle rides is PHP 20.
This itinerary was designed with efficiency in mind (seeing as it was made by a boyfriend who is an Industrial Engineer), but it was a bonus seeing as I suffer from OCPD. You’ll find yourself spending not more than PHP 700–800, or $15–17. Ready to get started? Here we go!
10:00 – 10:15 – Walk from Hotel to Vigan Cathedral
10:15 – 10:45 – Vigan Cathedral, Plaza Salcedo, Ilocos Sur Capitol Tour
10:45 – 10:55 – Walk to Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail
10:55 – 11:30 Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail Tour (Free Entrance)
11:30 – 11:40 – Tricycle to Burnayan Pottery (PHP 20)
11:40 – 12:10 – Burnayan Pottery Tour (Free Entrance)
12:10 – 12:20 – Tricycle to Hidden Garden Restaurant (PHP 50)
12:20 – 13:00 – Lunch at Hidden Garden Restaurant (PHP 500+*)
13:00 – 13:30 – Hidden Garden Tour (Free Entrance)
13:30 – 13:40 – Tricycle to Baluarte Zoo (PHP 50)
13:40 – 14:30 – Baluarte Zoo Tour (Free Entrance)
14:30 – 14:40 – Tricycle to Crisologo Museum (PHP 50)
14:40 – 15:20 – Crisologo Museum Tour (Free Entrance)
15:20 – 15:30 – Walk to Arce Mansion
15:30 – 16:00 – Arce Mansion Tour (Free Entrance)
16:00 – 16:10 – Walk to Syquia Mansion
16:10 – 16:30 – Syquia Mansion Tour (Entrance Fee PHP 30)
Summary of Expenses
Transit to Burnayan Pottery: PHP 20
Transit to Hidden Garden Restaurant: PHP 50
Lunch at Hidden Garden Restaurant: PHP 500*
Transit to Baluarte Zoo: PHP 50
Transit to Crisologo Museum: PHP 50
Entrance fee to Syquia Mansion Tour: PHP 30
Total of PHP 700+
- Lunch fee will depend on food ordered; average check for the restaurant is PHP 500+/person.
- The Bantay Bell Tower and Padre Burgos Museum are destinations originally included in the itinerary but were unfortunately closed for renovations during the visit, so we replaced it with other destinations.
- Tricycle fees differ depending on the distance from Point A to Point B. The farther the end point, the more expensive the fee but the base fare is PHP 20.
- Walking times differ depending on pace, as well as allotting time for picture taking.
- Entrance fee shown is price per head.
- Hotel stayed at during visit is Hotel Luna.
How to Get There
Manila to Vigan by Land
When traveling to Vigan by land, you can opt to bring your own car, or take a bus to go there.
By car: It’s an 8- to 9-hour road trip from Manila to Vigan with directions available when you use Google Maps.
Pro: You can choose which pitstops you want to take, and you have privacy when it comes to who you travel with.
Con: This might be more expensive than taking the bus since you will have to pay for gas and toll fees.
By bus: There are numerous bus lines that cater to customers wanting to travel from Manila (Cubao Station) to Vigan. You may contact the Cubao Station for updated fares by calling +63 (2) 7278278.
Manila to Vigan by Air
When you choose to go to Vigan by taking a plane, you should look for flights that will take you to Laoag as it is the closest airport they have to Vigan. Vigan used to have an international airport, but it is no longer open.
After arriving in Laoag, you will have to take a tricycle that will take you to a bus station that will then bring you to Vigan. As mentioned above, you may call Partas’ Cubao Station for more details.
For your convenience, I have also prepared a downloadable version of this guide right here. Hopefully, this one-day itinerary will help you on your trip to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. Feel free to share your comments on this itinerary or even your own version in the comments box below.