One fine morning where the sun was up and brightly shining upon through us giving the needed Vitamin D and as well as giving as clue that we were up for adventure. Vigan is only 2 hours away from La Union where we spent a day of learning how to surf and eventually, did surfing and a night with booze and music, we decided to went up north a little not too far and enjoy the rest of the day ‘til night before heading to Manila and go on with our life as it is designed – work – travel – booze & party in between – eat – repeat. Of course, a nap and or a couple of hours of sleep will do.
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur is located on the west coast of Luzon island. It’s known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. If you’re looking for a “blast from the past” destination, Vigan City is surely for you as it has Calle Crisologo that dominates the Mestizo district, with its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and rustic mansions. And just neat the shite baroque Vigan Cathedral are the Plaza Salcedo, offering fountain light shows (more colorful in December due to Christmas lights and lanterns), and Plaza Burgos, known for its street-food stalls (Empanada de Iloko is a must try!).
We only have 4 hours left to explore Vigan when we arrived. One things we had in our minds – eat! So, what comes next is a lot of eating. Ha-ha. Perhaps, it is the good side of not being a first timer because I already have place in mind on what to do given the time allotted.
So guys, here’s AQuick Guide to Vigan, Ilocos Sur – a travel guide and itinerary for first timer and those with limited time.
Vigan Plaza Hotel – has an ideal location, it’s strategic location along Mena Crisologo Street makes it a perfect fit for traveler who loves comfort and at the same, without hurting your pocket, and an easy access to places that worthy to visit such Burgos National Museum, a 5-minute walk from the hotel while the lovely Vigan Heritage Village is just a 4-minute walk away. So, this quaint hotel, a converted Spanish colonial home is where we stayed during my first visit in the city.
See & Do
Explore the city through riding a Kalesa. Of course, what a better way to explore history that lies beneath is to do it in old-style right? It is time for you to slow down and appreciate the details of Vigan. I assure you, it is not boring as it looks, it is more fun and entertaining that makes you want extended hours.
Calle Crisologo – the main and historic street in the town of Vigan which is listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage in Asia. The cobble-stoned street with ancestral houses built during the Spanish Era.
Shop for Vintage - Calle Crisologo is also a home for vintage stuff. So if you’re a collector of anything vintage, spending an hour or two to look for vintage items would suffice.
Father Burgos’ House – the bahay na bato near the Ilocos Sur Provincial Hall is the ancestral house of one the priests in Philippines history – GomBurZa. Father Burgos also sentenced to death for a false charge of rebellion against the Spanish government.
Eat & Drink
Café Leona – try the Vigan Longganisa, empanada, bagnet and other Ilocano dishes. It is located in Calle Crisologo so you won’t miss it. It is an ancestral house converted to a restaurant that’s why you’ll see traces of what it looks like during the Spanish period. Budget per person starts at Php 150, if you’re in a group much better and cheaper as most of the dishes are good for sharing.
Coffee Break Vigan – need a caffeine-fix? Then, I would suggest Coffee Break Vigan. They serve latte, macchiato, iced-coffee, pastries and meals. Though, it has a limited selection but good enough to have a coffee break after all the walks.
Plaza Burgos – have a taste of street foods available at a cheaper price at Plaza Burgos. Being picky is not an option but well I guess, being in one’s place also deals with trying out something new for experience, right? So now, order that bbq, bagnet, isaw, empanada and rice, please?
Good to Know
Best time to visit Vigan is during summer so you can explore the city at maximum and Calle Crisologo is at its best during golden hours. It more photogenic and sophisticatedly romantic when the stars and moon are up. Plus, at night time it is less crowded so you can have more photos not being photobombed!
Ilocano is also known for being frugal, so it is hard to get discount, and yes, even on bulk orders. I warned you! Good luck and happy traveling!