Travel Guide: Vigan

Categories Luzon, Travel Guide

Travel back to colonial Philippines in Vigan, the capital city of Ilocos Sur, one of the very few remaining Hispanic towns in the country.

Established in the 16th century as Villa Fernandina, Vigan is endowed with its timeless and well preserved beauty. It portrays an Spanish-era Philippines with its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages (“calesa“), old houses and ancient structures that have survived the war and stood the test of time.


Undoubtedly, Vigan has successfully preserved its heritage, getting the nod of UNESCO for the city to be included in the prestigious World Heritage Site list in 1999 as a best-preserved example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia.

Today, Vigan is a fusion of old and new, of east and west, of traditional and modern living. Experience the best of the Philippines in the Heritage City of the North – Vigan!

St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral of Vigan

How to Get There

Manila to Vigan by Land

Vigan is an 8 to 9-hour ride from Manila. Several bus lines serve the route including Partas (Contact No: 725-1740, 725-1256, 725-7303, 724-9820), Dominion Bus, Aniceto Bus and Viron Transit that travel directly daily. Meanwhile, Florida Bus Line (Contact No: 731-4473, 781-5894),  Baliwag (Contact No: 524-7111, 525-1067, 525-3064, 525-6769, 525-2338, 525-2294), Fariñas (Contact No: 743-8582), Maria De Leon Bus Lines, RCJ Bus Lines and F. Franco Transit have daily trips to Laoag, passing by Vigan. The trip is via North Luzon Expressway and Manila North Road passing through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union.

If you’re coming from Tuguegarao, GMW Liner and Florida Liner operate buses to Vigan and Abra with stop in Vigan.

Manila to Vigan by Air

Mindoro Airport of Vigan is a community airport intended to serve the whole province of Ilocos Sur. InterIsland Airline and Sea Air used to fly there from Manila but the operation of the route was cancelled due to low traffic. To date, the airport serves only chartered flights.

The nearest airport with regular commercial flight is Laoag in Ilocos Norte. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Laoag daily from Manila, travel time is an hour. Vigan is only two hours away from Laoag.

Clark to Vigan

For those coming from Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Field, Pampanga, ride the shuttle or jeepney going to Dau Integrated Bus Terminal, fare is around P50. In Dau Terminal, transfer to a bus going to Vigan or Laoag.

Tour Vigan with these horse-drawn carriages called "calesa"
Tour Vigan with these horse-drawn carriages called “calesa”.

Getting Around and Away

Tricycle is the common method of transportation around Vigan but still the best way to explore its attractions is by riding a “calesa” for P150.00 per hour per carriage. Jeepneys, vans and buses are advised for those going to Sta. Maria, Laoag, Paoay and other neighboring towns.

Where to Stay

Experience living in the hotels inspired by Spanish architecture in Vigan. Some of the favorites include:

  • Grandpa’s Inn and Restaurant
    #1 Bonifacio St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2118
  • Gordion Inn
    V. Delos Reyes St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2526
  • Casa Teofila Lodge
    Brgy.Pantay Daya, Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-6482
  • Hotel Salcedo de Vigan
    V. Delos Reyes corner Gen. Luna St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-1200
  • Vigan Plaza Hotel
    Crisologo St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)632-0317
  • Villa Angelica Heritage House
    Quirino Blvd., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2914
Cafe Leona

Other accommodations in Vigan:

  • Casa Rica
    88 Quirino Blvd. Corner Abaya Street, Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)674-0591
  • Ciudad Fernandina Hotel
    26 Mabini corner Plaridel Streets, Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-3765
  • Condotel Asuncion
    Florentino corner Jacinto Streets, Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-8777
  • Cordillera Family Inn
    Florentino St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2727
  • Cordillera Inn
    Crisologo St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2727
  • El Juliana Hotel
    Quirino Blvd. corner Liberation Blvd., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2994
  • Green R Hotel
    Alcantara Ext., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-6106
  • Hem Apartelle
    A. Reyes St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2173
  • Hotel Felicidad
    Blk.4 #9 V. Delos Reyes corner Florentino Streets, Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-0008
  • La Feliza Tourist Inn
    #8 De Los Reyes Corner Florentino Streets, Vigan
    Contact No: (077)722 2926
  • Playa de Oro
    Brgy. Mindoro, Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)673-0919/+639175850137
  • R.F. Aniceto Mansion
    Crisologo St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2383
  • Social Pastoral Center
    Nueva Segovia St., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-2018
  • UNP Guestel
    University of the Philippines Compound
    Brgy. Tamag, Vigan City
  • Vigan Heritage Mansion
    Crisologo St. corner Liberation Blvd., Vigan City
    Contact No: (077)722-6495
The cobblestone street of Crisologo

Things to Do in Vigan and Nearby Areas

  • Walk along the cobblestone street of Calle Crisologo and Calle Plaridel and admire its old structures
  • Visit the century-old St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral and Simbaan a Bassit
  • Checkout Crisologo Museum, Father Burgos Residence & Museum, Religious Museum, Leona Florentino Ancestral House, Fil-Spanic Friendship Park, Buridek Museum, Baluarte Vigan (Vigan Fortress), Hidden Garden, Plaza Burgos , Plaza Salcedo and Syquia Mansion
  • Experience jar-making at Pagburnayan
  • Try Vigan Heritage River Cruise
  • Watch the dancing fountain in Plaza Salcedo Lagoon
  • Shops for antiques and other native products
  • Watch the abel weavers in action
  • Swim in see the sunset at Mindoro Beach
  • Taste Empanada, Vigan Longanisa, Dinengdeng, Poqui-Poqui and other Ilocano delicacies
  • Visit the nearby St. Augustine Churh of Bantay and its detached belfy
  • Go to Magsingal Church, Belfry & National Museum
  • Dine in Cafe Leona, Cafe Uno, Bistro Amarillo, Granpa’s Inn Restaurant, Caferia en la Veranda, Caferia del Maestro or Gordon’s Hotel Garden by the Ruins
  • Buy Royal Bibingka, Vigan Longanisa and other pasalubong at Tongson’s Royal Bibingka
  • Drop by at the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, another UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Head to Laoag, Paoay, Burgos, Bangui and Pagudpud
The belltower of Bantay

Other Tips

  • Best time to visit is during dry season from November to May
  • There are ATMs in town and credit cards are accepted in major establishments
  • Globe, Smart, Sun, Touch Mobile and Talk n’ Text have mobile signal



41 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Vigan

  1. Hello po, planning to visit vigan this october sana. But have no idea how much would I be spending for transpo(bus), lodging and food. For almost 3days and 2nights. Tapos kung may alam din kayo na pension house na mura lang din na malapit sa mga attractions dun. Salamat.

  2. I and my friend want to visit Vigan comes April. Is it a good time of the year to go there. You see we are only two and we are both

  3. We are tertiary students (a lady and gentleman), have searched from websites to learn that there will be a week-long celebration of “art-festival” called “Viva Vigan” in May in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines, two of us tourists from Hong Kong attempt to travel Vigan City to join such an amazing experience for a Four to Five-days (4 ~ 5) trip, the details of the trip are followings :–

    4 days trip – 01/05 (Sunday morning am) – 04/05/2016 (Wednesday evening pm); or
    5 days trip – 30/04 (Saturday evening pm) – 04/05/2016 (Wednesday)

    We have a numbers of Questions as follows :–

    What is the shorter or faster ways (transportation) to get Vigan City such as direct flight to Laoag City, Baguio–Loakan Airport, or Tuguegarao Airport, to shorten the long–distant transportation, 1–hour bus travelling from Laoag City to Vigan City instead of 6–hour bus travelling from Manila to Vigan City ?

    How many flight within (to and from) Manila and Laoag City ?

    Another problems is public security or social problem in Philippines. As you know since the Manila hostage crisis that seven Hong Kong tourists were killed in 2010. My brother told me he went to a countryside in Kalusunan a couple of years ago and felt unsafety there. As you know since the Manila hostage crisis that seven Hong Kong tourists were killed in 2010. We worry about the public security problems. But I read many websites described Vigan city, those tourists after travelling the city told they felt comfortable and enjoyed so much. Is there safety or any social security problems there, could any of you give us any travelling tips, to avoid any tricks, or help for tourist if any problems ?

    Does it provided any RELIABLE Local Guide or Local Tours travelling Vigan City ? If any, how much does the product cost ? In what currency ?

    Thank you so much for all you guys. Looking forwards to hearing from you soon.

  4. I want to read the replies of all quest asked. Because their questions arethe same as mine. Can i read them now after i typed my name and email add?

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