Last updated on June 22nd, 2019 at 03:32 pm
Looking into the most treasured cities and islands, you may come across a place called Bacolod City. Though it may not be the most popular destination in the Philippines, it still ranks one of the most visited cities in the country. Why? Because there are many things to do in Bacolod City and we will show you in our Bacolod City travel guide all the Bacolod tourist spots
We believe it is mainly because of the kind and very welcoming people. Can it also be because of the city’s rich history and culture? Well, it may also be the savory home-cooked meals (not to mention the most delicious chicken inasal that originated in Bacolod). Whatever the reason may be, Bacolod tourist spots are definitely worth exploring. We will tell you what´s the best time to visit Bacolod City, hotels in Bacolod City to stay and what to eat in Bacolod City.
Of course, Bacolod isn’t perfect. I mean, sure, it may not have the most breathtaking sights and the most beautiful landscapes ever. But you will surely keep coming back for more once you visit the place. The “why” is for you to find out. Read here best restaurants in Bacolod!
Here in this article, you’ll learn all about how you can travel to Bacolod City. We will also give you our insights on why we think you should really visit this city at least once in your life.
Bacolod City Travel Guide
How to get to Bacolod City
How to get to Bacolod City by plane
Bacolod City is a 45-minute plane ride away from the capital city of the Philippines, Manila. Once you get to Bacolod-Silay Airport, you will then take a 20-minute shuttle or taxi ride that will take you to the heart of Bacolod. Most of the tourists traveling to Bacolod come from Iloilo City and Manila, but there are also plenty of foreign visitors in the city throughout the year. There are airlines like Philippines Airlines with flights from Manila, Davao and even from Clark (where we are based, in Angeles City) We bought a cheap airfare Clark-Bacolod City for 4000 PHP the three of us with Philippine Airlines one way ticket. And also Cebu Pacific Air offers flights from those coming from Manila and Davao.
How to get from the airport to Bacolod City
The airport is located in Silay City, 15 kilometers far from Bacolod City. If you are riding a van will cost you 150 PHP per person and it will drive you to SM which is in the city center of Bacolod.
There are also available Grab and taxis. Grab could be your best option if you are traveling with more people. Grab prices are around 350-500 PHP. Taxis are available for 450 PHP. Just choose the option which adapts better to your comfort and budget.
Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
How to get to Bacolod City by fastcraft ferry from Iloilo
If you’re traveling to Bacolod from Iloilo, you can take a fastcraft ferry with regular schedules to and from both islands. The fees vary but the cheapest one you can get as a tourist is around 4.50 USD only. to 6 USD depending on the ferry company that you choose for your trip.
One of the many great things about traveling to Bacolod is how everything is really cheap and affordable! From the food and fares, this city’s affordability will keep your budget intact and will allow you to enjoy different things to do in Bacolod!
How to get to Guimaras Island from Bacolod
You have to ride a jeepney to Libertad Market from Central Market, the ride is 8.50 PHP per person. From Libertad Market you have to walk to SaveMore where jeepneys leave to Pulupandan. The journey takes almost an hour and it costs 30 PHP to the ferry port. The ferry going to Sibunag in Guimaras leaves early morning before 8 am. The ferry going to San Lorenzo leaves at 11 am, so take note of the schedule since there is only one boat leaving daily. The boat takes an hour and it costs 100 PHP for an adult and 50 PHP for a 6 years old if you are traveling with a kid and we were doing going from Bacolod to Guimaras Island.
We had hard time riding this boat and the water was coming inside since it’s so windy getting to San Lorenzo in Guimaras Island. Maybe it’s better if you choose the other route coming from Iloilo City. Just expect a hard ride if you ride the boat. It’s limited to 55 people but they also add motorbikes, sacks and we think is overloaded based in what we saw apart of getting dizzy during the ride.
Best time to visit Bacolod City
Bacolod can be found in Negros Island, on the Philippines’ Visayan region. It has been dubbed as “The City of Smiles” because of the warmth and friendliness of its people. Throughout the year, visitors from all over the country and foreigners from other parts of the globe flock to Bacolod to experience its people’s congeniality and the warmth of its tropical climate. It’s residents bask in the sun’s glory from December to May, which is the country’s dry season and is the best time to visit Bacolod tourist spots. The remaining months vary from light rains to thunderstorms, so it’s always best to plan your trip along those dry months.
For those looking for a street party, the Masskara Festival is held during the fourth Sunday of October each year. This is the city’s most important festival and is another great time to visit other Bacolod tourist spots.
How to get Wi-Fi in Bacolod City
Like many of its neighboring cities and provinces, Bacolod in Negros Occidental is already a highly urbanized area. Connecting to the internet will not be an issue when visiting this city as many of its residents also rely on stable net access for their day to day activities. There are countless spots that offer free Wi-Fi in the city.
Another option is to buy a local SIM card. The biggest networks in the country are Smart and Globe, we were using both of them and connection was 4G in most of the places in Bacolod. So if you need to catch up with online work in Bacolod internet connection wouldn’t be an issue. The latter offers an unlimited texting plus 1 GB internet surfing package for as low as 1.31 USD for an entire week. Read here to know the best Filipino sim for tourist.
Transportation around Bacolod City
Since Bacolod is a highly urbanized city, you can easily go from one place to another through jeepneys, taxis, Grab taxi, tricycles, motorcycles and shuttle cars/buses. However, for first timers, riding a jeepney could get a little confusing because you would have to be familiar with the routes if you are to ride one. But it sure sounds like an adventure, right? After all, the good thing about getting lost is meeting the friendliest people. The Hiligaynons of Bacolod will never hesitate to give you directions and talk to you if you need any help!
Daily budget to visit Bacolod City
Those visiting Bacolod City are in for a treat. Many of the food and hotels in the city are inexpensive but more than satisfying. A full meal in the city can go for as low as 80 PHP per person while a bottle of beer can be bought for around 50-65 PHP. Restaurant food can be bought for around 500-800 PHP for two people. Pretty cheap, right? And if you only have 20 PHP in your pocket and you’re feeling pretty hungry, you can even buy plenty of street food with your cash.
Those who are looking for budget hotels in Bacolod and can find one on a promo for around 500-900 PHP. Three-star establishments go for around 1,000-2,000 PHP. That’s only $19-38 USD! For those who want a more luxurious stay, you can check in at very nice hotels at around $50-120 USD. You can also try AirBnB in Bacolod City.
Bacolod Tourist Spots And Things to do in Bacolod City
From resorts to churches to old buildings, Bacolod City and its neighboring communities have so much to offer visitors. Negros Occidental has become the ideal blend of old and new, and Bacolod lies in the heart of it all. Those who haven’t seen and experienced the wonders of Bacolod, Talisay and Silay will surely enjoy discovering these iconic places.
1. See San Sebastian Cathedral
Located in downtown Bacolod City, San Sebastian is a famous church all over the country. Many Filipinos visit this church to attend mass there at least once in their lives. What makes the cathedral so special, you ask? Its stone structure was officially built in 1876 and was made with coral stones from Guimaras and hardwood from Palawan. After almost a century, it has been renovated several times and has transformed to the architectural beauty it is today. The interiors can fill you with solemnity and awe at the same time.
2. Have An Adventure At Mambukal Resort In Murcia
Located 1,200 meters above sea level, this mountain resort is a unique getaway that travelers from all over the world will surely enjoy. From trekking the 7 waterfalls to riding a zipline to wall climbing, Mambukal Resort has so many activities to offer! Apart from that, the food here is delicious and perfectly matches the cool, breezy atmosphere of the entire place. For those who just want to relax, they have a warm sulfur dipping pool, a boat lagoon, a butterfly garden, hot springs and the Mambukal River.
There is an entrance fee of 1 USD for adults and there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. You can also avail packages to make the most of your trip that cost from 14 to 28 USD. Murcia is only an hour away from Bacolod.
3. Explore Campuestohan Highland Resort
A truly exciting resort to visit, Campuestohan Highland Resort is a sight to behold. Not only does it offer lots of fun-filled activities, the resort itself is beautifully structured. There are tepee-shaped and igloo-shaped camp houses, a mini train, pools for adults and children, a wave pool, huge playgrounds and a hanging bridge. Other delightful installation include the Heroes Hall where you can find statues of different characters like The Hulk, Wonder Woman, Thor, and even Elvis Presley. They also have a massive King Kong statue that actually roars so loud, it can be heard all around the resort.
Campuestohan rests 800 meters above sea level and the weather there is comparable to the country’s coldest spots like Tagaytay and Baguio. There are many activities that you can try to keep yourself warm and occupied. There’s the hamster wheel, sky bicycle riding, a zip line, horse back riding, bungee trampoline, and many more! There’s also a spa and a restaurant pavilion for those who just want to chill and relax.
The resort has a 2.80 USD entrance fee and is open from 7 AM to 6 PM for those not staying in the resort’s cabins. Each activity also requires a small fee but the entrance fee already comes with access to the resort grounds, swimming pool, hanging bridge and playgrounds.
4. Marvel At The Ruins In Talisay City
The Ruins is an iconic destination in the region and the entire country as well. Recently, more people have come to visit this historic place because of its beauty. It’s truly an Instagram-worthy spot! Historically speaking, this Italianate mansion was created for Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. It was his way of commemorating his Portuguese wife after she passed away from giving birth to their 11th child. Crazy, right? The Ruins sits on a 440-hectare sugar plantation owned by the aforementioned baron. It was eventually burnt down to prevent Japanese forces from using it as their headquarters during the Second World War. What stands today is what’s left of the building, which still looks beautiful and majestic despite it being “ruined.”
Now, it can be visited daily from 8 AM to 8 PM for an entrance fee of less than 2 USD per person. You can also hold special events in its gardens.
More Bacolod tourist spots and things to do in Bacolod City
5. Go Around Silay City
You can find Silay City in the North of Bacolod. Silay, so much as Bacolod, has a beautiful history and a rich culture. The city is filled with ancestral homes and mansions, old building and historical sites which makes it quite popular among tourists visiting Negros. The city’s vintage look reels in visitors who enjoy architecture and are interested in taking lots of beautiful photos.
There are many wonderful places to visit in Silay. The following spots are some of the closest ones to the city’s public plaza and can be easily explored by yourself or on a tour.
6. Balay Negrense
Previously the mansion of sugar baron Victor Fernandez Gaston, this 19th-century building has been turned into a museum. It now houses beautiful pieces of furniture and has officially been declared a heritage house by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 1994. Locals and tourists love visiting this mansion because of its creepy vibe and the wonderful story behind it. It is also the first museum in Negros Occidental.
7. El Ideal Bakery
Another oldie but goldie in Negros is El Ideal Bakery. It is the oldest bakeshop and restaurant in the entire province, and is located in the Cesar Lacson Locsin Ancestral House, another heritage site. Here, you can enjoy all kinds of meals served with bread or rice. Pastries and delicacies abound for tourists to enjoy; there’s piaya, angel cookies and all sorts of pies. You will definitely want to eat your heart out in this local favorite.
8. Bernardino Jalandoni Museum
Famously known as the “Pink House,” this ancestral home has been a National Historical Landmark since 1993. It’s unique color and architecture attracts many visitors, all of whom give nothing but praise to the museum. Completed in 1908, the house is a beautiful combination of Silaynon architecture and European furnishing. Bernardino Jalandoni Museum showcases the richness of Philippine history and how great its foreign influences were as well.
9. San Diego Pro-Cathedral
Easily distinguishable from all other churches in the province, San Diego Pro-Cathedral is the only church in Negros Occidental that has a dome. If you’re wondering what a pro-cathedral is, it’s basically a runner up to the existing cathedral in the province, the San Sebastian Cathedral. Though it ranks at second place in this respect, it is still a beautiful building that attracts many tourists. It was designed by an Italian architect and was built in 1925.
10. Pulang Tubig Waterfalls
Pulang Tubig (literally “red water”) can be found in a protected area called the Northern Negros Natural Park. The park is surrounded by lush forests and several river systems that make the area a tranquil sanctuary, perfect for those who want to be one with nature. To reach Pulang Tubig, you need to go trekking from a lovely community called Patag, which is 20 minutes away from Silay City and about an hour-long ride from Bacolod City. Aside from the majestic waterfalls, the park is also home to native birds, deer, bats and different local plants.
What to eat in Bacolod City
Inasal is Bacolod’s pride and joy, making it the #1 must-try food in the city. This unique version of charcoal grilled chicken originated in Bacolod and is cooked with a marinade of calamansi, coconut vinegar, pepper and annato. All these herbs and spices give inasal its unique flavor that people from all over the world fall in love with. Since Bacolod is inasal‘s hometown, there’s no better place to try it than here. Head on out to Manokan Country, Bacolod’s street market that specializes in this delightful chicken dish. There are a few places where you can try chicken always full of people! For sure it’s the best place to go for dinner. Prices of orders are around 100 PHP chicken and rice!
If you’ve ever heard of bulalo, it would be easy enough for you to imagine what cansi is, the Ilonggo version of said Filipino dish. For those who think those two words sound made up, bulalo and cansi are basically dishes cooked with the same main ingredient: beef shank. However, the shank isn’t necessarily the highlight of cansi. The star is actually the bone marrow, which can be eaten by using the wrong end of your spoon/fork to scoop the marrow from the bone. Even shaking the bone downwards to let the marrow fall out might do the trick! Prices for order is around 350 PHP and it’s a complete soup full of meat that can be share for a few of you.
There are oysters available in Manokan Country apart from the popular Inasal Chicken. The prices is 60 PHP for a dish and it’s quite big the order. So delicious for a cheap price!
Our favorite place for dessert and coffee. You can fine delicious cake for 100 PHP and there are so many flavors to taste. Great place for a coffee, it’s located in the popular Lacson Street where you will find many restaurants around.
Bibingka is another popular Filipino street food. This egg based dessert is eaten alongside .It’s usually served on a banana leaf. Prices are starting at 5 PHP and it’s filled with buko.
This seafood fish famous all over the Philippines is said to be comparable to ceviche. In essence, though, kinilaw (literally “eaten raw”) refers to the process of using vinegar’s acidity to cook meat or fish. It is more commonly used with fish and is served with other souring ingredients like green mangoes. It is then seasoned with pepper, chili and onions. It does well as an appetizer but is more ideally served with beer as pulutan (finger food). With the abundance of fresh fish in Bacolod, kinilaw isn’t hard to find.
Also known as lumpiang sariwa or lumpiang ubod, this delicacy is literally just fresh spring rolls and is abundant in Bacolod. Unlike the more typical preparation of spring rolls, lumpiang bacolod is not friend and is eaten with a soft wrapper, special peanut sauce and vegetables inside. This dish is pretty common all over the country and is a popular merienda or mid-day snack.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are plenty of other seafood available in Bacolod like shrimp and talaba (oysters). Of course, different kinds of fish also abound in Bacolod and they are prepared and processed in different ways. One famous variant of fish found in the region is danggit, or salted and dried rabbitfish. It’s crunchy and salty, perfect to dip in vinegar, eat with hot rice and fried egg in the morning. Yum!
Festivals in Bacolod City
Like any Catholic or Europe-influenced nation, the Philippines holds lots of festivals all over its islands. These celebrations vary from place to place, and some of the most exciting and colorful ones can be found in the Visayas region, particularly in Negros Occidental. Here are two of the best festivals in the area to attend:
Celebrated every fourth Sunday of October, Masskara Festival is one of the best street parties in the entire nation. Bacolod is famously known as The City of Smiles, and the masks worn by performers on the streets show eternal smiles on their faces as they give their praise and thanks through dance. All the participants aim to please audiences and do their best to win the annual street dance competition. At night, the competition is taken to a whole new level with the Electric Masskara event where participants use lights for their costumes.
Panaad sa Negros Festival
As we’ve mentioned, the Philippines is home to a multitude of festivals all over the archipelago. One province doesn’t hold just one festival each year; each one has various things to celebrate! A great way to catch up on all the festivals you’ve missed in Negros is to attend the Panaad sa Negros Festival. This celebration is held in Panaad Park and Panaad Stadium. Events include the Festival Dances competition, Folk Dance competition and the Lin-ay sang Negros (Festival Queen Coronation Night).
Hotels in Bacolod City
There are over a hundred pension houses and numerous very accommodating hotels in Bacolod City. These accommodations can be found all over town and have easy access to the best tourist spots. Here’s a short list of pension houses, hotels in Bacolod City along with the cost of stay per night:
THE SUITES AT CALLE NUEVA
With breakfast, Wifi and all the comfort that you need for an affordable price: P1000 per night for a single room and P1500 for a double room.
MAINSTREET PENSION HOUSE
Double room (good for 2 persons) – P900 / night
Triple room (good for 3 persons) – P1,200 / night
L’FISHER HOTEL (4-star Hotel)
The pool area with infinity pool is so beautiful. Ideal for a getaway and prices are starting: Rooms per night costs from P2,000.
It’s located close to downtown and these are the prices: Standard room twin (good for 2 persons) – P2,300 / night
Standard room queen (good for 2 persons) – P2,300 / night and Deluxe room twin – P3,200 / night.
SEDA HOTEL (4-star Hotel)
A very modern and new brand in Bacolod: Rooms per night costs from P4,000
These hotels in Bacolod City are accommodating and affordable. We recommend that you try one of these many options as they are sure to give you the comfort and rest that you deserve after a long day of traveling and exploring.
You can also try AirBnB in Bacolod City where prices are starting from $15-25 USD.
Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
That’s it for us! We hope you enjoyed reading this guide and learned a lot about Bacolod and Negros. If you liked our Bacolod City Travel Guide, share it with your friends on Facebook. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
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