1. Take a leisurely walk in Calle Crisologo (absolutely free)
Calle Crisologo is, by far, the most beautiful street I’ve ever seen so far in the Philippines. This street is lined up with ancestral houses where the rich used to live during the Spanish era. Most of these houses have been converted for commercial use such as hotels, restaurants, shops, even a club and so on.
Calle Crisologo most likely played a big role in making Vigan a UNESCO World Heritage City. The best time for that leisurely walk is from late afternoon to evening. You can also take a kalesa if you want to tour Vigan during the day.
2. Get a dose of history in Vigan’s museums (donation or with minimal entrance fee of 10-20 pesos)
Visiting some of Vigan’s museums gives you a nostalgic sense of how life was like back then. If you’re into antiques and history, this is absolutely a must-see for you. Stopovers in Father Burgos and Crisologo Museums are part of the kalesa tour.
3. Get personal with Baluarte’s Tiger and other animals (absolutely free)
Free admission aside, the best part of our stop in Baluarte’s zoo-like ambiance was meeting the animals in person especially Gov. Chavit Singson’s tiger. Do I need to say more?
4. Experience the Hidden Garden (just give a little donation)
How would you like to improve your home garden? Get a few ideas by venturing into the maze-like Hidden Garden. Or better yet, hire the owner of Hidden Garden to do the landscaping for you.
5. Watch the Pros Make a Clay Pot the Vigan Way (absolutely free)
If you are seriously into clay pots, then this place is definitely for you. Let the pros show you everything you need to know about making clay pots Vigan style.
6. Pray in St. Paul’s Cathedral (also called the Vigan Cathedral) (absolutely free)
Catholics can visit St. Paul’s Cathedral for a moment of silence. It’s always a good idea to be at peace with God all the time, more so while travelling.
7. Capture quirky photos in St. Augustine Church and Bell Tower (donation)
After your moment of prayerful silence, how about some quirky photos with the bell tower in the background. Fun fact: This bell tower used to be a watch tower to warn the town of an impending invasion. Also, a few scenes of FPJ and Jericho’s Panday were shot here.
8. Dance all night at Club Legacy (pay for your drinks)
Who would expect a club right at the heart of Calle Crisologo? Well, we did! It was recommended to us by a friend. Thanks to our friend, we truly had a great night! Plus, we met some new friends.
Unfortunately, we didn’t bother to bring our cameras! So I guess you’ll just have to settle with the above photo taken outside the club. My advice is: Just go and experience it for yourself. You’ll never know what it feels like to be there for real unless you try.
9. Try Vigan Delicacies (pay the bill)
When you’re in Vigan, you need to try all of their delicacies from Vigan Longganisa to Empanada, Bagnet and so on. Click here to read my review of Vigan’s restaurants.
10. Splurge in antiques and pasalubong (pay for your stuff)
You’ll find great bargains in Calle Crisologo! It’s fully loaded with antique and pasalubong shops. Just try to be a little wiser with your spending.
• The good news is: you can do all these within 24 hours. I know because my cousins and I were able to do them all.
• Ask for Kuya Ian to be your kalesa driver/tour guide at the front desk of Hotel Salcedo de Vigan if you’re staying there. He is incredibly nice. We just basked in his warm welcome. We also learned a lot of Vigan’s history from him. For just Php150 per hour (regular kalesa fare plus tour), he’ll take you to most of Vigan’s tourist attractions mentioned above.
• There are currently no flights to Vigan but you can always take the Manila-Laoag flight then take a bus or van to Vigan from Laoag.