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6 Best Things To Do In Bacolod

The city of Bacolod, sits in the northwestern area of the island of Negros in the Philippines.

It’s also known as the City of Smiles, and, true to its name, the hospitable residents of Bacolod always greet you with a warm smile.

This vibrant city boasts a rich cultural heritage that blends Spanish and Filipino influences. All of which can be seen in the spectacular architecture, cuisine, and festivals.

We spent a week with friends exploring the Bacolod tourist spots and surrounding area. So here’s a list of our top things to do in Bacolod.

1. The Ruins

The Ruins are definitely the most well known of the Bacolod tourist spots, come day or night. Even more so on a special occasion.

The Ruins are beautifully decorated and have lanes, gardens and arches making it a popular venue for weddings. There is also a restaurant where you can grab drinks, food and snacks. 

We recommend visiting around sunset to see The Ruins at their most beautiful. This has to be one of the best things to do in the Philippines if you’re in Bacolod.

It’s one of the most famous and photographed destinations in Talisay/ Bacolod and formally known as the Taj Mahal of the Philippines.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

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A truly magical experience and the best of the Bacolod tourist spots for sunset

2. Lakawon Island

Lakawon Island is an absolute paradise and just a short trip outside of the city. It consists of pristine white sand, turquoise waters and a family run beach resort.

This stunning beach is perfect for a day of relaxing in the sun and soaking up the island life with a cocktail in your hand.

After visiting many beaches on our Philippines itinerary, including those of Palawan and Cebu, we can honestly say that Lakawon Island is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen.

The fact that it’s not so mainstream or known by tourists makes it extra special.

Definitely up there for us as one of the best things to do in the Philippines.

Lakawon Island Bacolod Lakawon Island Resort Lakawon Beach Resort
Easily top of our things to do in Bacolod list!

3. Tawhai Floating Bar

Tawhai Floating Bar is the largest floating bar in Asia and a must if you’re ever in Bacolod. It is only accessible via boat transfers from Lakawon Island.

Tawhai is actually a local dialect that translates to ‘relaxed’, and it certainly lives up to its name.

You can definitely sit back, chill and enjoy spectacular views of the Lakawon Island and much more.

Or, if you feel more like partying, drinks are flowing and music is playing, so the choice is yours!

Moreover, if you’re feeling really adventurous you can even jump into the spectacularly blue ocean from the 1st or 2nd decks of the boat. 

Tawhai Floating Bar is a great way to spend some time and has to be one of the best things to do in Bacolod.

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Girls day out on Tawhai Floating Bar

4. Eat Healthy

We were searching for some healthy vegan food in the city and came across two amazing restaurants – Wholly Grounds and Fresh Start.

Wholly Grounds offers a delicious variety of organic, vegan, Filipino and Western dishes, including sandwiches, tacos, falafels and rice bowls. All pretty inexpensive and served up in beautiful surroundings by friendly staff.

Fresh Start is another organic and natural store with an adjoining cafe that serves a selection of amazingly fresh food including vegetarian and vegan options. This hip and trendy cafe is a joy to visit and the food is ‘top notch’.

We chose to alternate between these places every day for a week, they were that good!

In the Philippines, it’s hard to find nutritious, organic food, especially amongst the Bacolod tourist spots. So we were in our element when we found these two gems in the city centre. 

Although ‘rice is life’ in the Philippines, it was nice to splash out on a good eggplant and hummus burger with sweet potato fries!

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Lauren ready for her taco’s at Wholly Grounds

5. Volunteer At Pawssion Project

Not quite one of the Bacolod tourist spots but something we’re very passionate about.

Pawssion Project was actually the reason we decided to visit Bacolod. Our friend who is the founder of this incredible organisation is so selfless and has such a passion for making the Philippines a better place for dogs. 

She believes that dogs are voiceless, so we have to be their voice and let them fulfil a happy, loving life. She works hard to spread the word across the whole nation and set an example of how dogs should be treated.

Because of that, we fell in love with her passion and had to pay the dogs at the shelter a visit. 

We felt had to spread some love and raise awareness of this new establishment that really deserves all the exposure it can get.

Even during the week we spent in Bacolod, we saw a drastic change in the life of some of the dogs. So if you’re ever thinking about paying a visit to Bacolod, you should definitely find Malou and the shelter.

Pawssion Project Bacolod Tourist Spots Things To Do In Bacolod Volunteer In The Philippines
Pawssion Project are doing a great job in and around Bacolod

6. Duyan Cafe

Duyan Cafe was one of our favourite spots on our tour of Bacolod. It’s perfect for foodies, photographers and nature lovers.

‘Duyan’ translates to cradle or hammock in English, from the native Filipino language Tagalog. And what better setting than to sit in a hammock and look over the surrounding mountains whilst enjoying your breakfast.

Serving up fresh cakes, sandwiches and of course local rice dishes, Duyan Cafe is a definite hot spot amongst both locals and tourists.

The perfect spot to start your day off on the right footing!

Duyan Cafe Bacolod Tourist Spots Bacolod Things To Do
Definitely another of our favourite things to do in Bacolod and an ‘up and coming’ on the Bacolod tourist spots list

Where To Stay In Bacolod

Luxury

Seda Capitol Central

Located 1 miles from SM City Bacolod, Seda Capitol Central offers modern accommodation in Bacolod.

The property features an onsite restaurant and a bar. Free private parking is available for guests who ride and free WiFi is available in the public areas. 

The rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and an iPod dock. A shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries are provided in the en suite bathroom. 

Guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or grab a drink at the bar. Plenty of dining options are available within a 5-minute walk from the property.

Mid-Budget

Stonehill Suites

Situated in Bacolod, 0.9 miles from Negros Museum, Stonehill Suites features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a bar.

Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. 

The rooms in the hotel come with a kettle. At Stonehill Suites rooms come with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. 

The accommodation offers a à la carte or Asian breakfast.

Budget

LOC Residences Inn

Located in Bacolod, 0.7 miles from Negros Museum, LOC Residences Inn features views of the city.

This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and free WiFi. Private parking is available at an extra charge. 

All units at the hotel include air conditioning and a desk. 

Panaad Stadium is 5 miles from LOC Residences Inn, while Mambukal Zipline is 18 miles away. The nearest airport is New Bacolod-Silay Airport, 3.7 miles from the accommodation.

For more places to stay in Bacolod, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. 

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile. 

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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6 Best Things To Do In Bacolod