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2020 BACOLOD TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG with DIY Itinerary, Top Things to do, Tourist Spots, Recommended Hotels, Tours and Travel Tips

BACOLOD TRAVEL GUIDE BLOGS with DIY Itinerary, THINGS TO DO, Tourist Spots Attractions, Hotel recommendations

Traveling to Bacolod City for the first time? This detailed Bacolod Travel Guide Blog with sample DIY Itinerary, top things to do in Bacolod, list of tourist spots, recommended tours and transports, budget-friendly accommodations, travel tips and more will help you plan an amazing and memorable Bacolod City getaway!


The charming City of Bacolod is one of the most progressive cities in the country and also listed as one of the most livable cities in the Philippines. It is the capital of the province of Negros Occidental. Also known as the "City of Smiles", it is most notable for its annual Masskara Festival held during the 3rd week of October. It boasts of rich history, good food, stunning sights, monumental attractions and other man-made and natural wonders.

You can find many places and do many things in Bacolod City, as well as its nearby towns and cities. In this Bacolod travel guide blog, I've listed some of Bacolod City's tourist spots, attractions and top things to do and to experience that you should include in your itinerary. I also shared some of my recommended hotels for you to stay at and a sample Bacolod itinerary that you could follow for your trip to the "City of Smiles," soon.

2020 BACOLOD TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG FOR FIRST-TIMERS (UPDATED MAY 2020)


In this Bacolod Travel Guide Blog, I will give you some useful and detailed information on how to get there, top things to do, DIY itinerary, best time to visit, hotel recommendations, suggested tours, and more! This travel guide also covers not only Bacolod City but also its nearby towns and cities such as Talisay, Silay, Murcia and many more.


WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS BACOLOD CITY TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG?


QUICK FACTS ABOUT BACOLOD CITY


  • Access: Bacolod City can be reached by air via the New Bacolod-Silay International Airport. It can also be reached by land or ferry from other major cities such as Dumaguete, Iloilo and Cebu.
  • Geography: Bacolod is bounded in the northwest by the cities of Talisay; in the northeast by Silay and Victorias; in the east and southwest by the town of Murcia; in the southwest by the City of Bago; and in the west by the Guimaras Strait.
  • Language: Hiligaynon or Ilonggo. English and Tagalog are also widely used.
  • Currency: Philippine peso (PHP).
  • Mode of Payment: Most establishments in the city accept credit card and debit card. ATMs can also be found in many commercial and business areas in the city. If you're traveling outside the city, bring enough cash by withdrawing from the ATMs before leaving the city.
  • Public Transportation: Jeepneys, Multicabs, Buses, Taxis, Grab (car/taxi) and Tricycles.
  • Bacolod City celebrates the annual Masskara Festival on the 3rd week of October. This is the busiest time and the best time to visit Bacolod City.
  • As a developed city, traffic jam in the city is common during the rush hours from 05:00 to 07:00 pm and worst during the week-long Masskara Festival. Take these into consideration when planning your itinerary.
  • Both Globe and Smart work fine in Bacolod City. Mobile data internet are also available in most areas in the city.
  • Bacolod is a good starting point and base, if you're planning to hike Mt. Kanlaon National Park.

HOW TO GET TO BACOLOD CITY?


Bacolod City can be reached via a 1-hour flight from Manila which lands at Bacolod-Silay International Airport. If you're coming from Iloilo or Cebu, you can also reach Bacolod City via ferry. Check out the available transportation below:

BACOLOD-SILAY AIRPORT TO BACOLOD CITY


The Bacolod-Silay International Airport is located in Silay City, which about 15 kilometers north of Bacolod City. To get to Bacolod City proper, you may take a public shuttle van for around 150 pesos per person, via metered taxi or Grab Car for around 500-700 pesos, or you may take a tricycle to Silay highway then take a jeepney to Bacolod City. For ease and convenience, you may book a private or shared transfer from the airport to Bacolod City proper. CLICK HERE TO CHECK RATES AND AVAILABILITY

For a more detailed post on this, visit my post how to get to Bacolod City from Bacolod-Silay Airport.

TRANSPORTATION IN BACOLOD CITY


As a developed city, Bacolod is easy to navigate. For short distances within the city, you could take a tricycle to go from one destination to another. If you're staying in the city center, some tourist spots are just a few minutes walk away. So, walking or exploring by foot is also recommended.

For destinations outside the city, jeepneys, multicabs, buses and even taxis (regular and Grab) can be hailed from many parts of the city. For your convenience, car rental services are also available. You may check the rates and availability here or ask your hotel's front desk for assistance.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BACOLOD CITY?


If you're into festivals, the best time to visit Bacolod City is during the annual Masskara Festival on the 3rd week of October when the city is so lively and on festive mood with many events and activities happening during the festival week. The month of April is also a good time to visit for the annual Panaad sa Negros Festival which showcases many different festivals from different towns and cities of Negros Occidental.

Weather-wise, the dry season from December to May is one of the best times to visit Bacolod City. This is when the weather is colder and with less chances of rains. The rainy season from July to September is a "low season" for tourists visiting Bacolod City. But this is the also best time to visit for people who wants less tourists. This is also the season when hotel rates and airfare are more affordable.

Overall, Bacolod is still an all-year-round destination. For me, as long as there is no typhoon in Negros Island, you can still enjoy the city and other destinations.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD + TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS


What to do in Bacolod City? Tourist Spots, Attractions and Things To Do and Experience? Here are some of my recommendations:

Bacolod Travel Guide Blog and Itinerary

1. Enjoy the Capitol Grounds and Lagoon


It is a park located along Lacson St. in the heart of Bacolod City. This is also where Kilometer Zero marker or the point of distance reference of the city is located. The provincial capitol complex is consisted of the capitol building and an artificial lagoon in front of it. This is a perfect place to jog in the morning or late afternoon, to relax or to just hang around. For more details, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD Tourist Spots Attractions and Things To Do and Experience

2. Visit San Sebastian Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace


The San Sebastian Cathedral is located in downtown Bacolod City. It was originally a small chapel and was declared as a cathedral when Bacolod was raised to the status of a diocese with a jurisdiction comprising the island of Negros in 1933. On the right side of the church, is a convento that is a typical bahay na bato. The wooden upper story of the structure was reconstructed after the 1985 fire that damaged it. For more details, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD Tourist Spots Attractions and Things To Do and Experience

3. Climb Pope John Paul II Tower


The John Paul II Tower stands at the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. reclaimed area where the Pope held a Mass in February 20, 1981. It was built to commemorate the event that happened when the late Pope John Paul II visited Bacolod City. At the entrance of the tower stands an eight-foot sculpture of John Paul made of synthetic bronze and fiberglass created by Brother Tagoy Jakosalem. For more details, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD Tourist Spots Attractions and Things To Do and Experience

4. Marvel at the Beauty of "The Ruins" in Talisay City


"The Ruins" is considered as one of the 12 most fascinating ruins in the world. A monumental landmark that can be found in Talisay City, which is the city between Silay and Bacolod. It is the ancestral house of Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson, a rich and young Filipino Sugar Baron. Built in the early 1900's, as a memory of don Mariano's wife Maria Braga, a young Portuguese lady he met in one of his trips in Hongkong. During its heyday, the mansion was the largest residential structure. For more details, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Bacolod Travel Guide Blog and Itinerary

5. Swim and Hike at Mambukal Resort in the nearby town of Murcia


Mambukal Mountain Resort, a government-owned piece of paradise is a favorite vacation destination of local and foreign tourists since it is very accessible from Bacolod City, the capital city of Negros Occidental. It is located in the town of Murcia, some 31 km east of Bacolod city. With a land area of over 23.6 hectares, it is blessed with numerous beautiful natural resources and unparalleled scenic features. For more details and how to get there, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

For ease and convenience, I highly recommend availing a Mambukal Mountain Resort Day Tour Experience. The tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off within Bacolod City, round-trip join-in transfer between Bacolod City and Mambukal Mountain Resort, local driver-guide, bottled water, entrance fees, and travel insurance.

SEE RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE


THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD Tourist Spots Attractions and Things To Do and Experience

6. Explore Silay City and Walk along its Heritage Houses

Identified as one of the 25 major tourist destinations in the country by the Department of Tourism, Silay City is considered as the “Seat of arts, culture and eco-tourism in Western Visayas”. Visit the San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Explored the Heritage Houses and taste the local flavors. For more details, visit HERE or HERE.

For ease and convenience, you may also avail a Silay City Heritage Private Tour which includes a visit to Balay Negrense, Ramon Hofileña Ancestral Home, Silay Pro Cathedral, Cinco De Noviembre Mark Point, Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, Balay ni Tana Dicang, El Ideal Bakery (shopping center), The Ruins and many more.

SEE RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE


THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD Tourist Spots Attractions and Things To Do and Experience

7. Visit the Bacolod Public Plaza


Found right in the heart of downtown area, the City Public Plaza is near to the city hall and right across the San Sebastian Cathedral. Constructed way back in 1927, it is a place for recreation and other activities. It features a gazebo where names of world-renowned musical composers like Beethoven, Wagner, Haydn, and Mozart are inscribed on its sides.

Bacolod Travel Guide Blog and Itinerary

8. Experience Masskara Festival


If you happen to visit the city in the month October, experience and join the fun at the happiest festival in the country - the Masskara Festival. It is the most anticipated festival in the country held every 3rd week of October in the "City of Smiles" Bacolod City where thousands of tourists flock the city for the 3-week revelry. There are street dancing and arena competitions, pageants, bazaars, food fairs, concerts, sports events, street parties, among many others. For more details, click HERE or HERE or HERE.

THINGS TO DO IN BACOLOD Tourist Spots Attractions and Things To Do and Experience

9. Go on a Food Trip


Eat to your heart’s content and worry about your diet after. Indulge on the best tasting Chicken Inasal at Manokan Country, luscious cakes from Calea, fresh seafoods at Palapala and Silay recipes of Paño-paño, Pili Bars, Fresh Lumpia, Empanada and Guapple Pie.

Bacolod Travel Guide Blog and Itinerary

10. Buy Pasalubong


Never leave Bacolod City without bringing home some pasalubong such as Piaya, Napoleones, Pinasugbo and other Bacolod delicacies. Everyone will surely love it if you bring home some of these as pasalubong. Must-visit are Bong-bong's and Merci.

ALSO READ: 8 Tips and Tricks for First-time Travelers in Bacolod City

There are really many things that you can do and experience in Bacolod City that will surely make your trip special and truly enjoyable! What to do in Baccolod? There are so many! Tara and let's discover the City of Smiles!


RECOMMENDED DAY TRIPS AND TOURS FROM BACOLOD CITY


If you wish to explore other tourist destinations in Negros Occidental, here are some of the day trips and tour you could avail from Bacolod City.

Lakawon Island Cadiz Negros Occidental near Baoolod
Photo from Klook.com

Lakawon Island Day Trip


Located off the coast of Cadiz in the northern portion of Negros Occidental, Lakawon Island is known for its crystal clear waters and white sand. This banana-shaped island offers a lot of activities, such as snorkeling, kayaking, banana boat and other exciting water activities. It is also known and frequented for TawHai floating bar, which is considered as the largest floating bar in Asia. A day trip tour package to Lakawon Island includes round-trip hotel transfer within Bacolod City, boat transfer to and from Lakawon Island, local driver-guide, terminal and environmental fees, bottled water and travel insurance.

SEE RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE


Lakawon Island Cadiz Negros Occidental near Baoolod
Photo from Klook.com

Campuestohan Highland Resort


One of the top tourist destinations near Bacolod City, Campuestohan Highland Resort is an amazing highland resort surrounded by the lush green forests of Mt. Makawili and offers breathtaking views. Located in the mountainous area of Talisay City, it has several swimming pools and offers a number of exciting activities to do that the whole family will surely enjoy. For ease and convenience, you could avail a Campuestohan Highland Resort Experience day tour package which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off within Bacolod City, round-trip join-in transfer between Bacolod City and Campuestohan Highlight Resort, local driver-guide, bottled water, resort entrance fee (PHP 200) and travel insurance.

SEE TOUR RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE


Lakawon Island Cadiz Negros Occidental near Baoolod
Photo from Klook.com

Don Salvador Benedicto Private Tour


Located south-east of Bacolod City, Don Salvador Benedicto is a highland town known for its cool climate. You can avail a tour to this municipality where you could enjoy fresh air and relaxing surroundings filled with lush greenery and a natural waterfalls. The tour package includes hotel transfers within Bacolod City, transportation throughout the tour, local driver-guide, bottled water, entrance fees and travel insurance.

SEE RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE


Day tours in Negros Occidental near Baoolod
Photo from Klook.com

Ilaya Highland Resort Day Tour


Go on a quick escape from Bacolod City and retreat at the gorgeous Balinese-inspired Ilaya Highland Resort. When you book this tour, you will have access to the resort's facilities, from its verdant garden to its infinity pool. Fall in love with the resort’s jaw-dropping views of Panay Island and other nearby mountains. For your convenience, the tour package includes round-trip hotel transportation from Bacolod, all transportation during the tour, local driver, entrance fee, infinity swimming pool fee and tour insurance.

SEE RATES AND AVAILABILITY HERE


WHERE TO STAY: HOTELS IN BACOLOD CITY


The best place to stay in Bacolod is within the city proper. Bacolod City has a wide array of affordable and high quality hotels, guest/pension houses and inns for you to stay in. Be it a high-end hotel, a mid-range pension house or a backpacker's inn, you'll definitely find one that will suit your budget and specific needs. So if you're looking for where to stay in Bacolod City, check out these accommodation options that I've personally tried.

TRAVEL TIP: If you're visiting during the Masskara Festival, it is best to booking your hotel 2 to 3 months in advance. Most hotels in Bacolod City get fully-booked during the Masskara Festival week, so be sure to reserve your accommodation in advance to be sure that you'll have a place to stay on your visit.


Saltimboca Tourist Inn

Address: 17th Lacson St., Bacolod City Negros Occidental
BOOK HERE: Check room rates and availability


Star Plus Pension Inn

Address: Lacson-Rosario St., Bacolod City Negros Occidental
BOOK HERE: Check room rates and availability


The Bell Hotel

Address: Bacolod Downtown, Bacolod City Negros Occidental
BOOK HERE: Check room rates and availability


Melba's Farm Guest House

Address: Brgy. Cabatangan, Sitio Masanglad, Talisay City, Negros Occidental Philippines, 6115
BOOK HERE: Check room rates and availability

Although not in Bacolod City, I also tried staying at a mountain resort in Talisay City. Melba's Farm Guest House is a place where one could relish nature, enjoy the quietness of the surroundings, and savor fresh and cool air. That exactly what we did during our 3-nights stay at this resort located at the woodlands of Talisay City, Negros Occidental. A peaceful and relaxing vacation. Four days of pure bliss where we did nothing but enjoy nature, and have some quiet time away from the city. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE.

OTHER TOP-RATED HOTELS IN BACOLOD CITY


CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER HOTELS & RESORTS IN BACOLOD




SAMPLE DIY BACOLOD ITINERARY (3 DAYS & 2 NIGHTS)


Here's my recommended Bacolod Itinerary for 3 days and 2 nights. You may adjust it depending on your flight schedules and on the tourist spots and attractions in Bacolod City you want to visit. You may also add 1 or 2 days if you'll be visiting during the Masskara Festival so you could enjoy the activities, parades, and the events during the festival.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN BACOLOD CITY + CITY TOUR


07:00 AM - Arrival in Silay-Bacolod Airport
07:30 AM - Travel to Bacolod City. Here's how to get to Bacolod City from Bacolod-Silay Airport.
08:30 AM - Arrive in Bacolod City
09:00 AM - Early check-in / Leave your bags at the hotel
10:00 AM - Early lunch at Manokan Country
11:00 AM - Start exploring the city's tourist spots. All these are just walking distance around the city center.
  • Pope John Paul II Building
  • Bacolod City Park
  • San Sebastian Cathedral
  • Capitol Building
  • Capitol Grounds and Lagoon
05:00 PM - Back at the hotel
06:00 PM - Dinner
07:00 PM - Bacolod City Cocktail Crawl
12:00 MN - Sleep

TRAVEL TIP: For ease and convenience, you may also avail a Bacolod City Half Day Tour which includes the city's must-see landmarks such as the Pope John Paul II Tower, San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod Plaza, Bandstand and Lagoon, La Guerta & Vintage Glass Museum, and more!

DAY 2 - MAMBUKAL MOUNTAIN RESORT AND THE RUINS


07:00 AM - Travel to Mambukal Mountain Resort in Murcia
08:30 AM - Arrive in Mambukal Mountain Resort
09:00 AM - Explore
12:00 NN - Lunch
01:00 PM - Travel back to Bacolod City
02:30 PM - Arrive at the hotel, freshen-up.
03:30 PM - Travel to Talisay City
04:30 PM - Arrive at The Ruins, enjoy, explore.
07:00 PM - Travel back to Bacolod City 08:00 PM - Arrive in Bacolod City, have dinner.
09:00 PM - Back at the hotel
10:00 PM - Sleep

TRAVEL TIP: You may avail a Mambukal Mountain Resort Day Tour Experience. The tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off within Bacolod City, round-trip join-in transfer between Bacolod City and Mambukal Mountain Resort, local driver-guide, bottled water, entrance fees, and travel insurance.

DAY 3 - SILAY CITY TOUR AND DEPARTURE


10:00 AM - Check-out of the hotel. Bring your bags.
11:00 AM - Go to any Bong Bongs or Merci to buy pasalubong
12:00 NN - Travel to Silay City
01:30 PM - Arrive in Silay City. Have lunch at El Ideal Bakery.
02:30 PM - Start exploring Silay City's Old Houses
05:00 PM - End of tour. Go to van terminal bound for the airport.
05:45 PM - Arrive at the airport, check-in for your flight.
08:00 PM - Departure

TRAVEL TIP: For ease and convenience, you may also avail a Silay City Heritage Private Tour which includes a visit to Balay Negrense, Ramon Hofileña Ancestral Home, Silay Pro Cathedral, Cinco De Noviembre Mark Point, Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, Balay ni Tana Dicang, El Ideal Bakery (shopping center), The Ruins and many more.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP!

You may also visit these destinations from Bacolod City:

Want more? Please check out my post: Sample Bacolod City Itineraries for 3, 4, 5, 6 days tour or more.


For more amazing guided tours, exciting day trips and must-visit tourist spots in or from Bacolod City - PLEASE CLICK HERE.


I hope this Bacolod City Travel Guide 2020 will help you plan your trip to the "City of Smiles" in the future. Enjoy the food, join the festivities, and explore the wonders of Bacolod City!


RECOMMENDED READS:
MORE TRAVEL GUIDES BELOW!

LUZON

VISAYAS

MINDANAO
Note: This article was first published on August 2013. Last update was on May 2020.


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16 comments :

  1. Oh oh oh may itinerary na me pa bacolod :)

    Salamats ng madami nito

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How was ur stay in bacolod? Planning to go there this october. :) need suggestions natr

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  2. proud to be Silaynon..Go Bacolod!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bacolod City is the one of the beautiful place i have visited so far. Nice post

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really wanted to visit Bacolod once again! I'd like to visit The Ruins too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mervz, do you have a recommended place or know a place to stay in Bacolod? All of those accomodation I saw online were already fully booked.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mervz, do you have a recommended place or know a place to stay in Bacolod? All of those accomodations I saw online were already fully booked. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sa Salmtimboca ako nag stay last year... try mo baka may vacant room pa...

      Delete
  7. I WILL BE THERE THIS COMING AUGUST 2014, FIRST TIME:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm from here but I haven't even climbed the Pope John Paul tower. :D Guess we head straight to SM.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had a great time in Bacolod. People were nice. I think travelers should also try IMAY. Foods served were fantastic and delicious. It was worth to pay.

    ReplyDelete
  10. hoping makapagbacolod ako next year! :D

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  11. sino asa bacolod ng 22 oct? Bess sama kame sa IT nyu para tipid

    ReplyDelete
  12. sino asa bcd ng 22 oct, sama kame sa IT nyu ng makatipid. Salamat.

    ReplyDelete

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