Bacolod City 2020: Day Tours, Airport, Hotels, Tourist Spots, Things to Do
updated January 5, 2020 by Bacolod-based Blogger
Bacolod City has lots of things to offer for tourists and a jumping point to nice locations in Negros. Its monicker is the City of Smiles. If you’re seeking for urban-based food explorations, heritage tours and nature-tripping, Bacolod and surrounding places can offer memorable places for you.
- Top Things to Do in Bacolod
- Tours by Categories
- Top Spots Tour
- Landmarks and Heritage Tours
- Food Tours
- Mingle with Locals
- Beyond Bacolod- Nature Tours
- Beyond Bacolod- Beach and Resorts
- Beyond Bacolod Top Spots
- Jog around Lagoon
- Experience the Tasty Juicy Inasal
- Be comforted by Cansi Soup
- Touch the Past at the Ruins Mansion
- Unwind and Get Blind Massage at NGC and Bacolod Esplanade
- Taste the Sweet Life at Calea
- Time Travel to Negros’ Past at Negros Museum
- Salivate in the Unique Sourness of KBL
- Watch the Dramatic Sunset at BREDCO
- Relax, Appreciate Sculptures or Meet Locals around Provincial Capitol
- Breath Fresh Air in Panaad
- Hope into our Malls
- Potato Cake or Bitchokoy at Mila’s
- Mingle with Locals at Rust Cafe
- Tours by Categories
- Beyond Bacolod
- Dip at the Sulfuric Hotsprings of Mambukal
- Swing with Green Sceneries at Duyan Cafe
- Cool Down Your Mind at Lantawan View
- Enjoy Pristine Waters, Fine Sand and Breathtaking Sunset at Lakawon Island
- Chill at the Laidback Beaches of Sipalay
- Merry at the Streets during Masskara Festival
- Celebrate the Chinese New year at Bacolaodiat Festival
- Give a Toast with Bacolod’s Indians at Diwali Festival
- Visit “all Negros Towns” in One Location during Panaad Festival
- Cheers for the Grills Chicken during Inasal Festival
- Bacolod Day Tour Service: Get a Quote
How to Get to Bacolod City
You can get to Bacolod by various means.
From Manila- Manila to Bacolod by plane is so far where most trips come from. Cebu Pac, PAL, and Air Asia are the three carriers that fly to Bacolod. 2Go ships are your means via the sea. The cheapest so far is via bus, using land trips across Batangas, Mindoro, and Panay; and via RoRo.
From Cebu- Bacolod is between two islands that offer international flights. Cebu is the second busiest airport in the country. From Cebu, you can take a plane (~50 minutes) or bus. The bus will travel by land and via RoRo.
From Iloilo– Iloilo City is the capital of Western Visayas and her airport offers international flights too. From Iloilo, you can take fast crafts by sea to Bacolod. If you have a car, you can load them via RoRos in Dumangas or Lapuz, Iloilo City.
You can use the Singapore-based ticketing system below to book flights, ships or buses to Bacolod or other places.
Getting to and Around Bacolod City
Bacolod-Silay Airport to Bacolod City. From Silay-Bacolod Airport, you can get a Taxi (P400-500) or Van (P150) to the City.
In Bacolod- you can use Taxis, Jeepneys, Buses, GrabCar, GrabTaxi, Hirna Taxi (Hailing App). Taxi Flag Down is P40 as of Jan 2020. There’s no Angkas (Bike app) yet. For time-efficiency, you can rent a car at ~P1,500 per day.
Best Times to Visit Bacolod City
The warmest months are March to May and the wettest is July. Bacolod City’s climate is tropical. The average annual temperature is 27.1°. The driest months (least rainfall) are March to May. The wettest months are July, October and November.
Bacolod has a “near normal” climate in the last 40 years. According to PAGASA (Ph weather authority), the climate, rainfall and temperature in Bacolod City in the past 40 years and in 2020 is in the range of “Near Normal.” So in general, the climate in Bacolod is average at any time of the year.
October is the Masskara Festival season. If you’re planning to be in Bacolod where locals and non-locals flock the streets for festival, October is the best time. Highlights are during the last weekend of October. Masskara Festival includes street dancing, displays, parties, arts, music and even religious gatherings like Bacolod for Jesus. December last week to January first week are also busiest times when locals go home to celebrate holidays with their family.
Where to Stay in Bacolod
Here are top 3 places to stay in Bacolod starting from premium, mid-range and affordable hotel.
Seda Capitol Central is located at the central business and leisure district of Bacolod City. It’s exactly beside Capitol Lagoon, walking distance to Ayala Mall, Negros Museum, and along Lacson Tourism Strip. Seda Capitol Central is 20 minutes from the Bacolod-Silay airport and eight minutes from the Port of Bacolod.
The White Hotel (Dizon-Ramos Museum before) is a well-preserved historical and heritage site at Burgos St., near SM and Ayala Mall. You are staying in an ancestral house built in the 1950’s by a sugar planter Raymundo Dizon. Here, you’ll experience the story and dwell in the narrative of the classical Negros.
Find best Bacolod hotel deals or AirBnB-friendly accommodations below:
Bacolod Day Tours and Itineraries
Here’s a list of Bacolod Day Tour itineraries based on interests, type of destination and attractions.
Top Spots Tour– Spots that are unique to and represent Bacolod the most. Lagoon, Lunch at Sharyn’s Cansi, The Ruin’s Mansion, Dinner at Manokan Country.
Landmarks and Heritage Tour – New Government Center (NGC), Negros Museum, Jog around Capitol Lagoon, Pope John Paul Tower, Negros Showroom at Robinsons Bacolod, Bacolod Esplanade.
Food Trips – When my Australian friend visits Bacolod, he always say that Bacolod City is a food paradise. Here you can enjoy more food while being near to nature and beaches.
- Meals: Brunch at Sharyn’s Cansi or Sandok’s KBL, Aida’s Chicken Inasal or other kiosks in Manokan Country
- Seafood: 18th street Pala-Pala, Diotay’s, Ading’s, Scarbrough at NGC, East Pala-Pala.
- Sweets and Desserts: Cakes at Calea, Bichokoy or Buko Pie at Mila’s; Local food kiosks in Ayala Capitol Mall, Piaya at Bongbong’s or Merzci’s.
- Coffee experiences– Kampana Castle Cafe, Egg Coffee in Mansilingan, UCC at PNB Lacson, bring home Mangkas coffee from La Carlota.
Mingle with Locals – Rust Cafe, Lagoon, NGC, Sunset at BREDCO, Hope into our malls, the Coffee street in Villamonte.
Beyond Bacolod Nature Tours – Mambukal, Don Salvador spots: La Guada Cafe, Malaton-og Viewing Deck, Jomax Peak, Lasang View; Silay Mountains: Duyan Cafe, Lantawan View, Rooster Cafe; Granada Area: Bantug Lake Ranch.
Beyond Bacolod Beaches & Resorts – Lakawon Island Resort, Sipalay Resorts, Hinobaan Resorts, Campuestohan
Beyond Bacolod Top Spots – Balay Negrense Silay, The Angry Christ church mural in Victorias, Punong Gary’s.
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Top Things to Do in Bacolod City
Below are the top destinations in Bacolod which are unique of their kind to the city or near the city. These are best representations where people can say, “You’ve really been to Bacolod.”
Jog or Relax at Bacolod Capitol Lagoon
Provincial Capitol Lagoon is an iconic landmark (1). You’ll see the Athens-inspired facade, the lagoon with tilapias, and remarkable statues around such as Paghimud-os Statue (meaning, “struggle”) by Eduardo S. Castrillo, symbolizing the struggles for freedom and economic development; a woman standing beside a water buffalo and a man pulling a water buffalo- these animals are locally called “Carabaos” symbolizing the prime agricultural tool to develop the arid lands of Negros that gave rise to its economic prosperity.
In the present times, seeing this statue could mean that in what state we are, we recognize the value that Providence gives us in the form of our own carabaos or tools. At the back of Lagoon, you can taste local flavors at Kiosks inside Ayala Mall; or learn more about Negros’ history inside the Negros Museum.
Experience the Tasty Juicy Chicken Inasal
Bacolod is famous for “chicken inasal”. Inasal is an Ilonggo term for anything that’s “chargrilled” or “roasted.” Inasal began back then when most people didn’t have refrigerators yet. Chargrilling was the best way to provide quick food for people walking down the streets. Aida’s is one of the top inasal destinations (2).
When me and grandparents eat outside, they won’t eat anywhere except Aidas or Manokan Country. Nothing can compare to the taste, I think because of the ingredients and marinating process that’ unique in Bacolod. Also try “baticolon”, “atay”, “bul-o” and “talaba”.
Get Comfort from Cansi Soup
Never leave Bacolod without getting a taste of “kansi” – Bacolod’s version of Bulalo (3). Kansi is a hot steaming bowl of marrow soup usually served with hollow bone or tender meat. What makes the soup special is the unique ingredient called “batuan” which is only found in Bacolod / Negros region. Try the world famouse Cansi at Sharyn’s Cansi House in Shopping. You may also drop by and taste it at Eron’s or Connie’s.
Touch the Past at the Ruins Mansion
Brokenness can become our glorious attraction- this is the inspiring story of The Ruins Mansion (4). It’s only 6.8km from Lagoon. Entrance Fee is P100 for adults, opens from 8AM to 8PM. Last acceptance of guests is around 7PM.
The best time to visit is P4PM so you can enjoy both the daytime and twilight and night time look. The technique is to visit the ruins, then visit the wide garden until twilight. Go back to the ruins until night time.
Unwind and Get Blind Massage at NGC
The New Government Center is a unique landmark you can capture in Bacolod (1). Drink coffee, jog and walk around the New Government Center and meet locals. The grass has become a picnic area where families and kids sit and eat. Most people flock around 5 to 7 PM and 5 to 7AM. See previous mayors inside the hall and read some literature about the city. Take a walk at the New Bacolod esplanade (4) or get a blind massage from the Bacolod Blind people at night (3).
Taste the Sweet Life at Calea
Calea makes your Bacolod visit sweeter. Bacolod inspired the Masskara festival, where you smile in the midst of pain. Calea says, eat sweet no matter life’s situation. Being in the land that sugar built, you can’t miss Calea cakes. Calea’s main branch is in Balay Quince, Lacson Street, in-front of L-Fisher Hotel. You may also try Felicia’s or C’s just across Calea.
Visit Negros' Past at Negros Museum
When I visit places, I like to visit museums and historical places. I’d say I’m a heritage tours tourist. Negros Museum is just a walkding distance from lagoon and Ayala Mall. This central place allows you to visit Negros’ Past and how culture in this island came to be. I bring my visitors here when they like this category. You’ll see paintings of Negrenses, maps from the ancient Spain, artifacts during the Negros Revolution, photos of past Malay settlers and other memorabilia of the first settlers of the island, a room filled with toys.
Salivate in the Unique Sourness of KBL
Kadios Baboy Langka is a local specialty that the batuwan fruit makes special. Just like Cansi, the batwan fruit gives this exquisite soup a unique local flavor. It’s a hearty simmering broth of pork, jackfruit, beans and “batwan” that will definitely comfort your local cravings.
Watch the Sunset at BREDCO
Bacolod locals usually go here to watch the sunset after a whole day’s work, go for fishing or practice driving. BREDCO boulevard offers a good view of the sunset.
BREDCO stands for Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation and is a 124-hectare reclaimed area on the seashore area of Bacolod. It contains the majority of shipping lines and cargoes, as well as ships to and from Iloilo City.
I don’t encourage going here at night because the road is too dark and may go unfamiliar especially if you are not a local. One must have a vehicle in order to enjoy the urban sunset setting.
Entrance is P10.00 – P12.00 and the way is either from SM BREDCO or Banago entrance (near Ayala Mall).
Explore Artistry around Negros Capitol
Lagoon or also known as Provincial Capitol Lagoon is a beautiful, central and iconic park at the heart of Bacolod City. Since the entrance of Seda Hotel (2017) and Ayala Mall Capitol Central (2018), lagoon has become even more beautiful- with beautiful lights at night, picturesque landmark and well-maintained surroundings. Explore the Romanesque architecture. Visit the famous statues and sculptures in this vicinity to know about Negros’ historical past- sculptures such as the “Pag-himud-os” meaning, “struggle.” Visit the paintings at the 3rd floor of Ayala Mall. Take a picture at the kilometer zero- the starting point for all parts of Negros.
Breath fresh air in Panaad
Jog around the rubberized track/ oval for free or stroll in the midst of eucalyptus trees inside Panaad Park and Stadium. This provincial government-owned facility has hosted international sports events since its inception. The Azkals and Ceres-Lasalle Football team are a local favorite.
The park is also a host of the annual Panaad Festival- a weeklong showcase of all the cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental where you get to know each place in a one area.
Hop into Our Malls
Locals and local producers are also flocking into the mall – some reasons include: more convenience for parking and during the rain, more security and less tendencies for power outage. You would see occasional booths of Negros producers in SM. Ayala Capitol Central installs stalls for local food providers, especially in the Fiesta Market. Visit the Negros Showroom at the Robinsons Mandalagan.
Potato Cake or Bitchokoy at Mila's
Mila’s let you enjoy the taste that originated from a southern Negros city, Hinigaran City. My personal favorite is Bitchokoy- a sweet, crusty, cheesy and soft bread that melts in your mouth.
Also try their Royal Bibingka (P21/pc, P252/box), Buko Pie, Potato Cake (P39/slice), Potato Squares. Chicken Pie, Chicken ala King and Potato Squares. Next to bitchokoy, buko pie is my favorite because of the creamy and rich taste that local coconuts bring. Potato cake is a crowd favorite, but for me not so much because it’s too sweet for my taste buds.
They also locally-renowned meals. Try their Negros version of the exotic Filipino food called Dinugu-an, basically it’s pig’s blood, meat and internal organs cooked together in a masterful Filipino craftsmanship.
The location is Robinson’s Triangle, Brgy. Villamonte. Take a Grab Taxi or take a jeepney with the route Shopping-La Salle or Shopping San Agustin. Tell the driver to drop you to Robinson’s Triangle. Walk to the back portion facing BS Aquino Street.
Mingle with Locals at Rust Cafe
I placed The Rust Cafe here because I always see locals flock in to this place. I’ve dined here and the food is nice and very affordable, and I think it’s one spot where you’ll always see locals coming in. It’s in Locsin Street, near the Emergency entrance of Regional Hospital. At the morning, they serve good coffee and meals too.
Tourist Attractions in Bacolod's Vicinity
If you have extra time, you can enjoy other attractions in the surrounding cities and municipalities of Bacolod City.
Dip at Mambukal
Mambukal’s highlight is a sulfur hotbath. Dip and experience relaxation and healing. You can also enjoy bat-watching, boating and trekking to the falls.
Cool Down at Lantawan View
Just very near to Duyan Cafe, behold majestic mountains of Silay at Lantawan View. In Hiligaynon, we call a place “lantawan” if that place offers a view. The root word is “lantaw” which means look or watch. A lantawan is an expansion of that term which signifies a platform where you can experience a spectacle or just a plain sight of something. It also means viewing deck.
Lakawon Island Resort, Negros
Lakawon Island is a white-sand cashless luxury resort in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental. It is around 1.5 hours drive away from my hometown, Bacolod City. This modern island resort is a perfect getaway if you’re looking for a tropical, sun-kissed and chill vacation. With friends or with family, Lakawon will help you strengthen your bond.
Chill in the Laidback Beaches of Sipalay
Sipalay is a jewel beach city to be explored in the southern part of Negros Occidental. It’s the 2nd-to-the-last town of the province. Here are things to do and treasure in Sipalay. Click button below to see how to get there, where to go and memories to treasure.
Merry at the Streets during Masskara Festival
One of the most colorful, longest-running and non-religious festival in the country, Masskara Festival is a showcase of Bacolodnon’s creativity, artistry and hospitality. Book the last weekend of your October and experience Bacolod’s collective celebratory effort during the Masskara Festival.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year at Bacolaodiat Festival
Bacolaodiat is Bacolod’s celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year. As a city that has significant number of Chinese immigrants from the 20th century, Bacolod City recognizes this and has officially in instituted Bacolaodiat Festival. Come and celebrate with us Chinese New Year and it’s usually every February. This 2019, it will be on February 5.
Give a Toast with Indians at Diwali Festival
or “Festival of Lights” is an Indian-themed Festival celebrated every November. It’s a celebration that recognizes the presence and relationship of Bacolod City with one of the rising superpowers of the world – India. The 7th Diwali Festival was celebrated last November 2019.
Visit all Negros Towns in One Location on Panaad Festival
Held every summer, this weeklong festival showcases the treasures of every town and city of Negros Occidental. You get to see pageants, parties, foods hosted by the Negrosanons.
Cheers for the Grilled Chicken on Inasal Festival
This is the newest member of the group- the first Bacolod Chicken Inasal Festival was held last May 2018. It features one of the most famous foods Bacolod is known for. I guess this will held every May starting then and the main location is in Araneta Street (which is the south road of Bacolod City). I think this street party is also an effort to boost tourism and development in the south street of Araneta because Masskara street party is held at Lacson (the North-bound street).
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- Mountain lots in Don Salvador and other Negros listings
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