A top cultural destination, Vigan City is located ten hours by bus from the capital city of Manila. For those who want to save time, fly to the nearby city of Laoag and a short bus ride will bring you to this historical city. Vigan is famous for Calle Crisologo, a cobblestone street lined with centuries-old "bahay na bato" (stone houses) taking you back to Spanish times (Philippines was a Spanish colony for almost three hundred years.
Visitors come to this heritage city for cultural immersion. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Calle Crisologo is protected and only horse-drawn carriages, locally called kalesa, are allowed. Aside from Calle Crisologo, visitors can visit ancestral homes that are converted into museums. Its old churches like the Vigan Cathedral and the Bantay Church, the oldest structure in the province of Ilocos Sur with its famous deep-red bell tower, are top attractions in the city.
For modern attractions, proceed to Baluarte, an open zoo of various animals from reptiles to big cats. It's nothing fancy but it is a free attraction and a nice place to unwind. The must-see in Baluarte is the big cats -- the owner, who is a powerful politician, loves these animals. Visitors, for a small fee, can have a photos with its resident lions.
As Vigan City is a favorite weekend getaway, particularly among young travelers, it is not hard to find affordable accommodations. There are many hostels in Vigan City, with one accredited by the local tourism agency. Vigan City hostels are great alternatives to those ancestral homes converted into hotels, which can be costly. Hostels in Vigan City are located close to Calle Crisologo and other attractions. Following local guidelines to preserve Vigan's heritage and architecture, you will find Spanish-inspired designs and decor. Facilities -- like Wi-Fi and in-house restaurants -- are beyond basic.
As one of Philippines' major tourist destinations, it is best to reserve your Vigan City hostel ahead of time, especially if you are visiting during holidays and weekends. During off-peak or weekdays, hostels in Vigan City can accommodate you without any reservation. If you need assistance in where to stay in Vigan City, visit their Tourism Office, located at Calle Crisologo.
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