Things to Do in Bacolod: What to Do and Where to Go if You Had One Day
Many people go to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, southern Philippines for many reasons. A lot of them pertain to business or work-related events. If they are here on official business, chances are they have the whole day or even half a day for themselves to explore the city.
So if you have no one to take you, what would you do? Where would you go? Here are some things to do in Bacolod.
Why are you in Bacolod?
This Bacolod City guide will somehow help you make the most of your stay here. You will be able to taste Bacolod specialties and visit popular spots for mandatory selfies. The good thing is, you won’t waste time traveling around. These things to do in Bacolod are also budget friendly.
I just want to mention that I only included homegrown Bacolod restaurants for this short article. I do apologize to that I have not included everybody. This was made with time constraint on the part of the traveler in mind.
Breakfast in Bacolod
If there’s Breakfast in Tiffany’s, you can also have breakfast in Bacolod. We have so many Bacolod restaurants to choose from.
Bacolod Central Market
If you want a native breakfast, you can go to the Central Market along Luzuriaga Street in the heart of downtown Bacolod City. It is the place for some of the most authentic kakanins (native delicacies). And of course, native brewed coffee at Cafe Excellente. With brewed coffee at P12 per cup, your P25 will already go a long way.
You can just buy the native foods that you would like to eat from the stall across. Since you are already at the Central Market, you may want to wander around a bit. They have an area there where they sell native products and dried fish. Just be ready with a hanky if you’re squeamish with the smell.
If you want the same food but in a cozier, safer, air conditioned restaurant, go to Quan Delicacies at San Juan Street. They have good coffee and a wide array of native delicacies. Difference is, these were prepared with strict sanitary practices. Their foods are placed behind glass shelves, as compared to open displays in the market.
The only downside is, they open at 8am. This may not be early enough for some. You may also buy some Bacolod pasalubong items here, like galletas, sugar-free treats, and also organic salad dressings.
Bacolod Public Plaza
After breakfast, you may cross the street going to the Bacolod Public Plaza. Have your photos taken at the center you will find the giant chessboard floor.
It is the venue of our world-famous MassKara Festival dance contest and is among the top things to do in Bacolod.
Crossing the street on the other side of the plaza is the San Sebastian Cathedral along Rizal Street. It is a late 19th-century structure that is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod.
Pope John Paul II Tower
Go to the corner of the church (westward) and then cross the street and ride the trisikad going to the Pope John Paul II Tower. If you go up the 7-story building, you will get a nice view of the city. The tower is dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II who visited Bacolod City on February 20, 1981.
It was such a memorable event for the people of Bacolod City. About a million people reportedly attended the mass that the Pope celebrated at that time.
The tower is located in the city’s Reclamation Area a.k.a BREDCO (Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation) development. An eight-foot sculpture of the Pope is what you will see at the gate entrance of the tower. Entrance is only P20.
This is one of the things to do in Bacolod because it is a unique experience.
Lunch in Bacolod (Manokan Country)
By this time, it would be around 11am so in awhile, you will be ready for lunch. Before you proceed with your things to do in Bacolod, energize yourself with some locally cooked food.
There are so many Bacolod restaurants around the downtown are. But I suggest that you go to the Manokan Country, just across SM City Bacolod. Here you will find authentic Bacolod Chicken Inasal.
Please, please, do not mistake our Bacolod chicken inasal with Mang Inasal— that’s sacrilege for Bacolodnons.
How to Get to Manokan Country
From the Pope John Paul II Tower, take the long walk passing the street under the bridgeway of SM City Bacolod to Manokan Country. If you don’t want to walk, you can take the trisikad. Just tell the driver that you are going to Manokan Country. however, you will have to go the long route because the street that cuts across SM is one-way.
From the corner of Manokan Country, you can window shop for the the stall where you wanna eat. The first one on the right is Lion’s Park. Here, you will get more than just Bacolod chicken inasal.
They have seafood paluto (you pick the fresh seafood and have it grilled, fried, sauteed, sizzling, made into adobo, or whatever), turo-turo (fastfood) counter, ala carte menus, and of course, oysters. You have so many native Pinoy foods to choose from here.
Manokan Coutry stalls don’t have air conditioning. Be prepared to eat while the sun is high up outside since it’s lunchtime. It’s all part of the experience among native Bacolod restaurants.
Order your favorite chicken part plus some blanched oysters and other grilled pork chop or spareribs. Dip the chicken in a dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, calamansi, and chili. It’s best to eat with your hands.
Additionally, don’t forget the chicken oil (in reality, anato oil) and salt for your rice. That’s what gives rice the yellow-orange tinge and further flavor. Since it takes some time to grill raw chicken, your lunch will be served around 12 noon.
Bacolod chicken inasal prices ranges from P85 to P99. Some come with a meal of rice and drinks. Also depends on the restaurant. Meanwhile, oysters maybe ordered at P50 to P60 per serving.
Optional Stop: Negros Museum
From Manokan Country, you may stop by the Negros Museum for an hour to learn about our heritage. Customs and collections of our ancestors are preserved and displayed here.
From Manokan Country, you can take the cab coming here. Fare will be at least P70.
Negros Museum Entrance Fees
- General Admission – Php 100.00
- Senior Citizens – Php 80.00
- Students and Children – Php 70.00
Capitol Lagoon and Provincial Admin Center
From the Negros Museum, walk a few meters going to the Provincial Capitol and the Capitol Lagoon. Take photos there. At most, you will spend 30 minutes.
You can then proceed to get a slice of cake and coffee. Take it as late postre or your afternoon snacks.
Cake and Coffee
From the lagoon, it will be another short walk to C’s by L’Fisher at 15th-Lacson Street. It’s approximately six small blocks. Here, have a slice of cake and some good coffee.
It’s one of the practices of Bacolodnons–to have postre and a good cup of coffee to cap a meal. But in this case, you just had a stopover in between. P150 to P200 should give you a nice dessert and coffee.
After C’s, you may want to check out the picturesque roof deck of the L’Fisher Chalet for a pictorial.
To experience the laid back lifestyle is one of the things to do in Bacolod.
You may want to shop for Bacolod pasalubong items from either Merzci Pasalubong or Bongbong’s. If you are at C’s at 15th Street, you can just cross to the other side road and move along to 14th Street where Bongbong’s and Merzci are located. You wouldn’t get lost around here.
Get the Ilonggo favorites like piaya, biscocho, tarts, and many more. A small box would cost you anywhere from p250 to P500, depending on what you pack inside. The box is free.
If you have an evening flight out of Bacolod, then you no longer have time to have dinner. Your best option is to bring your stuff around so that you can go directly to the airport.
But before you head to the airport, drop by Negros Occidental’s famous landmark — The Ruins. It is located on the border of Bacolod City and Talisay City.
If time permits, you can stay there and experience sunset until it’s time for you to proceed to the airport. There you will also meet the now famous Ruins guide and local celebrity, Roger Lucero, who was once a PBB Big 4 winner.
Watch the full tour of the Ruins by celebrity tour guide Roger Lucero.
However, do check their FB page before going. They close for private events.
- Entrance fee at The Ruins: Adult: P100 | Student: P40 | Senior: P50 | Child: P20
Sharyn’s Cansi House
If you have an evening flight, pass by Sharyn’s Cansi House in Silay. Yes, the world-famous Bacolod cansi is now in Silay City. It is just located along the highway, just before the turn going to the airport.
They close at 9pm, so you can still catch that comforting steaming soup before your flight. Having cansi should not be missed. It’s one of the comforting things to do in Bacolod.
Now, if your flight is not for the following day, then you still have the night to explore. Have a seafood dinner at many of those rugged restaurants, like Ading’s Pala-pala, Hyksos Pala-Pala, and Diotay’s Eatery. If you want a cozier seafood resto, go to 18th Street Palapala.
Meanwhile, you might want to check this list of Bacolod restaurants serving Pinoy dishes.
Since it is already nighttime, I suggest that you take a cab or Grab to these Bacolod seafood restaurants. It’s faster and safer, too. If you are in a group, you can easily share different dishes. That way, you only spend a minimum of P200-P250 per person for your dinner. But if you order crabs, prawns, etc, then you will have to spend more.
I pointed you to these three placed because these are all near Lacson Street. You can easily slip out, take a walk, and then end up at a nice watering hole to cap the night. After dinner, my suggestion is to go to The Trap Door by Illusion Brewery.
They have several kinds of craft beers on draft and bottles. Your P200 can buy you a drink and a space to unwind for the evening. But if you will have pulutan and another drink, prepare to shell out about P600. Don’t ya worry, you will be home the next day anyway so you can sleep in the plane.
Experiencing The Trap Door is one of the best things to do in Bacolod.
So Many Things to Do in Bacolod
There are still so many things to do in Bacolod. But given your little time in the city, these are my suggestions to make the most of your trip.
All in all, if you do everything that I have listed here, you will be spending about P1,000 for one whole day, including transportation.
However, this does not include your budget for Bacolod pasalubong. hehe Have a happy trip in Bacolod! 😀
Optional Bacolod Side Trip
One interesting stop in Bacolod would be Bailon’s Foods at San Sebastian Street. It is very near SM City Bacolod and Quan San Juan, but it’s kinda out of the way.
But you may want to witness how they make their special kind of Bacolod piaya. It has a thin, crispy crust and with the sugar sticking on the insides of the crust. This is more expensive than the other kinds of Bacolod piaya. But it’s definitely worth trying.
And if you’re lucky, you might catch them cooking, too — one of the things to do in Bacolod. Do buy some packs here to bring home. Also try their special empanada and fresh lumpia, both so good!
Come and visit Bacolod City! What do you think of my guide?
Other things to do in Bacolod:
- Bantug Lake Ranch
- Villa Iska Beach Resort Staycation
- Nature’s Village Resort Family Staycation
- Learn Horsemanship at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center