Welcome to Bacolod City, the vibrant destination in the Philippines known as the “City of Smiles.” Bursting with rich cultural history, colorful festivals, and mouthwatering cuisine, Bacolod City offers a unique travel experience for every visitor. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks, indulging in local delicacies, or immersing yourself in the lively festival atmosphere, this ultimate travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip to Bacolod City.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the vibrant destination of Bacolod City, also known as the “City of Smiles.”
  • Experience the rich cultural history, colorful festivals, and delicious cuisine of Bacolod City.
  • Plan your trip with essential information on the best time to visit, transportation options, attractions, and more.
  • Explore historical landmarks, indulge in local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of Bacolod City.
  • Make the most of your visit to Bacolod City with practical tips and recommendations for accommodations and day trips.

Best Time to Go to Bacolod

The best time to visit Bacolod City is during the dry season, which is from December to May. This period offers favorable weather conditions, with less rainfall and more sunshine, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city.

One of the highlights of visiting Bacolod City is experiencing its vibrant festivals. October is a particularly popular month to plan your trip as it is when the famous MassKara Festival takes place. This festival showcases colorful street parades, lively music, and elaborate costumes, providing a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and vibrant atmosphere of Bacolod City.

In addition to the MassKara Festival, there are other festivals worth considering when planning your trip to Bacolod City. The Bacolodiat festival, held in February, celebrates the Chinese New Year and showcases the city’s Chinese heritage through various cultural performances and activities. The Pana-ad Festival, which takes place in April, is a celebration of thanksgiving and unity, featuring street dancing and competitions.

Key Festivals in Bacolod City

MassKara FestivalOctober
Bacolodiat FestivalFebruary
Pana-ad FestivalApril

Plan your visit to Bacolod City during these festival months to fully experience the lively culture, dance to the rhythm of the parades, and indulge in the festive atmosphere.

How to Get to Bacolod

Bacolod City, known as the “City of Smiles,” is easily accessible by air, sea, and land, offering various transportation options for travelers.

By Air

The Bacolod International Airport in Silay City serves as the main gateway to Bacolod City, with daily flights from major cities in the Philippines. Domestic airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia operate regular flights to and from Bacolod.

By Sea

Traveling by sea is another option for reaching Bacolod City. There are regular ferry services available from Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, as well as from nearby Iloilo City. These ferry rides offer a scenic journey and can be a convenient choice for those who prefer the charm of sea travel.

By Land

If you prefer land transport, buses and vans are available from Cebu to Bacolod. The journey takes approximately 7-11 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the chosen mode of transportation. This option is suitable for those who are already in Cebu, as it provides a cost-effective and leisurely way to reach Bacolod City.

Transportation ModeDurationProsCons
AirApproximately 1 hourFast and convenientMay be more expensive
SeaVaries depending on departure pointScenic travel experienceDependent on ferry schedules
LandApproximately 7-11 hoursCost-effective optionLong travel time

Whichever mode of transportation you choose, getting to Bacolod City is relatively easy and offers a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets.

Getting Around Bacolod

Exploring the vibrant city of Bacolod is a breeze with its various transportation options. Whether you prefer public transport or private vehicles, there are convenient ways to get around and see the sights. Here are the different transportation options available:


Jeepneys are the most common mode of transportation in Bacolod City, widely used by locals and visitors alike. These iconic vehicles offer affordable fares and have designated routes that cover various parts of the city. Hop on a jeepney to experience an authentic way of getting around Bacolod.


For shorter trips within the city, tricycles are a popular choice. These motorized pedicabs can navigate through narrow streets and take you to your destination quickly. Tricycles are especially convenient when exploring smaller neighborhoods or getting to attractions that are not directly accessible by jeepneys.


If you prefer a more private and comfortable mode of transportation, taxis are readily available in Bacolod. Taxis are a convenient choice, especially if you are traveling with a group or carrying heavy luggage. Look for official taxis or book a ride from reputable companies to ensure a safe and reliable journey.

Car Rental

If you prefer the freedom to explore at your own pace, renting a car is a great option. There are several car rental services available in Bacolod City, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit your needs. Renting a car allows you to easily navigate through the city and venture out to nearby attractions with ease.

Grab Taxi

An alternative to traditional taxis is Grab Taxi, a popular ride-hailing service available in Bacolod City. Download the Grab app on your smartphone and book a ride conveniently anytime, anywhere. Grab offers competitive fares and reliable drivers, ensuring a hassle-free transportation experience.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, getting around Bacolod City is a seamless experience. Explore the city’s rich culture, visit its historical landmarks, and indulge in its famous cuisine with ease.

What to See and Do in Bacolod

Bacolod City, also known as the “City of Smiles,” is a captivating destination in the Philippines with a wealth of attractions to explore. From architectural gems to cultural festivals, there is something for everyone in Bacolod. Here are some must-see sights and activities to include in your itinerary:

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1. San Sebastian Cathedral

Start your journey in Bacolod with a visit to the iconic San Sebastian Cathedral. This magnificent church is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Bacolod and is known for its breathtaking architecture. Admire the intricate details and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this religious landmark.

2. The Ruins

Don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at The Ruins, an exquisite ancestral home that was once the largest residential structure in Negros Occidental. This beautifully preserved ruin is surrounded by lush gardens and offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the past. Capture stunning photos and soak in the romantic atmosphere as you explore the remains of this architectural masterpiece.

3. Negros Museum

Delve into the rich history and culture of Bacolod and the Negros province at the Negros Museum. Discover fascinating exhibits that showcase the artistic, cultural, and historical heritage of the region. Learn about the Negrense people’s way of life, traditional crafts, and significant events that have shaped the province’s identity.

4. MassKara Festival

If you’re fortunate enough to visit Bacolod in October, don’t miss out on the vibrant MassKara Festival. This annual event is a celebration of art, culture, and community spirit. Be captivated by the colorful street parades featuring elaborately designed masks and costumes. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, enjoy cultural performances, and savor delicious local delicacies.

Top Attractions in Bacolod

San Sebastian CathedralA magnificent church and a symbol of Bacolod’s religious heritage.
The RuinsAn ancestral home turned ruin, known for its captivating architecture.
Negros MuseumAn informative museum that showcases the history and culture of the Negros province.
MassKara FestivalA lively and colorful festival celebrating art, culture, and community spirit.

Experience the charm and beauty of Bacolod City by exploring these attractions. From architectural wonders to cultural festivities, each experience will leave you with lasting memories of your trip to Bacolod.

Marvel at the Beauty of Negros’ Ancestral Homes

When visiting Bacolod City, a trip to Silay City is highly recommended. Located just a short drive away, Silay City is home to a collection of ancestral homes that showcase the rich heritage of Negros Occidental. These beautiful homes provide a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy class during the turn of the century.

One of the must-visit heritage sites in Silay City is the Ruins of Talisay City. This iconic landmark features a stunning architectural design with the remains of a once grand mansion. The beautifully preserved ruins surrounded by lush gardens make it a picturesque site to explore.

Another notable ancestral home in Silay City is the Balay Negrense. This well-preserved mansion showcases the lifestyle of a wealthy sugar baron during the early 1900s. Step inside and admire the intricate details of the architecture and furnishings that reflect the grandeur of the past.

For those interested in history, a visit to the Bernardino Jalandoni Museum is a must. Housed in a Spanish-era ancestral home, this museum allows visitors to explore the artifacts, photographs, and artworks that depict the history and culture of Negros Occidental.

Lastly, don’t miss the San Diego Pro-Cathedral, another impressive ancestral home turned into a place of worship. This magnificent structure showcases a blend of European and Filipino architectural styles and serves as a reminder of Negros Occidental’s rich Catholic heritage.

To fully appreciate the beauty and significance of these ancestral homes, consider joining a guided tour or hiring a local guide who can provide detailed insights into their history and significance.

Ancestral HomesLocation
Ruins of Talisay CityTalisay City
Balay NegrenseSilay City
Bernardino Jalandoni MuseumSilay City
San Diego Pro-CathedralSilay City

Visit Nearby Resorts and Natural Attractions

Bacolod City is not only a vibrant urban destination but also a gateway to stunning nearby resorts and natural attractions. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, there are plenty of options to satisfy your wanderlust.

Mambukal Resort

Located in Murcia, just a short drive from Bacolod City, Mambukal Resort is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This picturesque resort is known for its lush greenery, tranquil ambiance, and natural hot springs. Immerse yourself in the healing waters, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Don’t forget to hike to the breathtaking Mambukal Falls, where the cascading water will leave you in awe.

Mag-Aso Falls

If you have a penchant for waterfalls, a visit to Mag-Aso Falls in Kabankalan City is a must. Marvel at the majestic sight of the large waterfall cascading down into a serene pool surrounded by lush vegetation. This natural wonder offers a tranquil retreat and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. Capture stunning photos, take a refreshing dip, or simply enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

Takatuka Beach Resort

For a unique beach experience near Bacolod City, head to Sipalay and discover Takatuka Beach Resort. This quirky resort pays homage to the beloved literary character Pippi Longstocking, creating a whimsical and colorful atmosphere. Enjoy the pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning sunsets. Indulge in water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, or simply lounging by the beach and savoring the coastal breeze.

Your Bacolod journey extends beyond the city limits, allowing you to explore the natural wonders and beach destinations that surround it. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Mambukal Resort, be captivated by the grandeur of Mag-Aso Falls, and experience the charm of Takatuka Beach Resort. These nearby attractions are waiting to be discovered, offering unforgettable experiences and memories.

What to Eat in Bacolod

Bacolod City is not only famous for its vibrant festivals and rich cultural history but also for its mouthwatering cuisine. The local delicacies of Bacolod will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. From succulent grilled chicken to savory soups and delectable sweet treats, Bacolod has something to satisfy every food lover’s palate.

Bacolod cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique combinations of local ingredients. One of the must-try dishes is chicken inasal. This grilled chicken dish is marinated in a special blend of spices and grilled to perfection, resulting in tender and juicy meat with a smoky flavor. The best place to enjoy this local favorite is at Manokan Country, a collection of stalls that specialize in serving chicken inasal.

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Another dish that should be on your list is kansi, a sour soup that is made with beef shanks and flavored with batwan (a local fruit) and other souring agents. The addition of jackfruit gives the soup a unique sweetness that balances the tangy flavors.

When it comes to desserts, Bacolod offers a wide variety of sweets and pastries that will satisfy your sweet cravings. Two popular options are piaya and napoleones. Piaya is a flatbread filled with muscovado sugar and often enjoyed as a snack or dessert. Napoleones, on the other hand, is a puff pastry filled with a creamy custard and glazed with sugar.

To give you a better idea of the local delicacies in Bacolod, here is a table highlighting some of the must-try dishes and where you can find them:

DishDescriptionWhere to Find
Chicken InasalGrilled chicken marinated in special spicesManokan Country
KansiSour soup made with beef shanks and jackfruitBob’s Cafe
PiayaFlatbread filled with muscovado sugarBongbong’s
NapoleonesCustard-filled puff pastry glazed with sugarCalifornia Bakery

Where to Stay in Bacolod

Bacolod offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly guesthouses or luxurious resorts, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some recommended places to stay in Bacolod:

The Suites at Calle Nueva

Located in the heart of Bacolod, The Suites at Calle Nueva offers comfortable rooms and excellent service. The hotel is known for its modern amenities and convenient location, making it a popular choice among travelers.

Mainstreet Pension House

Mainstreet Pension House offers affordable accommodations without compromising on comfort. With clean and spacious rooms, this pension house provides a cozy and convenient stay for budget-conscious travelers.

Circle Inn

Circle Inn is a well-known hotel in Bacolod, offering a blend of affordability and quality. The hotel features modern facilities, stylish rooms, and a central location, making it an ideal choice for both business and leisure travelers.

Avenue Suites

Avenue Suites is a luxury hotel that provides a sophisticated and elegant experience for guests. With spacious rooms, upscale amenities, and impeccable service, Avenue Suites offers a premium stay in the heart of Bacolod.

Whether you’re looking for comfort, convenience, affordability, or luxury, Bacolod has the perfect accommodations for you. Choose from the options mentioned above and ensure a pleasant stay during your visit to Bacolod City.

Sample Itinerary in Bacolod

Here is a suggested 3-day itinerary for your trip to Bacolod. Make the most of your time in the city by exploring its iconic landmarks, indulging in local delicacies, and immersing yourself in its vibrant culture.

Day 1: Arrival + Sightseeing + Food Trip

On your first day in Bacolod, start by visiting the San Sebastian Cathedral, an impressive church that serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the city. Take some time to admire its beautiful architecture and soak in the serene atmosphere.

Afterward, explore the downtown area of Bacolod, where you’ll find a mix of modern establishments and colonial-era buildings. Take a leisurely stroll along the streets and discover charming cafes, shops, and art galleries.

Next, make your way to the renowned Ruins, a fascinating attraction that was once a grand mansion but now stands as a mesmerizing ruin. Learn about its intriguing history and marvel at its architectural beauty.

Finally, satisfy your cravings by embarking on a food trip at Manokan Country, a cluster of stalls known for serving Bacolod’s famous chicken inasal. Indulge in this mouthwatering grilled chicken dish, which is marinated in special spices and cooked to perfection. Don’t forget to pair it with garlic rice and dipping sauces for a truly delectable experience.

After a day filled with sightseeing and feasting, head back to your accommodation and rest up for the exciting adventures that await you in the coming days.

Day 1
  • Visit the San Sebastian Cathedral
  • Explore the downtown area
  • Marvel at the Ruins
  • Enjoy a food trip at Manokan Country
Day 2
  • Discover the Negros Museum
  • Immerse yourself in the MassKara Festival
  • Taste local sweets and pastries
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife
Day 3
  • Visit nearby attractions
  • Relax at a resort or beach
  • Sample Bacolod’s famous seafood
  • Explore the city’s art scene

Practical Information and Tips

Here are some practical tips and information to help you plan your trip to Bacolod:

Pack Appropriately

When visiting Bacolod, it’s important to pack lightweight and breathable clothing, as the city has a tropical climate. This will ensure that you stay comfortable and can enjoy your outdoor activities without feeling overly hot.

Protect Yourself from the Sun and Mosquitoes

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent on your trip to Bacolod. The tropical climate and outdoor attractions make it essential to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays and pesky mosquitoes. Apply sunscreen regularly and use mosquito repellent to avoid insect bites.

Respect Local Customs and Traditions

When visiting religious sites in Bacolod, such as the San Sebastian Cathedral, it’s important to follow local customs and traditions. Make sure to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees out of respect for the sacred places you are visiting.

Carry Sufficient Cash

While credit cards are widely accepted in Bacolod, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you. Some small establishments may not accept credit cards, so having cash on hand will ensure that you can make purchases without any inconvenience.

Ensure Your Safety

While exploring Bacolod City, it’s important to be mindful of your belongings and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, especially in crowded areas, and be cautious when walking alone at night. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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Pack appropriatelyLightweight and breathable clothing
Protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoesSunscreen and mosquito repellent
Respect local customs and traditionsFollow dress codes at religious sites
Carry sufficient cashSome establishments may not accept credit cards
Ensure your safetyBe mindful of your belongings and take necessary precautions

Attractions near Bacolod City

Bacolod City is located near many attractions in Negros Occidental that are worth exploring. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an adventure in nature, there are plenty of day trip options from Bacolod City.

One popular destination for a day trip is Sipalay City, known for its beautiful beaches and dive sites. Enjoy a day of sun, sand, and sea at popular beach resorts like Sugar Beach and Punta Ballo Beach. For diving enthusiasts, Sipalay City offers vibrant marine life and stunning underwater landscapes, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

If you’re a nature lover, Kabankalan City is a must-visit. Here, you’ll find the breathtaking Mag-Aso Falls, a majestic waterfall surrounded by lush greenery. Take a dip in the cool, refreshing waters or simply relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere. Kabankalan City is also home to other natural wonders like the Mambukal Hot Springs and Balay Kahel Eco Park, offering opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and exploring the local flora and fauna.

These destinations near Bacolod City provide a different perspective of Negros Occidental and are easily accessible for day trips. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, these nearby attractions have something for everyone.

Shopping in Bacolod City

When it comes to shopping, Bacolod City offers a delightful array of products and souvenirs for every taste. Whether you’re looking for unique handicrafts, local delicacies, or trendy fashion finds, Bacolod has something to satisfy every shopper’s desires.

The Negros Showroom

If you’re in search of authentic local handicrafts and products, head to The Negros Showroom. This popular destination showcases a wide selection of beautifully crafted items such as woven baskets, hand-carved wooden furniture, and intricately designed home decor. Each piece represents the rich heritage and craftsmanship of the Bacolod community, making it the perfect place to find unique souvenirs to bring back home.

Merzci Pasalubong Center

A trip to Bacolod is incomplete without a visit to the Merzci Pasalubong Center. This local favorite is a one-stop shop for delicious pasalubong treats. Indulge in the famous piaya, a sweet and flaky pastry filled with muscovado sugar, as well as other mouthwatering delicacies like napoleones and biscocho. These treats make for great gifts or personal mementos to savor the flavors of Bacolod long after your trip.

Bacolod City Public Market

Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and flavors by exploring the Bacolod City Public Market. Here, you’ll find a bustling atmosphere filled with vendors offering a wide variety of fresh produce, seafood, and local delicacies. Take a stroll through the market and discover the colorful array of fruits, vegetables, and spices unique to the region. It’s a perfect opportunity to experience the authentic flavors and ingredients of Bacolod’s cuisine.

For an immersive shopping experience, be sure to visit these destinations and explore the diverse products and flavors Bacolod City has to offer. From handcrafted souvenirs to delectable treats, the shopping scene in Bacolod is sure to leave you with cherished memories and unique finds.


Bacolod City, also known as the “City of Smiles,” is a vibrant destination in the Philippines that offers a unique blend of rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, Bacolod has something to offer for everyone.

During your visit, make sure to explore the city’s historical landmarks, such as the San Sebastian Cathedral and the Ruins, which provide fascinating insights into Bacolod’s past. Indulge in the local delicacies, with the famous chicken inasal being a must-try dish at Manokan Country. Don’t forget to participate in vibrant festivals, such as the MassKara Festival, which showcases Bacolod’s artistic and cultural heritage.

With its convenient transportation options, including flights, ferries, and land transportation, Bacolod is easily accessible for travelers. There are also a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget, ensuring a comfortable stay during your trip.

So, whether you’re planning a short getaway or an extended vacation, use this comprehensive travel guide to plan your trip to Bacolod City and create unforgettable memories in this captivating destination.


When is the best time to visit Bacolod City?

The best time to visit Bacolod City is during the dry season, from December to May. October is also a popular month due to the MassKara Festival.

How can I get to Bacolod City?

Bacolod City is easily accessible by air, sea, and land. The Bacolod International Airport serves as the main gateway to the city. There are also ferry options from Manila and nearby Iloilo, as well as buses and vans from Cebu.

What are the transportation options in Bacolod City?

In Bacolod City, you can get around by public transport such as jeepneys and tricycles. Taxis and car rental services are also available, including Grab Taxi.

What are the must-see attractions in Bacolod City?

Some must-see attractions in Bacolod City include the San Sebastian Cathedral, Ruins ancestral home, and the Negros Museum. The MassKara Festival is also a vibrant cultural celebration worth experiencing.

Are there any ancestral homes to visit near Bacolod City?

Yes, near Bacolod City in Silay City, you can visit beautiful ancestral homes such as the Balay Negrense, Bernardino Jalandoni Museum, and San Diego Pro-Cathedral.

Are there any nearby resorts and natural attractions to explore?

Yes, there are several nearby attractions worth visiting, such as Mambukal Resort in Murcia known for its waterfalls and hot springs, and the Mag-Aso Falls in Kabankalan City.

What are the must-try dishes in Bacolod City?

When in Bacolod City, don’t miss trying the famous chicken inasal at Manokan Country. Other must-try dishes include kansi, piaya, and napoleones.

Where can I find accommodations in Bacolod City?

Bacolod City offers a range of accommodations, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels. Some recommended options include The Suites at Calle Nueva, Mainstreet Pension House, Circle Inn, and Avenue Suites.

Can you provide a sample 3-day itinerary for Bacolod City?

Sure, here is a sample itinerary for a 3-day trip to Bacolod City: Day 1: Visit the San Sebastian Cathedral, explore the downtown area, marvel at the Ruins, and enjoy a food trip at Manokan Country.

What are some practical tips for visiting Bacolod City?

Some practical tips for visiting Bacolod City include packing lightweight clothing, bringing sunscreen and mosquito repellent, respecting local customs and traditions, carrying cash, and taking necessary safety precautions.

Are there any attractions near Bacolod City for day trips?

Yes, there are several attractions near Bacolod City that are worth exploring on day trips, such as Sipalay City known for its beaches and dive sites, and Kabankalan City with the Mag-Aso Falls and other natural wonders.

Where can I go shopping in Bacolod City?

When shopping in Bacolod City, visit the Negros Showroom for local handicrafts, the Merzci Pasalubong Center for pasalubong items like piaya and napoleones, and the Bacolod City Public Market for fresh produce and local delicacies.

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