The Backpacker's Guide to Bacolod City

by - 10:14 AM

Whenever I hear of Bacolod, the first thing that comes to mind is chicken inasal - that sweet, tangy chicken grilled to perfection. Well.. That's probably the main reason why we booked promo tickets to Bacolod in the first place last 2015.

Coming up with an itinerary was fairly easy. Just add in chicken inasal, Mambukal, the Ruins, chicken inasal, Campuestohan, inasal again and you're good to go. But what I originally thought as just an ordinary holiday weekend in another city turned out to be one sweet surprise.

So here's a quick travel guide for you to enjoy the City of Smiles --- Bacolod City!

This one's the easiest because these attractions are well within the city (duh, obviously haha) and some are even adjacent with each other. You can either devote an entire day for this (if you're gonna spend more hours in the museum) or half a day which is already more than enough to cover everything.

Quick tip: Use these attractions as fillers for your day if you have limited time in Bacolod City.

Capitol Park & Lagoon
This attraction houses the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol Building that seats the governor of the province. Right in front of the capitol is a park with a big lagoon. You'd enjoy eating street foods here like ice cream or kwek-kwek while watching the locals exercise and families having picnics.
Admission: Free

Negros Museum
Get to know more the Negrenses' history and culture preserved through the arts and artifacts from the olden times. The Negros Museum is just a short walk from the capitol and is located near the Hall of Justice in Bacolod City.
Address: Old Agricultural Bldg, Gatuslao Street, Bacolod City
Operating Hours: 10 am - 8 pm, Tuesdays - Sundays
Admission: Php 100 (General Admission), Php 80 (Senior Citizens), Php 70 (Students and Children)

New Government Center
With its expansive facade, humongous pillars, and impressive neo-Classical Renaissance architecture, you may think NGC was built in the olden times. It's actually a fairly new building which functions as a civic and government center by day and a hang out place in the afternoon or at night.
Admission: Free

San Sebastian Cathedral
The San Sebastian Cathedral was inaugurated in 1882 and then became a cathedral in 1933. You can find this along Rizal Street, right across the Bacolod City Public Plaza.

Pope John Paul II Tower
A few meters away from SM City Bacolod is the Pope John Paul II Tower to commemorate the pope's historic visit in the city in 1981. This eight-foot sculpture of the late pope is made of synthetic bronze and fiberglass.

Just a stone's throw away from the Pope John Paul II Tower is Bacolod City's newest attraction. Baywalk features open-air entertainment, food stalls, and is a great place to chill and to watch the sunset.
Admission: Php 20

What's Bacolod without the food trip? Just like Cagayan de Oro City, Bacolod also has a myriad of awesome food finds at an affordable price.

Manokan Country
Why else would you come to Bacolod but for the chicken, right? At Manokan country, you'd get a taste of the authentic chicken inasal right off the grill. Pair it with sinamak  (spiced vinegar) and I guarantee, you would wish Bacolod is just one jeepney ride away. Bacolod's chicken inasal is so good that Aida's even opened in Manila!
Address: Fr. M. Ferrero Street, Bacolod City (at the back of SM City)

Chicken Inasal for Php 80.00

Calea Pastries and Cakes
When in Bacolod, Calea is the best place to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake with its homey ambience. Not only do the cakes and pastries look so lovely, they are very yummy too. I'm not a cake person but I sure did love that White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce.
Address: 15th Lacson Street, Bacolod City
Operating Hours: 9 am - 11 pm

Cafe Bob / Cafe Bob Open Grounds
You wouldn't have a hard time finding Cafe Bob along Lacson Street (Bacolod's main road) with its sophisticated look. Cafe Bob Open Grounds is on the opposite side of the main restaurant. Composed of several food concessionaires, it's a great place to sample local cuisine while enjoying with booze, art, and music.
Address: 21st Lacson Street, Bacolod City 

21 Restaurant
This is a classic fine dining restaurant in Bacolod City which is perfect for events and functions. Don't get intimidated by 21's classy ambiance though because it's actually a good place to enjoy batchoy for merienda.
Address: 21st Lacson Street, Bacolod City

Batchoy at 21 Restaurant


I did a bit of research on Bacolod's food places and have read good reviews about Pendy's. We find the prices a bit pricey though so we decided to buy delicacies for pasalubong there instead. I highly recommend their napoleones and half moon cake to bring home to your folks.
Address: Lacson Street, Bacolod, Cebu City

This is probably Bacolod's most famous brand of pasalubong found in grocery stores nationwide. I love their barquillos and piaya.


Now let's go out of Bacolod City and visit the nearby towns of Murcia and Talisay. Bacolod City in itself may be a bit small if you are planning a three-day, two-night visit so going to nearby attractions will make your stay more memorable.

The Ruins 

There are a lot of stories of love and sadness hidden behind every pillar of The Ruins. It was the grandest and biggest mansion of the area when it was destroyed during the Second World War. What we see today are remnants of what was once a symbol of power and influence of the affluent society.
Address:  Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Operating Hours: 8am to 8pm
Admission: Php 95

Mambukal Mountain Resort

This government-owned mountain resort located in the town of Murcia serves as the primary gateway to Mt. Kanlaon, an active volcano and the most notable land formation in all of Negros. There are a lot of things you can enjoy here such as the swimming pool, hot spring bath, seven waterfall trek, zipline, among the others. This is a perfect place to bring the whole family with you.
Address: Murcia, Negros Occidental
Admission: Php 50 (Adult), Php 20 (Child) 

Campuestohan Highland Resort

I wasn't able to personally go to Campuestohan Highland Resort in  the town of Talisay but I have friends who visit the place every now and then. This resort is the perfect place to get away from the city life because of its cool climate and laid-back atmosphere. Just like Mambukal, this place is perfect for families too --- they have pools, sky bicycle, hamster wheel, and the like. Getting to and from the resort may be a bit of a challenge so better arrange for transportation or use their shuttle service for a fee.
Address: Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Admission: Fee depends on the ride/facilities availed

Silay City Heritage Tour
If you are arriving in or leaving Bacolod by plane, we highly recommend going on a heritage tour around Silay City if you are into culture and history. If you're lucky, you'll be meeting one very charismatic homeowner who tours you around his house himself. I'll post something detailed about this soon.

Bacolod City's slow and laid-back atmosphere may repel some tourists who want more action and pace but these characteristics plus the very affordable food would definitely make you love Bacolod City's quaint and simple charm.

How about you? What do you recommend to do and see in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City?

Other Bacolod-related Posts You May Like:

  • The Ruins: Tale of Love and Tragedy in Talisay City, Negros Occidental

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