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8 Things To Do in Bacolod City for an Authentic Travel Experience

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the city with our DIY travel guide!

By: Niña Caraig | January 01, 2021
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the establishments featured in this article might be enforcing their own set of health protocols and requirements. Please coordinate with the management before visiting.

Bacolod itinerary

The Ruins is one of the most visited attractions in Bacolod.

The City of Smiles, best known for its festive MassKara festival which happens every October, is a place every visitor will never forget. But even outside its festival month, Bacolod City proves to be a beautiful destination to explore. Whether you’re in town at the right time to celebrate Masskara or are just visiting, here are some things you must do during your stay for an authentic Bacolod experience!

1. Stay right at the city center.

Bacolod itinerary

Spacious room at Sea Breeze Hotel

There are plenty of options on where you can stay in Bacolod. But if you want a hassle-free commute from the city’s main plaza, Sea Breeze Hotel is a good choice. The hotel lies alongside the public plaza where MassKara competitions take place. It offers spacious rooms, affordable rates, and accessibility from both SM City Bacolod and Bongbong’s Piaya and Barquillos.

It is advisable to secure your hotel booking early before you proceed to the city.

2. Shop like a local.

Bacolod itinerary

Native products and delicacies can be found at Bacolod Central Market.

If you want to experience local shopping in Bacolod, head down to Bacolod Central Market where you can buy crafts and native products at reasonable prices. There are several downtown stores in the city where locals shop. Plaza Mart is one of the most favorite shopping places in town as it is in the downtown area. You can also shop at Lopue’s, Corona Top and Shop Inc., Bacolod China Mart, and Limman’s.

3. Bring home pasalubong items.

Bacolod itinerary

Bongbong’s pasalubong center is filled with yummy treats.

Image: Bongbong’s Piaya and Barquillos

Bringing home pasalubong (take-home gift) and memorabilia complete your travel. Piaya (muscovado-filled unleavened flatbread) is a good choice to take home from Bacolod. It is famous in Negros Occidental where it originated. You can buy piaya and other souvenir items at Bongbong’s Piaya and Barquillos, one of the top souvenir stores in the city. Bongbong’s also carries items like keychains, mugs, T-shirts, and other local products.

There are several branches of BongBong’s in the city but the most accessible one is in the downtown area along Lacson Street. Other pasalubong shops in Bacolod include Merzci, Pendy’s , and The Negros Showroom.

4. Join locals at Manokan Country.

Bacolod itinerary

Manokan Country, home of the famous Bacolod inasal

Image: Aida’s Manokan

Despite growing restaurant hubs in Bacolod, Manokan Country remains as the locals’ top favorite dining place because of its iconic dish—chicken inasal! Manokan Country is a compound of dining stalls serving this local roast chicken dish and other grilled foods. It is located right across the SM City Bacolod and is a few blocks away from the downtown area.

Like piaya, chicken inasal is common in Negros Occidental where it originated. Because of its popularity to locals, the restaurant is normally jam-packed with diners on peak hours.

5. Eat the freshest seafood.

Bacolod itinerary

Fresh seafood by the kilo at Hyksos

There are lots of seafood restaurants in Bacolod that you can dine in. One of the go-to seafood restaurants in town is Hyksos Pala-Pala. Hyksos has huge counters filled with various types of fresh scallops, shells, crabs, fishes, and prawns where you can choose the type of seafood you like. The seafood is ordered by kilo and cooked in any style you prefer, whether buttered, sauced, fried, steamed, grilled, and kinilaw (ceviche).

Other noteworthy seafood restaurants in the city are Ading’s Pala-Pala, Aboy’s Restaurant, Diotay’s Eatery, Bacolod 18th Street Palapala Seafood Grill & Restaurant, and many more.

6. Indulge in the Bacoleños back rib dish.

Bacolod itinerary

Tender and delicious baby back ribs

Image: Lord Byron’s Backribs

Your food adventure doesn’t stop in Manokan Country and Hyksos. If you fancy other dishes in Bacolod aside from chicken and seafood, Lord Byron’s Backribs restaurant can be a good option. The restaurant is popular in Bacolod where it originated. It became a big hit to Bacoleños because of their affordable, tender, juicy serving, and generous cut of baby back ribs served with their signature flavored yellow rice.

The restaurant is a big native cottage with wooden chairs and tables, and huts that can be occupied by groups. Aside from Bacolod, they also have another branch in Dumaguete City.

7. Satisfy your sugar cravings.

Bacolod itinerary

The wide selection of cakes at Calea

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth after your meal, there are several homegrown cake and pastry shops just around the corner of Bacolod streets. A “dessert triangle” sweet spot is located along Lacson Street where three well-known cake shops are just a stone’s throw away from each other. The most famous one is Calea with their best-selling cake creations like blueberry cheesecake, choco caramel cheesecake, and many more. Other places where you can also spoil yourself with a sweet escape are at C’s by L’ Fisher and Felicia’s Pastry Shop.

8. Tour the old mansion.

Bacolod itinerary

Tourists go about The Ruins, one of the most visited historical sites in Negros Occidental.

The Ruins is a go-to tourist spot in Bacolod known to be the “Taj Mahal of Negros.” It is an old mansion built during the Spanish the era and intentionally burnt down in World War II. Over the years, the architecture of the mansion has been put into restoration. Because of its enchanting history and ancient structure, The Ruins serves as a place of attraction for both locals and tourists.

The Ruins is situated in Talisay City, which can be reached straight from the airport.

Visit Yoorekka for more travel tips!

Do you have a noteworthy experience in Bacolod City? Share it with us in the comments section below!

Stay safe as you travel! Make sure to follow social distancing protocols and observe health precautions wherever you go. Have a great trip!

This article was originally published in Yoorekka on October 03, 2017.
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About Niña Caraig
Niña is the Content Development Manager at Yoorekka. Prior to Yoorekka, she began her career at a publishing company. In her free time, she loves to pamper herself, go shopping, and watching movies with her friends.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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