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Tagaytay City or Tagaytay is well known as the hottest favorite tourist attraction in the Philippines. Located in the Cavite province, Tagaytay is famous for its scenic and beautiful landscapes, cooler climate, and natural attractions as it is placed at a high altitude. It is strategically positioned facing the Taal Lake with the serene views of Taal Volcano Island in the heart of the lake. The city has a lot of vantage points for exploring Taal Volcano. Tagaytay is around 59 km from Manila and is a great escape for the locals to spend some quality time.
In this guide, we will get a complete overview of several things to do in Tagaytay apart from some unique ideas to have some fun in this exotic city. A lot of Tagaytay sightseeing activities are done in the Taal Volcano Island and Taal Lake here. Some of the Tagaytay tourist spots are situated around the beautiful Taal Lake and Volcano.
What to Do in Tagaytay?
Why should you visit Tagaytay?
Considered as the top summer destination in the Philippines amongst Manileñas and Manileños, Tagaytay is one of the Philippines top attractions not only because it is home to the smallest active volcano in the world, lush greeneries, and stunning views but it is also a chill place to visit where you can unwind.
Visit Tagaytay for who it is if you want to take a break from the beach or from Manila and book a nice hotel overlooking the beautiful mountains or perhaps go for a short hike, it will be all worth it! Other than these, there are also tons of lovely eateries around the city that you’ll not only be relaxed but stuffed after your visit.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Practical information and Tagaytay travel tips
- 2 Where to stay in Tagaytay?
- 3 Experiences and top things to do in Tagaytay, the Philippines
- 3.1 Hike to see the Taal Volcano crater
- 3.2 Have a fun time in Sky Ranch
- 3.3 Go to Sonya’s Secret Garden for Lunch!
- 3.4 Tagaytay Picnic Grove
- 3.5 Try Tagaytay’s special Bulalo at Mahogany Market
- 3.6 Visit People’s Park in the Sky
- 3.7 Check out Puzzle Mansion
- 3.8 Our Lady of Manaoag, Tierra de Maria
- 3.9 Have a relaxing day at Nurture Wellness Village
- 3.10 Cafe Veranda Cultural Show
- 4 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Practical information and Tagaytay travel tips
When is the best time to visit Tagaytay?
- Peak/cool season (October to February)
- This is the best time to visit the Philippines
- Expect tourists flocking some of the country’s top destinations
- Tagaytay will have cooler nights and not so hot temperature during the day, so it might be chilly, come prepared!
- You’ll be greeted with clear skies and calmer weather
- Hotels and tours will be more expensive
- Summer/hot season (March to May)
- There will be a flood of local tourists in most seaside destinations as there are no schools and most workers from bigger cities have holidays
- If you want to brave the heat, summer in the Philippines is not a bad time to visit!
- Expect thunderstormsin the evening because of the extreme heat
- Tagaytay is one of the top destinations around this time as it remains cooler during the day compared to big cities
- Hotels and tours will remain expensive around this time
- Low/wet season (June to September)
- Expect rainfall almost every day
- Since the Philippines is a tropical country close to the equator, it experiences horrible storms around this time of the year, so come prepared for the rain, floods, and heavy wind!
- There will be fewer tourists around this time of the year
- Hotels and tours will be cheaper
- We suggest not to come around the monsoon season!
Do you need a visa for the Philippines?
ASEAN member country passport holders are allowed to enter the country for 30 days without a visa, but if you’re planning to stay longer than that, you do need to apply for a visa. Most European, Americans, and some African passport holders also do not need a visa to enter the country and can stay for 30 days as long as you have a return/outgoing flight ticket to show. If you’re wondering if you’re eligible for visa on arrival – read this post.
Where to book your flights to the Philippines?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need an insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Where to stay in Tagaytay?
Tagaytay is known for its many beautiful resorts and boutique hotels, and here are some of our recommendations: Anya Resorts, The Carmelence View, and Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay. These hotels start from €30 per night, and you’ll get amazing quality service and access to their luxurious facilities.
If you’re on a more budgeted side, we recommend you stay at hostels or apartments where you’ll be paying about €7 per night. Here are our recommendations: OYO 127 La Gracia Apartelle, The HoloDeck, and SMDC Cool Suites Tagaytay.
Experiences and top things to do in Tagaytay, the Philippines
Hike to see the Taal Volcano crater
Taal Lake and Volcano are the most appealing attractions for Tagaytay sightseeing. Mt. Binintian is the mountain that is distinctly seen from Tagaytay. There is a dormant volcano named the Taal Volcano behind the peak. It is one of the best Tagaytay tourist attractions for nature lovers.
There have been 33 eruptions recorded in Taal Volcano and, according to some sources, is also the world’s smallest active volcano. The volcanic mountain covers Taal Lake. You can also witness a giant cratered mouth along the sides in the middle of the lake. There is another lake inside the crater. This place is often known as the twin lake.
It is best to start your journey from Manila to Tagaytay in the morning to get there. If you are heat sensitive, bring some sunscreen. Take a short boat ride through Taal Lake to reach the volcanic island. You can get to the Taal mountain crater by taking around 35 to 40 minutes’ walk through a 2 km sandy trail from the village.
En route, you pass through the volcanic steam vents. The water seems dark green from the top. You can easily swim inside the crater in the sulphuric lake. It is a great once in a lifetime experience, but it may be costly a bit. However, tourism tax costs up to P100 per person, excluding the cost of a boat ride, etc., according to the service you prefer.
Have a fun time in Sky Ranch
If you are getting here in Tagaytay with your kids, don’t forget to visit Sky Ranch (or Sky Fun). It is an amusement park located at Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway and was inaugurated in March 2013. The Sky Ranch is owned by SM Land commercial property division of SM Investments Corporation (merged to SM Prime Holdings, Inc), which also has several restaurants and shops. It includes 63m big Sky Eye Ferris wheel, 32 gondolas, rides, and kiosks.
This amusement park offers some of the best Tagaytay rides in the serene backdrop of Taal Volcano and lake. The Sky Eye Ferris wheel is the major attraction for Tagaytay adventure, which is the highest/tallest Ferris wheel at around 63m off the ground level. It gives breathtaking views of the volcano and lake from the top.
Taking a ride of Sky Cruiser is one of the best things to do in Tagaytay. It is a pedal bike at a considerable height. The sky-high track offers captivating views of Taal Volcano and Lake. Zipline is yet another favorite ride here. You can zip through around 300m high in the breathtaking backdrop of Taal Lake.
You can enjoy other amusing activities and rides, such as Snail Attack, Super Viking, Lobster Pot, and Bubble-O-Fun. Enjoy these fun games to spend a wonderful time at Sky Ranch with your kids and family. However, you cannot take food from outside there. You can buy food only inside the restaurants at Sky Ranch.
Go to Sonya’s Secret Garden for Lunch!
Sonya’s Secret Garden is a complete package of Bed & Breakfast, Restaurant, Wedding venue, and Spa. It is strategically positioned on a magical setting. It is tucked all around in tropical green, and it is tied well with beautiful teak wood furniture seamlessly. It is undoubtedly one of the best Tagaytay restaurants for a wonderful lunch.
You must try Tagaytay specialty ‘Bread & Dips’, which has homemade bread made of sesame seed from Sonya’s oven with a range of tapenades like basil pesto, bruschetta, and fresh green peppercorn sprinkled in olive oil. Along with it, you can also try fresh salads, pasta, and tenderly cooked dishes. You may also enjoy tarragon tea and Dalandan juice which is squeezed freshly, with your meal. It is pure heaven for food lovers.
Tagaytay Picnic Grove
One of the top attractions in Tagaytay, Picnic Grove, is a picture-perfect laid-back setting with some of the uninterrupted views of Taal Volcano and Lake. Here, picnic spots are located in the breathtaking hilltop. You can enjoy other activities like kite flying, horse riding, eco-trails, cable car riding, and zip lines. It is worth to take a selfie while riding a horse here, which may cost up to 20p. You may remain busy all day with activities, shopping, and restaurants.
• Entry fees to the park cost 50php per person. If you have kids below four years, their entry is free with age proof.
• According to your needs, you may rent Picnic Huts for 150php, table for 100php, Family Sheds for 300php, Viewdeck Hall 2500php, or Pavilion for 500php.
• During weekdays, zip lines cost 200php. During holidays and weekends, costs go up to 300php for one way zip and extra 100php to ride back.
Try Tagaytay’s special Bulalo at Mahogany Market
If you crave for hot and spicy Bulalo, you shouldn’t miss visiting the famous Mahogany Market. Bulalo is a special dish made of fresh beef directly from daily production in the market. The mahogany market has plenty of carinderia and food stalls. Bulalo is so fresh that there is a meat section in front of the food stalls.
When visiting Tagaytay, don’t miss the hearty and warm Bulalo (a kind of beef shank soup), which is a perfect staple. Mahogany Market is among the best destinations to enjoy a dish. Mahogany Market has a lot of delicious Bulalo restaurants along Aguinaldo Highway, which will fill your taste buds with delicious meals.
You can also enjoy some of the affordable bulalos available in Tagaytay in Mahogany Market. Some eateries also offer some complimentary bananas and side dishes, as well. The rates for a delicious Bulalo start at 120 PHP. You can also enjoy some other Filipino delicacies in this market if you want to try something else.
Visit People’s Park in the Sky
Previously called as the Palace in the Sky, the People’s Park in the Sky is an incomplete historical mansion, which was once owned by the Marcos family. Later on, it was turned into an urban park. The hilltop has wooden footbridges, benches, and gazeboes. It is built atop Mt. Gonzales, and it has a lot of souvenir shops and refreshment stalls around the park.
Besides, it also has stunning views of the valley from a hilltop. People’s Park in the Sky has something for everyone, especially for enjoying a relaxed and peaceful afternoon and clicking some Instagram-worthy pictures. Entry costs 30P here.
Check out Puzzle Mansion
Exhibiting a massive line of the jigsaw puzzle, which is well known as the most significant collection in the world, Puzzle Mansion is a museum located in Gina Gil Lacuna’s summer house spread over one hectare in Tagaytay, who was also the puzzle collector.
You will undoubtedly be amazed by different puzzles, the attention to detail, various types of formats, and cultural references, and be sure to have a great time at the mansion.
If you have got kids along, don’t forget to visit the B&B at the Puzzle Mansion, which is the best place to visit and/or stay. Puzzle Mansion has also won an accolade for having the world’s most extensive range of jigsaw puzzles in 2012. So, it is evident that it has high numbers of configured puzzles.
You will also find the well-known characters like Piglet and Winnie the Pooh, next to 3D puzzles of spooky dinos, and puzzles which are the actual pieces of art. Located in the backyard, it also has a serene blue pool.
Our Lady of Manaoag, Tierra de Maria
The Philippines has no lack of religious and spiritual attractions, and Tagaytay is one of them. It also has a lot of meditation centers, shrines, and churches where you can find peace and solace. The tranquil Catholic church is the best church of them. It is the best paradise for prayers and reflection. Our Lady of Manaoag, Tierra de Maria, is a gorgeous shrine which epitomizes the aura of serenity and peace.
It is a red/brown statue of Mother Mary standing 50 ft. tall, something which can’t be missed. The walls decked with dried flowers and vivid images genuinely add to the beauty of the chapel, and the exquisite surroundings of the church add up to its grace and appeal. Our Lady of Manaoag is also known to be an ideal place of healing, relaxation, and meditation.
You may also take a typical family photo here and add a charm to your Facebook cover. At this place, you can find the beautiful atmosphere at Christmas. It also has a flea market opposite the church where you can shop small Jesus statues and crosses.
Have a relaxing day at Nurture Wellness Village
Nurture Wellness Village is well known for its chic and rustic bungalows where you can have a relaxing stay. It is a hub of healing therapies and relaxing massage treatments, as the name suggests. It has a rustic charm, making Nurture Wellness Village an ideal place for couples to visit in Tagaytay.
Tucked away from lush vegetations and serene coffee plantations, Nurture Wellness Village has elegant and pastoral accommodation for the visitors. You will also be served with the view of Taal Lake, private gardens, and traditional techniques. Be sure to get there and stay in the comforting wellness center for a mesmerizing romantic trip in Tagaytay.
In short, Nurture Wellness Village is truly blessed by nature with serene surroundings to amaze the visitors to the core. Indeed, it is the tranquil heaven of lush greens and deep relaxation. Founder of Nurture Wellness Village, Cathy Turvill developed the traditional and holistic therapies for wellness to foster overall mind, body, and soul, and provide complete relaxation to the visitors and pamper them.
Here, guests are greeted with extended wellness menu in sublime spa along with the unmatched Asian traditions so they can be revitalized with several natural treatments in the breathtaking setting. The rooms are placed conveniently in separate villas in a large verdant green cover, and all the rooms are very comfortable, homey, and clean, with a great Filipino touch. Nurture Wellness Village is indeed the best choice for visitors, thanks to world-class facilities and friendly staff.
Nurture Wellness Village is flocked by thousands of guests every year. With the increasing popularity of the estate, it has become even more challenging to manage reservations efficiently and quickly. There was also a risk of loss of data, which were run manually.
Cafe Veranda Cultural Show
Dining out while enjoying an entertaining show… what else would anyone need? Get there or enjoy your stay at Taal Vista hotel where you can experience delicious Filipino 4-course meal with a dance show of skilled Filipino artists in traditional costume.
It offers excellent service with friendly staff and hardly any queue to be seated. It provides a variety of refreshing and tasty dishes. You can share tales and stories to the future generation with unique, memorable, and sensational feasts. You can enjoy one show at lunch and another at dinner. The artists here perform three sets. So, plan to reserve the table around the stage in advance.
Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.