Tagaytay City is the destination to go to if you are wanting a quick respite from the congestion, pollution and fast-paced life of Metro Manila.
Tagaytay is only about two hours away from the National Capital Region but the contrast in ambiance and scenery between the two is very striking. Tagaytay is best-known for its cool and chilly breeze, the picturesque Taal Lake and Taal Volcano, exciting eco-tourism activities, beautiful churches, and must-visit restaurants, just to name a few.
For those who love beef, meat is very affordable in Tagaytay’s Mahogany Market. For the last several years, Tagaytay is our go-to place for unplanned family weekends.
How to go to Tagaytay
One of the factors that make Tagaytay a favorite among visitors is its accessibility. Getting to Tagaytay is easy because it’s just a straight drive through the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
Here are two options that you can take:
SLEX via Sta. Rosa Exit
Drive all the way to Tagaytay Public Market then turn right going to Tagaytay City proper and Nasugbu/Balayan/Lemery Batangas or left going to People’s Park in the Sky.
SLEX via Eton Exit
Turn right to Greenfield Parkway then on to United Boulevard, turn right to Laguna Boulevard then left to Sta. Rosa — Tagaytay Road to reach Tagaytay.
Khris’ family owns a charming little house in Tagaytay so accommodation is never a problem for us. Nonetheless, we would still like to try one of the boutique hotels in the city when our budget permits.
Top things to do in Tagaytay
Tagaytay is a small community and I think that’s what’s makes it a good holiday spot. You do not have to go far to visit the most interesting places and restaurants in the city. Nonetheless, there are a good number of activities that you can do when in Tagaytay.
Here are some of the things that you can do in Tagaytay:
l. Visit Chapel on the Hill
Location: Don Bosco Batulao, Brgy. Cahil, Calaca, Batangas
Chapel on the Hill
One of the most popular churches in Tagaytay is Chapel on the Hill. Perched on ridge, it provides a picturesque view of the nearby Mt. Batulao and farmlands. Because of the breathtaking sceneries around it, Chapel on the Hill is a popular wedding destination, most especially for for intimate weddings.
2. Caleruega Church
Location: Caleruega, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
Another popular church that you can also visit when you are in Tagaytay is Caleruega Church, located in nearby Nasugbu, Batangas. Looking at the façade of Caleruega Church, one would immediately get the impression that it is a fortress made of terracotta bricks.
It is picturesque, making it also a popular wedding destination. There is an admission fee of Php70 per head but it’s just a minimal cost to shell out because you already explore the large and beautiful property where Caleruega Church stands.
3. Have coffee and desserts at Bag of Beans
Location: Twin Lakes, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay City
A visit in Tagaytay is not complete when you have not been to Bag of Beans, a restaurant known for its delicious food and freshly-baked pastries.
Bag of Beans
We have been here on many occasions and we consider it as our favorite place to have light snacks and coffee when in Tagaytay.
Also read: Bag of Beans: a must-visit when in Tagaytay
4. Have a day of fun at Sky Ranch Tagaytay
If you are visiting Tagaytay with your family, especially if you have small kids, then do visit Sky Ranch. This theme park will surely delight both adults and children with its fun rides such as carousel, bumper cars, kiddie train, roller coaster, and Ferris wheel, just to name a few.
One of Sky Ranch’s most popular rides is the Sky Eye, a giant Ferris wheel that provides a stunning view of the Tagaytay cityscape.
5. Taal Lake and Taal Volcano
Tagaytay is probably best equated with images of Taal Lake and Binintiang Malaki (what people commonly know as Taal Volcano but it is not). Taal Lake looks incredible, especially when it is a little foggy. it provides an amazing view that one can never get tired of.
For the more adventurous, you may arrange for a boat tour of Taal Lake and a hike in Taal Volcano. There are many local boat tour operators in the city that may arrange your preferred adventure package.
6. Little Souls Sisters Convent
The Little Soul Sisters Convent is popular among families for hearing Sunday Mass. We have been here on several occasions because it is just near our house in Tagaytay.
Little Souls Sisters Convent Church
Just across the Little Soul Sisters Convent is a small store-café that sells one of the best coconut cream pies.
7. Relax at Nurture Wellness Village
Location: Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II, Tagaytay, Cavite
If you are looking for a staycation experience in Tagaytay that provides a calming atmosphere amid an abundance of greenery, then head over to Nurture Wellness Village.
Inside Nurture Wellness Village
This popular hotel offers spa and pampering services, weddings and events packages, Filipino-themed accommodations, organic farm tour, and even glamping experience. CHECK RATES HERE
8. Visit Sonya’s Garden
Location: Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite
One name that I kept hearing about in Tagaytay is Sonya’s Garden. I finally understood what the buzz is all about when we finally had the chance to visit Sonya’s Garden. It’s a beautiful property, teeming with flowering plants and trees.
Because of its charm, Sonya’s Garden grew in popularity as a favorite wedding venue. But aside from this, it also has a bed and breakfast, a spa, a restaurant, a toiletry shop, a bakeshop, and even handmade furniture.
9. Have bulalo soup
When you are in Tagaytay and Batangas, you should never miss having bulalo soup. It’s beef bone with marrow and tender meat boiled for hours in a flavorful broth. Vegetables like string beans, potatoes, corn on a cob, and cabbages are added making bulalo a hearty and delicious soup.
The cold weather in Tagaytay is perfect for enjoying bowls of steaming hot bulalo soup. You can have it in any other restaurant but for more affordable finds, try Mer-Ben Tapsilogan.
10. Eat in a buffet restaurant
One of the best things to try in a place that you are visiting, especially if it is new to you, is to experience eating in a buffet restaurant. Chances are the restaurant would serve mostly local food so you would be able to taste flavors that are unique or particular to that locality.
In Tagaytay, one of our most favorite buffet restaurants in RSM Lutong Bahay that serves mostly Filipino food.
11. Buy fruits
Tagaytay is home to many farms so expect abundant supply of fruits and and even vegetables that can be bought even on the roadside. Fruits, particularly pineapples, avocado, jackfruit, and bananas are aplenty in Tagaytay.
You may opt to visit Mahogany Market if you want to check out a bigger selection of local produce or go to small fruit stalls located along the highway.
12. Buy buko pie
Possibly one of the best pasalubong from Tagaytay is buko (coconut) pie. If you have just recently visited Tagaytay, you would probably have heard your friends and colleagues asking you if you brought buko pie with you.
You can buy buko pie anytime from some of the most popular shops in Tagaytay like Colette’s Buko Pie, Cecilia’s Buko Pie, The Original Buko Pie, and Amira’s Buko Tart.
13. Try tawilis
Tawilis (Sardinella Tawilis) is a small freshwater fish found only in the Philippines. This fish may be small but it definitely packs a lot of flavor.
It is usually breaded and deep fried, and then served hot and crispy with a spicy vinegar dip. It is usually eaten during breakfast but, of course, it can be had any time as long as it is available.
14. Shop for cheap clothes in an ukay-ukay
Another popular activity in Tagaytay is to shop for second-hand items in an ukay-ukay. There are small ukay-ukay shops that are scattered in Tagaytay but the one place that you should perhaps visit is the Ukay-Ukay Hub along Aguinaldo Highway with its seemingly endless rows of jackets, shirts, pants, and other items.
15. Visit People’s Park in the Sky
Location: Tagaytay-Calamba Road
People’s Park in the Sky or simply People’s Park is where most families and groups of friends head over to when visiting Tagaytay. People here can have a picnic, play games, or just have a fun time in the company of each other.
People’s Park was originally intended to be a mansion for then US President Ronald Reagan who was supposed to visit the Philippines but eventually cancelled his trip. The unfinished mansion was subsequently converted to a park.
16. Visit Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria
Location: along Tagaytay-Calamba Road
Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria is a chapel dedicate to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The most distinguishing feature of which is the 50-foot image of the Virgin Mary located above the entrance.
Our Lady of Manaoag at Tierra de Maria (photo courtesy of Tierra de Maria Facebook page)
There is a chapel inside where Healing Masses are held as well as different images of the Blessed Virgin. This church is dubbed as a haven of meditation and enrichment.
Where to stay in Tagaytay
Since Tagaytay is a popular tourist destination, there are many hotels that you can choose from if you decide to spend a night or two here. Some of the hotels that you may consider are the following:
1. Joaquin’s Bed and Breakfast
2. Twin Lakes Hotel
3. The Junction Tagaytay
4. Cabins by Eco Hotel Tagaytay
5. Villa Ibarra Tagaytay
Tagaytay is a beautiful destinations and is perfect for satisfying those spur-of-the-moment travel cravings. It’s easy to get around, the food and the sights are amazing, and the chilly weather is always worth the travel.