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13 Top Bacolod Tourist Spots You Can’t Miss

bacolod tourist spots
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Bacolod City is known throughout the world for the colorful MassKara Festival and is well-regarded locally as a paradise for foodies. It’s also a good place to start if you want to explore the rest of Negros Occidental, the province Bacolod is located in. If you’re interested in visiting Negros Occidental, make sure to check out these hotels in Bacolod.

We’re sharing the top Bacolod tourist spots you should visit as well as a few sites that are just outside the city limits. 

13 Bacolod Tourist Spots

1. Negros Museum

This museum focuses on the history and lifestyle of Negros, particularly of wealthy hacienderos during the 19th and early 20th centuries. If you want to know what exactly sets Bacolod and the rest of Negros apart from the Philippines, this is the best place to start. The museum also hosts an art gallery that features works from local and international artists.

2. Manokan Country

Manokan Country

There are hundreds of excellent dining spots in Bacolod City alone. However, you would be missing out if you didn’t stop by Manokan Country, a restaurant district famous for chicken inasal, Bacolod’s culinary specialty.

If you’ve never been to Bacolod before, you’ll find that chicken inasal is unlike any barbecued chicken you’ve ever had. Every local has their favorite inasal restaurant, but chances are that you can’t go wrong with any of the inasal joints here.

3. Old Pala-Pala Market

This seafood market is the place to buy and enjoy fresh seafood and produce. If you’re hungry, you can have your seafood cooked the way you like it right there. Given the city’s passion for cuisine, you can rest assured that your food will be cooked to perfection.

4. Negros Showroom

The Negros showroom features handicrafts, snacks, pasalubong goodies, artworks, furniture, and other innovations from all over Negros Occidental. Make sure to stop by here for souvenirs before you leave.

5. Capitol Park and Lagoon

If you want to decompress, the Lagoon, as the locals call it, is a great place to do it. This park is located in front of the imposing Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol, formerly an American colonial era administrative building. 

The Lagoon is named after a large fishpond located in the center of the park. The park is a popular exercise spot and serves as “Kilometer Zero” for the province. Feeding the fish in the massive pond is also a popular diversion among the locals.

6. Art District

Entrance to the Art District of Bacolod by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0

For a relatively small city, Bacolod has an art scene that is much bigger and more influential than those of many other Philippine cities. Though there are art galleries and studios located all over Bacolod, the Art District in Barangay Mandalagan has a high concentration of them. If you’re interested in what the province’s up-and-coming artists have to offer, this is the place to be.

7. San Sebastian Cathedral

San Sebastian Church at twilight

Also known as the Bacolod Cathedral, this 19th-century coral stone structure is built in a baroque style. The building has come to be a symbol of Bacolod, and was a site of historical events related to the Negros Revolution and the Second World War, to name a few. As Bacolod was a major Spanish colonial settlement, it also overlooks the next site on this list.

8. Bacolod City Plaza

Bacolod City Plaza
Source: kitakitts

Officially known as the Plaza del 6 de Noviembre to commemorate the capitulation of the Spanish forces to the Negrense revolutionaries in 1898, the plaza is a popular hangout spot for locals and is a venue for cultural, political, and recreational activities.

It contains a popular bandstand with the names of Beethoven, Wagner, Haydn, and Mozart inscribed on the roof’s sides as well as a World War II memorial and other diversions.

9. Capitol Shopping District 

Also known as Bacolod’s Chinatown, this district has a sleepier and more laid-back vibe than the much older Binondo district in Manila. However, the food options here are going to compete with the very best Binondo has to offer. 

Make sure to hit up Sharyn’s and Eron’s for some cansi, a local favorite that’s sort of a cross between sinigang and bulalo. If you’re in the mood for something else, you can pick up locally-sourced coffee at Kuppa, fried chicken at Luisa’s, or the famous jumbo siopao at City Lunch.

10. Silay Heritage Houses

While Bacolod itself has a large number of heritage houses, Silay City’s collection is especially notable due to their state of preservation and proximity to each other. Their closeness and excellent preservation make it easy to visualize what life was like for the well-heeled from the mid-19th century up through the middle of the 20th century. 

While many of these houses are still inhabited and closed to the public, the Bernardino Jalandoni, Gaston, and Hofilena residences have been converted to museums and can be visited either by appointment or during specified visiting hours.

Bacolod’s main airport, the Bacolod–Silay International Airport is located relatively close by, so make sure to check out these historic houses before leaving Negros.

11. Mambukal Resort

Mambukal Resort
Source: Rodel Bontes

This affordable highland hot spring resort is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s located in the adjoining municipality of Murcia, less than an hour away from Bacolod by car under ideal traffic conditions. Mambukal is located within a forested area and features several hot springs, hiking trails, a series of waterfalls, and many other diversions.

12. The Ruins

It was built in 1920 by a Portuguese architect, for Mario and Maria, until 1941 the guerrilla forces whose fighting the Japanese burn this old Spanish house, so that the Japanese army will not convert this to a garrison. Source

Simply called “The Ruins” by locals, the Instagram-friendly ruins of the Don Mariano Lacson mansion are located within the adjoining city of Talisay, right next to Bacolod. The site is a favorite spot for photographers and is especially remarkable at sunset. A restaurant at the location is a popular spot for romantic get-togethers.

13. Negros Forests & Ecological Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Center

Located right in the middle of Bacolod, this low-key facility is not a zoo but a wildlife rescue and conservation center. Here you can see the world’s rarest pig, the Negros subspecies of the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons negrinus) as well as the world’s rarest deer, the Visayan spotted deer (Rusa alfredi). The conservation center is also home to several species of endemic birds as well as a few Visayan leopard cats (Prionailurus javanensis sumatranus).

These are just some of the places in and around the city that you could easily visit if you booked a single overnight stay in one of the hotels in Bacolod. If you want to visit other spots in Negros, you may want to book a few more nights to ensure that you could really take things in. 

Bacolod isn’t the only place in Negros that offers a wide selection of quality attractions. Other parts of the island offer world-class beaches, hiking trails, cuisine, and other great diversions. If those are what you’re after, you may want to book hotels or resorts closer to those locations, as they can be a long drive away from Bacolod. 

What you could be sure of, though, is that the island is not a place you can hope to explore in just a single weekend. Chances are, you’ll want to come back for more. 

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