Everyone’s favorite driving-distance destination has certainly grown leaps and bounds.
Tagaytay, with its relatively low population of 71,181 and an average temperature of 24°C, is probably the first choice when you need a quick out-of-town breather or an escape from the metro's stifling crowds and hot and humid weather. Aside from its cool, invigorating climate, the list of things to do in this city is endless.
With many things to offer, Tagaytay attracts people from all walks of life: stressed-out urban dwellers, couples, families, friends, the ambitious, the artsy, and of course, the food enthusiasts!
Here, we've rounded up a list of the hip, the happening, and the hidden spots you can discover on your quick getaway to Tagaytay.
WHAT TO SEE IN TAGAYTAY
Wander through indoor and outdoor exhibits of internationally acclaimed sculptor, Ramon Orlina. Famous for its glass sculptures, this private gallery shows off Orlina’s works, replicas of commissioned art, and collaborations with other known artists.
Entrance fee: P100/head for general admission and P80/head for students and senior citizens with valid IDs.
Hollywood Subdivision Road.,
Brgy. Tolentino East, Hollywood Subd., Tagaytay
Tuesdays to Sundays, 10AM – 6PM
In 2012, puzzle collector Georgina Gil-Lacuna was awarded the Guinness World Record for having what was once the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles. Hobbyists will enjoy walking through her 1,028-puzzle exhibit of 2D and 3D sets. The current holder for the said world record is Brazilian Luiza Figueiredo, with her collection of 1,047.
Entrance fee: P100/head (students and senior citizens with valid IDs can get 20% discount)
Cuadra Street, Brgy. Asasin, Tagaytay, Cavite
Daily, 8AM – 6PM
Tierra de Maria
Weary souls and tired hearts seek refuge at this 50-foot image with arms outstretched in welcome. Mama Mary’s sanctuary calls for thanksgiving and prayers for healing. Spend some time in prayer at the intimate chapel and marvel at the gorgeous views from the panoramic deck.
Tierra de Maria
Calamba Road, Tagaytay
Mondays to Fridays, 8AM – 5PM
Saturdays to Sundays, 8AM – 8PM
Of course, one simply can’t miss the breathtaking Taal views when in Tagaytay. Visible from dining establishments, hotels, resorts, cafés, and more, this is a view you can never get tired of. Wherever you are in Tagaytay, take in the calm and serene lake views as you refresh yourself with sights of the lush greens that surround it.
WHERE TO EAT IN TAGAYTAY
Meaning "big house" in Negrense, this dining spot by Antonio’s Group of Restaurants arguably tops the list of places to eat for frequent visitors and Tagaytay first-timers. Serving Filipino food with a shared sense of family and history, Balay Dako's will always welcome you home.
A crowd-favorite is their weekend breakfast buffet that’s worthy of a road trip, even for those who claim they aren’t morning people!
Nasugbu Highway, Tagaytay
Mondays to Thursdays, 11AM – 9PM
Fridays, 11AM – 10PM
Saturdays, 7AM – 10PM
Sundays, 7AM – 9PM
This famed Tagaytay hotel is known to have the best Taal Volcano view. Whether it's savoring an exquisite spread, feasting on local delicacies and international comfort food favorites, or dining on fresh, organic food, you're sure to have one of the most romantic meals ever—breathtaking views included!
Taal Vista Hotel
Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway
There are people who drive to Tagaytay just to have a steaming hot bowl of Bulalo. And many patrons would say that the best ones yet can be found at this market’s eateries. Simple, unassuming, and filled with other Tagaytay produce and delicacies, this row of bulalohan serves this Filipino favorite at very affordable prices.
Mahogany Ave., Tagaytay
Daily, 24 Hours
Family-friendly fun, accommodating service, and exquisite farm-to-table fare are what this hotel is all about. Indulge in delectable dishes at the in-house Cafe K—they're prepared by Masterchef Philippines Season 1 Grand Winner JR Royol and his expert team!
Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay
Crisanto M. Delos Reyes Ave.
Brgy. Kaybagal North, Tagaytay
Tagaytay's first food park is heaven for any foodie! With a multitude of themed food offerings and cuisines, this al-fresco dining hotspot is a great place to get together with family and friends. Plus, its artsy aesthetic deserves a spot on your social media feed too!
South StrEAT Gourmand Container Food Park
Everest Sky Pitch, Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road, Tagaytay
Tuesdays to Thursdays, 5PM - 11PM
Fridays to Sundays, 5PM - 12MN
Closed on Mondays
It's hard to find something better than a degustation that inspires relaxation. Here, carefully crafted dishes put all the pleasure in eating. Plus, the zen-like surroundings of Qiwellness Living (which has one of the best views of Taal) is a treat for the senses too!
Indulge in their Degustation at an exclusive price!
The Teahouse at Qiwellness Living
Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy. Maharlika East
Buko Pie and Tarts
Tagaytay pasalubong staples include buko pie and other tarts. With a wide variety of flavors from different brands and stalls located all over the city, it isn’t hard to find one that will suit you and your loved ones' liking.
Head to this little corner of peace at this charming B&B. Its in-house restaurant offers contemporary Filipino-Asian fusion dishes made with locally-sourced choice ingredients.
T House Tagaytay
3195 Calamba Road, Tagaytay
WHAT TO DO IN TAGAYTAY
Pamper Yourself at Nurture Wellness Village
What trip to Tagaytay doesn’t spell utter relaxation? Spoil yourself with one of their signature massages, spa treatments, and other de-stressing essentials. Its credentials include CNN Go’s 28 Most Relaxing Spas in Asia and Asia Spa Magazine’s Top 7 Spas in the Philippines, so you know you're in for some pampering bliss!
Nurture Wellness Village
Barangay Maitim II West
Spend the Day at Sky Ranch
Known as one of the city’s must-try experiences, this leisure park has become an entertainment complex filled with thrilling rides and food trip spots in a family-friendly environment. Don't forget to ride the "Sky Eye", which is one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the Philippines. It holds a spectacular view of the city and Taal Volcano!
Nasugbu Highway, Kaybagal South, Tagaytay
Mondays to Fridays, 10AM – 10PM
Saturdays to Sundays, 8AM – 10PM
Explore Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay's Expansive Grounds
With so many things for the whole family to enjoy, this hotel is worth mentioning twice! The kids and kids-at-heart might never want to leave, thanks to their outdoor pool, Aquatic Playground, petting farm, movie nights, bonfire, and parlor games.
Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay
Crisanto M. Delos Reyes Ave.
Brgy. Kaybagal North, Tagaytay
See Taal as More Than Just a View
What was always once just a view is worthy of being a destination, too. See the city from a different point of view as you embark on a 20-minute boat ride to the foot of Taal. A 45-minute or so hike leads you to exquisite blues and greens and stunning crater views beyond your imagination.
Boat fee: Approximately P2,000 for a maximum of 7 people
Environmental fee: P100/head
- Tour Guide: P500 for a maximum of 5 people
- Horseback Ride: P500/head
- Entry to Red Lava: P50/head
Talisay Boat Station
Brgy. Talisay, Batangas
Daily, 5AM – 5PM
HIDDEN GEMS TO DISCOVER IN TAGAYTAY
Located on the border of Tagaytay and Alfonso lies this quaint and picturesque Tuscan-Mediterranean restaurant. Dine on sumptuous full-course meals amidst a romantic setting. You’ll leave with a long list of things to love about the place!
Marcia Adams’ Restaurant
Thursdays to Tuesdays, 11AM – 9PM
Their edible honey products and beauty goods have a cult following for being all-natural. Learn about their humble beginnings, tour and learn about the property, and even sample fresh honey.
Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm
7 KM 47 Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm
Lalaan 1 Aguinaldo Highway, Silang, Cavite
Daily, 8:30AM – 5:30PM
If you’re in for good vibes only, then this is the place to be. Laidback, artsy, and homey, it makes for the best place to just chill and let your worries float away. Check out their arts and crafts, as well as artsy handmade accessories and décors.
Dreamland Arts & Crafts Café
Purok 157 Calamba Road, Tagaytay
Daily, 24 Hours
Frolic through expansive gardens and lush greens. What was once a family retreat house has opened its doors for the public to experience the serenity it has to offer. Known for heartwarming home-cooked style meals, Balay Indang can easily become your favorite hidden spot.
88 Mahabang Kahoy Cerca, Indang, Cavite
DG TRAVELER TIPS
Know where you want to go. With so many places to visit and things to see, you might end up getting overwhelmed. But of course, leave some room for discovery, too!
In all honesty, any time is a great time to go to Tagaytay. But if you’re looking to relish the cool breeze, the best times to go would be November through March.
If you plan on going pasalubong shopping, bring a cooler with you. Lots of Tagaytay’s delicacies and treats will need to be refrigerated immediately!
Another tip for buying pasalubong is to always carry small change. Not a lot of small establishments will have change, so it’s best to be prepared.
Never visit or go around Tagaytay with a full stomach. Practically every corner has delicious eats to offer!
WHAT TO WEAR
Casual and comfortable clothing is always a must! With a no-frills vacation such as this, anything goes.
A light jacket will always come in handy, too, as it gets quite chilly in the morning and at night.
Of course, if you plan to stay out in the sun, wear sunscreen and/or clothing to protect you from the sun, as even though Tagaytay is known to be breezy, it can get really hot as well!
HOW TO GET THERE
Taking approximately 1.5 hours, this is possibly the fastest and easiest way to get to Tagaytay. Drive through SLEX and take the Santa Rosa Exit. Tagaytay will just be a straight drive from there.
Catch a 2-3 hours bus ride to Tagaytay at Park & Ride in Lawton, Manila or HK Sun Plaza in Pasay. Your fare will cost you around PP80.
Though a more expensive alternative to the public bus, taking a van or an FX will take about 1.5-2 hours. Catch a ride at the EGI Mall near the LRT Gil Puyat Station in Taft, StarMall Mandaluyong along EDSA cor. Shaw Blvd., Metropoint Mall at EDSA Rotunda, or at the back of EDSA-Taft MRT Station's McDonald's. Rates start at around P180.
WHERE TO STAY
As many as there are things to do in Tagaytay, so are the number of accommodations. It all boils down to the kind of traveler you are and what you're looking for in a stay.
Luxe travelers will feel at home at Taal Vista Hotel and Twin Lakes Hotel Tagaytay. Other stays perfect for romantic getaways include Hotel Monticello Tagaytay, Alta D' Tagaytay Hotel, and Splash Suites Tagaytay. If you're one to look for artsy and boutique stays, then Wilson's Place, T House Tagaytay, and Tagaytay Highlands' Altamira Boutique House are the ones for you. Families shouldn't miss out on staying at Kasa Luntian, Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay or Crosswinds Resort Suites. Wellness aficionados will reconnect with nature at Nurture Wellness Village. Those looking for affordable stays will find Quest Hotel Tagaytay and Cabins by Eco Hotel ideal.
Check out our exclusive partner resorts in Tagaytay!
Illustrations by Ce Manalang
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This article was last edited on July 11, 2019 by the DG Traveler team.
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