Tagaytay is a beautiful city in the Philippines just 40 miles south of Manila. It’s known for its wonderful, mild climate, scenic landscape, and peaceful appeal. It’s full of natural beauty, and most of the city’s top sites are outdoors.
It has a quaint countryside appeal. And, considering it’s a Southeast Asian city, Tagaytay is also very affordable. If you’re planning a visit, we’ve created a list of all the best attractions and activities.
So here they are, the top things to do in Tagaytay, Philippines.
Top Things to Do in Tagaytay
Are you trying to decide where to go in Tagaytay first? Here are six activities that should be at the very top of your Philippines bucket list.
Taal Volcano is one of the most popular Tagaytay tourist spots. It’s both the smallest active volcano in the world and the second most active volcano in the Philippines. It’s full of beauty and wonder.
If you want to trek around the volcano, you have to cross the Taal Lake via boat. This is the Philippine’s third-largest lake and another one of the city’s stunning sites.
Or, if you’d prefer to view its grand beauty from a distance, head to Mount Sungay. This mountain is easily accessible and lies on the eastern edge of the Tagaytay Range. This is the place to go for the best views of the volcano.
2. Soak in the local culture at the Mahogany Market
The Mahogany Beef Market and Bulalohan is a fresh food market. It’s an exciting place to discover the local lifestyle and indulge in the city’s flavorful cuisine.
You’ll find lots of fresh food, including produce, meat, coffee, ready-made meals, and more. Bulalo is a specialty meal at the market. It’s a hearty soup made from fresh, local beef.
The market is open 24/7. Whether you’re looking for a strong cup of coffee in the morning or trying to satisfy a midnight craving, you can always stop by.
Nurture Farmacy is an eco-friendly property that specializes in sustainable farming. Visit this location and become one with nature. Enjoy an interactive farm experience.
Discover the connection between the human body and medicinal plants. Learn how to make organic pesticides and fertilizers. See how earthworms aid in the growth of chemical-free vegetables and fruit.
Don’t forget to check out Balik Tanaw. This is a museum on the property that highlights and displays the weaving culture of the Tingguian tribe from Abra.
4. Take in the fresh open air at Tagaytay Picnic Grove
Tagaytay Picnic Grove is an area featuring scenic picnic spots in a gorgeous hilltop setting. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some of the best views of the city. Pack some snacks and a blanket and relax in the fresh open air.
You’ll be able to see views of the Taal Volcano and lake. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.
Activities are also offered. These include zip-lining, horseback riding, and walking paths. Restroom facilities and food vendors are also available.
Take a break from exploring the outdoor areas of Tagaytay, and step into the Museo Orlina.
This modern art museum showcases the works of glass sculptor Ramon Orlina. It’s filled with colorful, abstract shapes made of glass. They’re both unique and elegant.
The museum is located both indoors and outdoors. The garden features quirky sculptures made of various materials. On the rooftop of the museum, you’ll be able to see straight to Taal Lake.
6. Enjoy an outing at a stunning hilltop location
People’s Park in the Sky, also referred to as Palace in the Sky, is a historical urban park. What makes this area so fascinating is its history.
The park was converted from an incomplete mansion complex that was built during the Marcos era (1965 to 1986). It was being developed to host US President Ronald Reagan. However, the construction of the mansion stopped abruptly when Reagan canceled his visit.
Later on, the property and the surrounding area was turned into an urban park. It’s in a superb location, atop Mt. Gonzales. The hilltop offers wooden footbridges, benches, and gazebos.
As with plenty of other Tagaytay spots, you’ll be able to capture some awesome Instagram-worthy pictures. Keep an eye out for the giant pineapple structure.
Unusual Things to Do in Tagaytay
Are you looking to mix it up a bit and check out some out-of-the-box attractions on your vacation? If so, here are some places to visit in Tagaytay that are totally unique.
Fantasy World (Lemery Castle) is an abandoned amusement park complex. It was left unfinished when funding for the project ran out. Now, it attracts guests for other reasons.
It’s a popular spot to wander around and take pictures. The large medieval castle and colorful rides are set against the Tagaytay greenery, it’s effortlessly captivating. You can also rent out fairy-tale themed costumes to take pictures in.
For travelers who aren’t afraid of heights, there is a large hanging bridge inside the complex that you can walk across. The castle has a magical yet eerie feeling to it.
8. Visit a piece full museum
Puzzle Mansion is a unique museum filled with a large collection of jigsaw puzzles. Currently, there are about 1,500 completed puzzles, but this number keeps growing. The museum is even in the Guinness world record for housing the largest puzzle collection.
There are all different kinds of designs you can view, including landscapes, kid’s characters, portraits, and more. There are also 3D and 4D pieces. However, the Ravensburger Puzzle is the most impressive. With 32,000 pieces in total, this is the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle.
If the museum leaves you feeling inspired, you can purchase one of these fun games from the museum’s store on your way out.
9. Zen out at a Buddhist temple
Korean Temple Silang, Cavite is a Korean Buddhist temple in Tagaytay. The property features beautiful grounds and has a very serene and peaceful environment. The gardens are well-manicured and filled with many unique statues.
The best time to visit is in the morning. This is when you can really enjoy the calmness of the environment. If you choose to enter the temple, make sure to dress appropriately. It’s considered respectful to cover your shoulders and knees.
The temple is open to the public and makes for a relaxing break from the city.
Safety in Tagaytay
Tagaytay is considered a very safe place to visit. The locals are known for being friendly and welcoming, and crime rarely occurs. However, although pickpocketing isn’t common, it is something you should keep an eye out for. Don’t flash your valuables and try and not carry large amounts of cash on you.
If you’re planning on hiking or exploring nature, make sure you’re prepared. Always bring water and some form of GPS.
Taking safety measures and ensuring you have everything on your Philippines packing list can ensure you enjoy your time in paradise. Check out our roundup of the best travel insurance.
Things to do in Tagaytay at Night
Tagaytay is mostly known for its outdoor, day-time activities. However, there are a few things you can enjoy after the sun sets. Here are some fun places to go in Tagaytay at night.
10. Enjoy some night time thrills
Sky Ranch is an amusement park that caters to both kids and adults. There are lots of fun rides for all ages, including thrill rides, kiddie rides, and family-rides. There are also entertaining attractions, like ziplining, a 4D simulator, and an inflatable play zone.
You can win prizes at the carnival-style game area. Or, enjoy a break at one of the numerous restaurants and food/drink kiosks inside the park. Spend as long or as little as you’d like here. You pay per ride or activity.
Sky Ranch is open every day until 10:00 pm.
11. Visit a creative cafe
Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe is a bohemian style cafe that invites guests to access their creative side. The cafe has an imaginative environment. The walls are decorated floor to ceiling with funky art pieces.
There is a small entrance fee, but you’re credited this back to purchase food, drinks, and artsy souvenirs. There are also crafts that guests can create while they visit. Board games are also available to play.
The whole cafe has a very welcoming and friendly vibe, and it’s open 24/7. For a fun night of wholesome entertainment, this is the place to visit in Tagaytay.
12. Have dinner and cocktails with a view
Qiwellness Living is a spa in Tagaytay that offers some of the most stunning views of Taal Lake. One of the best features – apart from their relaxing treatments and services, is their teahouse.
This is a great place to enjoy some cocktails and al fresco dining with picturesque views. The prices are going to be higher than your typical restaurant in the city. However, for a fine dining experience with gorgeous views and attentive service, they’re very reasonable.
This is the best place in Tagaytay to cap off your night.
Where to Stay in Tagaytay – San Jose
San Jose is the best area of Tagaytay to stay in. It’s more or less in the middle of the city and offers a nice selection of accommodation options and restaurants.
- Museo Orlina
- Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy – Pink Sisters Convent
- Sky Ranch
Best Hostel in Tagaytay – Country Living Hostel – Tagaytay Center
You’ll find all of your hostel necessities at this friendly backpackers. There is free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour reception, security lockers, a social area, and a cafe.
It’s also in a great central location, and within walking distance to the bus stop. If you’re looking for budget accommodation, you can’t beat the prices of their shared dorm rooms.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Tagaytay – Accommodation With Breakfast
This homey, one-bedroom Airbnb has everything you need for a comfortable stay in the city. Plus, you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
It features a balcony, TV with Netflix, air conditioning, and a heated shower. There is also a small kitchen where you can prepare basic meals. Within walking distance, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in Tagaytay.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Tagaytay – Lee Boutique Hotel
Lee Boutique Hotel is a great value-for-money. The property features a swimming pool, spa, wellness center, room service, and a restaurant.
Every room includes a flat-screen TV, a minibar, and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is also included in the price of some rooms.
Romantic Things to Do in Tagaytay
If you’re looking for romantic date ideas, make sure to add these activities to your Tagaytay itinerary.
13. Go on a date at Sonya’s Secret Garden
Sonya’s Secret Garden is a Restaurant, Bed & Breakfast, Spa, and Wedding venue. It’s the perfect place in Tagaytay to enjoy an intimate date.
The on-site restaurant is tucked into a tropical garden. You’ll be surrounded by fragrant flowers and the sounds of nature. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic outing.
Many of the items on the menu are even grown in the property’s gardens. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet, or order dishes off of the menu.
Nurture Wellness Village is located deep within the fragrant coffee orchards of Tagaytay. This wellness center believes in healing by, and through nature. Enjoy a specialty massage or body scrub amid a relaxing ambiance.
This is the perfect place to go for a quick couples getaway. The area is quiet, peaceful, and lush with different types of flora. Everything about your experience is designed to encourage relaxation.
It will set you into full vacation mode. Even better, the prices are very reasonable.
Always Be Insured
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favorite travel insurance provider.
To find out why I recommend World Nomads, check out my World Nomads Insurance review.
Best Free Things to Do in Tagaytay
Trying to decide what to do in Tagaytay on a budget? Check out these free points of interest.
15. Take a breather at the Pink Sisters Convent
Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy – Pink Sisters Convent is a beautiful catholic church in Tagaytay. It’s a solemn place in the city you can visit to recollect your thoughts, pray, meditate, or just enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
The church has a simple gray, concrete facade with a pale blue/green roof. The surrounding landscape is what makes this site stand out. It’s surrounded by beautiful and well-maintained gardens. This gives the church an exceptionally tranquil and relaxing environment.
16. Learn about a great Filipino leader
The Apolinario Mabini Shrine honors the Philippines’ first prime minister, Apolinario Mabini. On the property, there’s a shrine and museum. Step inside and learn about an important part of Philippine history.
There are artifacts and displays from the Late Spanish and Early American era. Enjoy an informative, educational, and entertaining experience. This attraction is open from Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free.
17. See one of the tallest Tagaytay attractions
The Philippines is a very religious country, and therefore, contains some pretty impressive religious sites. Our Lady of Manaoag, Tierra de Maria is a key church in Tagaytay. This is where many locals go to pray to Mother Mary.
The focal point is the 50-foot tall reddish-brown figure of Mother Mary. The walls that surround her are full of dried flowers and images that aid in the beauty of the location.
Tagaytay Packing List
1. Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottles are tough, lightweight, and maintain the temperature of your beverage – so you can enjoy a cold red bull, or a hot coffee, no matter where you are. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans!
2. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
3. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash.
4. Camera or Cell Phone Camera Accessories: One thing’s for sure – Japan is a picturesque destination! Get perfect shots from your phone using clip-on-lenses with wide-angle, close-up and optical zoom. With the ability to turn travel pictures from basic to professional, this universal lens sits neatly over any phone camera and comes with a durable, travel-friendly case!
5. International Adapter: Japanese outlets accommodate typical US two-pronged plugs, but for electronics that have three prongs, or if your plugs are of a different variety, you’ll need an adapter. Save yourself the hassle of trying to track down an adapter at your destination and paying twice as much than planning ahead by buying one online.
Books to Read in Tagaytay
The Backpacker Bible – Get it for free! Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building a life of long-term travel with an online income. To inspire and help the next generation of Broke Backpackers, you can now grab ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day’ for free! Get your copy here.
Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island: Ever wondered what life on a deserted island would be like? Well, James experiments with this, spending months on uninhabited islands in the Philippines, going back to the basics of survival and diving into the ‘real Philippines’.
History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos: For the history nerds, this is an awesome background of The Philippines, the culture and what went into making it the incredible country it is today. Seriously, well worth a read!
Things to Do with Kids in Tagaytay
Are you looking for tourist spots in Tagaytay that cater to kids? If so, here are a couple of activities your little ones will love.
Paradizoo is a tourist spot in Tagaytay that caters especially to kids. The park spans 25-acres and contains animals and beautiful grounds. The vegetable garden contains a variety of fresh edible vegetables. The flower garden is a tropical paradise filled with different types of colorful flowers.
Kids will love the educational outdoor programs that teach them about nature in a fun, hands-on manner. They can learn about things like farming, animals, insects, and more.
They can also see and interact with domestic farm animals in their natural habitat. These include llamas, camels, miniature horses, and ostriches.
The Residence Inn Zoo is another family-fun attraction that features an array of live animals and fun activities.
At the Serpentarium, you can view different species of creepy-crawly reptiles. At Eagles Ridge, you’ll see different breeds of eagles. The zoo grounds also feature farm animals.
If you’re visiting on the weekend, make sure to check out the animal show. You’ll be able to witness the talent of animals paired with a magic performance. Lastly, take a ride on the zoo’s towering zipline and admire views of the majestic Taal Volcano from up-high.
Other Things to Do in Tagaytay
Looking for even more things to do during your trip? Here are a few more of the best places in Tagaytay to check out.
20. Discover a hidden paradise at Saluysoy Falls
Saluysoy Falls is a beautiful, relatively small waterfall that empties into a natural pool of water. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing dip and a nice reprieve from the hot sun. You’ll be able to fully relax while being completely surrounded by nature.
There is also a small cave nearby where rainwater collects. Spend a few hours lounging around in the lush Filipino landscape.
21. Relax and recharge at Ming’s Garden
Ming’s Garden is a restaurant, garden, and event center. Their lavish garden provides the ideal setting for a peaceful walk and the perfect backdrop for photos.
Their restaurant, Mozu at Ming’s, serves classic Filipino dishes in an atmospheric setting. It provides for a comfortable dining experience, surrounded by natural beauty. They also have an on-site shop that sells herbs, spices, and gardening essentials.
This is a lovely place to wind down after a busy day of touring Tagaytay.
22. Have a go at wakeboarding
Republic Waterpark is located just outside of Tagaytay, about 30-40 minutes (15 miles) from the city center. It’s a fun place to enjoy a day at the lake. There are two lakes that guests can use for wakeboarding.
If you’re a beginner, the friendly instructors are there to aid you in learning the proper techniques. If you’ve wakeboarded before, there are ramps you can have a go at. There is also a large restaurant and a swimming pool.
23. Do some shopping in a tranquil setting
Ayala Malls Serin is a three-level shopping mall that is like a breath of fresh air. It has a lovely outdoor open-air layout – so you don’t feel like you’re spending the day indoors. There is also a beautiful central garden with natural plants and trees.
You’ll find all your basic items, like clothing, beauty products, and of course, souvenirs. If you’re hungry, take a break at one of the restaurants and indulge in Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino cuisine.
Day Trips From Tagaytay
If you have some extra time on your hands, a Tagaytay day trip is the perfect addition to your vacation. Here are two nearby options that will provide an epic day of Philippines sightseeing.
Access your adventurous side at Panguil River Eco-Tourism Park
Panguil River Eco-Tourism Park is located in Pangil, a municipality in the province of Laguna. It’s about 2.5 hours (56 miles) from Tagaytay. This fun park offers lots of exciting outdoor activities.
The Ambon-Ambon Falls are the main attraction. They’re located within the park, but to reach them, you’ll need to take a group tour led by a knowledgeable guide. This is a great activity for nature lovers.
You’ll be able to combine trekking with river crossings. You can either cross the rivers with a raft, or you can swim across. It’s a fun excursion almost all skill levels can enjoy. And, a great thing about the hike is that it’s covered by tree canopies, so you’ll have plenty of shade.
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It’s a little less than a 2-hour drive (40 miles) from Tagaytay. It’s the second most populated city in the country and has something for everyone.
If you’re a fan of history, make sure to visit the Intramuros District. This area of the city contains many Spanish-era landmarks. See the Spanish fortress, Fort Santiago. Visit the San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in the country.
As far as modern attractions go, you’ll find plenty of those too. Two fun options are the National Planetarium and the Manila Ocean Park, which is an oceanarium.
3 Day Itinerary in Tagaytay
Now that we’ve covered all of the city’s top attractions, here is our suggested three day Tagaytay tourist spots itinerary. This is the best way to go about exploring the city.
Day 1 – Discover the local landscape and culture
Kick-off your first day in Tagaytay at the Taal Volcano. This is the city’s most popular attraction, and therefore, a Tagaytay must visit. To reach the volcano, you’ll need to cross the Taal Lake. This is a popular activity, and you’ll find plenty of areas around the lake where the locals will take you across. Spend a few hours exploring the natural beauty of this impressive volcano.
When you’re done, your next stop should be the Puzzle Mansion. If you’re not renting a car or a motorbike, the easiest way to travel around is by jeepney, which is like a small bus. They’re all over the city, and you’ll be able to easily find one next to all of the popular attractions in Tagaytay. The volcano to the museum via jeepney will take you between 30-40 minutes.
Spend some time wandering around this puzzling museum. Then, head to the Mahogany Market. You’ll get there in about 10-20 minutes by jeepney. This market is open 24/7, so you can spend as long as you’d like walking around, exploring the local culture.
Day 2 – Take in the stunning scenery and get creative
Start your second day in Tagaytay exploring the People’s Park in the Sky. This large historical park is full of attractions and sites. You’ll probably want to spend at least 2-3 hours walking around.
Afterward, head to Tagaytay Picnic Grove. The distance between these two attractions is just 2.5 miles, so you’ll get there by jeepney in about 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have any snacks on you, don’t worry. There are plenty of food vendors where you can purchase a local meal.
Next, you’ll probably want to spend some time indoors, so head to Museo Orlina. You’ll get there in 5-10 minutes by jeepney. Wander around this visually stunning glass museum. Then, hop on another jeepney for 5-10 minutes and end your day at Dreamland Arts and Crafts Cafe.
Day 3 – Discover the city’s most enchanting and entertaining sites
The perfect place to start your third day in Tagaytay is at Fantasy World. Spend a few hours walking around and taking pictures in this deserted theme park. When you’re done, hop on a jeepney for 20-25 minutes and head to Sonya’s Secret Garden. Enjoy a local meal in a peaceful and tranquil setting.
Once you’ve recharged, head to Sky Ranch. You’ll get there in about 15-20 minutes on a jeepney. This theme park will keep you entertained for hours. You can either end your itinerary here or head to Tierra de Maria and see the giant Mother Mary Statue. The distance between these two attractions is about 20 minutes by jeepney.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the top Tagaytay places to visit. This city is full of wonder, unique sites, and very friendly locals. It’s the perfect place to take a peaceful holiday vacation. It has a wonderful small town appeal, with beautiful, photogenic sites around every corner.
Explore the majestic natural landscape, find inner peace, and indulge in flavorful Filipino cuisine. However you decided to spend your time, this guide will make sure you hit all of the highlights, as well as some hidden gems.
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