Discover the beauty of Legazpi City in Albay. Find out the best tourist spots to visit, where to stay, what local cuisine to try, and more. Read this guide to help you plan the ultimate getaway to the home of Mayon Volcano.
Legazpi City’s claim to fame is the Mount Mayon, a perfectly symmetrical volcano and also the most active one in the Philippines. However, Mount Mayon is just one of the many reasons why tourists flock the city.
The City of Fun and Adventure, Legazpi City is located in the province of Albay in the Bicol Region. Around 532 kilometers South of Metro Manila, it serves as Bicol’s center of transportation, education, health services, commerce, and tourism and is the capital city of Albay.
Legazpi City is also the gateway to many amazing destinations the region has to offer, such as swimming with the whale sharks in Donsol and wakeboarding in Naga.
If you're looking for an escape from your busy urban lifestyle, Legazpi City is the place to go because 90% of it is actually rural, with mostly plains on the northeast and rolling hills on the south. There are coastal areas here as well, which explains why it was originally a fishing settlement called Sawangan.
The city is susceptible to typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and rising sea levels due to its geographical location within the Pacific Ring of Fire.
But not to worry, a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation strategy is already in place and has even earned Legazpi recognition as a model city for the implementation of risk reduction management practices by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
There are a ton of historical and cultural sites, scenery, and action-packed adventures to discover here. Read on and learn how you can best enjoy your trip to Legazpi City.
Starting February 26, 2021, domestic tourists from the Philippines can once again enjoy Legazpi Albay’s historical landmarks and mountain views. But with the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has released a set of guidelines and tourist requirements to abide and consider before you make your trip to this idyllic city in Albay.
Legazpi Albay is open to residents and domestic tourists provided they’ll undergo symptom screening.
Domestic tourists can enter Legazpi City via Legazpi Airport (LGP). Take note that all inbound travelers must report to Legazpi City Convention Center, Airport Access Road, Brgy. Cruzada, Legazpi City (LCCHQ) for symptom screening.
Here are the requirements that you need to prepare before going to Legazpi Albay:
Undergo symptom screening
All residents and domestic tourists planning to visit Legazpi must undergo symptom screening at LCCHQ. The Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) will monitor all inbound travelers in their respective barangays in order to confirm they’ve undergone symptom screening.
Once you're in Legazpi Albay, make sure you follow these safety protocols:
Minimum health standards: Mask and face shield
All residents and domestic tourists must wear face masks and face shields, especially when visiting public markets, shopping centers, and other establishments. Travelers must observe social distancing and sanitize their hands regularly.
All travelers, including drivers, are required to follow the mandatory “no face shield, no mask, no ride” policy, This includes public transportation such as jeepneys, taxi cabs, tricycles, and many more.
There are restaurants and food establishments in Legazpi Albay that offer dine-in services. Take note that both employees and dine-in guests must wear face masks, face shields, and observe social distancing.
Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the tourist spots of Legazpi Albay, which includes Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga Church, and many more.
Observe social distancing and make sure to wear a mask and face shield when visiting attractions in Legazpi. Take note that guests can only join tours organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited tour operators.
Weather-wise, the best time to visit is during the summer months between March through May. This way, you can make the most out of the many outdoor activities available. If you wish to experience the Ibalong Festival though, you should visit when it happens in August.
Legazpi is known as the gateway to Bicol because of its central location in the region. The city is also very accessible. You can choose among various modes of transportation via land and air.
Flying to Legazpi from Manila and Cebu
Air travel is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Legazpi City. Travel time usually takes 55 minutes to 1 hour. The Legazpi Domestic Airport is the busiest non-international airport in Luzon and has daily flights to and from Manila. Alternatively, you can also catch a one-hour flight to Legazpi from Cebu via Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
Traveling to Legazpi from Manila or parts of Luzon by Bus
There are different bus stations or points of origin in Manila depending on which bus liners you choose. You can ride a bus from any of these points: Araneta Center Bus Station, EDSA-Cubao, LRT-Buendia via EDSA-Pasay, Ermita or Alabang. All these buses will take you to the Legazpi Grand Central Terminal. Travel time is usually between 9 - 12 hours.
Finding transportation is fairly easy in the city of Legazpi. Public utility vehicles such as tricycles, jeepneys, UV Express vans, and taxis are available.
Tricycles are three-wheeled motorcycle cabs. You will usually find them waiting for passengers at a designated tricycle stop. Take note that tricycles can only take you to designated locations.
Tricycles usually need to fill their cab with four to eight passengers before leaving. If you don't want to wait, you'll need to rent the tricycle and pay for the corresponding rate.
Jeepneys and UV Express Vans
Riding a jeepney is the cheapest way to travel within the city. They usually follow a designated route. You can look at the sides of the jeepneys or on the signboard on the window to find out what their route is.
UV Express vans are air-conditioned utility vehicles that usually seat 10 - 12 passengers. Like jeepneys, they also follow a designated route.
You can find a jeepney and UV Express terminal at the LKY Metro Transport and Lifestyle Hub, a small commercial center right across from the Legazpi Grand Central Terminal.
You can usually find taxi cabs at the airport or some of the malls. You may also choose to call the taxi company directly if you want a taxi for hire similar to renting a car.
Video by the Philippine Department of Tourism
Whether it's studying the remains of the church at the Cagsawa Ruins, enjoying the nightlife at the Embarcadero or joining an ATV tour, there's something here for everyone.
A great way to understand the city and its people is to learn about it not just for what it is now but also for what it used to be. Visiting Bicol's historical places as well as its new developments will make you truly appreciate one of its major cities — Legazpi.
Join the locals in August when people celebrate the epic story of Ibalong and three legendary heroes by parading on the streets dressed and masked as them. It's a non-religious festival wherein both locals and tourists are invited to participate.
Love old churches? Then you'll love the Daraga Church. Also called the Nuestra Señora de la Porteria Parish Church, it was built in 1772 by the Franciscans in Daraga, Albay. It is known as the crowning glory of religious architecture in the province with a facade made from volcanic rocks.
This is what remains of a church built by the Franciscans in the 17th Century. It was destroyed first by Dutch pirates then by Mount Mayon when it erupted in 1814. The site is now a park and declared a national cultural treasure in 2015.
Aside from taking beautiful photos, you can visit a branch of the National Museum of the Philippines here, shop for souvenirs or go on an ATV adventure. There's even a resort with a pool where you can swim while marveling at the majestic Mount Mayon.
St. Gregory the Great Cathedral
Want to see one of the oldest Roman Catholic Churches in the country? This was built by Spanish missionaries in the 1580s using wooden materials. Improvements were made to it until it was also destroyed when Mount Mayon erupted. It was reconstructed again in 1834 then became a cathedral in 1951. You can find it easily at the Old Albay District.
Also called the Freedom Park, this is a Spanish-style plaza dedicated to the first Governor of Albay, Jose Ma. Peñaranda. It is surrounded by the Albay Capitol, Legazpi City Hall and the St. Gregory the Great Cathedral. It's a nice place to relax or people-watch.
If you want to catch some of the biggest events in Legazpi, chances are you'll find them here. Inaugurated in 1997, it's a multi-purpose, domed sports and event stadium that seats 6,000 people.
Embarcadero de Legazpi
Go here for an array of lifestyle options, such as dining, shopping, and entertainment. A premier waterfront development, this is the place to be to enjoy the city's nightlife.
You can even try kart racing and the 350-meter zipline. Soon to rise is a 90-feet high skywalk that will give you an amazing view of Mount Mayon and the cityscape.
The views in Legazpi City are spectacular and you can enjoy them in various places in the city. A lot of these places also offer fun and adrenaline-pumping activities for you to enjoy.
This coastal road network offers a spectacular view of Mount Mayon. However, it's also a place to check out notable landmarks, dine with a view from among the several cafes and restaurants lined up, watch or join sports activities, and even jog, run, walk, bike or do Zumba.
Lignon Hill Nature Park
You can watch the sunrise or sunset here and also get a panoramic 360-degree view of the city, Daraga, Albay Gulf, and Mount Mayon. It’s also home to a 320-meter zipline plus other extreme sports and adventures like rappelling, hiking, biking, and paintball.
Need a taste of history? You can get it here too at the Japanese Tunnel where you can pretend to be a Japanese soldier during World War II.
Albay Park and Wildlife
Traveling with kids? This is a great place to take them. You can see various animals, such as the Philippine Hawk Eagle, bleeding heart pigeons, crocodiles, and more. You can even have a picnic, go boat riding and let your kids play on the playground.
This is one of the province's newest attractions. The lake is small but it provides a great view of Mayon and has a nice restaurant. You can also rent a bamboo raft for Php 50 per person.
Mayon Volcano National Park and ATV Tours
Want to get up close to the volcano? Sign up for an ATV tour. It's an exhilarating activity that's not for the fainthearted but it's something you will truly enjoy.
One of the greatest things about the Filipino food is in Bicol region. Don't pass up this opportunity to try Bicolano cuisine while you're here. Bicolanos love to cook and eat.
Expect to enjoy very tasty food usually with a combination of hot spices and coconut cream, such as in two of their popular dishes, Laing and Bicol Express.
In the mood for other cuisines? Don't fret because there are 110 bars and restaurants to choose from in Legazpi City. Here are some of the top choices of tourists.
1st Colonial Grill
Photo by 1st Colonial Grill
Located at the Pacific Mall at F. Imperial St., this mid-range restaurant is very popular for their Filipino, Asian, and vegetarian-friendly meals. Don't miss out on their bestsellers like Sisig, Chili Ice Cream, Tinapa Rice, and Coffee.
Small Talk Cafe
If you're on the hunt for pizzas and pasta dishes, this Filipino / Asian cafe at Dona Aurora street is the place to be. They serve vegetarian and vegan-friendly options too.
Want to explore Bicolandia cuisine and other Filipino dishes? This restaurant located at J. Rizal street in Old Albay is especially popular for their Crispy Pata, Laing, Pinangat with Crab, and Bicol Express.
When it's time for dessert, it's time for Special Halo-Halo and you can get it from this restaurant located at the Landco Business Park. You can try the other desserts on their menu too.
Photo by The Oriental Legazpi
The city has 9 hotels accredited by the Department of Tourism plus 60 other hotels, inns, and pension houses. Below are the top choices for Legazpi hotels according to budget-friendly, mid-range, and luxury accommodations.
If your budget is tight, you don't have to scrimp so much on accommodations because Legazpi City has several hostels and inns that can provide you with your basic necessities.
Mayon Backpackers Hostel
Photo by Mayon Backpackers Hostel
This is a small, family-run hostel in Maoyod Subdivision in Old Albay and within striking distance to tourist attractions. They offer free internet, free parking, breakfast, air conditioning, kitchenette, family rooms.
Legazpi Tourist Inn
This non-smoking hotel located at the corner of Quezon Avenue and Lapu-Lapu Street is close to Lignon Hill Nature Park. They offer Free Wi-Fi, airport transportation, air conditioning, non-smoking rooms, coffee shop, baggage storage, 24 hour front desk, and parking.
If what you're after is comfort, Legazpi City has a lot of mid-range accommodations that offer the best value in terms of price and amenities.
This boutique hotel located in the middle of the Legazpi Business district offers free Wi-Fi, breakfast, bar, restaurant, and airport transportation.
The Marison Hotel
Photo by The Marison Hotel
Located at corner Imelda Roces Avenue in Gogon, this 3-star hotel offers free parking, free Wi-Fi, airport transportation, pool, restaurant, gym, and room service.
If you have the budget to indulge in premium amenities, Legazpi City has several four-star hotels to choose from.
The Oriental Legazpi
Located in Sto. Nino Village, this hotel offers an amazing view of the Mayon Volcano, Albay Gulf and the Legazpi cityscape. It's only a 15-minute drive to the airport and a 20-minute drive to the city.
Photo by The Oriental Legazpi
They offer free parking, bar / lounge, pool, fitness center, room service, restaurant, free Wi-Fi, spa, air conditioning, in-room refrigerator, family rooms, non-smoking rooms, suites, among others.
Hotel St. Ellis
This hotel is centrally located along Rizal Street and just a 3-kilometer drive from the airport. Their amenities include a pool, Essences Spa, Salon Mye, fitness center, kiddie activity room, free Wi-Fi, room service, restaurant, free parking, breakfast, air conditioning, family rooms, non-smoking rooms, suites, among others.
To make the most out of your time in Legazpi City, here is a suggested itinerary for 3 days and 2 nights stay.
07:00 AM - ETA at Legazpi City
08:00 - 09:00 AM - Visit Peñaranda Park, Legazpi City Hall and Cathedral of St. Gregory the Great
09:30 - 11:00 AM - Visit Albay Astrodome and Legazpi Boulevard
11:00 - 12:00 NN - Lunch at Legazpi Boulevard
01:00 PM - Hotel check-in
01:30 - 02:30 PM - Free time / relax
02:30 - 05:00 PM - Visit Embarcadero de Legazpi, go-kart racing, try the zipline and check out the shops. It’s a popular attraction included in a Legazpi day tour
05:00 - 06:00 PM - Dinner at Embarcadero de Legazpi
07:00 AM - Wake up. Have breakfast
08:00 - 09:30 AM - Visit Sumlang Lake and ride a bamboo raft
10:00 - 12:00 NN - Check out the animals, go boat riding or play at the playground at the Albay Park and Wildlife
12:00 - 01:00 PM - Lunch
01:30 - 03:00 PM - Go back to the hotel and rest
03:00 - 05:00 PM - Visit the Japanese Tunnel, try the adventure activities and watch the sunset at Lignon Hill Nature Park in a Legazpi sightseeing trip
05:00 - 06:00 PM - Return to the hotel and have dinner
07:00 AM - Wake up. Have breakfast
08:30 - 11:30 AM - Visit Daraga Church and Cagsawa Ruins, two of the most popular tourist spots included in most Legazpi tours
12:00 NN - Lunch
01:00 - 4:00 PM - Visit the Mayon Volcano National Park and go on an ATV Tour
05:00 PM - Early dinner
06:00 PM - ETD Legazpi City to Manila
Legazpi is a tobacco-free city. The Smoke-Free Ordinance enforced starting 2009 prohibits smoking in all public places, including government offices, public places, malls, and parks.
Wear light clothes to keep you comfortable but bring sunglasses, umbrellas, caps, scarves, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
Always check the weather prior to visiting the outdoor destinations especially the Cagsawa Ruins and Mayon Volcano.
Legazpi City: More Than Mount Mayon
Mayon Volcano is clearly one of the best things about Legazpi City. It is no doubt a majestic sight and it’s no wonder why a lot of the city’s attractions and activities are centered around it. However, a closer look will reveal that the city is more than meets the eye.
Legazpi is a charming and bustling city full of history, culture, and nature. It is a place where one can learn and enjoy at the same time. It definitely lives up to its tagline - a City of Fun and Adventure.
Start planning your tour to Legazpi City! Look into Legazpi tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary.