Travel to Tagaytay City and find out why it’s a well-loved weekend destination by locals. Learn about the best time to go, how to get there, best restaurants to dine in, best hotels, and top things to do in this article.
Tagaytay is a favorite spot by local travelers that is just a few hours away from Manila. If you are looking for a spontaneous road trip, finding a place to escape the summer heat, or even a short but sweet getaway weekend, this should be your next destination.
It has become a go-to spot for unwinding and doing recreational activities for city-dwellers. You can go on a food trip, discover nature, or have a relaxing staycation.
Perhaps the most famous attraction in Tagaytay is the Taal Lake and Volcano. There are countless restaurants, cafes, and parks that allow visitors to marvel at the beauty of the second most active volcano within a crater lake in the Philippines.
It’s genuinely breathtaking, to include it in your itinerary whether you’re a first-timer or frequent goer is never a bad idea. Couple that with the fact that Tagaytay is slightly elevated too, which manifests in its cooler temperatures and balcony-like views.
However, the volcano is not the only sight to see in this place. Plenty of other big municipalities in the South of Metro Manila, namely Cavite, Batangas, and Laguna are easy to reach to and from Tagaytay.
It means many roads lead to the area and it’s easy to ask locals around for some popular Tagaytay tourist spots you must visit. Knowing this information can also help you better decide which accommodation you would prefer.
Read on to know more about Tagaytay to help you plan your trip.
Starting September 2020, all domestic tourists from the Philippines can once again enjoy Tagaytay’s cool breeze and family-friendly attractions. 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 follow and consider before you make your trip to the popular weekend destination.
Tagaytay, located in Cavite, is open to all residents and domestic tourists in the Philippines. Tourists who can enter the city without travel authority are limited to those coming from MGCQ areas only. For travelers coming from GCQ, MECQ, and ECQ, areas, it is mandatory to provide a travel authority.
Domestic tourists can enter Tagaytay via Ayala Greenfields and Santa Rosa Road.
Here are the requirements that you need to prepare before going to Tagaytay:
Secure a travel authority if coming from high quarantine areas
All residents and domestic tourists coming from GCQ, MECQ, and ECQ areas must secure a travel authority pass. This includes a medical clearance certificate coming from the city/municipal health office to ensure the guest is negative from COVID-19 disease.
Observe strict quarantine
All residents and domestic tourists going to Tagaytay have to adhere to strict quarantine protocols until their travel date. This includes wearing a mask, observing social distancing and sanitizing of hands regularly to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Once you're in Tagaytay, make sure you follow these safety protocols:
Minimum health standards: Mask and face shield
It is mandatory to wear a face mask and a face shield, especially when going to tourist sites and public establishments in Tagaytay City. Travelers must also practice social distancing and wash their hands regularly.
Public transport is allowed in Tagaytay City but with strict social distancing. All passengers, including drivers, are required to follow the basic “no face shield, no mask, no ride” policy, This includes public transportation such as buses, jeepneys, taxi cabs, tricycles, and many more.
Private vehicles traveling to and from Tagaytay will be allowed provided that physical distancing is observed inside the vehicle.
Hotels and accommodations in Tagaytay must comply with the MGCQ guidelines and other health protocols. Hotels, in particular, are only allowed to operate up to 50% of their capacity and should be DOT-accredited.
There are restaurants and food establishments in Tagaytay that offer dine-in services. All food establishments are subject to IATF guidelines.
Both employees and dine-in guests must comply with basic COVID-19 protocols such as wearing face masks, face shields, regular washing of hands, and proper social distancing.
Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the tourist spots of Tagaytay, which includes popular attractions such as People’s Park in the Sky, Picnic Grove, and Sky Ranch Tagaytay.
Make sure to practice social distancing and wear a mask and face shield when visiting these tourist landmarks.
It's essential to know about its season and weather for a hassle-free trip in Tagaytay. Relax within the vicinity of its numerous nature parks. Some tourist destinations might cancel or close down due to the unpredictable weather and unexpected downpour rain or thunderstorms.
Tagaytay has long been known as a popular holiday destination during the summer months of March to May because of its colder temperature than Metro Manila.
It is why you can see a lot of families packing their picnic boxes and bringing it to public parks in Tagaytay. In this section, you'll be able to learn about the peak season and the annual festival usually held in Tagaytay.
If you plan to have a picnic or do outdoor activities, March to May is ideal as there won't be unexpected rainfalls or thunderstorms. However, take note of the locals here during the after-school season. It gets unexpectedly crowded because this province is known for its relaxing atmosphere and popular tourist spots accessible to anyone from the city.
Tagaytay Art Beat Festival
Often dubbed as the next Malasimbo Music Festival of Puerto Galera, Tagaytay Art Beat is an art and music festival celebrating local musicians and visual artists. The festival usually happens in May. This event is perfect for meeting new people, listening to OPM music, and appreciating Filipino-curated visuals.
Tagaytay experiences a high amount of rainfall from June to October, which also happens to be the coldest time of the year here, especially at night. Fair warning that if you visit from June to October, crowds would probably be fewer. But there are higher chances that your trip might neet with rains ranging from light to heavy.
Tagaytay is one of the top destinations during the Christmas holidays. It is why it's necessary to prepare yourself for large crowds and long lines if you plan on going to amusement parks, tours, and so on. Just in case it rains, make sure to bring a jacket or an umbrella with you when exploring Tagaytay.
Tagaytay weather, much like the rest of the Philippines, is divided into two: dry and wet. It rains here much more often than in Metro Manila, so it’s wise to check the weather forecast before planning a trip here.
Take note that the usual temperature during the summer months of March to May does not exceed 30 °C (86°F)
Meanwhile, the lowest average temperature recorded in the city was 18.8 °C (65.84 °F) in February. If that doesn’t seem too low for you, you have to consider that the average year-round temperature in other parts of the Philippines is 26.6 °C (79.9 °F). That’s a considerable drop.
Here's an overview of the average monthly temperature in Tagaytay:
Wear light, breathable outfits during the daytime from March to May, which are considered summer months in Tagaytay. Take note that it gets chilly during the nighttime, so it's essential to bring a light jacket or a scarf with you.
If you're visiting the province during the holidays, specifically from November to February, make sure to bundle up. Layer your clothes properly and bring a sweater or cardigan that can protect you from the night breeze.
There are many ways you can get to Tagaytay. If you’re coming from outside Manila, you would have to visit the capital of the country to make the trip to Tagaytay more manageable.
All you need to do is to book tickets bound for Manila. You will be mainly taking a bus or van from here on out. Just make sure that you have your itinerary ready before going to Tagaytay.
If you’re coming from Manila, then you’re in luck because there are quite a few hassle-free options to reach the town depending on your itinerary.
As mentioned above, Tagaytay is connected to three neighboring municipalities, broadening your commute options. If you already reside in the nearby towns, then going to Tagaytay may be one quick jeepney or bus ride away for you.
The general fare range of one-way bus rides to Tagaytay is pretty affordable. Travel time usually takes two hours, but this may increase during peak seasons like holidays, or rush hour, which roughly hits at around 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm every weeknight. Several terminals run routes from Manila to Tagaytay. They are as follows:
Uniwide Coastal Mall, Paranaque City
You can choose from three different bus routes regularly available at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). One is directly bound for Tagaytay, another is for Mendez, and lastly, Nasugbu.
The buses take Emilio Aguinaldo Highway. Check the address of your hotel to determine which bus route to take. For instance, if you’re staying somewhere near Batangas, the Nasugbu bus might be more convenient for you.
DLTB Bus Terminal, Pasay City
Choose between boarding the buses going through the Nasugbu or Calatagan routes. Both end up in Batangas, but they will pass through Tagaytay. They will be taking the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit on Carmona.
Another common alternative to buses is the UV Express vans. You can find them in mall terminals. Vans with routes to Nasugbu, Calatagan, and Lemery pass through the Tagaytay proper.
Travel time would also vary from anywhere around one and a half to three hours. Whichever you take, make sure you tell the driver to drop you off in Tagaytay, especially for those bound for Lemery, Batangas. You can find these vans at the following places:
LRT Buendia, Pasay City
It is the same place where you can catch buses bound for Tagaytay. You have one more route option to take via van: Lemery. You can find a ride via van if lines are too long, or depending on your comfort level.
Make sure to bring exact fare or a small amount when riding a van or bus, especially when traveling in the morning. It is to lessen the burden of the conductor in finding change for your payment.
Starmall Alabang, Muntinlupa City
You will be able to find this local mall far south of Metro Manila. Famous for its various shopping stores, it's also a commuting point as they have vans bound for Lemery, Batangas here.
Make sure to go here an hour before your ideal time in Tagaytay as it might take a while to occupy all seats in the van. Bring exact fare for a much faster transaction.
Festival Mall, Muntinlupa City
It is becoming a more accessible alternative to the Starmall Alabang terminal. There are vans bound for Tagaytay here that pass through the Tagaytay-Silang road.
The only problem here is you might wait for a little while as the bus doesn't get enough passengers, especially during the morning. If it's rush hour, make sure that you're okay with standing and as much as possible, keep your belongings ready.
Starmall EDSA-Shaw, Ortigas City
Like the one in Alabang, there are also buses bound for Lemery, Batangas found in this terminal. It might be a bit expensive than the other buses traversing in closer routes, but rest assured that during off-peak hours, you might get a comfortable seat here.
It's because most of the locals usually catch a ride along Edsa-Taft than Edsa-Shaw.
There are a lot of modes of transportation you can try to explore Tagaytay. It's cheap and convenient to get between destinations, and you won't get lost as most drivers of these types of transportation are friendly and approachable.
The list below will bring you to the tourist spots or attractions you plan to visit in the area:
Considered as the main transportation in the area, riding a jeepney to go from one end of a town/municipality to another is cost-effective.
Just make sure to coordinate with the driver about your drop-off, especially if you're unfamiliar with how riding jeepney works. Take note that it might get a while for the jeepney to operate as it requires for at least 16 people to occupy per route.
There's a terminal in Tagaytay called Olivarez Terminal that has tricycles you can rent/ride depending on your location. It's very accessible to tourists as they can quickly bring you to the province's most popular attractions directly. Just make sure to pay as exact as possible to avoid extra charges.
You may opt to rent a private car or van with driver instead if you want to have a convenient time going to Tagaytay. It is to lessen the hassle of commuting to destinations that are far from another.
It's also an excellent way to save more time for more destinations to visit. You may opt to get a private tour in Tagaytay too, with accredited tour operators making sure you're getting the full package.
Choosing your accommodation should also be a reflection of your budget. So you can achieve equal parts comfort and value for money without burning a hole in your pocket.
Depending on the number of people, the budget allotted, and the preference you have for the place you'll be staying. It's essential to know the different types of accommodations available in Tagaytay:
One of the key ingredients in having a relaxing getaway in Tagaytay is suitable accommodation. Whether you're staying for a night or two, it's essential to have a safe and secure place to leave your things and sleep. Depending on your budget and preference, here are some of the types of accommodation available in Tagaytay.
Most travelers that are in groups like families opt to stay at hotels in Tagaytay because of the complete amenities and proximity to tourist spots.
Many of these hotels in Tagaytay offer whole Wi-Fi, cable TV, and en-suite bathrooms. There are also resort hotels in the area that provide high-class amenities such as spa and swimming pools.
If you're in a big group and looking for an accommodation that will allow you to cook, do laundry, and others, then renting a private house might be the best.
There are a lot of vacation rentals in Tagaytay; you have to look for the one that suits your budget. Also, make sure to coordinate well with the home or condo owner; this is to avoid getting charged extra compared to having an upfront deal beforehand.
Staying at a hostel is better if you're a solo traveler or a budget backpacker. Some offer dormitory rooms, single rooms, or both. Shared bathroom in hostels is common but is often clean and well-managed. Some even offer free breakfast; you have to choose the best fit for you in terms of budget and location.
You'll pass by a lot of blocks and areas in Tagaytay. It might get confusing at first, especially if you're not familiar with the different routes. However, once you get familiar with it, getting to various spots is a breeze. Here are the top two most common routes in Tagaytay separated into two main areas:
Tagaytay-Santa Rosa Highway
One of the most convenient routes from the south, this road was made in the 1990s and served as the route from Santa Rosa, Laguna city to Tagaytay via Silang, Cavite.
If you plan to visit People's Park, Picnic Grove, and Good Shepherd, you'll be passing by this highway. Make sure to use mobile apps such as Waze to avoid getting lost in the area.
This route connects Tagaytay to Nasugbu, Batangas. You'll pass through this highway if you plan to visit Mahogany Market, Puzzle House Mansion, Paradizoo, Sonya's Garden and other tourist attractions. Most of the hotels in Tagaytay are also in this area.
The place you'll be staying in during your trip to Tagaytay solely depends on the number of people, budget, and preference. It's essential to know your options, which is why we've compiled some of the province's best accommodations — ranging from luxury, mid-range, and budget-friendly.
If you're willing to go all the way for the ultimate Tagaytay adventure, a splurge at these top-notch hotels will be worth your time and money. Most luxury accommodations offer top-notch amenities; hard to find in other types of accommodations.
For example, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a mini-bar in a room, and many more. These two luxury accommodations are family-friendly, and they offer breathtaking views of the city.
Discovery Country Suites
Exquisite meals, views of the volcano, world-class facilities, and more await you in Discovery Country Suites. If you’re coming from another country before your visit, the hotel can arrange airport transfers for you.
Anya Resort Tagaytay
Anya Resort will have you feeling like royalty. This four-star hotel has all the amenities you could need in a stay, plus excellent service and elegant interiors. Enjoy bigger room space as well, suite-style.
If you have some extra cash to burn for your Tagaytay trip for extra comfort, make sure to check out these mid-range hotels. They usually offer basic amenities, one looks for a hotel but is less expensive.
The good thing about these mid-range accommodations is they still provide excellent facilities, such as a spa and pool. You have to find one that suits your overall budget.
Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay
This place has everything you need for a comfortable stay in Tagaytay, no matter where you are from the globe, and no matter what the purpose of your trip is. They have a pool, free parking, multilingual staff, fitness center, free breakfast, dry cleaning, conference rooms, and so much more!
Taal Vista Hotel
If you’re after gorgeous Taal Volcano views, this hotel is situated at one of the best spots that overlook it—all for a much affordable price tag. After all, the hotel is named after the sight!
It’s possible to enjoy Tagaytay without spending too much money on accommodations. There are lots of bed and breakfasts, inns, and cottages in the area for solo and couple travelers. Make sure to stay at the safe ones though!
It's best to read legitimate reviews first before booking your budget accommodation. These are the best budget accommodations in Tagaytay because they don’t have hidden charges and they’re located within the safe neighborhoods in the city.
Tagaytay Wingate Manor
Photo by: Tagaytay Wingate Manor
One of the bestselling budget hotels in Tagaytay that offers free breakfast houses a spa and has a large swimming pool for some relaxation. You’ll most certainly get the bang for your buck here! It's also often occupied by internationals for their delicious food.
Tagaytay Lake View Villa
A pet-friendly inn with high-speed internet, dedicated concierge, and room service! This B&B sports modern furnishings as well. It's family-friendly and offers a good view of Taal Lake. You won't get wrong with choosing this budget accommodation as it's very convenient to stay here.
It is a top choice for small families, as the boutique hotel is small, private, and quiet. There’s a swimming pool for guests as well as free parking on the premises if you’re driving. It's much more expensive than the other budget hotels, but the kid-friendly amenities make up for the price.
It’s time for the fun part: getting to know all the things you can do in Tagaytay. This city is known to be a go-to destination for most locals, mostly because of its relaxing ambiance that's perfect for families.
There’s something out there for everyone, so no matter what kind of traveler you are, you surely won’t be disappointed by this list.
Seeing as this spot is quite popular, of course, it’d make it to the top of this list! If you have or haven’t seen the Taal Volcano before, there’s always something so humbling and exciting about seeing this from afar, such as in cafes overlooking the view.
If you’re up for more fun, or perhaps you have kids (or those young at heart) joining you for the trip, it’s never a bad idea to go and visit a theme park. The location of Sky Ranch is on the higher parts of Tagaytay so that you can expect slightly chillier temperatures up here.
Like most amusement parks in the Philippines, they have the classic rides such as a carousel, roller coaster, and ferries wheel.
Since you pay per trip, ticket prices run cheaper here compared to other competing amusement parks, which is good news for those who like to keep things on a budget. There are plenty of food stalls to keep you full throughout your fun-filled day too.
Want to go on a bit of horseback riding fun? Knock yourselves out at the Picnic Grove. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned rider, you’ll be glad to know that the staff in the area will assist you.
Plus, you can choose the duration of this activity. After horseback riding, you can check out other typical outdoor activities in the Philippines in the park. From riding a zipline, trekking a short eco-trail, to going for a picnic afterward.
Museo Orlina is dubbed as the center of arts and culture in Tagaytay. If you’re down to see some beautiful works of art, you won’t go wrong by choosing this place. It is also a popular venue for live performances and festivals.
Make sure to check their website or social media pages for any announcements, in case you want to catch any. Visitors will be greeted with four floors of breathtaking glass structures by famous Filipino artist Ramon Orlina, along with the works of other guest artists.
The Our Lady of Manaoag Chapel is famed for housing a 50-foot tall statue of Mother Mary. It alone is one of the many reasons why people come and visit and take photos of the place. Many devout Catholics pay a visit to offer a prayer, light a candle or make a wish at this site.
Note that this is different from another church with the same name located in Pangasinan. Also, be reminded that this is an actual church. Be mindful and respectful when mass is ongoing, and say the Our Lady of Manaoag prayer if you can, just like what is usually done in pilgrimage tours.
Tons of famous coffee shops and restaurants boast magnificent views in Tagaytay. It’s not so surprising that people would include specific restaurants to cross out their food trip bucket list when visiting the town!
From farm-to-table food delicacies you can take back home as a souvenir, no tourist will ever say no to food from Tagaytay. If you’re wondering where exactly you should spend your money on, keep on reading because that’s what the next section will tell you.
Concentrating on Filipino-curated music and visual arts, this festival is a must for millennials and millennials-at-heart! Their advocacy in showcasing the growth of the local community is enough for its annual-goers to spread the world.
One of the best things to do in Tagaytay is to partake in a gastronomic food trip. Most restaurants allow you to appreciate the city more with their panoramic views of Taal Lake and Volcano, making you enjoy the city vibe more.
Don't forget to check the menu of your prospect restaurant first before visiting the place to avoid a bad experience.
Tagaytay is known for its many local delicacies such as buko pie and tarts, but its most famous dish is called bulalo. This sumptuous bowl of soup has vegetables, beef marrow bones, and beef shanks. It's perfect for the weather in the province, which is why almost all the restaurants offer this dish.
You can’t leave Tagaytay without eating bulalo (beef marrow stew)! It’s the go-to dish for Tagaytay visitors to warm them up from the chilly weather.
Aside from bulalo, Tagaytay is known for its juicy pineapples. They have a lot of pineapple farms in the area, making it a source of livelihood for some of its residents. They have an annual celebration called Pilipinyahan Festival to commemorate this agricultural product.
Many vacationers visit to eat in some of the most famous Tagaytay restaurants. If you’re a foodie, you could even explore Tagaytay through this list alone.
Trust us when we say one of the best experiences you can get in this province is a gastronomic food adventure. Here are some of the top-rated restaurants you should consider including in your itinerary.
Josephine Restaurant is quite famous in the area if you mention “buffet” or “seafood” dishes. They mainly specialize in Filipino cuisine, serving everything from soup-based dishes and rice to pancit and even pulutan (appetizers for booze).
Portions are enormous and mostly for sharing, which is why it’s a hit for prominent families on vacation. Or those who want to celebrate birthdays, weddings, graduations.
Even though their specialty is seafood, they do have vegan and vegetarian options. Get outdoor seats for a great view of Taal Lake and Volcano.
Bag of Beans
Photo by Bag of Beans Tagaytay
This restaurant is one of the best and most popular restaurants in the area. There are six branches, covering all the towns Tagaytay is close to, namely West Lake, Athena, Charito, D’Lodge, Summit, and their Main Branch.
They are famed for their seafood, steak, and pasta dishes, as well as coffee, hence the name. Some of their branches have accommodations, mainly catering to events such as weddings or honeymoons.
They also serve all-day breakfast, have Wi-Fi, outdoor seats with amazing views, and a buffet as well. Booking a table is recommended as places can fill up quickly during mealtimes.
If you’re looking for somewhere fancier, Antonio’s Garden will be one of your first spots to visit in Tagaytay. This place offers a deli type of cuisine and has incredible plating and menu options. It’s the best pick in the list to go on a romantic date with your partner if you’re traveling together.
They have a full bar, private dining arrangements, and accept table reservations. Vegans and vegetarians are welcome to this resto too!
Balay Dako serves up mostly Asian and Filipino food, which is excellent if you want comforting home-cooked meals. Or if you’re a foreign traveler looking to discover what Filipino food has to offer.
This restaurant is high up there on the list of places where you can have a hearty meal and enjoy a gorgeous view of Taal Lake and Volcano. Portions are enormous, the food is tasty, and the service is top-notch.
Sonya’s Secret Garden
The interiors of this resto are set up like a greenhouse, and there are plenty of flowers and greenery surrounding the place.
Almost all Tagaytay restaurants have this dish on their menu. But trying bulalo from Bulalo Point, Mahogany Market, or Leslie’s Restaurant will be one of the highlights of your food trip.
Aside from the useful travel hacks you've collated from your past trips, it's essential to take note of these following tips and information for a more convenient getaway in Tagaytay.
Make sure to plan your itinerary well with these travel hacks in mind so your safety won't be in danger. It covers currency, what to pack, and language.
The main currency used in Tagaytay is the Philippine Peso (PHP). Most Tagaytay establishments accept credit cards, but if you need cash, there are a lot of money changers available with a reasonable exchange rate.
ATMs and banks are also available in most malls and establishments. But take note that some of it might be offline, so it's better to bring enough cash with you for emergencies.
Weather is unpredictable in Tagaytay, so you have to make sure to bring necessities with you such as an umbrella, scarf, and a light jacket. You might think that you don't need any of these during the summer season as it will be hot and humid.
The majority of the locals in the area speak Filipino and English, which makes it easy for international tourists to communicate. Make sure to bring a dictionary with you or download one on your smartphone, just in case you can't convey your thoughts or questions accurately to the locals.
Don't be shy as they are very friendly and can accommodate all of your questions, especially if it's related to directions.
There’s a lot of things you can do in Tagaytay on the weekend. Leaving you with enough anticipation to head back here next time should you get the chance.
Tagaytay is one of the best places to visit after all. If you’re having a hard time building your itinerary, here’s the one you can take inspiration from.
4:30 AM - Drive from Manila to Tagaytay
6:30 AM- Check-in and have breakfast at Bag of Beans
9:00 AM - Drive to Picnic Grove for some outdoor activities
11:00 AM- Visit museums such as Museo Orlina
1:00 PM - Lunch at Josephine Restaurant
2:00 PM - Spend the day at popular attractions such as Sky Ranch Theme Park
6:30 PM - Dinner at Balay Dako
8:00 PM - Drive back to the hotel and wash up
9:00 PM - Lights out
8:00 AM - Have a sumptuous Filipino breakfast at Antonio’s Garden
11:00 AM - Checkout at the hotel
12:00 NN - Lunch at Bulalo Point
1:00 PM - Drive around Tagaytay to buy pasalubong and chill with a cup of coffee and a view of Taal Lake and Volcano
3:00 PM - Drive back to Manila
That wraps up your virtual tour around one of the most loved vacation places in the Philippines. There’s a good reason why Tagaytay has stolen the hearts of many people who visit, and it’s about time you see it for yourself!
Whether you’re a local or a foreigner looking for a side trip away from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila, Tagaytay is the perfect destination for you.
It's a good place to visit, regardless if you're a solo traveler, a couple, or in a big group of friends or family.
The ever-friendly locals will be more than happy to help you get around and suggest fun places to do or places to eat in as well.
Are you planning a trip to Tagaytay soon? Explore Tagaytay tours and activities that you can add in your itinerary for a hassle-free experience.