For those of us living in the city, Tagaytay has always been our go-to place for a quick, random trip. It’s that destination that first comes to mind when you suddenly feel like escaping to somewhere colder, a place where you will most likely end up sipping warm Bulalo broth or a steaming cup of Arabica. Being a mere two to three hours away from the metro, it’s the perfect destination for those last-minute trips with your friends when you have nothing else better to do.
As great as this charming Southern town is for those quick trips, it actually offers more sights, activities, and food spots that can fill in a good day tour. Turn your usual road trip into a day-long one with the help of our itinerary below. Oh, and PSA: Since this is only a one-day visit, we tried to keep everything as chill as possible. So for the lazy travelers our there, this is for you!
Breakfast: Breakfast at Antonio's
Address: E. Aguinaldo Highway, Barangay Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so where else should you get it than in one of the most popular food spots in Tagaytay? With its stunning views, relaxed atmosphere, and good food, Breakfast at Antonio’s has become a non-negotiable for a Tagaytay visit. The place offers a perfectly curated all-day breakfast menu that ranges from comforting favorites like Eggs Benedict to European dishes like the fancy Gratinated Portobello Mushrooms and Berry Glazed Duck Liver. The meals are a bit on the pricy side, but you get every worth of what you pay once you sit back on your table marveling at the beauty of the landscape before you while enjoying your breakfast. Breakfast at Antonio’s is also very famous for its freshly baked breads, too. Their Quezo de Bola Ensaymada is a definite crowd-pleaser.
Art: Museo Orlina
Address: Hollywood St., Hollywood Subdivision, Tolentino East, Tagaytay City
There’s no better way to burn off everything you have eaten than having a leisurely walk in a gallery. Feast your eyes on the amazing works of world-renowned artist Ramon Orlina at Museo Orlina, a gallery that features some of his most notable masterpieces. Ramon has made a name for himself in the art scene by mastering glass sculpture, a material that was once regarded as too industrial and unsophisticated to be considered art. Despite his specialty in using it as a medium, however, Ramon is also known to use other materials for his works, all of which you can see in this art place.
Museo Orlina is divided into four levels all named after his children. There’s Ningning, where you can see all his glass sculptures; Anna which houses art sculpted from bronze and steel; and Naesa, the first-floor space dedicated to changing art exhibitions – a symbol of the dynamism of the art scene in the country. Finally, there is Michael, the roof deck which is commonly used as a gathering place for events. The space offers a perfect view of Taal Volcano.
Religion: Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Address: E. Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy. Silang Crossing East, Tagaytay City
Anyone who is familiar with Tagaytay would recommend the Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega as the top place to visit, but there’s another church worthy of the attention if you’re wanting to make the most out of your day trip. The Our Lady of Lourdes Church which is run by the Capuchin Order of the Franciscan Minors (the congregation of Padre Pio) found just near the rotunda of the town is actually a popular destination among pilgrims. Framed by a wonderful lush of greens, the place is also popular for its Candle Chapel, a cove where devotees and visitors can light color-specific candles depending on their prayer. There’s red for celebrations like birthdays, green for hope, pink for good health, blue for a good relationship, yellow for safety in travel, and lavender for spiritual and physical healing. Fun fact: the church is also a popular wedding location for couples because of its spacious marble aisle.
Lunch: Lime and Basil
Address: Sikat Rd, Alfonso, Cavite
Recharge for the day by indulging yourself at Lime and Basil, a Thai restaurant found in one of the subdivision areas of the town. The garden restaurant is the perfect location if you want a little peace from the crowd thanks to its quiet location in Alfonso, Tagaytay. Surrounded by greenery (and strings of lights that make the place more alive at night!), the place sets a nice backdrop for a family feast or a romantic dinner. Its meals can serve more than just a few hungry tummies, and you can only expect the best from them when it comes to ingredients. Lime and Basil grows its own herbs to make sure that they only serve the freshest plates. Try their Kana Moo Grob, a Thai version of our pork and kangkong duo with stir-fried Chinese kale, fermented black beans, and crispy pork. Don’t leave the place without trying their sticky rice mango dessert, too!
Recreation: Puzzle Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Address: Cuadra Street, Brgy. Asasin, Tagaytay, Cavite
There are so many places and activities in town that you could spend the rest of your day on, but if you’re looking for something more chill and different from the usual, you could drop by Puzzle Mansion Bed & Breakfast, a museum that houses the largest collection of puzzles in the whole world according to the Guinness Book of Records. For a very small entrance fee of P100, you get the chance to marvel at a variety of puzzles, from intricate thousand-piece ones to meticulously-assembled 4D pieces. The place also offers a bed and breakfast set-up which is perfect if you suddenly decided to stay another day in town. Puzzle Mansion Bed & Breakfast offers rides on its very own mini jeepney, though these little shuttles often go around only if there are a lot of people milling about the place. Otherwise, you’ll have to figure out your own commute if you don’t have a car with you.
Relaxation: Nurture Wellness Village
Address: Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II West Luzon 4120, Tagaytay, Cavite
Tired of walking around the whole day? Drop by Nurture Wellness Village, a spa escape that focuses on the use of Filipino holistic methods. Every treatment and activity the place offers is designed to meet the seven CHOICES it advocates for, an acronym for C-Controlling stress and choosing to be postive; H-hydrate and healthy eating; O-Oxygenate, I-Immune Boost; C - Cleanse Body, Mind, Emotion; E-embracing natural healing therapies; and S-sleep, social and spiritual connections. We suggest you try some of its traditional Filipino massages like the Nilaib, a local version of a hot stone massage which uses steamed pouches made of traditional local herbs instead of stones. The treatment aims to remove body pains and will instantly make you feel rejuvenated. You can also try the Kapeng Barako Body Scrub if you want a little more extra pampering.
Dinner: Mahogany Beef Market & Bulalohan
Address: 10 Mahogany Ave, Tagaytay, Cavite
You can’t really leave Tagaytay without trying their Bulalo. Though you can find a lot of shops offering the dish along the road, so many people favor the humble Mahogay Beef Market & Bulalohan – and for good reason. Found on the second floor of the beef market (and just beside the actual slaughterhouse that supplies the place!) this little line of shops offer a lot of local favorites like Ginataang Langka, Crispy Fried Tawilis, Daing na Bangus, and of course, the famous Bulalo. The junior pot – which is served in a small metal bowl on top of a flame – can easily feed a group of four if you order it with one or two side dishes. It can be a bit confusing once you do get there because every stall seems to sell the same thing but don’t get pressured by the servers calling out to you and take your time choosing the place with the most appetizing displays.
Coffee: Bag of Beans
Address: Nasugbu Hwy, Tagaytay, Cavite (and other branches)
Cap off the day with a steaming hot coffee from Bag of Beans. The coffee place cum restaurant which now has five branches all over Tagaytay has been iconic since time its establishment almost two decades ago thanks to its cozy looking interiors and of course, their good cup of brew. Each branch also offers a pretty solid set of menu, but if you’re already full, you can always just go for their hot cups. We love their House Blend which is refillable (if you upgrade it) and its Cappucino that is never too sickeningly sweet on the tastebuds. Oh, and don’t forget to take photos of the place’s interiors, too! There’s something about the arrangement of the place that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a different place!