When you need a quick R&R from the daily grind in the metro, you can never go wrong with Tagaytay. Let the cool breeze, delicious food finds and scenic view of the popular Taal volcano relax you.
How to get there?
- Public Transport – Ride any south bound buses to Nasugbu, Batangas like San Agustin, BSC, DLTB Co. or Erjohn Almark. Most bus terminals are located in Pasay-Taft near MRT station in Manila with fares around Php85/way and travel time takes 2.5-4 hours depending on the traffic.
- By car – Take EDSA-Baclaran-Cavite (bus route) or C5-SLEX-Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road. It may also take 2-3 hours travel time depending on the traffic.
TIP: Traveling to/from Tagaytay on Sundays is easier due to lighter traffic. Typically, Friday and Saturday are the influx of tourists from the metro.
What to See/Do?
- Taal Volcano – the 2nd most active volcano in the Philippines, surrounded by a lake and has its own crater lake. This scenic view never gets old. If you seek for adventure, this volcano is open for hiking too. 😉
- Picnic Grove – located along Tagaytay-Calamba Rd near Our Lady of Manaoag. This is an open area with a good view of Taal where families can stay in gazebos or have picnics and play around.
- Peoples Park in the Sky – also located along Tagaytay-Calamba Rd, this tourist spot is the highest vantage point where you can enjoy a panoramic view of entire Tagaytay. It’s cold and windy up here so make sure to wear something to keep you warm. Public jeepneys ply this route from Olivarez plaza but you will do some uphill walk from the dropoff. The view here is worth it!
- Ayala Malls Serin – new lifestyle mall that opened along Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway near the rotunda.
- Sky Ranch – amusement park with overlooking view of Taal lake with different activities to choose from. Admission fee is Php100 and food stalls are also available here.
- Residence Inn / Paradizoo – located along Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway that is ideal for families with kids since there is a mini zoo and magic show here for an entertaining visit.
- Puzzle Mansion – this place has a huge collection of puzzles and recognized by Guinness as the biggest collection in the world. Below is my photo with the 32,000-piece puzzle, oh my! :O Entrance fee here is Php150. They serve some meals and the most popular is their Buco Cream Pie. They only have limited stocks of it per day so make sure to try when you visit. 😀
- The Flower Farm – located along Maglabe Drive, Tagaytay. Enjoy the beauty of different flowers grown here.
- Sonya’s Garden – not too far from Tagaytay, this is located at Buck Estate Rd in Indang, Cavite. They serve healthy/organic meals and delicious breads/pastries are also sold here. Try their bestseller cheese hopia! 😉
- Caleruega – located at the end of Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway and landmark is Hillcrest Hotel and Golf club. Buses that ply Nasugbu pass by here so you can easily alight from there and then ride a tricycle that will take you to the church inside. This place is also perfect for nature tripping with abundant greens and flowers.
Where to EAT?
There is a lot of food choices here. Many restaurants with overlooking view of the Taal volcano are along Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway. Foodies alike will have a great time tasting all the gastronomic delights here.
- Pamana Restaurant – rustic interiors, delicious Filipino dishes that will make you feel like eating at home. 🙂 Must Try: Binagoongang Bagnet (crispy pork belly in sauteed shrimp sauce) and Pinoy Fondue (assorted sticky rice dipped in hot chocolate) ❤
- Bag of Beans – they have several branches in Tagaytay. The one pictured below is near Tagaytay Rotunda. They serve fusion of local and international fares. Must Try: Blueberry cheesecake paired with Baraco coffee, the best! ❤
- Balay Dako – serves delicious Filipino dishes with perfect view of Taal lake.
- Hermana Restaurant – located in Ayala Malls Serin serving Filipino dishes that your tastebuds will never forget. Their meals are also affordable and good for sharing 2-4pax. Must Try: Gising-gising and Binagoongang Verde. 😉
- Mushroom Burger – healthy burger alternative since their patty is made of mushroom but it tastes like regular hamburger without the guilt.
- Bulalo Point – you’ve never been to Tagaytay if you have not tried a Filipino favorite – Bulalo. This beef stew is served piping hot in a clay pot, perfect for the cold weather. While you’re at it, give the bone marrow (utak) a taste too – just go easy on it since it’s high in cholesterol, hehe..
Where to Stay?
- The Lake Hotel – located along Aguinaldo Highway with a good view of Taal lake. Room rates start at Php5,000/night w/ buffet breakfast for 2pax. Walking distance to popular restaurants like Balay Dako, Leslie’s and Charito by Bag of Beans.
- Cittavivere Suites – located along Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road so no view of Taal lake here. This is close to tourist attractions like Picnic Grove and Peoples Park. A family room good for 4-6pax here costs less than Php3,000/night with breakfast.
- Tagaytay Econo Inn – located along Tagaytay-Calamba highway with view of Taal lake. Room rates as low as Php2,000/night. Food is available in their neighbor restaurant.
- Cool Breeze Inn – budget hotel with no view of Taal lake. Room rate is less than Php2,000 good for 2pax.
- Mi-Jo Hotel – budget hotel with no view of Taal lake. Room rate is less than Php2,000 w/ breakfast good for 2pax.
Personally, I’ve been to Tagaytay countless times. It’s the closest, quick break for the urban dwellers in Metro Manila. Over the years, this place has also changed a lot – more residential and commercial establishments (especially dining places) continue to pop up. This is why tourists keep coming back, to discover what’s new and revisit places that have become close to heart.