Tagaytay Travel Guide
In a nutshell
Sitting on the rim of an ancient volcano, Tagaytay is a popular destination among locals and foreigners alike who are drawn to its cooler climate, breath-taking views, and its thriving food scene.
Why go to Tagaytay
Getting to see the world's smallest active volcano is the reason enough to make the trip to this charming countryside. Being able to temporarily escape the pressing heat and humidity in the city is another. Beyond these obvious reasons, this tranquil town is actually a treasure box of hidden gems.
If you wish to unleash your inner child, there's Sky Ranch and Enchanted Kingdom located just an hour away. There's also a zoo that elevates your experience from merely taking photos to actually petting and feeding animals.
In recent years, Tagaytay has also evolved into a foodie haven that attracted people from all walks of life. They come for the humble bulalo joints, farm-to-table restaurants serving organic goodness, and charming little cafes.
In addition, there are pretty gardens, golf courses, and spa resorts. If that's not enough, you can do your sightseeing from above on a zipline. Afraid of heights? Go ride a pony in the Picnic Grove or on your way up the volcano crater.
When to go to Tagaytay
Tagaytay enjoys a colder climate year round but if you wish to experience it at its coldest, it is best to come during the months of December to February. It also recorded a lot of rainfall in the past during rainy season so if you're banking on doing outdoor activities, best to avoid the months of June to September.
Where to stay in Tagaytay
Finding a place to stay in Tagaytay is both an easy and pleasurable task. Whether you are traveling solo, as a couple, or as a family, you will find a myriad of options from charming bed and breakfasts to unique Airbnb listings. There are guesthouses, resorts with spa and pool facilities, hostels, and condotels. There are rooms with a breath-taking view of the lake and some nestled away in a garden.
As far as budget is concerned, there are bunk beds in dormitories for as low as PHP500. Check out Mountain Breeze Hostel, Country Living Hostel, and Tagaytay Modern Guesthouse just to name a few.
There are plenty of one bedroom apartments too ranging between PHP1,700 to PHP3,000 per night. Family rooms are available for as low as PHP3,000.
If you prefer the entire house to yourself, there are vacation homes that you can rent for somewhere between PHP6,000 to PHP8000 per night. If you love staying in luxurious full service hotels though, expect to part with around PHP6,000 to PHP15,000 per night.
Where to eat in Tagaytay
Tagaytay has become a hip foodie destination known for its exciting food scene that offers everything from beef shank soup, farm to table salads, and healthy fries and burgers (we're not kidding!). Antonio's, one of Asia's top 50 restaurants is also here. Whether you're here for a food crawl with your friends, a lazy Sunday brunch with the family, or a romantic dinner for two, you're guaranteed to have a memorable dining experience.
For starters, your Tagaytay trip will not be complete without indulging in a piping hot bowl of bulalo. Get yours from Mahogany Market or in several bulalo restaurants located along Aguinaldo Highway. Most of these food establishments also offer traditional food. For Asian flavour, there's Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen, Destination Hotel's Mekong Cuisine, and Aozora. If you wish to dine surrounded by a verdant garden, book a table at Marcia Adams' Restaurant or Sonya's Garden. Lastly, you should not leave Tagaytay without getting a box, or two, of Loumars' buko pie and tarts. Yum.
How to get around Tagaytay
Some people have this assumption that getting around Tagaytay without a private car is next to impossible. Not true at all. While there may be minor inconveniences, it is actually quite easy.
As of this writing, Uber, Grab, and taxis are not yet available in the city.
However, there are jeepneys and tricycles which are the primary mode of transportation. Jeepney terminals are located near Olivarez Plaza so consider this shopping centre as your point of origin when going to tourist spots like Picnic Grove, People's Park in The Sky, or Mahogany Market. Make sure you ride the right one though by reading the signboard or when in doubt, always consult the driver before getting on. Drivers are usually pleasant and willing to help. You can ask them to call your attention when the vehicle stops at your intended destination. Minimum fare is PHP8 but it increases as you go farther out.
Tricycles usually cost a lot more but you can always negotiate.
If you're visiting far flung tourist stops such as People's Park in The Sky, make sure to mind the time and leave early if you don't wanna get stranded.
How to get to and from Tagaytay
Tagaytay is located about 50 kilometres from Manila and travel time used to take around 2 hours at most. However, the worsening traffic condition in the metro area can make your your journey significantly longer, taking up to 3 to 4 hours. Make sure to allocate enough time and leave early.
If taking public transport, there are several bus lines that ply the route from Manila to Tagaytay daily. If you're near Pasay, DLTB Bus Co., Lorna Express, BSC, Erjohn Almark, and San Agustin all have terminals in Uniwide Coastal Mall. Alternatively, make your way to LRT-Buendia Station (Gil Puyat) and get on a Jam Transit, San Agustin, or DLTB bus bound for Tagaytay. Buses going to Balayan, Nasugbu, and Lemery also make a stop in Tagaytay. Fare should be around PHP80 .
A quicker but more expensive option is to take a shuttle van or FX Jeep as it slashes your travel time to about an hour. There are terminals located at Starmall in Mandaluyong and EGI Mall near Buendia LRT (Gil Puyat) station. Fare is approximately PHP200.
If you've rented a car, simply drive through South Luzon Expressway and take the Sta. Rosa Exit. It is also possible to hire a taxi from the airport but we do not recommend this as it will cost you upwards of PHP2,000.
Is Tagaytay a safe place to visit?
Tagaytay is a relatively safe place to visit. As with other tourist destinations, you may encounter minor annoyances like pushy vendors and touts. Just be polite and keep your wits about you and you'll be fine.