Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Philippines : Visayas : Western Visayas : Iloilo (province) : Iloilo (city)
By air - Iloilo International Airport (IATA: ILO) serves the city of Iloilo as well as the province of Iloilo. It is well-connected to Manila, the main gateway of the Philippines with up to 15 flights daily. It receives flights from Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao city and Puerto Princesa and is served by three airlines; AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines.
By sea - Pumboats are used for transversing the water between Guimaras Island and Iloilo city. The ferries are usually for Iloilo to Manila trips although there are Ferries that will transport people and vehicle from Iloilo to certain islands.
There are lots a ferry between Bacolod and Iloilo from 240 one way. There a big discounts for return tickets. There is a cheap RORO ferry from nearby Dumangas to Bacolod for 70P (+30P of terminal fee). To get to Dumangas, take a jeepney bound to Lapaz (7P), and there a minivan to Dumangas (40P). Ask to be dropped at the junction with the port road, and take a tricycle for the last 3km (10P).
Cebu City to Iloilo it is possible to fly (see above "By Air") or it is possible to take a 12-15 hour boat ride. Cokaliong and TranAsia run overnight ships that has both an Economy Class (none-AC open air bunks, no sheets) and Tourist Class (closed in AC bunks with provided sheets). The ships runs every night of the week except for Sunday nights. Tourtist Class and Economy Class tickets sell for a little under $800 PHP (pricing as of July 2016, please check Cokaliong or TranAsia websites for updated costs). The cost difference between Economy and Tourist Class tickets is less than $100 PHP. Tickets can only be purchased at the pier. Go about a block up from Pier 3 and purchase tickets from a ticketing agency, then walk down to the pier where Terminal 2 is located (confusing, but Terminal 2 is on Pier 3). Where you will pay for the Terminal fee ($25 PHP) and scan your bags. From the terminal free (included) bus will take you to the Cokaliong or TranAsia ships located on Pier 5. Do not take a taxi to Pier 5, you will only have to walk all the way to Pier 3 and follow the above instructions. Tourist Class tickets sell out regularly. There is free drinking water on the boat at a few fountains, the washrooms include showers and most TranAsia ships include a power port at each bunk (depending on the boat).
Taxi: White cars with the obvious Taxi sign on top. The best service are often offered by Light of Glory or GDR taxi. They drive fast but as relatively safe as possible.
Jeepneys: Dubbed the Unofficial national transport system, it's an automobile, with some resemblance to a Jeep vehicle, that has long leather benches for people to sit on. It's everywhere in the city and each jeepney has a set route to follow. Don't take this if you're in a great hurry as the drivers can sometimes decide to wait in the loading areas for 5-10 minutes.
Tri-Sikads or Tri-Cycles: Cycles mean motor bike while sikad means a manual bike. It's the method of transportation for small, tight roads in barangays and the outskirts of the city. It can be more expensive than the Jeepneys.
There's nothing much of interest for tourists in and around Iloilo. Some run down churches and Spanish era graveyards at most. The church in Miagao has a nice facade, but it's not worth the half day trip back and forth. Beaches that are closest to the city are not so nice. It's usually dirty and very few people bathe there anymore. There are good beaches but these are found far from the Metro. Popular ones are usually in Guimbal. Other places around Panay do have decent beaches, and most tourists that come to Iloilo are on their way to Boracay, one of the most popular beaches/islands in the whole of the Philippines.
Visit the Dinagyang festival at the end of January.
The City's Night Life center is found in Smallville. It's near SM city mandurriao. Good Restaurants in Smallville: Pirate's bar which has a wrecked ship attached to it's facade as a design. It's a bit dim inside but it adds to the relaxed atmosphere. They also have a dance club beside the main building. The club has laser lights and great speakers, just be aware that it can get quite congested with cigarette smoke.
Annex is for those who love to karaoke. They have two types of karaoke rooms: the smaller can seat around 2-6 people while the big room can seat 10-15 people. They have comfortable couches, good food especially the appetizer when you tie it with the local beer and a vast collection of songs to choose from.
Beside The Annex is M02. Arguably, the bar that launched Smallville. They have drinks and food. Local beer is good while the food is typical of bar food.
Krua Thai also has some tasty foods. Almost everything on the menu is good and it's a refreshing break from the typical Ilonggo cuisine.
A little bit further is Boardwalk which has a few of restaurants. Notably is Paprika where there is almost always a live band performing. They have a selection of sea foods.
The B Place is a bar with a relaxing view of the river as well as the cool breeze moving through the place. The food is again typical of bars in this area.
Bauhinia has excellent local Iloilo food. Best to go with a group to be able to try a lot of dishes. Probably end up around 200 per person for a really good meal. Great setting that you can listen to reggae music frojm from Pirate's Bar. Super clean and excellent wait staff. Looks like a chain but this is the only one. Strongly recommended by locals as the real deal.
Beside Smallville is Uncle Tom's which have excellent Spareribs, Steaks, Fried Chicken, Baby Backribs and the best of all: Ox Tongue. Their gravy is very tasty and the you can tell that the chicken was well marinated and seasoned. Along the highway you can find Dos Maria's where they serve pizzas that are big; having a diameter of around 20 or more inches. Though the pizza is big the taste is generic and really unsatisfying
Afriques is an Italian themed restaurant with a touch of Ilonggo flavor. They serve a variety of pizza and pasta-type dishes, most of which are extremely delicious. The pizza is tasty but it's crust can be better. Most of the dishes are served in generous portions especially the sauces. They have two locations: one near Plaza Libertad, General Hughes street and the other beside of Hotel del Rio. Ted's Batchoy is arguably the best Batchoy shop in iloilo. Batchoy is a mix of noodles and pork Chicharon along with some spices and a tasty broth. It's very good and filling espcially if you're very hungry. It's one of Iloilo's native dishes.
There are a number of Karaoke, Beerhouses and Strip clubs in the city. However, these tend to be unsafe for tourists. The safest and cleanest venues to enjoy the city's night life are found in Smallville. They have a different bars and restaurants with a wide menu and good drinks to choose from.