Ilagan is the capital city of Isabela. It is one of the largest cities in the Philippines, however in reality, it has a small town feel, but has a vibrant tourism scene. It is along the main highway to Tuguegarao.
With a land area of about 117 ha (290 acres), Ilagan is the fourth largest city in the Philippines by land area. It is also the most populous city in Isabela, with a population of about 146,000.
The city basically has two central areas, Baligatan and the old city proper (poblacion). Baligatan is along the highway to Tuguegarao, and has the provincial government center, the main public market, and the park which houses the giant armchair. The old downtown is far northeast, nestled at the convergence of the Cagayan and Ilagan rivers.
There are many buses that ply the highway to Tuguegarao.
- Victory Liner (Terminal near the Coca-Cola plant). 4 buses and 2 return trips daily. Buses depart from Sampaloc, Manila at 2:30PM, 4PM, 6:30PM, and 7:45PM, and arrive at Ilagan at 12:57 midnight, 2:27AM, 4:57AM, and 6:12AM. Return trips depart at 4PM and 6:30PM. About ₱790, not including food stop at Solano.
- G.V. Florida Transport, Paguirigan Avenue, Poblacion. One departure daily from Sampaloc, Manila
For buses that do not terminate at Ilagan, the stopover is at Bonifacio Park, where the junction to the city proper is located.
Ilagan is 395 km (245 mi) from Manila, and 67 km (42 mi) from Tuguegarao. The main highway is Cagayan Valley Road (Route 1/AH26), which bypasses the city proper, but passes through the main commercial district at Baligatan.
- Bonifacio Park, Cagayan Valley Road, Baligatan. Houses a statue of Andres Bonifacio. It is also a common site for demonstrations held in Ilagan.
- Coca-cola Bottlers Philippines Ilagan plant (Near the Victory Liner terminal). 8AM-5PM. There are guided tours where visitors can see the mechanized process of how Coca-Cola are produced.
- Giant armchair (Butaka), Maharlika Highway (Near the bus stop). This, the largest in the world, is constructed within 29 days with a cost of ₱175,000.
- Japanese Tunnel, Santo Tomas. 40 m (130 ft) tunnel, once used as a Japanese army headquarters.
- Saint Ferdinand Parish Church, Santa Ana Street, Poblacion (Beside St. Ferdinand College), ☏ . The oldest church in Isabela, it also houses the oldest bells in the province.
- 1 Ilagan Sanctuary (Fuyot Springs National Park). 819 ha (2,020 acres) national park. Activities include hiking, mountaineering, spelunking and birdwatching.
- Ilagan Sports Complex. A large modern sports center opened 2015 to replace the older Paguirigan Memorial Sports Complex. It has badminton, basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, an 8-lane swimming pool, and an IAAF-certified track and field.
- Aggaw na Ilagan. May 4. Celebrates the city's founding as a town.
- 8 Shoppe Mall, Cagayan Valley Road (Near Bonifacio Park). Has a Savemore and a Jollibee.
- Ilagan Public Market. 6AM-6PM. There are some carinderias outside. Meat section may smell like cigarette smoke due to many vendors openly smoking.
- Northstar Mall, Cagayan Valley Road, Alibagu. 9AM-8PM. Two-story mall with a cinema, a Savemore location and a McDonald's. While air-conditioned, it may feel hot though inside.
- Superior Restaurant, Rizal Street, Poblacion (Below a three-story building). 7AM-8PM. Filipino cuisine. House specialty is their pansit palabok.
- Tita Ludy's, Barangay Guinatan. 6AM-9PM. Food served in a garden atmosphere.
- Joey's Bar and Cafe, Triton Mall, Cagayan Valley Road, Alibagu (Near Northstar Mall). 10AM-midnight. Serves both local and imported liquor.
- Vapestasy Lounge and Restobar, Osmena Street. 10AM-midnight. They sell e-cigarettes and juice (and vaping is permitted), but there are also food, drinks, and video games.
- Dreamwave Hotel, Cagayan Valley Road (At Northstar Mall). A/C rooms, free parking, WiFi, laundry, breakfast and gym. ₱1200.
- Ilagan City Hotel, B4 L18 Cityhomes Subdivision, Cagayan Valley Road, Alibagu, ☏ . City-owned. AC rooms. Free laundry. No free meals.
- Governor Faustino M. Dy, Sr. Memorial Hospital (Isabela Medical Center), Osmena Street. 24 hours daily.
- BM Surface Internet Cafe, Rizal Street, Poblacion. 8:30AM-10:30PM.