Known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio is one of the places that Filipinos visit during the summer to cool off and beat the heat. However, it isn’t only popular during summer season. Tourists flock to this mountain town all year round because there’s so much more to it than just the cool weather.
For those who are planning to visit the city of Baguio this summer, I hope this guide can help you out. I’ve laid out the attractions and must-try food spots that you may want to include in your itinerary, plus a list of accommodation options and possible side trips.
The best thing about being a tourist on a budget in Baguio City is that the city is filled with attractions that do not even require an entrance fee, just like the parks that we visited.
This park is the most accessible tourist attraction in Baguio as it is located right at the heart of the city. Named after Daniel H. Burnham, the American architect who created the urban park many years ago, Burnham Park has remained to be a favorite destination among tourists and locals alike.
Baguio Botanical Garden
It is a place where you can find towering pine trees, colorful flowers, and many kinds of plants, as well as native Igorot huts, sculptures, and relics. Also found inside is the entrance of the Japanese Tunnel, which is said to lead to parts of Outlook Drive, the Presidential Mansion, and Barangay Pacdal.
Mines View Park
The park has a observation deck that gives visitors an overlooking view of the abandoned gold and copper mines of Itogon, Benguet, as well as the Amburayan Valley. This is basically the main attraction of Mines View Park, but there are also other things to do such as shopping (or window shopping) for plants and souvenirs, taking (paid) pictures with the famous St. Bernard dogs and colorful horses, renting traditional Igorot costumes for photo ops, and maybe trying your luck with the park’s wishing well.
Camp John Hay
It is a favorite destination among people visiting Baguio City. But apart from it being a resort popular among tourists, the 690-hectare land holds so much history. Camp John Hay, also known as John Hay Air Base, is said to be older than the city where it stands. Inside, you will find the Paintball Republic Extreme Outdoor Adventure Park, Butterfly Sanctuary, Cemetery of Negativism, Bell House and Ampitheater, Tree Top Adventure, The Manor, History Trail, Secret Garden, and Choco-late de Batirol, among many others.
Other attractions in Baguio City:
- Wright Park
- Teacher’s Camp
- The Mansion
- Bencab Museum
- Lion’s Head
- Tam-Awan Village
Villa Silvina Hotel
The hotel is located along Outlook Drive, a bit from from the city center, so it was quiet and peaceful. I booked a room good for 4 people via Agoda. It was spacious and had a lot of shelves to put our stuff in. The only thing we didn’t like about our stay is the shower. The “heater” didn’t have any heat at all and the water was too cold! If you don’t really mind taking cold showers as long as you don’t have to spend too much on accommodation, this hotel could work for you. The lobby is really nice too. I liked the cabin feel.
Other affordable accommodations in Baguio City:
Instagram-worthy accommodations in Baguio City:
- Balai Bed and Breakfast (This was originally one of my options, but it was over the budget. Hehe.)
- The Country Place
- Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast
- The Red Willow
- Guest Haven Baguio Bed and Breakfast
- Casa Vallejo
Café by The Ruins
One of the recommendations I found on the internet prior to our trip is this cafe. The prices of their meals aren’t exactly cheap, but it’s worth every penny because they have generous serving sizes, the flavors are on point, and each meal is plated well.
They have a selection of breakfast meals, sandwich pairings, pastries, desserts, and many more. The prices for the breakfast meals range from Php 280 – Php 340, and these are all served a cup of fresh fruit and beverage of your choice (coffee, tea, or juice). The sandwich pairings, on the other hand, are all priced at Php 280, and are served with a choice of black rice salad or squash puree soup, and french fries.
Choco-late de Batirol
One of my favorite spots inside Camp John Hay is this quaint cafe that serves the best hot chocolate in town. Their traditional hot chocolate is a must-try, I tell you. It’s perfect for the cold Baguio weather and it comes in different flavor fusions too. They also have a wide selection of Filipino traditional food.
We found this stall in Burnham Park. It triggered my curiosity and I’m glad it did because the strawberry shawarma was 100% foodgasmic. The meat is infused with strawberry juice, and it really goes well with the spicy sauce.
One does not simply leave Baguio City without getting a cup or two of their famous strawberry taho.
Popular food spots in Baguio City:
- Ketchup: The Food Community
- Cafe In The Sky
- Baguio Craft Brewery
- Cafe Adriana
- Good Taste
- Arca’s Yard
It is called the “Little Pulag” of Benguet. This is probably because at times, it gets engulfed by a sea of clouds too, which is what made Mt. Pulag famous in the first place. However, during our time there, the low-lying clouds were far away. Even though we did not experience the very thing that gave it the “Little Pulag” nickname, it did not discount our experience. Mt. Yangbew was breathtaking in every angle. Seeing a 360-view of Benguet had easily become the highlight of my trip.
La Trinidad Strawberry Farms
Located just about less than an hour from Baguio City is the famous strawberry plantation in La Trinidad, Benguet. You can pick your own strawberries for a price, or simply buy fresh strawberries and strawberry-based goods at the market outside.
Other side trips within La Trinidad:
- Mt. Kalugong Eco Park
- Bahong Rose Gardens
- Benguet Province Museum
- Tawang Stone Church
- Longlong Communal Forest
- Bell Church
- Binanga River
Getting Around the City
The main public transportation mode in Baguio are jeepneys and taxis. If you get easily confused with jeepney routes, you can get a taxi to take you to your destination. Unlike in other cities, taxis in Baguio are so cheap probably because they don’t need airconditioning. The flag down rate is only Php 35, and I think it’s Php 2.50 for every subsequent (x) meters.
How to Get to Baguio City
The nearest Victory Liner terminal from the airport is the one in Pasay. The ticket costs Php 750 per way for the non-stop first class bus. I recommend this one since it’s very comfortable and it’s going to be a long trip (4-5 hours) going to Baguio City. The bus also has its own comfort room and it’s clean, by the way. We had our tickets reserved ahead of time, which is advisable because that’s what most people do and if the bus you’re planning to get on is already full by the time you arrive, you’ll be a chance passenger or you’re going to have to wait for the next one. You may purchase your ticket early at the terminal or book online.
Check out my Baguio City travel video to see more of it.
I hope this travel guide was able to help you in crafting the itinerary for you Baguio City trip. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me here. 🙂