Escape the Manila heat and travel to chilly Baguio. Find out the best time to go, how to go there and get around, must-see tourist spots, which restaurants to try, and more.
Baguio is a mountain resort city located in Benguet of Northern Luzon, Philippines. Considered to be the country’s Summer Capital, Baguio is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines.
Also nicknamed The City of Pines, it is a popular weekend getaway for local travelers based in the metro.
Filipino families also frequent Baguio when going on road trips because of the city’s proximity to Manila and its colder climate owing to its high elevation. The temperature in Baguio is about 7 to 8 °C cooler than the lowland with average temperatures ranging from 15 to 23 °C.
Lowest temperatures are recorded between November and February, making this a great destination for those who want to escape the heat and humidity in Manila, especially during the colder Christmas season.
For first-time travelers to the Philippines, Baguio is a great place to visit from Manila. There are a lot of activities you can do in the Summer Capital. You can take a stroll in one or two of Baguio’s famous parks like Burnham Park or Mines View Park.
You can explore the butterfly garden or hike the Yellow Trail in Camp John Hay. You can also immerse yourself in Cordillera’s cultural heritage at the Tam-Awan Village. There are also strawberry farms in nearby La Trinidad where you can pick the plump red fruits yourself.
While the city is best known for its parks and flower gardens, Baguio also offers a great range of places to eat, top hotels and creature comforts. For first-time travelers planning to head up North, this Baguio travel guide should help you decide where to go and what to do while you’re there.
Baguio weather varies throughout the year. Nonetheless, the City of Pines is a great destination all-year-round. The truth is, the best time to go to Baguio would be anytime it gets too hot wherever you live.
For local visitors, summertime is the ideal time to visit Baguio. Filipinos living in the lowland regions such as Metro Manila flock to Baguio during the sweltering summer months of March, April, and May.
Additionally, Baguio receives a significant amount of visitors during February for its annual flower festival, the Panagbenga Festival.
Many Filipinos also spend their Holy Week vacationing in Baguio. Read on to learn more about the Baguio weather, holiday seasons in the Philippines, and best times to go to Baguio.
Panagbenga Festival is a flower festival celebrated in Baguio every February. Panagbenga Festival was first held in the early 1990s as a celebration of Baguio’s abundant flower harvest and as a way to uplift the locals from the devastating 1990 earthquake that hit the city.
The highlight of the month-long festivity are parades of intricate and vibrant floats decked with the best blooms from the flower farms of the Cordillera.
Another attraction you can look forward to are the local street dancers garbed in brightly-colored flower costumes influenced by the many indigenous tribes around Baguio and the Cordillera Region.
In fact, the term “Panagbenga” means “season of blooming” in the language of the Kankanaey−one of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera.
If you want to immerse yourself in Baguio’s colorful and diverse culture, there’s no better time to visit than during the Panagbenga Festival in February.
The summer season in the Philippines runs from late March to May; these are the hottest months in the country with average temperatures ranging from 26°C to 33°C.
Thanks to Baguio’s highland location, the city maintains a cool temperature even during these months. The temperature in Baguio during the summer has an average high of 23°C and a low of 15°C. This is still pretty cold compared to the rest of the Philippines during the summer.
These months also receive the least rainfall, making it the best time range to explore Baguio tourist spots. If you’re in the country during the summer and want a quick reprieve from the heat, head to Baguio!
Just like the rest of the Philippines, Baguio has two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. However, Baguio weather does not vary drastically in terms of monthly average temperature compared to the rest of the country.
The dry summer season has an average daily high temperature of 23°C and a low of 15°C, while the wet season has an average daily high temperature of 22°C and a low of 13 °C. Thanks to the high elevation of Baguio, the temperature difference throughout the year is minimal.
However, it’s a different story when it comes to rainfall. The amount of rain Baguio receives throughout the year varies significantly. The dry months start in November and last through May.
January receives the least amount of rainfall and has the least chance of rain. On the other hand, the rainy season starts in June and lasts through early October, with August as the rainiest month.
Unlike island destinations in the Philippines, the rainy season won’t stop you from enjoying Baguio attractions to the fullest. Although it gets even colder than usual during the rainy months, it can easily be remedied by bringing thicker cold-weather clothing.
Here's an overview of the average monthly Baguio temperature and rainfall:
Source: Weather Spark
Unlike the rest of the Philippines, Baguio is exceptionally cold at any time of the year − even during the summer season! Although the Philippines does not technically have winter, you will want to wear and pack winter clothes when visiting Baguio.
If you plan to go around Baguio during the early hours of the morning or late in the evening, don’t be afraid to layer on. It is notably colder in the morning and evening. During the noontime, you can get away with a scarf or a light jacket, − especially if you’ll be walking around a lot.
Visiting Baguio is now convenient and hassle-free, due to the numerous bus companies, terminals and tours providing transport to the province. Travel time to Baguio from Manila is around 4-6 hours. Here are some of the best ways to go to Baguio:
Photo from Genesis Transport Service
There are a lot of bus companies that go to Baguio that are open for 24 hours. There is also no shortage of terminals where you can go to catch a bus to Baguio.
There is probably one near you. Choosing which terminal or bus company to take depends on where you'll be coming from and what exit you'll be taking. You can find bus terminals all over Metro Manila. Here’s a list of major bus terminals:
From Pasay City
There are a number of bus companies operating from Pasay to Baguio. The two most popular bus companies are Joy Bus (Genesis Transport) and Victory Liner. Both bus companies offer premier and deluxe-class seats and have routes to the Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
From Cubao in Quezon City
Aside from Victory Liner and Genesis Joy Bus, Partas also offers bus rides to Baguio. These bus companies have terminals in Cubao in Quezon City. Victory Liner, Partas, and Genesis also offer premier seats for a more comfortable trip.
From Avenida in Manila
Genesis Joy Bus and Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines have buses headed for Baguio at the Avenida Terminal in Manila. Both bus companies offer deluxe and semi-deluxe buses from Avenida to Baguio. These deluxe buses boast comfy couches with spacious legroom.
From Sampaloc in Manila
Victory Liner offers regular air-conditioned (AC) buses headed for Baguio at their Sampaloc terminal in the city of Manila. As of now, first-class deluxe buses are not available yet.
From Parañaque City
You can catch a ride to Baguio at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). Solid North Transit’s Baguio routes at PITX offers the first point-to-point (P2P) buses that ply Baguio to Manila. Aside from spacious seats, P2P buses do not have stop-overs and have toilets on board, which ensures you get to Baguio faster.
If you want to experience Baguio completely without the hassle of commuting, then joining a shared or private tour is the most convenient way.
There are a lot of Baguio tour operators offering different Baguio tours and activities with free roundtrip transportation. You just have to look for the right one that fits your budget and schedule.
You can either rent a car or drive your own car going to Baguio, you just have to choose the most convenient route for you. You can either take the NLEX-SCTEX route, the TPLEX route, and many more.
Baguio is a relatively small city. As such, there are limited ways to get around. Additionally, a number of Baguio tourist spots are within walking distance from one another. Of course, you can always rent a car in Baguio if you prefer to travel privately and more comfortably.
If you don’t mind riding public transportation, your primary transportation choices in Baguio are Grab Taxi, regular taxi, and jeepneys.
If you’re on a budget, no worries! Most of the tourist attractions in Baguio are reachable via jeepney. Jeepneys or jeeps are the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They can accommodate up to 20 passengers, depending on the size of the jeepney.
When riding a jeepney, take note that payments are handed to the driver during the ride. If you’re seated at the far end of the jeepney, politely ask other passengers to pass it to the driver for you.
Likewise, if you happen to be the one sitting close to the driver, offer the same courtesy to passengers at the far end by passing along their fare to the driver.
When you're about 5-10 meters away from your stop, locals will say, "Para po!" (Please stop), to notify the driver to slow down and stop at the nearest unloading station.
Just like anywhere in the Philippines, jeepneys in Baguio have specific routes and stops. You can flag one down along major roads, or you can head to the nearest jeepney stops which are also located near the tourist attractions. Here are the major Baguio jeepney routes and stops:
Mines View Park Route - Jeepneys with signages indicating Mines View will not only take you to Mines View Park, but also to The Mansion, Wright Park, and Good Shepherd Baguio. You can catch this jeepney at the Bakakeng Terminal in Perfecto Street near Burnham Park, along Session Road, and at all the stops mentioned above. You can take this jeepney to go from one tourist spot to the other.
Scout Barrio Route - To get to Camp John Hay, go to the Bakakeng terminal on the east side of Burnham Park along Perfecto Street. The walk from Burnham Park to this terminal will only take 3 minutes. Hop on a jeepney with a signage that says Scout Barrio, and asked to be dropped off at the gate to Camp John Hay.
Pacdal Route - Jeepneys with a Pacdal sign can take you to the Baguio Botanical Garden. You can catch the Pacdal jeepney at the Pacdal-Liteng Terminal at Lakandula Street. This terminal is just 3-5 minutes from Session Road.
Long Long- Tam-Awan and Quezon Hill - Tam-Awan - If you’re heading to Tam-Awan Village, you can take jeepneys plying the Long Long to Tam-Awan or the Quezon Hill to Tam-Awan route.
You can find both jeepneys at the Guisad Jeepney Terminal along Kayang Street, near the Baguio Public Market. The terminal is 7 minutes away from Burnham Park on foot, and 3-5 minutes from Session Road.
La Trinidad Routes - There are two terminals from you can go to catch a jeepney to the famous strawberry farms of La Trinidad. You can head to the terminal along Shuntug Road in front of the Baguio City Hall, an 8-minute walk from Burnham Park.
Look for the jeepney heading to La Trinidad via Bokawkan. You can also opt to go to the La Trinidad Jeepney Terminal along Magsaysay Ave, which is an 11-minute walk from Burnham Park.
Asin Road Route - Jeepneys with signages indicating Asin Road head to BenCab Museum. You can catch this jeepney at the Guisad Jeepney Terminal along Kayang Street, near the Baguio Public Market. You can reach this terminal from Burnham Park by walking as it is only 7 minutes away on foot.
One of the most common means for getting around in Baguio is by riding a regular taxi. There are a lot of taxis in Baguio. You can hail one practically anywhere; near bus terminals and around the popular Baguio attractions.
You can find them along major roads too such as Session Road, Harrison Road, and Marcos Highway. Baguio taxis tend to have their windows open, making the best out of Baguio’s chill air as natural air conditioning.
You can use a car booking app like Grab Taxi in Baguio. It’s just like a regular taxi with the added convenience of being able to hail a cab with your mobile app. If you want to book a ride faster, it helps to go to a known landmark.
There are a number of car and van rental companies in Baguio. You can hire a private car or van with a driver for your trip. This is more convenient, especially when you're traveling with a group. There are also car rentals in Baguio that allow you to drive the vehicle yourself.
Being a highly urbanized City, Baguio offers a variety of accommodation options to choose from including high-end hotels, affordable inns, cozy lodges, transient houses, and hostels.
Depending on your budget and preference, it's essential to research not just Baguio hotels, but also look into other types of accommodations before your visit. There are several types available throughout the city.
You can find a private room or a dorm-type room, upscale accommodations or cheap hotels in Baguio. There are also exclusive vacation houses for rent or transients house in Baguio.
Here are some of the usual accommodations in Baguio. Be sure to check which of these accommodates the number of people you are traveling with.
Budget Hotels and Inns
If you prefer to allocate more of your budget on exploring Baguio’s tourist attractions, then book a budget hotel. You can find plenty of cheap hotels in Baguio. You can even find ones that are located near tourist spots like Burnham Park or along the famous Session Road.
You can also opt for an affordable bed and breakfast place in the city. These budget accommodations offer private rooms with all the basic amenities you’ll need.
You can consider transient houses in Baguio as your home away from home. These homey lodgings can have as much or as little furniture and home appliances you want since you can request these from your host as needed.
Transient houses are also great if you’re traveling with a group of friends. Just be sure to bring your own towel and food. If you’re also planning to stay for a week for longer in Baguio, staying at a transient house is an excellent and affordable option.
If you're looking for privacy or traveling with family, renting a private vacation house in Baguio is an excellent choice. There are several vacation rentals throughout the city. It's great if you're in a group because you can share the expenses.
If you’re looking for more upscale accommodations, Baguio won’t disappoint. Baguio is home to 4 and 5-star hotels in the city that will pamper you and give you the full-blown luxury travel experience. Luxury hotels not only have stellar facilities and amenities, but they also pride themselves on their world-class service.
Location is a big factor when booking your hotel in Baguio. The City of Pines has a range of accommodations catering to different types of travelers. You’ll want to check out Baguio hotels near Session Road, Harrison Road, and Camp John Hay.
Aside from the fact that Session Road and Harrison Road are major thoroughfares, they are also near many Baguio tourist spots and transportation terminals. On the other hand, Camp John Hay has a number of hotels and is a tourist attraction itself. Here’s a run-down of the prime areas in Baguio to book your accommodations:
Camp John Hay
Camp John Hay was a US military installation in the Philippines that served as a Rest and Relaxation Facility for American military personnel during the American Occupation.
Promptly after being turned over to the Philippine Government, it was developed into a tourist attraction and open to all Filipinos and foreign tourists.
You can do several activities at Camp John Hay. You can hike through the Camp’s pine tree-lined trail, check out their butterfly garden, go horseback riding, or get your adrenaline pumping by trying out their canopy ride and zip-lines.
There are a number of hotels in Camp John Hay. Most of the accommodations in and around the camp are luxury hotels. In fact, Camp John Hay hotels are known to be one of the more upscale and plush accommodations in Baguio.
Session Road is the commercial center of Baguio. You can find a slew of shopping malls, restaurants, department stores, and hotels along this famous stretch.
Session Road is also only a few minutes away from Burnham Park. It is is also near highly-recommended Baguio restaurants such as Good Taste, Vizco’z, and Cafe by the Ruins. Additionally, Session Road is adjacent to Harrison Road, which is the location for the popular Baguio night market.
If you want a hotel near Burnham Park that’s also close to transportation terminals and commercial establishments; then Session Road is where you look.
Harrison Road runs beside Burnham Park. During the day, Harrison Road is a busy street filled with public and private transportation going up and down its length.
At night, this road comes to life in a different way. Harrison Road gets closed to vehicles in the evening to give way to the Baguio Night Market. Instead of cars lined up along this road, you will find rows of stalls selling merchandise such as clothes and street food.
Baguio Night Market along Harrison Road most famous for its “ukay-ukay” selection. Ukay-ukay is surplus items shipped from other countries or second-hand apparels such as clothes, bags, and shoes that are sold at bargained prices.
If you’re persistent or lucky, you can score vintage finds or branded items for a fraction of their original price. If bargain hunting is your thing, then book an accommodation near Harrison Road where the action is.
Depending on your budget and preference, it's essential to take note of the following: location, price, and service. While it's okay to stay in a cheaper place, you should factor in the number of people that will be staying. If you're in a group, it might be better to rent a private house or stay at hotels in Baguio that offer family rooms.
You should also consider your Baguio itinerary when choosing a place to stay. You may want to book a place near tourist spots, near the terminals, or close to major roads where you can easily find public transportation. Here are some of the popular accommodations in the City of Pines.
Baguio has a wide array of luxe accommodations. Indulge yourself at one of Baguio’s luxury hotels. These plush establishments will spoil you with stellar service, all-inclusive amenities, and premium facilities. Here are some top-rated luxury hotels in Baguio that you can choose from:
The Manor at Camp John Hay
Photo from The Manor at Camp John Hay
Located inside Camp John Hay, The Manor is one of the top luxury hotels in Baguio. It is a grand colonial-style building within the former military recreational complex. The Manor is 15- 30 minutes away from other tourist attractions like Mines View Park, Burnham Park, and BenCab Museum.
Photo from The Manor at Camp John Hay
The Manor offers rooms with a forest view or a garden view. Each room is fitted with LCD television and a minibar. Some rooms have extra amenities like a fridge, a balcony, and a sofa. All of the rooms, however, have private bathrooms equipped with a shower and a bidet.
The Manor serves its guests with continental breakfast. Their in-hotel restaurant also offers international cuisine. The Manor also boasts a cozy piano bar, a fitness center, a spa, and a garden.
Hotel Elizabeth is one of Baguio’s premier hotels. It is a mere 8-minute drive from Burnham Park along Harrison Road, and SM Baguio along Session Road. It is 5-minutes away by car to Mines View Park. It will also only take you seven to 10 minutes on foot to reach Wright Park and The Mansion.
Aside from its excellent location, Hotel Elizabeth boasts of carpeted rooms equipped with an LCD cable TV, wi-fi, a mini-bar, a working desk, and a fridge. Their private bathrooms offer free toiletries and hairdryer.
You can also go for a room with a dining area and a balcony. Hotel Elizabeth facilities also include a fitness center, a cafe, a restaurant, a piano bar, and a picnic site.
Microtel by Wyndham Baguio
Microtel by Wyndham Baguio is located in the heart of Baguio along Upper Session Road. It is only walking distance from SM City Baguio, Burnham Park, and Harrison Road.
It will also only take you 6 minutes by car to get to Baguio Botanical Garden, Wright Park, and The Mansion. On the other hand, Mines View Park and Good Shepherd are 12 minutes away by car.
Microtel offers private rooms and suites with free continental breakfast and unlimited coffee. They have 92 air-conditioned rooms equipped with complimentary wi-fi and cable TV. Each room has a private bathroom complete with shower, bidet, and free toiletries. Microtel also has a restaurant and a bar.
If you don’t want to splurge for high-end amenities but still want a comfortable hotel to stay in Baguio, no worries! You can find several accommodations that offer excellent service and facilities without burning a hole through your wallet. Check out these top-rated mid-range hotels in the Summer Capital.
Eurotel is conveniently located along Abanao Street, near the commercial center of Baguio. If you’re looking for a Baguio hotel near Burnham Park, this is it. Indeed, Session Road and Burnham Park is just a 6-minute walk away. Meanwhile, SM Baguio Mall and the Victory Liner Bus Terminal are just 10-15 minutes by car.
Eurotel Baguio offers air-conditioned rooms equipped with free wi-fi and cable television. Each room also has a private bathroom complete with toiletries. Eurotel’s facilities include a spa and sauna, as well as a restaurant that serves local and international cuisine.
Another excellent mid-range option is Hotel 45. This laid-back hotel is situated near a major shopping center and main roads where you can easily catch a jeepney or book a Grab taxi.
In fact, Hotel 45 is only six minutes away from SM Baguio Mall and Session Road on foot. It also takes 16 minutes to walk to Burnham Park and Harrison Road from Hotel 45.
This hotel features a bar, a restaurant, as well as a spa and sauna facility. Hotel 45 also offers private rooms equipped with free wi-fi and TV. If you want a reasonably priced hotel near SM Baguio, then Hotel 45 is your best bet.
Venus Parkview Hotel
Photo from Venus Parkview Hotel
You can find Venus Parkview Hotel along Kisad Road. It is conveniently situated near Session Road and Harrison Road. Venus Parkview Hotel is near Burnham Park. In fact, the hotel overlooks Burnham Park. It is also only a 9-minute journey by car to the Baguio Botanical Garden.
This hotel provides air-conditioned rooms with an LCD television, complimentary wi-fi, private bathrooms complete with bathrobes, hair-dryer, and free toiletries.
Their facilities include massage, karaoke, and a restaurant. Indeed, Venus Parkview value for your money, especially considering their amenities and location.
If you’re backpacking or traveling on a tight budget, then budget-friendly accommodations are perfect for you. You can find top-rated low-cost accommodations in Baguio that has all the basic amenities plus a warm and welcoming staff. Here are some budget-friendly hotels and lodgings you can choose from:
Baguio Vacation House- Baguio Transient
Photo from Baguio Vacation House
Baguio Vacation House is an excellent economical option for small groups and big groups that are visiting Baguio. On the other hand, Baguio Vacation House’s Baguio Transient is great for solo travelers and vacationing couples on a budget.
This budget-friendly lodging is located along Aspiras-Palispis Highway, which is a 5 to 7-minute drive from SM Baguio, Session Road and Burnham Park.
Baguio Vacation House has rooms for two persons and rooms that can accommodate up to 10 adults and five children. Their rooms have all the basic amenities you need.
Some units even have a living room, kitchen, and dining area. Baguio Vacation House also has a restaurant and cafe where they serve freshly breed Benguet Cafe.
Ibay Zion Hotel
Ibay Zion Hotel is conveniently located in Mines View, just two minutes away by car from the Mines View Park. The Good Shepherd Convent and delicacy shop is only 3 minutes by foot.
Additionally, this budget hotel is a 5-minute drive from Wright Park and The Mansion; and a 10 to 15-minute drive from Burnham Park and Session Road.
Ibay Zion Hotel is a modest accommodation that offers private rooms equipped with free wi-fi, fan, satellite TV, and an en-suite bathroom with a shower.
They also have dorm-type rooms with a shared bathroom and a stunning view of the mountains. Some rooms come with a seating area, a mini-fridge, and an electric kettle. Ibay Zion also has a restaurant that serves local cuisine.
Le Monette B&B
Le Monette B&B is a top-rated budget accommodation along Carino Street. It is a mere 4-minute drive and a 12-minute walk to Burnham Park and the commercial establishments along Session Road. This humble and affordable bed and breakfast place is well-loved by both leisure and business travelers.
Le Monette B&B has standard rooms for 2-4 persons, family rooms for 5-8 persons, dormitory beds, and one whole house for 16 persons. Their rooms have free wi-fi, hot showers, electric kettles, and dining utensils.
Guests also have free access to the kitchen and are allowed to cook their own meals. Le Monette serves breakfast on request as well. But you can also opt to go to their Thai restaurant located within the premises.
From sightseeing, family-friendly activities, to history and culture, Baguio has plenty of tourist attractions that are perfect for any type of traveler. There are a lot of Baguio tourist spots to visit when you go sightseeing around the city, including historical landmarks, parks, gardens, museums, camps, and cultural villages.
Video by the Philippine Department of Tourism
The most popular attractions for first-time visitors include Camp John Hay, Burnham Park, Wright Park, Mines View Park, Baguio Cathedral, The Mansion, Baguio Botanical Gardens, Tam-Awan Village and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to name a few. You can easily spend a day just going around to all these spots.
A top Baguio tourist spot for first-time tourists is Burnham Park, a historical urban park with a small lagoon situated at the green space's center.
The park is ideal for tourists traveling with children and first-time visitors, because of the family-friendly activities like biking and boating you can enjoy here. The century-old artificial lake is where locals and tourists enjoy boat rides on rented rowboats.
For those with limited time, who want to visit just one place, Camp John Hay is one of the oldest and most popular of the recreational areas and tourist destinations in Baguio.
Formerly a rest and recreation facility for American soldiers, the charming camp is now home to several quaint lodges, restaurants, a golf course, and wide-open parks amidst pine tree-lined roads.
Landmarks here include the Cemetery of Negativism, Bell House and an amphitheater where you can walk among flowers in bloom.
The Treetop Adventure inside Camp John Hay offers several thrilling rides including the Superman Ride (zipline), Canopy Ride, and Tree Drop (harnessed free fall) that provide fun for visitors of all ages.
Baguio was originally a mining town, and Mines View Park is a constant reminder of that past. Mines View Park offers a front-row view of the Cordillera Mountains and Benguet's gold and copper mines. You will also find several shops selling succulents, flowers, bonsai, as well as woven, knitted, and wooden souvenirs.
Travelers also have a chance to dress in Ifugao tribal outfits like bahag (loincloth), vests, and headdresses, and hold shields and spears for photos here. You can also get your fix of strawberry taho at Mines View Park since there are a lot of taho vendors here.
Visiting the strawberry farms in Baguio is one of the top experiences you can’t miss out on. Head to the farms for strawberry-picking or just indulging in all the strawberry-based cakes and local delicacies.
Grown in farmlands around Benguet, fresh strawberries (and products like strawberry jam, strawberry wine, etc.) are the most popular souvenirs from Baguio for tourists to take home.
The La Trinidad Strawberry Farm just outside of Baguio is where visitors can enjoy the experience of harvesting strawberries for themselves during the harvest season. The best time to visit in order to go strawberry picking is from March to April.
Aside from the strawberry farms, visitors will also find lovely flowers and green, leafy vegetables in various farms. There’s no entrance fee to explore the farm, but you have to pay a certain amount to pick the strawberries themselves.
Be sure to try the treats like fresh Strawberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Taho sold by vendors for tourists at the farm.
Baguio has a vibrant art scene, with several museums showcasing the distinctive traditional art of the Cordillera Region. The BenCab Museum houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions.
The museum displays beautiful Cordillera art pieces, sculptures, and paintings. It also contains a farm and garden eco-trail below the museum which showcases the typical indigenous architecture of Ifugao, Kalinga, and Bontoc.
A river passes through the property, with cascading waterfalls on one end. The hill and mini forest across, which features an eco-trail, is also the source of fresh spring water used in the museum and farm.
The word Tam-Awan in the local dialect means vantage point, something like Cordillera huts on a hillside with a panoramic view of the South China Sea. The Tam-Awan Village was built by the Chanum Foundation in 1998. The foundation modeled it after a native Cordilleran village to give people a glimpse of the other parts of the region.
Tam-Awan Village is a great place to explore to learn more about the region’s indigenous art forms. The village also holds regular exhibitions and cultural shows from both local and visiting artists.
For those who want to stay for more than a day, the village also has a cafe where you can taste authentic Cordilleran dishes, as well as huts for lodging.
One of the newer landmarks associated with Baguio that visitors pass by on their way to and from La Trinidad is the STOBOSA Artists' Village (3 villages comprising Stonehill, Botiwtiw, and Sadjap of Barangay Balili), a cluster of colorful houses inspired by the Favela Paintings of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The eye-catching design adorning the houses on the hill was conceptualized by Tam-Awan Village artists and executed with the help of locals. A hanging bridge leading to the community provides a colorful photo-worthy spot for tourists.
Another place where visitors can see and appreciate modern Cordillera art up close is the Ili-likha Artist’s Village, an art and food hub hidden in the heart of the city near Session Road in Baguio.
This evolving space conceptualized by film director and writer Kidlat Tahimik is built around overgrown trees and makes use of discarded materials, broken tiles, and old bottles in its design.
There are a number of food stalls here serving interesting eats like balbacua (a beef stew made from oxtail, skin, and joints), fresh fruit shakes and more.
Baguio is a well-known shopping and bargain-hunting haven, and the Baguio Night Market along Harrison Road is the bargain shopping hotspot. Although Harrison Road is a busy thoroughfare during the day, it gets closed to vehicles in the evening to give way to rows of ukay-ukay stalls.
Ukay-ukay is surplus items shipped from other countries or second-hand apparells such as clothes, bags, and shoes that are sold at bargained prices. Visitors can buy affordable and quality jackets, boots, clothes, and other accessories at the ukay-ukay shops near markets that sell secondhand and surplus items.
Baguio is also overflowing with great places to shop for souvenirs, native crafts, and local delicacies. Mines View Park is a place to go souvenir-shopping for woodcraft, sculptures, and furniture items.
If you’re looking for native textiles and traditional clothes, the Easter Weaving Room is the place to go. On the other hand, you can find coffee beans and fresh vegetables at the Baguio Public Market.
When in Baguio, be sure to drop by the Good Shepherd Convent. It is just a stones’ throw away from Mines View Park. This convent makes and sells one of the best Baguio delicacies. Good Shepherd is acclaimed for its peanut brittle, ube, and strawberry jam.
In fact, they have become synonymous with Baguio pasalubong. They also sell baked goodies like Lengua de Gato (butter cookies that resemble a cat’s tongue) and Alfajores (sweet sandwich cookies), homemade ice cream, and strawberry-calamansi juice.
Nuns and volunteers from the international congregation of The Religious of the Good Shepherd Sisters run the convent, with profits from Good Shepherd going to charity.
Students of the Mountain Maid Training Center and Development Inc. also create the products as part of the congregation’s livelihood program to poor female students from Kalinga and Bontoc.
For thrill-seekers and paranormal enthusiasts looking for something different to do in Baguio, visiting historic houses and sites with a reputation for being haunted has become a thing to do especially around Halloween.
The Laperal Mansion or the Laperal White House along Leonard Wood is another site believed to be haunted because of the mysterious deaths of each member of the Laperal Family and the deaths and devastation in the house during World War II.
Baguio is an amazing destination for foodies. There’s really something about the cooler weather that makes visitors work up an appetite. Many restaurants serve Western and Filipino dishes that make use of local produce like fresh vegetables and fruits.
Baguio is also a great place to experience the best of Cordillera cuisine. Whether you’re looking for cafes, fine dining establishments, or affordable restaurants in Baguio,
Baguio is a melting pot of several indigenous peoples of the vast Cordillera Region, and this reflects in Baguio’s local cuisine.
Although the Cordillera mountain range supplies about 80% of the vegetables in the Philippines, the locals love meat. The most popular one is the Pinikpikan, which is a chicken dish prepared by beating a native chicken with wood and grilling it over a fire.
Another meaty favorite is the Etag which salted meat that is cured, placed in an earthen jar, and buried underground. While in Baguio you should also sample the Pinuneg, an Ibaloi blood sausage made of minced pork and innards.
Aside from the Cordillera native cuisine, Baguio is also famous for its strawberries. A trip to Baguio would not be complete without trying the strawberry taho, which is silken tofu flavored with strawberries.
Baguio’s strawberry shortcakes and strawberry jam also make for great pasalubong (presents brought home from a place one traveled to).
Speaking of pasalubong, other sweet treats you can bring home are jars of Ube Jam and Peanut Brittle made at the Good Shepherd Convent near Mines View Park.
There are a lot of restaurants in Baguio that serve great Filipino Food and distinctly Cordillera cuisine. You can also find great dessert places and watering holes in Baguio. Since there are already so many restaurants in Baguio, it can be quite overwhelming to decide where to go.
To help you choose where to eat in Baguio, we’ve narrowed it down to a few stand-outs. Here’s a list of the restaurants you can include in your Baguio itinerary.
The Farmer’s Daughter
Photo from The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant
If you want to sample traditional Cordilleran dishes like Pinikpikan, Etag (sun-dried smoked meat) and Pinuneg (sauteed Ibaloi sausages), visit The Farmer’s Daughter.
This native restaurant near Tam-Awan Village serves simple home-cooked regional cuisine centered on smoked meats, fresh vegetables, and native wines.
The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant employs native cooking techniques and uses only the freshest local ingredients. If you want to experience true Cordilleran cooking in the outskirts of Baguio, there’s no better place than at Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant.
Good Taste Café & Restaurant
If you’re looking for affordable restaurants in Baguio, look no further than Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant. This popular diner is only three minutes away from Burnham Park. It is a 24/7 restaurant that serves food influenced by Chinese cuisine. Aside from meals, they also have a bakery and pastry shop.
Good Taste’s best-selling dishes include Lechon Chopsuey, buttered chicken, Lumpiang Shanghai, and beef broccoli. They also serve free unlimited hot soup, which is perfect for Baguio weather.
Aside from their delicious dishes, Good Taste is also known for its generous servings. If you’re traveling with family or a group of friends, bring them to Good Taste for a hearty meal.
Cafe by the Ruins
Photo from Cafe by the Ruins
One of the oldest restaurants in Baguio, Cafe by the Ruins serves authentic local dishes that showcase the region’s culture. The cafe is located along Shuntug road, just a few minutes away from Session Road and Burnham Park.
Their specialties include the Baguio Bagnet with Padas Bagoong, Carabao Cheese Salad, Strawberry Smoothie and home-brewed Tapuey (highland rice wine). Cafe by the Ruins is also well-loved for their champorado (sweet chocolate rice porridge), home-made bacon, Ruins coffee and signature camote bread.
Glenn 50’s Diner
Glenn 50’s Dinner is a famous retro-style dining joint tucked inside Porta Varga Mall along Session Road. Once you enter the 50’s Diner, you will be greeted with retro music on repeat, neon lights, and posters of Hollywood celebrities from that era plastered on the walls.
More importantly, 50’s diner serves the typical American diner fare. Their must-tries include the Famous 50’s Burger, Pancake Tower, Steak, and Strawberry Shakes.
The local favorites are Mama’s Kidd (a chicken, spaghetti, fries, and rice combo), and Guys on the Hood ( a pork chop, spaghetti, fried chicken, pizza, and rice combo). Not only are the servings generous, but they are also very budget-friendly.
Baguio Craft Brewery
Photo from Baguio Craft Brewery
For beer lovers, no trip to Baguio is complete without passing by Baguio Craft Brewery. This home-grown watering hole serves fresh and unique craft beers like Lagud Strawberry Beer, Rolling Fog Wheat Ale and Zigzagger IPA. If you’re undecided on which beer to order, you can ask for one free taste of each beer selection.
Aside from their delightful artisan beers, Baguio Craft Brewery also offers beer and food pairings that give the beer another dimension of taste. Another thing Baguio Craft Brewery is proud of is that their brews do not contain additives and will not give you a hangover.
Situated along Marcos highway, the Baguio Craft Brewery is a great place to meet and mingle with locals and fellow travelers.
Hill Station has long been a homegrown favorite for Asian-European inspired dishes. This fine-dining lodge-style restaurant located in the same complex as the historic Casa Vallejo Hotel along Upper Session Road.
Hill Station offers an eclectic selection of Asian and Continental. Their best-sellers also include dishes like Crispy Belly Pork with Holy Basil and Dulong Pasta. You should also not pass up on their home-made Benguet coffee ice cream. If you want a fine dining experience in Baguio, try Hill Station.
Cafe Sabel is the in-house restaurant of the BenCab Museum on Asin Road. It is about 30-40 minutes away from the city proper is a vibrant cafe that offers meals with a relaxing view of a garden, forest and duck pond.
The restaurant makes use of vegetables and herbs sourced fresh daily from BenCab’s organic farm. Bestsellers here include the Farm Fresh Salad with strawberry vinaigrette dressing and Grilled Pork Chop with Rosemary.
For dessert, try the Volcano Ice Cream, a serving of Vanilla Ice Cream topped with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.
When in Baguio, you shouldn't miss the chance to stop by Vizco’s and try the best strawberry shortcake. Vizco’s is conveniently located along Session Road, so you have no excuse not to sample one of Baguio’s top strawberry treats. They also have a branch in Camp John Hay.
Vizco’s strawberry shortcake is a must-try. It is a mouth-watering baked dessert with fresh strawberries on top of the frosting and incorporated into the cream that goes between layers of light chiffon cake. One bite will leave you wanting for more.
Aside from being a bakery, Vizcos also has a restaurant where they offer meals at a great price point. Head to Vizco’s for a hearty meal and an indulgent slice of strawberry shortcake.
For a hassle-free and convenient trip to Baguio, it's important to read up on practical tips. These will come in handy if it’s your first time in Baguio.
All establishments in Baguio accepts payments in Philippine Peso (PHP). Although a lot of establishments accept credit cards, it is still better to always carry cash with you.
You can find several ATMs and money changers in the city center, especially along Session Road. Before heading to tourist spots outside of the city proper (ex. La Trinidad Strawberry Farm, BenCab Museum, and Tam-awan Village), be sure to withdraw or have your money changed to PHP while you're in Session Road.
Many Baguio locals are multilingual. The majority can speak three languages; Filipino Ilocano, and English. Others can speak several native dialects such as Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, Ifugao, and Kapampangan.
Rest assured, most residents have a functional command of English. So don't be afraid to ask questions or directions. Say hi/hello first when approaching them to establish a friendly tone. Who knows? You might earn a new friend in the process.
Unlike the rest of the Philippines, Baguio is cold all year-round. Even if you’re visiting Baguio during the summer, be sure to pack thick warm clothes, socks, and gloves.
Baguio is particularly cold during the early hours of the morning and when night falls. Although it is still cold during the day, you can still break a sweat if you’re walking around a lot. Hence, you also want to bring a light jacket for your noon excursions.
If it's your first time in Baguio, you might want to focus on the more popular attractions. The packaged Baguio guided tours are the most popular because it brings you to the best attractions in and around Baguio.
Most visitors spend at least three days and two nights to explore the City of Pines. Here’s a sample itinerary that you can take inspiration from:
07:00 am - Arrival at Hotel
07:30 am - Check-in and breakfast at the hotel
09:00 am - Start of the guided tour to Baguio’s Parks: Camp John Hay and Burnham Park
12:30 pm - Lunch at Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant
02:00 pm - Resume the Guided Tour to Baguio’s Parks: Centennial Park/ Baguio Botanical Garden, Wright Park, The Mansion, and Mines Views Park
06:00 pm - Dinner at Glenn 50’s Diner
08:00 am - Breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins
08:30 am - Start of Cordillera Heritage Tour; Baguio Museum, La Trinidad Strawberry Farm, and Tam-Awan Village
11:30 am - Lunch at the Farmer’s Daughter
01:00 pm - Resume the Cordillera Heritage Tour; Ben Cab Museum, and Easter Weaving Room
04:00 pm - Back to hotel
06:00 pm - Dinner and dessert at Vizco’z
08:00 pm - Bargain hunting at the Baguio Night Market
08:00 am - Breakfast at the hotel
09:00 am - Go to Good Shepherd Convent and Mines View to buy pasalubong and souvenirs
10:00 am - Back to the hotel; chill and pack up
12:00 nn - Lunch at Good Taste
01:00 pm - Departure
Start Planning Your Baguio Trip!
Do you want to escape the heat wherever you are right now? Head to Baguio! Of course, Baguio has so much to offer than its chilly weather. You can knock yourself out on their fresh strawberries, strawberry taho, and strawberry shortcake. Sample the diverse Cordillera cuisine, explore the city’s many public parks, and go bargain hunting to your heart’s delight!
The city has transformed to become more than just the Summer Capital and a City of Pines. Baguio has become a gateway to the Cordillera region. It continues to put the spotlight on the city’s deep Cordilleran heritage; from their cuisine, festivals, to their art. If you want to immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Cordillera, then start planning your Baguio trip!
The Summer Capital of the country has something for every kind of traveler. You can quickly complete your Baguio itinerary, as you’ll never run out of places to visit, things to do, places to explore, lessons to learn, and food to eat in the City of Pines.
Baguio is a good tourist destination in itself as well as a frequent stopover on the way to other top tourist destinations further North such as Batad and Banaue known for their beautiful rice terraces.
Be sure to bookmark this Baguio travel guide to plan your trip accordingly. Check out Baguio tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary.