Baguio Travel Guide

Overview of Baguio

Baguio, which is known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, is the best place to travel if you want to escape the tropical heat in the lowlands. The city rarely experiences temperatures higher than 26°C, even during the warmest times of the year, with typical temperatures ranging from 15 to 23°C. Baguio is also home to lovely plants that wouldn't often survive elsewhere in the country due to its climate. You'll be in for a treat with all the lovely flowers and lush flora as you enter the area, which is also known as the City of Pines. You'll genuinely feel as though you're stepping into another universe.

Where to Go

Mines View Park

Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the abandoned gold and copper mines from this popular viewpoint. You can also shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs at the stalls lining the park.

The Mansion

Visit the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines when in Baguio. This grand mansion boasts stunning architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens, making it a must-see attraction.

Burnham Park

Take a leisurely stroll or rent a boat to paddle around the man-made lake at Burnham Park. The park offers various recreational activities, including biking, skating, and picnicking, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Session Road

Explore Baguio's main thoroughfare, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Session Road is the heart of the city's commercial and entertainment district, offering a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of opportunities for shopping and dining.

Baguio Botanical Garden

Discover a diverse collection of flora indigenous to the Cordillera region at this peaceful garden. Stroll along winding pathways and admire the colorful blooms, traditional Ifugao huts, and sculptures depicting indigenous culture.

Wright Park

Visit this picturesque park known for its horseback riding activities. Pose for a photo with the iconic horse statue or take a scenic horseback ride around the park's scenic surroundings.

Tam-awan Village

Immerse yourself in the rich culture and traditions of the Cordillera region at this reconstructed traditional village. Explore Ifugao huts, art galleries, and cultural exhibits showcasing indigenous craftsmanship and heritage.

Baguio Cathedral

Marvel at the neo-Gothic architecture of this historic cathedral, which serves as a prominent landmark in Baguio. Attend a mass or simply admire the cathedral's intricate stained glass windows and ornate interiors.

What to Do

Explore Session Road

Wander along Baguio's main thoroughfare, Session Road, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. It's a great place to shop for souvenirs, sample local delicacies, and soak up the city's vibrant atmosphere.

Visit the Baguio Night Market

Experience the hustle and bustle of the Baguio Night Market, where you can find a wide array of goods, including clothing, accessories, gadgets, and local handicrafts. The market is open every night along Harrison Road, offering a unique shopping experience.

Go Strawberry Picking

Head to nearby strawberry farms in La Trinidad, Benguet, where you can pick fresh strawberries straight from the fields. It's a fun activity for families and groups, and you can enjoy the sweet rewards of your harvest afterward.

Explore the Baguio Public Market

Dive into the bustling atmosphere of the Baguio Public Market, where you can find an abundance of fresh produce, local delicacies, and handicrafts. Don't miss the chance to sample regional snacks like strawberry taho and ube jam.

Visit the BenCab Museum

Immerse yourself in art and culture at the BenCab Museum, which showcases the works of national artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) alongside indigenous artifacts and contemporary Filipino art. The museum is set amidst lush gardens with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Take a Boat Ride at Burnham Park

Rent a boat and paddle around the serene lake at Burnham Park. It's a relaxing way to enjoy the park's scenic surroundings and get some exercise at the same time.

Hike to Mount Costa

Go on a nature hike at Mount Costa, a botanical garden and eco-park located just outside Baguio City. Explore themed gardens, scenic trails, and picturesque viewpoints amidst the cool mountain air.

Experience Panagbenga Festival

If you're visiting in February, don't miss the Panagbenga Festival, Baguio's annual flower festival. Enjoy colorful parades, street dancing, flower exhibits, and other cultural events celebrating Baguio's blooming flowers and vibrant culture.

When is the Best Time to Visit Baguio

The dry season typically runs from November to April, Baguio enjoys cool and pleasant weather with lower chances of rainfall. This period is considered the peak tourist season as the temperature drops, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as sightseeing, hiking, and exploring the city's attractions.

The dry season is also when Baguio hosts various festivals and events, including the Panagbenga Festival in February, showcasing colourful flower floats and street dancing, attracting visitors from all over the country.

On the other hand, the wet season in Baguio occurs from May to October, characterised by increased rainfall and occasional typhoons. While the wet season brings lush greenery and cooler temperatures, it also comes with higher humidity and the possibility of heavy rain showers, especially during the peak of the monsoon season from July to September.

Despite the rain, Baguio still sees its fair share of tourists during this time, particularly those seeking a respite from the scorching heat in other parts of the country. However, outdoor activities may be limited due to the weather conditions, so it's advisable to pack accordingly and plan indoor activities such as museum visits or shopping trips to the Baguio Public Market.

How to Get to Baguio

By Air

Baguio does not have its own airport, but travellers can fly to nearby airports such as Clark International Airport or Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. From there, you can take a bus or rent a car to continue your journey to Baguio. Clark International Airport offers more direct access to Baguio via land transportation, while Manila requires a longer drive due to heavy traffic.

By Sea

There are no direct sea routes to Baguio due to its inland location. However, travellers can take a ferry to ports in nearby cities like San Fernando, La Union, or Manila. From these ports, you can then continue your journey to Baguio by bus or car, enjoying scenic road trips through the countryside.

By Car / Bus

The most common and convenient way to reach Baguio is by land transportation, either by car or bus. From Manila, travellers can take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and then continue on the scenic Marcos Highway, which leads directly to Baguio. Several bus companies operate daily trips to Baguio from terminals such as Victory Liner, Genesis, and JoyBus in Manila, offering comfortable and affordable transportation options for travellers.

The journey by bus typically takes around 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the route taken. If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car or use your own vehicle to enjoy the scenic views along the way.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Taxis are readily available in Baguio, particularly in popular tourist areas and transportation hubs like bus terminals and major hotels. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Grab operate in the city, providing convenient and reliable transportation options for travellers. Taxis and ride-sharing services offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to explore Baguio's attractions comfortably and at your own pace.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is another popular option for getting around Baguio, especially if you prefer the freedom to explore the city and its surrounding areas independently. Several rental agencies offer cars, motorcycles, and scooters for hire, with options ranging from compact cars to larger vehicles suitable for groups or families.

Driving your own vehicle allows you to explore Baguio's scenic roads and visit attractions at your leisure, with the added convenience of being able to stop and explore whenever you please.

What to Eat

Local Food

Delight in the flavourful local cuisine of Baguio by experiencing the hearty offerings at Goodtaste Restaurant, Oh My Gulay, and The Farmer's Daughter Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

In the coastal towns and beachside areas, visitors can discover an abundance of seafood restaurants and eateries serving an extensive selection of freshly caught ocean delicacies. Popular establishments such as Seafood Island Camp John Hay, Fortune Hongkong Seafood Restaurant, and Bay-bay Seafood & Grill offer tempting options straight from the sea.

Western Food

Baguio boasts several dining venues that present a tantalizing selection of Western cuisine, offering a delightful complement to the city's local flavors. Restaurants such as Red Rustikz, Melt, Pine Country Steaks and Waffles, and Hill Station serve up a diverse array of Western dishes, providing visitors with a satisfying culinary experience.

What to Buy

When exploring Baguio, be sure to indulge in the city's vibrant shopping scene, where you'll find a plethora of unique souvenirs and local products to bring home. Don't miss the opportunity to purchase handwoven textiles and traditional Igorot handicrafts, such as intricately designed baskets, wood carvings, and woven fabrics, which showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Cordillera region. Baguio is also famous for its fresh produce and gourmet delicacies, including locally grown strawberries, mountain coffee beans, and artisanal jams and preserves, making it the perfect destination for foodies and culinary enthusiasts.

Where to Stay

Experience a variety of stays in Baguio, ranging from luxurious retreats to cozy boutique hotels. Nestled within the pine forests of Camp John Hay, The Manor offers elegant accommodations with modern amenities and scenic views, while Le Monet Hotel exudes charm with its French-inspired architecture and relaxing ambiance.

For budget-conscious travellers, Microtel by Wyndham provides affordable yet comfortable rooms with convenient access to nearby attractions. Baguio Country Club boasts historic charm and upscale amenities, including a golf course and multiple dining options. Alternatively, Casa Vallejo offers a unique boutique experience in a restored colonial building, with individually designed rooms and a renowned restaurant. Whether you seek luxury, affordability, or charm, Baguio has the perfect stay for your memorable mountain getaway.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

For your journey to Baguio, it is advised to pack lightweight and comfortable attire, taking into account the tropical climate. Choose breathable materials such as cotton and linen to remain cool in the heat.

Bring swimwear for beach outings, and consider modest clothing when visiting religious sites. Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are suitable for casual outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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