The Philippines is well known in the travel community for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. However, many are not aware of the one place that many locals enjoy visiting during the hot summers: Baguio City.
Located in the high and cold mountains of Benguet, Baguio is a haven for many who wish to escape the heat of the tropical country and enjoy the cool breeze of the City of Pines.
THINGS YOU MUST DO IN BAGUIO CITY
If you are someone who is very religious, the Baguio Cathedral is the first stop. Its exquisite design leaves everyone in awe, not to mention the overwhelming feeling it gives when you are in its proximity. It attracts everyone, trust me, because I am not religious at all, but I find myself drawn to it.
Here’s what other people thought was the best things to do in Baguio City
You can’t claim to have been in Baguio City if you don’t visit Burnham Park. The large park is not only for those who enjoy a colourful nature walk, but also for kids who wish to go on bicycle rides or couples who want to enjoy a romantic boat ride on the lake at the centre of the park. There is plenty to do here, and it is in the centre of town, making it the perfect place to start your tour of the city.
WHAT I LIKE BEST ABOUT BAGUIO CITY
The weather is what lured me to this city. I come from a hot a dry place, and Baguio is the complete opposite. It is below 28 degrees Celsius all year round. During the colder months between December and February, you can enjoy temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees Celcius. For those who enjoy the colder, fog-filled gloomy atmosphere, like me, then Baguio City is perfect. Plus, because the city is on a mountain, it does not flood during the rainy season as it does in other regions of the Philippines.
BEST WALK IN BAGUIO CITY
I can’t give you a specific answer here, because walking all over Baguio is a joy, no matter where you go. But I guess there are a few places that stand out more than the others.
I have already mentioned Burnham Park, but there is also Camp John Hay, CJH is favourite for both locals and tourist alike, that consists of wide open spaces for family picnics, pine trees everywhere you go, and several food establishments to fill every craving.
Another place to go for a lovely walk is the Botanical Garden, which is filled with lovely aesthetic sceneries and a large diversity of flora. Many come here to escape the city life, or for photo shoots, or simply because they are botany lovers.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN BAGUIO CITY
Baguio City, also known as the City of Pines, is a popular destination for its cool climate, scenic views, and cultural attractions. But aside from these, the city is also a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary delights. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to eat in Baguio City, including restaurants, markets, and food courts.
- Good Taste Cafe and Restaurant – This is a must-visit restaurant for anyone who wants to experience the local cuisine. Their menu features a range of Filipino dishes such as pinakbet, kare-kare, and crispy pata. The restaurant is also known for its generous portions and affordable prices.
- Oh My Gulay – If you’re looking for a vegetarian restaurant, then Oh My Gulay is the place to be. This cozy restaurant features a garden setting and serves a variety of healthy dishes made from fresh ingredients. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, soups, and pasta dishes.
- Forest House – This restaurant is located in a picturesque setting, surrounded by trees and gardens. They offer a menu of international cuisine, with a focus on European and American dishes. The restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere, attentive service, and delicious food.
- Baguio City Public Market – The public market is the go-to place for fresh produce, meat, and seafood. It is also a great place to find local delicacies such as strawberry jam, peanut brittle, and ube jam. The market is bustling with activity and is a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Tam-Awan Village Market – This market is located in the Tam-Awan Village, a cultural center that showcases the traditional way of life of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera region. The market features handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs, as well as local food products such as coffee, rice, and vegetables.
- SM City Baguio Food Court – This food court is located in the SM City Baguio mall and features a wide range of food options. You can find Filipino dishes such as adobo, sinigang, and lechon, as well as international cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
- Baguio Night Market Food Court – The Baguio Night Market is a popular destination for shopping and street food. The food court offers a variety of local dishes such as grilled meats, rice meals, and snacks. It’s a great place to sample the local street food and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant night life.
In conclusion, Baguio City is a foodie’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary delights. Whether you’re looking for a cozy restaurant, a bustling market, or a lively food court, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. So, pack your bags, grab your appetite, and head to Baguio City for a gastronomic adventure!
BEST HOTELS IN BAGUIO CITY
We have a small list of hotels in Baguio City. If you’d like to see more details and customer reviews click the links and you will be taken to TripAdvisor.
- Baguio Country Club has European-inspired cottages furnished with only your utmost pleasure and comfort in mind that present panoramic vistas of the golf course and valley. We have seven Food and Beverage outlets, various sports and recreation facilities, an 18-hole golf course, several function rooms that can seat up to 800 and providing the best customer service of any hotel in Baguio.
- Hotel Elizabeth Baguio is situated upon the lush mountains of Baguio and within walking distance from top tourist attractions, guests of Hotel Elizabeth are in for a different kind of pampering – from a host of fine dining options, exquisite spa treatments, beautiful landscapes and luxury accommodations.
- Sierra Pines Baguio is situated in a quiet area along Outlook Drive, 60 rooms was built around pine trees, offering a unique experience for guest to relax and commune with nature. Amenities includes a SPA, Fitness Center, Basement Parking, Mini Library, National Artist Gallery, and Garden.
- Baguio Burnham Suites Hotel offers rooms with a flat screen TV, a kitchenette, and air conditioning in the rooms, and it is easy to stay connected during your stay as free wifi is offered to guests.
BEST FESTIVAL IN BAGUIO CITY
Baguio City is known for its flower festival – Panagbenga. The festival is a month-long celebration that takes place every February. The city comes to life with flowers everywhere you look. The festival involves landscaping competitions, cultural dances from schools all over the city, parades with local celebrities, and my personal favourite, Session In Bloom.
Session In Bloom is a week-long event that takes place in main street (Session Road), where it is completely shut down to traffic, and replaces with food stalls and other little stalls that sell trinkets and books and flowers, of course. This event takes place during the last week of Panagbenga as a sort of “closing with a bang”.
BEST NIGHTLIFE IN BAGUIO CITY
Besides the usual clubs and bars (which can be found in every city around the world), Baguio offers something a little better – the Night Market. From 9 pm to midnight, enjoy the excitement of shopping at a large market under the night’s sky. In case you were too busy enjoying culture and sight-seeing to go shopping, no worries. You can find almost everything here, and for a cheaper price. Shoes, clothes, accessories, trinkets, souvenirs, and once again, FOOD!
Here is a list of other bars and nightclubs in Baguio City
- The Kaffeeklatsch – This bar is known for its cozy and intimate atmosphere, with a wide selection of drinks and food. It features live music performances and open mic nights, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
- The Nest, Roofdeck Bar – This rooftop bar is located on the top floor of the Azalea Residences hotel and offers a stunning view of the city. It features a variety of cocktails and live music performances.
- 18BC Music and Sports Bar – This bar is known for its lively atmosphere and sports-themed decor. It features a variety of drinks and pub food, as well as live music and sports screenings.
- Vinyl Underground – This bar is popular among the younger crowd, with a retro-themed decor and a selection of drinks and cocktails. It features live music performances and DJ sets.
- The Piano Bar – This bar is known for its elegant and sophisticated atmosphere, with a variety of cocktails and drinks. It features live piano performances, making it a great spot for a romantic night out.
- Purple Resto and Bar – This bar is known for its purple-themed decor and a selection of drinks and cocktails. It features live music performances and DJ sets, making it a popular spot for a night out with friends.
- The Bunker Bar – This bar is known for its unique underground bunker-themed decor and a variety of drinks and cocktails. It features live music performances and DJ sets, making it a popular spot for party-goers.
- Oh My Gulay – This vegetarian restaurant and bar features a unique and artistic decor, with a selection of drinks and cocktails. It features live music performances and art exhibits, making it a popular spot for art enthusiasts and foodies.
- Rumours Bar and Pub – This bar is known for its lively atmosphere and a selection of drinks and pub food. It features live music performances and sports screenings, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
- Baguio Craft Brewery – This brewery is known for its locally brewed craft beers and a variety of pub food. It features a relaxed and casual atmosphere, making it a great spot to hang out with friends and enjoy a cold beer.
BEST DAY TRIP OUT OF BAGUIO CITY:
While the city is filled with wonders, it has more to offer with just a few minutes drive outside the city. If you’re looking for some adventure, I recommend you visit one of the many waterfalls that surround Baguio. These include the Hyrdo Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Binanga Falls, or the Colorado Falls. All are worth the short travel.
If you don’t want to get yourself wet, then I cannot recommend the Strawberry Farms enough. Baguio City is known for its strawberries, but if you don’t feel like simply buying them at the market, you are more than welcome to pick them yourself at the Strawberry Farms. It is located just outside of the city, and it is one of the “must dos” when in Baguio.
SOMETHING THAT NOT MANY TRAVELERS KNOW ABOUT BAGUIO CITY
If you know who to ask, and where to go, there is a haven for bookworms hidden somewhere in the city. Bookends is a small thrift store hidden near Harrison Road. What might look like a clutter to other people, will be a shop full of hidden treasure to those drawn to books. Piles, towers, mountains of books can be found here, and for an unbelievably cheap price. Some are only worth P5o (US$1) per kilogram. These books are pre-loved and still in a good condition.
10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BAGUIO CITY
- Baguio City is known as the “City of Pines” because of the abundance of pine trees in the area.
- It is located in the province of Benguet, and is situated at an altitude of 1,540 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest cities in the Philippines.
- Baguio is a popular tourist destination because of its cool climate, scenic views, and rich culture.
- The city was originally developed by the Americans as a hill station in 1900, during the Philippine-American War.
- The city is home to the famous Baguio Cathedral, which was built in 1936 and is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the country.
- Baguio is also known for its colorful street art, with murals and graffiti adorning many of the city’s walls and buildings.
- The city is famous for its strawberries and other fresh produce, which are grown in nearby farms and sold in the city’s markets.
- Baguio is also home to several universities and colleges, including the University of the Philippines Baguio and Saint Louis University.
- The city is famous for its “panagbenga” festival, which is a month-long celebration of flowers that takes place every February.
- Baguio has been designated as a UNESCO Creative City for Crafts and Folk Art, recognizing the city’s rich cultural heritage and its thriving arts and crafts scene.
FINAL TIP FOR TRAVELERS
There are hundreds of little restaurants off the beaten path, hidden in every corner of the city. I recommend you get into a jeep and just let it take you wherever it goes. Lose yourself in the city and discover it by yourself. Don’t worry, it is very easy to find your way back to the city centre. Just take a jeep. Every single jeep only has two destinations, the sub-division it is heading to, and the Plaza (city centre). So, you’re never really lost.
I hope you find yourself in Baguio one day. I know I was happy to end up here.