This is the Baguio Guide I have been meaning to write. We all know that there are tons of “Baguio Travel Guides” available on the internet and I’ve been contemplating as to how to make this content piece more resonating to you in such a way I’d be able to create a unique piece. If you’ve been a reader of this platform you’re familiar with our Neighborhood Series guides —
Known as The Philippine’s upland, pine-clad retreat from the heat and dust of the lowlands, albeit nowadays we can say that it also processes the same chaotic character of Manila only a notch lower. This is the kick-off point should you want to reach the hill tribe’s culture in Sagada, Banaue, and Kalinga.
Although presented with loads of jeepneys, taxis, and tourist’s private vehicles, and not to mention the SM Mall marring every view – Baguio still has this natural draw- an airy and cold place where you can tolerate the mayhem of small-scale urban spaces, a burgeoning restaurant scene, and a pretty decent public market are still a refreshing experience for outsiders.
Come away with us during our #Day Out as we show you Where to Eat, Where to Go, and What to DO if you have only 48 hours to spend in the city of Pines.
How To Reach Baguio via Manila
Via Public Transportation
Several bus companies ply the Manila-Baguio route. You can catch a bus at the following terminals:
- CUBAO TO BAGUIO – VICTORY LINER
Regular aircon: P485
- CUBAO TO BAGUIO – JOYBUS
- PASAY TO BAGUIO – JOYBUS
- PASAY TO BAGUIO – VICTORY LINER
Regular aircon: P496
3 h 55 min (245 km) via R-8 and N Luzon W Expy/R-8
- Continue to Balintawak, Quezon City
- Follow E1/R-8 and N Luzon W Expy to Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union Expy in Urdaneta City
- Continue on Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union Expy to your destination in Baguio
Considerations For Visiting
Busiest months in Baguio would be December, February (Panangnga/ Flower Festival) and during the Holy Week. I personally will always avoid those months to avoid heavy traffic in the city area.
April is the hottest month in Baguio City with an average temperature of 70°F (21°C) and the coldest is January at 64°F (18°C).
Visit the Baguio Public Market
Whenever we’re in Baguio we always make sure to always to visit the local public market. There you will find the freshest produce at its regional base prices.
- Fresh coffee beans from Benguet region
- La Union grapes
- 100% Pure Honey
- Fresh oyster mushrooms
- Plump tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
- Romaines/ Lettuce
- Sagada oranges (when in season)
For us, the best time to go to the market would be pretty early in the morning.
- Location: Magsaysay Ave, Baguio City.
- The market is located at the bottom of Session Rd. (the main street of downtown Baguio) on Magsaysay Avenue. It’s easiest to get there by through several entrances along Magsaysay, or from the back near Abanao Square.
- Another resource: A dedicated blog resource for the Baguio City Market
A Visit To BenCab Museum (outside Baguio)
I personally helm this as one of the best collection of contemporary art, Cordillera collections (animalist, sacred wood figures), and not to mention the almost complete collection of the artist Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (BenCab).
A beautiful space by showcasing ultra-modernism mixed with traditional Filipino crafts. Make sure to spend at least 3 hours at this place and roam around its floors and outskirt mini forest at the back.
- P.S: Read up about Art Etiquette in 4 Ways
- How to reach (via public transportation): Asin Rd jeepneys get you here from Abanao St near City Hall or a taxi costs P150.
- Facebook Page
This artists-centric colony is located in 366-C Pinsao Proper. This artist colony showcases indigenous craftsmanship and a venue where local artist from the Cordilleras can come together and create art. Visitors can participate in art workshops, learn dream-catcher or bead making, and enjoy indigenous music and dance demonstrations.
The Chanum Foundation, headed by the national artist Ben Cabrera, developed the project in line with its mission to preserve and teach the art and culture of the Cordillera people. This is probably one of the best vantage point to see the South China Sea.
- You can rent its nine traditional Ifugao homes and two Kalinga huts for the night.
- Official website
- (via public transportation) take a Quezon Hill–Tam-Awan or Tam-Awan–Long-Long jeepney from the corner of Kayang and Shagem Sts (P11)
- Facebook Page
Mt. Cloud Bookstore
I’ve been in love with this bookstore for 9 years and this is arguably one of the best bookstores to get all the curated local authors. If you love collecting books about history, ethnographic non-fictions, and novels written by great writers then Mt. Cloud should be on your checklist.
Make sure to visit their social channels to see what kind of event they’re hosting — Author meet & greets, food tasting, novel reading sessions, and related lectures.
- New location: 1 Yangco Road, Corner Brent Rd, Baguio
- Monday/Sunday 10am-7pm
Camp John Hay
Visiting this 246- hectare old US military is an oasis should you want to see open grounds of greenery and heaps of natural pine trees. True to its reinvention as a mountain resort, where you can choose to stay in any of its posh hotels or for the most of us frolic the grounds and enjoy a restful coffee or perhaps ice cream afternoons.
- Other activities: golf, mini-golf, ziplines, walking trails, and outlet shopping (although prices are still relatively the same as Manila’s)
- (via public transportation) Camp John Hay is very spread out, and jeepneys are not allowed in, so your best bet is to take a cab.
Drive up to Dominical Hill Retreat House (perhaps see a ghost or two)
Up the hill is the Dominical Retreat house where it used to be back in 1911, American friars and nuns of their orders in Baguio seek solace and R&R. It became a refugee place during World War II from people escaping the terror of Japanese soldiers, but when the same forces advanced and invaded the property they turned the retreat house as their headquarters. Brutal imperial armies committed unspeakable acts of inhumane violence– decapitating priest. raping nuns, and barbaric torturing of those captives of war. During the end of the Japanese occupation and as the American forces were slowly liberating each this section– Japanese armies committed suicide to refuse defeat.
The Dominican Hill Retreat House, also commonly known as the Diplomat Hotel, is now an abandoned structure atop Dominican Hill. Famous for its ghost sighting stories, but the whole property on which it stands has become a Dominican Heritage Hill and Nature Park. A panoramic view of the city unfolds from its vantage point and a great garden is surrounding the entire property.
- Dominican Hill, Diplomat Road, Baguio
- Closes at 5pm
There are heaps of options where to eat in Baguio and taste will always be subjective based on preference and price point will always be a consideration. So let me subdivide our recommendations based on our Where to Eat Categorization.
Good view/variety of dishes
- Arca’s Yard (Ambuklao Rd.)
- Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant (Near Burnham Park)
- Solibao (Familiar comfort food)
- Balajadia Kitchenette Slaughter House
- Point & Eat Grill (Session Rd.)
Pizza and Pasta
- Amare La Cusina (#1 Ignacio Villamor St.)
- Cafe Yagam (25 J.Felipe Street, Lualhati)
- Farmer’s Daughter (inside Tam-Awan Village)
Unlimited Korean BBQ
- Korean Palace Restaurant (38th South Drive)
Unlimited Japanese Yakiniku
- Tajimaya Charcoal Grill (Military Cutoff Road)
- Oh My Gulay! (Fortune Care, 108, Session Rd)
- Forest House (Loakan Rd, Camp John Hay)
- Le Chef at The Manor (Camp John Hay)
- Mario’s (Upper Session Rd)
- Strawberries and Ice Cream (Camp John Hay)
- Choco-late de Batirol (Igorot Park of Camp John Hay)
- Chaya (72 Legarda Rd, Brgy. Campo Sioco)
- Foggy Mountain Cookhouse (Overpriced, inconsistent, and the view isn’t that great due to Meralco wires obstructions)
- O’ Mai Kan (Poor customer service)
- 50’s Dinner (Yes it is still cheap, but the quality drastically changed)
- Pizza Volante
The drive to perfect long drive road trip to the north where every town is feels different and yet familiar at the same time. A lowlander’s dream of cool weather- Baguio will always be this attractive out of town destination. What’s your fondest Baguio memory? comment below! We’d love to hear your feedback and recommendations for our next Baguio trip.
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- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor