Baguio Travel Guide 2019 (According To A Local)
When I was little, I swore to myself I’d never go out of Baguio. In my perspective, as a little kid, Baguio was the only place in the Philippines that had cool weather – everywhere else was hell in temperature. Hahaha. I grew up in Benguet in a little gold town that’s only a few hours away from Baguio. Because of this, I’ve frequently visited Baguio and lived in it for so many years. So I’d like to consider myself a local.
Living in Baguio has led me to become my friends’ consultant when it comes to “things to do, places to visit and where to stay” in the city. I’ve also written a few articles about the city so feel free to check them out below.
Anyways, if you are planning the perfect trip to Baguio, this Baguio travel guide is just for you!
Let’s get started.
Important Information about Baguio
Baguio at a Glance: Everybody loves Baguio. It’s the so-called “coldest city in the Philippines”. At times, the temperature would drop to as low as 9 degrees Celsius especially from November to February. The abundance of pine trees around the city is one of the place’s most distinguishing feature. Tourists have loved the pine smell for so many years. (Sadly, these pine trees have decreased in number in the past 10 years.) If you love the mountain, come to Baguio.
Most popular places to visit in Baguio:
Burnham Park – This is one of the most scenic spots in the city. Here, you can enjoy the flowers, go on a picnic, ride a bike or paddle a boat.
Camp John Hay – When you think of Baguio, the first things that come to mind are probably pine trees, pine trees, and more pine trees, right? Live that dream here at Camp John Hay. It’s best to visit during a sunny day and have a picnic, too.
Wright Park – Wright Park is probably most famous for the horses. However, there’s more to it than horse riding. You’ll find here magnificent sceneries and more pine trees (hahaha).
Tam-awan Village – If you want to experience a bit of Cordillera’s culture, go to Tam-awan Village. You can also choose to stay the night at one of the huts.
Botanical Garden – I love Botanical Garden just because it’s filled with all sorts of plants. If you’re into that, check this place out!
The Mansion – Want to see the house where presidents sleep when they visit Baguio? That’s the Mansion! It’s just a few steps away from Wright Park.
Other popular spots include:
- Teacher’s Camp
- Bell Church
- The Mansion
- Mine’s View
- Diplomat Hotel
Confused that the Strawberry Farms aren’t included? That’s because that’s located in the nearby town – La Trinidad.
Related Article: Weekend Getaways Near Baguio Under 500 Pesos
Language & Helpful Phrases: Ilocano
- Thank you = Salamat
- Delicious = Naimas
- Bathroom = Banyo
- How much is this? = Manu daytoy?
- Too expensive = Nangina
- I don’t want = Haanko kayat
- No = Haan
- Yes = Wen
Transportation around Baguio: The main form of public transportation in Baguio is via jeep or taxi.
Best Time To Visit Baguio
CLIMATE IN BAGUIO
Since Baguio is located at a higher elevation than most places in the Philippines, you can expect a cool climate all year round.
- Rainy Season: June to December
- Dry Season: January to May
- Coldest Months: November to February
Peak season for tourists is December, February, April and May. It’s mostly every holiday, long weekends, and Panagbenga festival.
Times to avoid traveling in Baguio
Avoid traveling to Baguio on holidays and long weekends. You have been warned. Tourists frequent Baguio during these times and you will find yourself in a lot of crowded areas especially during Panagbenga. Baguio’s roads are quite narrow and there is barely any parking space. There’s heavy traffic in all directions.
And the usual 15-minute ride? It’ll turn into 2 hours of hell inside the vehicle. For these reasons, locals barely go out of their homes on during the weeks before and after Christmas, and also during Panagbenga.
MAJOR FESTIVALS IN BAGUIO
Panagbenga Festival, February: Also known as the Flower Festival, you can find here several parades featuring flowers, floats, and street dances.
Baguio Foundation Day, September: This is often a month-long celebration of the city’s founding day.
Baguio Arts Festival, November to December: Featured here are visual arts (photography, film, video, sculpture and art installations); performing arts (modern dances drama, music, poetry reading) and ethnic arts.
Related Article: 5 Things You Probably Don’t Know about the Panagbenga Festival
Top Things to Do in BAGUIO
EAT, EAT AND EAT
Over the years, Baguio has turned into a place of food heaven. You can find here hundreds of cafes and restaurants so go on a food trip and forget about your diet hahaha.
VISIT NEIGHBORING TOWNS
Located in Benguet, Baguio has quite a few interesting neighbors. Here’s a list of awesome places to check out.
Itogon – Mt Ulap, and Mt Ugo
Tuba – Bencab Museum, Valleypoint Campsite, and Aran Cave
Related Article: Weekend Getaways Near Baguio Under 500 Pesos
Do you love coffee? Benguet has some of the country’s best coffee and Baguio has a lot of cafes. Just try not to go to Starbucks anymore. Try Cafe Yagam.
ENJOY THE COOL WEATHER
Bring out those sweaters and scarfs, and get your OOTD on! Baguio can be too cold sometimes that all you’ll ever want is to curl up, read a book and drink coffee. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience the foggy weather, too.
GO FOR A WALK/RUN
There’s no place better than to go for a walk or run than in Baguio. Wake up early and join the joggers at Burnham Park.
Insider Tip: There are also groups who exercise at Burnham Park every morning. You might want to join in and do a little bit of zumba.
Best Food to Eat in Baguio
Baguio is partly responsible for my current weight. Hahaha. When in Baguio, my friends and I usually go on frequent dinners. Plus, my husband being a foodie, I’ve been to a lot of restaurants in Baguio. Here are some of my favorites.
Lomo Ribs (Canto) – Indulge in a heartwarming meal with your family with this amazing dish and fall off the bone pork ribs that can make you say “wow”! The Lomo Ribs is a dish that you can enjoy on the daily.
Guys On The Hood (50s Diner) – If you are a very hungry person, then go satisfy yourself with the hearty meal called Guys On The Hood offered by 50s Diner. It consists of pizza, fried chicken, BBQ pork and a choice between fries and rice. What more can you ask for?
Buttered Chicken (Goodtaste) – If you are looking for the ultimate Baguio dining experience, then you should go to Goodtaste. They boast of an amazing menu filled with hearty meals that everybody enjoys. A lot of tourists agree that their buttered chicken tastes phenomenal. So give it a try and tell us all about it!
Cream Puffs (Goodtaste) – From the famous buttered chicken, you can also ask for Goodtaste’s cream puffs with feelings! No that was not a typo. It really is filled with love providing you with the warmth to fight off Baguio’s cold weather.
Bulalo (Ed’s Bakahan) – This is a hole in the wall restaurant located in the Baguio and it is definitely a place where you can enjoy meals in its simplicity like beef knuckles cooked for hours on end. They also serve papaitan as well as the best bakareta in Baguio. You will surely enjoy gnawing on the bones and appreciating the humble yet homey feeling of their restaurant.
Pani Puri (Qilla’s Restaurant) – Well, if you are looking for something foreign, then you can go on ahead to Quilla’s restaurant. Here you can find the best Indian meals as well as some Filipino meals with a few twists from their amazing Indian chefs. Their Pani Puri is so good that it can take you to another country and back in just a few bites!
Strawberry Cake (Vizco’s Restaurant) – If you love strawberries, then you will love Vizco’s strawberry cake even more!
Creamy Bulalo (Sage) – If you are looking for the best beef meal in Baguio, then a different take on the famous Bulalo dish will surely pique your interest. There’s the creamy bulalo at Sage. It is a bulalo steak that has been cooked the same way a regular bulalo would. However, it is served on a plate covered in Sage’s creamy sauce that compliments it so perfectly you’ll a hard time leaving Baguio.
Pinuneg (Farmer’s Daughter) – Authentic Igorot foods cooked the same way it was decades ago is an amazing experience in and of itself. Try the pinuneg and other meals on the menu at Farmer’s Daughter. I assure you this experience will last you a lifetime!
For more food, let me refer you to Find Good Baguio Foods. Xine has listed the best places to eat in Baguio. But for the mean time, here are some restaurants:
- Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant
- Slaughter House
- Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant
- O’ Mai Khan
Mid-range to Fine Dining
NOTE: Some of these restaurants require reservations!
- Le Chef at The Manor
- Eve’s Garden
- Foggy Mountain Cookhouse
- Forest House
- Hill Station
- Hamada Restaurant
- Mother’s Garden
- O Dong Tong Samgyeopsal House Korean Restaurant
- The Outlook Steak & Grill Restaurant
- Mama’s Table
- Cafe by the Ruins
- Baguio Craft Brewery for Food + Beer
- Secret Garden
- Lemon and Olives
Where to Stay in Baguio
Have you already booked your accommodation in Baguio? If not, here are some that you can book:
- Noel’s First Floor – Check Availability
- Small House – Baguio – Check Availability
- Koinonia Retreat Center – Check Availability
- Lyn’s Do Drop Inn Transient House – Check Availability
- 3BU Hostel – Check Availability
- Ms. Olive’s Homestay – Check Availability
- Austrianne Residences – Check Availability
- Davimar House – Check Availability
- French Nest at Baguio- Megatower Residences – Check Availability
- G1Lodge – Check Availability
- The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay – Check Availability
- Sunset View Ridge Residences – Check Availability
- Grand Sierra Pines Baguio – Check Availability
- Skyland Garden Hotel and Resort – Check Availability
- Luxurious Baguio Log Cabin – Check Availability
- Outlook Ridge Residences N-206 – Check Availability
- Kamiseta Hotel – Check Availability
- The Manor at Camp John Hay – Check Availability
Here are also some I’d recommend booking:
If you’re planning on booking via Airbnb, here’s a P1600 ($30) discount on your first booking when you sign up on Airbnb via this link.
Typical Budget for Baguio
Baguio is paradise for people who want to escape the heat. The budget for a trip to the city will depend on you.
Good to know: Save money by walking. Most of Baguio’s parks, buildings, and malls can be reached by foot at the central business district.
HOW MUCH TO BUDGET IN BAGUIO PER DAY
Budget traveler: If you are on a tight budget and watch your spending closely, P500 – P1000 could be a sufficient budget.
Mid-range traveler: If you want to have a few splurges and stay in nicer accommodation, plan to budget P1000 – P2000 per day.
- Camping = P0-P250
- Budget room = P250-P1500 per room
- Mid-range = P1500-P3500 per room
- Luxury hotel = P3500+ per room
- Fast food = P100-P200
- Budget Meals = P50-P100
- Mid-range restaurant = P100-P200
- Fancy restaurant = P300-P700
- Taxi = starts at P60 (for short trip) to P200 (for far-off destinations)
- Jeepney = P8.50-P20
Responsible Travel Tips in Baguio
When traveling to one place, make sure you practice responsible tourism. Here are some tips to do so.
1. Respect the environment
Don’t litter. Please hold onto your trash until you find a garbage can. If you’re in Session road, you won’t find any trash can unless you go inside 7-Eleven.
2. Avoid single-use plastic
Baguio is already starting a ban on single-use plastic. However, there are still shops that will wrap their products in these. So be sure to bring your eco bag and say no to single-use plastic.
3. Be considerate
Before you go to Baguio, read on the traditions, culture, religion, and customs of the place so you know what is appropriate and inappropriate. Most of Baguio’s residents are Igorots like me. And most often a lot of tourists come to Baguio looking for Igorots expecting as if they will find a group of people who are way behind today’s society.
I don’t know about you but we take insult in this. So please, before you go to Baguio, educate yourself and do your research. You might be insulting someone.
Tip: If you are bringing your car to Baguio, try not to honk your car multiple times. The locals don’t like that. You’ll be seen as a nuisance.
4. Shop local
Keep the traditional crafts alive and support local artisans. Buy from them. And try not to haggle, P20 may seem small to you but it can mean a lot to them.
5. Always ask permission
Be sure to ask for permission first when taking photos or videos especially when it comes to children.
What to Pack for Baguio
Always pack light so you can easily carry your bag around and avoid worrying about your stuff being left behind.
Here are some Baguio-specific items I’d recommend packing:
- reusable straw and reusable bag (no to single-use plastic!)
- umbrella (especially from April to December)
- t-shirts, a nice top, and a long-sleeved shirt
- sweater to warm you up
- thick socks
- travel towel and toiletries
- sneakers and some flats
Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)
How To Go To Baguio
If you don’t have a car, you can ride a deluxe bus or a regular aircon bus via Victory Liner or JoyBus of Genesis Transport.
JoyBus Deluxe: wanderera.com/joybus-deluxe
JoyBus Premiere: wanderera.com/joybus-premiere-class
How To Book Online (JoyBus): wanderera.com/joybus-premiere-class-how-to-book-online
Victory Liner First Class Deluxe Bus: wanderera.com/victory-liner-first-class-bus
How To Book Online (Victory Liner): wanderera.com/victory-liner-online-booking-step-by-step-guide
Planning on going to Baguio? Don’t forget to save this post on Pinterest.
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