Spots to Visit
1. Lion’s Head
Where: Kennon Road
See this famous landmark before you enter Baguio.
If you’re entering Baguio via Kennon Road, you can stop by the famous Lion’s Head. The monument was a project by the service membership organization Lion’s Club Baguio and was unveiled to the public in 1972. Before the stone was sculpted by Anselmo Bayang Day-ag, locals and tourists alike already recognized its shape as resembling the head of a male lion.
Where: V. L. Romulo Drive, Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio City
Visit early and see The Mansion behind its gates.
The Mansion is the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines in Baguio. It was built in 1908 to be the official summer residence of the U.S. Governor General but was later turned over to the Philippine president. Although The Mansion is gated, you can visit as early as 7:00 AM while the gates are open and you can enter for free. Security is still strict; you can only take pictures along the entrance.
Where: across The Mansion, Baguio City
Wright Park’s famous Pool of Pines.
One of the many parks you can visit in Baguio
is Wright Park
. Located just in front of The Mansion, Wright Park is most recognized for the long rectangular pool located near its entrance called the Pool of Pines.
The park was meant to be a recreational facility for Americans and tourists alike during the American Colonial Period and was named after Governor Luke E. Wright. Today, it is a favorite stopover for photo shoots. Souvenir shops are also found around the area.
A foggy mountain scene as seen from Mines View
Mines View Park is popular among tourists for its magnificent view of the abandoned mining towns of Itogon, Benguet. If you haven’t visited Baguio since 2013, the overlook park has undergone significant changes including the addition of a safer viewing deck for the public.
Mines View Park is also home to a number of souvenir shops where you can purchase the usual Baguio food finds (lengua de gato, ube jam, and peanut brittle), walis tambo (brooms), and various plants as well. Of course, the popular picture taking with St. Bernard dogs and horses with colored mane, and the wearing of Igorot garb for picture taking is still around.
Where: Gibraltar Road
Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Stock up on some ube jams at the Good Shepherd Convent.
The Good Shepherd Convent
is known as a popular souvenir shop in Baguio
thanks to its famous ube (purple yam) jam. But it is more than just a souvenir shop: the goodies sold at Good Shepherd are actually made by the nuns and students of Mountain Maid Training Center and the proceeds of the products go to the education of the students.
Make sure to visit early because their products sell fast!
Aside from ube jam, Good Shepherd also sells other products including peanut brittle, chocolate crinkles, and snowballs to name a few. Products, especially the ube jam, sell fast so best to visit the convent as early as you can.
Where: 30 Gov. Pack Road
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesdays to Sundays
Entrance fee: PhP30 for non-UP students with valid ID; PhP60 for adults; 20% discount for Senior citizens and PWDs with valid ID; Free admission to current UP students, faculty, and admin staff
Museo Kordilyera is the first ethnological museum in the region.
Art and history enthusiasts can make Museo Kordilyera
a part of their itinerary. Museo Kordilyera is a project of University of the Philippines Baguio
that, according to their Facebook page, aims to “cultivate an understanding of and respect for the identity and culture of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera and Northern Luzon as an integral part of the evolving Filipino culture.”
Witness the everyday lives of the indigenous people of the Cordillera and Northern Luzon through the museum’s artworks.
You’ll see artworks donated by the UP Baguio Library and Archives, the Saint Louis University
Museum, and BenCab Museum
among others. From February 2018 to February 2019, you can also catch their newest display entitled “Feast of Merits.”
September 2020 Update: Museo Kordilyera is temporarily closed.
Where: Casa Vallejo Bldg., DPS Compound Access Road
Operating hours: 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM
Curious as to what’s on the top shelf? Go ahead and use the ladders!
A home away from home for booklovers, Mt. Cloud Bookshop gained a following for their artsy and homey vibe. Aside from being a “cute” bookshop, Mt. Cloud is also an advocate of Philippine literature and Filipino artists, dedicating 80% of their collection to works of Filipino authors or books about the Philippines.
Aside from the books, you’ll also find artworks by various local artists, plus other usual bookstore finds like notebooks, bookmarks, and other writing and reading essentials.
8. Baguio Night Market
Where: Harrison Road
Operating hours: 9:00 PM to 4:00 AM
Visit Baguio Night Market and see where your PhP20 can take you.
Thrift shopping in Baguio is more known as either wagwagan (“to shake,” as shoppers shake off the dust from the clothes) or ukay ukay (“to dig,” as shoppers dig on piles of clothing). These shops are situated all over Baguio but the biggest one is the Baguio Night Market located along Harrison Road. Once the road closes, you’ll see racks upon racks of clothing with prices as low as PhP10. There are also food vendors around the area if you’re tired after a night of haggling.
September 2020 Update: Due to quarantine measures in place, the Baguio Night Market has been temporarily suspended. Please check the Facebook page of Baguio City’s Public Information Office for a more up-to-date status of the market.
Where: Jose Abad Santos Drive
Bike rentals: BMX or mountain bikes – PhP40/hour; Go carts and bike with sidecar PhP50/hour
Boat rentals: Boats (for five persons) PhP100 for 30 minutes; Boats (for six to eight persons) PhP150 for 30 minutes; Rower PhP50
Boating at Burnham Park is a fun break after all the walking.
Another Baguio Staple, Burnham Park is a favorite recreational area in the city for tourists and locals alike. The park was established in 1925 by Daniel Hudson Burnham as part of the beautification of Baguio during the American Colonial Period. It was patterned after the City Beautiful Movement in the United States, in which a park is built in an urban area to increase the quality of life of its residents.
Many visitors love to jog or walk around the park thanks to its concrete paths and abundant shade from thousands of trees. Bike rentals and boating at the man-made Burnham Lake is, of course, still one of the most popular activities to do in the park.
Where: 2600 Mount Mary, Cathedral Loop
Baguio Cathedral’s twin spires are gorgeous against Baguio’s clear blue sky.
Near Burnham Park is Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, more popularly known as Baguio Cathedral. Although the church was known for its pinkish façade, today it has an updated blue and flesh color but is still a beauty to behold with its rose windows and twin spires.
Baguio Cathedral is open to visitors who want to say a quick prayer, but proper attire must be observed before entering the church (i.e. no wearing of shorts, caps, or sando or sleeveless shirts, among others). Beside the church is Porta Vaga Mall where you can have a quick lunch or buy souvenirs.
September 2020 Update: Baguio Cathedral conducts only online masses.
11. Stobosa Hillside Homes Artwork
Where: Bontoc Road, La Trinidad, Benguet
Visit this beauty when you pass by La Trinidad.
A little drive outside Baguio and you can also marvel at the beauty of StoBoSa Hillside Homes Artwork. The project is an initiative of the local government of La Trinidad and the Department of Tourism to be the country’s first and largest community artwork as part of their Rev-Bloom Urban Redevelopment Tourism Campaign.
StoBoSa is the combination of Stonehill, Botiwtiw, and Sadjap, the three sitios or barangays (village communities) that became part of the project. The artwork resembles a sunflower, which is common in the area, and was inspired by the Favela paintings of Brazil and the Gamcheon Cultural Village of Busan in South Korea.
Where: Brgy. Puquis, La Trinidad, Benguet
Who knew a simple farm can offer a majestic view?
The Strawberry Farm in Benguet is also a favorite destination of visitors of Baguio for its famous strawberry picking activity. Aside from the heart-shaped fruit, vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce can also be found around the farm.
Make sure to catch these strawberries at the right time!
Strawberry harvesting season is from the last week of December until March so make sure to visit the farm during this time if you want to experience picking the strawberries yourself. Otherwise, there are souvenir shops around the farm that sells pre-packed strawberries and various kinds of strawberry products including jams, wines, and candies.
Where: FA 347 Bell Church Road, La Trinidad, Benguet
Have a serene and peaceful break at Bell Church.
Although Bell Church is actually a Taoist temple, its majestic arcs and pagodas, well-manicured garden, and peaceful atmosphere made it a famous tourist spot. Visitors are more than welcome to roam around the grounds of the temple and take pictures as well, but proper behavior must be observed as it is still a religious site.
Bell Church’s pagodas are a sight to behold!
Bell Church is located just near the border of La Trinidad. If you’re bringing a car, you’ll pass by a couple of narrow streets and corners but there’s a spacious parking area near the church.
Where: Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet
Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesdays to Sundays; closed Mondays, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
Rates: General admission, PhP150; Students with valid Philippine school-issued ID, PhP120; Seniors/ PWD with valid Philippine government issued ID, PhP80
BenCab is worth the long travel.
BenCab Museum might be kilometers away from Baguio, but it’s definitely worth the drive. The museum is owned and run by National Artist Benedicto Cabrera who is known for his mastery of contemporary Philippine art. BenCab Museum is home not only to Cabrera’s work but to other Filipino artists as well. Inside, you’ll see various forms of art and BenCab’s collection of Ifugao wood carvings like bul’ul (rice gods) and hagabi (long wooden chair). You can also try to count how many artworks feature his muse, Sabel!
After wandering BenCab, make sure to catch some fresh air at the museum’s garden.
Below the museum is Café Sabel
where guests can have some snacks and refreshments before leaving the museum. There is also a farm and garden where visitors can spend some time taking pictures and just relaxing.
Where: 37 Leonard Wood Road
Walk and wander around Baguio Botanical Garden’s wonderful maze.
Another one for the nature lovers is Baguio Botanical Garden. The garden is a huge maze of rich foliage, tall pine trees, and various sculptures that pay homage to the Igorot tribe and to our foreign neighbors. Those who want an added thrill can visit the Japanese tunnel that was used by the Japanese army during the Second World War as a bunker and a means to transport war supplies. The tunnel was discovered in the 1970s and was later opened to the public in 2014.
Where: 37 Leonard Wood Road
Be surrounded by tall pine trees when you roam around Camp John Hay.
Camp John Hay is also a spot in Baguio you shouldn’t miss. Camp John Hay was built to become the recreation center of the Americans during the 1900s, was taken by the Japanese army during World War II, and was ultimately turned over to the Philippines in 1991.
Inside you can have a great time just strolling around amongst the abundant pine trees of the camp and trekking its high slopes. You can also stop by The Manor
or visit the camp’s golf course if you’re into the sport.
17. Camp John Hay’s Historical Core
Where: 37 Leonard Wood Road
The façade of Bell House inside Camp John Hay’s Historical Core
Also part of Camp John Hay is its Historical Core which one can enter with a minimal fee. Inside you can visit the Bell House , designed and named after General J. Franklin Bell, which was used to be the official vacation residence of the Commanding General of the Philippines. The home-turned-museum will give you a glimpse of the classic American lifestyle. There’s also a humungous garden beside the Bell House known as the Amphitheater.
Throw away all your life’s negativities at Camp John Hay’s Cemetery of Negativism.
Another find at Camp John Hay’s Historical Core is the Cemetery of Negativism. Established by Commanding General John Hightower, the cemetery was meant for its visitors to bury their negativity as he believed that it is man’s heaviest burden and greatest self-imposed infliction
Other points of interests that you can also visit include Teacher’s Camp
, Pink Sisters’ Convent
, Tam-Awan Village
, The Old Diplomat Hotel
, Laperal White House
, and Lourdes Grotto
. You can save this list and use it as your guide the next time you visit Baguio. Add or remove places according to your liking and have an amazing time!
What and Where To Eat
If you consider yourself a foodie—or if you just love food, period—Baguio won’t disappoint. From organic dishes to meals with a chocolate twist, here are some spots in Baguio that you can visit for a nice lunch or dinner on your next trip.
Where: #777 Tip-Top City Limit, Ambuklao Road
You’ll spend hours at Arca’s mini library.
Arca’s Yard might be hard to reach but it is worth the travel. The café-slash-museum-slash-library is a place where you can dine and relax for hours. Inside the café, you’ll find a mini library filled with various titles that you can read while you dine or drink a cup of coffee. The art is overflowing as well: they have a collection of paintings, photographs, and various tribal articles showcasing the culture of the Igorot.
Arca’s Yard’s Frothy Coffee and Spicy Tuna
Arca’s Yard also has an extensive menu that ranges from pasta, rice meals, and a long line of drinks from shakes to coffee. Some of the items you can try at Arca’s Yard include Arca’s Spicy Tuna (PhP195), Lechon Kawali (PhP240), and Frothy Coffee (PhP50).
Where: Igorot Stairs, Upper Session Road
Tsokolateria’s Salpicao Tapa overflowing with toppings
If chocolate is your weakness, Tsokolateria should be part of your itinerary. Dine here during dinner time and enjoy Baguio’s cool breeze while sipping a hot cup of Tsokolate Ah (PhP160), a hot chocolate drink with just the right play of bitterness and sweetness to warm you up.
Enjoy Tsokolateria’s Carbonara with hot bulalo soup and strawberry salad.
Tsokolateria’s food is incorporated with chocolate, but their dishes are still savory and not sweet. Try their Salpicao Tapa (PhP270) a combination of tenderloin in tapa marinade topped with garlic and cacao nibs plus sriracha rice. For pasta lovers, their Carbonara with White Choco Shavings (PhP250) is a creamy delight topped with crunchy lechon belly and fried egg.
Where: Ground Level, BenCab Museum, Km 6. Asin Road
Café Sabel’s bright and colorful interiors
After wandering the halls of BenCab, you can also grab a quick meal at the museum’s in-house restaurant Café Sabel. The café overlooks the museum’s farm and garden and is like a museum itself with its eye-popping chairs and interesting and eclectic posters and paintings that surround its walls.
Depart from the usual spaghetti and enjoy a spicy Hungarian Pasta at Café Sabel.
Some of the dishes that you should try at Café Sabel are their Hungarian Pasta (PhP220), a savory and mildly spicy pasta filled with Hungarian sausages, and Grilled Pork Chop (PhP250), a lean and meaty pork chop which is nicely grilled and paired with organic rice.
Where: 92 General Luna Road, Corner Brent Road
Glenn’s 50’s Diner will make you travel back in time.
Glenn 50’s Diner, also known simply as 50’s Diner, gained a huge following in Baguio because of two things: its aesthetic and affordability. One look at their old-school façade and you know you’ll spend most of your time taking lots of photos. Inside, it’s even more nostalgic with the neon lights and a collection of movie posters from decades ago.
Glenn’s affordable yet filling Cordon Bleu.
As for the food, 50’s Diner offers affordable yet tasty dishes. Despite being on the sulit side, their dishes come in huge servings that will fill you up. One of the must-tries at 50’s Diner is their Cordon Bleu (PhP145), made with thick pork meat with ham and cheese, enhanced with a creamy sauce.
5. Strawberry Taho
Strawberry taho can be found all over the City of Pines!
A must-try when you visit Baguio is the famous strawberry taho (silken tofu with caramelized brown sugar and tapioca pearls). We found one while wandering around Wright Park and the hot strawberry syrup against the soft tofu is a nice companion against Baguio’s cold weather. If you’re not fond of strawberry but still want a unique flavor, ube taho is also available.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of accommodation options in Baguio as it is a well-known tourist spot in the country. From luxury hotels to the popular transient houses, travelers will surely find a place that is fit for their budget.
Where: #7 Leonard Wood Loop, Brgy. M. Roxas
Price range: Varies, but is around PhP5,357++ to PhP9,375++
Enjoy the comforts of a condominium when you stay at Azalea Hotel.
Image: Azalea Residences Facebook Page
Azalea Hotels and Residences resembles the condotel types of accommodations popular in Manila. Their rooms come with kitchen and dining areas making one feel like they are in their own home.
Where: Bagong Bayan St., Brgy. Salud Mitra upper Session Road
Price range: PhP1,000 to PhP3,700
Basic bed and breakfast and comfortable beds await Hotel 45’s guests.
Image: Hotel 45 Facebook Page
Those who have a tight budget but still prefer to stay in a hotel might find Hotel 45 a nice option. Located at the end of Session Road, Hotel 45 offers your typical bed and breakfast services enough for a good night’s sleep.
Where: 9 Upper Market Subdivision, Camp Allen
Contact Grace Chi Homes directly for price inquiries at 09052517696, 09493690717, or (074) 443 6678
Gracious Chi’s bunker beds are perfect for backpackers on a budget.
Image: Gracious Chi Home
Gracious Chi Home is one of the many transient homes you can find in Baguio. The dorm-type hostel is located inside Camp Allen and is perfect for solo travelers or backpackers who want to save and don’t mind sharing a room with other folks.
Make sure to visit Yoorekka
to learn and find out more about the best things to do in Baguio.
While this article highlights most of the popular sites in Baguio, there are still many places in the Summer Capital that will pique your interest and catch your attention as you go along. So keep your plans flexible and, most of all, enjoy every bit of the trip!
This article was originally published in Yoorekka on February 24, 2018.