Escape the Summer Heat: The Ultimate Baguio Travel Guide

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated April 11, 2024

Baguio is called the country’s Summer Capital for a reason. Its cool atmosphere, stunning mountain views, and pockets of green draw in tourists all year round. 

Its appeal is timeless, making it a perennial favorite among local travelers. According to a survey by Klook, 92% of Filipinos plan to travel locally this 2024, listing Baguio as one of their prospects.[1] 

If you’re one of them, read this handy Baguio travel guide.

Baguio Travel Guide: A Quick Overview 

baguio travel guide - overview

Baguio is a highly urbanized city located in Benguet Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region. While popularly known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, it’s also called the City of Pines since the temperature of the highlands encourages the growth of pine trees. 

What’s the best time to visit Baguio? You can head to this city any time of the year. But if you want to experience it at its coldest, go during the months between November and February. During this time, Baguio sees temperatures as low as 9°C.[2] 

However, expect the said period to attract lots of tourists, driving up hotel prices. Keep in mind that long weekends and holidays, such as Holy Week and Christmas, draw in thousands of visitors, too. 

The off-peak season is normally from May to October. The weather may be quite unpredictable during these months, with rain showers here and there. The upsides, however, include fewer tourists and cheaper accommodation prices. 

Read more:

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How to Go to Baguio 

You can travel to Baguio City in two ways: via bus or private car. 

Looking for a Baguio commute guide? Ride a Victory Liner bus at Cubao or Pasay. Alternatively, you may go for Genesis Transport Service, which operates Baguio trips from Cubao, Pasay, and Avenida. 

If you live on the coastal side of Pasay, Parañaque, or Las Piñas, ride a Baguio-bound bus at Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). Trips are operated by Pangasinan Solid North or Solid North. 

If you plan to bring your own car or rent a private van, you can reach the city via NLEX-SCTEX or TPLEX.

The Baguio-Manila trip takes between four to six hours, depending on where you’re coming from and possible traffic jams along the way.  

How to Get Around Baguio 

There are a few ways to get around the City of Pines.

If you’re on a budget, jeepneys are the way to go. But if you want to move around more quickly and conveniently, hail a taxi or book a Grab car. For a more convenient approach, just book a car or van rental. 

You can also stay in the city center, from which some of Baguio’s attractions are more accessible, so you can simply walk towards your destinations. 

How Much to Budget for a Baguio Trip

Assuming that you’re traveling with just one friend, your Baguio trip budget should range from ₱5,000 to ₱6,000. This includes bus fares, accommodation, and food.

If you’re gunning for a Baguio DIY itinerary for 3d2n, add ₱2,000 more. 

Of course, you can lower this budget by traveling with a group.  

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Where to Stay in Baguio

baguio travel guide - where to stay

Photo: The Manor at Camp John Hay (Facebook)

Looking for a place to stay in Baguio? Here are your options, depending on your budget:  

🏩 Baguio Accommodation Options for Budget Travelers 

Check out the following if you’re on a limited budget:  

  • A Hotel Baguio
  • 3Bu Hostel
  • Inn Rocio Baguio
  • The Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast
  • High Point Boutique Inn
  • Elmar Cabin
  • The Half House by Elmar Cabin
  • Peredo's Lodging House
  • Travelite Express Hotel
  • City Travel Hotel

🏩 Baguio Accommodation Options for Luxury Travelers 

If you have money to spare, go for a hotel with upgraded creature comforts. Here are your choices:

  • The Manor at Camp John Hay
  • The Forest Lodge at Camp John Hay
  • Baguio Country Club
  • Kamiseta Hotel
  • Le Monet Hotel
  • Azalea Hotels & Residences
  • Grand Sierra Pines Hotel
  • G1 Lodge Design Hotel 
  • Venus Parkview Hotel 
  • The Orchard Hotel Baguio

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Baguio Travel Guide: Places to Visit 

Ready to make your DIY Baguio itinerary? Make sure to include the following: 

🌲 Burnham Park

baguio travel guide - burnham park

Located in the heart of the city, Burnham Park is a sprawling green space with lots of surrounding restaurants and attractions. This is a great spot for people-watching and street photography, as the park teems with life and activities. 

Burnham Park is recognizable through its man-made lake. Rent a boat to explore the corners of the lagoon. Bike rentals are also available if you want to pedal through the park’s lively paths. 

🌲 Wright Park

baguio travel guide - wright park

Families and friend groups usually include this park in their Baguio city itinerary because of one thing: horses. Yes, you can enjoy horseback riding in Baguio if you visit Wright Park. 

Within the park are an assortment of stores selling souvenirs. You can do your shopping after exploring the area. 

Meanwhile, Upper Wright Park has a reflection pool that offers photography opportunities. The pathways of this section lead to another tourist destination—The Mansion, the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. 

🌲 Baguio Botanical Garden 

baguio travel guide - baguio botanical garden

Escape the crowds and surround yourself with colorful flowers at Baguio Botanical Garden. If you’re visiting Wright Park, you might as well visit this green space since it’s nearby. 

The garden is home to pine trees, azaleas, dahlias, sunflowers, and shrubs. Moreover, you can find historic landmarks such as the Japanese Tunnel, a souvenir from World War II. 

🌲 Mines View Park 

As its name suggests, the main activity in this park is sightseeing. From its observation deck, you can see abandoned gold mines of Itogon and uninterrupted views of the surrounding forests and mountains.  

Mines View Park houses a menagerie of shops selling snacks and souvenirs.

Just keep in mind that the park can get crowded at times, meaning you’ll need to wait your turn at the observation deck. 

🌲 Camp John Hay 

Want to be surrounded by towering pine trees? At Camp John Hay, you’ll experience peace and quiet. You can always find a corner where you can enjoy solitude. 

Walk or trek on the trails while appreciating the natural surroundings. Adventurous holidaymakers can enjoy ziplining, wall climbing, and even paintball shooting. 

🌲 Baguio Cathedral 

Otherwise known as the Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral, Baguio Cathedral makes you feel like you’re in Europe with its magnificent Neo-Romanesque architecture. The elevation of the church makes it a great place for watching the hustle and bustle of Session Road. 

Step inside the church to see its majestic ceilings and woodwork. After attending mass, descend the steps leading to Session Road and explore the street’s many shops and restaurants. 

Related: 19 Religious Destinations in the Philippines to Nourish Your Spirit

🌲 Strawberry Farm

baguio travel guide - strawberry farm

This Baguio travel guide won’t be complete without the Strawberry Farm. Many visitors from Baguio make their way to this plantation, located in the town of La Trinidad, to pick strawberries. The best months for strawberry picking are from October to May.[3] 

After picking fresh strawberries, do some pasalubong shopping. You can buy all things strawberry, ranging from jams to wines. Sample them before buying!

🌲 BenCab Museum 

baguio travel guide - bencab museum

Photo: @bencabmuseum (Instagram)

Both art connoisseurs and casual tourists will enjoy the BenCab Museum. Established by National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, this art museum houses his personal collection composed of his own works, indigenous art, pieces by other Filipino artists, and erotica. 

After marveling at various artworks, head to Café Sabel, the museum’s café. Here, you can taste delicious dishes with ingredients sourced from BenCab’s organic farm. 

Note that BenCab is located in Tuba, which is a short drive from Baguio City. 

🌲 Tam-Awan Village 

baguio travel guide - tam-awan village

Photo: Tam-awan Village (official website)

Still can’t get enough of art? Explore Cordilleran aesthetics at Tam-awan Village. 

The art collective regularly holds shows and exhibitions featuring both local and guest artists. But if you’re interested in architecture, check out the Cordillera huts. 

After your tour, fill your tummy with delicious fares at Tam-Awan Village Café. It serves Benguet coffee and pinikpikan, a traditional chicken soup. If you’re lucky, you may be able to taste the signature dishes of their artists, which are offered occasionally.  

🌲 Baguio Night Market 

Located along Harrison Road, this night market hosts a lot of ukay-ukay stalls selling used clothes, shoes, and bags. If you’re a shopaholic or thrifter looking for jackets, coats, and boots to use for your trips abroad, head over here while you’re in the city. 

The Baguio Night Market is also made for foodies. Street food, soups, and nuts are popular fare here.  

Read more: 12 Famous and Underrated Tourist Destinations in the Philippines

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What to Do in Baguio

baguio travel guide - what to do

Photo: @cafebytheruins (Instagram)

Now that you know where to go in Baguio, here are some activities you may want to try: 

  • Shop – Night market shopping is a popular activity in the city. But if you prefer indoor shopping, popular spots include SM and Porta Vaga. Even Camp John Hay has a section for shopping outlets. 
  • Go horseback riding – Ride a horse at Wright Park or Camp John Hay—a perfect activity if you have kids in tow.  
  • Go on a picnic – Popular picnic spots include Camp John Hay, Burnham Park, and Baguio Botanical Garden. 
  • Go strolling – If you can't go without leisurely walks, the city has a lot of spots for you. Explore Session Road on foot or go on a trek at Camp John Hay. 
  • Appreciate art – Aside from BenCab Museum and Tam-Awan Village, Museo Kordilyera, Baguio Museum, and Ilikha Art Village are popular among tourists.  
  • Enjoy nightlife – Night markets may be Baguio’s main idea of nightlife, but the city has bars where you can chill with your friends or enjoy good music.  
  • Go on a food trip – Foodies should include the following in their Baguio food trip itinerary:  
    • GoodTaste Restaurant – Already an institution in Baguio, this restaurant serves affordable yet delicious dishes. Bestsellers include buttered chicken chop suey, and lumpia
    • The Farmer’s Daughter – This spot is known for Cordilleran dishes, such as pinikpikan and smoked meats called kinuday.  
    • Café by the Ruins – If you’re looking for a cozy restaurant, this place won’t disappoint. Popular dishes include pastas, sandwiches, salads, adobo, lugaw, breads, and spreads.  
    • Choco-late De Batirol – Warm your soul with a hot, bittersweet chocolate drink from this shop. 
    • Canto Bogchi Joint – This restaurant has an eclectic menu, which features chicken pastel, lomo ribs, croquettes, and even ceviche. 
    • Baguio Craft Brewery – Love beer? This place has got you covered. It also serves dishes, such as steak, tacos, and fried chicken. 
    • Vizco’s Restaurant & Cake Shop – Home to the legendary strawberry shortcake, this restaurant also serves meals, such as pasta and fried chicken. 
    • Any place offering strawberry tahoNever leave Baguio without tasting strawberry taho. Vendors are usually found in touristy areas. 

Read more: Sama All This Summer: Best Outdoor Activities in the Philippines for ₱3,000 or Less

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Baguio City Guide: Tips to Make Your Trip More Memorable 

baguio travel guide - tips

Avoid hassles and make your trip memorable with these Baguio travel tips: 

  • Bring a jacket, a cap, or thermal innerwear. It gets colder during the night. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking a lot. Keep in mind that streets are inclined and elevated. 
  • While credit and debit cards are accepted in most establishments, smaller cafés and restaurants may not have the facility to process such payments. Make sure to bring some cash with you. 
  • Keep your itinerary simple. Don’t cram all destinations and activities into a short stay to avoid getting stressed and tired. 

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Final Thoughts 

Baguio is popular among travelers as it seamlessly blends urban sensibilities with natural wonders. It will always be a timeless destination, no matter the season.

Thankfully, you can reach the city via different transportation options. 

May this Baguio travel guide help you draft your itinerary. Ask for more recommendations from a local if you know one! 

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Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.


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