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Exploring Baguio The Summer Capital of the Philippines – A Quick Tour Guide

Exploring Baguio The Summer Capital of the Philippines – A Quick Tour Guide

Want a quick get away? At approximately 248 km from Metro Manila, Baguio is one of the places people go to to quench the summer thirst or to experience the cold weather during the holidays. Sitting at 4810 feet above sea level, Baguio’s temperature and climate is one of the reasons why tourists favor this place and not to mention the delicious food you can try.

Baguio has evolved from being just a place to buy strawberries to a tourist destination that offers a whole lot of new activities.

Check out the quick guide below if you’re planning to visit Bagauio.

By private transport, the trip from Manila usually takes just 5-7 hours during the day.

By bus

Victory Liner

☎ +63 2 727 4534, +63 2 833 5019.

Hourly bus service to Baguio from its Monumento Main terminal in Caloocan City, Cubao and Pasay terminals.

Buses are generally modern and air-conditioned.

Cost is ₱450 per person one way (most expensive among Aircon buses going to Baguio). A non-stop deluxe bus service is also available for ₱750 per person one way, water and snack are served during the trip. Semi-deluxe buses are now included with one stop at Tarlac Shell station, costs around ₱650, no toilet inside the bus. (prices as of Dec 2018)

Some buses have free WiFi.

Dagupan Bus

New York St., Cubao, Quezon City, ☎ +63 2 929 6123.

Also serves the Manila to Baguio route via its Cubao Terminal. Buses leave on an hourly basis.


Hourly bus service from Cubao, Pasay, and Avenida bus stations.

By car

From Manila to Baguio by car

Take the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Quezon City until Clark and then exit to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), then to the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) up to Urdaneta, Binalonan or Pozzorubio in Pangasinan. From there, you will drive the old McArthur Highway until Rosario, La Union. Motorists drive through the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan and La Union (if via Marcos Highway) or Benguet (if via Kennon Road). Of the three main routes leading up to Baguio, the scenic Kennon Road is the shortest, taking only three-quarters to one hour from the foot of the mountains in Rosario, Pangasinan. Marcos Highway starts in Pugo, La Union (a little further to the northwest from Rosario) and takes about one hour but is a wider, less winding road with a more gradual uphill incline and is safer in the rainy season. It has spectacular vistas of the South China Sea on a clear day. Naguillan Road is usually taken by travellers from the north and will take longer.

Burnham Park

Go for a walk or go rowing on Burnham Lake. Visit the recently renovated Rose Garden or have fun with the kids in the Burnham Park Playground.

Burnham Park

Jose Abad Santos Dr, Baguio

2600 Benguet

Baguio Cathedral

This Neo-Gothic style cathedral sits atop a hill. It connects to the Porta Vaga mall through the parking lot and Session Road through a 104-step staircase. During World War II, the building served as an evacuation center. Nowadays, it’s a serene place to hear mass or even exchange vows.

Baguio Cathedral

2600 Mount Mary

Cathedral Loop, Baguio, Benguet

(074) 304 4061

Mines View Park

Shop, eat, and go sightseeing all in one place at Mines View Park. Named for the wide and wonderful view of the Cordillera mountains that it offers, the park is also home to many stalls where you can purchase woven, knitted, and wooden souvenirs of all kinds. A handful of restaurants can be found in the area too if you’re too hungry to sit through the traffic back to the city center.

Mines View Park

Mines View Observation Deck

Mines View, Baguio, Benguet

Lion’s Head

Kennon Road, Camp 6. Limestone sculpture of a lion by the Baguio chapter of the Lions Club. It is carved by Ifugao artist Anselmo Bayang Day-ag and is considered as the Baguio’s “entrance marker” for tourists coming from south of the city.

Botanical Garden

Formally known as the Centennial Garden, the Botanical Garden is more of a park that’s rich with history. Inside, you’ll find reminders of Baguio’s friendship with foreign countries like the bridge and pond on the Chinese Pavilion and the Buddha statues lined up on the path to the Japanese tunnel. The tunnel itself was once used during World War II to transport supplies. Nowadays, it is open to the public for tourist purposes.

Botanical Garden

37 Leonard Wood Rd

Baguio, 2602 Benguet

Daily, 6AM – 6PM

Camp John Hay (The Bell House, Cemetery of Negativism, Secret Garden & Amphitheater)

Visit the historical Bell House, the Cemetery of Negativism, the Secret Garden, and the Amphitheater. The Secret Garden and amphitheater are a short trek from the Bell House and feature some perennial flowers and greenery.

Camp John Hay

Camp John Hay, Baguio, Benguet

The Mansion

Architecture buffs will recognize the distinct Spanish Colonial Revival style in which this summer-residence-turned-tourist-attraction was built. The Mansion has been a popular venue for conferences and other events, such as the Baguio Conference of 1950 that was convened by then President Elpidio Quirino. When it’s not being used to host political leaders and international delegates, it is open for the public to see and enjoy.

The Mansion

‎Leonard Wood Road

Baguio 2600

Explore Session Road

The main thoroughfare of Baguio, where most of the city activity is centered. SM mall and Burnham Park are walking distance

Strawberry picking at La Trinidad

La Trinidad is known for supplying strawberries not just to Benguet province, but also to the rest of the country. In 2004, La Trinidad made its mark in the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the world’s largest strawberry cake as part of their Strawberry Festival celebration. You can easily buy a good batch of strawberries there, but visitors are also welcome to take a hands-on approach and pick their own strawberries.

Go ukay-ukay

Night Market to Bayanihan Lodge to Skyworld Commercial Center, Baguio is overflowing with secondhand clothes, bags, and shoes.

Hilltop, behind the Baguio City Market. At 6:00 o’clock in the morning, at 12:00 noon, and finally at 6:00 o’clock in the late afternoon, hawkers will spread out the used clothing and bags by the road. These sell at about Php10.00 – Php50.00 each.

Bayanihan’ is a pretty old hotel building to the northwest of Burnham Park that has found a new lease on life as the site of the cheapest ukay-ukay stalls. Navigating the maze of stores on different levels isn’t easy, but the prices here are much lower than those found on Session Road. Stalls here close at around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m.

“Skyworld’ at the corner of Session Road and Calderon Street. If you are looking for premium designer brands, this is the place to go. Like in Bayanihan, stalls close by sunset.

Harrison Road and the side streets between it and Session Road have a many small shopping areas selling ukay-ukay, these shops sell not only apparel but toys, sporting goods, office stuff and novelty items as well.

Baguio City Night Market

Harisson Road, Session Road, and surrounding streets. Around 11PM, when the normal hustle of the city cools down, the night market takes to the street. Buy clothes, shoes, and accessories at low prices.

Baguio Night Market

Harrison Road, Benguet, Baguio

9PM – 2PM

BenCab Museum

Located far away from the city center and sometimes hidden by the fog, lies the personal collection of National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (or BenCab for short) at a 4-story building. There are EcoTrails available where you can take a guided walk through the expansive farm and garden area. This is where you can also learn about organic farm produce and indigenous architecture.

BenCab Museum


6 Asin Road, Tuba, 2602 Benguet

(074) 442 7165

Tuesdays – Sundays, 9AM – 6PM

Entrance Fee:

– P150 for general admission

– P120 for students with valid Philippine school-issued ID

– P80 for Seniors/ PWD with valid Philippine government issued ID

– Special rates for student & organized groups with a minimum of 30 guests

Panagbenga Festival

The Baguio Flower Festival is held every February. Street parades, colorful floats and costumes and native dance displays have drawn huge crowds to Baguio every February.

SM City Baguio

Luneta Hill, Upper Session Road

A large shopping mall in Baguio. Hosts a branch of SM Supermarket, a supermarket. This mall is unusual among most Philippine malls you generally find because it lacks air conditioning.

Where To Eat

Ili-Likha Artist Village

Sit anywhere you please and take your pick of rice meals, burgers, Italian-Filipino fusion cuisine, or one of their many vegetarian offerings. For a taste of authentic Cordilleran food, look for Café Cueva.

Ili-Likha Artist Village

Assumption Road

2600 Baguio

(074) 442 0980 Monday-Friday, 8AM – 7PM

Good Taste

Chinese-Filipino restaurant bestselling fried rice, chop suey, and buttered chicken (the top 3 must-tries!). This is the go-to place for big groups after events or late shifts since it’s open 24 hours. It’s also popular among college students since their dishes are budget-friendly and most can feed for three or more people.

Good Taste

Carino Street

corner Carino and Otek Streets

Rizal Monument, Baguio

(074) 244 0722

Daily, 24 Hours

Pizza Volante

Volante is another 24-hour establishment that you can visit for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a nightcap. Whatever time you end up there, you’ll definitely want to save a little room for dessert and try the decadent Choco-Vanilla Affair. There are three branches to choose from; the biggest and most convenient one is at Session Road.

Pizza Volante

Session Road, Baguio

2600 Benguet

(074) 445 0777

Daily, 24 Hours

Choco-Late de Batirol

While Choco-Late de Batirol is indeed famous for its hot and cold batirols, they also serve sumptuous and affordable food. Drop by for breakfast and order one of their silog meals. Or, make it a dinner date and you might even hear some live music. If you do visit them in the evening, bring a jacket since their “indoor” seating is not covered by concrete walls.

Choco-Late de Batirol

Igorot Park, Camp John Hay

Baguio, 2600 Benguet

Daily, 7AM – 10PM

O’Mai Kan

Eat at O’Mai Kan for a hands-on experience. You choose what goes into your bowl—meat, veggies, sauces, and spices—then leave it to the crew to cook it all together on a hot griddle. Don’t worry about missing out on another combination you thought would taste great, because you can go back for second rounds.

O’Mai Kan

Session Road, Baguio, Benguet

(074) 442 5885

Daily, 10AM – 10PM

Cafe by the Ruins Dua

The original Cafe by the Ruins tragically burned down in 2017, but the second branch (called “Dua” since it is Ilocano for “Two”) does a fantastic job of carrying its legacy. Indulge in a plate of Baguio Bagnet or sample their famous bread and coffee. The cafe is also home to many art pieces, including the mural on the building’s facade.

Cafe by the Ruins Dua

225 Upper Session Rd

Baguio, 2600 Benguet

(074) 422 9804

Daily, 7AM – 9PM


Treat yourself to a hefty serving of authentic Japanese food at Chaya. Sushi lovers will their Chirashi Sushi rice bowl that’s topped with fresh sashimi. They also offer several different salads that are made with organic vegetables. Even the simple Kani Salad with crab stick, cucumber, and shrimp roe is a delight.


72 Legarda Rd, Brgy. Campo Sioco

Baguio, 2600 Benguet

(074) 424 4726

Daily, 10AM – 9PM

Farmer’s Daughter

Authentic taste of the Cordilleras with dishes you may not have heard of before. Their pinikpikan is a must-try. Affectionately called “killing me softly”, the chicken in this dish is prepped by repeatedly hitting (“pikpik” in Ilocano) the chicken while it is still alive so as to cause bruising, which is said to improve the flavor. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, order the Ibaloi pig blood sausage (pinuneg) as well.

Farmer’s Daughter

Long Long Benguet Rd

Awan Village Baguio

2601 Benguet

(074) 428 1253

Monday-Saturday, 9AM – 8PM

Sunday, 9AM – 3PM

What To Eat

Strawberry taho – Burnham Park, Mines View Park, Wright Park, Botanical Garden, etc. – for P15 to P20 a cup

Strawberry sorbetes from La Trinidad Strawberry Farm – Km. 5, La Trinidad

Homemade green tea ice cream at Chaya

Lagud (Strawberry beer) at Baguio Craft Brewery

Dark beer cheesecake at Ozark Diner (Ozark Diner along Bareng Drive in Bakakeng)

Death by chocolate cake at Hill Station Bistro

Where To Stay

Here are some recommended hotels in Baguio.

The Manor at Camp John Hay

Considered the No #1 Hotel in Baguio for its luxurious lodge-style amenities and ideal location inside an iconic tourist destination.

Camp John Hay, Loakan Road, Baguio City

For Inquiries & Reservations:

(02) 584 4911

(02) 584 4892



St. Patrick Village Baguio

Baguio City’s St. Patrick Village is cozy comfort at its finest. Its spacious villas are decorated with everything you’re looking for in a relaxing stay fit to entertain a family or group of friends. With its strategic location, it brings you close to famous attractions such as Mines View Park and Camp John Hay.

No. 88 Paterno Street

South Drive, Baguio

For Inquiries & Reservations:

Front Office

(02) 986 4373

(0917) 659 5015


C Boutique Hotel

C Boutique Hotel Baguio will tempt you with simple comforts, an excellent city location and delicious locally inspired dishes that guests rave about.

A fireplace and cozy lounge makes this stay homey and comfortable, perfect for just lounging while you enjoy the cool, crisp temperature Baguio is famous for.

No. 5 Arellano cor. Moran

Baranggay Gibraltar, Baguio

For Inquiries & Reservations:

Tin Cruz

(02) 752 5252

(0917) 865 5334


For those who wish to find a more affordable alternative check out some recommended Airbnbs below.


Things To Buy

Baguio City Public Market dry goods section. There’s an entrance right across from Abanao Square.

– Ube Jams

– Strawberry Preserves

– Peanut Brittle

– Lengua de Gato

– Fresh Strawberries

– Woven articles – various articles ranging from wristbands and bookmarks through hand bags and rucksacks to slippers, all hand woven

– Wood carvings – rice god figurines, traditional Ifugao houses and other nice carvings made from hard wood.

Check out the tourist map of Baguio courtesy of NLEX


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