Located in Northern Luzon, Baguio is a mountain resort city that has been nicknamed as ‘The City of Pines’. Due to its mountain location, Baguio has cooler destinations in comparison to other parts of the Philippines, making it a popular summer escape for those looking for a break from the heat and humidity.
Baguio is a modern, urban city but there is plenty of green space and natural attractions around that makes it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Sound like a good spot for you?
Here are the best things to do in Baguio
1. Mt Pulag National Park
Mount Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon, making it a popular spot for hiking and trekking. While the views and surrounding scenery are beautiful, the real draw here is that if you visit at dawn you will be able to see the Milky Way Galaxy from here which is a pretty spectacular sight. The mountain is also referred to as ‘the sea of clouds’ as there are frequently a number of clouds gathered around the peak adding to its natural beauty.
2. The Lion’s Head
A favourite photo stop, the Lion’s Head is a 40-foot tall sculpture carved to look like, you guessed it; a lion’s head. The idea was originally thought of by the Lion’s Club in the 1960s and was brought to life by a local wood carver. It’s since become an iconic place to visit when in Baguio.
3. Bridal Veil Falls
This picturesque waterfall makes for a great photo opportunity. There’s a lookout over a river that the waterfall flows into and, if you are brave, a hanging plank bridge spanning the river that you can cross if you wish. It looks a little daunting but it is quite secure and safe.
4. Asin Hot Springs
Need a day to relax? Head to the Asin Hot Springs located in the mountains surrounding Baguio City. There are hot springs and cool pools that you alternate between and even a water slide. There is a restaurant on-site as well. Tip: try to avoid going on the weekends as it gets incredibly busy.
5. Botanical GardensFlickr Credit: Emeraldo Macario
Baguio has beautiful botanical gardens that are not just a scenic place to visit, but also a spiritual centre. It is said that the spirits of the native Igorot people can be found here.
6. Emilio F. Aguinaldo Museum
Emilio F Aguinaldo was the youngest president of the Philippines as well as a revolutionary leader. He led the Philippines during the revolution against the Spaniards, in the Spanish-American war, and in the Philippine-American war. This museum is dedicated to his story and holds some of his personal artefacts.
7. Burnham Park
This scenic park is a popular place to spend a day among both visitors and locals. There are rosebush-lined trails for walking or jogging, food stalls for a snack, and benches to take in the views. The most iconic aspect of Burnham Park are the swan boats which you can rent to paddle around the lake.
8. Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral
A beautiful Roman Catholic church in Bagio city, the Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral is stunning with its pink towers and stained glass windows. It’s a popular tourist attraction to visit and you may be interested to know that it played an important role in history as well. This church served as an evacuation center during the Japanese occupation of WWII.
9. Visit the BenCab Museum
The BenCab Museum showcases a collection of artworks by Philippine artist Benedicto Cabrera. There are several galleries featuring sculptures, paintings, and more.
10. Bell Church
Bell Church is a favourite among visitors. This spiritual place showcases Buddhism and Chinese culture. It’s a colorful Buddhist temple with scenic views and, unless there is a special event on, it is open to the public.
11. Pick some Strawberries
Baguio is known for its strawberries. You can’t come to this city without eating them and, if you love them, you can even go strawberry picking from March- April. It’s a fun activity for a family.
12. Baguio Market
Looking to do some shopping? How about some eating? Baguio Market is the place to go for both. There is plenty of delicious fresh food for sale here from fish to berries and more. It’s also a great place to try the Longanisa sausage- a favourite in the Philippines.
13. Baguio Craft Brewery
Most people drink Red Horse beer in the Philippines, but there actually a number of craft beers as well. Baguio Craft Brewery is a great place to try some. They have 16 rotating craft beers on tap and also offer typical bar-type snacks like wings and tacos. If you are looking for a recommendation, try the Lagud beer which is a strawberry beer.
14. The Cemetery of Negativism
This strange and unique spot plays into the concept of getting rid of negative energy. There are a number of tombstones with thought-provoking quotes about negativism and each of these tombstones has a cartoon character on top.
15. Tam-Awan Village
This scenic village is actually a contemporary art gallery located in the hills of Baguio. There are a number of traditional huts each containing art pieces, and the area is surrounded by nature with koi ponds, trails, and viewpoints.
16. Ifugao Woodcarvers’ Village
This traditional craft village is a great place to see and learn about local craft skills including weaving and woodcarving. These skills have been preserved in this village and there are plenty of unique handcrafted items for sale. A purchase will not only help the community, but will also provide you with a great souvenir for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay for the same things in Manila.
17. Visit the Valley of Colors
On the hill of Barangay Balili is a series of houses and buildings painted in bright colors. It’s one of the city’s latest attractions and makes for some great photos.
How to get to Baguio
Baguio can easily be reached by Manila overland by public bus. There are two main bus companies that follow this route; Victory Liner Busses or Genesis Busses. Both have different terminals so be sure to check which one to go to in advance. There are overnight bus options which take 5-7 hours, or daytime bus options which take 6-7 hours.
Bagiuo is a great destination that offers an alternative to the typical beaches found across the Philippines. If you are looking to explore a cooler (temperature wise) area and to see a bit of the mountains, Baguio makes for a great pick as a travel destination within the Philippines.