10 Things To Do in Baguio City, Philippines: Places to Go To and Things To Do in Baguio City, Philippines

Baguio City is the summer capital of the Philippines, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the land. It is known for its pine-scented cool breeze, provided by the many pine trees surrounding the whole city. Other famous trades are walis tambo (broom), cheap quality silver jewelry, and flowers. Filipinos and foreigners alike like visiting this city, particularly during the Lenten Season and February, to witness the Panagbenga Festival (Flower Parade). If you plan to visit Baguio during these times, make sure to book your hotels and air flights early. There are many cheap air flights to the Philippines and even cheap air flights to Baguio, itself. The day population of Baguio doubles, probably triples, during these seasons.

Baguio is a good 6 hour ride from Metro Manila, but there are other means of getting there. One can take the bus, and there are now express buses that will take you to Baguio non-stop, cutting a good couple of hours from your trip.

You can also take the plane from Manila, which is of course much faster than taking the bus. I kinda like the land-based travel, though. It allows you to build excitement and anticipate the vacation ahead of you.

Aside from shopping, boating in Burnham Park, horseback riding in Wright Park, seeing the view stop Mines View Park, and doing all the other usual stuff in Bagiuo, here are some suggestions on places to visit and things to do in Baguio.

1. Sit down for a sketching session with the artists

While no doubt you can have this done in the malls, too, nothing beats sitting for a sketch with the pine breeze and soft sounds of nature surrounding you. Artists in the Botanical Gardens will finish your sketch in an hour, and you can relax and distress in the gardens afterwards. There are also souvenir shops and food stalls in the area, so there is no need to worry about shopping and food.

2. Go artsy in Tam-Awan Village; have a short hike, too

“Artsy” is the first thing that comes to mind when one sets foot in the Tam-Awan Village. As soon as you first see its tiny entrance, you know that you are about to set foot in a place emulating culture and the arts.

There are Ifugao and Kalinga huts, some of them are open for lodging, coffee shops and souvenir shops. You can also have your sketch taken here, and some very unique items are found in Tam-Awan. Even the signs in the comfort room tell you that art is a prevailing concept n the village.

You can also take a short hike following the trail shown in the map. Even kids and toddlers can go, since it is a very easy trail, but nevertheless gives a sense of adventure.

even the toilets are artsy
even the toilets are artsy

3. Pick, pack and eat fresh fruits and vegetables

Though not technically in Baguio, La Trinidad, Benguet is almost always associated to the City of Pines. Going farther up north, one can have a fill of the freshest produce the uplands can produce. If you go during the cool and dry months (December to May), you can buy fresh strawberries for as cheap as $1 per kilo. You can also pick the berries yourself, have them weighed, wash them and eat them. Other fruits and vegetables are unbelievably cheap and fresh, too. Broccoli can be bought at $0.50 per kilo.  Freshly cooked strawberry jams (with or without whole strawberries) are available at very reasonable prices, too.

lettuce, anyone?
lettuce, anyone?

4. Drink strawberry taho (taro)

While in La Trinidad, try this unique strawberry taho (taro) at a very cheap price, $0.25 per cup. Taho is a local delicatessen, made up from soy and made sweet by liquid sugar. Usually, it is accompanied by tapioca balls but this particular mix is topped instead with whole strawberries, and strawberry syrup.

strawberry taro...that's novel!
strawberry taro...that's novel!
my personal photographer :)
my personal photographer :)

5. Have your picture taken with the butterflies

Camp John Hay is one of the US camps that have been converted into parks and recreating center. It has a world class Jack Nicklaus-designed full golf course, a convention center, hotels, shopping centers, and of course, miles and miles of long and winding pine-tree lined roads. You can even do a mini-mountain hike in some of Camp John Jay’s area.

Tucked within Camp John Hay is a small butterfly farm, where you can have close interactions with beautiful winged creatures. For only Ph45 ($1), you can go around the Butterfly Farm and have your picture taken. The caretakers of the place sure know how to entertain their guests. They will guide you on how to have good photos with the butterflies, and you might be surprised with the results. It actually makes for a good prenuptial photoshoot!

6. Buy tiger prawns at a very cheap price

Going to Baguio by land, you will pass many provinces, and you will see various landscapes and daily life activities as you hop from one town to another. If you pay closely, you will see that there are various products sold on the side of the streets. Just before the long highway leading to the city proper, you will see some housewives and kids dangling a black little thing on their hands, some 6 to 8 inches long. Stop. Look. These are actually tiger prawns, and you can buy them for $7 per kilo or less, depending on the time you pass. The later it is in the day, the cheaper these tiger prawns get. The same kilo in the mall will cost at least double that price. But the ones you will buy from the streets are just as fresh and tasty. A tip will be to bring containers, if you feel like buying a lot. These sellers, however, are not always on their posts. When we looked for them on our way home to bring some to our neighbors they can’t be found.

7. Drink a cup of the most expensive coffee

Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee beans in the world, which comes from civet's excretion, is produced in the Philippines and in Cordillera Coffee, an unassuming coffee shop in SM Baguio, one can have a cup, but it is not cheap! Known in the menu as Kape Alamid, a cup costs around $7 - a steal, considering that it is sold for $120 to $500+ a pound in the US and Japan.

Enjoy this weird, precious brew while listening to the music favored by the highlanders while people watching in the mall.

cordillera coffee seems to have civet coffee in abundance
cordillera coffee seems to have civet coffee in abundance

8. Take photographs at the park

If you are into photography (digital photography – SLR or the point and shoot variety), there are many places in Baguio City to capture the beauty of nature. Trees, flowers, insects and birds abound in the city, and you can get some very good subjects just walking around on the streets or while eating in one of the food carts. What’s best about taking photographs in Baguio is that you won’t break into a sweat, even if the sun was so high up in the sky. 

so tiny!
so tiny!

Day 12 HubChallenge

13th...will this be the luckiest?
13th...will this be the luckiest?

9. Shop for unique gifts at affordable prices

Apart from silver jewelry and walis tambo, Baguio also boasts of many quality wooden carvings that range from less than $2 to hundreds of dollars. But what is great is that it will always be priced cheaper in Baguio than in any other place (except of course in Banawe and Sagada, where these things come from). These wood carvings make a wonderful gift for a foreigner friend or relative, or for a boss because it just has “class” written across it.

this convent grants your wish
this convent grants your wish

10. Make a wish at the Pink Sisters Convent

A personal favorite of mine, and one that I firmly believe in, Pink Sisters Convent grants your every wish. Pink Sisters is said to make wishes come true. When you go to this tiny chapel/convent, you can make a request by writing on the request paper available on the sides of the pew. You can ask for any request (any reasonable request, I guess), and the nuns will pray for your request. You can include a donation, but you are not required to. I have made a lot of request in this very chapel, some made with donation and some without, all have been granted so far. It may just be luck, or coincidence, but either way, it doesn’t hurt.


Our family goes up to Baguio at least once every year, but there is still that same excitement whenever my eardrums pop for the first time, and I see the long and winding road ahead of us. The first sight of pine trees still thrill me, and every sight, sound and taste of Baguio still feels like the first time. Suffice it to say, I will never get tired of Baguio because I keep discovering that there are still many things to do in this breezy city.

All photos by Ones Almario.

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Comments 27 comments

Aqua profile image

Aqua 7 years ago from California

I would love to go the the Philippines one day. Baguio City sounds like a wonderful place to visit with lots of interesting things to do. Love all your photos ~


mommyfreelancer profile image

mommyfreelancer 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Please do, Aqua. We'll be happy to show you around. :)

Thank you for your compliments about the photo. My personal photographer (the one with the butterflies) will be thrilled! :)


Allan D profile image

Allan D 7 years ago from The Internets

nice hub. looking forward to go to philippines and baguio soon


Denggoy Isang Pinoy 6 years ago

Me and my College Pips will visit the city of Pines this coming weekend, This will be our much anticipated return on City of Pines, since our Baguio College tour Way back in 2002. I am excited to tour the City and feel the fresh air hope to escape for a while the el Nino Fever in Manila. Happy Panagbenga to all.


CHRISTINE 6 years ago

i'll be meeting my best friend way back elem years after almost 20 years of not seeing each other. found out she's now residing in baguio and made me want to go there more. been planning to have a vacation there for years now and finally booked a trip this may. looking forward to a memorable reunion... :)


Sammi Calkin 6 years ago

WOW!!! as a coffee fanatic, i was quite intrigued by this thing called " KOPI LUWAK ". I was born in Baguio and it is there that I learned to drink Good Coffee, grown and harvested from my own backyard.

Needless to say, i decided to research this issue as I will be visiting the City in the next few weeks and am willing to give this coffee a try. I was shocked to discover that the pricey product comes from a pile of DOODIE.


lin 6 years ago

Now,that's nostalgic!

Tan-awan--we used to hike up there as kids but we'd soon run as fast as we can when my cousins would yell: Mummies.We never did see any.But wild strawberry picking was fun.And digging for perfect earth balls..anybody aware of those brown balls under the gound?

Coffee? My grandmas coffee trees yielded those red-tree ripe beans w/c I would surreptitiously pop into my mouth while picking..it was a big no-no.Nostalgia!

Thanks for the hub.


freedertjosh 6 years ago

I'm now here in BAGUIO and this place is really

terrific..


CARLOS 6 years ago

IM SO EXCITED WE WILL BE THRE THIS COMING APRIL 19, 2010


Abby! 6 years ago

so pretty!


janna! 6 years ago

I really love and miss baguio city,


moonshiner 5 years ago

Where are the ice cold beers and those exotic pulutans?. Great itinerary, a must have for Baguio returnees. Thanks Lyn.


Sai 5 years ago

I can't wait to go to Baguio for the first time with my boyfriend! We'll definitely visit the Pink Sisters Convent and I'll make a lot of wishes LOL.

Thanks for the info and more power!


Lourdes 5 years ago

Re: 6. Buy tiger prawns at a very cheap price - Don't be fool by this vendors. The prawns are cheap because of their tricky underweight weighing scale. observe they place their weighing scale inside the basket? When we reach Baguio we check and weigh it again lack of 1/3 kilos. So to proved we bought 1 kilo sugar in the grocery sealed and stop over again pretend will buy prawns but told them will weigh our sugar in their scale... bingo gocha ... it weighs 1.3kilos


Jhero 5 years ago

Wow! nice one for the second time around I will be in bauio this coming weekend! woohoo!! Its my dream to migrate and reside in Baguio in the future! a perfect place for a change here in crowded city of manila..


yvette 5 years ago

where can i buy that tiger prawns? i regulary visit baguio but i didn't see any off it...any places more to go? please update me...


Philip Richardson 5 years ago

In Baguio now. Mines View, Camp John Hay, Kennon Road. I rode my bike up the Kennon road switch back OMG. Nothing like it in the world. Camp John Hay although no US military lives there it really exudes the Americana that once was alive and well in Baguio. Enjoy. Great weather and cheap prices. Try the tapa with garlic rice.


Kippy 5 years ago

Thanks for the info. I'll be spending my new year in Baguio and I'll have lots of things to do there because of you.

I'm so excited because this is going to be my first.


mell 5 years ago

Double I night club the test at baguio..


ella mae gerona^_^ 4 years ago

wOw nIcE WoNdErFuL Ill lIkE iT^_^


Sam Videos profile image

Sam Videos 4 years ago

Baguio is a great city to live in. It has a cool and nice climate. although it is a bit polluted nowadays, it still has an advantage compared to other cities in the philippines. http://baguiowiki.com


Karen 4 years ago

I'm planning to go to Baguio this May for the very first time. Your list would be very helpful to me. Thank you so much!!!


don 4 years ago

Ones ikaw ba yan


betsy 4 years ago

i would like to show baguio to my nephews. i want them to appreciate the beauty of our country. can you tell me how i can get around seeing these places you recommend since we plan to go up by bus?


Marian 4 years ago

Nice post. One thing, though: taho is not taro. Taro is a root crop, that is almost like ube yam (but still not the same thing). Taho, on the other hand, is made from soy pudding.


zaedi 4 years ago

how do we get to Pink convent?


mhay 4 years ago

Nice post. For more info about Baguio, please check this link

http://trifter.com/asia-pacific/philippines/the-mu...

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