A city up in the mountains, Baguio City is a treasure that you must discover when you visit the Philippines! Its chilly weather has become one of the reasons for its popularity among locals, especially during the summer season. That’s why it is dubbed “The Summer Capital of the Philippines”.
Baguio City naturally has one of the best natures in the Philippines with its towering tropical pine forests that surround the city, colorful and wonderfully vibrant wildflowers growing on the sides of the road, and amazing geography that will leave you in awe!
It’s full of remnants of the second world war, home to some of the most haunted buildings in the Philippines, and the place where you’ll find the premier military academy in the country!
Here are some of the things that you can do in the City of Pines, Baguio City!
1. Burnham Park
To start off the list, you can visit Burnham Park which is quite popular for its swan boats you can paddle on the pond. This place is perfect especially if you’ve just arrived in Baguio City after a tiring 8-10 hour bus travel.
Burnham Park was established on August 6, 1925, by Leonard Wood and was designed by Daniel Burnham after whom it was named. It is the biggest park in the Cordilleras, earning it the title, “Mother of all parks”.
The park actually has 12 clusters: Athletic Bowl, Burnham Lagoon, Children’s Playground, Igorot Garden, Japanese Peace Tower, Melvin Jones Grandstand, Orchidarium, Picnic Grove, Pine Trees of the World, Rose Garden, Skating Rink, and Sunshine Park.
There are so many activities to do here and it’s also one of the best places to try out some Filipino street foods!
Location: Jose Abad Santos Dr, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Opening Hours: Always Open.
Entrance Fee: FREE but some activities have fees.
2. Baguio Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden in Baguio is one that you must see if you’re a plant lover as this garden is filled with indigenous flowers with different vibrant colors!
Though it’s better known as Baguio Botanical Garden, it was actually called the Imelda Park but was later renamed the Centennial Park back in 2009 to celebrate the city’s 100th year of being the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
The park is also an important spiritual center for the Igorot tribe as this is believed to be where the spirits of their people dwell. You’ll see replicas of native huts and statues of different Cordillera tribes at the Igorot Village.
There are also different structures and pavilions that represent Baguio’s sister cities like South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Canada, etc. The Botanic Garden is located between Teacher’s Camp and Wright Park.
Location: 37 Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Opening Hours: 6 AM to 6 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php10 for adults and Php5 for children.
3. Tam-Awan Village
The Cordillera Mountain Range is home to many indigenous tribes of the Philippines. In Baguio, you’ll find a village that is reminiscent of the lives of these tribes up in the mountains.
The Tam-Awan Village is one of the most unique experiences in Baguio because you’ll get to see the craftsmanship and the artistry of the indigenous people. It was built in 1998 by the Chanum Foundation which seeks to showcase the traditional Cordillera houses and present them to the public.
The Village started out with three Ifugao huts but later expanded into two Kalinga traditional houses and four other Ifugao huts made from original materials.
The Tam-Awan Village is a nice place to explore with the beautiful flora that grows around it but there’s more! You can sign up for art workshops where you’ll get to draw, oil paint, watercolor, and carve wood! After which you can hang out at the viewing deck and revel at the panoramic view that features the West Philippine Sea!
This village actually looks quite similar to the CatCat Village in Sapa, Vietnam, which we featured on our “Top 8 Best Places to Visit in Sapa Vietnam For a Fulfilling Trip!” blog. You can check it out and read more about Sapa and its tourist attractions!
Location: 366-C Long Long Benguet Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php60 or $1.10 for adults and Php30 or $0.55 for children.
4. Camp John Hay
Baguio was a hill station for the U.S. Military during the American occupation of the Philippines during the 1900s. So, it’s a common sight to see a lot of American influences in Baguio City.
One remnant of that American influence is Camp John Hay which literally looks like somewhere in North America! It used to be a recreation facility for American Soldiers but now it’s a fun, adrenaline-inducing eco-adventure for locals and tourists!
There are a lot of things to do in Camp John Hay such as playing golf at the world-class golf course where the Fil-Am Golf Tournaments are held every year! You can also try out the Treetop Adventure where you can go on a zipline or jump on a harnessed free fall!
However, if heart-stopping activities are not for you, you can simply walk around the area or meet some butterfly friends at the Butterfly Sanctuary. At the end of the day, you can take some rest at The Manor, a hotel that was designed after American cabins.
This is definitely the place to visit if you don’t have much time to spend in the city but want to experience the most of it! There’s more to check out at Camp John Hay so you’ll never get bored while you’re here!
Location: Baguio, Benguet
Opening Hours: 8 AM to 7 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php75 per person.
5. Mines View Park
Baguio is a picturesque city in general but perhaps the most stunning is Mines View Park, not because of the area but because of its viewing deck that features a stunning view of the Cordillera Mountain Ranges!
Mines View Park is a go-to for locals as this park also has some immersion activities that let you try out some traditional Ifugao clothing like vests, headdresses, and bahag. You’ll also get to enjoy spending time with the friendly St. Bernard dogs in the park. After that, you can try out eating some strawberry taho which is basically silken tofu with tapioca pearls, drizzled with sweet syrup!
You’ll find different knick-knacks at Mines View Park that are perfect for souvenirs. Vendors also sell plants like succulents and bonsai.
Mines View Park is surely a picture-perfect place that you definitely want to visit!
Location: Mines View Observation Deck, Mines View, Baguio, Benguet
Opening Hours: 5 AM to 8 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: FREE
6. Good Shepherd Convent
Going on a vacation or traveling around the world is so much better if we get to help others at the same time, right? Well, in the Good Shepherd Convent, that is simply what we can do.
The Good Shepherd Convent is the place to get the yummiest Ube jam in the city. It’s a popular spot to get the best pasalubong for your friends and family back home. They also have other products such as strawberry jam, homemade ice cream, the coveted peanut brittle, cookies, banana chips, and many more.
However, those are not even the highlight of this establishment. While you’re buying delicious snacks and souvenirs, you’re actually helping poor women from Kalinga and Bontoc finish their education!
So, apart from getting to eat deliciously fresh products, you’re contributing to the betterment of someone’s future!
Location: CJCG+P69, Gibraltar Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: FREE
7. BenCab Museum
There are actually a lot of artistic people in Baguio City and it’s not surprising to see some artists showcasing their own down at Session Road. Perhaps this was inspired by an artist by the name of Benedicto Cabrera who is a National Artist for Visual Arts.
Sir Benedicto Cabrera founded the BenCab Museum in a town just a few minutes drive away from Baguio in Tuba. The Museum was opened last February 2009 and showcases his own masterpieces as well as those of other National Artists, distinguished artists, and emerging contemporary artists.
The Museum also aims to highlight the importance of protecting and preserving the environment and cultural heritage of the Cordilleras. It has four levels and each level features a different theme like the Erotic Gallery, BenCab Gallery, and many more!
You can try out the cafe in the museum too. Here, you can try out products that have been produced in Benguet and surrounding Cordillera towns.
Location: Km. 6 Asin Rd, Tuba, 2603 Benguet
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday to Sunday Only.
Entrance Fee: Php150 or $3 per person.
8. La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
The Philippines is known for a variety of fruits like the sweet Mango and the Durian from Davao but never for strawberries. But yes, strawberries do grow in the Philippines. Though there are other high places that grow strawberries, the ones in Baguio are the most popular.
You can find a very large strawberry farm at La Trinidad which is actually not in Baguio City. It’s located 30 minutes north of the city. The best time to visit the strawberry farm is from November to May.
You can come strawberry-picking here for only Php600 or $11 which is already good for five people. You can also buy fresh strawberries for as low as Php250 or $4.60 per kilo! Or you can simply frolic along the farm and wander around it because they also have other fruits and vegetables aside from strawberries.
Just make sure that you get to try the famous strawberry taho (silken tofu) which is like a dessert street food. You really can’t find this anywhere else in the Philippines, so better not miss the chance!
Location: Strawberry Farm, Swamp Area, La Trinidad, 2601
Opening Hours: 7:30 AM to 5 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: FREE but strawberry-picking costs around $4 to $11.
9. Baguio Night Market
There are not a lot of night markets in the Philippines. Though you might find some, they’re not as established as the ones you’ll find in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.
However, the night market in Baguio City is one of the most popular and a go-to if you’re ever in the city. There are a lot of bargain items, locally called Ukay-Ukay, here from shoes to clothes to jewelry. Prices are quite cheap but most of the items are good quality. There are second-hand products too which are popular among locals for their cheaper prices.
There are a lot of food options here too! Most of them are Filipino street foods like a bunch of barbecues and fried squid balls but they also have Korean foods, shawarmas, and more. But of course, the highlight of the night should be trying out Balut which is usually eaten at night rather than during the day!
Location: CH7W+524, Harrison Rd, Baguio, Benguet
Opening Hours: 9 PM to 2 AM, daily.
Entrance Fee: FREE
10. Wright Park
Wright Park is the right place to go for a free and relaxing time in the afternoon. It’s another one of the most scenic parks in the city with its vast greenery.
Named after the former Governor-General Luke Edward Wright, Wright Park is a leisure spot for people who just want to take in some fresh air! The park features a long pond that is visible throughout the whole area. And at the end of the pond lies the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines, The Mansion.
There are a lot of pine trees surrounding the park and horses can be seen as well and you can even ride on one. There’s a guide to help you navigate the horse if it’s your first time, so you really don’t have to worry if you have not ridden on one before.
Wright Park is just so beautiful and peaceful that you don’t really have to exert too much effort to enjoy it!
The Mansion, Mansion House
The Presidential Summer Palace was commissioned in the year 1908 with the purpose of being the official residence of the US Governor-General during the American occupation of the country. Due to the world war in the 1940s, the Mansion took a lot of damage.
The Mansion was reconstructed in 1947 and today, it serves as the official summer palace of the President of the Philippines.
It’s no surprise why a lot of people take pictures though since the pond at Wright Park heads towards its direction and the grand gate, which was believed to have been modeled after Buckingham Palace, looks so beautiful among the pine forest.
Location: The Mansion, Romulo Dr, Baguio, Benguet
|10 AM–7 PM
|9:30 AM–8:30 PM
|9:30 AM–9:30 PM
|9 AM–9 PM
|10 AM–8:30 PM
Entrance Fee: FREE
11. Laperal White House
Next on this list is an unusual tourist attraction and one that may make you feel goosebumps all over your body.
The Laperal White House is not hard to miss especially when you pass by Leonard Wood Road. This is a popular tourist spot for thrill-seekers and the reason is that this house is believed to be the most haunted house in Baguio!
Yes, that’s right! The Laperal White House is a haunted house that dates back to the 1920s, owned by Don Roberto Laperal and his wife Dona Victorina. They lived here during the American Period, but unfortunately, their family was tortured and killed inside the house when the Japanese came. Only Don Roberto survived.
There are a lot of stories that surround this eerie white house which include sightings of a woman in white looking out from one of the windows and a child who sits by the stairs in front of the house.
Today, you can visit the Laperal White House and explore the rooms inside. There’s also a new restaurant opened in the house called “Joseph’s Restaurant” that you might want to try out!
Location: CJ63+CVP, Leonard Wood Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Opening Hours: 10 AM to 6 PM, daily.
Entrance Fee: Php50 or $1 per person.
12. The Diplomat Hotel
Another area that is believed to be haunted is the Old Diplomat Hotel. This place has an even creepier back story than the Laperal White House because of its dark past.
Built in 1913, the Diplomat Hotel was originally built as a retreat house for the Dominican Order. The Dominican Hill Retreat House became a safe haven for refugees during the outbreak of the Second World War. Unfortunately, the Japanese army invaded the retreat house and the Kempeitai (Japanese secret police) committed a lot of heinous acts toward the residents.
During the invasion, women were raped, people were massacred, tortured, and nuns and priests were decapitated. But despite this, the retreat house was turned into a hotel until it was abandoned after the owner, Antonio Agapito “Tony” Agpaoa, died in the 1980s.
Reports say that cries of women can still be heard at night asking for help and headless bodies of nuns and priests still wander around the area.
Today, it is a favorite of paranormal enthusiasts and a popular destination for people who are looking for a more exciting experience in the city! You can join a ghost-hunting tour that is usually conducted late in the evening! Just make sure that you stay within the crowd or the ghosts might take you somewhere else!
Location: Dominican Hill, Diplomat Road, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Opening Hours: 4 AM to 3 AM, daily.
Entrance Fee: FREE
How to get to Baguio City?
The best way to travel to Baguio City is to commute via bus. It’s the easiest and the most convenient way of traveling to the mountain city. Bus tickets typically cost around Php600 or $11 for a six-hour trip.
With that being said, you’ll want to hop on Genesis Bus or Victory Liner, two of the most trusted companies that offer transportation going to Baguio City.
These vehicles are very comfortable because they are already airconditioned, the seats are great for sleeping, and they offer amenities like pillows, blankets, drinks, and snacks. You can even watch a movie, listen to music, or listen to a podcast through the bus’s mobile tablets. The best part is, there’s a restroom on board too in case you feel like mother nature’s calling you!
You can buy a ticket at the bus terminal going to Baguio but there are usually a lot of people at the terminal. Getting your hands on a bus ticket might be a hassle with all the people running around, trying to do the same too.
We recommend you book your tickets online through these booking websites for tours so that you can skip the line and hassle in buying the tickets! Tickets can cost a bit more than the ones you can buy at the terminal but trust us, you’ll want to secure your tickets beforehand because they run out fast!
Where to stay in Baguio City?
There is no shortage of places to stay in Baguio City since it is one of the top travel destinations for locals and tourists alike. However, popular hotels like The Manor at Camp John Hay can be very expensive, especially for those traveling on a budget!
There are hostels and Airbnb’s all over the city that might just save you a couple of bucks. But don’t be too surprised to find that accommodation in this city cost more than in other cities in the country.
Aside from being a top travel destination, Baguio is also a top choice for international students to finish their education. So, that means that there are a lot of outsiders here and that affects the prices of everything too.
However, you don’t have to worry because there are a lot of booking websites that will help you find the cheapest accommodations in Baguio. But of course, the booking websites we trust when it comes to booking accommodations will offer you the best of the best deals and the biggest discounts!
Final Thoughts on Baguio City
Baguio City is definitely worth all the hype because of the natural beauty that this city brings! It definitely feels like a different country but the history that shaped the modern Philippines is clear to see here.
Baguio City is also where you can go on an adventure with nature or go ghost-hunting in haunted hotels— an experience you may not find in other parts of the country.
Nestled up in the mountains and hidden within towering pine forests, Baguio City is one that you definitely must visit!
To keep yourself updated about current COVID-19 rules and regulations, visit the official website of the City Government of Baguio!
Have you ever been on a ghost-hunting trip in another country or in Baguio? Tell us more about your experience!
Did you like reading this article? You can check out our other articles about the top tourist destinations in the world to know everything you need before your travels!