Baguio City may be considered “highly urbanized,” but it’s one of the most natural cities in Luzon. While Baguio City’s economy is booming, city developers are playing down the road when it comes to building, redevelopment and planning the layout of ubran.
You’ll find well-preserved historic buildings right next to the new buildings, allowing for an easy transition to modernity. All are hidden in green parks and rolling hills. It is a scenic and practical use of the space with a clear respect for its history, roots, environment and culture.
Baguio City, also known as the “City of Pine Trees”, is located in the eco-region of Luzon’s tropical pine forests, an ideal climate to promote the growth of moss, plants and flowers that are unique to tropical climates. At the same time, the city is located at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, so the climate is not too hot.
In Baguio City, visitors can expect to encounter sites that pay homage to the past alongside delightfully progressive sites. Come and see for yourself.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Baguio City:
1. Bridal Veil Falls
While you can’t get into the falls like you used to, it’s definitely worth visiting Bridal Veil Falls just for the scenery.
Hire a private driver to take you on a scenic journey along Kennon Road, where you’ll come to a lookout that shows the veins of the river leading to the falls. This allows for great photos and a peaceful mini retreat.
There is also a drawbridge nearby that only the bravest can cross because it looks fragile but has actually proven safe.
2. Lion head
It’s a good idea to pair this attraction with Bridal Veil Falls as they are both located on Kennon Road.
The 40-foot-tall lion head is a collective effort by multiple Baguio City representatives. Around 1960-1970, members of the Lions Club came up with the idea of carving a giant lion’s head into the mountain. These members then contracted with a team of engineers and miners to stabilize and prepare the limestone mountain where the monument was to be carved. Finally, a Filipino woodcarver named Anselmo Bayang Day-ag brought this idea to life.
Personally, the scale of the project is spectacular and makes for a great addition to a fun day of sightseeing.
3. Mount Plager National Park
Mount Plague at 2,926 meters above sea level is the highest peak in Luzon! But that’s not its only impressive feature: On Plager Hill, visitors can catch a glimpse of the Milky Way at dawn. Not only that, but it is also famous for its gathering of peaks, known as the “Sea of Clouds”. All of this combined with incredible natural beauty has made Plager Mountain National Park an international destination for nature lovers, hikers, and galaxy geeks alike.
There are four trails on the mountain, some of which require permission from the DENR. Plan a quick stop at their office a few days before your hike.
4. Baguio Market
Do your shoes need repair? Looking for some fresh produce? In the market for a handmade broom? Want to try purple potato jam?
All of this and more can be done at Baguio City Market.
Of course, “more” means eating. This market is the center of the region’s fresh local delicacies. Take a seat at one of the many stalls and sample locally caught fish, freshly picked strawberries and a variety of Filipino staple Longanisa, a seasoned sausage. There’s even a vegan version of Longanisa!
5. Emilio F. Aguinald Museum
Many remember Emilio F. Aguinald as the youngest president of the Philippines and the immortal leader who led the Philippines into a constitutional republic in Asia.
Emilio F. Aguinald led his country against the Spanish during the Philippine Revolution, again in the Spanish-American War, and again in the Philippine-American War.
You can learn more about the revolutionary leader at the Emilio F. Aguinald Museum in Baguio City and view some personal artifacts that belonged to the late president. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to noon, then 1 pm to 4 pm.
6. Ashin Hot Spring
Soak in hot springs and cold pools in the rolling emerald mountains of Baguio City. With the fresh air and stunning scenery on the heights, you can spend your day in pure relaxation. When you’re feeling energized, it’s a large water slide that spits you into a cool pool.
There is an on-site restaurant serving delicious Filipino dishes at affordable prices in a beautiful setting.
Pro tip: don’t come on weekends unless you want to bump into other people while swimming.
7. Baguio Craft Brewery
Step out of the realm of Red Horse Beer and into the culinary world of craft beer.
It’s not every day you find a craft brewery in Asia, so when you do, you have to try it right away.
Baguio Craft Brewery is Baguio’s first brewery and it’s doing something impressive with 16 revolving craft beers! If you want to try a home run, their signature beer, Lagud, is a strawberry craft beer that will blow your mind.
Like a champ, Baguio Craft Brewery offers the ultimate menu of beer-friendly appetizers, including Buffalo wings, fish tacos, and spicy Moroccan shrimp. It doesn’t get any better than this!
8. Botanical Gardens
Not surprisingly, the City of Pines has excellent botanical gardens.
However, this garden is more than just flowers and animals. It is said to be a spiritual center where the spirits of the local Igorots live. You’ll see replicas of the native huts of the local Igorot people, paying homage to their heritage.
Of course, the huts are surrounded by bright flowers and luscious plants, encouraging the development of diverse wildlife, including beautiful butterflies and a variety of birds. So, please pay attention.
9. Basilica of Our Lady of Atonement
Served as an evacuation center during the Japanese occupation during World War II, it is now Baguio City’s most popular tourist destination.
This Roman Catholic church is the pride and joy of Baguio City as it has a unique feature not found in other churches in the country and is absolutely stunning.
You’ll notice the light pink rose towers and stained glass windows, gleaming in the sun. Topped by a rusted red tile roof, you can see this cathedral from all parts of the city – but it’s certainly the most beautiful up close.
10. Baguio Sports Bowl
Stroll over to the Baguio Sports Bowl to see what sporting events are in store. Fields, athletic fields and stadiums are the central hub for all sports in Baguio, including football games, track and field events and festivals.
The Sports Bowl, built in 1945, certainly needed a makeover to improve its dilapidated condition. It underwent a complete transformation from 2014 to 2016 and is now a gleaming work of art.
Stop by on weekends for the best chance of being a local audience.
11. Tam-Awan Village
Nestled in the hilly mountains of Baguio is an unsuspecting art village. At a glance, you will only notice the traditional huts with grass roofs scattered throughout the forest at different heights. But once inside, you’ll find that each cabin is actually a contemporary art gallery. You have nature and art in one place.
The grounds are lovely to explore. You’ll find koi ponds, forest paths and stunning views of the town from Tam-Awan village. There is a guide on site who can tell you more about the lodge and their collection of art.
12. Ifugao Woodcarving Village
Ifugao Woodcarving Village preserves traditional handicrafts and techniques such as weaving and woodcarving.
Here, locals carry on long traditions and talents from decades ago. Buy some souvenirs, and at the same time, you’ll support a dying industry and a declining art form. You’ll find trinkets like woven baskets and staples like plaid-print coffee tables.
You’ll also be happy to learn that the price tags on these items are a fraction of what you’d pay for similar items in nearby Manila.
13. Negative Graveyard
Everyone can accept the concept of burying negative energy and unproductive thoughts. This is exactly what is happening at the Baguio Negativity Cemetery.
To set the scene, the first tombstone you’ll read reads: “Negativeism is man’s greatest self-imposition, his greatest limiting factor, and his heaviest burden.” Well, with all this heavy negativity What about emotions? Put it on the ground and it will never escape.
Wander the gravestones of negative thoughts, each accompanied by a playful cartoon of animals. Some ideas are fun, some are too close to home. Nothing beats it.
14. Burnham Park
Most popular for its giant swan boats, where you can paddle and paddle around the lake, Burnham Park is a great place to spend a leisurely day with your family or loved ones.
There are jogging trails lined with rose bushes, cozy park benches overlooking the water, food stalls selling traditional Filipino dishes, vendors selling souvenirs and knick-knacks, of course you don’t need it, but it’s fun to watch.
Come and enjoy acres of shady pine forests and man-made lakes that tourists and locals alike can’t get enough of.
15. Keto Food Community
With such a name, how can you not be curious? Just to clarify what you might be thinking, at this Baguio restaurant, they actually serve more than just ketchup and ketchup friendly food. In fact, many of the dishes here are straight-up fine dining.
This gem of an Asian fusion restaurant cooks up amazing dishes such as the Kiniing Chicken that is smoked, seasoned and tossed in a rich ginger soup. There are Instagram-friendly desserts and fresh beverages that will strike your tongue with pure nostalgia.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Baguio City, Philippines
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