A woman on a bridge visiting the Baguio Botanical Gardens - one of the best things to do in Baguio

Is Baguio worth visiting? 5 reasons why you’ll love Baguio

So, is Baguio worth visiting? Does it measure up to the hype?

I still remember the first time I visited Baguio. Before Baguio, the farthest my family and I traveled was to a beach 3 hours away. Living in a tropical country, I didn’t think there was a place in the Philippines that had such chilly weather.

It’s been many years since I first visited Baguio. And after having been to the City of Pines countless times since then, my answer remains the same—Baguio is worth visiting over and over again.

Because Baguio isn’t just your regular tourist destination—it’s like a big art museum, a creative’s haven, a culinary experience, a trip down memory lane, a place where you can get lost and find yourself again, an inspiration.

And one day, I hope to call it home.

The Boho Travels at Arca’s Yard in Baguio. Photo taken by Sarji Ruiz. 2021.

⏳ Short on time?

Here are the links to my top recommendations for your Baguio trip:
🚌 Bus to Baguio from Manila: Book with Victory Liner or 12go
✈️ CEB-MNL Flight: Book with Philippine Airlines
🚐 Charter a van to Baguio: I recommend booking here
🛌 Accommodation: I recommend staying at Peredo’s Lodging House (budget), Microtel by Wyndham Baguio (mid-range), or The Manor at Camp John Hay (luxury)
🚗 Car Rentals: Discover Cars
🗺️ Tours: Book with Klook (very popular in Asia), GetYourGuide, and Viator
🏞️ Recommended Activities:
Baguio Instagram Walking Tour
Breathe Baguio Join In Tour
Baguio Historical Tour
Atok Gardens Day Tour

*These are all the sites I personally use to book my trips, and if you use them, some of them will earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps reduce the ever-increasing costs of keeping my site up. Thanks!

Is Baguio worth visiting? 5 reasons why you should visit Baguio

Baguio is a mountain town in the northern part of the Philippines and part of the Cordillera Autonomous Region. As it is a bit of a drive to get there (it’s 4-6 hours away from Manila), I understand if you want to know why you should visit Baguio.

Well, you’re in the right place! Here are 5 reasons why Baguio is worth visiting and why you will love Baguio.

1. Baguio has chilly weather.

Known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, tourists love Baguio because of its chilly weather. During summer, when the temperature in the lowlands can spike up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, experiencing Baguio’s cold weather will be a welcome reprieve.

The Boho Travels at Camp John Hay in Baguio. 2009.

And if you’re an American, European, or used to cold weather, you will love Baguio’s temperature.

I have a friend from California who just recently visited Baguio. And while he has visited other places in the Philippines, he loved Baguio because of its chilly weather.

And I get it. I’m from the Philippines, living in Metro Manila. I’ve traveled to many places in my country, but I still keep coming back to Baguio.

One of the reasons why I love Baguio is that I can enjoy exploring the city without breaking a sweat. To me, its chilly weather alone, especially during summer, makes Baguio worth visiting.

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    2. Baguio is rich in art and culture.

    Popular for its thriving art scene, including woodcarving, silver craft, weaving, and tattooing, Baguio was named a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts in 2017.

    If, like me, you’re fascinated by a country’s vibrant local art scene and culture, then visiting Baguio will be worth your time.

    I love that Baguio is home to many artists, and their artistic expressions are almost everywhere in the city.

    The Boho Travels at Ili-Likha Artists' Wateringhole - one of the reasons why my answer is yes to the question, is Baguio worth visiting?
    The Boho Travels at Ili-Likha Artists’ Wateringhole. 2015.

    For example, you can have a cup of coffee at Ili-Likha Artists’ Wateringhole while surrounded by the creative works of local artists, eat vegetarian meals at Oh My Gulay! and maybe get to catch an exhibit afterward, or enjoy local meals at the homegrown Cafe by the Ruins while local writers are on the other table (like what we experienced).

    Even while walking along Session Road, you will see murals like this – indeed a feast for the eyes!

    Is Baguio worth visiting? Yes! This mural of an Igorot woman is one of the reasons why it is so.

    And, if you visit in February, you’ll get to experience the Panagbenga Flower Festival and maybe get to attend the famous Fluvial Parade at the Lake, flower-bedecked fluvial floats showcasing Baguio’s rich culture and traditions.

    If you are an art and culture enthusiast, I’d say Baguio is worth visiting.

    3. Baguio is home to 3 important cultural treasures

    If you love history, then you should visit Baguio. Baguio is home to three (3) important cultural treasures: Colegio del Santismo Rosario (Diplomat Hotel) Ruins, Laperal House, and Peredo’s Lodging House. 

    If you’re looking for unique things to do in Baguio, you should visit The Diplomat Hotel Ruins and Laperal House—both are known to be haunted places and popular tourist attractions.

    Laperal House. Photo taken by The Boho Travels. 2017.

    If you’d like to experience living in an important piece of history, book a stay at Peredo’s Lodging House. I’ve stayed here several times, and while I’d rather stay at places with private bathrooms, I love staying at Peredo’s Lodging House whenever I get the chance.

    4. It has tons of open green spaces where you can commune with nature.

    One of the things you’d love about Baguio is its open green spaces.

    At the century-old Burnham Park, for example, you can bike, jog, go boating at the Burnham Park Lagoon, or just sit on one of its benches while eating corn, strawberry taho, or dirty ice cream.

    You’d also love spending time at the Baguio Botanical Garden, where you can take a stroll while being surrounded by gorgeous flowers and lush greens. I’ve been taking Instagrammable photos at the Baguio Botanical Garden even before Instagram became popular!

    A woman on a bridge visiting the Baguio Botanical Gardens - one of the best things to do in Baguio

    Camp John Hay is also an excellent destination for people who want to commune with nature. Here, you can have a picnic with your family and friends, visit the butterfly sanctuary, or go forest bathing at one of its trails.

    I usually just have a cuppa at one of its coffee shops with my notebook and pen in hand as I get inspired to write while surrounded by nature and feeling the cool Baguio breeze.

    If you love being surrounded by nature, I’d say Baguio is worth visiting.

    5. Baguio is a culinary destination.

    Baguio doesn’t only boast of its rich history and culture but also of its vibrant culinary scene.

    In the mornings, you can find taho vendors walking around the city, from whom you can purchase Baguio’s famous strawberry taho (a food made of fresh silken tofu, strawberry sauce, and sago pearls).

    Dine at its homegrown restaurants, like Cafe by the Ruins, Hill Station, Oh My Gulay, Solibao, The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant, and Arca’s Yard.

    You can also have a cup of coffee at its many coffee shops. But one of my favorites is having a cup of hot chocolate at Choco-late de Batirol while surrounded by trees and plants and enjoying the cool Baguio breeze in Camp John Hay.

    In the evening, you can visit the Baguio Night Market and taste Baguio street food, go bargain-hunting, or just people-watch!

    Before the night ends, why not enjoy a glass of craft beer from Baguio Craft Brewery? 

    Have a mug of craft beer from Baguio Craft Brewery - one of the best things to do in Baguio

    If you love culinary vacations, I’d say Baguio is worth visting.

    Where to stay in Baguio

    There are many hotels and rooms for rent where you can stay in Baguio, depending on your budget and what you’re looking for. Here are my recommendations: Peredo’s Lodging House (budget), Microtel by Wyndham Baguio (mid-range), and The Manor at Camp John Hay (luxury).

    Budget Option: Peredo’s Lodging House

    During World War II, when Japanese soldiers occupied Baguio, Peredo’s Lodging House served as barracks for ranking members of the Japanese Imperial Army.

    Named as an Important Cultural Treasure by the Philippine’s National Museum in 2015, for as low as Php 1900 pesos (approx 33 USD), you can stay at one of the 6 rooms of this 100-year-old heritage home and experience living in an important piece of history. Here’s a review of my stay at Peredo’s Lodging House.

    Mid-Range Option: Microtel by Wyndham Baguio

    Located at Upper Session Road, Microtel by Wyndham Baguio is one of my go-to accommodations when I travel to Baguio. It is connected to Victory Liner Baguio Station, making it a convenient choice for visitors riding the Victory Liner Bus. Here’s my experience staying at Microtel by Wyndham Baguio.

    Luxury Option: The Manor at Camp John Hay

    If you’re looking to stay at something fancier, then I recommend staying at The Manor at Camp John Hay. A luxury hotel located at the heart of Camp John Hay, The Manor has an in-house restaurant, spa, fitness gym, wellness studio, and a sundry shop.

    FAQs: Is Baguio worth visiting?

    Here are some related questions and frequently asked questions re: is Baguio worth visiting?

    What is the best month to go to Baguio?

    Anytime is a good time to visit Baguio. Many tourists flock to Baguio during Holy Week, when the heat in the lowlands can be intolerable. Christmas season is also a popular time to visit Baguio, as well as during the Panagbenga Flower Festival in February.

    But, if you’d like to experience Baguio when there aren’t a lot of tourists, I recommend scheduling your Baguio trip in early December or late January. I’ve also visited Baguio in July, and while you’d encounter rain showers, I just love how romantic Baguio is when it rains.

    What do many visitors like to do in Baguio?

    Many visitors like to do sightseeing and visit Baguio’s top tourist destinations, like Tam-awan Village, Baguio Botanical Garden, Camp John Hay, Burnham Park, and Mines View Park. Personally. Here are 31 best things to do in Baguio for first-time visitors.

    How much money do you need for Baguio?

    It depends on where you stay, what you plan to do, your travel style, and if you’re going shopping. For an overnight stay of two (2) people, I’d say a reasonable budget is Php 7,500 per person: Php 1500 for a roundtrip bus ticket, Php 2000 for accommodation for two (2) pax, Php 2100 for meals (6 meals at Php 350 each), and the rest for activities and commuting. I’d bring Php 10,000 to have some extra for pasalubong and buying souvenirs.

    How to go to Baguio

    There are a few ways to go to Baguio.

    From Manila

    If you’re coming from Metro Manila, you can drive, take the bus, or charter a van ride to Baguio.

    By Car

    It takes 4-6 hours to drive up to Baguio, depending on your chosen route and how many stopovers you’ll make. Here’s a link to Google Maps to guide you on your drive up to Baguio.

    By Bus

    There are a few bus lines that can take you to Baguio. But I prefer riding with Victory Liner. You can get a ride to Baguio at their Pasay, Cubao, Caloocan, and Sampaloc stations.

    Charter a van ride

    While the cheapest option is probably taking the bus to Baguio, if you’re traveling with a group, it might be more cost-effective and convenient to charter a van.

    From Cebu

    Philippine Airlines now flies to and from Baguio every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Flights from Cebu are scheduled to leave at 8:50 AM, arriving in Baguio at 10:50 AM. Flights from Baguio for Cebu depart at 11:10 AM, arriving in Mactan at 1:00 PM.

    The wrap-up: Is Baguio Worth Visiting?

    I still remember the first time I visited Baguio. Before Baguio, the farthest my family and I traveled was to a beach 3 hours away. Living in a tropical country, I didn’t think there was a place in the Philippines that had such chilly weather.

    And that was the first time I fell in love with Baguio.

    It’s been a while since my first visit to Baguio and, since then, I’ve visited the city many times. And if you ask me, “Is Baguio worth visiting?” My answer will still be the same – yes, indeed!

    With its chilly weather, rich history and culture, and thriving art scene, I’d say that Baguio is indeed worth visiting.

    If you need any help with planning your trip, or if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me. I’d be happy to help!

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