Baguio City, one of the popular cities in the province of Benguet, is situated in the northern region of the Philippines. It occupies around 57 square kilometers of land and is surrounded by different municipalities – La Trinidad, Itogon, and Tuba. People from all walks of life and cultures populate the city, with a population of around 385,000. Baguio was a hill station at the start of the Colonial period in 1900, which is why it is home to many vital landmarks with western or American names. A comprehensive city guide provides more information about the tourist destinations in Baguio.
Baguio City: A Beloved Tourist Destination
Baguio City, known as the “coldest city in the Philippines,” experiences temperatures that can drop as low as 9 degrees Celsius, especially from November to February. Over the years, the city has developed from a quaint northern town to one of the most highly urbanized cities in the Philippines. It has earned its nickname, the Summer Capital of the Philippines, because of its unique blend of nature and urban landscapes.
During the Christmas and New Year holidays, Baguio attracts many tourists who want to experience a colder holiday celebration. Meanwhile, February is bustling with visitors as the city celebrates the Panagbenga festival. While tourists visit Baguio throughout the year, its busiest months are from November to March. With its unique climate and growing urbanization, Baguio continues to be a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike.
Baguio City boasts several popular attractions, including Camp John Hay, Tam-Awan Village, Wright Park, Botanical Garden, The Mansion, Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Asin Hot Springs, Baguio Night Market, Baguio Cathedral, and Bell Church, which visitors can enjoy. The city is also surrounded by lush pine trees and other flora, creating a striking contrast to the lively city atmosphere.
In addition, Baguio often serves as the jump point for other well-known tourist destinations in Benguet Province. For instance, tourists who wish to visit flower farms in Atok Benguet, such as the Northern Blossom Flower Farm and Sakura Park, frequently travel to Baguio first. From Baguio City, they can go to Dangwa Bus Terminal, take a bus to Besao, Sagada, or Bontoc, and then get off at Atok Municipal Hall or Marosan’s Eatery. Alternatively, they can take a van beside the bus terminal, with the travel time lasting approximately two hours.
Baguio City: Rich in History and Culture
Baguio City boasts not only a wealth of attractions but also a rich history. Its roots can be traced back to the pre-colonial period when it served as a hunting ground for the Ibalois and Igorots, among other indigenous groups. During the Spanish occupation, the province of Benguet was established by the Comandante de Galvez. When the Americans arrived, they sought refuge in the cooler climate of the mountains and Baguio became the capital of Benguet, earning its nickname as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. After the country gained independence, Baguio City continued to be a significant location for American military bases, leading to it being dubbed as Little America by foreign visitors.
Baguio City: A Foodie’s Paradise
Baguio City is a foodie haven that attracts tourists with its unique and delectable dishes. Local street vendors roam the parks and streets selling strawberry-flavored taho and ice cream. Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant, Hill Station, Cafe by the Ruins, Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant, and Amare La Cucina Pizza are some of the foodie places that visitors should not miss. Moreover, hidden restaurants like Oh My Gulay, Chaya, Hatch Coffee, and the Foggy Mountain Cookhouse offer a taste of something unique and special.
In addition to breathtaking scenery and rich history, Baguio City is also known for its delightful desserts and sweet treats. Visitors can indulge in some of Baguio’s famous sweets, including ube jams, strawberry jams, choco flakes, lengua de gato, peanut brittle, sundot kulangot, and strawberry wine, which are available in local shops and markets throughout the city.
Picking strawberries is not only a fun activity but also provides an opportunity to learn about the local farming industry and the cultivation of this sweet fruit. Visitors can take a quick ride to La Trinidad to experience picking strawberries straight from the farm. Baguio’s desserts and strawberry farms are worth adding to your travel itinerary, whether you have a sweet tooth or love trying new things.
Bargain hunters also find their way to Baguio’s Harrison Road Night Market. Vendors set up their stalls along Harrison Road as early as 8 PM, while the market opens at 9 PM and lasts until early morning. The market offers a wide variety of items, including clothes, food, shoes, and souvenirs, at the best bargains.
Experience Horseback Riding in Baguio City
Visitors to Baguio can enjoy horseback riding as a popular recreational activity. Different trails are available for horseback riding at points of interest such as Wright Park, Mines View Park, Baguio Country Club, and Camp John Hay. A riding guide will accompany each rider, making it a safe experience for people of all ages.
Baguio has a lively party scene with several bars and nightclubs that cater to locals and tourists. Most bars offer cheap beer, drinks, good food, and great music from local bands. Some of the best places to experience the nightlife in Baguio include Rumors Bar and Restaurant, Basmnt, The Ampersand, Spade SuperClub, Concoctions, Old Baguio Boys, and 18 BC Music Lounge.
Experience Festive Cheer at Baguio Christmas Village
During the yuletide season, Baguio is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with the Baguio Christmas Village at the Baguio Country Club. The village features a variety of activities, including nativity pageants, snowfall, dancing light shows, and photo opportunities with Santa. It’s a popular destination for families and kids, with an entrance fee of Php 100 for adults.
Experience Spooky Thrills in Baguio’s Haunted Destinations
For those interested in the supernatural, Baguio offers a variety of haunted destinations. Teachers Camp Baguio is a popular spot for ghost-hunting, while others intentionally book stays at the Hyatt Hotel and Diplomat Hotel to explore these haunted hotels. The Japanese Tunnel, Laperal House, and Loakan Road are popular destinations for those looking for a spooky experience.
In conclusion, Baguio City is a must-visit destination in the Philippines, with its cool weather, rich history, and various attractions for every interest. Whether you’re a foodie, an art enthusiast, or a fan of the supernatural, Baguio has something to offer. From exploring historical landmarks to experiencing the city’s natural beauty, there are many things to do in Baguio that will make your trip memorable.
Baguio City’s Economic Growth: A Positive Trend
The economy of Baguio City is on the upswing, with positive growth observed since 2017. The city’s trade, industry, and tourism sectors have been key contributors to this economic development. The manufacturing industry is the top contributor to the city’s Gross City Domestic Product (GCDP), followed by wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, and financial and insurance activities. The number of registered businesses in the city has been on a steady rise, with more than 20,000 companies now officially registered.
Baguio City’s economy has been on the rise since 2017, and this positive trend is expected to continue. The city’s trade, industry, and tourism sectors have all played significant roles in this growth, with the manufacturing industry having the largest share of the Gross City Domestic Product (GCDP), followed by wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, and financial and insurance activities. As a result of the growth of local businesses, more employment opportunities have been created, accommodating the influx of tourists and supporting the local community. In 2017, the city employed over 60,000 workers, and this number is expected to continue to rise.
Baguio City’s neighborhoods offer a laidback and serene atmosphere, which adds to the city’s overall appeal. Popular neighborhoods for tourists include General Luna and Trancoville, where academic institutions, restaurants, and cafes are located. The city is accessible through various means of transportation, including buses, private cars, and flights from different airports.
Exports are also a major driver of economic growth in Baguio City. Television, radio, and communications equipment are the most exported goods, followed by fabricated metal products and call center services. The tourism industry significantly impacts the city’s economy, with the number of visitors increasing yearly. In the last nine months, the city has been visited by 1.2 million visitors, helping local businesses earn over PhP 7 billion in income.
Transportation to Baguio City is convenient, with buses being the most popular means of transportation for tourists from Metro Manila. Private transport is the fastest way to get to the city, and commercial flights to Baguio airport have resumed, making it more accessible to tourists from other parts of the country.
Baguio City is a gem in the northern region of the Philippines that offers a perfect blend of nature and urban landscapes. It boasts a rich history that dates back to the pre-colonial era, and it has transformed into one of the most highly urbanized cities in the country. The city’s trade, industry, and tourism sectors have played a significant role in its economic growth, creating more employment opportunities and accommodating the influx of tourists.
Baguio is not only known for its breathtaking scenery and rich history but also for its delectable desserts, sweet treats, and diverse Cordillera delicacies. The city also offers a lively party scene, with several bars and nightclubs that cater to locals and tourists alike. Visitors can also enjoy various activities, such as horseback riding, and visit some of the popular attractions in the city, such as Camp John Hay, Tam-Awan Village, and the Asin Hot Springs.
Moreover, Baguio City serves as a gateway to other famous tourist destinations in Benguet Province, such as the flower farms in Atok. The city’s neighborhoods offer a laidback and serene atmosphere that adds to its overall appeal. With its convenient accessibility through different means of transportation, tourists can easily get to Baguio City and experience its unique charm. All of these features make Baguio City an excellent travel destination for anyone looking to explore the Philippines!