Best Places to Visit in Baguio City: A One-Day Travel Guide

by Lei Esther

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A PHP 455.00 and a four-hour bus ride up north will take you away from the hot and busy Metro to the City of Pines – Baguio City. My second home! This is where I had my degree in Biology, in the university that spells honor and excellence, my beloved University of the Philippines Baguio!

It’s quite early to suggest this one, but I highly recommend that you should drop by here and have a picture with the university icon – the Oblation, a statue of a man facing upwards with arms outstretching sideward, wearing nothing but the dedication to serve the people.

Oblation – the university icon.

The university is only a three- to a five-minute walk from the bus station, Victory Liner. A very good stop to have your first shots in Baguio City. Worry not. The guards won’t be asking for student IDs. Oblation is famous to tourists! They know that.

Okay. I’m starting to get pumped up in reminiscing the past. But that can wait till next time. Now, let’s get back to the real business!

From someone who stayed in Baguio City for five years, here are my best picks and tips on the best places you should visit!

The very heart of Baguio City is actually designed in such a way that you can walk from one cool place to another. From the bus station to UP to the SM Mall to the Baguio Cathedral to Burnham Park to the city library up to the market. Believe me. All of these are walkable from each other! So better be prepared and wear your most comfortable shoes! Or why not try a pair of boots? This really suits the place and will go along with a warm scarf and a nice bonnet. Baguio sits around 1,500 meters above sea level after all. It’s pretty cold up in there.

Burnham Park

Swan boats are only one of a number of designs you can choose from when you go boating in Burnham Park.

Burnham Park is not only popular to tourists but to the locals as well. This sells a lot especially on weekends when families, a group of friends, and lovers hang around.

Looking for things where you can spend your spare energy for? Well, Burnham Park offers a very good and wide place for outdoor recreation or activity. You can either rent a bike, go roller skating or boating. I can still remember when I first tried learning how to ride a bike here, rented one, and ended up with an inch-long scar. HAHA. And those times when I was trying so hard to at least make a full circle of the skating rink. Woah! I still remember everything. And every part of it was amazing!

Oh, by the way. Bring your own pair of socks if you’re planning to skate. You surely wouldn’t want to spend some more bucks for buying one!

Ili-likha Artist Village

This is definitely one of my favorites! Instead of grabbing a usual burger and fries from some clichéd fast food chains, I recommend you to eat in this tree restaurant! This will not only cater your stomach with Cordillera dishes of its constituent restaurants but will also satisfy your eyes with the Cordillera arts and culture.

Plus, the materials used to build this place are mostly recycled – from the ceiling of recycled wooden frames to the walls made of glass bottles to the staircase of tile mosaics to the sculptures made up of recycled wires, plastic bottle lids, broken pocket watch, and other small trashes.

You’ll surely love each of Ili-likha Artist Village’s instagrammable corners more than I do!

Before I forget, you can say that this place is kinda hidden, so lemme give you a quick tip! This is only a few minutes walk from the SM Mall down the Session Road. Then go to your right and look for the Assumption Road.

Mines View Park

Baguio City Mines View Park.

When it comes to fame, I believe that next to Burnham Park is the Mines View Park. This is an overlooking view deck where you can let the cold breeze sweep away your worries for at least a moment.

I also got to try on the Cordillera traditional attire for only PHP 20.00 in the Mines View Park.

If you are in a tight budget, you can actually be here for a jeepney ride of around PHP 12.00. Down the same Session Road you take to Ili-likha Artist Village then to its left to the Lower Mabini Street in front of the Danes Bakeshop is the jeepney terminal to the Mines View Park.

Botanical Garden, The Mansion, and Wright Park

A narrow pool of water in the Wright Park mirrors the pine trees that line it.

Jeepneys to Mines View Park actually pass through the Botanical Garden, which showcases different native huts of Igorot (the local dwellers in the Cordillera); the Mansion, the summer residence of the President; and the Wright Park, which boasts its narrow rectangular pool of water lined with pine trees. At the end of the pool is the park circle, which leads you to a hundred-step stairway. At the foot are hundreds of horses waiting for you. You can ride at their backs for PHP 300.00 per hour.

 

My sisters and the long flight of stairs (above). At the high end is the Park Circle (below).

The jeepney fare from the terminal in front of the Danes Bakeshop is only PHP 8.50 to the Botanical Garden. It’s the same price you’ll be paying from the Garden to the Mansion. The Wright Park is only in front of the Mansion saving you another PHP 8.50.

See? You can really go sightseeing in Baguio at a very low cost!

Diplomat Hotel

I love its stone walls painted in rustic color through times.

Lastly, if you’re up for a goosebumps-y adventure then you should not miss this haunted place – the Diplomat Hotel that sits on top of the Dominican Hill. Best to visit at around 3 PM when the fog starts to creep up the hill for a more heart-pounding ambiance.

According to history, its construction started in 1913 then suffered from bombing during World War II. It was also there and then when the Japanese decapitated priests, nuns, and refugees. It could be because of this dark past that in 1973 when it was turned into a hotel, eerie noises and headless apparitions were said to be heard and seen. It became completely abandoned when the hotel manager died in 1987 due to ailments.

Who would think that this was taken in the “woods” at back of the Diplomat Hotel.

Dominican Hill is also famous for its two big tablets of the Ten Commandments that welcome you from the gate of the Diplomat Hotel. And on the second floor of the hotel, awaits is a scenic view of Baguio City!

The big tablet of the Ten Commandments in front of the Diplomat Hotel.

There you go! Your travel guide to Baguio City with my personal picks on the best places in Baguio City… and all of these you can visit in just ONE DAY!

by Lei Esther

by Lei Esther

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hi! I'm Lei. I am a biologist who loves traveling to different places and meeting new faces. I am also an environmental advocate who wants to engage the groups sitting along the margins - the women, youth, and indigenous peoples - in related activities. I strongly believe that their roles should be highlighted and their stories should be told. I write to break down the barriers set by gender, age, and culture. If you have related stories and involvements, visit my site leiesther.com to get featured!

Read more at leiesther.com

Leave a Comment...

Eskinita

January 25, 2019

I checked your website and realized we share the same advocacy. Keep it up!

Cherizh

January 25, 2019

Would definitely try to visit Diplomat pag nakaakyat nako ulit ng Baguio!

Rachel

January 25, 2019

This info is super helpful-thanks!