Begin your two-day itinerary by heading over to Camp John Hay. While much has changed in Baguio City, you’ll get a taste of the early days in this area which exhibits a cool, down-to-earth vibe brought by the surrounding pine trees and red needle covered slopes. If you’re lucky enough to visit Camp John Hay early in the morning, you’ll even have the chance to see these trees behind sheets of fog. These days, there are numerous activities to do in the area, such as experiencing Treetop Adventure Rides, trekking, having a picnic, and visiting The Mansion, the Bell House, and Cemetery of Negativism.
Pro tip: Enjoy a taste of real “tsokolate” drink in Choco-late de Batirol at Camp John Hay.
After feasting on a scrumptious meal, take a cab to Baguio Botanical Garden where you’ll find different relics from Botanical Garden’s Igorot Village days, with large statues depicting different Cordillera tribesmen and symbols. And since it’s quite a large park surrounded by lush gardens and exhibits a quiet ambiance, it is definitely a relaxing experience to leisurely stroll and take photos. Towards late afternoon, head over to Mines View Park Deck Observation to get a stunning view overlooking the outskirts of Baguio City.
Pro tip: If you still have time, stop over at Good Shepherd and buy souvenir products such as the popular Ube Jam!
Baguio City’s Public Market is the best place to go if you’re hoping to get fresh local fruits, vegetables, and other dry goods. This market is often lauded for its cleanliness and availability of practical options, as you’ll be able to buy fresh and high quality goods at very low prices. Apart from buying all kinds of leafy greens and fruits, you can also purchase the city’s native delicacies and Baguio brooms called walis tambo, which are popular cleaning tools in every Filipino household. Once you’re done shopping, find your way to the nearby ukay-ukay (thrift stall) and hunt cheap finds in good quality such as rubber shoes, winter clothes, and more!
Pro tip: Use your haggling skills to get the best bargain deal!
If you’d like to get a taste of nightlife in the City of Pines, then Session Road is the place to be! There are a lot of bars and restaurants to head to within the Upper and Lower divisions of Session Road. Baguio is also a food haven where you’ll find lots of new and old restaurants vying for tourists’ attention. You can stick with homegrown favorites near Wright Park, discover fusion cuisine, or how about trying some Cordillera cuisine at affordable rates? Of course, if you’d like to end the night with great music, check out PLANET, Rumours, or The Rabbit Hole.
No trip to Baguio City is complete without getting some strawberries. Start your day early and take a trip to La Trinidad Area’s Strawberry Fields so you can experience strawberry picking and eat some fresh strawberry ice cream. After picking, there are still attractions to visit within the area such as The Bell Church and Valley of Colors. You’ll find intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons, pagoda, and beautifully landscaped gardens at The Bell Church. And feast your eyes with a picturesque view at the Valley of Colors, where houses on a hillside in Benguet become a massive canvas for a wondrous, colorful sight.
Pro tip: The best time to go strawberry picking is during the months from September to December.
In the afternoon, take time to appreciate local art and be fascinated by works of Ben Cabrera, a Filipino National Artist known to be the master of Philippine contemporary art. His four-level private museum called BenCab houses all his paintings, sculptures, and installations that will definitely inspire and catch your attention. Before you head back to the heart of Baguio City, drop by Ifugao Woodcarvers’ Village to see beautiful wood carvings and woven materials, and find some native art at cheap prices – perfect for souvenirs!
After almost two days of exploring one of the best cities to live in the country and seeing amazing sights, it’s time to chill and relax. Take a stroll at Burnham Park during the evening and enjoy the chance to free yourself from tension as you take a boat trip around the man-made lagoon. If boating is not your thing, you can watch the choreographed light show at the Dancing Fountain found within the park’s Rose Garden. And if peace and quiet are what you long for, find a space for you to just appreciate the cold weather in this romantic destination.
And for your last night in the City of Pines, don’t forget to have a taste of Baguio’s very own brewed coffees. For less than a hundred pesos, you can have a cup of freshly brewed coffee at Sweet Stop in La Azotea or a hot cup of Benguet coffee in Garcia’s coffee shop. For beer lovers, don’t miss Baguio’s Craft Brewery where they have 16 rotating craft beers on tap, different and unique flavors, and a cozy ambiance. In addition, Baguio is also teeming with talented musicians and artists. It’ll be a mistake not to catch any live acoustic performances or country music at a nearby pub!