Baguio!!! Finally after so many years I was able to check off Baguio on my Bucket List. Last March 7 to 10, I went on a relaxing Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights vacation. This trip was actually unplanned but I the best much needed break after all. If you are also planning for a Baguio getaway whether a day trip, overnight or week long just like mine then this post is for you. Today I will share a comprehensive guide on Baguio as a premier tourist spot from places and activities to include in your itinerary, where to stay and budget tips you can follow. Let’s start.
The Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights Experience
I had long wanted to visit Baguio but with lack of fund and courage I always put the plan aside. Thankfully a rare opportunity came upon me. JC, a former workmate asked me if I wanted to come with her as a +1 since she was assigned in Baguio. This means I can stay with her at Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights with free accommodation. Who would disagree to that offer, right? The offer was also very timely since I badly needed time to unwind with my recent work dilemma (more of this will be revealed in my personal blog, www.izzaglino.com).
Baguio is such a perfect place to be for its cold weather, diverse culture, well-maintained parks and recreations as well as number of food escapades. Though my Baguio trip was unexpected, I didn’t have hard time researching for places to see and restaurants to visit. All of the famous landmarks are highly accessible via walk or commute.
You also won’t need to worry for transportation because taxi in Baguio is soooooo cheap. They follow the minimum taxi fare and will deliver you to your destination without much question. Taxis in Baguio don’t say no to passengers even if your destination is less than five minutes away or further. The highest taxi fare I’ve paid was from hotel where to Strawberry Farm La Trinidad and I only paid 99pesos. The rest of my taxi adventures during my Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights stay were around 45-65pesos only.
Must See Places When In Baguio
Most of the spots I visited in my Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights were already famous destinations. Since it was my first time to really explore the city and I was mostly alone I decided to go to major landmarks and those that screams Baguio at its finest.
If you want to read more of my story go to my personal blog, IzzaGlino where I published My Baguio Travel Diary. It is more personal post of the things I got to experience at Baguio.
Mt. Cloud Bookshop
Mt. Cloud Bookshop is a cool place to kill time. Here you’ll find one of the biggest collection of books, magazines, comics and other printed materials proudly authored and created by Filipinos. You can read inside the bookshop or might as well take a ton of souvenir shots.
Session Road is one of the busiest road in Baguio. Considered as the main hub of the so-called Baguio Business District, Session Road is strategically located in the city center where most of the local restaurants, cafés and well-known fast food chains are located. Session Road is divided into two areas namely Lower Session Road and Upper Session Road.
- Lower Session Road – extending eastward from Magsaysay Avenue (opposite the Plaza or Kilometer 0 and Malcolm Square) running through the BCBD until the intersections of Father Carlu Street (towards the Baguio Cathedral and Upper Bonifacio Street) and Governor Pack Road. This is the area where businesses are located, among others banks, shops, restaurants, bakeries, hotels, newsstands, boutiques, and studios.*
- Upper Session Road – extending from Post Office Loop, Leonard Wood Road, and the foot of Luneta Hill (where SM City Baguio is located) to the rotunda cutting toward South Drive (towards Baguio Country Club), Loakan Road (towards Camp John Hay, Loakan Airport, Philippine Military Academy, Baguio City Economic Zone, and the mine areas of Itogon, Benguet), and Military Cut-Off (towards Kennon Road)*
*Info copied from Wikipedia
Also found in this area is the mother of all ukay-ukay stores called Skyworld near Jollibee midtown.
Harrison Road Night Market
Harrison Road Night Market is situated near Burnham Park. Here you’ll find rows of stalls selling street food and ukay-ukay. The Harrison Night Market opens only at 12 midnight so prepare yourself for an extra breezy shopping experience.
Baguio City Hall
The Baguio City Hall offers a great view of the whole city. The facade of this government building is stunning and you can also take a ton of great pictures in the area.
Burnham Park is a famous landmark in Baguio. Here you can try different recreational activities like jogging/running, bicycle ride, boating in Burnham Lake, playing in the Children’s Playground and visiting the Orchidarium and Rose Garden. You’ll also find a ton of souvenir and merchandise shop the vicinity of Burnham.
The Mansion is known as the official summer residence of the President of the Philippines. Inside The Mansion is a museum and artworks collected by past National Presidents. The of The Mansion from the outside is stunning and the gate is said to be a replica of that found at Buckingham Palace, England. The place is manned by military personnel for security purposes.
Wright Park is located right across The Mansion. Here you can enjoy a walk around the Pool of Mines and make your way down to the Wright Park Riding Circle. You can ride choose from a handful of horses and explore the area provided with an hourly rate. If you are into this kind of thrill then visiting Wright Park is for you.
Baguio Botanical Garden
This is another public park that offers peace and tranquility to everyone. Entrance to this park is free of charge and inside you can enjoy the tall trees, fresh air and beautiful flowers. You can also take photos with the Igorot natives before entering the Baguio Botanical Garden dressed in traditional dress.
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
Another famous spot when in Baguio is Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto or simply Grotto. Be ready to climb up the famous 300-steps before reaching the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Also on top you can offer prayers and a mini chapel can also be found.
Old Diplomat Hotel
Fascinating landmark you shouldn’t miss on your Baguio vacation is the Old Diplomat Hotel inside Dominical Hill. The Old Diplomat Hotel is known as a haunted place in Baguio. It is an abandoned structure once used as a Dominican vacation house turned Japanese hideout during World War II. History states that the place became a venue for torture, rape and decapitation of past priests and nuns whom spirits can be seen up to today. In 1970s it was turned into a hotel but was later abandoned when the owner died of disease. Currently the Old Diplomat Hotel is open to the public for viewing purposes as well as photography sessions like prenups or function area.
Camp John Hay
Another serene place to be in Baguio is Camp John Hay. This is a major rest and recreation facility for tourists and locals. Found inside Camp John Hay are various shopping centers, restaurants, golf course, butterfly sanctuary and the Tree Top Adventure Bagio where you can experience extreme adventures like Canopy Ride, Trekking and Tree Drop.
Strawberry Farm La Trinidad
A must-do when in Baguio is strawberry picking at Strawberry Farm La Trinidad, Benguet. In this place you can pick and fill your basket with fresh strawberries with accompanied price range. You can also eat some strawberries as you harvest for free. Aside from strawberries you can also find and buy fresh lettuce in the area.
Km. 3 La Trinidad Benguet
Km. 3 La Trinidad Benguet is the newest talk-of-the-town when in Baguio. You will find first and biggest community artwork in the Philippines in this area. Houses were painted with color inspired by the Favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A hanging bridge connects the community to the highway perfect for photo session.
Situated away from the rest of Baguio’s main tourist spots is the BenCab Museum. BenCab got famous when it was featured in the film That Thing Called Tadhana. The museum showcase the artworks of Maestro Benjamin Cabrera as well as other known Filipino artists. Aside from the museum you will also be amazed with the ground garden with wooden bridge and a gazebo. Cafe Sabel also operates on the museum’s lowest level offering coffee and other delicious pastries, pastas, etc.
Where To Stay in Baguio?
There are a ton of inns, hotels and transient homes you can book for your Baguio adventure depending on your budget and how many days you’ll stay. We stayed in Citylight Hotel because of its location (near almost every tourist spot mentioned above) and value for money (at 2,500 a night you are already entitled for a free buffet breakfast).
Citylight Hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, penthouse bar and cafe. You can also avail the free WiFi access, free bottled water, free coffee and toiletries like shampoo, soap and towels. From the Citylight Hotel you can easily go to prime Baguio locations like SM Baguio, Session Road, Baguio Cathedral, Baguio City Market, Burnham Park among others just by walking. Our Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights stay at Citylight was beyond extraordinary and I shared more about it on my personal blog, IzzaGlino.
Other Baguio hotels you can try are as follows:
Hotel Henrico Kisad
35 Montinola Subdivision, Kisad Road, Baguio City Proper, Baguio City, Benguet
Budget: 1,000-1,500 per night
Baguio Burnham Suites
No. 6 Kisad Road, Baguio City, Benguet
Budget: 3,500-4,000 per night
Colione Bed and Breakfast
#40 Easter School Road cor. Manzanillo Subdivision, Baguio City, Benguet
Budget: 1,500-2,000 per night
123 Abanao Extension Barangay Rizal Park, Baguio City Proper, Baguio City, Benguet
Budget: 1,500-2,500 per night
37 Harrison Road, Baguio City
Budget: 500-1,000 per night
Bab’s Place Baguio Transient Room
508 Hillside, Baguio City
Budget: 250-500 per pax/per night
Breyton Cottage (formerly known as Mountainside Lodging House)
51 Bokawkan Road, Baguio City, Baguio
Budget: 300-500 per pax/per night
191 Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City
Budget: 1,500-2,000 per night
From Manila via Commute
Getting to Baguio is now easier and accessible thanks to Victory Liner and Genesis Liner. These top bus liners are known to cater for Manila-Baguio-Manila trips. Victory Liner terminals can be found in Pasay, Cubao and Caloocan while Genesis Bus Liner Terminals is situated in Pasay, Cubao and Avenida. Both liners’ terminals in Baguio are also strategically situated near SM Baguio so you can easily look for taxi to take you to your hotel.
Ticket Price varies depending on type of bus you will ride. If you want a comfortable trip you can opt for the Standard Aircon 2-seater for only 445pesos/pax. There’s also a Deluxe bus for 750pesos/pax.
Considering the six-hour long ride, crisscross roads you’ll take as well as past tragedies occurred going and leaving the Baguio City, it is highly possible to feel alarmed. My first time to go to Baguio was in high school with about half of my class with me. Since I was still young back then all I could only think of was the fun I would experience when in Baguio. Now things have changed. I had some worries but to be honest riding in Victory Liner was a good choice in my opinion. I don’t know but I feel safe in their bus. We were also given a sort of receipt with Malayan Insurance along with our ticket. The bus was not that crammed and you are sure that the driver knows his way. There are also designated bus stops for restroom breaks and to get some snacks. A big plus for me is the free Wi-Fi you can use while inside the bus.
Going to Baguio by day will take you 7-8 hours while by night will be shortened to 5-6 hours.
How Much To Budget on Your Baguio Trip?
Now when it comes to budget and expenses it would honestly depend on how long you are staying. Again I consider myself lucky that I got a free hotel accommodation with breakfast already included in my whole Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights vacation. When it comes to budgeting for your Baguio trip I suggest deciding for how many days you will stay first.
Once you have your preferred travel dates you can choose your accommodation next. There are numerous hotels/inns/transient homes you can choose depending on your budget. Less hotel and accommodation fees you can probably budget 1,500pesos a day for transportation and meal. All of the major places you can visit in Baguio has zero entrance fee so no need to worry.
Budget Tips When in Baguio
Tip #1. Go for a DIY Travel
I know there are people who prefer group tours over a do-it-yourself travel but being in Baguio for 4 Days and 3 Nights I can pretty much say that a DIY travel is more budget-friendly. Almost all of the major landmarks I went to have no entrance fee at all. Because of the cold weather it is not hard to walk around the city instead of taking a cab. Taxis, as mentioned above, are way cheaper compared to Manila. Taxi drivers doesn’t say no to passengers no matter how near or how far your destination will be. They follow the meter accurately and will even give you a change in case your meter says 49pesos and you gave a 50peso bill. Budget-wise I believe doing and choosing your own itinerary will save you a lot.
Tip #2. Choose inns or transient homes instead of hotel
If in case you will mostly spend your stay in Baguio outdoors I suggest staying in inns or transient homes that are also way cheaper. This is also good for those who will be coming as a group or barkada. Make sure to follow my Essential Travel on a Budget Tips before booking any of your accommodation. Check the location if it is in the center of most on your itineraries. Consider if the price will fit to your budget. Try looking on travel booking websites like TravelBook.ph for discounts as well. Amenities like free WiFi, breakfast inclusion, etc. should also be on top of your priorities.
Tip #3. Always bring bottled water with you
The weather also helped me save a ton of money. Because the weather in Baguio is cold already I rarely buy snacks or cold beverage. Most of areas I visited in my Baguio for 4 Days and 3 Nights vacation were parks and it requires long walks under the sun. Because the weather is still cold even if it is hot outside I had no problem at all walking. Just bring bottled water with you so you won’t get thirsty.
Tip #4. Create Your Own Itinerary
Now the best thing about Baguio is that almost all the tourists spots are near with each other. You can visit a certain area and find a couple of famous landmarks near it. So if you want to save money, energy and time I suggest making your own itinerary. Below is a helpful guide on the attractions found within the same location.
Within Baguio Downtown Baguio you can visit Burnham Park | Mines View Park | Camp John Hay | Cafe by the Ruins | Baguio Cathedral | Session Road | Harrison Night Market | Philippine Military Academy – Baguio
Leonard Wood Baguio
Within Leonard Wood Baguio you can visit The Mansion | Wright Park | Baguio Botanical Garden | Mines View | Good Shepherd | Teachers Camp | The Camp
Within Naguilian Baguio you can visit Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto | Dominican Hill and Old Diplomat Hotel | Tam-Awan Village | BenCab Museum
La Trinidad Baguio
Within La Trinidad Baguio you can visit Strawberry Farm La Trinidad | Km. 3 La Trinidad | Bell Church
My Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights Itinerary + Budget and Expenses
Here is the detailed itinerary I followed during my Baguio Trip. My budget has been 1,500pesos a day. Yo
7AM – Departure at Victory Liner Bus Terminal Pasay
3PM – Arrival at Victory Liner Bus Terminal Baguio
Expenses | Ticket – 455pesos
3:30PM – Late lunch at SM Baguio Mang Inasal
Expenses | PM 1 – 109pesos
4:30PM – Check-in at Citylight Hotel
5:30PM – Casa Vallejo and Mt. Cloud Bookshop
7:00PM – Early dinner at Hill Station
Expenses | Meal – 308pesos split bill
8:00PM – Walk at Session Road, Harrison Night Market
Total Expenses Day 1 | 872pesos
8:30AM – Buffet Breakfast at Citylight Hotel
9:00AM – Baguio City Hall
9:30AM – Walk and Boating at Burnham Park
Expenses | Strawberry Taho – 20pesos
10:00AM – Prayer offering at Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
Expenses | Candle Set – 35pesos
10:30AM – Visit Diplomat Hotel inside Dominican Hill
11:30AM – Lunch at New Good Taste Baguio
Expenses | Meal – 134pesos split bill
12:30PM – Back at Citylight Hotel, Rest
3:00PM – Camp John Hay
4:00PM – Merienda at Chocolate de Batirol
Expenses | Meal – 185pesos
4:30 PM – Photo Op at The Mansion
4:45PM – Visit Wright Park
5:30PM – Visit Baguio Botanical Garden
6:30PM – Dinner at Wood Nymph Korean Restaurant SM Baguio
Expenses | Meal – 350pesos split bill
7:30PM – Back at Citylight Hotel, Rest
Total Expenses Day 2 | 724pesos
8:30AM – Buffet Breakfast at Citylight Hotel
9:30AM – Strawberry Farm La Trinidad
Expenses | Strawberry Picking – 300pesos
12:30PM -Km. 3 La Trinidad, Bell Church
1:30PM – Lunch at Cafe by the Ruins
Expenses | Meal – 465pesos split bill
2:30PM – Back at Citylight Hotel, Rest
3:30PM – BenCab Museum
Expenses | Ticket – 123pesos
6:00PM – Back at Citylight HoteL, Rest
7:30PM – Take-out Dinner at Pizza Volante
Expenses| Meal – 210pesos split bill
8:30PM – Back at Citylight Hotel, Rest
Total Expenses Day 3 | 1098pesos
8:30AM – Buffet Breakfast at Citylight Hotel
12:00NN – Check out at Citylight Hotel
12:30PM – Good Shepherd and Baguio Public Market for pasalubongs
Expenses | Pasalubongs – 850pesos
3:30PM – Departure at Victory Liner Baguio
Expenses | Ticket – 455pesos
11:30PM – Arrival at Victory Liner Pasay
Total Expenses | 1305pesos
Baguio 4 Days + 3 Nights Expenses – 3,999pesos
*Note that this is less transportation and miscellaneous which I haven’t able to track down. Again transpo in Baguio is very fair so you don’t have to worry. You can budget 150-200pesos a day for transportation and 100pesos a day for miscellaneous.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
As of this writing it has been a week since my Baguio trip but I still can’t get over it. I really enjoyed the weather and the places I went to. I love how busy the city can be at night and how peaceful it is the next morning. I plan on coming back next year but mostly as a side trip only after Sagada.
To search for Baguio Hotels, click here
For more information about what to do, what to see in Baguio you can visit, http://www.gobaguio.com
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Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at firstname.lastname@example.org