Sharing my experiences in Baguio through this itinerary for 3 days and 2 nights adventure – Do-It-Yourself over the weekend.
It’s really nice to experience the cold weather up there in Baguio. Baguio is the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The famous Panagbenga festival is held every February. A lot of tourists come to Baguio to see the whole event, local and foreigners. But if you don’t like the crowd, traffic, and all the hassle, you can just come some other time like mid-year but I prefer coming here on a January to feel the northern cold breeze since it’s quite humid in other parts of the Philippines especially in Metro Manila. Baguio is a quick escape for people who want to relax and experience the cold weather without the need of going outside the country. Also, if you don’t like DIY style, you can just avail a group tour at a reasonable price. Just be careful about paying the down payment if you want to avail package group tour and research well the tour agency reviews so that you will not get scammed in the end. Make sure they are legit.
HOW TO GO TO BAGUIO – There are ways to travel from Metro Manila to Baguio:
1.) Get or hire a private car
2.) Public bus that will take 12 hours travel (cheaper) with stops
3.) Non-stop bus (like Joy bus) though more expensive, only 4 hours travel
You may book for Joy Bus by Genesis Bus Transport two weeks advance. It’s an executive on couch basis. This will help you arrive in Baguio fast, non-stop and very convenient. I booked for 11:00 PM departure one-way only. Cost is Php 720.00 per person per way (4-hours travel time).
I tried the ordinary bus for my return at Php 400.00 with multiple stop over and took us exhausting 12 hours travel time (one-way) to go back home in Metro Manila. I should have booked Joy bus for roundtrip to save time and avoid per town stop-overs.
DAY 1 ITINERARY
- SESSION ROAD
- BAGUIO CATHEDRAL
- BURNHAM PARK
- CAFE BY THE RUINS DUA
- SM BAGUIO
- BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY
3:00 AM – Arrival at Baguio Terminal. Travel time was only about 4 hours. The terminal is near Session road. There are 24 hour establishments such as stores at the bus terminal, Jollibee fast food, 7/11 and mister donut, maybe some bars within the area. We went to Jollibee for a hot choco. Unfortunately, it was not available as well at the 7/11 so we stayed at Mister Donut instead. We waited until 5:00 AM to attend the mass at Baguio Cathedral. Sleepyhead, we were happy to witness the beautiful sunrise from the church. We loved the cold breeze touching our skin. Baguio is nostalgic at some point. I could not contain our happiness while walking around session road in the early morning. You can see people in their sweaters, coats, and jackets talking on their own dialect. We loved the feeling of not getting sweaty. I would like to have my own vacation house there someday (but to think about it, Baguio real estate properties are really expensive). Other nationalities such as Koreans also settle in Baguio.
Now heading towards the Harisson street up to the Burnham park, I could not feel that it was already 7:00 AM. It was still cold. Around the park, there’s a vendor selling taho in two flavors – the ordinary taho and the STRAWBERRY taho. Yes! It’s my first time to taste the Strawberry taho for Php 30.00 per cup. We walked around the park, took selfies, captured nice lake photos, trees and flowers. A lot of people come to Burnham park to have their morning exercise, jogging, or just riding the boat, or get some pedals on biking. It’s refreshing to just sit and relax at Burnham park. It’s so wonderful and clean. ENTRANCE IS FREE. We were starving as we looked for the CAFE BY THE RUINS DUA. Breakfast is awesome. A meal would cost around Php 200. Sandwiches and other light serving price start from Php 100.00. The restuarant had a very nice and cozy interior design.
Address: Jose Abad Santos Dr, Baguio 2600 Benguet
Following the itinerary I made, we went to Baguio museum since it’s just a walking distance from Cafe by the Ruins Dua. I’m the type who’s into museum, art, culture. If you are like me, you must visit this. The Baguio museum is up to fourth floor. There is so much history to see in there about Baguio. Entrance fee is only Php 20.00. There’s a lot of learning about the lives of different tribes in Ifugao Benguet, Baguio. It’s already 11:00 AM and we need to get to the place we searched on Facebook by riding a taxi. Baguio taxi drivers are honest and hospitable. They give you exact change and the fare is just right. Taxis in Baguio are not airconditioned. We checked-in at a private transient house at Sto. Nino, Baguio near the center. Accommodation cost is Php 800.00 per night all-in inclusive with water, electricity, shower with heater, use of TV, wifi, and utensils and it has a nice view of the uphill houses. We needed to get some power nap before going out again because we arrived so early morning in the city. At 3:00 PM we went out to SM Baguio instead skipped the Maryknoll Garden in the itinerary because we were short of time. Long waiting lines, full loaded jeepneys and taxis on a weekend Friday rush hours. SM Baguio has a wide view of the foggy mountains. You can do banking, grocery and it has souvenir shops. SM Baguio was actually walking distance from Baguio Museum and Cafe by the Ruins Dua.
Address: 5 Arellano St. Corner Moran St. Brgy. Gibraltar, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Address: Dot-PTA Complex, Gov. Pack Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet
Address: 4 Ben Palispis Hiway, Km 4, Baguio 2600 Benguet
OUR MOST FAVORITE BAGUIO Experience was going out on a Friday night at the BAGUIO CRAFT BREWERY. The food is reasonable and the restaurant’s ambiance is superb! A lot of local tourists and foreigners come here. We ordered the ribs, buffalo wings, and the signature Baguio’s crafted beer. We were satisfied of the quality of food and service they provide. Crafted starts at Php 170.00. I’d love to go back there again for a memorable happy sumptous dinner with an overlooking view of Baguio night lights. Wear a thick jacket because the temperature is quite freezing at night.
DAY 2 ITINERARY
- BALAJADIA’S KITCHENETTE,
- STRAWBERRY FARM,
- STABOSA ARTWORK A.K.A VALLEY OF COLORS,
- BELL CHURCH,
- MINES VIEW PARK,
- WRIGHT PARK,
- THE MANSION
+ FOOD GUIDE – OH MY GULAY, VIZCO BAKESHOP, KOREAN DINNER UNLI, BAGUIO NIGHT MARKET
Today’s itinerary is fulfilling. Rise up and shine. We started our day by having breakfast at a highly recommended restaurant BALAJADIA’S KITCHENETTE. We ate here twice. Hehe. The Balajadia Kitchenette is closely located from where we were staying. Celebrities used to visit this restaurant. The menu is budget-friendly. The cost of our breakfast is only Php 250.00 for two persons and we’re already satisfied. That’s affordable!
In Baguio Craft Brewerythe morning we rode a jeepney from Balajadia’s Kitchenette going to La Trinidad where the Strawberry farm is located. ENTRANCE is FREE. Good thing, we went there during the Strawberry season and they are being sold at an affordable price. I enjoyed the scenery. I was so amazed to visit the farm. Strawberry jam only costs Php 20.00 per bottle, a keychain costs Php 10.00, a fresh strawberry costs Php 25.00-Php 200.00 per pack. After spending the time at Strawberry farm, we headed towards the popular Valley of Colours where the community houses are painted in various colors. It’s very artistic and wonderful. NO ENTRANCE. Next we went to nearby Bell Church where the Entrance is also free. We only spent Php Php 15.00 for the jeepney fare per ride.
Because we were still full from the breakfast we had, we decided to go to the other part of Baguio where the Mines View Park, Wright Park, The Mansion, and Good Sheperd are located. All of these are nearby to each other. All have no ENTRANCE Fee. Jeepney fare ranges from Php 8.00 – Php 10.00 from the center. You can enjoy the nature and the view of the mountains up there. At 3:00 PM our feet were all exhausted from walking. We decided to go at Session Road and have something to eat at OH MY GULAY’s cafe and restaurant. There I highly recommend the place because of its ARTISTIC ambiance and PERFECT view of Baguio too. The food they serve seem healthy at an affordable price ranging from Php 150.00-Php 400.00. Our order were Pancit and Hot Choco. We were craving for something sweet and we found Vizco’s Strawberry Cake across the street. It was so good! I love it! Per cake slice is Php 80.00. It was dusk and we were still thinking over where to have dinner. We enjoyed walking at Burnham Park at night. Baguio has also tourist help desk where the policemen give away free map guide and assist tourists with directions.
It started to feel colder as the wind brushed on our skin. We wanted to try the Korean food in since a lot of Korean nationals live in Baguio. It’s a city and traffic can be bad during rush hour. It’s better to stay at the center. So we decided to go to HODORI “UNLI/EAT ALL YOU CAN” KOREAN & JAPANESE RESTAURANT. Yup, you heard it right. An affordable ” EAT ALL YOU CAN” for only PHP 350.00 per person. You can choose from Korean and Japanese menu. We indulged ourselves with Samgyupsal, Kimchi, Maki, Sushi, Tempura, Korean Chicken as long as it’s unli. The restaurant can be found in the second floor along Mabini St., Session Road, Baguio City. Good luck on refilling the side dishes! Food is authentic Korean food. Of course, the Korean owner was there and very hands-on with the business. The place was jam-packed with locals and tourists. Food & value for money = 5/5. It was indeed a heavy dinner but we deserved it after long walks. Baguio experience would not be complete without thrift shopping or doing ukay-ukay. Baguio is known for cheap but quality original ukay-ukay stuff. I needed a coat for my office attire so I bought two Php 80.00 and Php 150.00. You can also find original branded shoes such as Nike and Adidas for only Php 900.00-Php 1,500.00. The night was drizzling and alive. The night market on a Saturday night was filled with fussy crowd. It ended riding a taxi going back to our transient. I loved the neighborhood lights in Baguio uphills.
DAY 3 ITINERARY
- BAGUIO’S DANES BAKESHOP
- GOOD SHEPERD’S BEST UBE JAM
- LION’S HEAD
- FOGGY KENNON ROAD
Last day itinerary should not be overloaded. It was Sunday and we needed to head back home before night time. Expect that bus terminals bound to Manila to be full of passengers getting ready for Monday. So we planned to leave Baguio at 1:00 PM. This time we were unable to book advance for Joy bus instead we had to commute via public bus (Air-conditioned). For me, having the Joy bus booked for roundtrip is always better even if you pay more money for it. At least it does not have stops in between.
First thing in the morning, we already packed our stuff making sure nothing will be left behind. We cleaned the place of course. We had coffee and noodles for light breakfast before going to the last part of our DIY trip. It was really cold and having heater saved us. Hot shower is the best. Shaking between our legs and clenching our teeth, we put our jackets on and savored our time being in Baguio.
We took jeepney going to the center Harrison St. where you can find all possible routes around and within the city. We stopped by at Danes bakeshop, known bakeshop in Baguio, for some hot pandesal. The pandesal was incredibly affordable for its big size only Php 2.00 each. At Danes Bakeshop area in Mabini St. just in the center, you can find the jeepneys with different routes there. You just have to ask the locals. Then we arrived Good shepherd by 7:30AM and you could see more people coming and patiently waiting outside the gate. They’re known for the makers of popular Ube Jam Php 220.00 each. This is also a must visit for pasalubong. Take note that they only limit up to 2 orders per person. Good shepherd is a convent where the sisters send off scholars to study in support of their products. We spent some time at Good Shepherd because it also had a good view of the mountains. There were relaxing flowers and plants everywhere. We took a taxi going to Lion’s head. Only private vehicles can usually go there on a tour because jeepneys are rare and usually full.
The place is called Camp 6-7. So we arrived there and the Lion which used to be color Black is now Gold. Tourist are having fun with selfies and buying pasalubong. Finding a pasabulong is not a problem as any where you go, pasalubong stores are just around the corner. The Lion’s head used to be the welcome trademark of Baguio.
Since public transportation could be difficult in reaching the Lion’s head, we asked our taxi driver to wait for us because we won’t be taking too long in the area. Private vehicles are better option in this. But then we were only charged for Php 200.00 round trip up to the transient to get our stuff ready for departure. It’s already reasonable. We were going to miss Baguio. Public bus back to Manila would cost around Php 300.00 per person (one-way) travel hours extended to 6-8 hours compare to the relief brought by Joy Bus.
By the way, we had our brunch at Balajadia’s Kitchenette again. 🙂 SO GOOD..Shout out to my friend Elaiza Balajadia for recommending this! No wonder the celebrities come visit to your family restaurant.
- Manila-Baguio-Manila = Php 1, 440.00 Round trip via Joy Bus (My suggestion)
- Our actual fare from Manila-Baguio was Php 720 per person (one-way) then Baguio-Manila was only Php 400.00 per person
- Accommodation = Php 1, 600.00 for 2 nights via transient home in Sto Nino, Baguio (if solo), Php 800.00 for 2 nights (if shared) Actually you can find cheaper accommodation aside from what we got but it will depend on comfort, safety & accessibility.
TOTAL: Php 2, 240.00 per pax (Bus fare & accommodation)
- Most sight seeing are FREE of charge.
- Your food and shopping allowance should depend on your budget. Please review our itinerary for food suggestions.
Now you have idea for your planned Baguio trip. You can do it DIY style, free and easy. Again compare to group tours, you can enjoy the view more because you control your own time and pacing.
I hope I’m able to help you to gain insights about coming to Baguio. Baguio is a great destination for everybody. I admit I fell in-love with Baguio. Do not miss it.
Check out my other recommendations too.
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