Who doesn’t a break from the hustle and bustle, with a really good climate and hipster spots where you can hang out? Still, it’s more fun in Baguio after all!
Thinking of where to spend the next holiday, but no plans and budget to fly out of the country? Go to Baguio! Still top holiday destination in the country, Baguio continues to have more reasons for visitors to take the 8-hour travel time from Manila. The famous tourist spots never get old, there are new restaurants, and more cute houses available for families on AirBnb. Read on to learn more and get started on planning your next getaway.
History of Baguio
Let’s make this article more interesting and discuss a bit about the history and geographical location of Baguio. This mountain resort city in Northern Luzon that’s approximately 4,810 feet above sea level was established as a hill station by the United States in 1900. It was their only hill station in Asia situated at Kafagway, an Ibaloi Village. It served as the provincial capital of Benguet from 1901 to 1916. Baguio City has a population of around 345,366 according to the 2015 census.
Where to go and where to eat
You may have been to Baguio a number of times already, but you surely haven’t been to all the places worth visiting. You haven’t been to all the restaurants – especially new ones – and have not tried all the activities you can do there. If you’re set to go to Baguio during the holidays, but still don’t have a plan in terms of accommodation and activities, here are suggestions:
Starting off with accommodation, make sure that you’ve booked a place to stay before getting to Baguio. It can be difficult to find a good place when you’re already there – surprising how quickly the hotels get fully booked especially during the holidays. Conveniently, you can do this online through apps such as AirBnb and Hotels.com. Top choices include: The Manor at Camp John Hay, Azalea Hotel and Residences, and Hotel Elizabeth Baguio among others. You may also opt for these inns: The Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast, Colione Bed and Breakfast, or Metro Pines Inn.
New restaurants in the city
Among the many special things about Baguio are the classy and hipster restaurant options. Other than offering tasty dishes that are definitely more special than the ones in Manila, the restaurants are also Instagrammable! Ambience is one thing you pay for, right? It sets the mood and somehow makes the food taste extra special. Your restaurant choices can make or break your 8-hr trip to Baguio.
Bring your loved ones to Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna. This place has a balcony with breathtaking views of the mountains and pine trees. The feel is intimate especially with the Mykonos blue doors that allow guests to experience life on the Greek isles. The menu includes grilled chicken, beef, lamb, and pork, as well as Gyros (140 pesos), Rack of Lamb (990 pesos), and steaks (390 to 790 pesos).
Another great option is Café Cueva located at the Illi Likha Artist Community – an endeavor of Kidlat Tahimik, the “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema.” Owned by Lady Alberto and Shagum Okubo, Café Cueva only use organic and locally sourced ingredients. Trivia: this café was nominated Best New Café in 2016 on the local newspaper, Baguio Midland Courier. Try their Savory Tuna Crepe with egg and cilantro (150 pesos), Salted Caramel Apple Waffles (100 pesos), and Grilled Porkchops with Red Rice and Salsa (190 pesos).
Now, let’s go to one of the best breakfast and coffee places in Baguio: Hot Cat Specialty Coffee. When you check in at Old Orange Bed and Breakfast, you can conveniently have breakfast here and enjoy their high-quality specialty beans. Aldrix Navalta and his wife sourced this in San Juan, La Union. Suggested coffee choices include: the Flat White (120 pesos), Italian Cappuccino (120 pesos), Café Mocha (130 pesos), and the Cold Brew (100 pesos).
There’s just something about Baguio that keeps it the top holiday destination in the country. It may have been a bit tainted by the city life with the new structures and pollution, but the charm is pretty much still there. This is the reason more and more people are buying properties in Baguio, specifically rest houses for retirement. Who doesn’t want a house upstate, away from the hustle and bustle, with a really good climate and hipster spots where you can hang out? Still, it’s more fun in Baguio after all!