Happy Holidays! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Today let's talk about one of my most favorite places in the world to spend the Christmas season in - BAGUIO!

For my foreign readers, Baguio is known as the summer capital of the Philippines because of its cool climate. It's up in the mountains, quaint and very charming. Although maybe not as popular or spoken of as our beaches, it's one of the many attractions you should visit when traveling to the Philippines.

Having said that, here's some of the things worth checking out when you find yourself back in the City of Pines.

azalea hotel baguio

1. Azalea Hotel and Residences Baguio 

if you don't have a place to stay in, Azalea is a great place to check in. Affordable and with a nice, clean and quiet location (near Teacher's Camp). It has its own enclave/cul de sac, looks like a ski resort, very homey and comfortable.

More about Azalea Hotel and Residences HERE

azalea residences baguio
But what I love most about Azalea is their food + hot chocolate! Definitely a must order, it's thick and chocolatey, I have like 4 cups in the morning :P

The buffet at Azalea is also worth mentioning. For just P300-400/head you can eat as much as you want. I suggest visiting on Shabu-Shabu night.

things to do in baguio

2. Mt. Cloud Bookshop 

- an indie bookstore with a cafe adjacent to it. Sort of reminds me of the first Twilight movie. :P

mt cloud bookshop
They sell a nice variety of second hand books and there's and adjacent cafe/restaurant that invites you to curl with a book over good food.

second hand bookstore in baguio

3. Ili-likha Artist Village -

this place is super interesting. The entire building looks like one gigantic sculpture with loads of miniature sculptures within.

ililikha artist village
It's operated by the artists of Benguet. There are several mini restaurants inside serving different kinds of food from varied cuisines but all utilizing fresh produce from Baguio.

artist village baguio
There's pasta, arroz caldo, pastries, coffee and more. 

new places to visit in baguio
The bread here is really delicious and there is something interesting to look at it at every nook and cranny.

No entrance fee and food is really cheap, about P100-200/head. Seemed like a favorite coffee place for local hipsters :P

sarah tirona baguio

4. When in Baguio, ukay-ukay (thrift shopping) at Session Road. 

It's not as amazingly cheap as before but it's still worth a try even just for the experience of it. And it's still not impossible to purchase a used designer handbag for a small fraction of its original price. Just be wary of fakes. Make sure you know how to tell the difference between the two. 

ukay ukay in session road

5. BenCab Museum - Hands down my most favorite place in Baguio and a definite must-see!

bencab museum
It's located a bit far from the city so make sure you call ahead of time to check if they're open.

Entrance is about P150/head.

bencab museum coffee shop
They have their own coffee shop that serves the best coffee in Baguio (in my opinion). It's strong potent and delicious. They use a unique blend of beans from the area. You can even take home a bag.

The fresh lumpia is also to die for. I wasn't so much a fan of their Banana Pancakes.

benguet coffee
But really, BenCab is a pretty and peaceful place that is overflowing with art. Set aside half a day to explore.

bencab museum photos

6. Mines View - an old favorite for good reason.

When in Mines View, shop for local delicacies such as chocolate covered cornflakes, kulangot, strawberry taho and many more. 

Also get your fill of street food, buy blankets, locally weaved bags and an assortment of traditional carved wood souvenirs, cactus and other plants. Slightly more expensive than the market but still cheap and they make up for it in ambience.

Oh and most important of all, take a pic with Douglas the St. Bernard :P

mines view

7. Good Shepherd - no trip to Baguio is complete without picking up some Strawberry Jam, peanut brittle and my favorite - UBE (!!!) at Good Shepherd. 

 Heat in microwave for a few seconds and it is extremely delicious. One of the best desserts in the world!!! :P

good shepherd baguio
good shepherd baguio
Aside from those I mentioned above, also make it a point to visit Camp John Hay and go horseback riding! :)

Help promote our local tourism, feel free to add to this list in the comments section below! :D