Baguio City-also known as the City of Pines-is a favorite destination during the hot summer months. It has a lot of things to offer, not only to the single tourist, but also for families, couples, and groups of friends. It can be explored with ease since tourist spots are located relatively close to each other and are accessible via public transport.
Sightseeing in Baguio's Burnham Park and Mines View Park
In the heart of Baguio is Burnham Park-named after Daniel Burnham, an American architect and urban planner who designed it and the city's original plan. There are plenty of things to do at Burnham Park. Kids can rent bikes and skates at designated areas while couples can have a romantic boat ride at the Burnham Lagoon. Tourists can simply enjoy strolling at the park and communing with nature.
Just around Burnham Park is Baguio's main thoroughfare and commercial center, Session Road. Offices, banks, bars and restaurants, internet cafes, hotels, bazaars, and boutiques can be found along this busy road. Another nearby landmark is the Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, better known as the Baguio Cathedral, with its soft rose-colored façade and twin spires.
At the northeastern side of the city is the Mines View Park that offers a view of the gold and copper mines and the Cordillera mountain range. A visit there would not be complete without having photo op while wearing a Cordillera costume.
Shopping at the Public Market of Baguio City
A stone's throw away from Burnham Park is the famed Baguio market. Its cleanliness is what sets it apart from other public markets in the country. It is the best place to shop for souvenirs and other fresh produce because of its freshness and low price.
A lot of local tourists head for the Baguio Market as soon as they arrive in the city. There is a lot of cheap bags and clothing sold here. One can find brand names like The North Face bags and jackets at a fraction of their cost. Of course, fake brands are sold as well, which makes it a challenge for buyers.
Other Popular Tourist Destinations in Baguio City
Another popular tourist stop is the Mansion, the official residence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. However, tourists can only admire the grandiosity of the Mansion from afar since entry to the area is restricted.
Learn more about the Cordillera culture by visiting the Easter Weaving Room. Cloth weaving has been practiced in the region for a long time. At the Easter Weaving Room, tourists can watch local weavers as they transform threads into a piece of cloth right before their eyes. Woven items such as tablecloths, footwear, rugs, mats, and home decorations are sold here.
Harvesting strawberries is also a much sought-after activity in Baguio by both the young and the young at heart. The strawberry fields in La Trinidad, Benguet, are just a jeepney ride away from the heart of the city.
Aside from fresh fruits and vegetables, a must-buy when visiting Baguio is the Baguio broom or "walis tambo," a cleaning tool used in every Filipino household. Made from tiger grass, these brooms are famous among Filipinos because it is known to be a lot sturdier than other types of brooms.
Any time of the year is a good time to visit Baguio. The month of February is more special as the city celebrates the Panagbenga Festival or the Baguio Flower Festival. Tourists flock to the streets of Baguio at this time to witness the parade of floats beautifully decorated with various flowers and plants and see the native dance exhibitions.
Going to Baguio City
Nestled in the mountains of Cordillera in Northern Luzon, Baguio is about five hours from Manila via the North Luzon and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressways. Air-conditioned buses to Baguio are available at the Victory Liner and Dagupan Bus Line in Cubao, Quezon City where it leaves every hour.
Jeepneys, taxicabs, and car rentals are the popular means of transportation in Baguio.
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