Baguio Museum Hopping: Top Art Places to Visit in the City of Pines

Few things set Baguio City apart from the Metropolitan areas in the Philippines. You know you have arrived in Baguio City when the air gets chilly and the city backdrop changes to pine trees, sloped streets, bustling tourists, and variety of world-class luxury real estate properties, food markets, and shopping districts. Beyond those, Baguio City—and the Cordillera region in general—is also a great place for local art experience and creative tourism. A quick stroll in the mountainous town will bring you to a lot of thematic art cafes and popular Baguio museum spots that showcase the history and culture of the City of Pines.

In this quick guide, Brittany Corporation peeks at the colorful museum Baguio culture and list down the best museums to visit for your next art museum in Baguio trip.

Baguio Museum Hopping

Beyond the Baguio Museum: A Look into the Rich Art, History, and Culture in Baguio and the Cordillera

The art scene in Baguio City is a mosaic of different art forms and culture from each region of the Cordilleras. Each contempory artwork you see represents a fusion of history that created what they are now. Knowing these stories helps you form deeper connection and appreciation with each art piece.

For instance, the trademark fabric patterns you often see in art galleries and garment shops in Baguio are heavily influenced by Cordillera Weaves. Bontoc region is popular for their nature-inspired geometric patterns that represent the flora and fauna of the region. Kalinga weaves, on the other hand, weaves symbolism in their trademark colors and patterns. Strong reds and indigos symbolizes the sky and the land, while bright yellows are for fertility.

Another popular form of craftmanship in baguio City is wood carvings. While it is common to see collections of woodwork—from intricate carvings to abstract designs—in Baguio City, the practice was originally introduced by the Ifugao tribe. Ancient Ifugaos treat every wood carving with utmost respect because they believe that it was blessed, by the power of gods, to protect their bounty harvest from calamities.

Feed Your Creative Soul with these Top Baguio Museum Spots and Galleries

Museum hopping is a fun way to experience and relive the history and culture of a place. And for a culturally-rich city like the City of Pines, museums in Baguio are definitely visual treats. Seeing extensive an collection of unique artifacts and world-class art pieces on display, including manuscripts that could possible go as far back as the prehistoric times can also serve as an inspiration for your creative endeavors.

But whether you are an art enthusiasts or simply looking for an interesting place to engage your senses, museums should definitely be included in your must-visit places. Brittany Corporation list down the best museums in Baguio that are worth checking out the next time you visit the city.

First Stop — Baguio Museum

Entrance Fee: Starts at Php 40

Museum Baguio Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)

Location: Dot-PTA Complex, Gov. Pack Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

Baguio Museum or Museum Baguio tells the heritage and culture of Ifugao people, alongside the six provinces of the Cordillera, through its galleries and architecture. The entrance of the museum will greet you with Ifugao-inspired architecture, such as wooden facade and stone elements. The large wooden poles and pyramid roof of Museum Baguio is hard to miss from the outside. Once you step in, you can see a rare collection of ancient dioramas, scale maps, and tribal artifacts, with the oldest dating back to 1950s. Traditional tools that the early Ifugaos use in their daily lives are also on display.

Baguio Museum also hosts art exhibitions and fairs. To stay tuned with the upcoming shows of Baguio Museum, you can follow their social media page or visit their official website.

Beyond the Baguio Museum

Next Stop — BenCab Museum

Entrance Fee: Starts at Php 100

BenCab Museum Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)

Location: Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, Philippines

You can also find popular museums outside Baguio City. A short drive from the city center is BenCab Museum. What makes the museum unique is it being a personal project of a renowned Philippine National Artist for Visual Arts—Benedicto Reyes Cabrera. His painting and print collections, alongside ethnic woodcarvings from the Ifugaos. Works of seasoned artists and emerging talents who promote environmental and cultural preservation of the region through art are also displayed on BenCab Museum.

If you got tired from roaming around the museum, you can rest and enjoy a quick treat at “Sabel,” the popular cafe inside BenCab Museum. Spectators will also love strolling around the organic farm and mini forest in the museum.

Third Stop — Bell House Library Museum

Entrance Fee: Standard rates start at Php 30

Bell House Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Location: Bell House, Camp John Hay, Baguio, Benguet

The Bell House Museum is not like the usual museums and galleries in Baguio. This art spot is originally a rest house designed and occupied by Major General J. Franklin Bell, the General of the American Forces in the Philippines during 1911 to 1914. The American colonial-style home was converted to a modern museum that Baguio locals and visitors know today. Stepping inside the house is like going back in time. The cozy interiors serve as a backdrop for the vintage furnishings, timber trinkets, pine wood walls, and other ancient house decors and elements around the house. If you are a fan of traditional American luxury real estate properties, the Bell House museum is definitely a visual treat.

A quick walk from the ancestral house will bring you to the Bell Ampitheater, which is a popular venue for hosting weddings and other celebrations.

Ililikha Art Village

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM

Location: 32 Assumption Rd, Baguio, Benguet

This artistic venue might be right up your alley if you are a fan of anything whimsical and elemental. Looking from the outside, the fascinating Ili-likha Artist Village already stands out with its gigantic tree-house-inspired architecture. The eco-art complex is made from overgrown trees and branches decorated with sustainable materials like wood, glass bottles, and upcycled ceramics. Traditional Ifugao sculptures are also on display. Inside, you will find various establishments like cafes, novelty shops, art stores, and restaurants that offer budget-friendly menus. The small theater is also a popular stop inside the village.

The peculiar concept and elaborate design of Ili-likha came from the creative mind of the popular film director and writer, Eric de Guia, also known as Kidlat Tahimik.

Feed Your Creative Soul with these Top Baguio Museum Spots and Galleries

And, Finally — The Tam-Awan Village

Entrance Fee: Starts at Php 60

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Location: 367 Long Long Benguet Rd, Baguio, Benguet

Another museum that highlights the indigenous aesthetic and distinct craftmanship of the Cordillera is the Tam-Awan Village. Tam-Awan translates to vantage point, which is inspired by the viewing decks inside the village overlooking the panoramic views of baguio. Tam-Awan mimicks the traditional Igorot villages in the Cordillera. Here, you will see reconstructed Ifugao houses and Kalinga huts that are all made from original materials. Inside each abode are small galleries from local artists and native Cordilleran crafts. The whole village is also surrounded with quiet gardens, a local craft shop, and a coffee shop.

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Want To Discover More About Art In The City Of Pines?

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