6 Must-Visit Museums in Manila

Museums, for the longest time, are usually associated with school field trips. But the thing is it shouldn’t be so. Visiting a museum even on a regular day can give anyone a lot of learning experiences. For one, museums serve as portals to the past where we can reconnect with our cultural identity or discover something new about a particular topic or place that’s foreign to you. 

In Manila, there are a lot of museums to check out that will walk you through the Philippines’ storied past. We round up six must-visit museums in the city:


National Museum

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Since its inception in 1901, the National Museum stands as an educational, scientific, and cultural institution. It is in charge of acquiring, documenting, preserving, exhibiting, and fostering scholarly study and art appreciation through its specimens and cultural, historical artifacts.  

The National Museum operates various museums throughout the country including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, the Planetarium, and other regional museums. Marvel at Juan Luna’s Spoliarium and other notable works of art by great Filipino artists. Walk the footsteps of our ancestors and see some fossils, galleons, and unique plants, among others. 


National Museum of Natural History

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After a lengthy renovation period, what was once known as the Agriculture and Commerce building has been turned into the National Museum of Natural History and opened its doors to the public in 2018. The centerpiece dubbed as the “Tree of Life” and the 12 galleries pay homage to the biodiversity the country has.

T.M. Kalaw Street, corner General Luna Street, Rizal Park, Ermita, City of Manila
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Closed on Mondays


National Museum of Anthropology

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Formerly known as the Museum of the Filipino People, the National Museum of Anthropology gives us a glimpse of life in the ancient past. Get to see some ancient weapons, household items, musical instruments, etc. which were used by early Filipinos.

Finance Rd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Closed on Mondays



National Museum of Fine Arts

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Fall in love and feast your eyes on the masterpieces of great painters like Juan Luna, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Mauro Malang among others at the National Museum of Fine Arts. This whole place showcases artworks from the 17th to 20th centuries and even contemporary art from the 20th to 21st centuries.

Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, City of Manila
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
*Closed on Mondays




via National Museum

Explore the cosmos through the Planetarium. Established in the 1970s, the Planetarium, located between the Japanese Garden and the Chinese Garden in Luneta Park, gives us a glimpse of the universe through planetarium shows, lectures, demonstrations, exhibits, and actual celestial observations.

Rizal Park, P. Burgos Dr., Rizal Park, City of Manila
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM




Rizal Shrine


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Witness for yourself and walk into the prison where national hero, Jose Rizal, was held captive before his heroic execution in Bagumbayan now known as Rizal Park. Visit the Rizal Shrine and relive the life of Jose Rizal through wax dolls, memorabilia, books, manuscripts, and the famous poem Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell) and drafts of the political novel Noli Me Tangere. 

Rizal Park, P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Sunday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Monday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM



Ayala Museum

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While Ayala Museum has been temporarily closed to the public since June 2019, Ayala Museum aims to promote art and culture through its many exhibitions of artworks of some of the great Filipino national artists. We’re talking about the likes of Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Luna, Amorsolo, and Zobel. Ayala Museum houses the Gold of Ancestors: Pre-Colonial Treasures in the Philippines, The Philippine Diorama Experience, and Art and the Other of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles to name a few.

With the temporary closure of the museum, Ayala Museum offers the off-site program called Ayala Museum On-The-Go (OTG) so that you can continue engaging yourself in the beautiful world of culture and arts. 

Makati Avenue corner De la Rosa St., Greenbelt Park, Ayala Center, Makati City
Sunday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
*Closed on Mondays



The Mind Museum

via The Mind Museum

Science comes alive in The Mind Museum. Tickle your fancy with over 250 interactive exhibits, theater and planetarium shows, experiments, demonstrations, and more. The galleries contain the minute up to the grandest of things like the T.rex exhibit and everything in between we see in science. 

JY Campos Park, 3rd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 1634
Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
*Closed on Mondays



Art In Island

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Bring out the kid in you by visiting Art In Island in Cubao, Quezon City. Art In Island is an interactive exhibition of fun and quirky 3D paintings that allows you to play “pretend.” You can actually take photos of yourself while inside a virtual alligator’s mouth, surfing a wave, looking through excavations in Egypt, and many more. Art In Island spells fun with three-dimensional masterpieces. 

175 15th Avenue., Cubao, Quezon City
Sunday 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 AM – 9:30 PM
*Closed on Mondays



Looking forward to visiting these museums in Manila? Check out more gems in the city here!



*Featured image by imwaltersy via Shutterstock