The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the National Museum of the Philippines

national museum of the philippines

When someone says museums, we usually associate it with artificants and all-things-boring. But the National Museum of the Philippines proves you otherwise.

The National Museum, also known as Pambansang Museo in local language, dates back to 1901 which is a government agency museum that includes research and conservation programs throughout the archipelago. You will not just see a collection that dates back from thousands of years ago but you’ll also see some of the most modern works of art inside the National Museum including the notable Spoliarium—a gigantic painting more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide, making it the Philippines’ largest painting—created by Juan Luna.

Branches of the National Museum of the Philippines

national museum of the philippines

Here are the four branches of Pambansang Museo. 

  1. National Museum of Natural History
  2. National Museum of Anthropology
  3. National Museum of Fine Arts
  4. National Planetarium

What’s inside this blog?

Read this National Museum guide to know all the things you need for an awesome tour. 

What to see in National Museum of the Philippines

From the National Museum of the Philippines History to the National Art Museum we’ve listed all the branches of the National Museum for you to enjoy.

1. National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

If you’re a history buff, then you’re off to a good start in the National History Museum. Inside the National Museum of Natural History you’ll find art pieces and collections covering botany, geology, and zoology. Some of the most notable attractions in the National Museum of Natural History include the Tree of Life, Lolong The skeleton of the Philippine’s largest crocodile in captivity), Rainforest Diorama, Mangrove Diorama, and more.

National History Museum Collections

  • Botany
  • Geology
  • Zoology

2. National Museum of Anthropology

National Museum of Anthropology national museum of the philippines

Photo credit to National Museum of the Philippines

The National Museum of Anthropology presents exhibits and information on the origins of the Philippine Islands and the Filipinos. The exhibition focuses on the four periods of Philippine prehistory: Paleolithic, Neolithic, Metal, and Ceramic Age.

Exhibits in the National Museum of Anthropology

  • San Diego Exhibit
  • Five Centuries of Maritime Trade Before the Arrival of the West
  • The Origin (Pinagmulan)
  • Archaeological Treasures (Kaban ng Lahi)
  • The Filipinos and Their Rich Cultural Heritage (Kinahinatnan)

3. National Museum of Fine Arts

spoliarium National Museum of Fine Arts

National Museum Fine Arts is among the most visited branches inside NM. This is where you’ll find the historic and most famous National Museum paintings in the country, Spoliarium of Juan Luna.

Exhibits in the National Museum of Fine Arts

  • The Old House of Representatives Session Hall
  • Religious Art from the 17th to 19th centuries
  • Art Prints from the Archives of the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid
  • Academic and Romantic Art
  • Academic and Neoclassical Sculpture
  • Homage to Dr. José Rizal
  • Classical Art from the 20th century
  • The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines by Carlos V. Francisco
  • Drawings of Fernando C. Amorsolo
  • Works of Guillermo E. Tolentino

4. National Planetarium

National Planetarium national museum of the philippines

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The National Planetarium’s main function is to spread astronomical information through planetarium shows, lectures, demonstrations, exhibits and actual celestial observations. Its unique feature is the true-to-life showing of astronomical bodies that captures the interest and tickles the imagination of viewers.

National Museum Operating Hours

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The Pambansang Museo Hours are the same in all NM:

Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

National Planetarium

Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 am to 5pm

Last Daily Admission for viewers is at 4:30 pm

The only holidays on which the National Museum is closed to the public are on November 1, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday. We are closed every Monday for cleaning and maintenance.

Rates And Other Information In Visiting

Admission to the National Museum is permanently free of charge for all visitors, Filipino or foreign, to its museums nationwide.

National Museum of the Philippines Location

Pambansang Museo is located at Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila City, Metro Manila.

Guidelines for National Galleries Tours

  1. All guests are required to sign in the visitor’s logbook before viewing the exhibits.
  2. Group tours shall be booked beforehand. Only groups reserved at the Museum Education Division shall be entertained. Group tours are not allowed on Sundays.
  3. Drop off point for groups is outside the NM gate along P. Burgos Avenue and Finance Road. Bags, food, and hand-carried items should be left inside the bus.
  4. Buses should park outside the Museum of the Filipino People.
  5. Head of the group/coordinator shall first pay the entrance fees and fill up the visitor’s logbook before the group is allowed to begin the tour.
  6. Firearms, food, bottled water, and ballpens are not allowed inside galleries.
  7. Smoking is prohibited in the NM premises.
  8. Touching artworks and taking photos of exhibit items for commercial purposes inside galleries are strictly prohibited unless otherwise authorized through a special permit from the Director’s Office/ Museum Education Division. Picture taking is allowed for souvenir purposes only. The use of flash photography is strictly prohibited.
  9. For other concerns not specified herein, please inquire at the Museum Education Division.

The following items are NOT permitted in the galleries:

  • Photography of certain loan and temporary exhibitions
  • Flash photography
  • Videography
  • Art materials (including ink pens) other than pencils
  • Bags and camera bags larger than 33 x 43 cm.
  • Backpacks, baby backpack carriers or other bulky items
  • Food and drink
  • Plants, flowers or other organic materials
  • Tripods and video cameras
  • Long umbrellas
  • Wrapped packages including gifts
  • Pets

Source: National Museum of the Philippines

Where to Stay in Manila

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In case you want to extend your trip, here are some of the best budget hotels in Manila you can book.

Best budget hotels in Manila

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Frequently Asked Questions About National Museum of the Philippines

Q: What can be found in the National Museum of the Philippines?

A: Pambansang Museo has a lot of things to offer to its visitors. From the historic works of art in the National Museum of Natural History, interactive science exhibits in the National Planetarium, National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Q: How much is the entrance fee in the National Museum of the Philippines history?

A: Admission is FREE on all National Galleries of the National Museum Philippines.

Q: What are the branches of the National Museum of the Philippines?

A: The National Museum operates the National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, and National Planetarium, all located in the National Museum Complex in Manila. The institution also operates branch museums throughout the country.

Q: Is National Museum open now?

A: The NMP galleries are still closed until further notice. This includes all museums within the National Museum network in Manila and nationwide.

Q: Where is the National Museum location?

A: Pambansang Museo is located at Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila City, Metro Manila.

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