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

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

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

  1. The Colonial Residences
    Price from PHP 2,000/night
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  1. Baymont Suites & Residences
    Price from PHP 2,300/night
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  1. The Studio 18 Residences
    Price from PHP 1,800/night
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  1. ZEN Rooms V Plaza Manila
    Price from PHP 800/night
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  1. BDS Bay Area
    Price from PHP 2,900/night
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  1. Broadway Court QC
    Price from PHP 1,100/night
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  1. ZEN Rooms Studio 87
    Price from PHP 2,400/night
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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.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

One of the best ways to get to know a city is through its museums. And the good thing about traveling to the Pearl of the Orient Seas, there are more than enough to help you weave an interesting story of the country and its people. From prehistoric to contemporary art and local to international exhibits, the museum in the Philippines won’t disappoint.

These Philippine museums will surely leave a mark on every visitor as it gives them a wonderful story of the past. If you want to get to know the country better, here are 12 of the must-visit museum in the Philippines!

LUZON

1. Ayala Museum

facade of ayala museum in makati

Location: Makati Ave. cor. Dela Rosa St., Makati City

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays.

Entrance fee: P425 for regular adults (non-residents), P300 (regular students, senior citizens, and PWDs), P225 (residents), P125 for local students, senior citizens, and PWDs.

Located at the heart of Makati central business district, the Ayala Museum is one of the most visited private museums in Manila. Whenever going to the country’s capital, the museum is surely one of the best places to lose yourself in amazing contemporary art and uplift your spirit through the Philippines’ inspiring history. It houses a large number of rare and priceless cultural and historical items not found elsewhere in the country.

The 15-year old museum in the Philippines features four floors of amazing works of art on Filipino culture, art, and history. Ayala Museum is just adjacent to Greenbelt. Among the museum’s highlights is its collection of archeological artifacts, notably the Gold of Ancestors: Pre-Colonial Treasures in the Philippines, which serve as a testament to the Filipinos’ rich ancestry and inherent craftsmanship.

2. National Museum of the Philippines

people observing the national museum
National Museum in Manila

Location: Taft Ave, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila

Opening hours: 10AM to 5PM from Tuesday to Sunday

Entrance fee: Free

If you’re into history and culture, the National Museum of the Philippines is the perfect place to be. The National Museum of the Philippines history dates back to 1901 which is a government agency museum that includes research and conservation programs throughout the archipelago. The National Museum Manila houses three buildings; the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology and the National Planetarium Philippines that houses the natural and cultural history of Filipinos and our environment. The collection ranges from thousands of years ago to the present.

It is also home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium— a gigantic painting more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide, making it the Philippines’ largest painting. Another great thing about this museum is that admission is free! So don’t miss this best tourist spot in Manila!

3. Museo Pambata

Kids reading story books at museo pambata
Photo from Museo Pambata

Location: Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 8AM to 5PM (September to February), 9AM to 12PM. and 1PM to 5PM (March to August); Sunday, 1PM to 5PM

Entrance fee: Children and Adults – P250; Infants under 2 years, museum workers, teachers (with valid ID) – FREE; Manila residents (with valid ID) – 50% discount

Museo Pambata is the first children’s interactive museum in the Philippines. Founded in 1993, Museo Pambata’s mission is to strengthen the knowledge, values, and cultural identity of Filipino children through its advocacy programs providing innovative learning experiences. Designed especially for children, this museum also serves as an alternative to the formal classroom environment. Unlike traditional museums in Metro Manila, Museo Pambata features hands-on exhibits that encourage children to explore and discover various concepts while they play.

4. Pinto Art Museum

Mediterranean style art museum in antipolo, rizal

Location: Silangan Gardens, 1 Sierra Madre Street, Greenheights, Antipolo City

Opening hours: 9AM to 6PM from Tuesday to Sunday

Entrance fee: P200 for adults; P180 for senior citizens and PWD with valid IDs; P100 for students with valid school IDs (Children below 3 years old are free)

When you arrive at Pinto Art Museum, it’ll have you thinking if you’re still in the Philippines with its colonial Spanish architecture with touches of Mediterranean. The museum is popular not only for its Instagram-worthy interiors but also for its artworks collected by the owner, Dr. Joven Cuanang, beginning in 1986. The museum (pinto means door in Filipino) was founded on the principle that art plays a diplomatic role in bridging distinctive nationalities, worldviews, and communities. 

5. The Mind Museum

hair of woman and a girl stand as they hold the metal ball at mind museum
Photo from The Mind Museum

Location: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9AM to 6PM

Entrance fee: P750 for an all-day pass (Tuesday to Saturday); P600 for a three-hour pass (Tuesday to Saturday) and an all-day pass for adults (Sunday); P450 for children and private school students; P150 for public school students and teachers

Science really does come alive at The Mind Museum! With five well-formulated galleries— The Atom Gallery, The Earth Gallery, The Life Gallery, The Universe Gallery, and The Technology Gallery—the museum makes learning fun and interactive for the whole family. Be amazed at the first permanent T-rex exhibit in the country, the mini teaching planetarium, and the wonders of the “counterintuitive quantum world” among other equally enjoyable installations. Like Museo Pambata, The Mind Museum Manila encourages learning through play with its excellent design and conceptualization. Kids will definitely enjoy this museum in the Philippines.

6. The Dessert Museum

two ladies enjoy the colorful banana play area in dessert museum
Photo from Dessert Museum

Location: Unit 124, 126, 127a, S Maison, Coral Way, Conrad Hotel Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City

Opening hours: 10 AM to 10 PM (Last tickets are sold by 8:00pm)

Entrance fee: P799

If you’re looking for a unique art museum in Manila, you should consider going to Pasay! Have the sweetest trip in Pasay when you visit The Dessert Museum Manila. It consists of 12,000 square feet of dessert play with 8 mouthwatering themed-rooms of sugar-filled happiness. This is the only museum you’ll ever slide into! And as you slide and play, you will also be treated to samples of desserts especially curated to fit the themed room.

7. Lakbay Museo

two ladies pose at one exhibit in lakbay museo
Photo from Lakbay Museo

Location: Level 1, S Maison, Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. Google or Waze “Conrad Hotel Marina Way Mall of Asia Complex”

Opening hours: 10 AM to 10 PM but our last call will be at 9 PM

Entrance fee: P799

Another unique art museum in Manila is the Lakbay Museo. Learn about the Philippines’ rich culture and traditions in a very fun and modern way by visiting Lakbay Museo. It has very Instagrammable displays and dioramas! This modern gallery prides itself as the country’s first-ever interactive millennial museum allowing you to see the best of the Philippines in less than 2 hours without even flying and spending thousands of bucks. The 1,000sqm facility pays homage to the local culture and traditions of the Philippines through fascinating exhibits including a classic jeepney, a local sari-sari store, and a room filled with a variety of native clothing and textiles. You will also get to enjoy the delectable Filipino cuisine! Lakbay Museo will treat you to a variety of dishes and delicacies like adobo, tinola, and sinigang! This is one of the must-visit museums in Manila.

8. Metropolitan Museum of Manila

Location: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10AM to 5:30PM

Entrance fee: P100 for adults and children above three years old; P80 for senior citizens

If New York has “The MET,” the Philippines has its own, too! The Metropolitan Museum of Manila is a major museum in the Philippines. It was originally built as a venue for international art exhibitions in 1976, aimed at expanding the exposure of Filipinos to the visual arts of foreign cultures while enhancing cultural diplomacy. You’ll see valuable collections of Pre-Historic Gold and Pottery, colonial Hispanic art, and the growing modern and contemporary collections of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. These form the museum’s permanent collection of Philippine contemporary art and are exhibited on a changing basis, in thematic shows with varying responsive and education messages. This museum of natural history Manila is a must-visit.

Bonus: Other museums to visit in the metro are the Philippine Air Force Museum, Upside Down Museum Manila, and museum in Quezon City.

VISAYAS

9. Balay Negrense Museum

Location: Barangay III, Cinco De Noviembre Street, Silay, Negros Occidental

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9AM to 5PM

Entrance fee: P40

Sure there’s a lot of museums in Manila that are popular, but in Visayas, there’s also something that is worthy to be visited. This is an antique house-turned-museum in Silay City that showcases the lifestyle of a late 19th-century Negrense sugar baron. You’ll see a lot of artifacts in Balay Negrense. Located in Silay City, Negros Occidental, it is regarded as the first museum in the land of sugar.

10. Museo Sugbo (Cebu Provincial Museum)

facade of museo sugbo

Location: 731 M.J. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9AM to 5:30PM

Entrance fee: Adults: P30 (local tourists), P75 (foreigners) Filipino Students: P10, P50 (foreign students), Senior Citizen: P10

Museo Sugbo was once called “Carsel de Cebu” or Cebu Jail before it became a museum. During the revolution, it became a prison for the Katipuneros who valiantly fought for the country’s independence against its colonizers. The museum features four permanent galleries housing more than a thousand years of historical artifacts, three special exhibition galleries, and one changing exhibition gallery. It also has a gallery documenting the country’s political history ranging from the time of political nepotism to the current political set-up.

MINDANAO

11. Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

Location: Zonta Building, 113 Agusan Circle, Insular Village 1, Lanang, Davao City, Davao Del Sur

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 9AM to 5PM

Entrance fee: P100 (adult), P20 (student)

The Davao Museum of History and Ethnography showcases the rich history and ethnography of the province. It mainly exhibits the heritage of the diverse tribes that inhabit the region then and now. You will also find the finest and rarest historical photos in the two-storey museum. And if you want to dig deeper into the province’s past, there are written histories of the province’s founding families, as well as handicrafts and ethnic instruments of prominent tribes such as Mandaya, B’laan, T’boli, Manobo, Bagobo, and Mansaka.

12. Museum of Three Cultures

historic artifacts displayed in museum of three cultures

Location: Corrales Extension, Cagayan de Oro City, 9000 Misamis Oriental

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 9AM to 12PM and at 1:30PM to 5:30PM

Entrance fee: P50

If you’re already used to going to a natural history museum Manila, why not try visiting another in Mindanao? To preserve the cultural heritage of the three groups of people in Mindanao—the Muslims, Christians, and the Lumads— the Museum of the Three Cultures was built.

Its three art galleries exhibit the unique soil paintings from the Talaandig tribe from Bukidnon, Mindanao, ceramics, life-size ceremonial Maranao swords, and the pangao, a huge four-poster bed intentionally built to hold the whole family of the sultan.

Make sure to book the best budget hotel near your destinations to make the most out of your museum tour in the Philippines!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

June 12 marks the day the Philippines celebrates its independence from centuries of Spanish rule in 1898. Philippines Independence Day is declared as a national holiday. Most Filipinos spend this holiday with family and friends to take a break from the bustling and hustling city life while others go on a trip down memory lane and reminisce the sacrifices that fellow Filipinos did for this long-fought-freedom.

This year, why not celebrate the Philippines Independence Day meaningfully by giving this list a try to show your love for the country even in small but significant ways.

Here are the things you can do to make the most out of the Philippine Independence Day!

1. Visit the National Museum

national museum manila

If you have been meaning to take advantage of the perpetually free admission to the Philippines’ National Museum, now’s the time to visit! Open this June 12 particularly in celebration of Philippines Independence Day, the National Museum is a great place to honor our independence by surrounding yourself with the Philippine culture, history, and biodiversity on display. There are three must-visit sections here: Art, Archaeology, and Natural History. So be sure to prepare your mind and body for long and thoughtful walks!

2. Stroll along Luneta Park

Why not rest your weary self this week by visiting the Luneta Park with family and friends this holiday? Take advantage of the no work, no school day to be one with nature and grasp the Philippine history by spending the day in a monumental place. You can unwind here by flying kites or by having a picnic. Also, don’t forget to catch the changing of the guards for the Rizal monument.

3. Explore Intramuros

Intramuros was where Manila’s most influential and wealthy citizens of the Spanish colonial period had lived. Explore the historic Walled City of Intramuros without spending a lot! Intramuros is one of the cheapest but amazing places in Manila that you can tour. You can either bike or just join the walking tours in the area. And once you’re there, you’ll feel like you’ve time-traveled to the past. There you’ll find Fort Santiago where Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution in 1896.

4. Eat Filipino street food

There truly is nothing more Filipino than Filipino food so, indulge yourself this Philippines Independence Day with the treats that you can find just on the streets! Don’t miss the isaw (chicken and pork intestines), fish balls, balut, penoy, and everyone’s favorite: kwek-kwek (quail eggs covered with orange batter).

Top it off with dessert in the form of sorbetes; the street-peddled ice cream in the Philippines. Eat them picnic-like with friends or while taking a walk in the park.

5. Movie marathon of Filipino historical movies

Binge watch the all-time Filipino historical films this Philippines Independence Day. You can never go wrong with the films José Rizal (1998), El Presidente (2012), Heneral Luna (2015), Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016), Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018), and Quezon’s Game (2019). These are just some of the films to commemorate this holiday with. If you haven’t seen any of them, there’s no other perfect time than now, to appreciate the road to Philippine freedom.

6. Book yourself a trip at the best value

Make the most out of the holiday by treating yourself to a great and affordable vacation! With over hundreds of ZEN properties all over Southeast Asia, it’s never been easier to explore and unwind wherever you choose this holiday or this summer.

Book now at zenrooms.com for the best value stay-cation and accommodation.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.