Whenever visiting another country, it is always good to start your sojourn in a museum. A museum gives an overview of a nation’s history and culture through artifacts, art and other items that are part of the country’s past. Luckily, in the Philippines, there are a lot of Philippine museums you can visit to get started your discovery of the rich history and heritage of this Southeast Asian nation. These museums in Philippines will take you back to the time when it was only starting as a nation, to the period of colonization, and to the turbulent times before democracy was restored in this country.
Best Museums in Philippines
Below is a list of some of the must-visit museums in Philippines, which are mostly concentrated in the capital, Metro Manila. Details on the schedules of operations, entrance fees and displays of these Philippine museums are also provided to make visiting them much more convenient.
1. National Museum in Manila
Of course, a tour of Philippine museums must logically start with the National Museum complex, located at the heart of Manila. This Philippine museum actually has three separate buildings. If you want to see centuries-old archeological discoveries that show the beginnings of the Philippines as a nation, go to the National Museum of Anthropology. Just nearby is the National Museum of Fine Arts, which is definitely an art aficionado’s dream. It houses some of the most valued pieces of paintings and sculptures from renowned Filipino artists. There is also a Planetarium you can visit if you’re into astronomy. There’s just everything for everyone.
The National Museum is open for visitors from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The good news is that the Philippine government has made an entrance to the museum permanently free of charge both for locals and foreigners. That’s all the more reason for you to visit this museum in Philippines.
Address: 1000 Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: +63 2 527 1215
Hours: 10AM to 5PM Everyday (Closed on Monday)
2. Money Museum in Pasay City
Are you interested in how the Philippine currency, the peso, and the Philippine economy evolved over the past centuries? Then this museum in the Philippines is the perfect fit for you. It is the primary repository of Philippine coins, paper notes, medals, artifacts and other monetary items. It’s fascinating to walk through the evolution of money in the Philippines, from the earliest shells and stones to current coins and bills. The admission is free for this Philippine museum as well.
Address: Ocampo St, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Hours: 9AM to 5PM (Closed on 3PM on Saturday & 2AM on Sunday)
3. Metropolitan Museum of Manila
If you have a taste for history and the arts, then this Philippine museum should not be missed. This museum prides itself for having one of the most precious galleries around the country, including a showcase of Philippine gold work and pottery from the 8th to the 13th century. You can also feast your eyes on the finest works of art from the most popular Filipino artists and heroes, Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. There are also exhibits on Roman Catholic and Buddhist images in this museum.
The Metropolitan Museum is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 9 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee is P100 for adults, and guided tours can also be arranged for P500. Do visit Metropolitan Museum of Manila as it is one of the best museums in Philippines.
Address: BSP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: +63 63 250 5271
Hours: 10AM to 5:30PM (Closed on 3AM on Sunday)
4. Ayala Museum in Makati
Another interesting museum in the Philippines is located in its central business district. The main draw of the Ayala Museum is its 60 dioramas depicting important moments in Philippine history. This miniature works of art were done by master sculptors from the south of Manila. Looking at these dioramas amounts to learning about Philippine history, in an artistic and cute way. This museum also hosts various art exhibitions from both established and contemporary artists, such as black-and-white photography and even a showcase of Philippine textiles.
Its galleries are mostly open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee for an adult who wants to see the entire museum is at P425.
Address: Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: +63 2 759 8288
Hours: 9AM to 6PM (Closed on Monday)
5. Presidential Museum and Library in Manila
For the politics buff, this is the Philippine museum that is definitely a must-visit. As its name suggests, this museum collects the relics from all of the Philippines’ 16 presidents. It gives a glimpse on the way of life and interests of the people who have led the country, right inside the Philippines’ seat of power, the Malacanang Palace.
Tours must be scheduled a week in advance in this must visit museum of Philippines, because there are guides to explain the relics in the museum. The entrance fee for adults is P50.
Address: Kalayaan Hall, Jose P. Laurel Street, Malacañang, Jose P Laurel Sr, San Miguel, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone: +63 2 784 4286
Hours: 8AM to 11:30AM & 12PM to 12AM Everyday
Museums in Philippines are the best places to visit if you want to have a deep understanding about this country’s history and culture, in a short amount of time and without going from one place to another. Make sure to visit one or all of these Philippine museums when you end up in this beautiful country.
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