What Are the Best Museums to Visit in Manila?

When you visit Manila, Philippines, there will be a lot of things that can make your holiday worthwhile, and one of the best ways to know it is seeing its museums. In this city, there are more than enough of these institutions to help you dig into the country’s people and its culture. Considering the activities, ambiance, friendliness and the unexpected gems you would find, here are the best museums in Manila you should have a look around:

  • The National Museum

Due to the huge volume of collections and items it holds, take note that it would take more than a day to entirely explore this museum. The gallery is home to the “Spolarium” by Juan Luna and “El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante” by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. There are many rooms dedicated to religious artifacts that date back to the 17th and 19th centuries. It is also where the Museum of Filipino People is found that is famous for holding the famous Manuggul Jar from the Tabon Caves in Palawan.

'Spoliarium' by Juan Luna, at the National Museum of the Philippines Image source: Marco Collado/Creative Commons
‘Spoliarium’ by Juan Luna, at the National Museum of the Philippines Image source: Marco Collado/Creative Commons
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Manila

This museum showcases changing exhibits that feature works of contemporary artists. Aside from this, it is also home to pre-Hispanic golden pottery and jewelry, from barter rings to Neolithic jars and jugs. The museum also holds various pieces of religious art by famous Filipino artists, like Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. All in all, it depicts clearly the rich cultural heritage that Filipinos inherited from their ancestors.

  • The San Agustin Museum

The San Agustin Church Museum Image source: Image source: Ramon FVelasquez/Creative Commons
The San Agustin Church Museum Image source: Image source: Ramon FVelasquez/Creative Commons

This museum is just a few meters away from the San Agustin Church, which is the oldest stone church in the country. In this place, you will see laying an extensive collection of furniture, religious artworks, icons and even clothing that dates back to the old times, as far as the 16th century. The museum is housed within the Augustinian friars’ hallowed halls, so its artifacts and any other collections (including the bell weighing 3,400 kilograms that was taken down in 1927) are a must-see, especially if you’re interested in the religious history of the Philippines.

  • The Mind Museum

In this museum you will discover that science really does come alive! It comprises several galleries, such as the Earth Gallery, the Atom Gallery, the Universe Gallery, the Life Gallery and the Technology Gallery. If you’re with the family, this place is a great place for you to be as it makes learning fun and interactive for all of you.

  • Bahay Tsinoy

Bahay Tsinoy Image source: Ramon FVelasquez/Creatiive Commons
Bahay Tsinoy Image source: Ramon FVelasquez/Creatiive Commons

Many types of heritage fill up the “pinoy” identity, and one of the most prominent of them all is the Chinese. Operated by the Kaisa Heritage Center, Bahay Tsinoy has done a great job on mapping the country’s history, from the era we started trading with the Chinese to the present times. Aside from the extensive display of wax figures showing early “Tsinoy” (Filipino-Chinese) life, the museum also houses various collections, including Chinese ceramics that date back to the 10th century and 19th Century photographs and prints.

By visiting these museums, you can have a good idea on what the place (and even the country) is. So, pack up and embark on a journey that you can put on your diary as one of the most educating and memorable. Enjoy and stay safe!

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Zee Admin
Zee Admin
3 years ago

Been to these museums during a school trip. feels so nostalgic. There really are a lot of beautiful museums in the Philippines and if you happen to be in Cebu, check out these must visit galleries and museums in the Queen city of the South

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