Established in 1901, the National Museum of the Philippines is a vast complex of museums and a planetarium located next to Rizal Park. Immerse yourself in the artistic, historical, and cultural heritage of the Philippines through the museum’s expansive collections covering fine art, ethnography, anthropology, archaeology, and natural history.
The National Museum comprises the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Planetarium, as well as branches of the museum throughout the Philippines. It’s also an educational, cultural, and scientific institution and offers lectures, interviews, and publications and conducts various research programs.
The museum complex is so massive that visitors would do well to prioritize areas that are of interest to them. A number of tours make a stop at the National Museum, along with other Manila highlights such as the Ayala Museum, Casa Manila, and Fort Santiago. Cruise ship passengers and those on a layover can take a customized private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National Museum of the Philippines is a must-visit for those with an interest in Philippine art, culture, and heritage.
- Admission to the museum is free.
- Group tours are available if booked in advance.
- Photography for personal use is allowed, though the use of flash is not permitted.
- Food, bottled water, and ballpoint pens are not permitted inside the museum.
How to Get There
The museum complex is located in Ermita in Central Manila, near Rizal Park. All of the buildings are located close to each other. Parking can be difficult, so it’s best to take a taxi or a jeepney. The closest LRT station is United Nations.
When to Get There
The National Museum is very popular, especially the newly opened Museum of Natural History. Visit early in the morning to try to beat the crowds. The museum is closed Mondays.
Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History opened its doors on May 18, 2018. The museum features six floors and 12 galleries, and visitors are advised to start at the top and work their way down. Don’t miss the “Tree of Life” sculpture, the mini mangrove and marine life exhibits, and the replica and skeleton of Lolong, the largest crocodile ever held in captivity.