Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee!

Museums in Manila, Self-Guided Tour (Self Guided), Manila

Every country has its own history, habits and special things. As Manila is the capital of the Philippines - it is most beneficial to visit these museum first. In order to meet the locals, the Philippine way of life - we made this guide to include museums that best describe the history, traditions and habits of the local people. Beautiful buildings hide secrets of the past - and you are welcome to discover the knowledge and the beauties they contain.
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Museums in Manila, Self-Guided Tour Map

Guide Name: Museums in Manila, Self-Guided Tour
Guide Location: Philippines » Manila (See other walking tours in Manila)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: nicole
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bahay Tsinoy
  • San Agustin Museum - Intramuros
  • National Museum of the Philippines
  • National Museum of the Filipino People
  • Museo Pambata
  • Jose P. Laurel Memorial Foundation
  • Metropolitan Museum
Bahay Tsinoy

1) Bahay Tsinoy (must see)

The influence of the Chinese culture on the life of the Philippines goes back a long way. Bahay Tsinoy or the Chinese Filipino House was conceptualized and established to reiterate the harmony and understanding shared by the two communities in the country. Designed by Eva Penamora and Honrado Fernandez in 1996, the three storied building of Bahay Tsinoy was completed within three years and inaugurated in 1999. Funding for the building came from the Angelo King Foundation and contributions from the Filipino Chinese community.

Bahay Tsinoy is located in the Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center building along with the Chinbin See Memorial Library and Await Keng Auditorium. Divided into 12 sections, through its various collections the museum manages to depict the cultural and historical past of the two communities. Through photographs, the museum also tracks the contributions of the Chinese in the evolution of the Philippines. You can also find here artifacts such as historical Chinese porcelain, kitchenware, coins etc. For history enthusiasts, the Kaisa Research Center and Data Bank, that archives similar historical information, is also located here. Charges for admittance ₱ 100 for adults and ₱ 60 for children.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday 1 pm - 5pm.
San Agustin Museum - Intramuros

2) San Agustin Museum - Intramuros (must see)

One of the most fascinating sites in Manila is the Intramuros or the walled city, which is the oldest district of the region. Built by the Spanish in the 16th century, the Intramuros survived right up until the mid 1900s after which it was reduced to ruins during the Second World War.

Although much of the ancient city was destroyed by the war, the San Agustin Museum offers its visitors an opportunity to appreciate the glory and legacy of the region. Adjacent to the San Agustin Church, one of the oldest surviving churches in the area, the Museum boasts a proud collection of artifacts, statues, sculptures and monuments that can transport you to the medieval years. Not only is the collection of the Museum worth the while, but the architecture of the building itself and the ambiance mesmerize the visitors.

The history of the structure is nothing short of a tale itself. Formerly a monastery, the building is of a great historical significance and offers a perfect enclave for the artifacts that it so proudly displays. The Museum is open from 8 am till noon and reopens after an hour right through to 6 o'clock in the evening. It has a strict no photography rule, which is quite disappointing considering the brilliant treasures the museum possesses.
National Museum of the Philippines

3) National Museum of the Philippines (must see)

The National Museum of the Philippines was established as a natural history and ethnography museum in 1901. Its collections are held in two separate buildings. The main building, that was designed by Daniel Burnham and formerly housed the Congress of the Philippines, is now home to the National Art Gallery and division of Natural Sciences. The adjacent building, that once accommodated the Department of Finance, is the Division of Anthropology and Archeology and is commonly known as the Museum of the Filipino People. As a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines, the museum strives to inspire the younger generation to learn from its past and work towards a brighter future.

The Museum regularly hosts seminars, exhibitions and lectures for one and all to learn more about the history of the country. In addition, it functions as a scientific institute and carries out research across its multiple divisions, including anthropology and archeology. While the anthropology section has over 10,000 artifacts, the botany section displays approximately 17,000 specimens of flora native to the country. The Museum also has a Planetarium that can accommodate a little over 300 people at a time and conducts various shows throughout the day, even on holidays. The Museum charges ₱ 100 for an adult visitor, which does not include charges for the Planetarium.
National Museum of the Filipino People

4) National Museum of the Filipino People (must see)

No trip to a city is complete without having visited its most prominent museum. The National Museum of the Filipino People which is a branch of the National Museum of the Philippines is the place to visit if you want to learn more about the Filipino history, culture and art. Located in the Agrifina Circle at the Rizal Park, the museum is a perfect place to attend after a long lazy walk in the park.

The Museum houses many archeological, historical exhibits along with displays of art by prominent Filipino as well as international artists. Apart from the artifacts pertaining to history, there are also scientific and anthropological exhibits that are worth your visit. Among the most worthy artifacts the museum has in its possession objects that date back several centuries. In addition, the museum also contains some archeological relics that are believed to belong to the earliest inhabitants of the land, around 24,000 BC.

A large section of the museum is dedicated to pottery, porcelain, coins and jewelry from the yester years. Also within the museum is the stunning Spoliarium, which was painted by Filipino master Juan Luna and bagged a gold medal at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884. It is the first piece of art that welcomes visitors to the museum.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10 am - 5 pm (free entrance on Sunday).
Museo Pambata

5) Museo Pambata (must see)

If you are looking for a fun place to spend time in Manila with your whole family (kids included), the Museu Pambata is just the place. This fun filled, interactive Museum guarantees an exciting adventure into the world of science, history and culture.

The Museum is especially entertaining for children since it encourages learning by touching, feeling, seeing and listening. With eight rooms dedicated to different subjects and categories, the Museum offers a different learning experience with each exhibit. With exciting do-it-yourself exhibits and interactive displays, the Museo Pambata is fast growing as a popular pick for many locals and foreigners visiting the city. A lot of schools direct their field trips to the museum, which usually gets the museum, a bit too crowded for its size.

The Museum also teases ones creative side in the craft room, where children are encouraged to let their imagination run wild. Fun exhibits like the Environment, or the Kalikasan, help one learn more about nature whereas the Manila Noon is where one can visit old Manila and see how life was a few centuries ago. The Museo Pambata, is not only a museum dedicated to educating children, it is also runs several charities and awareness programs for children’s welfare and rights.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday 8 am - 5 pm from September to February; 9 am to 5 pm from March to August;
Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm.
Jose P. Laurel Memorial Foundation

6) Jose P. Laurel Memorial Foundation

Established in 1960, the Jose P. Laurel Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization that works towards preserving the memory of Jose P. Laurel, the disputed President of the Philippines between 1943 and 1945.

Throughout his career, Laurel had a tainted reputation due to his close association with the Japanese. However, he was also chosen from an electoral process to be a part of the Senate in 1951, reinforcing the faith the common man had in Laurel. After his retirement from politics, Laurel set up the Lyceum of the Philippines University, the only university that was established by a president of a republican nation.

Located in the Jose P. Laurel Memorial Building, the Foundation tirelessly works to bring Laurel’s ideas and vision of the Philippines to reality. The Laurel Memorial Hall displays relics and manuscripts collected by Laurel during his political career. The Library allows access to some rare documents for the enthusiasts completely free of charge. The Foundation has arranges for annual scholarships for students to promote higher studies in the areas of architecture, economics and funds research projects from time to time.

Twice a year, the Foundation also organizes lectures by Laurel’s contemporaries and colleagues to propagate his ideas and vision of the Philippines.
Metropolitan Museum

7) Metropolitan Museum (must see)

If you are an admirer of contemporary and modern art then a visit to the Metropolitan Museum is a must. Also known as the Met, the Museum is located with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in Manila. Deemed as the finest Museum portraying modern and contemporary art, the Met has earned its reputation not only in the country but is also a growing name in the world arena.

Established in 1976, the Museum initially exhibited only foreign artists. It has been associated with names like Picasso, Walter Gropius, Paul Klee etc. By 1986, over 100 non Philippine art exhibits had been showcased via this brilliant Museum. With growing awareness and appreciation for the world of art, soon Manila started brewing with local artists, eager to display their own creation to the country and the world. Soon the foreign exhibits were complemented with the works of Philippine artists. Apart from being a very happening gallery and museum, the Met is also an excellent place to catch up on some art lessons. With the slogan of ‘Art for all’, the Met Museum has introduced Braille captions near its displays and also provides bilingual audio guides so that none of its visitors miss out on the art on display. Undoubtedly, the Museum is a must visit if you are in Manila.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5.30 pm.

Walking Tours in Manila, Philippines

Create Your Own Walk in Manila

Create Your Own Walk in Manila

Creating your own self-guided walk in Manila is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Places of Worship in Manila, Part II

Places of Worship in Manila, Part II

Manila is a wonderful city. Part of its beauty consists of many glorious buildings. Religious buildings in Manila have a special way of attracting many visitors. Unique architecture, a delicate mixture of styles and exclusive interiors make these edifices shine in the sun and create an extremely attractive venue. We offer you a second chance to see many more stunning places of worship.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles
Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 2

Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 2

Manila contains a vast range of interesting landmarks, palaces and many interesting buildings with an important history and unique design. Take the following tour to see the most outstanding landmarks in Manila!

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.8 Km or 4.2 Miles
Traditional Markets Tour in Manila

Traditional Markets Tour in Manila

Traditional markets in any country have their own specific kind of life. The Philippines is a wonderful country which offers many unusual things to visitors. Manila markets offer a glance into the true life and habits of the people. Only here can you find authentic products, the real Filipino people and hear the real language. Manila markets sell unique things, things that no shop can provide.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Cubao District Walking Tour in Manila

Cubao District Walking Tour in Manila

The Cubao District is a wealthy part of the city, rich in mega-markets and large cultural buildings. This is the district that hosts some of the largest department stores chains. Araneta Center is a place worth seeing - both as an interesting building and as a cultural spot. The buildings are beautiful, and there are a few large parks as well. This tour will give you the opportunity to see life in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 1

Architecture Walking Tour in Manila, Part 1

Manila contains a vast range of interesting landmarks, palaces and many interesting buildings with an important history and unique design. Take the following tour to see the most outstanding landmarks in Manila!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Intramuros Walk

Intramuros Walk

Intramuros, a historic walled area within Manila, is the only part of the city where old Spanish-era influences are still plentiful. Complete with the Fort Santiago, the area has been a designated National Historic Landmark since 1951. Other than the Fort, it is also home to a number of grand churches built by different religious orders. To learn more about the historically-rich Intramuros...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles

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