Culture Trip: Must-visit Museums In Manila | Z Hostel
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Culture Trip: Must-visit Museums In Manila

Exotic food, unique sights, and local adventures — these are the things we usually look forward to when we travel to a new destination. But a great way to understand a place more is through culture and arts. A trip to the museums is a must then! We’ve rounded up a list of must-visit museums while you are here in the capital city Manila:

National Museum of Fine Arts

Photo credit: Instagram user @migoymigs

Formerly known as the National Art Gallery, this part of the National Museum of the Philippines has undergone a rebirth most notably with its interiors and organization of works. But the heart remains: historically important art works, documents, and masterpieces of Filipino legacy housed under one roof. And at the center of it all is the most famous painting inside: Juan Luna’s “Spoliarium” which depicts a critical message that still resonates even today. Get to know more Filipino stories weaved through every important work, including Fernando Amorsolo’s The Burning of Manila, Vicente Manansala’s Planting of the First Cross, and Leonardo Cruz’ Noli Me Tangere.

Address: Padre Burgos Ave., Ermita, Manila
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday | 10.00am to 5.00pm
Entrance: Free

National Museum of Anthropology

Photo credit: Instagram user @airikacapanas

Go deeper into the National Museum complex and walk further down into the National Museum of Anthropology — a glimpse into the sociological, linguistic, and economic history of the Philippines and the Filipino people. Decades of work and study by the country’s renowned historians bring about a massive collection of culturally important materials such as traditional Philippine textiles, ancient Filipino writing called the baybayin, and century-old artefacts of the maritime and ivory trade in the country.

Address: Padre Burgos Ave., Ermita, Manila
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday | 10.00am to 5.00pm
Entrance: Free

National Museum of Natural History

Photo credit: Instagram user @jovin_pyo

One of the more recent addition to the National Museum of the Philippines is the National Museum of Natural History: a vast housing of the country’s rich flora and fauna biodiversity. At the heart of it is the beautifully-designed elevator aptly called the “Tree of Life” that leads up to a canopy-inspired ceiling. The clever use of natural light highlights the astounding gifts of nature to the country. Some of the most interesting finds inside include the skeleton of Lolong, the largest crocodile in captivity, suspended in the building’s ceiling; an entire gallery dedicated to the bountiful marine life of the Philippines; and an archeological treasure that is an ancient rhinoceros from Kalinga.

Address: T.M. Kalaw corner Gen. Luna Streets, Rizal Park, Manila
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday | 10.00am to 5.00pm
Entrance: Free

Ayala Museum

Photo credit: Instagram user @abonymous916

Shopping for labels and appreciating contemporary art in one — welcome to the Ayala Museum. Just right next to the Greenbelt Mall complex at the heart of Makati business district, the museum houses notable art from Filipino contemporary artists, a collection of rare books and photographs, and evolving art exhibition that celebrate Filipino history and artistry. One exhibit that cannot be missed is the “Gold of Ancestors: Pre-colonial Treasures in the Philippines” that showcases more than a thousand pieces of intricate and jaw-dropping pure gold jewelry, statues, and rare items.

Address: MakatiAvenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati, Metro Manila
Operating Hours: Ground-Fourth Floor Galleries – Tuesdays-Sundays | 9.00am to 6.00pm
Filipinas Heritage Library – Tuesdays to Saturdays | 9.00am to 6.00pm
ArtistSpace – Mondays-Sundays | 10.00am to 7.00pm
Entrance: ₱100.00 – ₱425.00

Pinto Art Museum

Photo credit: Instagram user @tiffynalexis

If you’re looking for a quick trip outside the busy capital, Pinto Art Museum is the perfect place to go to. Think of it as a respite from the bustling metro and an opportunity to see beautiful contemporary art. More than just an Instagram-worthy art space, the museum sits on a sprawling 1.2 hectare property that almost feels like a resort getaway with its respect to space, greens, and air. Walk into Mediterranean-Spanish inspired structures with well-maintained gardens sprinkled with art pieces, sculptures, and photographs from both seasoned and up-and-coming Filipino artists. “Pinto” literally translates to door in the Filipino language and it definitely is an access to appreciating Filipino creativity and artistry.

Address: 1 Sierra Madre St, Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday | 9:00am – 6:00pm
Entrance: Adult P150, Senior and PWD (with ID) P120, student P75 (required ID)

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