Manila, Philippines

One of the best ways to get in touch with the culture and history of a place is by visiting its museums. Foreigners visiting the Philippine capital city may have met a lot of warnings about Manila’s heavy traffic and pollution, so it is the job of locals to welcome and introduce them to the more important details of Filipino heritage.

Manila has many museums that are considered as great destinations for field trips and educational enrichment because they showcase culture and history. While the museums are accessible across the metro, it might be best to rent a Sedan car in Manila to tour your guests conveniently and quickly hop from one museum to the next.

Make sure to include the following museums in your itinerary.

The Calvo Museum

You can start your museum tour in Metro Manila by going to the Calvo Museum, located at the Calvo Building in Escolta, Binondo. This quaint little museum, situated right along the famed Philippine heritage site Escolta, used to serve as the city’s principal business street.

This museum houses Old Manila memorabilia dating back to the early 1900s. On display are old soda bottles, music sheets and carefully preserved newspaper sheets. The building itself is standing strong and stable despite being erected in the pre-war period. This 1938 structure housed significant companies in the Philippine history, such as recording studios, radio stations and the Philippine Bank of Commerce.

Calvo Museum is open from Monday to Saturday. Visiting during the weekdays is advised, as the staff can give exclusive museum tours for your group.

The National Art Gallery at the National Museum of the Philippines

mother and daughter at the museum

From Escolta, take the road towards Intramuros and Luneta Park. The National Museum of the Philippines is located in this area. A visit to the National Museum is an exhilarating experience in itself even for Filipinos. Discovering incredible things about your race, ethnicity and lineage can easily make you proud to have Filipino blood.

There are many things to discover about Manila and the Philippines at this museum. Many artifacts came from various places around the country. They are divided into sections like Natural History, Anthropology and Fine Arts.

Among the most intriguing parts in this museum is the National Art Gallery, which houses a collection of artworks from the 17th to 20th century as well as modern and contemporary works. “The Spoliarium” by the great Filipino artist Juan Luna is the first thing that visitors will see when they enter the elegant art deco building.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. One of the best things about visiting this museum is that admission is free!

If your foreign guests are up for more, then you can still head to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, which is located within the premises of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Roxas Boulevard. Otherwise, you may explore the gated city of Intramuros and get a nice perspective of how beautiful Manila is before the war. And do not forget to introduce them to our National Hero, Jose Rizal, by visiting the Luneta Park.