Philippines’ culture and folklore is amazingly rich and varied, and therefore it might seem a bit overwhelming when trying to fit it into your vacation plans. Where should you start? Just keep this guide handy y prepare to explore Manila’s best museums!

The Best Museums in Manila

Museum of Three Cultures

The Museum of the Three Cultures was built to preserve the cultural heritage of the three majority groups residing in the island of Mindanao: Muslims, Christians, and Lumads.

Its three art galleries showcase the unique soil paintings from the Talaandig tribe from Bukidnon, ceramics, and life-size ceremonial Maranao swords. One of its main highlights is the pangao, a huge bed intended to hold the sultan’s whole family!

Address: Corrales Extension, Cagayan de Oro City, 9000 Misamis Oriental

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9.00 am to 12.00 and at 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm

Entrance Fees: ₱50.0

Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

As its name suggests, this museum displays Philippines’ rich history and ethnography, exhibiting the heritage of the diverse tribes that have inhabited the region to our days.

You will find the finest and rarest historical photos in this two-story museum, as well as written records of the province’s founding families, and ethnic instruments belonging to prominent tribes such as the Mandaya, B’laan, T’boli, Manobo, Bagobo, and Mansaka.


Address: Corrales Extension, Cagayan de Oro City, 9000 Misamis Oriental

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9.00 am to noon and at 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm

Entrance Fees: ₱50.0

Palawan Special Battalion WW2 Memorial Museum

The atrocities of World War II left the Philippines as one of the most devastated countries in the Pacific. The conflict left significant war memorabilia across the nation, and most of it is conveniently stored in the Palawan Special Battalion WW2 Memorial Museum.

The museum has a nostalgic ambience due to its wonderfully curated authentic display of war machines, such as the workhorse of the American forces during the war, the Willys MB Jeep, machine guns, anti-aircraft cannons, rifles, as well as huge live munitions and bombs.

Address: Rizal Avenue, Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Operating Hours: Opens daily from 8.00 am to noon and at 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Entrance Fees: ₱30.00 (children below 10 years old are free)

Ayala Museum

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0David Stanley

Looking for a place to get lost in a sea of contemporary art? Then the Ayala Museum, at the centre of Makati, is the place for you. Aside from a wide collection of contemporary art highlighting the country’s historic milestones, you can also have a glimpse of rare books, photographs, and recordings courtesy of the Filipinas Heritage Library, a one-stop electronic research centre for Philippine history, art, language, social sciences, and culture.

One of its notable archaeological exhibits is Gold of Ancestors: Pre-Colonial Treasures in the Philippines, an impressive collection of over a thousand gold items highlighting the Filipino culture before colonial times. You can also check A Millenium of Contact, a huge selection of trade ceramic collection from Southeast Asia and China.


Address: Greenbelt Park, Makati Avenue, corner Dela Rosa Street, Ayala Center, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

 Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum

The Aguinaldo Shrine and Museum in Kawit is a special place, since it was the home of the first president of the Republic of the Philippines. The first official Philippine flag was raised here on June 12th, 1898 during the Philippines’ Declaration of Independence. Locals ceremonially raise the Philippine flag in this place every year to commemorate this historical event. The Shrine and Museum have undergone significant renovations to fully preserve its historical relics, such as Emilio Aguinaldo’s personal memorabilia, flags, and other emblems.


Address: Kawit, Cavite

Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8.00 am to 4.00 pm

Entrance Fees: Free

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