5 Not-to-Miss Museums All around Metro Manila

Looking for something fun and educational to do over the weekend with your kids? A visit to a museum in Metro Manila can be a much more productive use of your family’s time. Whether you’re coming from a nearby Philippine province or you’ve booked a Manila tour package from abroad, you’ll never run out of choices when it comes to museums and galleries to visit in the country’s National Capital Region. We list a handful of our favorites below.

Amazing Stories of Yexel’s Museum

Yexel Sebastian is one of the Philippines’ most prolific toy collectors. It’s said that he currently owns over 10,000 pieces of toys and at least 500 life-size figures in a collection that he has amassed over the last 30 years. The Amazing Stories of Yexel’s Museum are the third of Mr. Sebastian’s toy museums in the country, located on the second floor of the Manila Ocean Park complex in Ermita. With it, he aims to share his love of toys, props, figurines and collectibles with the world.

Check out the Iron Man exhibit, decked out to look like Tony Stark’s workshop from Iron Man 3, complete with 7 to-scale replicas of the Iron Man suits featured in the films. In the Game of Thrones section, on the other hand, you can have your photo taken while seated on a replica of the infamous Iron Throne. The museum also houses an impressive Lord of the Rings collection that includes weapon replicas, statues, and detailed figurines. Tickets to the museum cost ₱250 each.

The Mind Museum

Established in 2012 at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, The Mind Museum is a world-class interactive science museum that’s sure to be a hit with young children. It contains 250 “hands-on, minds-on” exhibits spread out over two floors that presents science in a meaningful, easy-to-absorb manner for kids to enjoy as they learn.

There are five galleries to peruse inside the museum. At the Atom Gallery, kids can learn about the principles of natural forces such as gravity and electromagnetism. At the Life Gallery, they can learn more about the planet and all of the organisms living and thriving in it. The Earth Gallery, on the other hand, showcases the history of the planet and features the only permanent T. rex exhibit currently on display in the Philippines (his name is Stan). Meanwhile, the Universe Gallery takes you and your children on a journey to the stars. Finally, the Technology Gallery provides a glimpse into how humans innovate and invent to flesh out our values and help live better lives. All-day passes to The Mind Museum cost ₱750 while passes valid for three-hour blocks start at ₱625.

Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum

Learn about the Philippines’ national hero through a one-hour show that utilizes light and sound effects that tell his remarkable story, from birth to death. The Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum allows you to walk through history by using life-sized 3D dioramas and exhibits to depict the Philippines from pre-colonial times, to the Spanish occupation, to the rise of Dr. Jose Rizal as an influential author and scholar, then culminating in his execution after he was convicted of rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy. The museum only accommodates 10 visitors for each show, and because each performance costs ₱1500, it’s best to go as a group to see it. The museum is located on Sta. Lucia Street in Intramuros.

Museo Pambata

Museo Pambata is Manila’s premier children’s museum, located in the former Elk’s Club building in Ermita. Like The Mind Museum, it is an interactive museum that encourages learning by engaging all of a child’s senses. Galleries and exhibits tackle a variety of topics, from the history of Manila to foreign cultures, environmental sciences and social themes such as children’s rights. Special workshops and performances are held during the weekends. Admission costs ₱250 for adults and children 2 years of age and older, but is free for museum workers, educators, and Manila residents with valid proof of identification.

Museo de Intramuros

This ecclesiastical museum is the most recently established on this list, having only been completed in May 2019. A project 40 years in the making, construction began 10 years ago, in 2009. Museo de Intramuros houses the largest collection of religious imagery in the country, depicting the Filipino culture and history through a distinctly Catholic lens. Valuable antiques, artefacts, and art pieces dating all the way back to the 17th century that have been painstakingly acquired by the Intramuros Administration are proudly displayed here. Exhibits are spread out over three floors in the San Ignacio Church and the Mission House of the Society of Jesus in Intramuros. Admission is free until November 2019.

These five museums are only a few of the ones you can visit in Metro Manila. On top of these, also consider visiting major galleries like the Ayala Museum, as well as the National Museum Complex, which houses the National Art Gallery, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Enjoy your stay in Manila!