10 Museums in Metro Manila That You Can Visit for Free This Weekend

(SPOT.ph) While there are a lot of museums in the Philippines that we can visit for free anytime, there are still others we need to shell out a few hundred bucks to see. But on International Museum Day on May 18 (or a day after), it's a completely different ball game as even privately owned institutions are waiving admission fees. Plus you get to enjoy artist talks, art fairs, and guided tours—all for free.

Here are 10 museums in Metro Manila you can check out this weekend:

Ayala Museum

Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City
May 19, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A few weeks before its year-long closure, Ayala Museum is going all out for their celebration of International Museum Day. Aside from opening all galleries for free by 1 p.m., they're holding a storytelling session for kids from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and an art fair for the whole afternoon. Museum-goers can also enjoy food and drinks from Malagos Chocolate, The Dream Coffee, Make Peace Bakery, and Kayumanggi Organic; or shop for books at the Abiva Publishing House and Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development booths.


Yuchengco Museum

RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue corner Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City
May 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 100-peso entrance to the Yuchengco Museum may be cheaper than your Starbucks drink, but a free-admission day still gets everyone excited. You have, after all, every reason to drop by this cultural hotspot in Makati and catch amazing exhibitions like Ryan Arbilo's Halo-Halo-Mix-Mix, which features black-and-white photographs portraying interracial families in Italy; and Variations of Expression, which features selected works by Fernando Amorsolo, Benedicto Cabrera, Jose Joya, and more.

Metropolitan Museum of Manila

PHOTO BY Richard Espiritu, Mei Tanchico, DK Solis
Wikimedia Commons
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BSP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila
May 18, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila treats museum-goers to a free guided tour at 2 p.m. and a free film showing of Bauhaus Spirit at 3 p.m. You also have the rest of the day to enjoy ongoing exhibitions, including 100 Years of German Werkbund, Fashion Revolution: The Future of Textiles, and Collection of Philippine Paintings and Sculptures, 1915-2010.

Museo de Intramuros

PHOTO BY Department of Tourism

San Ignacio Church, Arzobispo Street, Intramuros, Manila
May 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Technically, you have six months to enjoy the newly opened Museo de Intramuros for free; but why not use International Museum Day to drive all the way to the Walled City and celebrate this cultural event? After all, it's open only from Tuesday to Friday on regular days. Located within the reconstructed San Ignacio Church, it features about 500 religious artifacts found in old churches near and around Intramuros.


Bahay Tsinoy

PHOTO BY Ramon F. Velasquez 
Wikimedia Commons

32 Anda Street corner Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila
May 18, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On International Museum Day, Bahay Tsinoy is waiving its 100-peso entrance fee. Learn more about the long-standing relationship between the Chinese and Filipinos—way before the huge territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea. See artifacts, rare prints, and photographs that feature centuries of trade between the two countries.

Destileria Limtuaco Museum

482 San Juan de Letran Street, Intramuros, Manila
May 18, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Museums are often strict when it comes to eating and drinking inside their premises, but at Destileria Limtuaco Museum, you're supposed to sample various kinds of alcoholic drinks—from an Ilocano sugarcane wine to a brand of Chinese medicinal wine known as Siok Tong. Destileria Limtuaco is the oldest and largest distillery in the Philippines founded in 1852. Now, the liquor-themed museum—which opened in 2018—has a mini-distillery where museum-goers can learn the process of alcohol production and see different types of liquor bottles from more than a century ago.

Casa Manila

Plaza San Luis Complex, Sta. Lucia Street corner Muralla Street, Intramuros, Manila
May 18 and 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Know more about the lifestyle of 19th-century upper class families in the Philippines when you visit Casa Manila. It looks like your typical Spanish-era bahay-na-bato while the interiors feature antique furniture and artworks from the colonial period. This mansion was constructed in the 1980s. 

Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum

Victoria Street corner Sta. Lucia Street, Intramuros, Manila
May 18 and 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Save P150 when you drop by the Bagumbayan Light and Sound Museum this weekend. It features a one-hour show that combines lights, sound, and other special effects to narrate the life story of Jose Rizal and the important events leading to his execution at Bagumbayan.

Museo Pambata

Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Manila
May 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn about Philippine history, anatomy, and the environment through fun-filled activities, puzzles you can figure out, and visual aids you can mix and match at Museo Pambata. It's the perfect excuse to "borrow" your cute nephews and nieces for a day.

National Museum of the Philippines

PHOTO BY Judgefloro / Wikipedia

Rizal Park, Manila
Always free, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Though the three buildings of the National Museum of the Philippines already have zero admission fees, going there on International Museum Day reinforces this year's theme "Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition." The National Museum of Anthropology, Fine Arts, and Natural History, after all, are important hubs in teaching us about our past and equipping us with a sense of national identity as we journey to our future.


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