12 MUST-See Museums That Will Bring Inspiration To Your Designs

Written By: CMV Stylist and Interns

Rica Aloma, Monia Villones, Rachel Angeles —Interior Design Students from CSB


If authors experience having writers-block, artists and designers also experience the same thing in which they don’t feel like doing their tasks due to lack of inspiration.

Looking for some design inspiration? Here are some museums around the Metro that you can visit to get inspirations and also to get to know more about our own culture, art and tradition.

                When I hear about the word “museum”, the first thing that comes to my mind is the National Museum of the Philippines. Not many of us know that the National Museum has 3 buildings mainly the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology and the newly opened National Museum of Natural History and all of them are located in the City of Manila.


National Museum of Fine Arts

Located right across the Rizal Park is the National Museum of Fine Arts. From far away, the majestic Corinthian colonnades of the building will surely catch your attention and make you want to visit the museum.

(photo: Fine Arts Museum building exterior and interior showcasing neoclassical design)

As you enter the premises of the Museum you can see that the neoclassical theme of the building continues on the interiors making me remember that a good design should be consistent and continuous.

The museum houses a collection of paintings and sculptures by classical Filipino artists such as Juan Luna, Félix Resurrección Hidalgo, Fernando Amorsolo, Guillermo Tolentino, etc.  Seeing the masterpieces made by various artists made me curious on how and where they get design inspiration from.

(photo: free-hand sketches of National Artist, Fernando Amorsolo)

Each gallery on the museum is designated for a certain artist which includes his/ her best works, biography, awards and recognitions that’ll make you get to know more about the person making you feel inspired on how perform their design processes before coming up with their final out


(photo: Gallery XIV –Pillars of Philippine Modernism)

Roaming around the museum won’t get you feel bored because every angle of the building is Instagram worthy and every room is filled with aesthetics that’ll surely attract the museum goers.

(photo: Spiral staircase and chandelier made from wrought iron)

(photo: Instagrammable angles where Museum goers could take their photos)

ADDRESS: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: nationalmuseumbac@yahoo.com
WEBSITE: http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph
OPERATING HOURS: Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00am – 5:00pm



National Museum of Anthropology

Just a 3-5 minute walk from the National Museum of Fine Arts is the National Museum of Anthropology. Just like the other buildings of the national museum, it also follows the neoclassical style of Architecture.

(photo: National Museum of Anthropology entry and exit gates)

The Anthropology building mainly focuses on the cultural history of the Philippines starting from the earliest civilizations to the discovery of the Spaniards and on the modernization.

(photo: Gallery I featuring pre-colonial Philippines)

One of the galleries also showcases on how the accessories used in Filipino homes varies due to the colonization of Spaniards, Japanese, American and also the barter and exchange of goods within Chinese and on how it was used in Filipino interiors.

(photo: Gallery showing the difference of Filipino household accessories during pre and post colonialism)

(photo: shows how an old Filipino table setting looks like)

(photo: museum tours aren’t complete without photos)

ADDRESS: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: nationalmuseumbac@yahoo.com
WEBSITE: http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph
OPERATING HOURS: Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00am – 5:00pm


National Museum of Natural History

Located in front of the National Museum of Anthropology is the newly opened National Museum of Natural History followed the neoclassical style of the other national museum buildings. Ever since it was opened to the public, there is always a queue of people waiting to enter the building.

(photo: National Museum of Natural History facade)

The National Museum of Natural History is not just for people who are interested in history and science but also for design and architecture enthusiasts. For design students, the building itself and the details found on the interiors are already worth the visit.

ADDRESS: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: nationalmuseumbac@yahoo.com
WEBSITE: http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph
OPERATING HOURS: Tuesdays-Sundays, 10:00am – 5:00pm


Casa Manila Museum

A few minutes away from the National Museum is the Casa Manila Museum in Intramuros, Manila. As an interior design student, this has been my favorite museum found along metro manila for it really helps me analyze and visualize the things being taught at us in school about Philippine interior design history.

(photo: security guard dressed as a guardya sibil standing outside Casa Manila)

The museum was a replica of a traditional Spanish-Filipino house during the 19th century. Inside the museum is where you can find different furniture pieces from the said century.


(Casa Manila can be also rented to be a photo-shoot venue)

As you go inside you will see different areas about the different room divisions during the spanish colonization includding the despacho (tanggapan), entresuelo (silid), ante-sala, sala, oratorio (silid-dasalan), cuarto principal, comedor (silid-kainan), cocina (kusina), bano, etc.

(photo: antesala)

One good thing about the Casa Manila Museum is that they allow visitors to take pictures as long and as many as they want. The museum staffs dressed as guardiya sibil are also friendly and are very much willing to explain the different items found within the museum.

ADDRESS: laza San Luis Complex, Cor. Real & Gen. Luna Sts. Intramuros, Manila
LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: 02-527-4084/02-527-4088
ENTRANCE FEE: Adults Php 75 ; Students/Teachers/Senior Citizens Php 50
OPERATING HOURS: 9 am – 6 pm Closed on Mondays
LANDMARK: San Agustin Church


Quezon City Interactive, Social History Museum

Located near the Quezon Memorial Circle, resident or not, the QCX Museum would surely make you love the City and get to know Quezon City’s contribution to our modern history.

(Non-resident students are asked to pay 50 pesos as entrance fee)

The museum is composed of 16 galleries and each one having your own museum tour guide. One tip is that you should go early in order to enjoy each gallery. You can take as many pictures as you want but videos aren’t allowed.

(museum gallery showcasing different architectural sites found in the city)

(the museum also shows the reproduction of the interiors of old famous establishments that have been demolished)

Since I have really enjoyed my interactive experience in the Quezon City Museum, the only photo that I have of myself is the photo above.

The QCX Museum also houses different art installations which focus on the problems faced by the city and also the country. These art pieces can be used as inspiration in creating a design that would awaken people’s mind.

WEBSITE: quezoncity.gov.ph
Students with ID – P50
Quezon City resident – P100 (must present valid ID with address)
Non-Quezon City resident – P150
Free admission for children 6 years and below
OPERATING HOURS:Open everyday from 9:00am – 5:00pm, except Mondays
LANDMARK: Quezon City Memorial Circle


Ayala Museum

Located within the Ayala shopping district is the Ayala Museum with a contemporary style of Architecture and Interior Design. The museum mainly focuses of Philippine history and on how it correlates to the modern Filipino times.

When going to Ayala Museum, you should expect that they won’t be allowing guests to take pictures in some galleries due to security reasons of the artifacts most especially on the Gold of Ancestors gallery which contains artifacts from Filipino ancestors including weapons, accessories, and housewares that are made from pure gold. There is also a gallery showcasing different textile designs from different ethnic group in our country which can be taken inspirations to.

The only gallery in which you can take photos is the Philippine diorama experience which has 60 dioramas depicting Philippine history.

Museum goers can also play interactive games and watch historical videos through their Virtual Reality set which showcases the life of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

The gallery and dioramas are arranged in a chronological manner and was made to look like a television to emphasize that it is for “viewing”.

The museum tour was fun for you can take photos with standees comparing heights of people from different nationalities.

ADDRESS: Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street Greenbelt Park, Makati City 1224 Philippines
LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: (632) 759 8288 / hello@ayalamuseum.org
WEBSITE: http://www.ayalamuseum.org/
ENTRANCE FEE: Regular Adult (Non-Residential) P 425
Regular Student, Senior, PWD P300
Discounted Resident Adult P225
Local Student, Senior PWD P125
Tour Guides or Teachers FREE
Local teachers get free admission year-round upon presentation of their faculty IDs.
Local museum employees, registered tour guides, and Ayala Group employees get free admission all year round upon presentation of their valid employee ID.
Press/media must contact the marketing team for access and permits to shoot, otherwise, applicable fees and regular photography conditions are applied.
Tuesdays-Sundays | 9am to 6pm
LANDMARK: right across The Link, The Landmark; adjacent to the PLDT building and Greenbelt.


MCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art and Design)

Part of De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde’s SDA building is the only international contemporary art museum and gallery space in Manila and the Philippines. It is designed by local architect Ed Calma.

(Photo: The Vexed Contemporary Exhibition, taken in September of 2015)

MCAD provides the experience and exposure to contemporary art works, usually only found outside the country. Its contemporary art exhibitions, projects, as well as other cultural and art-inspired undertakings showcase the possibilities of technology and new media through its internationally-designed programme of contemporary art exhibitions enhanced by an ever-widening educational platform.

As you enter the museum, you are greeted by high ceilings that are meant to display large hanging artworks/artifacts. The space showcases a minimalist design to better emphasize the artworks being displayed. Exhibitions are not permanent, they are changed multiple times a year, each having a time frame of about 3-4 months. e.g. “Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness” (18 February – 14 May 2017), “MCAD Commons: The Library of Unread Books” (26 June – 26 August 2017), “Re-enactments” (13 July – September 2017). The museum seeks to expand experiences and understanding of art in different forms. MCAD has featured interactive exhibitions that engage visitors in the stories of the artworks being featured.

(Photo: As of August 16, 2018, MCAD is under renovation preparing for a new exhibition to be opened later in the year. Keep updated on what exciting content MCAD will have to offer!)


ADDRESS: Ground Floor, Benilde School of Design and Arts Campus, Dominga, Malate, Maynila, 1004 Kalakhang Maynila

LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: (02) 230 5100 / mcad@benilde.edu.ph

WEBSITE: http://mcadmanila.org.ph



Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 6pm; Sundays, 10am to 2pm; Closed on Mondays and declared holidays



The Mind Museum

Next in the list is The Mind Museum. This museum already catches the attention and appeals to visitors because of its modern-futuristic architecture. Its exterior showcases geometrical patterns, playing with lines and circles that gives an aesthetically beautiful first impression. Located at BGC, this museum is easily accessible to those living in the city, and is even near shopping malls!


This Museum provides an extraordinary educational experience focused towards the understanding of science. So if you’re one of those science enthusiasts, this is the perfect museum for you! People with a passion for science will surely enjoy the galleries inside. The museum showcases over 250 hands-on, minds-on interactive exhibits and even has a hall that features Filipino scientists, and scientists around the world and their passion for science! This can greatly impact your designs for their exhibits widely play along shapes and lighting (huge atoms/a light bridge and etc.) that can be relevant to creating science-themed interiors. The deal is: you get a deeper understanding of science, enjoy the interactive engagement in their exhibits, and for bonus: you can get ideas for your designs!

ADDRESS: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue Bonifacio Global City Taguig City, Philippines 1634

LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: inquiry@themindmuseum.org / +632 909-6463

WEBSITE: https://www.themindmuseum.org/


-Three-hour Visit Time Slots:

Access to over 250 interactive exhibits and science demonstrations. No access to special or travelling exhibitions.

Adults – P625

Child or private school student (up to college) – P475

*Philippine public school student (up to college) – P190

**Teacher – P190

-All Day Pass Visit: No Time Slot Restrictions

Access to over 250 interactive exhibits and science demonstrations. No access to special or travelling exhibitions.

Adult or Child – P750

-The Mind Museum and Space Adventure Exhibition:

Three-hour museum visit plus a 90-minute out-of-this-world adventure.

Adult – P775

Child or private school student (up to college) –  P650

*Philippine public school student (up to college)/teacher  – P340

-Space Adventure Exhibition Only

No access to the museum’s galleries. Blas off on an out-of-this-world adventure.

-90-minute visit:

Adult or child – P250

-All Day Pass

Adult or child – P400


Tuesdays – Sundays

Closed on Mondays

9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.



LANDMARK: St. Luke’s Hospital, BGC


UP Vargas Museum

Located near UP Diliman, stands the Museum that houses a collection of different artifacts, memorabilia and personal papers of Jorge B. Vargas. Different paintings of Juan Luna, Felix Ressureccion, Hidalgo, Victorio Edades and Fernando Amorsolo can also be found inside.

(Photo: Taken in September of 2015, a class activity for FSARTH which was to visit the UP Vargas Museum)

ADDRESS: Roxas Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila


Direct Line: (+632) 928 1927

UP Trunkline: (+632) 981 8500 local 4024

Mobile No. (+63929) 856 7909

Fax: (+632) 928 1925

Email: vargasmuseum@gmail.com

WEBSITE: vargasmuseum.wordpress.com


Php 20.00 for UP students, alumni, faculty and employees

PhP 30.00 for general public

-Entrance is FREE every Wednesday for UP students, alumni, faculty and employees.


Viewing days: TUESDAYS to SATURDAYS, closed on most holidays.

Viewing hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Office hours: 9:00 AM  – 6:00 PM

LANDMARK: UP College of Arts and Letters


Museo Pambata

Located at Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila is a children’s museum that features hands-on exhibits that encourage children to explore and discover various concepts while they play. For designers, this can greatly impact proposed designs for children’s rooms/classrooms/daycares/and play areas. You may get ideas on proposing spaces for children that are fun and at the same time educational appropriate.

(Photo: Façade of Museo Pambata taken on August 17, 2018)


ADDRESS: Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila



WEBSITE: http://www.museopambata.org


Php 250/head (for children above 2 yrs old and adults)

Museum workers and teachers (with valid ID) – FREE

Manila residents (with valid ID) – FREE on Tuesdays and 50% discount on other days (not applicable for group tours)


Tuesdays-Saturdays (9am-5pm)

Sunday (1pm-5pm)


CCP Museum

CCP Museum gathers together the works of Filipino traditional artists and preserves Filipino artistic traditions. The museum aims to provide a deeper understanding of Filipino national culture evolving with and for the people; and strengthen the people’s awareness of the integral, dynamic role of creativity and artistic expression in national life and culture.

This is a great go-to museum for designers that want to get their Filipino Design Inspirations. Experiencing and gathering a deeper understanding of Filipino Art through the exhibitions in CCP Museum can greatly influence the designer’s ability to create Filipino themed spaces. Want to get Filipino design inspirations? Start here!

(Photo: Interior of CCP theater taken on August 17, 2018)

ADDRESS: Cultural Center Of The Philippines Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: contact_us@culturalcenter.gov.ph

Booking Office: 832-1125 loc. 1404

Cultural Exchange: 832-3674

Library & Archives: 832-1125 loc. 1513

WEBSITE: culturalcenter.gov.ph.

ENTRANCE FEE: Regular rate is P30 and Student Rate is P20.

OPERATING HOURS: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday to Saturday, not including holidays


Metropolitan Museum

Located within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Complex along Roxas Boulevard in the Malate district of Manila stands The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (nicknamed the Met). It is one of the major museums in the city. This museum houses galleries that showcase collections of artworks, paintings and artifacts of pre historic era, colonial Hispanic art, and growing modern and contemporary art collections. Designers can get their inspiration from these artworks as they feature elements that can be incorporated in their designs. Stories of these artworks can also directly influence their designs.

LANDLINE/ CONTACT INFO/ EMAIL: (02) 708 7828 / info@metmuseum.ph

WEBSITE: https://metmuseum.ph/


Php 100 – Adults and students

Php 90 – Adults and students (minimum of 50 persons)

Php 80 – Senior citizens and persons with disabilities

Guided tours:(optional)

Php 500 – Groups with less than 50 persons

Free Saturday Tours at 2pm


Monday to Saturday

10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Closed on Sundays and Holidays

The Gold and Pottery Exhibits are open only on weekdays until 4:30 PM.

LANDMARK: across the Manila Yacht Club and diagonal to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).


Thanks for reading and we hope to see you and visit our national treasures soon!



Published by CMV Interior Designs

Manila-based Interior Design company

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