ANNOUNCEMENT! The National Planetarium is temporarily closing its doors as the building, which served as its home for 46 years, is going to be decommissioned this year.
Last update: 18 OCTOBER 2021
I remember the first time I set foot on National Planetarium. It was my grade school field trip and I was so mesmerized at everything I see inside the planetarium — dioramas, space murals, photos of stars, planets, and the galaxies. But nothing beats watching all of these come to life inside the dark, cold auditorium. The younger me believed it was magic.
The National Planetarium was renovated and relaunched last 2019. I went with my friend who also wanted to relive his carefree and wide-eyed childhood days. Unlike before, we get to experience it in 4D, with our seats moving, all the air effects, and whatnots. The most outstanding feature is its 16-meter dome structure.
The National Planetarium is one of the four national museums dotting the National Museum Complex, managed by the National Museum of the Philippines. The other three are the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of Anthropology.
For those who are visiting for the first time or those who also want to relive their childhood days, here are some tips to make your time inside the planetarium smooth and hassle-free!
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Who can visit the museum under the New Normal?
These are the people allowed to visit the museum:
- Visitors 15 years old and above
- Persons with disabilities
- Fully vaccinated senior citizens. Proof of vaccination or Vaccination Card must be presented.
IMPORTANT! All visitors must present a valid ID showing the birthdate of the cardholder.
New Normal Safety Guidelines
- Only 20 persons per session are allowed. For the safety of everyone, the number of visitors will be limited to a maximum of 20 per 30-minute session.
- A thermal/temperature scan is required upon entry. Those with a body temperature of 37.5 and above will not be allowed to enter the premises.
- Visitors showing COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted inside the building.
- Visitors must accomplish a Health Declaration Form before entering the museum. You may do this online through StaySafePH mobile app.
- Visitors must wear their face masks and face shields at all times when inside the museum.
- Visitors must observe social distancing. Those who do not belong to the same household must keep a distance of two (2) meters from each other.
What are the operating hours under the New Normal?
As of July 2021, the current opening hours are the following:
Tuesday – Sunday
- 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Cut-Off Time: 11:00 AM
- 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cut-Off Time: 3:00 PM
The museum is CLOSED on Mondays.
Note: The number of museum visitors will be limited to up to 20 only PER 30-MINUTE SESSION.
What are the regular operating hours of the National Planetarium?
- Tuesday to Sunday
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
How much is a ticket?
The GALLERY is FREE of charge. But if you want to watch the Planetarium shows, here are the admission fees:
- P30: Student
- P50: Adult
- P40: Senior Citizen/PWD
Update: Planetarium shows are temporarily CLOSED during the pandemic.
Note: Children 4 years old and below will not be admitted to the shows.
When is the best time to visit?
- Weekday mornings. Expect weekends to be much more packed than weekdays. People flock to the National Planetarium on either Saturday or Sunday when there’s no class and no work.
To avoid the crowd, go in the morning especially if you plan to visit the three nearby national museums — Fine Arts, Anthropology, and Natural History.
What are the attractions inside the National Planetarium?
- Painting of the Astronomical Myths
- Beliefs and Diorama Representation of the Solar System
- Major Constellations
*Update: These shows are NOT available during the pandemic.
- A Planet for Goldilocks
- Hayabusa: Back to the Earth
- Journey to a Billion Suns
Schedule of Shows
- Tuesday to Saturday
1:30 PM / 2:30 PM / 4:00 PM
10:00 AM / 2:00 PM / 3:30 PM
What are the top attractions?
The National Planetarium is best known for its shows (but these shows are closed during the pandemic).
Aside from the shows, visitors are also drawn to these two attractions — Major Constellations and Painting of the Astronomical Myths.
Can we visit without prior reservation?
- Yes! But as mentioned, there is a limit per session. Avoid going there when it’s about to close. Be there at least an hour before closing time.
For field trips or company excursions, pre-pandemic, a prior reservation is needed to properly accommodate the large group. Normally, the schedule falls on a weekday as the management avoids booking a big group on weekends. Not sure if it still applies during the pandemic.
Where to reserve slots for big groups?
Here are the contact details of the National Planetarium management:
- Contact Numbers: (02) 527-7889 / 0929 457 3286 (Smart) / 0966 330 5931 (Globe)
- Email Address: email@example.com
- Office Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday)
How do we get in?
- Go to the registration area.
- Register your name. If you’re a group, just register one name for the whole group.
- Deposit your bag at the baggage counter.
- Get your number. Keep it.
What are the rules and regulations?
- If you are watching the show, be there 30 minutes prior to the screening time.
- For the show, children below four years old will not be admitted.
- All bags are subject to a security check before entering the premises.
- Avoid bringing large bags and backpacks.
- Firearms, cigarettes, and illegal drugs are prohibited.
- Food and drinks are not allowed.
- For the planetarium show, electronic gadgets such as laptops, cellphones, smartphones, tablets, and cameras are not allowed inside the auditorium.
- Visitors must leave their belongings at the Baggage Deposit Area. Don’t forget to get your baggage claim number.
- Once the show starts, you cannot enter or leave the auditorium.
- Teachers and tour coordinators must register in the Visitor’s Logbook.
- Flash photography and videography are not permitted.
- Follow the rules and regulations. Take note of the warning signs like “Do not touch”, Do not step”, and “Do not cross the line.”
- Observe silence and cleanliness at all times.
- Take note of the parking spots that are reserved for senior citizens and PWDs.
How to get to the National Planetarium?
The National Planetarium is located at Rizal Park, Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila.
Nearest train station: U.N. Avenue Station (LRT 1)
- From EDSA, ride the MRT to Taft Avenue Station.
- Transfer to LRT 1. There’s a footbridge connecting MRT Taft Station to LRT 1 EDSA Station.
- Board the train and alight at U.N. Avenue Station.
- Walk your way to National Planetarium. You will pass by the National Museum of Natural History and the Natural Museum of Anthropology.
- Cross Ma. Orosa Street. Keep walking to the right, towards Padre Burgos Avenue. You can easily spot the National Planetarium building.
What are other nearby attractions?
- National Museum of Anthropology (located just across the National Museum of Natural History)
- National Museum of Fine Arts
- National Museum of Natural History
- Luneta Park/Rizal Park
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Be there early, especially if you plan to do museum hopping. National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of Anthropology, and the National Museum of Fine Arts are located not far from each other.
- For those who will watch the show, use the toilet before or after the show. You cannot enter and leave the auditorium while the show is ongoing.
- Please read the warning signs. Strictly follow the rules and guidelines at all times.
- Fall in line and wait for your turn. Be courteous and respect other people’s time and space.
- Parents and adults should supervise the children while inside the planetarium.
- Don’t be too loud. Tone down your voice.
- Respect the place. Do not litter nor vandalize.
Where to Stay in Manila
If you’re not from Manila and would like to spend the night at a hotel, here are the top options as scored by Agoda customers.
- The Luneta Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Casa Bocobo Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- RedDoorz near SM Manila. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Hotel Juliano. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Bayview Park Hotel. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- Best Western Hotel La Corona Manila. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
- White Knight Hotel Intramuros. Check Rates & Availability! ✅
Search for more Manila Hotels!
Photos by Pycan Leynes
Words by Astrid Alvarez