Hong Kong's Best Museums: Fun for Culture Vultures and Everybody Else

Hong Kong does museums surprisingly well. All the main subjects are covered, such as a history and art, and there are some quirky extras like medical sciences. Conveniently, many of the main museums are only a short ferry or train ride apart. 

Generally, Hong Kong museums are well laid-out, bilingual, and run with both passion and commitment. Perhaps the best one to start with is the Hong Kong Museum of History – don't imagine a range of objects in fusty cases: this is a vibrant and exciting space, with lots to see and do.

And whether it's pouring with rain or the mercury seems to be busting out of the thermometer, the museums offer an air-conditioned respite that does not involve spending money on shopping or eating. Indeed, one of the best things about Hong Kong museums is that by international standards, admission is phenomenally cheap – a few dollars at most. What's more, one day a week (usually Wednesday) is free. For the budget conscious, this is great, but for serious visitors, it can be trying as so many freeloaders barrel through the doors. Depending how long you are staying, it may be worth investing in a museum pass, which grants free entry to seven major museums for up to six months.

Hong Kong Museum of History
Photo courtesy of Museum of History

Chinese history has taken dramatic twists and turns over the past three millennia, and this museum offers detailed exhibits that take you through every aspect of the country's development. Beginning in Neolithic times and running right up to...  Read More

Museum of Coastal Defence
Photo courtesy of Museum of Coastal Defence

This site dates back over a century, to when Lei Yue Mun Fort was a strategic part of Hong Kong's defenses. It was the scene of fierce fighting during the Japanese invasion on 1941, and later became a regular barracks. So its current role as a...  Read More

Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware
Photo courtesy of Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware

This museum, housed in the oldest remaining colonial building in Hong Kong, is nestled inside the quiet and scenic Hong Kong Park. Built in 1846, the building now contains an intriguing blend of colonial heritage and Chinese tradition. More than...  Read More

Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
Photo courtesy of Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum

This museum is home to the city's oldest historic monument, a tomb from the Han Dynasty that dates back 2,000 years. The tomb was discovered by chance in the 1950s by workers building new housing and has been carefully preserved at the site. An...  Read More

University Museum & Art Gallery

This small and slightly out of the way museum is not one of the most visited attractions, but that makes this excellent collection of art and objects even more appealing, since you don't have to elbow through throngs to see the treasures. The...  Read More

Sam Tung Uk Museum

The name means "three-beamed dwelling," and this museum offers an educational look at a recreated rural walled village circa 1800. Once a Hakka dwelling, it features an elaborately decorated ancestral hall, period furniture, and halls showcasing...  Read More

Hong Kong Maritime Museum
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Learn all about Hong Kong's fascinating maritime history at this museum located right on the harbor in Central next to the Star Ferry. The museum is divided into galleries covering the ages of sail and steam, with exhibits that feature...  Read More

Hong Kong Science Museum

This informative, interactive museum offers a broad range of exhibits that are certain to grab your attention. Four floors with hundreds of exhibits explore topics such as geography, robotics, transportation, magnetism, and quantum physics....  Read More

Hong Kong Space Museum

This waterside museum delves into the fascinating topics related to the last frontier. The Space Theater in the Hall of Astronomy features mind-boggling Omnimax shows on an immense screen that wraps you in 360 degrees of celestial panorama....  Read More

Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences
Photo courtesy of Museum of Medical Sciences

This intriguing museum traces the relatively recent history of medical science in Hong Kong. In 1906, in response to Hong Kong's ongoing epidemic of bubonic plague, the Bacteriological Institute opened in this building as the city's first...  Read More


Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for much of his life.