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21 Best museums you should visit in Hong Kong

From art, space, and history to jellyfish and cup noodles, there's something for everyone

Jenny Leung
Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
&
Jenny Leung
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If you're looking for a cultural fix but don't know where to start, then allow us to introduce to you some of the city's finest museums. Whether you want to get familiar with the city's fascinating past, learn more about contemporary art, or build your knowledge on jellyfish and even cup noodles, there's an array of local institutions that specialise in all kinds of subjects. Here are just some of the best ones to check out.

RECOMMENDED: Once you've ticked off all these museums, how about visiting some of Hong Kong's oldest buildings and structures.

Note: Please check ahead with individual venues for the latest opening hours and admission details.

Museums in Hong Kong

  • Art
  • West Kowloon

Opened in July 2022 along the waterfront of the West Kowloon Cultural District, the Hong Kong Palace Museum is dedicated to Chinese art and culture. The museum houses a total of nine galleries, where visitors can explore exhibitions featuring exquisite art collections from the Palace Museum in Beijing, Hong Kong, and other important cultural institutions around the world. 

  • Museums
  • Central

Showcasing the wonderfully rich maritime history of the former fishing island that is Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving, collecting, and displaying objects that illustrate the city's development in seafaring and stories about trade and maritime in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. The harbourfront museum puts on rotating exhibitions that highlight everything from marine conservation to the history of sea bandits and old wrecked ships. Visitors can discover a wealth of interesting trivia and have fun with interactive displays. Grab a coffee at the Museum Café while you’re there, which employs staff with learning disabilities in support of The Nesbitt Centre. 

Discover over 70 years of Hong Kong maritime history through an immersive exhibit featuring interactive games, displays, and VR experiences at Hong Kong’s Maritime Miracle: A time capsule of our city.

Time Out Hong Kong in partnership with Hong Kong Maritime Museum

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  • Things to do
  • Tsuen Wan

Covering an area of over 10,000 feet, Cube O Discovery Park is a jellyfish-themed interactive ocean experience centre. From a jellyfish kaleidoscope, where mirrors and colourful lights give off the illusion of countless jellyfish dancing in all directions, to multimedia games for you to learn about the work of professional conservationists, this unusual museum welcomes all to explore the mysterious ocean and its marine life.

 

  • Things to do
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Japanese ramen brand Nissin's famous Cup Noodles Museum opened in Hong Kong in 2021, setting up shop at China Hong Kong City in Tsim Sha Tsui. The museum features Insta-worthy spots, the debut of a global-exclusive workshop, and two popular workshops – My Cupnoodles Factory and Demae Iccho Factory – from the original museum in Osaka, Japan. Aside from workshops, visitors can also drop by the gift shop and browse through a variety of exclusive souvenirs, gift sets, and more. Rare Nissin-themed toys and collections are also on display at the shop. 

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  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Mid-Levels

Dr Sun Yat-sen devoted his life to establishing the Republic of China. He had close ties with Hong Kong, having received his education and devised plans for revolution here. The four-storey museum details his life and Hong Kong’s place in the reform movement through precious historical artefacts and a wide range of audiovisual programmes. 

  • Museums
  • Quarry Bay

Hidden inside the Quarry Bay Park is one of the lesser known museums in Hong Kong: The Fireboat Alexander Grantham Exhibition Gallery. Between the years 1953 and 2002, the fireboat Alexander Grantham served as the flagship of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department's fireboat team, conducting fire-related rescue operations in Hong Kong waters and along its shoreline. Learn all about the history of Hong Kong's sea rescue services, and check out unique firefighting artefacts that are on display.

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  • Museums
  • History
  • Admiralty

Flagstaff House, located in Hong Kong Park, was built in the 1840s and was formerly the office and residence of the commander of the British Forces in Hong Kong. It became the Museum of Tea Ware in 1984 and houses exhibitions, demonstrations, tea gatherings, and lectures to promote ceramic art and Chinese tea drinking culture. 

  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Sham Shui Po

The only surviving remnant of Hong Kong’s oldest public housing project and the recipient of a Unesco honourable mention, Mei Ho House is a vital piece of local history and architecture built after a fire in 1954 left 58,000 homeless. Nowadays, Mei Ho House is a museum dedicated to the history of public housing in the area. The museum's permanent exhibition, Memories of Our Days, which illustrates the unique cultures and facets of life in these bygone times, is well worth a gander. Hoping to bridge the gap between the younger and older generations, the exhibition allows visitors to reflect on the life of the past generations through historical narratives and gain a better understanding of Hong Kong's storied past. 

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  • Attractions
  • Sai Wan Ho

An underappreciated gem, the Hong Kong Film Archive showcases and preserves everything from kung-fu movies to traditional Cantonese dramas. The resource centre is the main draw, housing more than 400,000 pieces of film-related material that can be read and viewed. Perfect for budding auteurs and young Chow Yun-fats and Anita Muis alike.

  • Museums
  • Sha Tin

One of the largest museums in the city, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum sits right next to the Shing Mun River. Specialising in history as well as art and culture such as Cantonese Opera and traditional Chinese art, the Sha Tin museum houses an array of permanent exhibition galleries alongside regular themed exhibitions ranging from Hong Kong pop culture to Bruce Lee.

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  • Museums
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Established in 1962, Hong Kong Museum of Art is the first public art museum in the city. After a four-year, million-dollar revamp, the museum reopened in 2019, housing an art collection of over 17,000 items. Striving to make art accessible to everyone, the museum's curation features a wide range of works from a Hong Kong perspective.

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  • Museums
  • History
  • Tsim Sha Tsui East

There's a vast 400 million years worth of history that gets explored here (although luckily it won't take you as long as that to walk around). The museum is filled with exhibits, including ones on prehistoric Hong Kong, the Japanese occupation, local folk culture and more, along with incredible artefacts that you won't see anywhere else. 

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  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Tsim Sha Tsui East

This exciting institution offers a series of engaging interactive exhibits in order for visitors of all ages to explore the fun of science. There are 10 permanent exhibition halls in total, covering different areas of science such as biodiversity, electricity and magnetism, light and sounds, earth science and more. Don't miss out on the 22-metre-high ‘energy machine’ that produces awesome audio-visual effects as it demonstrates various forms of energy. It’s electrifyingly fun. 

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

It’s hard to miss this egg-shaped dome on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. The theatre dome makes up half of the Hong Kong Space Museum, along with two permanent exhibitions: Hall of the Cosmos and the Hall of Space Exploration. Visitors can enjoy documentary screenings under the curved ceiling of the planetarium, or head over to the main museum and discover plenty of action and gadgetry for space and science enthusiasts. 

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  • Attractions
  • Sheung Wan

A four-storey private museum on Hollywood Road, Liang Yi Museum is all about design, craftsmanship, and heritage. Home to impressive collections of Chinese antique furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as a premier collection of historic pieces that tell the bygone era of Europe, this is the place where you’ll find ornate relics and niche acquisitions of items like Japanese tobacco pipes from the 17th century to rare Persian art and ceramics. 

  • Art
  • West Kowloon

Clad with a large LED system on its harbour-facing facade to display collections, special commissions, and other museum-related content, this waterfront museum is a striking addition to the city’s skyline. Inside, the building houses numerous galleries with exhibits that cover themes of architecture and design, post-war art, conceptual art, installation art, multimedia works and more. Aside from exhibitions, visitors can also enjoy public facilities and spaces including a rooftop garden, multimedia library, shops, restaurants, and cinema, just to name a few.

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  • Museums
  • Tsuen Wan

Sam Tung Uk, or literally known as 'three beamed houses' in Cantonese, was a Hakka walled village built in 1786 during the Qing dynasty. Today, this site is a public museum where Hongkongers can learn about the city's fascinating cultural heritage. Duck in and out of different dwellings, row houses, and exhibition rooms inside the museum. There are all kinds of multimedia displays and interactive elements for you to experience and learn everything from the making of mahjong tiles and dim sum to traditional performances like Cantonese Opera and the Hakka Unicorn Dance.

  • Museums
  • History
  • Sai Kung

Explore Sheung Yiu Village, a former fortified Hakka settlement that’s now a cultural and historic monument, filled with galleries and rich in local history. Known for its lime kiln that brought wealth to its inhabitants, this monument offers insight into the daily life of a Hakka villager’s rural lifestyle. If that’s not enough to justify the journey to the area, take in the scenery at the surrounding Sai Kung Country Park.

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  • Art
  • Central

More than just a museum, Tai Kwun is one of Hong Kong’s biggest conservation projects and arguably the most diverse art space in the city right now. Aside from its regular, world-class contemporary art exhibitions and theatre performances, as well as some excellent bars and restaurants, Tai Kwun is a unique heritage site where visitors can stroll through the former Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison and see well-preserved historic architecture up close. Inside, you can learn more about the role of law and order in Hong Kong and the site’s rich history.

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