Photo: WR Studio/Shutterstock

7 Hong Kong Museums You Can't Skip This Year

by Matador Creators Apr 9, 2023

Hong Kong may be a small region, but it has quite the fascinating history. It was first inhabited during the Neolithic era, with evidence of human settlements discovered in archaeological sites, some of which are open to the public. During the 16th century, Hong Kong was visited by Portuguese and Spanish traders, who were followed by British and Dutch traders in the 17th century. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that Hong Kong became a British colony following the First Opium War (a series of conflicts started when the British traded illegal opium for Chinese goods).

At that time, Hong Kong was a small fishing village with a population of around 7,000 people. The British quickly recognized the strategic importance of the region’s deep natural harbor and began developing it into a trading hub. The colony grew rapidly, attracting immigrants from China and other parts of the world.

Today, that international culture still remains, and the city has some of the best food and festivals in China. And because of its extensive history and global influences, it has an incredible array of museums that should be at the top of any traveler’s itinerary. From traditional Chinese culture to fascinating archaeological artifacts, the seven Hong Kong museums below provide an eye-opening perspective on everything from nearly-forgotten historical events to modern scientific discoveries.

These are the seven best Hong Kong museums, along with how much they cost and what exhibits not to miss.

The best museums in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a ton of museums, but they’re not all close to each other. The best way to move between museums (and anything else in the city) will be to take public transportation. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the subway system in Hong Kong, covering all major districts and areas of Hong Kong and extending to the border with Shenzhen in mainland China.

The MTR network has 11 lines across 98 stations, and is modern, fast, and easy-to-use. Visitors will want to buy an Octopus Card, good for transportation but also usable at restaurants, activities, and tons of businesses across Hong Kong and China.

Hong Kong Museum of History

museums in hong kong history museum

Photo: WR Studio/Shutterstock

The Hong Kong Museum of History is one of the most popular Hong Kong museums, and for good reason. It’s focused on the history and culture of Hong Kong, with exhibits that span from prehistoric times to the present day. It has eight galleries, each focused on a different period of Hong Kong’s history. The galleries are arranged chronologically, from prehistoric times to current day. Many of the displays are interactive and high-tech, with a lot of opportunities to get hands-on.

A particular highlight is the section on the fascinating Opium Wars, which played a significant role in Hong Kong’s history. The exhibit features artifacts from the war, including weapons, documents, and personal effects of soldiers. There’s also a cool recreation of a street scene from the early 20th century, complete with storefronts, shops, and homes.

  • Address: 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM midweek, 10 AM – 7 PM weekends. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Admission fee: Free

Hong Kong Museum of Art

museums in hong kong - art museum facade

Photo: Lee Yiu Tun/Shuttertsock

The Hong Kong Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in Asia and the biggest museum in Hong Kong. It has 14 exhibition galleries and more than 35,000 pieces from China’s ancient dynasties through modern times. The museum’s collection is quite varied and includes prehistoric relics, early ceramics and porcelain, calligraphy, Qing dynasty furniture and crafts, and revolutionary posters from the Cultural Revolution. The museum also hosts rotating global exhibitions, like modern art collections with pieces from artists like Picasso and Monet.

  • Address: 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
  • Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Admission fee: HK$10 for adults ($1.27). Free on Wednesdays.

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum

hong kong palace museum - heritage museum

Photo: TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock

This museum, not to be confused with the history museum, has more than 5,000 objects on display and features an impressive collection of Chinese ceramics as well as paintings by Chinese masters such as Qi Baishi and Chen Linhai. It’s in a large, modern building designed to resemble a traditional Chinese village and has six permanent exhibition galleries, as well as several temporary exhibition spaces. The permanent exhibitions cover topics ranging from Hong Kong’s history, art, and culture to the daily life of Hong Kong people.

One of the museum’s highlights is the “The Hong Kong Story” exhibition. It’s thorough overview of Hong Kong’s history, from its early days as a fishing village to its transformation into the modern city it is today. That exhibit, like many in the museum, has multimedia displays, interactive exhibits, and interesting artifacts and historical objects that make it far more interesting than you might think.

The museum also has a big gift shop, which is a good place to get quality souvenirs.

  • Address: 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
  • Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM midweek, 10 AM – 7 PM weekends. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Admission fee: Free

The Hong Kong Space Museum

hong kong museums - space museum

Photo: expose/Shutterstock

This is one of the best museums in Hong Kong for kids fascinated by space exploration (or adults, for that matter). The best attraction at the museum is the collection of space suits and equipment used by astronauts during their missions to space. But it also has an impressive collection of items related to other aspects of space exploration, like satellites and rocketss.

Visitors can see models depicting how spacecrafts looked when they were launched into orbit over 50 years ago as well as more recent designs created by private companies such as SpaceX or Virgin Galactic (which plans on launching commercial flights into outer space).

The museum also has a planetarium and shows are free and shown on a rolling basis throughout the day, so check the schedule when you arrive. Some shows are in English, and for those that aren’t, you can get a free audio device in English (or any other language you’d like). There are also shows in a 3D theater that do have an extra fee. As of spring 2023, the shows are about wild fungi, the aurora borealis, and the Voyager space probe. You can buy tickets to those shows in advance online.

  • Address: 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
  • Hours: 1 PM – 9 PM midweek, 10 AM – 9 PM weekends. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Admission fee: HK$30 (about $4)

The Hong Kong Maritime Museum

hong kong museums - martitime museum

Photo: PSGxxx/Shutterstock

This museum in Hong Kong is on Hong Kong Island (the second-largest island in Hong Kong) and focuses, as you’d expect, on the city’s maritime exploration and history. Exhibits cover everything ranging from naval history to shipbuilding to old-time sailing techniques. Many of the exhibits include artifacts from the British colonial as well as historical paintings, model ships, vintage photographs, and items used in the early days of sailing. It also has rotating and limited-time exhibits on more unique topics, like underwater archeology, sea monsters, and human impact on the oceans.

There’s a free guided tour every Saturday and Sunday in English, usually around 1 PM. You can check the current schedule on the museum website. There’s also a cool rooftop cafe, if you get hungry during your visit.

  • Address: Central Pier No. 8, Hong Kong
  • Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM midweek, 10 AM – 7 PM weekends.
  • Admission fee: HK$30 (about $4)

The Hong Kong Palace Museum

hong kong museums - hong kong palace museum lobby

Photo: Kylauf/Shutterstock

The Hong Kong Palace Museum is one of the best museums in Hong Kong and probably the most popular. It’s in a brand-new building and just opened in 2022. While it’s generally been well-received, it’s not without controversy, as some people thought having an extension of mainland China’s popular Palace Museum in Hong Kong was a way for mainland China to exert more cultural influence over Hong Kong. But that’s probably neither here nor there for day visitors.

The museum has rotating collection of near-priceless artifacts on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing. That includes porcelain and jade from 1000 BCE, solid gold jewelry, ancient portraits of political leaders, calligraphy, sculptures, and other handicrafts. Audio guides are available to all exhibits in English as well as several other languages, and if you get hungry while walking around the large space, the on-site noodle restaurant is particularly tasty.

This is one of the few Hong Kong museums where you can buy your tickets in advance online.

  • Address:1 Stubbs Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
  • Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM midweek, 10 AM – 8 PM weekends. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Admission fee: HK$50 (about $5). Free on Wednesdays.

The Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware

hong kong palace museum - tea set tea museums in hong kong

Photo: Ahlau/Shutterstock

This is probably one of the most unique museums in Hong Kong, but also one of the quirkiest and most interesting, especially if you like tea. Of course, tea played an integral role in the history of many Asian nations, so. history buffs will like it, too.

It’s housed in the oldest surviving Western building in Hong Kong: Flagstaff House. It was built in 1846 as the home for the commander of British Forces in Hong Kong and stayed a private home until 1978, becoming a museum in the mid 1980s. In the collection, you’ll find a huge collection ceramic tea ware and ancient antique ceramics and Chinese seals. Visitors can participate in free tea ceremonies or sit it on workshops on tea brewing, tea appreciation, and even Chinese calligraphy.

One of the highlights of the museum is the display of Yixing teapots, considered by tea enthusiasts to be simply the best for brewing tea. They’re made with a type of clay found only in a small region of China, and the clay is thought to enhance the flavor of the tea. There’s also an interesting collection of tea sets used by famous historical figures, including Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China.

Of course, there’s a tea house and gift shop too, in case you feel inspired to start brewing at home.

  • Address: Inside Hong Kong Park, 10 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong Island
  • Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM. Closed Tuesdays.
  • Admission fee: Free

Where to stay in Hong Kong

hong kong museums - peak tram

The Peak Tram on Hong Kong Island is just one of many public transportation options in Hong Kong. Photo: leungchopan/Shutterstock

Because Hong Kong’s transportation system is so robust, you don’t need to stress too much about what part of the city you stay in. But popular neighborhoods for visitors include Tsim Sha Tsui, with a central location and abundance of tourist attractions (including the famous Victoria Harbour and Avenue of Stars); Causeway Bay, home of the city’s Victoria Park; and the Central District, where you’ll find many luxury hotels, high-end shops, and fine-dining restaurants.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

The Fleming


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Fleming Hong Kong (@thefleminghk)

The Fleming is in Wan Chai, a trendy and lively neighborhood. The design is inspired by Hong Kong’s iconic Star Ferry and the nautical theme runs throughout the hotel, with rich wood, and deep colors. Rooms are cozy and stylish with vintage touches, and the on-site restaurant is heavy on Italian and seafood dishes. Rates start around $215 per night.

Book Now

The Pottinger Hong Kong

The Pottinger is in the Central District near plenty of high-end restaurants. The hotel’s design is inspired by Hong Kong’s history, with a focus on Chinese elements plus some Art Deco touches. Rooms are elegant and luxurious, with high ceilings and large windows with great city views. Rates start around $321 a night.

Book Now

The Upper House


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Upper House (@upperhouse_hkg)

This hotel is above the Pacific Place shopping mall, and even if you’re not a shopper, you’ll appreciate the easy access to restaurants and convenient nearby public transportation. The hotel’s design is modern and sleek, with a focus on natural materials and minimalist aesthetics. A lot of rooms have views of the harbor and the 49th-floor restaurant, Salisterra, has highly rated Mediterranean cuisine and afternoon tea. Rooms start around $745 a night — it’s five star all the way.

Book Now

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.