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“A Treasure of South Pacific History”
Review of Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum
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$22.95*
and up
Bishop Museum General Admission
Ranked #15 of 322 things to do in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha family. The Museum was established to house the extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, and has expanded to include millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawai'i and other Pacific island cultures. Today, Bishop Museum is the largest museum in the state and the premier natural and cultural history institution in the Pacific, recognized throughout the world for its cultural collections, research projects, consulting services and public educational programs. It also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. Serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians is a primary purpose of the Museum. The Museum also operates the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the island of Hawai'i.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Victorville, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A Treasure of South Pacific History”
Reviewed January 25, 2014

The museum is a converted mansion and school. There is featured displays like the Ni'ihau Shell Lei Oct. 26 through Jan 27 2014. It was wonderful to see this display and read how these lei's are made and the significance they had and still have to the makers and recipients. The permanent displays of Hawaii history from first contact and the ancient Hawaiin religion to the end of the Monarchy system is very nice. Most of the displays are geared to school children but still nice enough to inform adults. For those who find cultural information about Hawaii, their daily life centered on hunting, gathering, cultivating, preparing and storing their food and making beautiful objects for daily life as well as religious ceremonies, and also a peek into the political aspects of the rise and fall of the Hawaiin Kingdom a good thing to learn about, this is the place to start in.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank jansdream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
44 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Hawaiian Cultural History...with a twist”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

This is a great overall Hawaiian cultural history museum as it covers the Polynesians and cultures that first came to Hawaii. It also has a unique twist...showing how lava is made - complete with a lava making machine to do live demos! They will light postcards on fire with the already cooling lava (!) and hand them out to the visitors as sourvenirs. Well worth visiting!!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank mitasa01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Place to visits”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

we loved Bishop Museum and we regretted that we only stayed there a couple of hours. Make a half of day trip there, it is really worth to discover Hawaiian and other Pacific Islands history and culture. We had lunch over there as well and was pretty good.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank olaBrisbane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
125 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Surprisingly good”
Reviewed January 20, 2014

I only went to this museum because I am a huge fan of the tv show LOST and several scenes were filmed here. Because the admission fee is $20 per person, I wasn't just going to check out the scenes and leave, so we walked around the exhibit halls. What a wonderful museum - particularly if you have any interest at all in the history of Hawaii (which I find fascinating). It would take hours to really go through every exhibit and read every explanation, but we were able to go through the main halls, stopping only at the items that really interested us, as well as through the special exhibit (which at the time was "LEGO" and packed with kids) in about 2 hours. You could easily spend the entire day there. We weren't able to go to the planetarium which sounded interesting. The building itself is gorgeous and historic. Anyone interested in architecture and design will love it. There are several interactive exhibits that will help kids understand what life was like for early Hawaiians (including some costumes to try on and musical instruments to try). I had read (on trip advisor) that this was a "gem", but didn't really believe it until I went there myself. It is truly a must see.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank yogachick23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Incheon, Incheon, South Korea
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Give yourself plenty of time”
Reviewed January 18, 2014

My mother and I took a tour of the Wao Lani: Of Gods and Chiefs - Gallery Tour, which was informative and interesting. Unfortunately I cannot remember the educator who gave us the tour, but he was very candid and in spite of his telling these stories again and again still made it fresh and new for us.

The planetarium is a must see! Wayfinders: Waves, Winds, and Stars - Planetarium Show. Loved it! It must have cost a fortune to get that technology into the Bishop Museum however, it was well worth it. Navigating the stars and the sea as the first Polynesian explorers was such a delight.

Overall, I was disappointed that I spent $20 a pop to see a third of the museum. It takes a long time to get over to the Bishop Museum by bus, and getting there in the middle of the day (after traveling all morning) is not at all recommended. There's not enough time to appreciate all the museum has to offer both in terms of the museum itself and in terms of the tours.

So go as early as possible! Avoid the lines and make good on the schedule.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank antreaTheBrave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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