For a crash course in Hawaiian history, Polynesian lore, and anthropology, head to Oahu’s Bishop Museum. Exhibits cover everything from stories about Hawaiian gods to the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame to the history of surfing, and the museum boasts a planetarium and a Science Adventure Center.
Purchase admission tickets ahead of time online, or pick up a Go Oahu Card, which offers free admission to the Bishop Museum as well as other top Oahu attractions. Alternatively, get a Bishop Museum All Access Pass, which includes admission and unlimited shows at the planetarium.
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Things to Know Before You Go
The museum charges for admission, and planetarium shows require an additional fee.
Free guided welcome tours are offered multiple times every day.
Plan to spend at least 2–3 hours exploring the museum’s collections.
All exhibits are wheelchair and stroller accessible.
How to Get There
The Bishop Museum is located in the historic Kalihi neighborhood of Honolulu, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of downtown Waikiki; the drive, along the I-H1 highway, takes about 15 minutes. Waikiki’s hop-on hop-off Purple Line trolley stops off at the Bishop Museum as well as other top Honolulu sights like the Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, and Pier 38.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily from morning until evening every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The museum hosts several free welcome tours and planetarium shows as well as storytelling events, hula shows, live music performances, and more; check the museum’s calendar of events prior to your visit.
The Bishop Museum Planetarium
Bishop Museum’s Planetarium shows are a highlight of a visit. Shows explore the Hawaiian night sky and feature information about traditional Polynesian navigation methods as well as current astronomical phenomena. Some programs are designed specifically for children. Special Saturday evening shows include the opportunity to head out and see the stars from the museum’s viewing deck.
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