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“Parking Machine Blues”
Review of Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum
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US$24.95*
and up
Bishop Museum General Admission
Ranked #26 of 346 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.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The Bishop Museum focuses on Hawaiian and Polynesian culture and has a science center great for families. The twice daily hot lava show is worth planning your visit around. The current exhibit on the Gannenmono, or Japanese plantation workers, is excellent. All of this is worthy of a 5 star review.

Like most reviewers, I tend to error on the positive side, giving an average review of 4+ stars. But how can recent reviewers ignore the parking situation? Paying $5 for parking is fine, but cueing up for a single parking machine is too much. No attendant - just one machine.

First, park and write down or memorize your license plate. Next, enter the plate number into the machine, then swipe your credit card (no cash accepted and there is a 30 cents handling fee). Finally, place the paid receipt on the dashboard. Imagine coming on a weekend instead of midweek, and standing in the rain behind someone(s) using a parking machine for the first time. 24 million artifacts dragged down by a "pound-foolish" museum board. Find another way to raise funds.

Thank Steven T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"hawaiian history"
in 264 reviews
"hawaiian hall"
in 121 reviews
"science center"
in 70 reviews
"main hall"
in 38 reviews
"planetarium shows"
in 27 reviews
"lava demonstration"
in 26 reviews
"pacific islands"
in 30 reviews
"volcano exhibit"
in 23 reviews
"interactive exhibits"
in 22 reviews
"rainy day"
in 74 reviews
"great place to learn"
in 28 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 23 reviews
"hawaiian royalty"
in 31 reviews
"on display"
in 45 reviews
"gift shop"
in 59 reviews
"great history"
in 23 reviews
"iolani palace"
in 25 reviews
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10 - 14 of 2,445 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

IF you want to learn about Polynesia, then the Bishop Museum is the place. So much to learn, digest and appreciate. The exhibits are well placed, lighted and explained. The museum is clean, beautiful and the staff are ever ready to answer questions and assist in sharing their knowledge. Fascinating. Give yourself plenty of time (2-3 hours) to enjoy this amazing place.

Thank Nancy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My husband and I decided to visit on a cloudy, wet day and we were glad we did. The main building is beautiful. I was built at the turn of the 20th Century and includes dark wood display cases, giant wooden stairways that lead around each exhibit, and dark paneling that seemed like mahogany. It felt like a trip back in time to a stately mansion. The exhibit covers everything from early Hawaiian Royalty, the annexation, British occupation, the immigration routes from China through the South Pacific, hundreds of examples of housing, foods, customs, clothing and eating utensils, canoes...You name it, they covered it. We felt the information was so dense that it was almost overwhelming. But that's not a complaint, just an observation. We didn't try the planetarium, but also spent a few minutes in the Discovery building that discussed the wildlife and ecosystem. I think that it's an important stop, similar to Pearl Harbor, when visiting Oahu. (Also there were many young families there with young children who seemed to be enjoying themselves. )

Thank beentherewannaduthat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I've been reading Michener's book Hawaii. Even though I've been to the islands many times, I'd not yet gone to the Bishop. I found it to be a wonderful place with amazing architecture and exhibits. It dovetails well with what I'm reading on Hawaiian history. Won't be the last time I visit this museum!

Thank iGlobalTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We very much enjoyed the exhibits in the museum which is in a fabulous building. Don't miss out on the science center where they make actual lava The people at admissions and in the gift shop were very helpful.

Thank 560mariank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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