Nanjing Museum (Nanjing Bowuyuan)

Nanjing Museum (Nanjing Bowuyuan)

Nanjing Museum (Nanjing Bowuyuan)
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles328 reviews
Excellent
192
Very good
98
Average
29
Poor
5
Terrible
3

dyhx
Singapore3,502 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Free to enter but must pre-book entry tickets via their mini app in Wechat. Tickets are open 1 week prior at 6pm.

They have a free guided tour, capped at 30pax, that starts at 10am (or 2pm), ear pieces are given out 20 mins. As foreigners, we had to go to the ticket counter in the History Hall 历史馆 to exchange for a physical ticket. We were there by 930am but by then the queue for the free tour was already quite long, in fact we missed the 10am tour by 4 persons. Luckily that day they had another one at 1030am. You can also opt to pay RMB150 per pax for a private guide or RMB30 to rent a pre-recorded audio guide. But my preference is always for a live guide. 

This is the first of 2 博物院 (instead of 博物馆) in China, covering 6 halls, consisting 18 pieces of 镇院之宝, with the prime spot going to the 金兽 (Golden Creature), exhibited exclusively in the Special Exhibit Hall. The 1.5 hours tour took us through only the History Hall 历史馆 and for most of it, we could only hear but not really see as the crowd was too crazy. Most of the time I could only see the item after the guide has finished the narrative and on the move to the next stop. It was made worse by 'free-riders' who didn't join the queue for the free tour and was just sticking close to the guide to listen in, thereby blocking our view. The History Hall is the largest and even the 1.5 hr tour couldn't bring us through everything here. It would have been a more enjoyable experience with lesser crowd, but I really don't think that's ever possible in China given that I was there on a supposedly low season, week-day morning. Nonetheless, still highly recommended as a must-visit place in Nanjing. 
Written 21 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kong k
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
Nanjing Museum is amaing,it is worthy to visit there.Anyone who needs help in making a travel plan?I can help with that .
Written 3 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Muzzamuzzamuzza
Wellington, New Zealand137 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
We only had 2 hours, which was only enough to cover off the first building. As others have mentioned, reservations are required. If you are a foreigner, don't waste your time with the WeChat QR code (we couldn't get to work anywhere). Go to the small office on the right of the entry hall and get an entry pass by showing your passports and filling in a sign-in sheet. We rented the audio guide and the English commentary was clear. We did not realise how large this museum is and would definitely recommend a whole day or spreading a visit over two half days.
Written 9 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joanne H
London, UK938 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
This is a good museum in nice buildings, but I wasn't blown away by it and the general curation and visitor experience could be improved. On arrival it was very unclear where to go as a foreigner to register - you are supposed to pre-book a slot. If you can, do it on the website in advance, as I couldn't use the WeChat code due to issues with that app, and the mobile version of the website was incredibly hard to navigate. In any case, take your passport to the little office in the corner of the entrance to the history gallery, and they will register you (I was helped with the website by a nice guy from Hong Kong) and give you a slip of paper. When you present passport and the slip of paper at the entrance the paper is taken away from you again and you're in.

After that you're supposed to follow the route around, which takes you from early history to more recent history via a huge number of artefacts. I did not get the audio guide, which was 20 RMB. I visited on a Tuesday morning - the museum is closed on Mondays - and the cases were all smeary, didn't looked like they'd been cleaned from having noses pressed up against them. There are enough explanations in English to navigate.

I finished up at the 'Scene of a Republican Era' gallery, which is a reconstructed Republican era street, quite good fun with various shops.

Had a bite in the café - an expensive sandwich and lukewarm coffee. There's not many other food options on the way around the museum and obviously as you've given up the slip of paper getting out then in again is problematic.
Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chang Percy
Taipei, Taiwan226 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
The entrance fee is free. It is situated not far away from the metro station. Its collection is bountiful.
Written 29 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roddy P
Johannesburg, South Africa923 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Solo
It was very busy when I went - full of families, children, young friends... This was half the fun as the energy was very positive. There is limited English - just enough to get the idea of what is going on.

You go to the History Building - at the end of the part - looks like a palace building. AS you go in to the building, turn to the right and in the corner is a small office where you register with your passport as a foreigner, and then you get a slip that you give to the security. Its all very non digital, which is the charm of the process - not sure who reads the book every night to see who has come to look at rare exhibits.

The museum is spread over several buildings and lots of different floors, so be ready to walk and climb stairs. Its free and interesting and a great place to see local people learning and interacting with their history.
Written 28 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cruiser46021390302
Heidelberg, Germany41 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Was unable to enter the actual museum! Reservation is required. They required all chinese citizens to have a prebooked reservation. They were going to allow me because of my passport, but would not let my friends in. We traveled quite far and were unable to go in! Quite disappointing. Took a few pictures from the outside. Please use the QR code I've added to prebook for locals. We went on national week.. so I'm not sure if this is the policy year round, but ill inlcude the QR pic for prebooking.
Written 8 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel C
Middlesbrough, UK164 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Divided into different sections, the museum shows the full history of the city of Nanjing from the days of the Dinosaurs, to ancient China, feudal China to the Republic of China a hundred years ago back when Nanjing was the capital city of China. There are large Dinosaur skeletons, large video screens showing the wars China has been involved in and even a street recreated to look like 1920s Nanjing with classic cars and old shops. When I visited there was a Chinese opera show being performed with their painted faces and fancy costumes doing their exaggerated movements. You can also buy novelty gifts from the past, back before the Chinese invented paper, they wrote on sticks of bamboo tied together by rope as well as other relics of China's past. Surprisingly you'll also see statues of people from other nation's history like the ancient Greek philosopher Plato doing his famous pose from the iconic painting the School of Athens. At the end of the museum you can find a place to grab some food but don't rush through because you might miss something, take your time.
Written 1 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TKoh
741 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
Worth the time & efforts to visit the Nanjing Museum. It is free entry for visitors. We went to the first building’s service desk to register / collect some leaflets.

There are at least 3 main buildings. They are built separately. Each houses different artifacts & exhibits. Very interesting ones would be the building that housed the dinosaurs, the skeletons of the dead which you can see their social status just by looking at their burial. Their monetary systems, their age of pottery, the ancient warriors & commoners’ attires & sculptures & etc. Another building houses paintings & statues. Wooden carvings were intricate & were detailing life.

Security guards were flexible, as long as you do not speak loudly. Cameras are allowed.

We had a good 2-hour+ quick walk. At certain levels we couldn’t enter as they were meant only for invited guests. There are many washrooms, pretty clean.

It’s a must-go!
Written 4 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Isaac L
Indiana76 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
A gigantic museum, the temporary exhibits building alone is the size of many museums elsewhere . Entry is free if you let them scan your passport. Though it may appear they you’d have to have your ticket scanned in each building, there’s pedestrian access (one indoor, one outdoor passage) that connects it all, so be careful and don’t exit prematurely.

Some reviewers were put off by the name of the “history” wing, but it ends with the Qing Dynasty so there’s no sanitized “official version” of anything to deal with. You’ll come away with a clearer understanding of where you are and of the 5,000 years of civilization right here in Jiangsu Province. Several exhibits give you a quick insight into the Ming palace whose ruins are nearby, the Ming tombs on the mountainside above, of Nanjing’s past in general.

Some of the best ancient/historical artifacts are actually in the temporary exhibits or over in the art wing, where the crowds are considerably less! The ancient sculpture gallery inside the art wing (i.e. main building) is world-class and quite wide-ranging. If you are not keen on a long visit, I’d recommend just that sculpture gallery (making full use of the audio guide) and then the period “Republic” street in the basement of that same building.

The English audio guide (20 yuan, plus leave ID/passport as deposit) is a good deal, and it comes in handy in many different sections of the museum. You’ll find the English signage evaporates in some of the temporary exhibits and art exhibits, but the audio guide helps with some (not all) of those rooms. Get the audio guide when you get your free ticket (service center building).

“Republic period street” is a bit like a dreary theme park attraction that vaguely evokes the 1920s in China, but the cosplayers (ordinary museum goers eagerly posing for social media) give it some pizazz and unpredictability. Costume rental for 30 yuan is a stroke of genius, though I’m sure most of the cosplayers I saw brought their own outfits. (You’ll have to explore a bit to find the costume rental place.) I wandered into a Chinese opera performance hall from the period street, which was magical (and also nice as an open ended commitment without sitting down to opera for a long period).

Be warned, the service center staff who handle audio guide rental are well intentioned, but they would have let me walk out of there near closing time without my passport when I went to return the audio guide. Don’t forget to ask for it back!

As with other large Chinese museums, international visitors may be quite surprised how limited the food and drink options are. Plan ahead. Chinese museum goers are quite frugal, to the point that some bring their own thermoses of hot water and their own tea bags, so the idea of a balanced, nutritious meal or even of high quality dining options inside a museum has not really taken off here. It’s too bad, because the scale of this museum really invites an all-day visit, and you’ll need some fuel. There are token snacks in the cafe, and also inside the “Republic” street, but pickings are very slim as far as I could see.

On the positive side, this is the first Chinese museum I’ve seen that had a wide selection of small, inexpensive, but fun items in the gift shop (as one sees in museum shops in other countries). There are also pricey museum piece reproductions for sale, though I was struck by the low quality of the reproductions, considering the price tag.
Written 11 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Nanjing Museum (Nanjing Bowuyuan) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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