We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
Ranked #197 of 451 things to do in San Diego
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Discover the best kept secret in downtown San Diego. The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing Chinese and Chinese American art, culture and history. Exhibits include a hand-carved bed that belonged to a Chinese warlord, a 1500-year-old limestone Buddha head, a tranquil Asian garden and koi pond, intricate miniature models of old Chinatown buildings, and there are always new exhibits in our new extension building.
Reviewed 25 March 2016

It is obvious that the museum was put together with great care. I learned new things and appreciated the explanations that went along with the exhibit. Friendly staff answered questions and shared additional information. Small, but worth a visit!

1  Thank msmadams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (27)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

13 - 17 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2016

I visited the SD Chinese Historical Museum during the Chinese New Year festival in February. Being a history buff - especially of local history - I enjoyed looking at all the exhibits relating to the history of Chinese people in San Diego and the history of the area around the museum. There is a beautiful garden in the back - perfect for meditating for a moment. The museum also has an annex across the street where there was a Ming Dynasty exhibit. (I understand the exhibits in the annex change.) I found out that the museum offers special events/lectures during the year. Being a local, I am looking forward to returning this weekend to hear a lecture on Chinese laborers who helped build the transcontinental railroad by a descendant of one of them who lives in San Diego.

2  Thank Sagelady5523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2015

This "museum complex on 3 different streets in San Diego's Chinatown that today is known as the Gaslamp and was previously also the locale of prostitutes and called the Stingray is well-worth visiting. Included is a traditional museum with historical artifacts from nearby archeological digs, a special exhibit location that's almost across the street in the Dr. Sun Yatsen Memorial Extension and then down the street and around the corner is an art gallery (Chuang Archive and Learning Center) where Saturday lectures are usually given. So time your visit for a Sat. morning at 11 a.m. and learn more about some aspect of Chinese culture in a very infomtive lecture by Alex, the Head of the Exhibits and Educational programs. Unlike Chinatown's in other metropolitan cities, this low keyed one requires hunting to find some good Chinese eats tucked away in storefront shops.

3  Thank GlobalGypsy_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2015

We were surprised to see a China Town in San Diego, so we had to see the history. Very nice and wonderful displays. Great examples of artifacts used by local Chinese immigrants. I did see the same palm tree rain gear that we saw in Pendleton Oregon's underground tour. I also saw a few things I have never seen. The personal history of a few distinguished individuals added great depth to the displays. There is an additional gallery across the street, but we had to catch our trolley.

3  Thank Barry E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2015

SDCHM is a great museum on the southern edge of the Gaslamp District, only a stone's throw from the Convention Center. Admission is only $2, but kindly think of donating a bit more. The museum covers the history of Chinese in San Diego, which is really the history if Chinese in America. Every historic Chinatown has a similar story. They cover the region of China where most came from, how they came to the US, and how they eked out a living in the land they thought of as the Golden Mountain. There are also some terrific artifacts from some of San Diego's prominent Chinese citizens through history, as well as Chinese art and historical artifacts, including a beautifully carved recessed bed and a huge, centuries old stone Buddha head that found its way from a cave in China to San Diego. The museum is spread out between two buildings, and in the back of the main hall is a small but tranquil garden.

3  Thank octrekster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed San Diego Chinese Historical Museum also viewed


Been to San Diego Chinese Historical Museum? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing