The 10 Best Museums in Honiara

Imagine stepping off the plane in Honiara, the vibrant capital of the Solomon Islands, where the sun-kissed streets hum with the stories of the past. As a traveler with a keen interest in history and culture, I’ve found that one of the best ways to dive into the local heritage is through its museums. Honiara, surprisingly to some, is home to a treasure trove of museums that offer a window into the rich tapestry of the island’s history, from World War Ii relics to traditional art.

1. Solomon Islands National Museum

Let’s kick things off with the Solomon Islands National Museum. It’s a cultural hub that’s been preserving the nation’s heritage since 1969. Here, you’ll find a fascinating collection of traditional artifacts, including war canoes and shell money. The museum also hosts cultural performances, making it a lively spot to visit.

2. Vilu War Museum

Next up is the Vilu War Museum, an open-air museum set in lush gardens. It’s a place where history feels alive, with World War II aircraft and artillery scattered around the grounds. The museum tells a poignant story of the war’s impact on the Solomon Islands, and it’s a must-visit for any history buff.

3. American War Memorial

The American War Memorial, while not a museum in the traditional sense, is a solemn tribute to the soldiers who fought and died on Guadalcanal. The memorial is beautifully maintained and offers a quiet space for reflection amidst the inscriptions and plaques that detail the battles fought on the island.

4. Japanese Peace Memorial

On a hill overlooking Honiara, the Japanese Peace Memorial stands as a testament to reconciliation. It’s a serene place that honors the Japanese soldiers who lost their lives. The panoramic views from the memorial are breathtaking, and it’s a poignant reminder of the cost of war.

5. Guadalcanal American Memorial

The Guadalcanal American Memorial is dedicated to the Americans who served in the Guadalcanal Campaign. It’s an evocative site with inscriptions that narrate the story of the campaign. The memorial offers a comprehensive overview of the strategic military operations that took place on the island.

6. National Parliament Exhibition

While not strictly a museum, the National Parliament Exhibition provides a unique insight into the political history of the Solomon Islands. Visitors can learn about the legislative process and see historical documents that have shaped the nation’s governance.

7. Honiara Botanical Gardens

The Honiara Botanical Gardens, another non-traditional museum, is home to a collection of native plant species. It’s a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. The gardens also play host to occasional cultural events and exhibitions, adding to Honiara’s museum scene.

8. Bonegi I and II

For an underwater museum experience, dive into the waters at Bonegi I and II. These are two Japanese shipwrecks from World War II that now serve as popular dive sites. The marine life has transformed the wrecks into living museums, offering a hauntingly beautiful experience.

9. Betikama Adventist College Museum

The Betikama Adventist College Museum may be small, but it packs a punch with its collection of World War II artifacts. It’s run by the college students and offers a personal perspective on the war’s local history.

10. IBS Museum

Last but not least, the IBS Museum at the Institute of Business Studies is a hidden gem. It showcases a variety of artifacts from the Solomon Islands’ history, including post-colonial memorabilia. It’s a small but insightful addition to Honiara’s museum landscape.


  • What are the opening hours for the Solomon Islands National Museum?

    It’s open from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays, but it’s always a good idea to check ahead for any changes.

  • Is there an entrance fee for the museums in Honiara?

    Some museums may have a small entrance fee, while others are by donation. It’s best to carry some local currency just in case.

  • Are the museums in Honiara suitable for children?

    Absolutely! Many of the museums offer interactive exhibits and are a great way for kids to learn about history and culture.


In Honiara, the past is always present, and its museums are the keepers of stories that span from ancient traditions to modern-day triumphs. Each museum offers a unique perspective, whether it’s through the Lens of war, politics, or natural beauty. They’re not just places to observe but spaces to engage and understand the resilient spirit of the Solomon Islands. So, if you’re planning a trip to this corner of the Pacific, make sure to carve out time for these top 10 museums – they’re the heartbeats of Honiara’s history.

For those seeking to explore the rich cultural tapestry and historical depth of Honiara, these museums offer an unparalleled journey through time. They stand as a testament to the island’s resilience and its people’s enduring spirit. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture vulture, or simply looking to enrich your travel experience, Honiara’s museums are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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