Tai Kwun

Top choice in Hong Kong

The long-awaited reinvention of Hong Kong's Central Police Station as a heritage and arts complex was completed in May 2018. It's impressive and vast, with two courtyards and more than a dozen blocks that were formally dormitories, an armoury, prison cells and Hong Kong's central magistracy. Visits should start in the Barrack Block, where a gallery explores the site's history. Other highlights include the Life in Victorian Prison exhibition in Block 12 and the JC Contemporary art gallery fronting the upper Prison Yard.

The heritage buildings were added from 1842 right up until the early 20th century, and the Barrack Block and Police Headquarters Block are interesting examples of colonial architecture, mixing neoclassical European elements with Chinese design influence. The complex became a declared monument in 1995.

It is well worth booking lunch at the Old Bailey restaurant inside JC Contemporary, or staying for a drink at Behind Bars, which has been fashioned out of old prison cells in E-Hall (Block 15).

Book a Tai Kwun Pass online to gain entry.

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