Nanaimo Museum
History Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Nanaimo Museum: Discover Nanaimo’s fascinating history in our museum located in the VI Conference Centre. The main gallery offers a sense of what life was like for Nanaimo's earliest settlers and the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Our award winning replica coal mine is a popular stop. The museum also manages the Bastion, an original Hudson's Bay Company post built in 1853. Don’t miss the gift shop! Museum Hours (Fall/Winter/Spring): 10am - 4pm Tuesday to Saturday Summer Hours: Open Tuesday - Sunday 10am-4pm See our website for up-to-date COVID-19 modifications to hours and admission!
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
192 reviews
Excellent
107
Very good
68
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Joy F
77 contributions
Aug. 2022
I loved this museum. While not rivaling the Louvre or Van Gogh museums, this is a real gem of a place.

It was a great introduction to the history of the area. The HBC played prominently in the history and development of the area, plus the mining industry - coal.

It's a "pay as you want" museum, although the posted prices were super cheap ($3 or so).

While a small museum, there are tons of artifacts, the descriptions are fantastic and the interactive experience is memorable.

The gift shop has a great assortment of items, many at very reasonable prices.

Parking nearby was also super cheap.

Would absolutely recommend this museum to anyone.
Written August 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DisneyDarwin
Spring, TX1,124 contributions
Jun. 2022
They ask very little to enter, so it is worthwhile to see what catches your interest. We enjoyed the logging and coal history and the very good history of Indian tribes & peoples over the years. The info on Chief Dan George was also very good.
Written June 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

drinkmilkCa
ca133 contributions
Apr. 2022
When I travel I like to learn about the local area I am in. This small but inviting museum is so well done, featuring history of industry, lifestyles, the good, the bad, and the ugly. All done in an appropriate and engaging manner. I really enjoyed it - and left with a good basic knowledge of the area. The staff was very friendly!
Written May 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nabeel M
8 contributions
Apr. 2022
I'm glad I checked the reviews on this place because the visit was well worth it. It's a small museum, true, but they do manage to have a lot of things to see and in a well organised way too. Also, what they do have is incredibly interesting and varied... and if you're lucky enough to get Chris, she will share the history of some of the artifacts with you - and believe me, this is fascinating stuff. Ask about the arrow heads and the games played by indigenous groups from the area. Also the small coal mine exhibit that is good fun - and the section on internment camps in WW1 might give a perspective on refugees and racism that is not normally seen - Europe vs Europe.

All in all totally worth.
Written April 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mahengrui1
Leiden, The Netherlands1 contribution
Aug. 2020
Industry in Nanaimo is very clear, employees are kind, and, Coal Mine simulation is great, hope those workers RIP
Written August 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

IrmaNova
Ottawa, Canada273 contributions
Feb. 2020 • Friends
I was sceptical but this small museum was well-curated and charming. This stop is a must while in Nanaimo for an overview of the city’s history (including a walk-through model of a coal mine) and a rotating exhibit. While we visited, the featured exhibit was on refugees, which was very well done. Local volunteers such as Les, will happily share knowledge and stories about Nanaimo to enrich your visit.
Written February 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Daisy M
56 contributions
Jan. 2020 • Friends
I titled this review a little gem because although 'little' the museum is an absolute gem. It is very interesting with friendly and knowledgeable staff and the exhibits are well presented and explained. A great place to take the teens, they might get inspired by the bathtub races! And the mine exhibit was a gem within the gem. Well worth the visit, very affordable and a relaxing experience.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ontheroad8899
United States230 contributions
Dec. 2019
Really interesting and detailed museum near the harbor area. The exhibits tell about the city and the people who have inhabited the area over the centuries. Nice staff and gift shop!
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

L G
26 contributions
Oct. 2019
The Nanaimo Museum is keen on bringing local history to light and to life for tour participants. I took the "Crime & Punishment" tour on the evening of October 25th. It was led by Steph who carried a lantern and provided a detailed and lively description of a number of the darker moments of Nanaimo's early history while walking our group to the scenes of the crimes...and the punishments. The windy evening added to the atmosphere. Steph has an incredible memory for the details / dates of the events. She offered opportunities for the the group to comment on the human side of these events and to understand the context of the day. I've been to the Museum many times and read some of this history, but now these episodes are imprinted in my memory. I will never look at downtown the same way!!!
Written October 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gjsamson
Alberta, Canada702 contributions
Oct. 2019
This museum was an unexpected find, tucked in the convention center. The museum gives an overview of Nanaimo. There are a lot of old photos along with what the city looks loke now. The museum gives the history of the coal industry that was mined in the area then how the forests industry have grown this city.
Written October 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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NANAIMO MUSEUM - 2022 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Nanaimo Museum

Nanaimo Museum is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Nanaimo Museum tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 2 Nanaimo Museum tours on Tripadvisor