In the heart of Central on Hong Kong Island lies the former the Central Police Station, Tai Kwun which means “big station” in colloquial Cantonese. It has been revamped as Hong Kong’s ultimate hot spot for arts, culture and historical appreciation.
The stunning colonial-era building comprises of 16 historic buildings and three declared monuments (Central Police Station, Central Magistracy and Victoria Prison). It’s the perfect spot to explore performing and contemporary arts, or to learn more about the history of the local community.
With over 170 years of history, Tai Kwun is Hong Kong’s largest restoration project to date and holds plenty of stories for a great day out! We uncover exactly what’s on offer.
Immerse yourself in its rich heritage by strolling through the passages and corridors of eight beautifully designed spaces. Learn its heritage via artefacts along with tales of legendary ex-officers and prisoners. For a deeper insight, take a tour with one of the guides. Conversely, explore the centre on your own with a self-guided walk using the audio guides on the Tai Kwun app.
Art enthusiasts visiting Tai Kwun can take their time at JC Contemporary. It is one of two new buildings designed by Swiss architecture firm, Herzog and de Meuron.
Inside, you will find a non-profit art centre hosting contemporary art exhibitions and programmes. They work alongside other institutions and art groups to present six to eight exhibitions every year. These exhibitions showcase some of the best local and international art thus affirming the city’s thriving art scene. Additionally, if you stroll through the Central Police Station compound you will discover numerous public art works specially commissioned by Tai Kwun Contemporary.
To spark artistic inspiration, look out for special events including talks with artists, workshops and special guided tours.
There are several unique performance spaces within the transformed historic site. These include JC Cube, the Laundry Steps, the Prison Yard and the Parade Ground. These all come to life with theatre, music, dance and film events.
Tai Kwun’s performing arts programme provides local talent with a stage and opportunities to collaborate as well as helping with exposure. It is also a great place to cultivate appreciation. They encourage guests to escape the office or home for a few hours to immerse themselves into the arts.
Regular programmes include the Lunchtime Series (every Monday and Wednesday 12:45pm and 1:45pm), Saturday Music Platform (first Saturday of every month at 3:00pm) and Sunday Movie Series (every Sunday at 11:00am and 3:00pm) alongside special weekend programmes.
Last but not least, Tai Kwun also offers training for local artists with a special session coming up in April.
Shopping and Dining
After a day of soaking in a wealth of art and history, choose from the extensive list of restaurants ready for every craving. Go for local delicacies and beautiful teas at LockCha Tea House or authentic Parisian cuisine at Café Claudel. There’s something for every visitor here.
If you’ve got a hankering for a tipple, there are many bars to chose from. Head to The Dispensary on the first floor of the historic Police Headquarters Block for British and also Chinese-inspired cocktails. For drinks with a view, The Bar at Armoury is a beautiful all-day terrace overlooking Tai Kwun’s open-air Parade Ground.
Alongside a fantastic selection of food and beverage outlets, there are also plenty of shops! From designer apparel to gifts inspired by art and local culture, Tai Kwun has everything you need to make a unique statement.
Tai Kwun 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.taikwun.hk/en