Museums provide direct learning experiences. In museums visitors can encounter objects and exhibits from specific times and places, related to concepts and disciplinary subjects in the arts, history, science, and social sciences. A museum is an educational fair. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s recent primary school General Studies curriculum guide recommends learning through museums as an informal learning pathway for all students. This project is an up-to-date exploratory study of why and how Hong Kong primary school teachers and students visit museums educationally and how they perceive those visits and the accompanying learning experiences. A survey study from a sample of five local primary schools, 90 teachers and 415 senior form students, shows that although teachers and students may not visit museums very frequently for academic purposes, they do have a strong interest and motivation to visit more often, attracted by different elements. Students’ learning and interaction with technology, adults and peers, and the museum environment during a visit, as well as the attractiveness of museum content, tend to correlate with their motivations. This has a range of implications which we discuss. This study will be useful for museum experts, educators and the wider public to map meaningful museum education journeys for students. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). All Rights Reserved.