Vietnam Museum of Ethnology – Photos and Travel Guide

by Ly Hoang

The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi is an enticing destination for those keen on exploring the diverse cultures and histories of Vietnamese ethnic groups. Located at 1 Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, this museum showcases unique artifacts including traditional costumes, working tools, and folk art. The well-designed exhibition rooms provide visitors with a deep insight into the lives and cultures of various ethnic communities.

Additionally, the museum regularly organizes temporary exhibitions and educational events, offering opportunities for visitors to gain a better understanding of the diversity and richness of ethnic cultures. Lastly, the museum’s gift shop features distinctive handmade products, enhancing the overall experience and making the visit memorable.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology Hanoi- Outside
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology Hanoi- Outside

Address of The Museum of Ethnology

The address of The Museum of Ethnology is: No 1 Nguyễn Văn Huyên str, Quan Hoa, Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội, Vietnam (Open in Google Maps)

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a large outdoor museum that showcases the diverse cultures of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. The museum has a variety of exhibits, including traditional houses, clothing, tools, and handicrafts. There is also a large outdoor garden with examples of traditional stilt houses from different regions of Vietnam.

Some ways to get to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology:

  • By Taxi/Grab: The most convenient way is to take a taxi or use the Grab app (ride-hailing service) directly to the museum. Simply input the museum’s address into the app, and it will guide the driver to the destination.
  • By Bus: Check with your accommodation or at a local bus station for the most suitable bus route to the museum. Bus options and routes may vary, so it’s advisable to confirm the information locally.
  • By Motorbike: If you’re comfortable riding a motorbike, you can rent one and navigate through the city to reach the museum. Make sure to have a map or GPS for guidance.
  • By Bicycle: Hanoi is becoming more bicycle-friendly. If you enjoy cycling, consider renting a bicycle and pedaling your way to the museum. Be mindful of traffic, and follow local road rules.

Opening hours

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology welcomes visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, offering a captivating exploration of the country’s diverse ethnic cultures. The opening hours are from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, providing ample time for an enriching experience.

*Notably, the museum observes a closure on Mondays.

Entrance fee

For those planning a visit, the entrance fees are reasonably priced. Admission costs 40,000 VND for adults, 20,000 VND for students, and children under 6 years old can enter for free, making it a family-friendly destination.

Some facts about The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi

  • Established in 1995, the museum has solidified its reputation as one of the most popular cultural institutions in Hanoi. Boasting an extensive collection, it houses over 23,000 artifacts that showcase the rich tapestry of Vietnam’s ethnic heritage. The exhibits range from traditional costumes and working tools to intricate folk art, offering a comprehensive insight into the daily lives and customs of various ethnic groups.
  • Beyond its static exhibits, the museum serves as a dynamic cultural hub. Throughout the year, it hosts a myriad of cultural events. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy traditional music and dance performances, providing a living experience of Vietnam’s diverse cultural expressions. Additionally, the museum arranges demonstrations of traditional crafts, allowing guests to witness the craftsmanship and skills passed down through generations.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology not only opens its doors to a wealth of cultural artifacts but also invites visitors to immerse themselves in the living traditions and vibrant heritage of Vietnam’s diverse ethnic communities. Whether you are an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a family looking for an educational outing, this museum offers a multifaceted and enriching experience.

The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi- outside the museum

The history of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology:

The Seeds of an Idea (1950s-1980s)

The idea for the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology first emerged in the 1950s, following Vietnam’s independence from French colonial rule. Recognizing the rich cultural diversity of the nation’s 54 ethnic groups, Vietnamese scholars and officials began advocating for a dedicated space to preserve and showcase their unique traditions. However, due to the political and economic turmoil of the period, including the Vietnam War, the project remained largely unrealized for several decades.

Taking Shape (1980s-1990s)

In the 1980s, with Vietnam’s doi moi reforms ushering in a period of economic and social change, renewed interest in cultural preservation led to a more concrete push for the museum. In 1987, the Vietnamese government officially approved the proposal, and construction began on a plot of land in Hanoi’s Cầu Giấy district.

The museum’s design, conceived by renowned Vietnamese architect Ha Do, aimed to embody the spirit of Vietnam’s diverse cultures. He incorporated traditional architectural elements from various ethnic groups, resulting in a visually striking and culturally significant structure.

Opening Doors and Beyond (1997-Present)

On November 12, 1997, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology officially opened its doors to the public, marking a significant milestone in Vietnam’s cultural landscape. Since then, the museum has grown into a leading institution for research, education, and cultural exchange. It houses a vast collection of over 23,000 artifacts representing the diverse material cultures of Vietnam’s ethnic groups.

The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi- Some Ethenic  model houses

What you should do at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Explore the Exhibits

  • Permanent Exhibition: Immerse yourself in the diverse cultures of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups through the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and videos. Learn about their traditional ways of life, clothing, tools, rituals, and beliefs.
  • Outdoor Exhibition: Wander around the beautifully landscaped gardens and marvel at the full-scale replicas of traditional houses from different regions of Vietnam. Each house offers a glimpse into the unique architectural styles and living spaces of various ethnic groups.
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi

Engage in Cultural Activities

  • Traditional Performances: Catch live performances of music, dance, and other cultural demonstrations throughout the week. Experience the vibrant expressions of different ethnic groups through these captivating shows.
  • Workshops and Demonstrations: Participate in hands-on workshops on traditional crafts like weaving, embroidery, and wood carving. Learn about the skills and techniques used by artisans from various ethnic communities.
  • Lectures and Talks: Attend informative lectures and talks delivered by experts on Vietnamese culture, history, and specific ethnic groups. Gain deeper insights and knowledge about the diverse tapestry of Vietnam.
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi- Some customes and artifacts at the museum
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi- traditional performance
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi- You can try to make Aircraft

Enjoy Family-Friendly Activities

  • Children’s Play Area: Let your kids loose in the dedicated play area featuring traditional games and activities from different ethnic groups. It’s a fun and educational way for children to engage with Vietnamese culture.
  • Guided Tours: Opt for a guided tour led by knowledgeable museum staff who can provide in-depth explanations of the exhibits and answer your questions. This is a great way to maximize your understanding and appreciation of the museum’s collection.
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi playground
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi playground

Browse the Museum Shop

Pick up souvenirs like handicrafts, books, and postcards related to Vietnamese culture and the museum’s collection.

Enjoy Lunch or Snacks

Relax and refuel at the museum’s cafeteria or outdoor cafe, offering a variety of Vietnamese and Western dishes.

The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi
The Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi

Some tips for you

  • Check the museum’s website or schedule for specific days and times of cultural events, workshops, and performances.
  • Plan your visit based on your interests and available time. The museum offers something for everyone, from casual visitors to cultural enthusiasts.
  • Engage with the exhibits and activities with an open mind and curiosity. Learn and appreciate the rich cultural diversity of Vietnam’s different ethnic groups.

Famous destinations near the museum

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is strategically located in Hanoi, making it a gateway to explore some of the city’s most renowned and culturally significant destinations. In close proximity to the museum, visitors can delve into the rich historical and architectural heritage of Hanoi.

  • Temple of Literature (2.51 miles away) A revered complex that served as Vietnam’s first national university. This iconic site exudes tranquility with its picturesque courtyards, ancient architecture, and statues commemorating Vietnam’s scholars.
  • Hoa Lo Prison Museum (3.26 miles away) Stands as a stark reminder of Vietnam’s complex history. Known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War, this museum offers a poignant glimpse into the struggles and resilience of those who were incarcerated here.
  • Hoan Kiem Lake (3.55 miles away) Surrounded by historical legends and beautiful landscapes, this lake is a central point for both locals and tourists. The Ngoc Son Temple, situated on an islet in the lake, adds a touch of mystique to the surroundings.
  • National Museum of Vietnamese History (4.06 miles away) just 4.06 miles away, provides a comprehensive exploration of the nation’s historical evolution. The museum houses artifacts spanning from prehistoric times to the modern era.
  • Bach Ma Temple (3.4 miles away) stands as one of the oldest in Hanoi, dating back to the 9th century. Nestled in the heart of the Old Quarter, this temple is a testament to the city’s enduring cultural and spiritual legacy.


Ly Hoang

Written by Ly Hoang