Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: A Cultural Rendezvous in Hanoi

Being the cultural hub of Vietnam, the capital city of Hanoi is home to numerous museums that provide tourists with a comprehensive insight into its historical and cultural heritage. When visiting Hanoi, travelers should not miss the opportunity to explore the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases not only the diverse cultural aspects of Vietnamese ethnic groups but also those of various ethnic communities around the world. With various engaging activities organized on special occasions, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is an unmissable destination for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Hanoi.

Essential Information for Tourists

Location of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is located at No. 1 Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Nghia Do Ward, in the Cau Giay District of Hanoi City. Tourists can easily find the museum since it is situated in the center of the Cau Giay District.

Opening Hours, Fees, and Services

Opening hours: Visitors are warmly welcomed at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology during the operating hour from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Please note that the museum is only open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Entrance fees: The ticket price is 40,000 VND per person.

Photography fees: If you wish to take photos inside the museum, there is a fee of 50,000 VND charged per compact camera and 500,000 VND per professional camera.

Tour guide: Visitors can rent the tour guide service here to have a more comprehensive understanding.

  • Vietnamese indoor tour guide: 50,000 VND
  • Vietnamese outdoor tour guide: 50,000 VND
  • Vietnamese tour guide for all exhibitions: 100,000 VND
  • French/English indoor tour guide: 100,000 VND


  • Weapons and substances that are flammable, explosive, or causing smoke are banned.
  • Put luggage in prescribed places.
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the museum.
  • No smoking.
  • No pets are allowed to bring into the museum.

You can check out the museum’s official website by clicking here to get further information.

History of Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology inside

Inside View of Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology serves various important roles, including collecting, preserving, conducting research, and restoring objects and materials of ethnic people. It is also used to organize exhibitions, performances, and other activities to demonstrate the cultures of ethnic communities in Vietnam and around the world.

The establishment of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology began in the 1980s when the country’s socio-economic conditions were still challenging in the post-war period. On October 24, 1995, the Prime Minister decided to establish the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

On November 12, 1997, during the summit of French-speaking nations in Hanoi, the museum was inaugurated by Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh and President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac. This momentous occasion marked the museum’s formal opening, solidifying its significance as a cultural institution in Vietnam.

Main Highlights of Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Bronze Drum Building – The Vietnamese Exhibition

The Bronze Building (also known as Trong Dong Building in Vietnamese) is one of two exhibition buildings of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. This building was designed based on the Dong Son bronze drum, by the architect Ha Duc Thinh.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Bronze Drum Building

The permanent exhibition space in this building is used to introduce the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam, spread over two floors. The content of the tour is arranged logically and reasonably. On the first floor, tourists will get an overview of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam through pictures and explanations. Next, you will go into detail about specific ethnic groups such as Kinh, Muong, etc. Several ethnic groups are displayed on the second floor of the building.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology 2

Bronze Drum Building Exhibition

Tourists can visit and learn under a scientific arrangement across the country. Ethnic groups in the North are displayed right from the stairs. Those from the Central and Central Highlands are located on the second floor. Ethnic groups from the South are positioned right before going down to the first floor.

In addition, there is also a temporary exhibition space on the first floor. Substances displayed here are always renewed according to the exhibition theme.

Kite Building – The World Exhibition

The Kite Building (also known as Canh Dieu Building in Vietnamese) was built in June 2007 and officially established in 2013. This building was designed by a group of architects from Hanoi University of Civil Engineering and was built with a kite shape since the kite is a typical cultural trait of South East Asia.

In this building, you can find the exhibition space for ethnic groups in the South East Asian area and other regions around the world. The permanent exhibition in this building contains four main themes: “South East Asian Culture”, “Indonesian Glass Paintings”, “A Glimpse into Asia”, and “Around the World”. Additionally, the Kite Building also has temporary exhibition space, auditoriums, cinema rooms, and other spaces for educational activities.

Kite Building Exhibition

Kite Building Exhibition

Architectural Garden

The Architectural Garden is an outdoor exhibition, which was built between 1998 and 2006. This space illustrates 10 unique folk architectural constructions of ethnic groups in Vietnam, providing visitors with a comprehensive view of the Vietnamese lifestyle at different places.

Architectural Garden

Architectural Garden

The Architectural Garden is covered with various kinds of green trees and artificial streams, which help you feel more comfortable, especially during summer.

Getting to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Taxi/Grab/Private Car

Traveling to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology by Taxi or ride-hailing apps like Grab and Be is the easiest way. You just need to show the address “No.1 Nguyen Van Huyen”, and the driver will take you there in a moment.

However, if you enjoy a more comfortable transportation option, you can consider renting a car with a private driver to send and pick you up at every place you wish to. A private car would provide you with the convenience of having a driver for yourself. Many drivers are fluent in English and can give you helpful advice on where to go or what to experience. If you are interested in this option and want more information, feel free to contact us.

Public Bus

Traveling by bus is also a choice to get to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology if you want to experience public transportation in Vietnam. There is a bus stop right in front of the entrance of the museum. Buses number 07 and 38 are the two that would pass by the museum. You can check which bus is most convenient for you to get to the destination.

Bus in Hanoi

Bus in Hanoi


The streets around the Ethnology Museum are pretty wide and clear. Moreover, right in front of the museum is a pedestrian bridge. Although the streets in Hanoi are quite complicated, the area around the museum is safe and suitable for walking. If you find your accommodation near the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, you can take a walk there and enjoy the atmosphere in Hanoi.

The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology will definitely provide you with a memorable experience and interesting knowledge about the cultures in not only Vietnam but also in several different countries in the world. Coming to Hanoi, apart from visiting famous museums, you can check out our Hanoi city tours to get a chance to stop by other typical attractions or enjoy Hanoi’s delicious dishes and specialties.

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Phuong Khanh

Hello, my name is Khanh, I'm a travel blogger at IDC Travel. After my adventures and what I've learned on my trips and from my research, I will help you with planning your trip to Vietnam & Southeast Asia and make your journey remarkable.

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