Hanoi Museum of Ethnology – Best Places Of Hanoi Cultural Heritage

, 16/09/2023

Its vast ethnology collections' history, beauty, and fame make the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology an absolute must-visit while in Hanoi. This Museum preserves the unique and valuable culture of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups. If you're interested in Vietnam's culture, why not follow this blog to learn more about it?

A brief of Hanoi Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a place that can give you a general and straightforward overview of the history and culture of 54 ethnic groups living on the S-shaped land. The Museum is like a comprehensive picture, introducing customs, practices, community culture, and beliefs of ethnic groups in Vietnam. 

The Museum was built in 1981 with an initial area of 3,27 hectares. Later, the Museum was granted more than 1 hectare of construction land. At the end of 1995, the Prime Minister signed a decision to establish the Museum, and after more than 27 years, the three exhibition areas (Bronze Drum Building, Kite Wing Building, and Architectural Garden) were completed and became an indispensable destination for every tourist when they had the opportunity to visit the capital.


Where is the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology, and how to get there?

The Hanoi Museum of Ethnology is located at No.1 Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay district, Hanoi. The Museum is only about 8 km from the center of Hanoi's capital, so it is pretty easy for you to get around. You cannot miss this place on your journey exploring Hanoi city.

It's not difficult to get to the Hanoi Ethnology Museum, you have four choices below:

  • Bus: As you travel around Hanoi, you will find that the bus is the most efficient and affordable way of getting around the city. Locals and tourists highly recommend it as it connects to many attraction stops. To get there by bus, one of the suggested bus routes is No.07, No.12, No.142, No.38, No.39, No.45. 
  • Taxi: Hoping in a taxi is also an excellent way to get there as you want to avoid the rush hours on the bus. Or if you are seeking comfort and convenience, booking a taxi may be the best choice. Linh Corporation will be your best choice in Hanoi; the Mai Linh Hanoi hotline is (024)38 333 333 or (024) 39 725 888. Besides Mai Linh Corporation, you can book Grab, Be, or Xanh SM (Vietnam's first-ever pure electric taxi company).
  • Motorbike or Scooter: Hanoi has many picturesque streets, and the moderate weather is ideal for motorbike excursions. Why not rent a motorcycle and ride about the city on it while taking in the beautiful scenery? AZ Motorbikes ((+84) 984 916 785), Happy Zip Motorbikes ((+84) 924.715.678), or Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi ((+84) 386.518.481) are a few locations where you may hire one.
  • Renting a private car: If you prefer the flexibility, convenience, safety, privacy, or cleanliness of renting your private vehicle. Vietnam Trust Car Rentals is one of the greatest car rental businesses in Vietnam. It is always trying its best to improve transport services, including fundamental English-speaking drivers and a polite demeanor. Follow the link vietnamtrustcarrentals to have more helpful information. This is our WhatsApp: +84.934.189.301 you can call and book your own car immediately. 

Entrance fee and Time Opening

  • Entrance fee: 40.000 VND
  • Time Opening: from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm every day (This may change depending on the holidays of the year)

Visiting the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology, you can have a discount ticket if you're a student or elder. If you want to know more precisely about everything in the Museum, hiring a tour guide to help you explain every site is a beautiful idea. The interpretation fee for the indoor/outdoor Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Vietnamese is 50,000 VND and 100,000 VND in English and French. Hence, you can learn more about Vietnam Ethnic groups more interestingly. 


History of Hanoi Museum of Ethnology

Vietnam is well-known for being a multicultural country with 54 distinct ethnic groups. Each of them also has unique features, thus the government made the decision to construct the Museum to conserve the cultural values and heritages of various ethnic groups.


The Hanoi Museum of Ethnology belongs to the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and was opened officially in 1997. This Museum was designed by the architect Ha Duc Linh, a member of the Tày ethnic group in Vietnam, and a French female architect who designed the interior. Especially, Dong Son drum is the biggest inspiration for the exhibition building. 

Here is the time signature of the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology: 

  • Since the 80s of the twentieth century, the country was still quite tricky due to being in the post-war period, and the Museum was promoted to be built.
  • On October 24, 1995, the Prime Minister officially established the Museum.
  • On November 12, 1997, on the occasion of the Summit of Nations meeting in Hanoi, the Museum held an inauguration ceremony with the presence of President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac.

What to explore at the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology?

The Hanoi Museum of Ethnology is a place for you to study the culture and history of 54 Vietnam ethnic groups and other countries in Southeast Asia. With only a limited amount of time to catch the Hanoi Museum, we recommend you visit three main areas in the Hanoi Ethnology Museum.

The Museum is divided into 3 main areas: the Trong Dong Building, the Canh Dieu Building, and the Architectural Garden. Each Area exhibits the cultural beauty of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups and cultural regions in Southeast Asia. Let's see what we will look at in those three areas.

Trong Dong Building - Bronze Drum Building

Bronze Drum Building, or Trong Dong Building, is a place to preserve the cultural values of 54 ethnic groups in every Area, such as costumes, musical instruments, rituals, crafts, etc. This Area was opened in November 1997 and has a total Area of up to 2,000 square meters. Each group in the Trong Dong Building is divided into different areas, stretching from North to South. The layout of each place is also very meticulous and beautiful, including videos simulating the life and unique rituals of each ethnic group. 

Trong Dong Building exhibits more than 15,000 artifacts and more than 42,000 films and audio tapes, this Area is considered a vital exhibition area of the Museum. 


Canh Dieu Building - Kite Wing Building

Moving to the Canh Dieu Building, this place has a modern look and completely differs from the Trong Dong Building. Canh Dieu Building was built in June 2007 and established in 2013 with 500 square meters. This building is also known as the Southeast Asia exhibition area, which introduces the cultural beauty of many countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesian Glass Painting, a glimpse of Asia and around the world. 

The decoration of the Canh Dieu building must be called unique, it is filled with glass walls with many colors, creating a unique artistic space. 

Architectural Garden

Finally, there is the Architecture Garden, a place that simulates folk architectural works and the lifestyle of Vietnamese ethnic groups. This greenery area was built from 1998 to 2006 and is about 2 hectares wide. When visiting this outdoor Area, you can have a chance to learn about the original housing system of ethnic groups, including communal houses, tiled houses, etc. 


This place introduces 10 unique folk architectural works of 10 Vietnamese ethnic groups, such as the Cham house, Rong Bana House, Vietnamese House, Giarai tomb house, Co Tu tomb house, stilt house, Tay and Mong Bunggalows.

The Architectural garden is covered with many green trees and cool artificial streams. You will be surprised by the diversity and richness of Vietnamese culture. 


Interesting activities visitors can do at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnolog

Besides discovering the unique cultural beauties, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology also offers visitors many interesting, fun activities; let's see what they are.

  • Water Puppetry: A unique traditional folk culture of Vietnamese, the theme of water puppetry is related to stories in the daily lives and activities of ethnic groups. They are transformed and told with vivid and attractive eater puppet images. The ticket price is 90,000 VND for adults and 70,000 VND for children. In the morning the show will be free.
  • Quan Ho folk songs: Cultural exchange sessions of Quan Ho folk songs will be served and introduced to domestic and foreign tourists. You can also participate in these performances if you find this activity engaging. 
  • Folk games: visitors can join many folk games when they visit the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology, such as swaying back and forth games, throwing cotton ball games, and bridge walking,..those games will be held within the Museum's premises. 

Moreover, the Museum regularly organizes interesting events on special occasions such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, Lunar New Year, and International Children's Day... These events consistently attract a large number of visitors to participate and experience.


At the Museum, you can also learn about handicraft villages. This is an opportunity to admire the ingenuity and talent of artisans and craftsmen when weaving mats, brocade, bamboo, and rattan, making pottery, drilling gun barrels, making do paper, and making folk toys printed on Dong Ho paintings.


Tips when visiting the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology

To make your visit to the Ethnology Museum as smooth and complete as possible, you should follow these tips below:

  • The Museum is not too strict in clothing, but you should choose a polite, comfortable outfit with sneakers or sandals to help you avoid aching feet. 
  • Be careful when using fire, such as smoking. The exhibition area is closed, and the outside of the stilt houses and communal houses are mostly made of thatch and wood, which are very flammable.
  • An indispensable travel tip in your bag is a camera, a fully charged phone, a backup charger, and a dedicated photographer friend. You can also prepare in advance a traditional ethnic dress to take photos. 
  • Bracelets, necklaces, brocade bags,. You can stop to buy at the souvenir shop before leaving, and it will be a meaningful gift for friends. 
  • Put your belongings in the right place, and remember to bring money and high-value items.
  • Do not make noise, bring food or drinks, and maintain general hygiene.
  • Do not touch the exhibits on display.

Nearby Attractions

The Hanoi Museum of Ethnology is located in Cau Giay district, one of Hanoi's central areas. Thus there are many attractions you can visit. Let's see some typical tourist attractions you can take advantage of. 

Vietnam National Museum of Nature

The Vietnam Museum of Nature recreates the entire picture of Vietnam's nature, the life of plants and animals over 3,6 billion years. This is the ideal destination for those who love to explore nature and want to learn about the world. 

  • Location: 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Nghia Do district, Cau Giay, Hanoi, 1 km from the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology
  • Ticket price: Free
  • Time Opening: 08:30 to 11:30 and 13:30 to 16:30 from Thursday to Sunday

Hà Pagoda

Ha Pagoda is one of the famous fate-praying pagodas that everyone is interested in and comes here to burn incense and pray. For that reason, this place gradually becomes an attractive destination for tourists in Hanoi.

  • Location: Chua Ha Street, Dich Vong Ward, Cau Giay, 700m from the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology
  • Ticket price: 30,000 VND 
  • Time Opening: 8:00 to 18:00 every day

Thủ Lệ Park

Thu Le Park, also known as Hanoi Zoo, is attractive for its fresh air, zoo diversity, and many exciting games for children. It is also associated with history and culture. Why not visit here to see how beautiful the park is?

  • Location: Buoi Street, Thu Le Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, 1,6 km from the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology
  • Ticket Price: 30,000 VND
  • Time Opening: 6:00 to 18:00 every day

Besides the above nearby attractions around the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology, you can also visit other famous tourist attractions in Hanoi City, such as  Hoa Lo PrisonOne Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, or the Old Quater.

Nearby famous Restaurants and coffee shops

The road leads to the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology on Nguyen Van Huyen Street. There are many famous coffee shops and restaurants that you can refer to:

  • Truc Lam Coffee: Located on the campus of the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology with a traditional design, spacious and airy Area, diverse menu, and good service. It would be best if you didn't miss this coffee shop's bestseller drink, Coconut Matcha, whose price is 85,000 VND. 
  • Hue Restaurant: Located at Nguyen Van Huyen intersection. This restaurant is famous for its luxurious space with a Hue vibe and the dishes are so delicious, you can try Hue beef vermicelli, mussels with rice paper, Thac Lac fish ball vermicelli, or Hue sweet soup. The price of dishes is from 39,000 VND to 465,000 VND, so you don't have to worry. 
  • Pho Dinh 3: Located at 36 Dich Vong Hau, Cau Giay district. The standout dish at this renowned restaurant is probably beef pho, a specialty with great flavor. The pho broth is clear and fragrant with the smell of meat and bones. Why not try a bowl to satisfy your appetite? You have to grab 50,000 VND, and then you will have a delicious bowl of pho. 


Above is some practical and general information about the Hanoi Museum of Ethnology to help you have a smooth visit to the Museum. Once you visit here, it will give you more aspects of Vietnam's Ethnic Groups and see how diverse this country is. I hope you have a wonderful experience here. 

If you are still on your journey to explore Vietnam, why not read this blog to get more tips: Hanoi Tips travel 



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