Bavarian State Museum of Ethnology

Bavarian State Museum of Ethnology is Germany’s 2nd largest ethnological museum, with a collection of 150,000+ objects from world’s cultures.

The ‘Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde‘ (in German) collection is exhibited at a space of over 4,500 m2 (48,400 sq.ft)…

…with only Berlin’s ethnological museum being more extensive in its scope.

Collections at the museum include art and other objects from major world cultures, including rare objects from cultures of:

  • Africa,
  • Americas,
  • South and Eastern Asia, and
  • Oseania.

The museum opened its doors to the public in 1868, with first items provided by the Bavarian ruling dynasty, Wittelsbachs.

Bavarian State Museum of Ethnology Munich Germany

PHOTO: Museum entrance at Maximilianstrasse 42, not too far from the monumental Maximilianeum building.

Since the first objects donated by the Wittelbachs, the museum collection has grown to over 150,000 objects…

…exhibited on two levels one for temporary, themed exhibitions (such as “Culture of Oseania”), and another level for permanent collections.

Individual collection highlights include…

  • world’s oldest American Indian kayak,
  • Chinese rooms (with a massive statue of Buddha), and
  • a collection of African art.

Each year, the museum incorporates one to two special themes within the temporary exhibitions, such as “Mazu – Chinese Goddess of the Sea“.

Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde

Address: Maximilianstrasse 42, 80538 Munich, Germany
Official website:

The museum building is also an event space for meetings and conferences, with the main event space being the upper level, 200 guest conference hall.

The conference hall also includes a spacious stage, used for musical and dance performances.

After you have toured the museum, you can relax at the museum cafe (snacks and drinks), and purchase gift items and souvenirs from the museum shop.