National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, Chisinau

National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History, Chisinau (must see)

Founded in October 1889, the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History is the oldest museum in the country. It was originally established as a museum of agriculture but then expanded to embrace the study of Bessarabian culture. Today, the museum represents an important scientific and cultural institution with much international acclaim.

The museum moved to its current location after its completion in 1905. Architect Vladimir Tsyganko adorned the building with a signature frontal façade consisting of a triangular pediment supported by two Doric columns. The rest of the building, with its partially-stone partially-plastered walls, has a semi-basement appearance.

The interior is split into two main sections — one, exhibiting Moldova's flora and fauna and its transformation over the years, and the other, featuring Moldovan people and their traditions, allowing visitors to trace the evolution of Moldovan ethnicity. The collection includes paleontological, ethnographic and archaeological finds. There is a small fee charged at the entrance. After visiting the museum, one may also want to take a quick stroll in the oldest in Moldova botanical garden nearby.

Why You Should Visit:
The first museum to be entered by first-timers in Moldova, housed in a beautiful building that looks like a Mauritanian castle.
There are several temporary and permanent exhibitions, which show both art and popular traditions, to keep you occupied for the whole day.
You'll also find some strange specimens, taxidermied or jarred in Soviet-style, as well as excellent dioramas/recreations of dinosaurs and other animals.

Tip:
Don't miss the small botanical garden-slash-zoo with various reptiles and birds from all over the world (e.g., peacocks, emus).
If lucky, you can get someone to give you an English tour (not always available, though).

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Chisinau. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History on Map

Sight Name: National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History
Sight Location: Chisinau, Moldova (See walking tours in Chisinau)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery

Walking Tours in Chisinau, Moldova

Create Your Own Walk in Chisinau

Create Your Own Walk in Chisinau

Creating your own self-guided walk in Chisinau is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Chisinau Introduction Walking Tour

Chisinau Introduction Walking Tour

Chisinau is the capital of Moldova, a small nation in Eastern Europe landlocked between Romania and Ukraine. For many years this land had been part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union, until it finally gained independence in 1991. For this reason the city is also often referred to as Kishinev, which is the Russian version of the name.

While the true origin of the name is unclear,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Chisinau Historical Sites

Chisinau Historical Sites

Although the history of Chisinau accounts for just over 500 years, whilst that of Moldova, as a nation, even less than that – since 1991, Moldovan culture and language are deeply rooted in the ancient Roman tradition. Just as the Eternal City, Chisinau rests on seven hills – in the valley of the River Bic, and has a replica statue of the Capitoline Wolf in the downtown area. Whereas most of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Stefan cel Mare Blvd Walk

Stefan cel Mare Blvd Walk

Stefan cel Mare Boulevard is one of the most prominent streets of the Moldovan capital. The 3.8-km thoroughfare is lined with numerous buildings of social and political importance, cultural institutions and shops.

Historically, it is believed to have stemmed from the road that led into the city from the Russian military camp stationed to the west of Chisinau in 1789. Long before the city plan...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Bernardazzi Architecture Walking Tour

Bernardazzi Architecture Walking Tour

Talented people are often able to leave their mark in the hearts of the posterity long after they are gone. Centuries fly but the power of the beauty persists, especially if set in the stones of the buildings designed by distinguished architects. Moldova's capital is blessed in this respect as the place associated with Alexander Bernardazzi, a Russian architect of Swiss-Italian descent who...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Best Wine and Brandy Shops

Best Wine and Brandy Shops

Given the lack of stunning scenery – no turquoise waters or snow-clad mountains – Moldova is a country not overrun by tourists. Still, those who come here, usually do so to taste the local wines and brandies – Moldova is a seasoned grape and spirit producer. The locals are very lovable and hospitable people, genuinely ready to delight strangers with their internationally-renowned booze. Here...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Chisinau Shopping Guide: 20 Moldovan Products to Take Home

Chisinau Shopping Guide: 20 Moldovan Products to Take Home

Once part of the Soviet Union, now independent Moldova is a small country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, of which still very little is known. To mend this, the country has recently opened borders to the outside world. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity and acquaint yourself with...