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Museum of Anthropology

Perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean, this impressive museum is dedicated to understanding global cultures.

The Museum of Anthropology, located on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver houses one of the most extensive collections of anthropological items in the world. Walk among a forest of totem poles, wood carvings, and one-of-a kind artifacts to get an understanding of the creative ingenuity of cultures from all over the world. There are more than 500,000 artifacts in all. 

The museum’s focus is global, with objects from Africa, Indonesia, Oceania, China and India. You’ll also find great exhibits celebrating the varied cultural past of British Columbia. Exhibits commemorating the region’s indigenous people include vast collections of art and artifacts from the First Nations of Coastal British Columbia. Ritual masks, elaborately decorated canoes, beautifully carved figures, and jewelry are on show.

Other highlights include two reconstructed Haida houses. The Haida are an indigenous nation of the Pacific Northwest Coast. The traditional buildings were focal points of Haida social, economic, and political life.

Don’t miss the museum’s massive carved wooden doors and Haida artist Bill Reid's magnificent masterpiece, The Raven and the First Men. This huge sculpture in yellow cedar depicts a Haida creation myth.

From its humble beginnings in 1947 when the University of British Columbia stored it’s collection of ethnographic artifacts in the basement of the main library, the museum has grown both in reputation and in physical size. The current museum was designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson and includes exhibition space, storage facilities, a resource library, and teaching laboratory. The soaring glass panels create a smooth transition from the interior space to outdoors and bathe many of the exhibits in natural light.

There’s a cafe for a light breakfast or lunch, and the gift shop features a good selection of original Northwest coast jewelry, masks, carvings, baskets and other crafts.

The Museum of Anthropology is a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, and parking is available. It’s also accessible by public transportation.


Guide to Exploring around Museum of Anthropology


Top Museum of Anthropology Flight + Hotel Deals

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Gage Residence at UBC CA $116
Gage Residence at UBC

Gage Residence at UBC

5959 Student Union Blvd, Vancouver, BC
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and University of British Columbia. Jericho Beach is 3 mi (4.9 km) away.

    Pacific Spirit Hostel
    Pacific Spirit Hostel

    Pacific Spirit Hostel

    1935 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated near the beach, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wreck Beach and University of British Columbia. Museum of Anthropology and Chan Centre for the Performing Arts are also within 10 minutes.

      Ponderosa Studios at UBC
      Ponderosa Studios at UBC

      Ponderosa Studios at UBC

      2075 West Mall, Vancouver, BC
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and University of British Columbia. Museum of Anthropology and Wreck Beach are also within 15 minutes.

        West Coast Suites at UBC CA $123
        West Coast Suites at UBC

        West Coast Suites at UBC

        5961 Student Union Blvd, Vancouver, BC
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Vancouver, this golf hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and University of British Columbia. Jericho Beach is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

          Comfortable 2bdr 2 BR Condo in UBC
          Comfortable 2bdr 2 BR Condo in UBC

          Comfortable 2bdr 2 BR Condo in UBC

          Wesbrook Mall 2280, Vancouver, BC
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the beach, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre and University of British Columbia. Jericho Beach is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) away.

            Comfortable 2bdr 2BR Condo in UBC
            Comfortable 2bdr 2BR Condo in UBC

            Comfortable 2bdr 2BR Condo in UBC

            2280 Wesbrook Mall, 417, Vancouver, BC
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the beach, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre and University of British Columbia. Jericho Beach is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) away.

              Luxury two bedroom apartment at UBC
              Luxury two bedroom apartment at UBC

              Luxury two bedroom apartment at UBC

              303-5928 Birney Ave, Vancouver, BC
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the beach, this apartment building is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre and within 3 miles (5 km) of University of British Columbia and Jericho Beach. Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and Museum of Anthropology are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                D12 - Luxury two bed two Bath at UBC
                D12 - Luxury two bed two Bath at UBC

                D12 - Luxury two bed two Bath at UBC

                3353 Ross Drive, Vancouver, BC
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Vancouver, this apartment building is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre and within 3 miles (5 km) of University of British Columbia and Jericho Beach. Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and Museum of Anthropology are also within 2 miles (3 km).