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Hanoi Attractions

1. Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple
 
 

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island. The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty. Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.



2. Hanoi Old Quarters
 
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital lies in the North of the country and is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots. It offers French-colonial architecture, a rich food culture and a long history (the city celebrated its millennium in 2010.) The most well known and important districts in Hanoi are Ba Dinh District (aka the French Quarter) where the government offices are located and Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter) which is considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination. One of Hanoi’s most common sights is that of streets packed with scooters, bicycles and cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish. Then there are the many sidewalk vendors and people simply out for a stroll and the popular Old Quarter is no exception so walking around this district is distinct from a leisurely stroll in the park. Visitors have no choice but to face the traffic in the local style but the experience of exploring the historical area is a must-do and truly well worth it.



3. St. Joseph’s Cathedral
 
St Joseph's Cathedral, also known as Nhà Thờ Lớn, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Hanoi. It is located on Pho Nha Chung, or Nha Chung Street, a short distance from the Ho Hoan Kiem, the Lake of the Returned Sword.
St Joseph's Cathedral was known simply as the "Big Church" among the Vietnamese of Hanoi. It was consecrated on the night of Christmas in 1886. The stained glass windows inside the church are the originals dating from its establishment.
To erect the St Joseph's, the French demolished Bao Thien Pagoda, an ancient Vietnamese temple that was standing on the site. It was in fact quite an important pagoda that dates from the 12th century Ly Dynasty.
St Joseph's Cathedral was designed to resemble the Notre Dame of Paris. When the communists took over Hanoi, the Catholic faith suffered three decades of suppression which was only relaxed two decades ago. Mass only resumed at the St Joseph's Cathedral in 1990. Today people once again enjoy freedom of worship. This can be seen on Sundays, when St Joseph's becomes absolutely pack.
Visitors can easily find St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi, located at 40 Nhà Chung street, as it lies in the connecting corner of Nhà Chung and Nhà Thờ street.



For Outside visit: all time
For Inside visit: visitors can only enter the Cathedral in Hanoi in the opening time of ceremonial practice as the following schedule:
Weekday: 5:30 am and 6:15 pm
Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 5:00 am, 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Special ceremony is on 19th March every year.

4. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

 
The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theatre stems from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers would make entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water. Using large rods to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen.
This tradition is unique to North Vietnam but has recently found fame on stages all over the world; so it’s a rare treat to see the puppets perform in their original location at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Performances are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. There are also authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out by the puppets. Most of the shows recount Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics including the celebration of the rice harvest depicted in a humorous fashion.
Shows at this modern theatre are performed in a pool of water as the stage for the puppets. The puppets are controlled by no more than eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. The renowned Thang Long Water Puppet show is considered to be one of the cultural highlights of Northern Vietnam dating back to a tradition that first started in the Red River Delta. Today’s performances usually include a number of short sketches rather than one long story, taking the audience on a journey of ancient village life, agricultural harvests and dances of mythical creatures. Most shows also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le which tells the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise. The live music plays an integral part of the show with singers often shouting words of encouragement to the puppets.
Water Puppet Theatre Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi with tickets selling out well in advance so it’s worth booking yours as soon as you arrive in town. It is also advisable to pay more to get closer to the action as the theatre seats a few hundred people and the puppets are not that big. The theatre is modern and usually shows 17 short sketches within a one-hour performance. Aside from the general admission fee of VND 100,000, there's an additional camera or video fee if you wish to photograph or film the show. 

Opening Hours: Daily 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 & 20:00 
Address: 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 
Tel: +84 43 824 9494 
Price Range: VND 100,000.



5. Weekend Night Market
 
Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Hanoi Weekend Night Market is a busy, bustling gathering of roadside stalls and local food vendors that brings huge crowds of locals and tourists. It runs through the Old Quarter district from 19:00 onwards, starting from Hang Dao Street and running north to the edge of Dong Xuan Market. Pedestrian streets and historical sites within the area are illuminated with decorative lights, making this a popular spot for travelling photographers. Shopping-wise, the fashion items on sale won’t turn many head as you will find the usual array of inexpensive t-shirts, handicrafts, accessories, shoes, sunglasses and souvenirs at Hanoi Weekend Night Market. However, the overall environment is very lively and bargaining is a way of life here - a good start is to offer about 75 per cent off the opening price.
With prices starting at VND 15,000, visitors can also find plenty of iconic Hanoi dishes while strolling through the busy night market, including bun thang (rice vermicelli soup with shredded chicken, fried egg, and pork), La Vong grilled fish, pho (noodle soup with beef or chicken), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and bun cha (rice noodles served with grilled pork). Hanoi Weekend Night Market showcases cultural performances, where locals in traditional costumes play traditional Vietnamese music as well as classical tunes. As with all busy markets, be aware of your belongings and keep your wits about you as the throng of motorbikes and people can be intense.



Opening Hours: Friday 19:00 - Sunday 19:00 - 23:00 Address: Hang Dao Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi.

6. Dong Xuan Market

 
Established in 1889, Dong Xuan Market is housed within a four-storey Soviet-style building on the northern edge of Hanoi Old Quarter. It’s also known as Hanoi’s largest indoor market, offering a wide range of goods such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories and clothing, as well as electronic and household appliances. Similar to most markets in Southeast Asia, Dong Xuan Market has a bustling wet market section on the ground floor, where locals shop for seafood, meat, and vegetables while the back section sells an array of pets (cats, dogs, and fish) and fresh flowers from all across Vietnam. If you’re looking to shop for souvenirs, head to the upper levels, where you can find numerous stalls selling tee shirts, fabrics, school uniforms, handbags, handicrafts, all of which are sold at wholesale prices.
There’s also a massive dining area within Dong Xuan Market, with food vendors selling Vietnamese coffee and exotic local dishes for as low as VND 15,000. Highly recommended dishes include tiet canh (duck blood soup), fried frog, bun cha (marinated grilled pork served with noodles), and banh cuon (rolled cake).   Surrounding Dong Xuan Market are many more shops where you can purchase traditional Dong Ho drawings, Bat Trang ceramics, Binh Da embroideries and laces, and sand paintings. Within walking distance of Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market is a must-visit if you’re looking to experience the local lifestyle (you might even end up leaving with a pair of cheap sunglasses and a Vietnamese conical hat).



Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 - 19:00
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

7. Ta Hien Street

Ta Hien is a small street lying in famous Old Quarter of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake. The street just stretch 200 meters, but it is one of the most crowded streets in Old Quarter particularly and in Hanoi generally. Ta Hien has the most specific features of both old Hanoi and modern Hanoi. It is named “international crossroad”, drawing many foreign visitors and also Hanoi people.
On the small and crowded street of Ta Hien, you can find variety of best Hanoi street foods such as Nem chua, Vietnamese bread, noodles, sweet porridges,… Especially, in summer, Ta Hien is famous for beer.
Summer in Hanoi is quite hot and dam. And that is the reason why people choose cool beer as a preferable drinking. In the afternoon, hundreds foreign travelers and Vietnamese people gather in this small street and enjoy a cup of iced beer after a hard-working day. They just sit on a small-sized plastic chair, hold their beer mug, order some snack foods and chat with their friends. Other foreigners would like to sit in corner of the street and watch the daily life as well as the very charming clutter of Hanoi.
There are lots kinds of beer for you to choose, including draught beer, bottled beer, cask ale or black beer. Vietnamese beer is reviewed sweet and pretty slight, so you can take more than 5 mugs without getting drunk. The snack foods to serve with the beer are also diverse, from traditional ones such as nem Phung, fried nem, nem, boiled peanut to Western ones such as fried chip, cheese stick,… The prices are generally cheap.
The common thing among beer restaurant in Ta Hien is its simple and street style. Everything is on street sides with plastic chairs used for both seat and table. The customers can order a mug of beer and sit for hours without being interrupted. The comfortable and friendly atmosphere as well as great beers and foods are the main reasons for the attraction of Ta Hien Street.
The hotter the weather is, the more people come to Ta Hien. Sometimes in weekends, there is no empty seat. The street starts getting crowded after 5pm, when the sun is about to come down and the street is getting cooler.
Ta Hien Street is more and more drawing thousands backpackers from everywhere around the world. It is an unforgettable memory when you stop here to have some beer after long day of exploring the Old Quarter.



8. Hanoi Opera House



The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 by the then ruling French. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. Musicians, actors and dancers play to a 600-strong audience delivering powerful operatic and classical performances, making it a very popular theatrical attraction. The Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theatre in Vietnam and speaks volumes as historical and cultural evidence of Vietnam under French rule. The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House. Visitors today will be entertained at this architectural landmark which features a range of events including local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballets and many international concerts.
Following the end of the August Revolution in 1945, The Hanoi Opera House reverted from entertaining the French elite to becoming the centre of major historical events including the first session of the National Assembly of the Republic. The Hanoi building went into a state of decline prior to being renovated and brought up to date in 1997 which included the installation of state-of-the-art equipment and the renewal of some of the interior decorations. These improvements returned the opera house to its former glory which now sees international artists including violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Wolfgang Glemser take to the stage in addition to home-grown talent. Vietnamese entertainers perform songs, classical music, dance, drama and contemporary performances from superstars such as singer My Linh. The Hanoi Opera House offers a superb setting in which to see any live show. The stage is three metres high and there are three storeys in total so a wonderful experience is guaranteed regardless of your seating arrangements.
The Hanoi Opera House is located near Hoan Kiem Lake on August Revolution Square. There are superb views of the opera house at the Hilton Opera House hotel which is very close by. You will need to purchase tickets to see the inside of the opera house although there are usually a host of concerts to choose from including drama, ballet and symphonies in addition to opera. The Hanoi Opera House is also the first choice for international meetings and conferences so check online when you are visiting to ensure a performance is scheduled. 
1. Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple
 
 

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island. The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty. Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.



2. Hanoi Old Quarters
 
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital lies in the North of the country and is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots. It offers French-colonial architecture, a rich food culture and a long history (the city celebrated its millennium in 2010.) The most well known and important districts in Hanoi are Ba Dinh District (aka the French Quarter) where the government offices are located and Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter) which is considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination. One of Hanoi’s most common sights is that of streets packed with scooters, bicycles and cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish. Then there are the many sidewalk vendors and people simply out for a stroll and the popular Old Quarter is no exception so walking around this district is distinct from a leisurely stroll in the park. Visitors have no choice but to face the traffic in the local style but the experience of exploring the historical area is a must-do and truly well worth it.



3. St. Joseph’s Cathedral
 
St Joseph's Cathedral, also known as Nhà Thờ Lớn, is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Hanoi. It is located on Pho Nha Chung, or Nha Chung Street, a short distance from the Ho Hoan Kiem, the Lake of the Returned Sword.
St Joseph's Cathedral was known simply as the "Big Church" among the Vietnamese of Hanoi. It was consecrated on the night of Christmas in 1886. The stained glass windows inside the church are the originals dating from its establishment.
To erect the St Joseph's, the French demolished Bao Thien Pagoda, an ancient Vietnamese temple that was standing on the site. It was in fact quite an important pagoda that dates from the 12th century Ly Dynasty.
St Joseph's Cathedral was designed to resemble the Notre Dame of Paris. When the communists took over Hanoi, the Catholic faith suffered three decades of suppression which was only relaxed two decades ago. Mass only resumed at the St Joseph's Cathedral in 1990. Today people once again enjoy freedom of worship. This can be seen on Sundays, when St Joseph's becomes absolutely pack.
Visitors can easily find St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi, located at 40 Nhà Chung street, as it lies in the connecting corner of Nhà Chung and Nhà Thờ street.



For Outside visit: all time
For Inside visit: visitors can only enter the Cathedral in Hanoi in the opening time of ceremonial practice as the following schedule:
Weekday: 5:30 am and 6:15 pm
Saturday: 6:00 pm
Sunday: 5:00 am, 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Special ceremony is on 19th March every year.

4. Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

 
The world-famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi has its roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theatre stems from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded and villagers would make entertainment by standing in the waist-deep water with the puppets performing over the water. Using large rods to support the puppets it appeared as if they were moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen.
This tradition is unique to North Vietnam but has recently found fame on stages all over the world; so it’s a rare treat to see the puppets perform in their original location at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre. Performances are accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music using drums, wooden bells, horns, bamboo flutes and cymbals. There are also authentic Vietnamese operatic songs telling the story that is being acted out by the puppets. Most of the shows recount Vietnamese folk tales and legends with topics including the celebration of the rice harvest depicted in a humorous fashion.
Shows at this modern theatre are performed in a pool of water as the stage for the puppets. The puppets are controlled by no more than eight puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. The renowned Thang Long Water Puppet show is considered to be one of the cultural highlights of Northern Vietnam dating back to a tradition that first started in the Red River Delta. Today’s performances usually include a number of short sketches rather than one long story, taking the audience on a journey of ancient village life, agricultural harvests and dances of mythical creatures. Most shows also feature the famous Legend of the Restored Sword of King Le which tells the tale of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise. The live music plays an integral part of the show with singers often shouting words of encouragement to the puppets.
Water Puppet Theatre Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hanoi with tickets selling out well in advance so it’s worth booking yours as soon as you arrive in town. It is also advisable to pay more to get closer to the action as the theatre seats a few hundred people and the puppets are not that big. The theatre is modern and usually shows 17 short sketches within a one-hour performance. Aside from the general admission fee of VND 100,000, there's an additional camera or video fee if you wish to photograph or film the show. 

Opening Hours: Daily 15:00, 16:10, 17:20, 18:30 & 20:00 
Address: 57B, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 
Tel: +84 43 824 9494 
Price Range: VND 100,000.



5. Weekend Night Market
 
Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Hanoi Weekend Night Market is a busy, bustling gathering of roadside stalls and local food vendors that brings huge crowds of locals and tourists. It runs through the Old Quarter district from 19:00 onwards, starting from Hang Dao Street and running north to the edge of Dong Xuan Market. Pedestrian streets and historical sites within the area are illuminated with decorative lights, making this a popular spot for travelling photographers. Shopping-wise, the fashion items on sale won’t turn many head as you will find the usual array of inexpensive t-shirts, handicrafts, accessories, shoes, sunglasses and souvenirs at Hanoi Weekend Night Market. However, the overall environment is very lively and bargaining is a way of life here - a good start is to offer about 75 per cent off the opening price.
With prices starting at VND 15,000, visitors can also find plenty of iconic Hanoi dishes while strolling through the busy night market, including bun thang (rice vermicelli soup with shredded chicken, fried egg, and pork), La Vong grilled fish, pho (noodle soup with beef or chicken), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and bun cha (rice noodles served with grilled pork). Hanoi Weekend Night Market showcases cultural performances, where locals in traditional costumes play traditional Vietnamese music as well as classical tunes. As with all busy markets, be aware of your belongings and keep your wits about you as the throng of motorbikes and people can be intense.



Opening Hours: Friday 19:00 - Sunday 19:00 - 23:00 Address: Hang Dao Street, Old Quarter, Hanoi.

6. Dong Xuan Market

 
Established in 1889, Dong Xuan Market is housed within a four-storey Soviet-style building on the northern edge of Hanoi Old Quarter. It’s also known as Hanoi’s largest indoor market, offering a wide range of goods such as fresh produce, souvenirs, accessories and clothing, as well as electronic and household appliances. Similar to most markets in Southeast Asia, Dong Xuan Market has a bustling wet market section on the ground floor, where locals shop for seafood, meat, and vegetables while the back section sells an array of pets (cats, dogs, and fish) and fresh flowers from all across Vietnam. If you’re looking to shop for souvenirs, head to the upper levels, where you can find numerous stalls selling tee shirts, fabrics, school uniforms, handbags, handicrafts, all of which are sold at wholesale prices.
There’s also a massive dining area within Dong Xuan Market, with food vendors selling Vietnamese coffee and exotic local dishes for as low as VND 15,000. Highly recommended dishes include tiet canh (duck blood soup), fried frog, bun cha (marinated grilled pork served with noodles), and banh cuon (rolled cake).   Surrounding Dong Xuan Market are many more shops where you can purchase traditional Dong Ho drawings, Bat Trang ceramics, Binh Da embroideries and laces, and sand paintings. Within walking distance of Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market is a must-visit if you’re looking to experience the local lifestyle (you might even end up leaving with a pair of cheap sunglasses and a Vietnamese conical hat).



Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 - 19:00
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

7. Ta Hien Street

Ta Hien is a small street lying in famous Old Quarter of Hanoi, near Hoan Kiem Lake. The street just stretch 200 meters, but it is one of the most crowded streets in Old Quarter particularly and in Hanoi generally. Ta Hien has the most specific features of both old Hanoi and modern Hanoi. It is named “international crossroad”, drawing many foreign visitors and also Hanoi people.
On the small and crowded street of Ta Hien, you can find variety of best Hanoi street foods such as Nem chua, Vietnamese bread, noodles, sweet porridges,… Especially, in summer, Ta Hien is famous for beer.
Summer in Hanoi is quite hot and dam. And that is the reason why people choose cool beer as a preferable drinking. In the afternoon, hundreds foreign travelers and Vietnamese people gather in this small street and enjoy a cup of iced beer after a hard-working day. They just sit on a small-sized plastic chair, hold their beer mug, order some snack foods and chat with their friends. Other foreigners would like to sit in corner of the street and watch the daily life as well as the very charming clutter of Hanoi.
There are lots kinds of beer for you to choose, including draught beer, bottled beer, cask ale or black beer. Vietnamese beer is reviewed sweet and pretty slight, so you can take more than 5 mugs without getting drunk. The snack foods to serve with the beer are also diverse, from traditional ones such as nem Phung, fried nem, nem, boiled peanut to Western ones such as fried chip, cheese stick,… The prices are generally cheap.
The common thing among beer restaurant in Ta Hien is its simple and street style. Everything is on street sides with plastic chairs used for both seat and table. The customers can order a mug of beer and sit for hours without being interrupted. The comfortable and friendly atmosphere as well as great beers and foods are the main reasons for the attraction of Ta Hien Street.
The hotter the weather is, the more people come to Ta Hien. Sometimes in weekends, there is no empty seat. The street starts getting crowded after 5pm, when the sun is about to come down and the street is getting cooler.
Ta Hien Street is more and more drawing thousands backpackers from everywhere around the world. It is an unforgettable memory when you stop here to have some beer after long day of exploring the Old Quarter.



8. Hanoi Opera House



The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 by the then ruling French. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. Musicians, actors and dancers play to a 600-strong audience delivering powerful operatic and classical performances, making it a very popular theatrical attraction. The Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theatre in Vietnam and speaks volumes as historical and cultural evidence of Vietnam under French rule. The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House. Visitors today will be entertained at this architectural landmark which features a range of events including local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballets and many international concerts.
Following the end of the August Revolution in 1945, The Hanoi Opera House reverted from entertaining the French elite to becoming the centre of major historical events including the first session of the National Assembly of the Republic. The Hanoi building went into a state of decline prior to being renovated and brought up to date in 1997 which included the installation of state-of-the-art equipment and the renewal of some of the interior decorations. These improvements returned the opera house to its former glory which now sees international artists including violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Wolfgang Glemser take to the stage in addition to home-grown talent. Vietnamese entertainers perform songs, classical music, dance, drama and contemporary performances from superstars such as singer My Linh. The Hanoi Opera House offers a superb setting in which to see any live show. The stage is three metres high and there are three storeys in total so a wonderful experience is guaranteed regardless of your seating arrangements.
The Hanoi Opera House is located near Hoan Kiem Lake on August Revolution Square. There are superb views of the opera house at the Hilton Opera House hotel which is very close by. You will need to purchase tickets to see the inside of the opera house although there are usually a host of concerts to choose from including drama, ballet and symphonies in addition to opera. The Hanoi Opera House is also the first choice for international meetings and conferences so check online when you are visiting to ensure a performance is scheduled. 
1. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
 


Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the most visited attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi (albeit against his wishes). For visitors, a trip to Uncle Ho’s final resting place can be an extraordinary experience as it is not just an average attraction; it’s a part of a unique history.
Started in 1973, the construction of the mausoleum was modeled on Lenin's mausoleum in Russia and was first open to the public in 1975. The granite building meant a great deal for many locals as it ensures that their beloved leader ‘lives on forever’. Security is tight and visitors should dress with respect (no shorts, sleeveless shirts and miniskirts) and everyone has to deposit their bags and cameras before getting in. Visitors are not allowed to stop and hold the constant queue up as the place is constantly busy. Uncle Ho’s remains are sent yearly to Russia for maintenance therefore the mausoleum is closed usually from October onwards. It’s best to recheck with your hotel tour desk before visiting. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 07:30 - 10:30, Saturday & Sunday 07:30 - 11:00 Location: 8 Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.

2. Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts

 
A three-story colonial building covering the various periods of fine art in Vietnam. 
Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts is a three-story structure located just across the Temple of Literature. The building was constructed in the 1930s as a girl’s school for high-ranking officers of the Indochinese military, and was converted into a museum in 1966. It was then that some of the most notable pieces of Vietnamese art were housed in the building. 
Today, the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts is considered one of the most important national institutions in terms of maintaining and promoting the country's cultural and artistic heritage. Practically the entire history of Vietnamese fine art is available on display, including the works of some of the country's most important artists and numerous cultural and historical contributions from various ethnic groups. 
As part of the Ministry of Culture and Information, much of the role of the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts involves the conservation and display of historical and contemporary art pieces, archaeological artifacts, historical materials, and other objects significant to Vietnamese history. Along with paintings, sculptures, and implements from modern artists, the museum also houses several items from the country's pre-historic and feudal periods. Although many of the original pieces were destroyed during the Vietnam War, most have been replicated or restored to their original condition. 
Among the most notable pieces in the museum’s collection are Champa stone carvings that date back to antiquity, the Guan Yin effigies, and the lacquered Buddhist monk statues that were constructed during the Tay Son dynasty. On your visit, make sure to check out the museum's extensive collection of contemporary and folk paintings as well. 

Address:
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi.
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:00 from Monday to Sunday
Ticket range: VND 40.000/person



3. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
 
Offers a comprehensive collection of exhibits detailing the multicultural social and historical fabric of Vietnam. 
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a Hanoi attraction that houses a spectacular array art, artifacts, and common household implements from Vietnam's various ethnic groups. The museum also contains fine examples of tribal art and traditional village houses, which should be of particular interest to students and practitioners of anthropology. Featuring exhibits labeled in English, French, and Vietnamese, the museum is well worth the 7-kilometer trip from the city center to the lush Cầu Giấy area where it is located. 
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was established in recognition of the multi-ethnicity of the country and the need to promote its socio-cultural diversity. The exhibits are divided between the museum's indoor and outdoor sections, with the more information-specific exhibits housed indoors. 
The exhibits displayed outside are more interactive and activity-based by design, and most have been positioned to take advantage of the natural features of the surrounding countryside. Visitors also have the opportunity to take part in traditional games and activities, including calligraphy, the popular O An Quan or stone game, and the water puppet show, which kids of all ages will surely enjoy. 
Also outside are several excellent examples of traditional ethnic architecture, highlighted by houses typical of Northern and Central highland communities. Although the homes feature designs distinctive to their origins, they all display intricate and elaborate architectural touches that make them some of the most attractive exhibits in the museum. 
Vietnam is a country gifted with such a rich and diverse culture that there is no way to explore all its facets in the course of a typical tour. By visiting the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology however, you can get a fair idea of the depth and range of the country’s history.



Address: Nguyen Van Huyen, Cau Giay, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30 from Monday to Sunday
Ticket range: VND 40.000/ person

4. Military History Museum

 
The Military History Museum of Hanoi is a vast repository of various items related to the military history of Vietnam. The building has several rooms all filled with a bewildering array of photographs, documents, war propaganda, and other memorabilia collected from the country’s wars with China, France, and the United States. A sobering reminder of the horrors of war, the museum’s exhibits are nevertheless an impressive collection that history buffs will definitely want to see up close. 
Among the most impressive items on display are the French, Russian, and American aircraft that were downed during the wars. This collection is highlighted by a Soviet MiG-21 jet fighter and a US F-111. The museum also features a structure made out of the wreckage of French and American planes that is remarkable for its size and significance. Nearby is a flag tower that visitors can climb in order to get a great view of the surrounding countryside for miles around. 
From a historical perspective, perhaps the most significant items on display are the war memorabilia that date back from 1954 to 1975. The exhibits cover in thorough detail the years of the Vietnam War, as well as the division of the country into the North and South. Featuring a huge array of wartime documents, films, photographs, and various other artifacts, the collection is impressive for its sheer scope and detail. There is also a large collection of weapons from Soviet, Chinese, French, and American military forces that is the most comprehensive of its kind in the country. 



Address: 173C Truong Chinh, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:00 – 11:00 & 13:00 – 16:00 from Monday to Thursday 
                          8:00 – 11:00 & 13:00 – 16:30 Saturday and Sunday.

5. Vietnamese Women’s Museum

 
A museum built to honor the role of Vietnamese women in society, commerce, family upbringing, and war. 
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a national attraction built in honor of Vietnamese women and the various roles they play in society. Established by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1987, the museum was renovated extensively prior to its re-launch in 2010. 
Interestingly enough, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is considered to be one of the best museums in the country, although it is largely overlooked by tourists. Nevertheless, it stands as one of the most enduring monuments to the resiliency of the Vietnamese people–particularly its women–and it is well worth visiting on a trip to Hanoi. The museum covers in thorough detail the numerous significant contributions that Vietnamese women have made to society over the years, not only in relation to culture, fashion, marriage, family life, and child upbringing, but to government and military conflict as well. 
The museum is divided into three distinct sections: Women in Family, Women in History, and Women in Fashion. These three galleries feature a wide array of clothing, artifacts, documents, and implements, each representing a specific aspect of Vietnamese culture as it pertains to its women. The country's 54 ethnic groups are well represented, and the displays themselves were set up to encourage equality, development, and peace among women of all nations. 
Some of the more compelling displays are those that deal women’s roles in Vietnamese commerce and warfare. Also on view are displays covering female market vendors, street hawkers, and single mothers, which reflect the country’s growing focus on socioeconomic concerns. 
On your visit to the museum, make sure to drop by the cafe where traditional Vietnamese dishes are served. There is also a specialty store where you can pick up handicrafts and other souvenirs.

Address: 36 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:00 from Monday to Sunday.



6. Hanoi Museum of Vietnamese History

 
The National Museum of Vietnamese History is a national attraction housed in a building that dates back to the French occupation of the country. Construction of the structure began in 1925, and was completed in 1932, with the design combining the best elements of French and Chinese architecture. The building where the museum is now housed was originally the site of the École Française d’Extrême Orient. 
Inside the museum is a fabulous array of treasures from the most significant periods in Vietnamese history. Among the highlights of the exhibition are the Dong Son bronze implements that date back to the period from 3 BC up to the 3 AD. Also on display are Hindu statues from the Khmer and Champa periods, Imperial Vietnamese jewelry, and various other items that date back to the French occupation and the founding of the Communist Party. 
The National Museum of Vietnamese History offers a welcome respite from other museums in Hanoi, many of which tend to focus heavily on the country’s wartime history. Few examples of military items and documents are on display here, with most exhibits focused on the country’s ancient and recent history. The museum itself has been designed in a more contemporary fashion, which contrasts sharply with most other museums around the country. 
Other interesting items on display are Nguyen Dynasty costumes worn by royalty, Cham Kingdom artifacts, and the Dong Son drum, which is commonly used in Vietnam as a symbol for civilization and culture. With so many fascinating items on display, it is well worth planning out an entire morning to see the museum and to explore all its riches. 



Address: 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi/ 216 Tran Quang Khai, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Opening hours: 8:00 -12:00 & 13:30 -17:00 every weekday (except for the first Monday of the month).
1. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
 


The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Also known as the Hanoi Citadel, many artefacts and items dating back to between the 6th and 20th centuries were excavated in 2004, including foundations of old palaces, ancient roads, ponds and wells. On top of these discoveries, archaeologists also found bronze coins, ceramics and pottery from China and many places in Asia, all of which demonstrate a close trading relationship in the area. Visitors should head for the display room that features interesting excavated items and mock-ups of the citadel itself.
The ancient site was the political centre of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. A notable attraction in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the Hanoi Flag Tower, a renovated 40-metre-tall stone fortress offering expansive views of Ba Dinh Square and Hanoi City Centre. Located in Ba Dinh District, entrance to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is priced at VND 30,000 and it is open from 08:00 to 17:00 every day except Monday. This prominent site is also within a 15-minute walk from attractions such as Quan Thanh Temple, Vietnam Military History Museum and Cua Bac Church.

2. The Temple of Literature

 


The Temple of Literature is often cited as one of Hanoi’s most picturesque tourist attractions. Originally built as a university in 1070 dedicated to Confucius, scholars and sages, the building is extremely well preserved and is a superb example of traditional-style Vietnamese architecture. This ancient site offers a lake of literature, the Well of Heavenly Clarity, turtle steles, pavilions, courtyards and passageways that were once used by royalty. Visiting the Temple of Literature you will discover historic buildings from the Ly and Tran dynasties in a revered place that has seen thousands of doctors’ graduate in what has now become a memorial to education and literature. Originally the university only accepted aristocrats, the elite and royal family members as students before eventually opening its doors to brighter ‘commoners’. Successful graduates had their names engraved on a stone stele which can be found on top of the stone turtles.
The Temple of Literature is a place of study rather than a religious landmark. There are five courtyards at the temple, two brimming with landscaped gardens, the third is home to a large pond known as the Well of Heavenly Clarity, the fourth courtyard is called the Sage Courtyard and features a statue of Confucius and a house of ceremonies, and the last courtyard is Thai Hoc in which stands a large drum and bell tower. This historic site is ranked as one of Hanoi’s most important cultural places and is steeped in Vietnamese history. The layout of the temple is based upon the birthplace of Confucius with a magnificent main entrance and a path, once reserved solely for the king, running through the centre. The immaculate gardens are rich in ancient trees and are considered a serene place in which students can relax. There are stone statues and inscriptions dotted throughout the temple which has retained many of its original features as the most renowned landmark of academia in Vietnam.
The Temple of Literature is a short stroll from Ba Dinh Square and is also close to the Presidential Palace and Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. The temple is between Ton Duc Thang Street and Van Mieu Street which is about 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake. 

Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 8:30 - 11:30 & 13:30 - 16:30 
Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi 
Price Range: VND 10,000.
1. One Pillar Pagoda
 


It is easy to come to visit One-Pillar Pagoda as it is situated in the Hanoi Capital. Exactly, this historical site lies in Ho Chi Minh complex and is in the proximity of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Ong Ich Khiem Street, Ba Dinh District.
When it comes to the pagoda’s history, it is depicted as a unique Buddhist temple with a fascinating story behind its building. Legend has it that Emperor Ly Thai To in the Ly dynasty had a special dream about the Holy Lady (aka Phat Ba Quan Am), who directly took him to a unknown sacred place. Based on this dream and the advice of Thien Tue Monk, he later ordered to build the pagoda looking like where he was led, and especially the lotus of the Holy Lady perched on this building. Since then, the 8th day of each lunar April, the emperor visited the pagoda and practiced the Buddha rituals: Buddha bathing and bird releasing. With the exquisite architectural style and the stimulating story behind it, it is great to pay a visit to the historical site.

2. Tran Quoc Pagoda

 


Positioned at a tiny peninsula emerging on West Lake and the most ancient pagoda (1,500 years) in the capital Hanoi, Tran Quoc Pagoda deserves a must for your Hanoi day trip. One interesting thing which amazes you so much is that the pagoda has undergone a long period of history with certain changes in which its name was changed many times. Khai Quoc (means establishing a country) was the first name since its erecting at the site of Red River and during the Ly Nam De Dynasty (544-548). Afterwards, in the Le Thai Tong Dynasty (the 15th century), Khai Quoc was renamed An Quoc that implied the country in peace.
In 1915, the pagoda’s foundation ravaged by a terrible landslide forced the feudal government by that time to move it to Kim Ngu Island on West Lake as nowadays. Eventually, there were also some more times to rename the site until it has been Tran Quoc. It is possible to say that each point of renaming the pagoda was closely associated with a certain milestone in the Vietnam’s history.
About the architecture, Tran Quoc most totally carries the marks of Buddhism, and it is taken into account as the harmonious fusion of the solemn ambiance of a religious place, charming scenes of the West Lake, and historical values, making it one of the indispensable parts in your itinerary to experience Hanoi. It is actually amazing!