Top 10 Hanoi Tourist Attractions
If you are looking for top things to do and to see in Hanoi, where ancient and proudly preserved Vietnamese culture is felt most keenly by foreign and domestic visitors, and progress wrestles with tradition in different districts of the city. Hanoi is actually over 1000 years old since 1010 so the wealth of history here is mind boggling: temples, ancient citadels, unique theatre and stunning wilderness just outside the city all offer fun-filled days in Vietnam’s capital. Make sure to visit as many of these attractions in Hanoi as possible because they all offer entertainment, beauty and education at different turns. Enjoy our list of Top 10 Things to Do in Hanoi below.
1. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: Long The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing 40 metres high, the central flag tower is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel and is often used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the centre of ancient Hanoi and served as the political centre for eight centuries. Located in Ba Dinh, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is close to many other tourist attractions.
Opening Hours: Daily 8:00 – 12:30 & 13:30 – 19:30
Location: Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
2. Water Puppet Theatre: The ancient art form of water puppetry has a long association with Hanoi and there are several theatres where guests can enjoy this uniquely Vietnamese take on Asia’s puppet tradition. The original – and widely regarded as the best – theatre in town is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. Puppets dance and slide elegantly over the liquid stage, controlled by a whole troupe of puppet masters hiding behind a screen. 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.
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
3 Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum has left an indelible mark on Vietnamese history and he is revered in Hanoi as the country’s greatest leader. Nicknamed ‘Uncle Ho’ by locals, his preserved body is now laid to rest in a glass case in the Ba Dinh area of Hanoi. This is more than a tourist attraction, it is a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory. The sombre building was modeled after Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow.
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 07:30 - 10:30, Saturday & Sunday 07:30 - 11:00
Address: 8 Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
4. Vietnam Ethnology Museum: The proposal for the museum was officially approved on 14 December 1987. Construction lasted from 1987 to 1995, and it was opened to the public on 12 November 1997. The budget for construction of the museum was $1.9 million USD, with an additional $285,000 USD allocated for acquisition of artifacts.
The exhibition building was designed by the architect Ha Duc Linh, a member of the Tày ethnic group, in the shape of a Đông Sơn drum, and the interior architecture was designed by the French architect Véronique Dollfus
LocationNguyễn Văn Huyên Road, Cầu Giấy District, Hanoi, Vietnam
5. Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple: The Hoan Kiem Lake (Turtle Lake) is a central feature of Hanoi and is a popular hangout spot throughout the day with locals and tourists. Ngoc Son Temple sits on a small island in the centre of the lake and linked by a bridge, makes a beautiful background for a few photos. Around sunrise and sunset, this area becomes especially busy with joggers, couples enjoying the relaxing views across the lake, and the elderly practising Tai Chi and line dancing. Hoan Kiem Lake is free of charge, but there’s a fee of VND 20,000 to visit Ngoc Son Temple, which sits on a small island in the centre of the lake.
Location: Hanoi Old Quarter
6. Dong Xuan Market: Dong Xuan Market is the largest of its kind in Hanoi. Housed within a four-storey Soviet-style building, this sprawling complex offers an extensive collection of fashion, apparel and souvenirs at some of the best prices in the city. Even if you’re not interested in printed T-shirts or cheap sunglasses, it is still fascinating to see the comings and goings of the local traders, and there is a wet market on the ground floor where the sights and smells of exotic produce assault the senses.
Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 - 19:00
Address: Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
7. Hanoi Old Quarter: Hanoi Old Quarter is a fascinating area of the city where visitors can enjoy many fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets. Endless packs of scooters, motorbikes, bicycles and cars weave around traders selling fruit and souvenirs and narrow shop houses sell delicious Vietnamese food for pennies. The Old Quarter brings to life what many people imagine Hanoi to be, and exploring this area on foot is highly recommended for all visitors to Vietnam’s capital city.
Location: Hanoi Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem District
8. Vietnam Military History Museum: The Viet Nam Military History Museum, set up on 17 July 1956, is one of seven national museums in Vietnam. It covers 12,800 m2. It is situated in central Hanoi, opposite the Lenin Park and near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The Flag Tower of Hanoi is located inside of the museum grounds.
28A Dien Bien Phu Road, Ba Dinh district, HaNoi, Phone (+84-4) - 38234264
Entrance is 40,000 VND, 30,000 for cameras.
Museum is currently not open on Monday and Friday and closes for lunch between 11:30 and 13:00
Opening Hours 8h00 - 11h30 and 13h00 - 16h00
9. Hanoi Opera House: The Hanoi Opera House, set in the heart of the French Quarter, is arguably one of the most elegant buildings in all of Hanoi. Built in 1911 and modelled after the Paris Opera House, this historical landmark exudes Parisian charm from its ivory-toned columns, ornate balustrades and Gothic domes. Priced at VND 100,000 upwards, visitors can enjoy classical performances ranging from Vietnamese opera and dance performances to sketches and music concerts by world-renowned artists.
Address: 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Tel: +84 43 933 0113
Price Range: VND 100,000 - VND 2,000,000
10. Temple of Literature Temple of Literature: The Temple of Literature is a charming temple complex in the centre of Hanoi that was originally built to be a centre of learning dedicated to the Chinese sage and scholar Confucius. Over the proceeding 1000 years many more buildings have been added and beautified o that now this large area is filled with ornate pavilions, shrines, and a rich garden. It has become a rite of passage for graduating doctors to visit The Temple of Literature and the whole place is steeped in Vietnamese history.
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