Famous Places in Hanoi

With more than 1000 years of history, Hanoi is home to a number of cultural and historic sites that attracting tourists from all over the world. It is easy for you to map out an itinerary to enjoy your trip and deep into the beauty of the old and the new in Hanoi. Incredible Asia Journeys pleased to recommend foreign tourists with some famous places in Hanoi that should not be missed out on your memorable trip.

Sunset in West Lake, Hanoi

Hanoi Old Quarter

Located in the middle of Hanoi, Hanoi Old Quarter with 36 old streets is a special historical site remaining its ancient beauty in this rapidly developing city. Here you can find narrow streets with many street vendors who sell food or souvenirs. Also, you will see a number of antique brick houses standing along the small streets in the dynamic atmosphere of the modern city. Hanoi Old Quarter is always bustling with scooters, bicycles, and cars. It is easy to be got lost when discovering these 36 busy streets on your own. Most of the foreigners travel around the Old Quarter by electric bikes of cyclos. It is a truly an interesting experience that will give you an idea of how life in Hanoi is. Besides, you can try some tasty street food from street vendors nearby. Especially, if you visit Hanoi Old Quarter on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday you will have a chance to walk around night market here and get some special souvenirs.

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hoan Kiem Lake

Just a few minutes walking from Hanoi Old Quarter, you will see Hoan Kiem Lake (means “Lake of the Returning Sword” in English translation), one of the best places in Hanoi. Sword Lake and Turtle Lake are two other names. Hoan Kiem Lake is considered as the symbol of Hanoi capital and visited by hundreds of people every day. The lake is a sparkling colourful natural picture with Ngọc Son Temple (reached by a graceful red bridge, The Huc Bridge), Pen Tower, and scenic surroundings. Visiting Hoan Kiem Lake, tourists can have a chance to enjoy a totally different world from the bustling city, no high-rise buildings or too much traffic. Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street takes place on three days of weekends, so you can walking on the street without bothering any traffic. However, it can be crowded on these days.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Temple of Literature

The thousand-year Temple of Literature is Vietnam’s first national university called Quoc Tu Giam. It was constructed to honour Confucius and now to celebrate the nation's scholars. From the entrance, you can see Dai Trung Gate, Khue Van Cac (Pavilion of Constellation), then head to where doctor names were listed on a tombstone above tortoise backs. Keeping moving, you can see the place worshipping Confucius and his 72 honoured students. The last courtyard is Thai Hoc house, which is for teaching and learning in the past. A lot of students in universities in Hanoi come here to take photograph yearbook before graduating.

To get to the Temple of Literature, you can take a bus, a taxi, or hide a motorbike to travel.

Khue Van Cac in Temple of Literature

Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam St., Dong Da District, Hanoi.

Opening days: Every day except holidays

In summer ( From April to October) : 07.30-17.30

In winter (From October to April)     : 08.00-17.00

Entrance ticket price:

Adult: 30,000 VND for Vietnamese and foreigners

Students: 15,000 VND (ID, students card required)

Children under 15: Free

Note: As the Temple of Literature is a formal historical site, visitors should pay attention to the dress code. In detail, no hat, shorts, mini skirt or tank-top…when being in worshipping area.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Located in Ba Dinh District, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (standing on Ho Chi Minh Complex) is a must-see place in Hanoi. Due to the dedication of Ho Chi Minh President, Vietnamese government decided to build Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to keep his body remain so later on people from any part of the country and foreign friends can visit him. The words “President Ho Chi Minh” are written in red plum marble in the front of the mausoleum, which is considered to be the symbol of the lofty and morality of President Ho Chi Minh. Go inside, you can see the golden sentence “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom” – one of the most famous sayings of the President in the past. Also, you can see the traditional tree in Vietnam – bamboo tree on both sides as defences for this museum.

Besides, you can take time to visit other places in Ho Chi Minh Complex including Ba Dinh Square, Presidential Palace, Uncle Ho’s House on Stilt, One Pillar Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

One thing you need to note is that you are not allowed to bring a camera, cell phone, bare-shoulder T-shirts, or mini-skirts inside.

Opening time: 5 days per week, except Monday and Friday

Cold seasons (from November to March): 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Hot seasons (from April to October): 7:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

Closed once per year in October/ November/ or December for the body maintenance

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

If you want to know more about the characteristics of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology will be an ideal place to visit in Hanoi. There are both inside and outside section. The inside one is for the exhibition, while the outdoors is for you to take a rest with some activities and interesting displays.

You can enjoy Water Puppetry Show here. It will be one of the most fascinating experiences in Hanoi when you enjoy it in such a tranquil garden.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Address: Nguyen Van Huyen Road, Cau Giay District/ Nghia Do, Cau Giay, Hanoi

Opening hours: Every day except for Monday, 8:30-17:30

Entrance fee: 

Adult: 40.000 VND

University students with ID: 20.000 VND

Children (6 years old to 16 years old): 10.000 VND

Children under 6 years old: Free

Check our best tours to discover famous places in Hanoi: Hanoi Street Food Tour, Hanoi Scooter Tour, North Vietnam 5 Day Tour, or Highlights of Vietnam 12 Day Tour.

Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge was constructed from 1989 to 1902. Passing through more than 100 years with decades of war, the bridge is not only a traffic construction, a nice French architecture but also a living historical relic. Long Bien Bridge is one of the best places in Hanoi to look at sunrise and sunset and take nice photos. It is also chosen to be a nice background for wedding albums of a lot of brides and grooms. Many foreign tourists want to visit this historical construction and nice scenery. While many teenagers come here to take nice photos to keep their memorable moments. Long Bien Bridge is not only historical witness but also a memorable saver.

Sunset in Long Bien Bridge

Bat Trang Ceramic Village

Bat Trang is the seven century-old ceramic village, which attracts tourists with their own handmade products. There are a lot of making the ceramic place and you can try to make and paint by yourselves as ceramic makers. It will be an unforgettable memory in your trip in Hanoi. Besides, you will also really impressed by the incredible styles, beautiful and colourful ceramics of Bat Trang Ceramic Market. Please click on Bat Trang Ceramic Day Tour from Hanoi to see more detail about this day tour.

Address: Bat Trang Commune, Gia Lam District.

Distance: 10km or 30 minutes by car/motorbike. You can take the bus No. 47A from Long Bien to Bat Trang. It may take you 45 minutes to 1 hours to wait for the bus and transfer to Bat Trang Ceramic Village.

Opening hours: 8:00 – 20:00

Make your ceramic products

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

If you like traditional art, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is an ideal place for you. Water Puppet is the unique Vietnamese traditional art existing for more than a thousand year. Water Puppet Show performs the daily life of Vietnamese farmers like catching fishes, tending buffalo, cultivating and so on. It is very interesting to enjoy.

Address:  No.57b Dinh Tien Hoang St. (near Hoan Kiem Lake).

Opening hours:  15.00, 16.10, 17.10, 18.30, 20.00 every day from October to April.

16.10, 17.10, 18.30, 20.00 every day from May to September.

Ticket Price: Around 60.000-100.000 VND per ticket

Water Puppet Show

Tran Quoc Pagoda

Tran Quoc Pagoda is a famous place in Hanoi attracting people who love religious places. The pagoda is extremely magnificent as a small island on West Lake. It is considered as the most ancient pagoda in Hanoi with more than 1,500 years of history. Besides, you can walk around to enjoy the fresh and peaceful atmosphere of West Lake.

Address: Thanh Nien St. Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Opening hours: 7.30 – 18.00 every day

Note: Tran Quoc Pagoda is a formal place, so you have to pay attention to your dress code. Hat, shorts, mini skirt or tank-top are not allowed.

Tran Quoc Pagoda

One day is not enough to discover the beauty of Hanoi. Hanoi has many cultural and historic sites attracting your curiosity. If you plan your trip to Hanoi, spend 2 days or more to discover this lovely city.

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