Top Must-Visit Attractions in Hanoi, Vietnam
1. Hanoi Old Town Quarter
Hanoi Old Town Quarter is “the soul” of the capital city. A place to save memories of times. Throughout more than 1000 years, Hanoi Old Quarter still keeps a mysterious look but full of charm, which has enchanted many visitors coming here.
Originally, the Quarter consists of 36 main old streets, most of which were begun with “Hang” and originated from names of types of merchandise produced and traded such as Hang Thiec (Metal), Hang Mam (Fish sauce), Hang Chuoi (Banana) …
Another common name which besides Hanoi Old Town Quarter is “Hanoi – 36 streets”
2. Hoan Kiem Lake
If Hanoi Old Town Quarter is supposed “the soul”, Hoan Kiem Lake is “the real heart” of Hanoi Capital.
Located right in the center of the capital of Vietnam, Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi is famous for its peaceful beauty, its cultural as well as historical values.
Hoan Kiem Lake is associated with the legend of King Le, who lent his magic sword to fight the invaders. One day after defeating the Chinese, Le King was sailing in the lake, the golden turtle reclaiming the sword. Thenceforth, Luc Thuy Lake was changed to Hoan Kiem Lake (mean return the sword) or Guom Lake (meaning Sword Lake).
Come to Hoan Kiem Lake, you should not forget visiting Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain) and taking picture with Turtle Tower overview.
3. Temple of Literature
A rare example of well-preserved traditional Vietnamese architecture, the Temple of Literature honors Vietnam’s finest scholars.
The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 during Ly dynasty to honor Confucius. In 1976, Vietnam’s first university or Imperial Academy was founded. The Imperial Academy originally reserved only for sons of the Kings and mandarins. Finally, it was opened for all talented students.
4. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is an important place of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese. A traffic-free area of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas, it’s usually crowded with groups of Vietnamese who come from far and wide to pay their respects to “Uncle Ho”. Within the complex are Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the Presidential Palace and the One Pillar Pagoda.
Signature of this complex is The President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a mausoleum which serves as the resting place of Vietnamese Revolutionary leader & President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a large building located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, where Ho, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Vietnam from 1951 until his death in 1969, read the Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It is open to the public.
5. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country, which is composed of 54 ethnic groups. With a view to preserving and presenting the cultural heritages of these ethnic groups, the Vietnamese Government decided to establish a museum of ethnology in Hanoi.
Besides a tourism spot, it is also a centre for ethnographic research employing many experts on the different ethnic groups. Coming here, visitors may find out that the Museum has successfully recreated the daily life together with the religious rituals and the symbolic festivals of each ethnic group in Vietnam. All displayed objects mingle and supplement one another to create a colorful and diversified picture of Vietnamese culture.
6. Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo Prison was established by the French Colonial Government in 1896, when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. The French called the prison Maison Centrale – a traditional euphemism to denote prisons in France. It was located near Hanoi’s French Quarter. It was intended to hold Vietnamese prisoners, particularly political prisoners agitating for independence who were often subject to torture and execution.
Hoa Lo Prison had become a symbol of colonialist exploitation and of the bitterness of the Vietnamese towards the French.
7. Military History Museum
Most tourists have more or less heard of Vietnam’s historical and heroic struggle against mighty invaders from France and the USA. They, as a result, now flock to Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular so as to figure out how such a small country as Vietnam could win over in the past severe resistance war!
Hence, in order to retain and preserve the factual objects, artifacts, and vivid proofs of the great national heroic struggle. In 1956, The Vietnam Military History Museum, previously the Army Museum, was founded.
8. Thang Long Imperial Citadel
Located in centre of Hanoi, 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. The standing monuments and subterranean vestiges of palaces, together with numerous other unique artifacts unearthed in the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi are invaluable assets not only of Vietnam but also the entire human race.
9. Vietnamese Women’s Museum
This excellent and highly informative museum showcases the roles of women in Vietnamese society and culture. Hanoi’s Vietnam Women’s Museum features displays across five floors delivered over three sections – women in family, women in history and women’s fashions. Exhibits cover everything from marriage customs to childbirth, but it’s the memories of the wartime contribution by individual heroic women that are most poignant.
10. Vietnam National Museum of History, Hanoi
If you want to learn more about a country, you should not dismiss National Museum of History.
The museum highlights Vietnam’s prehistory (about 300,000 – 400,000 years ago) up to the August 1945 Revolution. It has over 200,000 exhibits displayed covering items from prehistory up to the 1947 revolution and founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
11. Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Marke is the oldest and largest market in Hanoi. This is not only a market but also an important historical witness of Vietnam from the struggle against French invaders.
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.
12. Long Bien Bridge
The Long Bien Bridge was constructed from 1989 to 1902 during French’s occupation of the country. Though formerly known as Paul Doumer bridge was designed by the French company Daydé & Pille but it was built directly by Vietnamese workers with indigenous construction materials. Originally, Long Bien had 19 spans and it was the first steel bridge across Red river in Hanoi. In 1902, it was the longest bridge in Indochina and one of four greatest bridges in the world at the time it was built.