Hanoi is one of the most popular destination for tourists in Vietnam. We recommend travelers to stay at least two nights to have enough time to visit its numerous attractions and landmarks.

A city between the rivers, built on lowland, Hanoi has many scenic lakes and it is sometimes called "city of lakes". Among them, the most famous are Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Halais Lake (Hồ Thiền Quang in Vietnamese) and Bay Mau Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is the historical and cultural center of Hanoi, and is linked to the legend of the magic sword. Many of Hanoi's best hotels are located in that area. West Lake (Hồ Tây) is a popular place for people to spend time. It is the largest lake in Hanoi and there are many temples in the area. There are small boats for hire and a floating restaurant.

Hanoi has a treasure trove of French architecture. Look for buildings in the trademark yellow ochre color, well maintained colonial houses often repurposed as clothing boutiques or government buildings.

Mixed in with the recent past are ancient pagodas and temples, classic Vietnamese monuments to the nation’s history. Carvings at the Temple of Literature show that little of the nation’s past are available in books. Here it is set in stone, preserved for generations to come.

In one form or another, Hanoi has been a capital city for around 1000 years. With its many museums, pagodas, the jumbled maze of narrow streets of the Old Quarter and legendary Hoan Kiem Lake, the city is a history buff’s delight. 

What to See in Hanoi

Hanoi Opera House

One of the few places in Hanoi to catch a symphony, this century-old French colonial building is a major city ...

Hoa Lo Prison

Referred to ironically as the 'Hanoi Hilton' by American POWs, Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French in 1896 ...

One Pillar Pagoda

The original Buddhist pagoda was built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong to mark the birth of his heir ...

Temple of Literature

Vietnam's first university, the oldest sections of Van Mieu date from 1070, but only four of the interlocking courtyards survived ...

More What to See Venues

West Lake & Tran Quoc Pagoda

West Lake, also known as Ho Tay, is Hanoi’s largest body of water and one of the city’s most beautiful ...

One Pillar Pagoda

The original Buddhist pagoda was built in 1049 by Emperor Ly Thai Tong to mark the birth of his heir ...

Temple of Literature

Vietnam's first university, the oldest sections of Van Mieu date from 1070, but only four of the interlocking courtyards survived ...

Hanoi Museum

Shaped like an inverted pyramid and spread over nearly 5.4 hectares, Hanoi Museum opened in 2010 to mark Hanoi's 1,000 ...

Co Loa Citadel & An Duong Vuong Temple

Built near Phong Khe and located 20km from Hanoi, this ancient citadel was commissioned by King An Duong Vuong, famous ...

St. Joseph's Cathedral

This neo-gothic structure rising from Hanoi's Old Quarter's twisting streets was erected by the French in 1886 on the site ...

Ethnology Museum

Dedicated to educating the public about Vietnam's 53 ethnic minority groups, the Ethnology Museum is far and away Hanoi's most ...

The Old Quarter

Once an alligator-infested swamp, Hanoi's Old Quarter's winding streets are the heart and soul of the capital. The Old Quarter ...

Colonial Quarter Houses

After their conquest of Hanoi, the French took over the western part of the citadel and transformed it into a ...

Ho Chi Minh's House

Built as a representation of a traditional stilt house in 1958 for then-president Ho Chi Minh, who preferred the gardener's ...

My Thuat Museum

A good introduction to Vietnamese painting, lacquer and ceramics, the collection inside Hanoi's My Thuat Museum includes everything from 1,000 ...

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Dedicated to Vietnam's founder, this museum in Hanoi is worth a visit mostly for its hallucinatory third floor exhibitions which ...

Long Bien Bridge

Designed by French Architect Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame, Long Bien Bridge was completed in 1902 when it was ...

Perfume Pagoda

This complex of Buddhist pagodas and shrines built into the limestone cliffs of Huong Tich Mountain is extremely popular among ...

Old Quarter

Like the Minotaur's maze, the 36 streets that make up Hanoi's Old Quarter are famously difficult to navigate. This section ...

Ba Dinh Square

All men are created equal! On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read Vietnam's Declaration of Independence from the spot ...

Quan Thanh Temple

One of the four sacred temples built in each of the cardinal directions to protect Hanoi's citadel from evil spirits, ...

National Museum of History

The National Museum of History in Hanoi is one of the country's top museums. An extensive collection of over 7,000 ...

Hanoi Opera House

One of the few places in Hanoi to catch a symphony, this century-old French colonial building is a major city ...

Quan Su Pagoda

The headquarters of the Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Quan Su Pagoda doesn't boast a long history or impressive architecture, but ...

Revolution Museum

This homage to Vietnam's independence movement offers the usual blurry photographs along with some more interesting artefacts such as the ...

Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple

Hang out on the shores of the 'Lake of the Returned Sword' and bask in the full spectrum of Hanoians: ...

Hanoi Night Market

Hanoi Night Market is a hustling and bustling nocturnal fair in the heart of the Old Quarter. Stroll through myriad of ...

Hoa Lo Prison

Referred to ironically as the 'Hanoi Hilton' by American POWs, Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French in 1896 ...

Bat Trang Ceramics Village

While much of the famed Bat Trang pottery is now imported from elsewhere, this do- it-yourself operation, a welcome break ...

Ancient Citadel

While digging the foundation for a new national assembly building in 2002, workers began to unearth remnants of a much ...

Le Mat Snake Village

Always wanted to down a shot of rice wine that floats a still-beating cobra heart? How about a little gecko ...

Van Phuc Village

Van Phuc Village, a mecca of all things silk, is a great place to stock up on fabric, pre-made clothing ...

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Silence reigns as visitors file by the preserved body of Vietnam's revered leader, Ho Chi Minh. The long lines and ...

Cot Co Tower

The flag tower, or Cot Co, was a later addition to the Hanoi Citadel complex, built by Emperor Gia Long ...

Dong Xuan Market

Scouring Hanoi for a Technicolor portrait of Ho Chi Minh complete with sound effects? Dong Xuan Market, rebuilt after a ...

Vietnamese Women’s Museum

Be they national heroes, mothers, intellectuals or fashion icons, women's contributions to the Vietnamese nation and society are told beautifully ...

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