Hanoi is a popular tourist destination in Vietnam as it offers many attractions to visit. The city has been influenced by French and Chinese culture so you can enjoy visiting many different spots and learn about the history of how it was built.
If you are thinking of visiting Hanoi, there are many reasons why you should make the trip. To start with, there are lots of different things to see in Hanoi. Whether it’s a relaxing stroll through the tranquil streets of Hanoi or engaging in some history and culture along with its ancient monuments, you will find yourself immersed in the Vietnamese charm.
Hanoi is home to some of Vietnam’s most well-known attractions and renowned cultural sites. The attractions listed below can be visited during a Hanoi Vietnam Tour package or on your own.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum stands out from its surroundings and is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, a famous Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and then president of the country. This marble building could be described as the Holy Grail of the Vietnamese, with thousands every year making a pilgrimage to the site to see the body of Ho Chi Minh encased in its glass sarcophagus.
Visitors may also get a glimpse of the changing of the guard at the mausoleum, which is similar to the process that takes place at Buckingham Palace. The museum displays his personal items and other historical materials that tell the story of his life and family.
The mausoleum encompasses the great life-size map of the country, which depicts all the battles fought by General Giap. The interior walls are decorated with many paintings and sculptures commemorating the great Vietnamese leader’s life and his tremendous contributions to Vietnam.
One Pillar Pagoda
The One Pillar Pagoda is one of the main attractions in Hanoi and reflects the amazing architecture that the country has to offer its visitors. The One Pillar Pagoda is a Buddhist temple in the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. The pagoda was built during the reign of Le Loi.
It is one of the oldest Buddhist sites in Vietnam and it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pagoda is one of the many attractions that can be found in Hanoi’s famous old quarter, Hoan Kiem Gia Lam Dong – which means “Hill of ten thousand things”. This pagoda is also known for its significance to Vietnamese history because it housed the body of Nguyen Van Lang, who helped establish and lead the country’s Đại Việt dynasty.
The pagoda was built in 1049 when the emperor at the time, Ly Thai To of the Ly Dynasty, prayed to Buddha for a boy after previously being unsuccessful. A few months later, his wife gave birth to his only son, and to celebrate he built what is today known as the One Pillar Pagoda.
The Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is Vietnam’s first university and is also a popular destination with visitors as a home to ancient temples and sanctuaries, many other examples of amazing architecture, and some stunning gardens.
The temple is a tranquil haven, especially when compared to the hustle and bustle of the city outside, and will give holidaymakers a much greater understanding of Vietnamese culture and traditions.
The Temple of Literature, which is known as the most famous attraction in Vietnam, was constructed in 1070. It is 16 kilometers south of Hoan Kiem Lake and not far from the Old Quarter. It is best to take a taxi because it is quite some distance away.
It is a temple built to commemorate Confucius. It is situated on a small island in the Red River, which runs through the city of Hanoi. The temple contains some of the best-preserved pieces from the pre-colonial and colonial periods.
The temple houses a library with thousands of books in various languages. There are also many beautiful artifacts that include an altar decorated with replicas from the famous treasures found in Hoa Luan.
Hoa Lo Prison
The Hoa Lo Prison, satirically known by American soldiers as the ‘Hanoi Hilton’, was a prison used to hold prisoners of war during the Vietnam War, and before that by French colonists to hold political prisoners.
Now a museum and popular tourist attraction, the Hoa Lo Prison shows visitors what life was like for prisoners and what sort of conditions they lived in, focusing particularly on the political prisoners of the early 1900s.
It is also considered to be one of the biggest prisons in Asia. The prison was used to imprison high-ranking Japanese leaders during World War II. During the Vietnam War, it was occupied by American troops for a brief period of time. As you walk around the grounds, you will find military loot such as guns, uniforms, and maps from these times.
It’s now open to the public as a tourist attraction and museum. The prison is still preserved with the original design, including iron bars that can be seen throughout most of the building. The prison was also the site of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation in protest against the communist takeover of South Vietnam.
The museum focuses on showing the dark side of life during the time France ruled Vietnam. The prison served as a gathering place for many opponents to the French, including captured Viet Minh rebels and Laotian King Sisavang Vong who was taken prisoner there by France.
Hanoi Old Town Quarter
The Hanoi Old Town Quarter is a very popular attraction in the city. The Quarter is filled with many shops and restaurants and has been frequented by tourists for decades. It’s not too far from the Hoan Kiem Lake which makes it easy to travel from one point to the other.
This area was originally where the Song Dynasty was located before China moved to Beijing. The Old Quarter has a very interesting mix of Chinese and Vietnamese architecture, as well as a large variety of local Vietnamese souvenirs to purchase.
The old quarter is an interesting place to visit with plenty of attractions and vibrant nightlife. There are many restaurants and bars in the area that showcase local dishes and drinks, making it a popular choice for tourists. It is also home to some of Hanoi’s most famous temples, including Hoa Lu Temple and Wat Tran Quang Buu Buddhist Temple.
The old town was built up in Hanoi by the Ngo Dynasty and it is one of the last remaining relics of Vietnam’s old capital. Surrounding the ancient central square, this area has many small streets lined with a mixture of Chinese, French, and Vietnamese architecture hallmarks.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is a scenic lake in the center of Hanoi. It is very famous and a must-see attraction in the city. On one side there are mountains, which make the place look like an optical illusion. It is a peaceful spot to visit, especially if you want to escape the busy city.
The lake gets its name from the old name for Hanoi, “Hưng Kiền”. It is also one of the most popular places for tourism and recreation in Hanoi. Many tourists come to visit the lake because it offers a great view of the city and also has many tourist attractions near it.
Known as an important historical site, it offers views of the city that are both serene and exciting. As a destination for locals and foreigners alike, Hoan Kiem Lake offers a quiet respite from daily life as well as a place to enjoy cultural offerings throughout the day.
It’s a place where many locals go to take a break from the busy conduct of daily life. This lake was once used for religious purposes and for the royal family to hold ceremonies on their ancestors’ behalf. Today, it is still one of the premier places to visit in Hanoi, especially during Tet.
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a must-see attraction while in Hanoi. It documents the history of Vietnam, and how the country has changed through time. The museum also showcases all types of traditional Vietnamese clothing, jewelry, weapons, and tools that are used today.
It is also known as the “Vietnam House of Memories,” is a museum that houses various relics from both Vietnam’s past and present. It features exhibits on various cultures and ethnic groups found in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. The museum also has a permanent exhibition dedicated to artisans, who are the most important part of Vietnamese culture.
The museum’s artifacts are presented in a series of galleries which are divided according to themes such as traditional clothes, everyday life, religious life and funerals, urban life, occupations and crafts, arts of Buddhism and its influence on arts, etc.
Water Puppet Theatre
The Water Puppet Theatre is an attraction in Hanoi, Vietnam. It shows the life of water puppets and they tell a story that relates to the current events of Vietnam. The famous attraction became a place where people are entertained by watching them perform and telling stories about animals, plants, and inanimate objects.
The theatre, located on the west side of the Hoan Kiem Lake, has become a symbol of Hanoi, attracting many international tourists from countries including Japan, China, and France. The theatre has a history of more than 2 centuries.
If you are visiting Hanoi, then definitely go visit the Water Puppet Theatre. The theatre has been in operation since 1835 and was originally designed to teach children moral lessons in a fun way. You can see over a thousand water puppets at once that are intricately carved and painted by hand.
Military History Museum
The Military History Museum is just one of the many attractions Hanoi has to offer. It houses a large collection of weapons, tanks, aircraft, and documents from all over Vietnam’s history, and they are displayed in an interactive museum that allows visitors to experience history first-hand with sound, light, and smell.
It has over 9,200 square meters of exhibition space and displays a vast array of weapons, uniforms, ammunition, and various military equipment. There are also plenty of old dioramas highlighting the country’s different periods in history such as before French colonization in the 19th century and the Vietnam War era.
It displays many relics and objects related to the military history of Vietnam. It was officially opened in 1984. The museum tells about the history of Vietnam’s armed forces from the ancient days through to present times. Visitors can walk around and see what it was like to be in Vietnam during that time.
The Imperial Citadel is one of the most important and interesting places to visit in Hanoi. It was constructed during the reign of Gia Long, the first king of Vietnam. The Citadel is now open for visitors around the clock with a good amount of security measures in place. There are several museums inside, including art galleries and historical museums.
This massive structure was built to house the royal family and is said to be built on a scale of the original Hanoi Citadel, which dated back to the 10th century. You can visit the complex by taking a tour offered by private companies such as Viator.
It has stone walls that are approximately 10 feet thick, making it one of the most impressive castles in Asia. The Citadel dates back to 1407 when it was built by the Vietnamese conqueror Lê Lợi. In the citadel stands a huge wooden pagoda that was once home to many Buddhist and Taoist monks. The citadel is also home to an important museum containing traditional weapons from Vietnam’s past as well as a drawing of French soldiers by Chinese prisoners of war in 1885.
Hanoi is a beautiful city with lots of things to see and do. There are many different museums and cultural attractions scattered throughout the city. There are also many high-end shopping districts, some of which rival those found in larger cities like Dubai or Tokyo.
Although it is a smaller city than other destinations, it has plenty to offer its visitors. One great feature of Hanoi is its numerous attractions, which include temples and pagodas, as well as traditional restaurants and historic sites.