VietnamHanoiHanoi Highlights to Explore

Hanoi Highlights to Explore

The densely populated capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is a prosperous city that thrives on the chaotic movement. Contemporary Hanoi is a blend of historical culture and modern values embodied in its architecture and people’s way of life. With this in mind, Hanoi has no shortage of places to see and things to do, and we have gathered below some of the most popular highlights.

Top Recommended Hanoi Highlights to Explore

Historical Highlights in Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum—The resting place of the beloved past leader of Vietnam. The Mausoleum was opened to the public in 1975, and his body has been preserved for all to witness.

Thang Long Imperial Citadel—Listed as a World Heritage site, the citadel was once home to many Vietnamese dynasty royals. Throughout the centuries, many historical events have influenced the citadel grounds.

Temple Of Literature—Constructed over 1,000 years ago in honor of Confucius, it quickly became Vietnam’s first university.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre – Experience the world’s famous water puppet show, an indigenous art form to Vietnam.

Architectural Highlights in Hanoi

Hanoi Opera House – Considered to be the prime example of French neoclassical architecture in Hanoi, the Hanoi Opera House has maintained its prestigious appearance for over a century. Traditional Vietnamese performances are still held within the opera house to this day.

Long Bien Bridge—The bridge’s architecture is similar to that of the famous Eiffel Tower in France, but it also carries symbolic meanings. It is the living embodiment of Hanoi’s perseverance, a structure that has endured many harsh historical conflicts.

Museums in Hanoi

Ethnology Museum in Hanoi

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, indeed contains a plethora of fascinating museums. Below are some of the must-visit highlights when it comes to Hanoi’s museums.

National Museum of Vietnam’s History – Learn about Vietnam’s past through this living history book in the form of a museum. The museum contains many priceless artifacts important to Vietnamese cultural heritage.

Vietnam Museum Of Ethnology—The museum is a collection of cultural artifacts from all of Vietnam’s various ethnic groups. Learn about the people of Vietnam and the areas they are from.

Hoa Lo Prison Museum – Before being repurposed into an educational museum, the Hoa Lo prison was an actual place of imprisonment. The history of the prisoners is on display for visitors to learn about their lives and deaths.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum – Learn about Vietnamese women’s exceptional history and their influence in Vietnam’s society, revolutions, and cultures.

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum – Dedicated to preserving Vietnamese art and its cultural heritage.

Vietnam Military History Museum—The museum documents the numerous battles that Vietnam has endured from ancient times to the postmodern era.

Religious Sites in Hanoi

Temples and Pagodas in Hanoi

The presence of temples and pagodas in Hanoi are profoundly abundant throughout the city. These are just some of the Hanoi highlights to explore when it comes to Buddhist religious sites.

Tran Quoc Pagoda—Constructed on a beautiful “island” surrounded by West Lake’s water, the 1,500-year-old pagoda is the oldest pagoda in Hanoi.

Tay Ho Temple—The temple beside Hanoi’s West Lake offers a serene, scenic environment. The people of Hanoi frequent the temple as a place of worship and annual religious celebration.

One Pillar Pagoda—This pagoda, with its unique lotus flower design, has an ancient tale attached to its construction.

Churches in Hanoi

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

St. Joseph’s Cathedral—Although many churches can be found in Hanoi, the one in the Old Quarter is the grandest due to its French architecture and historical values.

Markets in Hanoi

Vietnam has abundant markets of all types, and browsing through them is a chance to get a sense of the local lifestyle. Hanoi is no exception, as it contains both open and indoor markets of various scales, some of which specialize in certain products.

Dong Xuan Market – This is a mostly indoor market and is the biggest market in Hanoi. The market has been operating for over 100 years and is still as busy as ever.

Long Bien Wholesale Market – A traditional wet market situated by the Long Bien Bridge. This is an open market where most vendors are outside under a stall umbrella or overhead tarp setup.

Quang Ba Night Flower Market—This wholesale market specializes in flowers and is open late at night.

Old Quarter’s Night Market—Open only on weekends, this weekly local market is a more recent tourist tradition in Hanoi. The market is set up along a stretch of street that runs through the Old Quarters area.

Lakes and Public Parks

Hanoi has many public parks that allow you to stroll freely. Most are bordering water bodies such as lakes or rivers, making them a very relaxed place for locals and tourists to escape from the chaotic city.

Hoan Kiem Lake—Situated in the city’s center, the lake is popular with locals and tourists. Right in the center of the lake is Ngoc Son Temple, connected by the distinctively red The Huc Bridge.

West Lake – The biggest lake in Hanoi, West Lake is away from the city’s center, making it a better getaway destination.

Highlighted Activities to Experience in Hanoi

Sample Local Cuisine

Bun Cha – A flavourful native dish of Hanoi. It consists of vermicelli noodles, savory grilled pork in fish sauce, and fresh Vietnamese greens.

Hanoi Style Northern Pho – Hanoi pho differentiates itself from other pho in the country by having a clearer broth that results in a smoother taste. The noodles are also bigger in strand size, and the protein options are much simpler.

Cha Ca La Vong – The dish features grilled fish seasoned with plenty of dills, turmeric, and mam tom (fermented shrimp paste).

Bun Dau Mam Tom—This classic dish starts with vermicelli, tofu, and fresh Vietnamese greens. Various other proteins, such as boiled pork or intestine, can be added. Finally, all of this is accompanied by the mam tom (fermented shrimp paste) dip.

Nom Bo Kho – The favorite street food dish in Hanoi is a salad with dried beef jerky mixed with young papaya, Vietnamese green, peanuts, and a distinctive sauce dressing.

Egg Coffee – Created in Hanoi, the egg coffee’s idea comes from replacing the milk component of a cappuccino with a whisked egg.

Explore Local Street Areas in Hanoi

Hanoi Old Quarter – Also known as the French Old Quarter, casually stroll through the mixture of past and present buildings and get a sense of the Hanoi lifestyle.

Hanoi Train Street—This famous area of Hanoi is known for its old homes, which are literally right next to a train track on both sides. The locals have embraced the train tracks and continued their way of life here.

Finals Words on Hanoi Highlights to

With such a large list of highlights to begin exploring Hanoi, there should be no issues with choosing options. Hopefully, the interests listed above will be satisfactory enough for first-time visitors to Hanoi.

For repeat visitors or those looking for more than the usual places, perhaps the city’s nightlife is the next area of interest. Or maybe just enjoy the city for what it is and forego all the famous attractions by experiencing Hanoi’s street culture.

- Advertisement -

More Vietnam Travel Guides

How to Survive The Heat in Ho Chi Minh

Dealing with the weather in a foreign country is always a challenge. Handling the...

Photography Tours in Vietnam

With scenic landscapes and cultural diversity, Vietnam is an ideal destination for photography lovers....

Where to Seek Legal Advice in Saigon

Settling down in Saigon is one giant move, and another crucial step is to...

Backpacking in Vietnam Post-COVID-19

Since the first confirmed case of COVID in Vietnam in January 2020, the country...

Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City

Each district of Ho Chi Minh City has a different charm. Go Vap District...

Best Places to Visit Near Ho Chi Minh Airport

Have you got hours-long layover time between Ho Chi Minh Airport arrivals and departures?...
Powered by 12Go system