VietnamHanoiTop Attractions in Hanoi

Top Attractions in Hanoi

Hanoi is a living wonder of history, culture, and cuisine. After two devastating wars of the last century, Hanoi now welcomes visitors all around the globe to come and have a taste of her vibrant culture. If you’re planning to visit this thousand-year-old city but have no clue where to start, don’t worry! Our list of top attractions in Hanoi will give you all the necessary information to have a blast while you’re in town.

Hoan Kiem Lake

There’s no better place to kick off our Top Attractions in Hanoi list than Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword). The lake is beautiful all year round and is bordered by greenery. Hoan Kiem Lake offers plenty of seats for you to sit down, relax, and watch as the day goes by.

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The Turtle Tower at Hoan Kiem Lake

Of course, you’re missing out without a visit to The Huc Bridge leading to Ngoc Son Temple on the Jade Island of Hoan Kiem Lake. There’re spots for amazing photography in this land of culture.

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The iconic The Huc Bridge

Address: Opposite the Hanoi Post Offie
Opening hours: Hoan Kiem Lake: All day; Ngoc Son Temple: 8 AM – 6 PM
Fee: Hoan Kiem Lake: Free; Ngoc Son Temple: VND 30,000

Hanoi Old Quarter

This collection of narrow streets and antique houses is another famous destination of Vietnam’s capital city. Just minutes away from Hoan Kiem Lake, you can visit the Old Quarter for a glass of Bia Hoi (Hanoian draft beer) at the corner of Ta Hien Street, or find yourself wandering to explore the real Hanoi.

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On the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter

Address: at the end of Hoan Kiem Lake
Opening hours: All-day
Fee: Free

Look for hotels in the Old Quarter area below:


St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Finished in 1886, St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the oldest church in Hanoi with a signature French Colonial architecture. The church has stood the test of time and now serves as a place for ceremonial events.

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The outside of St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Mass schedule:

  • Weekday: 5:30 AM and 6:30 PM
  • Saturday: 6 PM
  • Sunday: 5 AM, 7 AM, 8:30 AM, 10 AM (in French); 11.30 AM (in English); 4 PM (for kids); 6 PM and 8 PM (for young people)
  • A special ceremony is on March 19 every year

Fee: Free

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

This is the remnant of what used to be the Imperial Citadel, where Vietnamese Kings and Royal Family resided. It was listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site on July 31, 2010.

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Thang Long Imperial Citadel

Address: 19C Hoang Dieu Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8 AM – 5 PM (closed on Mondays)
Fee: VND 30,000

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Water Puppet Dance is a traditional Vietnamese folk art form, originating from the ancient civilization. They often tell myths and legends of Vietnamese heroes or saints and fairy tales. Visiting the theater is going to be a fun activity for the whole family.

Address: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Performance schedule:

  • VND 100,000/adult
  • VND 60,000/child

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh is the Vietnamese Revolutionary Leader and President. His body now rests at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum for visitors to pay respect. The historic Ba Dinh Square, where he declared Vietnam’s Independence, locates near the complex.

Note: Dress properly and do expect to queue

Address: 2 Hung Vuong Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Opening Hours: 7:30 AM – 11 AM (closed on Mondays and Fridays)
Fee: VND 40,000/entrance

Dong Xuan Market

Next on our list of top attractions in Hanoi is Dong Xuan Market. Standing 4-story tall, this is the largest marketplace in the city. You can find apparel, electronics items, foods, and a rainbow of things in between. Remember to bargain for the best price.

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Dong Xuan Market

Address: Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 6 AM – 6 PM

Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House is considered to be one of the city’s architectural landmarks, modeled after the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris. Now, the opera house operates under the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet administration.

Address: 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours – Fee: Vary

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature hosts the Imperial Academy, the first national university in Vietnam. Built under Emperor Ly Thanh Tong’s order in 1070, it was a temple dedicated to Confucius, sages, and scholars. Vietnamese students before important exams or at the end of the school year often flock here to take pictures and wish for good luck.

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The main temple of the Temple of Literature

Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam Street, Dong Da, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM; 13:30 PM – 16:30 PM
Fee: VND 40,000/entrance

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison was first built to captivate political prisoners during the First Indochina War. Later, it was taken over by Northern Vietnam and used for U.S prisoners in the Vietnam War. American POWs referred to it as the “Hanoi Hilton.” Senator John McCain was held here, and his uniform is still on display.

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Prisoners’ cell in Hoa Lo Prison

Address: 1 Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
Fee: VND 30,000

Museum of Ethnology

The Museum of Ethnology displays cultural values, residential buildings, and traditions of Vietnamese various ethnic groups. The museum also occasionally holds thematic exhibitions, craft performances, and forms of folk art.

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One of the traditional houses

Address: 1 Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM (closed on Mondays)
Fee: VND 40,000

Vietnam Military History Museum

Next on this list of top attractions in Hanoi is the Vietnam Military History Museum – one of the seven national museums. It features a wide collection of weaponry, pieces of equipment, aircraft, and tanks used throughout the country’s history.

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Ancient cannons used by Vietnamese

Address: 28A Dien Bien Phu Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Opening hours: 8 AM – 11:30 AM; 1 PM – 4:30 PM (closed on Mondays and Fridays)
Fee: VND 40,000/entrance

West Lake

Last on our list of top attractions in Hanoi is West Lake, one of the most enchanting lakes of Vietnam. West Lake offers a fresh and tranquil atmosphere, a vibrant culinary scene, and a spot for high-end accommodation. Furthermore, the lake is home to various temples and pagodas of Hanoi.

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Sunset on West Lake

Address: to the west of Hanoi center, next to Thanh Nien Street
Opening hours: All-day
Fee: Free

Top Attractions in Hanoi: The Conclusion

We hope that our list of top attractions in Hanoi has helped you to navigate across this beautiful city. If you’re interested, check out our other blogs on Vietnam travel and stay tuned for more in-depth guides into everything Hanoi!

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