Video top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi

This list is ranked by priority from top to bottom. You should read the article Top 8 Must-Try Foods in Hanoi, and download Hanoi Tourist Map before the trip.

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake

1. Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is considered as the symbol of Hanoi, located in Hanoi Old Quater, surrounded by three streets are Hang Khay – Le Thai To – Dinh Tien Hoang.

According to the legend, in 1428, Emperor Lê Lợi was boating on the lake when a Golden Turtle God surfaced and asked for his magic sword. Lê Lợi knew that the Turtle had come to reclaim the sword that its master, a local God, the Dragon King had given him during his revolt against Ming China. Later, the Emperor gave the sword back to the turtle after, and since, the Lake was named Hoan Kiem (Lake of the Restored Sword)

The monuments around the Lake:

Thap Rua (Turtle Tower): located in the center of the lake, built between 1884 and April 1886.

Ngoc Son Temple: located in the north of the lake, was built in the 19th century.

The Huc Bridge: leads to Ngoc Son temple gate, built-in 1865.

Thap But (Pen Tower): on the northeastern shore of the lake, was built in 1865, including five floors.

Dai Nghien: on the northeast shore of the lake, built-in 1865, is an integral part of the Thap But

On weekends, the streets surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake will be walking streets with many exciting activities such as street music and folk games. Hoan Kiem Lake is a must-visit attraction in Hanoi because it is the soul of Hanoi.

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Hanoi Old Quarter

2. Old Quarter

Mentioning Hanoi is speaking about 36 streets, also known as the old quarter; located on the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake. In the past, Hanoi people were only around 36 streets, Hanoi later gradually expanded, but its soul was only in these 36 streets.

An indispensable destination in the old quarter is Ta Hien Street.

Like Bui Vien Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Ta Hien is a street where many Western tourists choose to stay and relax. The road is only 200m long, but it is one of the most crowded streets in the Old Quarter particularly and in Hanoi generally. Ta Hien has the most specific features of both old Hanoi and modern Hanoi. Ta Hien is the multinational and multicultural place because of not only western tourists but also locals and foreigners.

 

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Dong Xuan Market

3. Dong Xuan Market

If Saigon has Ben Thanh market, Hanoi has Dong Xuan market. Dong Xuan Market is the busiest and oldest shopping area in Hanoi, built-in 1889 under the Nguyen Dynasty. This is also one of the must-visit attractions in Hanoi, which is considered a symbol associated with the capital.

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

4. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square is one of the famous tourist attractions in Hanoi. This is the final resting place of President Ho Chi Minh – the great Vietnamese leader.

Address: 2 Hung Vuong, Dien Ban, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Price: 25 000 Dong (1,1 USD)

Opening hours: Tue, Wed, Thu from 8:00 am – 11:00 am; Saturday and Sun from 8:00 am – 11:30 am; Closed Monday and Friday.

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Temple of Literature

5. Temple of Literature

Built-in 1070 under King Ly Thanh Tong, it is considered the first university in Vietnam. Up to now, the Temple of Literature has become a symbol of the thousand-year-old Capital and a cultural cradle of Vietnam. Don’t forget to add this place to your Hanoi trip plan.

Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Price: 30 000 Dong (1,4 USD), free for children under 15 years old.

Opening hours: Summer from 7:30am – 6:00 pm, Winter from 8:00 am  – 6:00 pm.

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - St. Joseph's Cathedral

6. St. Joseph’s Cathedral

The Cathedral is officially named St. Joseph’s Cathedral – the oldest church in Hanoi Capital. Not only is the place where the religious activities of Catholics belong to the Archdiocese of Hanoi, but also is a famous Hanoi tourist attraction. With unique and ancient architecture, this is a destination that cannot be missed when visiting the Capital

Address: 40, Nha Chung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Opening hours: 8:00 am – 10:30 am,  12:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Mass Calendar:
Weekdays (2 Masses): 5:30 am and 6:15 pm
Sunday (7 Mass): 5:00 am, 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am (French ceremony), 4:00 pm (children’s holiday), 6 pm, 8 pm (youth festival)
Feast of Saints of the Steward Joseph: March 19 every year

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

7. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Founded in 1969, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is one of the most famous water puppet shows in Vietnam. The fairy tales and historical legends are recreated by wooden puppets on the water which are extremely unique and lively. This is an exciting attraction for travelers visiting Hanoi.

Address: 49 Dinh Tien Hoang, the shore of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Price: 100,000 VND/adult – 60,000 VND/child.

Opening Hours:

+ From Monday to Saturday: 1 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm, 6:30 pm, 8 pm, 9:15 pm.
+ Sunday: 9:00 am, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 4:10 pm, 5 pm, 6:30 pm, 8 pm, 9:15 pm.

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - West Lake

8. West Lake

West Lake is one of Hanoi’s largest and most romantic lakes. A small part of West Lake is divided by Thanh Nien road to form Truc Bach Lake. Go to West Lake, don’t forget to stroll at Thanh Nien Street, this is the most beautiful street in Hanoi, and visit Tran Quoc Pagoda.

Tran Quoc Pagoda is located on an island east of West Lake, is one of Hanoi’s oldest pagodas (more than 1500 years old), originally constructed in the sixth century. Visit here, you seem to admire the most quintessential things of Buddhism and the millennia of Vietnamese feudal architecture.

 

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Hoa Lo Prison Museum

9. Hoa Lo Prison Museum

If the War Remnants Museum is a must-visit place in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoa Lo Prison Museum is a must-visit attraction in Hanoi to witness the crimes of war. Built by the French colonial government in the late 19th century, Hoa Lo Prison Museum was originally used to harbor Vietnamese revolutionaries and any dissidents of the French rule.

The Vietnamese Army later used the prison to house prisoners of war during the Vietnam War (Well known figures such as Senator John McCain, James Stockdale and Bud Day were just a few of the many prisoners of war that spent time in this prison.)

Dubbed the “earthly hell” place, the most feared prison in Southeast Asia, during its time of operation, Hoa Lo Prison became a detention place of generations of Vietnamese soldiers. The prison architecture was designed with torture and forced forms of cruelty.

Note: You should consider when to visit this place with your kids because it will likely scare them.

Opening Hours: 8am-5pm
Price: 30 000 VND.

 

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

10. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Thang Long ancient citadel is an important historical and cultural citadel of Vietnam and has been recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage since 2010. Here was the political center of the country (feudal period) for 13 centuries, later Thang Long was renamed Hanoi.

Address: 19C Hoang Dieu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm – 7:30 pm (From Tuesday to Sunday)

Price: 30 000 VND (1,4 USD)

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - Train Street

11. Train Street

Mentioning Hanoi is speaking about old things and a slow pace of life. Train street is the small road connecting Dien Bien Phu Street and Phung Hung Street, where train tracks run right down the middle, allowing trains to pass terrifyingly close to the houses. The people here trade directly on the tracks; they have to pack up many times a day when a train is scheduled to pass. Don’t forget to have a cup of coffee here!

Train timetable

Monday – Friday: 7 PM, 7:45 PM, 8:30 PM, 10 PM
Weekend: 6 AM, 9 AM, 11:20 AM, 3:20 PM, 5:30 PM, 6 PM, 7 PM, 7:45 PM, 8:30 PM, 9 PM, 11 PM

 Top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda

12. One Pillar Pagoda

A one-pillar pagoda is an ancient pagoda of nearly 1,000 years old; it was built on a single wooden pillar of 1.25meters in diameter. This pagoda has gathered the essence of architecture for thousands of years of the country’s history.

Address: One Pillar Pagoda, Doi Can, Ba Dinh.

Price: 25 000 VND (1,1 USD)

Opening Hours:  7 am – 6 pm.

 

TIPS

 

Above are the top 12 must-visit attractions in Hanoi, Hanoi is a beautiful city and one of the 10 best places to visit in Vietnam.

Recommended length of stay: 3 -4 days. You should choose a stay in Hanoi Old Quarter.

You can refer to where to stay in Hanoi and find deals from our partners.

You should download Hanoi Tourist Map and print out the paper before the trip.

Wish you have a nice trip, don’t forget to send us a message to tell us what Hanoi is in you!

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