Hanoi-the capital of Vietnam is one of the most ancient cities in the world.  This place is associated with the history of the capital- thousands of years of civilization, Hanoi has become a very interesting tourist spot for visitors to explore and sightseeing about this ancient city. A famous destination has many historical sites and beautiful landscapes, with hundreds of pagodas, contemporary and classical architecture, and famous scenic spots right in the city center.

With the purpose of helping visitors find information about beautiful tourist places in Hanoi. In this article, we will take a closer look at the beauty and highlight some attractions in Hanoi for you to consult and plan with your friends and family.

vietnam street food
Attractions in Hanoi

Top 15 Must-Visit Attractions In Hanoi Vietnam

1. Best places in hanoi to visit

1.1 Hoan Kiem Lake: The Heart of Hanoi

Ho Guom Lake is one of the best things to do in Hanoi.It is located in the city center, nestled just on the southern edge of the old town quarter. It is famous for its peaceful beauty and mossy antiquity, especially, the main tourist attraction on the lake is a small tower located in the middle of the lake on the small island.

Turtle Tower is always the best place that visitors look to when coming to Hanoi.  The water of the lake has different colors depending on the reflection of the sky, it could be green, dark, or light, all of that makes this place a peaceful atmosphere. In addition, there are also many activities happening around Hoan Kiem Lake which make it crowded and busy all day, especially during the weekends.

hoan kiem lake
Hoan Kiem lake

1.2 Imperial Citadel of Thang Long: Tracing Vietnam’s History

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a massive architecture that was built by dynasties in many historical periods and has become the most important relic in the system of Vietnamese monuments and this place achieved UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition in 2010. 

Inside the Imperial Citadel, the gallery room is considered a treasure of the imperial palace of Thang Long where many historical artifacts are displayed, each part has its own story attached to each historical glorious time. The visitors will have an opportunity to discover and explore the cultural periods of Vietnam. 

Especially, Thang Long Imperial Citadel night tour takes place from 19:00 to 20:30 every Friday and Saturday night, with 300,000VND for adults and 150,000VND for children. Visitors will experience the ancient dance performance “Thang Long Palace” and traditional performances, attend the incense offering ceremony, and have the opportunity to take their own water from the King’s well symbolizing the sacredness and blessing, and many other interesting activities.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Location: 19C Hoang Dieu, Dien Bien ward, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi city

Opening hour: every day of the week (except Monday) from 8:00 a.m to 17:00 p.m

Ticket price: 30,000 VND for adults – Free for children under 15 years old

1.3 Hanoi Old Quarter

For over a thousand years, the Hanoi Old Quarter has been the best thing to do in Hanoi. It is a vibrant area with narrow, winding streets lined with beautiful colonial architecture and ancient temples. The visitors could try delicious street food with a variety of fruits and vegetables from Vietnam. Hanoi Old Quarter is also a shopping paradise where you can find unique handicrafts, traditional clothing, souvenirs, and exquisite artwork, all of which are things to do in Hanoi old quarter. 

Overall, visiting Hanoi Old Quarter allows you to experience the charm, culture, and vibrant energy of Hanoi, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.

Hanoi Old Quarter travel
Hanoi Old Quarter

1.4 Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Homage to the Father of Vietnam

The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam is an important symbol of Vietnamese history and culture. The mausoleum, located in Ba Dinh Square in central Hanoi, was inaugurated in 1975. When going to the mausoleum, visitors can see Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body lying in a glass sarcophagus. The mausoleum is regarded as a sacred place, and visitors are expected to dress appropriately and behave solemnly.

Moreover,  the complex also includes the Ho Chi Minh Museum, which showcases the life and achievements of Ho Chi Minh through various exhibits and artifacts. Visitors can learn about his childhood, political career, and contributions to the Vietnamese revolution.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Location: Hung Vuong Street, Dien Ban Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Opening hour: 8am – 11am, Tue-Wed-Thu-, Sat-Sun (December to September) last entry at 10:15am

Ticket price: Free for Vietnamese – 25,000 VND for foreigners

1.5 Hoa Lo Prison: A Glimpse into a Painful Past

Hoa Lo prison is one of the best places in hanoi to visit, one of the famous historical sites in Hanoi, was built by the French colonialists to arrest and torture patriotic soldiers and leaders of Vietnamese, which is known as “hell on earth” during the war period. 

When visitors visit the fire prison, you will see tools used for torture, specialized designs of doors, locks, and shackles, as well as images of the inmates’ miserable life in prison in the past, all are preserved and vividly recreated during the hard times.

Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo Prison

Location: Hoa Lo Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

Opening hour: 8:00 am – 17:00 pm

Ticket price: 30,000 VND

1.6 West Lake: Serenity Amidst Urban Chaos

Tay Ho (West Lake) is Hanoi’s largest lake, and its shoreline stretches for 15 kilometers. West Lake Hanoi is Hanoi worth visiting for tourists who want to learn about the nature, culture, and typical cuisine of Vietnam. With beautiful scenery, popular attractions, and cultural and entertainment activities, West Lake offers visitors memorable experiences.

For most travelers, West Lake is a great place to take a walk, enjoy the natural beauty of Hanoi as well as to feast on fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants that sit close to the shore.

West Lake
West Lake

1.7 St. Joseph’s Cathedral: A Touch of Paris in Hanoi

St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the best place to visit in Hanoi. It is a religious site that attracts both locals and tourists from all over the world. St. Joseph’s Cathedral has unique architecture and was inspired by the Neo-Gothic style of Notre Dame de Paris, which is the oldest Catholic church in Hanoi.

The structure inside of the church has high vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows and indicates stone carving. Although the outside of the cathedral, from the doors, and the colorful window glass, to the religious paintings for decoration follows Western style, the interior of the church is extremely impressive with its towering pillars, beautiful altars, and ornate decorations. 

When visiting, you can not only see beautiful architecture but also learn how Catholics live.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral
St. Joseph’s Cathedral

Location: 40 Nha Chung, Hoan Kiem

Opening hour: 8am – noon, 2pm – 6pm, every day

Ticket price: Free

1.8 Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: Celebrating Diversity

It is surely that the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is the best place in hanoi to visit and learn about the multiculturalism of Vietnam and for those who would appreciate some green space. 

This place carefully keeps many rich artifacts about the culture of Vietnam such as traditional clothing, jewelry, weapons, musical instruments, religion, beliefs, and many other spiritual activities. Everything is displayed as a small corner of life and the traditional culture of ancient ethnic people. Furthermore, there are a number of houses modeled after the traditional architecture of ethnic minorities, especially those who live in Northern and Central highlands.

As a place to keep the long-standing cultural values of 54 ethnic groups combining cultural colors across the country, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is definitely one of the places that is worth visiting when coming to the capital.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Location: Dinh Tien Hoang Street

Opening hour: 8:30AM – 5PM

Ticket price: 40,000 VND for adults – Free for children under 6 years old

1.9 Water Puppet Theatre

This is the largest water puppetry art center in the country with many interesting and novel performances that have won many high awards in domestic and international festivals. This is also considered as Vietnamese traditional art

This is a type of art that uses the water surface as a performance stage, the back is covered with a backdrop, and the surrounding is decorated with traditional motifs. Actors are wooden puppets that move and act under the control of a team of artists behind the backdrop. The performances are often imbued with Vietnamese national cultural identity. The visitors will have a lot of opportunities to learn about the culture of Vietnam.

Water Puppetry
Water Puppetry

Location: 57B Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hang Bac Ward, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Ticket price: 150.000 VND

1.10 Long Bien Bridge

Long Bien Bridge is the first steel bridge across the Red River, this is one of the important historical vestiges that witnessed the ups and downs of the capital during the resistance war against the French colonialists and the American Empire.

When visiting, travelers will admire the poetic scenery of the Red River, watch the sand floating on the water or ride a bicycle, take a relaxing walk on the bridge and overview of Hanoi’s capital, shimmering and brilliant.

Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge

1.11 Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature is the first university in Vietnam, this is where students often come to pray for important exams and people often come here during the traditional New Year with New Year peace wishes.

The architecture of the Temple of Literature was built in the Ly dynasty, near the entrance way, you can still see the names of students who studied here, etched into a series of pillars.

Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature

Location: Quoc Tu Giam, Van Mieu Ward, Dong Da District, Hanoi

Opening hour: all day of week

Ticket price: 20,000 VND for adults – Free for children under 15 years old

1.12 Dong Xuan Market: Shopper’s Paradise

Dong Xuan Market is not only the busiest shopping area in Hanoi, but also a famous historical landmark of the capital.

At the market, there are a variety of items such as clothes, shoes, household appliances, etc. In addition, outside the market, there are  many types of confectionery, souvenirs, food,…

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings,  Dong Xuan market also takes place  night markets, which are things visitors should do in Hanoi at night. Visitors can immerse in a crowded atmosphere to try delicious local food as well as discover Hanoi cuisine

1.13 Vietnamese Women’s Museum

Vietnamese Women’s Museum where it displays items and pictures about Vietnamese women as a tribute to beautiful women over time.The exhibition has great significance, affirming the role of women in the family, labor and heroic fighting spirit

1.14 One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda has been confirmed that One Pillar Pagoda is “The most unique temple in Asia” by the Asian Records Organization in 2012. The architecture of One Pillar Pagoda is designed with a square structure lying on a stone pillar,below is a lake, above are wooden slats forming a solid frame to support the temple, as a lotus flower blooming on the water surface – a flower symbolizing the purity and nobility of Buddhism. The entire space of the pagoda is placed on a stone pillar under Linh Chieu lake. 

One Pillar Pagoda is currently an attractive destination for tourists as well as a relic associated with the capital of thousands of years of civilization.

One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda

Location: Ba Dinh, Ha Noi

Opening hour: 7:00 am to 18:00 pm

Ticket price: 25,000 VND

1.15 Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House- outstanding architectural symbol in Vietnam, was designed with French neoclassical architecture. The Opera House is a delicate and harmonious combination of European architectural styles, and is divided into three distinct areas: the main hall, the mirror room, and the auditorium.

Currently, Hanoi Opera House has become an exciting place for art activities of Vietnamese artists. The theater is open to welcome tourists to visit while learning about the theater and being able to capture impressive moments when entering the theater.

2 What to buy in Hanoi?

2.1 Food

When traveling at Hanoi, visitors can not ignore the long-standing typical dish of the North cuisine, which is Pho.It is not only an attractive dishes In Hanoi, but also a culinary symbol of Vietnam. In addition, there are a lot of famous dishes to choose from such as Banh Mi, Bun Cha Obama, Banh Cuon,… Receiving new and unique features from many different cuisines, Hanoi cuisine has not been faded, but it has made it more special, which is its sophistication and uniqueness.

2.2 Drinking

Vietnam is known for its delicious coffee. Nowadays, the caffeine-charged drink is an integral part of Vietnamese culture, and you can find a variety of coffee shops and markets selling coffee beans in Hanoi. Furthermore, Hanoi is famous for many different drinks such as lotus tea, beer,…

2.3 Handmade Crafts

Hanoi is home to several markets selling handmade crafts, including jewelry, bags, and accessories. The Dong Xuan Market is a popular spot for handmade crafts.  These products are usually designed and produced by locals and have stunning quality. The prices are also very affordable, typically ranging from $3-$7 for simple items. Some items such as silk, ceramics, embroidery,… All of them are skillfully and elaborately made.

2.4 Vietnamese Conical Hat and Picture

Also known as “non la,” this traditional hat is made from palm leaves and is a popular souvenir for visitors to Hanoi. Moreover, this place is home to several art galleries and markets selling paintings by local artists.

3 Things to do in Hanoi at night

The best thing to do in Hanoi is explore Hanoi Old Quarter street food. It is famous for mouth-watering street food such as Bun cha Obama, Pho to  Egg Coffee or Fruity drinks, there are a number of delicious street foods waiting for you to explore, and of course, at super cheap prices. 

Furthermore, you definitely try to dive into the local drink culture at  Bia Hoi Junction. It is really great when sitting on the chair drinking Vietnamese draft beer after strolling through the busy streets. Bia Hoi Junction, which many people regard to be Hanoi’s perfect nightlife location, is a must-see for everyone visiting the city for the first time.

You also can go to Hanoi night market, where there are thousands of vendors selling everything including inexpensive clothing and sportswear, jewelry, electronics, paintings, and embroidery. And other interesting activities you can do in Hanoi at night.

Night Market In Hanoi Old Quarter

4 Is hanoi worth visiting?

Yes, Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is definitely worth visiting for a variety of reasons. It offers a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes for tourists to experience and enjoy while visiting Vietnam. 

Firstly, it has served as the capital of various Vietnamese dynasties, and its historical sites, such as the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, offer insights into the country’s past.

Furthermore, the city is known for its distinct cultural heritage, including traditional music, dance, and art forms. The Old Quarter is a bustling hub with narrow streets, ancient architecture, and a lively atmosphere that gives you a glimpse into traditional Vietnamese life. The city boasts a mix of French colonial architecture and traditional Vietnamese buildings. The contrast between the colonial-style buildings and traditional Vietnamese structures creates a unique urban landscape.

Hanoi is renowned for its street food scene. You can savor dishes like pho (noodle soup), bun cha (grilled pork with vermicelli), and egg coffee, among others. Exploring local markets and food stalls is a culinary adventure in itself.

Vietnamese people are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness, making your experience in Hanoi more enjoyable. If you’re interested in history, culture, food, and a mix of urban and natural experiences, Hanoi is likely to be a rewarding destination for you.

Hanoi is the best place when you travel in Vietnam, with more beautiful attractions and many interesting things waiting for you to discover and explore when you visiting Vietnam.