The Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel ( known as Hoa Lu Ancient Capital ) was Vietnam’s capital from 968 until 1009. It is situated in the province of Ninh Binh, roughly 90 kilometers south of Hanoi. Hoa Lu was founded by Dinh Bo Linh, who later became Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang, the first emperor of a unified Vietnam. The Citadel was chosen for its strategic location, surrounded by limestone mountains and rice fields, which provided natural defenses.

Hoa Lu was an active hub of trade and culture throughout the Dinh and early Le Dynasties. But Emperor Ly Thai To relocated the capital to Thang Long, or modern-day Hanoi, in 1010. Hoa Lu lost significance over time and was eventually forgotten.

The Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel is a well-liked tourist attraction nowadays. The remains of the palaces, temples, and fortress walls are open for exploration by tourists. The temples honoring the Dinh and Le emperors are the most well-liked sights because they provide breathtaking views of the surroundings.

ninh binh from hanoi
Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel

When you arrive at the Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel, you can explore the beauty of the destination and find out the history and structure of the citadel in the article. Following that, you can refer to some places in the Ancient Citadel. Hopefully, you have a wonderful experience.

Discovering the Majesty of Hoa Lu – A Traveler’s Guide to the Ancient Citadel

1. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital

The ancient beauty and long history give this place a feeling from ancient times through temples and mausoleums, and besides romantic mountain and river locations, creating a place worth experiencing and enjoying the scenery here together.

vietnam ninh binh
Hoa Lu Ancient Capital in Ninh Ninh

Adult tickets: 20.000 VND/Person

Tickets for children: 10,000 VND/Person

Here are a few highlights you can visit to see Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel.

2. What to see Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel – Some landscapes when you arrive and visit

2.1 King Dinh Temple

monument of the Hoa Lu Ancient Ninh Binh Heritage Complex. The Temple was built for missing the first king of Dinh Dynasty – Dinh Tien Hoang,

who was instrumental in suppressing the rebellion of 12 warlords, unifying the country, and laying the foundation for an independent and unified Dai Co Viet nation.

For historical and cultural values: The temple was classified as a Special National Monument in 1962.

King Dinh Temple – Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel

Adult tickets: 20.000 VND. It includes King Dinh Temple and Temple of King Le Dai Hanh

Children under 6 years old: Free

Following that, you can visit both Kinh Dinh and King Le Dai Hanh Temple. Here is some information about the Temple of King Le Dai Hanh.

2.2 Temple of King Le Dai Hanh

The Temple of King Le Dai Hanh is located in Hoa Lu Ninh Binh Heritage Complex. The temple is located roughly 300 meters north of the King Dinh Temple.

Le Dai Hanh, the second ruler of the Dinh Dynasty, is absent from the Temple. Every year on March 25th of the lunar month, the Temple celebration takes place. Numerous travelers from all over the world are drawn to the celebration. 

Hopefully, you will find some useful information that will make your trip amazing and valuable.

King Dinh Temple
Temple of King Le Dai Hanh

2.3 Am Tien Cave

Am Tien Cave (Secluded Fairies) is located at Truong Yen commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. The cave is about 12 km from the Ninh Binh center in the Southeast.

Am Tien Cave is located in a flooded valley surrounded by limestone cliffs. The cave is about 200m long and about 100m wide.

The cave is divided into two main compartments:

  • Outer compartment: Where there is a clear blue lake with a depth of about 20m.
  • Inner compartment: Where there are many stalactites with magical shapes.

Am Tien Cave has been known for a long time. In the 10th century, the cave was used as a hideout by King Dinh Tien Hoang and his son Dinh Lien during the war against 12 warlords

Am Tien Cave is a draw destination for many tourists because of its wild beauty and mystery. Tourists can visit the cave by boat, kayak, or by swimming in the lake. 

Am Tien Cave
Am Tien Cave

Hopefully, the place makes you feel comfortable and unwind with the stunning landscapes. If you want to get more information, you can watch the article on the Internet.

2.4 Nhat Tru Pagoda

Nhat Tru Pagoda is an ancient pagoda in Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. The pagoda was built in the 10th century by King Dinh Tien Hoang. Nhat Tru Pagoda is one of the most ancient in Vietnam and a national historical monument.

The Nhat Tru pagoda was built on a small hill, with crucial and impressive architecture. The pagoda has a square-central station, with the curved roof and is supported by four large pillars. Inside the main power has a statue of Buddha shaking the bigger cumulative. The temple also has some other houses, used to provide accommodation for monks and visitors.

The Nhat Tru Pagoda is a well-known destination in Ninh Binh. Tourists can visit a crucial architectural pagoda, pray for luck and safety, and enjoy the beautiful landscape around the place.

Nhat Tru Pagoda
Nhat Tru Pagoda

Adult tickets: 20.000 VND/Person

Tickets for children: 10,000 VND/Person

2.5 Ma Yen Mountain

Ma Yen Mountain is about 12 km from Ninh Binh Province in the Southeast. The mountain has a shape as a saddle, hence the name Ma Yen. The height of the mountain is 200 m and it is one of the most beautiful mountains in Hoa Lu.

Ma Yen Mountain is a famous destination in Ninh Binh. Visitors here can climb the mountain to see the majestic scenery of the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, or visit historical relics located on the mountain, such as the temple of King Dinh Tien Hoang, the temple of King Le Dai Hanh and the temple of two Phat Kim Princesses.

Ma Yen Mountain
Ma Yen Mountain

When tourists arrive in Ninh Binh, tourists should visit and participate in climbing with friends and family.

2.6 Taking part in the annual festivals

Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel is a place where there are many festivals throughout the year. Some famous festivals such as:

Hoa Lu Festival: The festival is held in the March lunar month every year to commemorate King Dinh and King Le Dai Hanh. The festival included many activities such as processions, ceremonies, artistic performances, and sports.

The King Dinh Temple Festival: the festival is held on March 10th of the lunar calendar every year to commemorate King Dinh Tien Hoang.

The Temple of King Le Dai Hanh Festival: The festival is held on March 25 of the lunar calendar every year to commemorate King Le Dai Hanh. 

Truong Yen Festival: The festival is held in the lunar month of April every year to pray for favorable weather and good harvests.

The Two Phat Kinh Princesses Temple Festival: The festival is held in the August lunar month every year to commemorate Two Phat Kinh Princesses.

Hoa Lu Festival
Hoa Lu Festival

Participating in the festivals in Hoa Lu is a great way to experience the culture and history of Vietnam. Festivals are an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the bustling, joyful atmosphere and enjoy unique cultural activities.

2.7 Paying a visit to Tam Coc – Bich Dong (Halong on land)

Tam Coc – Bich Dong is a famous scenic spot located in Ninh Binh province, Vietnam. This place is known as “Ha Long on land” because of its majestic landscape with limestone caves and the poetic Ngo Dong river.

ninh binh tours
Tam Coc – Bich Dong

Adult tickets: 120.000 VND/Person

Tickets for children: 60,000 VND/Person

Here are some activities for visiting:

  • Tourists can go by boat to visit Tam Coc, including 3 caves: Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba.
  • Tourists can climb 216 stairs to visit Bich Dong Temple which has beautiful stalactites and Buddha statues.
  • Tourists can go by bike or walk around the village.
ha noi to ninh binh
Explore Ninh Binh by Bicycle

When you experience exploring in a place that makes you feel admired in front of majestic caves and miraculous landscapes.

3. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital map

Hoa Lu Ancient Capital map has two maps: maps online and map papers. With the rapid advancement of technology, you can watch quickly on your mobile or laptop with the condition of the Internet, therefore, you can buy a map paper at a store like Trang An scenic complex, a national historical museum, or a souvenir shop.

4. Best time to visit Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel

When you want to visit anywhere, the important thing is the time of the place where you are coming, and enjoying the landscapes in this city. The months of March to May, and September to November are the best time to visit Hoa Lu Ancient Capital:

  • March through May: It’s springtime in Vietnam during this time of year, and the cool, comfortable weather is ideal for outdoor sightseeing.
  • September through November: Vietnam’s autumnal season features temperate, agreeable weather together with stunning natural surroundings.
mua cave in ninh binh
Best time to visit Ninh Binh

You have a wonderful trip when you visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital.

5. How to get to Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel from Hanoi

When you want to go to Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel, first take a plane to Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi. Then you can rent a bus, car or motorbike. If you want to freely experience, you can rent a motorbike

Here are some information about the vehicle you can refer to:

  • Passenger car: This is the most popular means of transportation from Hanoi to Hoa Lu Citadel.
  • Motorbike: If you like to experience backpacking, you can ride a motorbike from Hanoi to Hoa Lu Citadel. The distance is about 100 km. 
  • Car: If you travel with family or friends, you can rent a car to go from Hanoi to Hoa Lu Citadel.
  • Taxi: This is the most convenient means of transportation but also the most expensive.
private car
Go to Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel by private Car

6. Tips and Tricks

Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel Ninh Binh is known for its magnificent scenery, temples, and rich history. The following tips and tricks can help you have a more pleasurable trip to the capital:

  • Planning the trip: The best time to visit and how to get to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital
  • Exploring the sites: You can refer to the article to get more information or you can hire a guide who speaks English.
  • Try Food Local: Ninh Binh offers delicious dishes like mountain goat meat, rice noodles, and freshwater fish. 
  • Learn Basic Vietnamese Phrases: a few basic greetings and explore the Vietnamese customs.
ninh binh vietnam
Discover Ninh Binh in Vietnam

Hopefully, you have a wonderful trip when you visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital Ninh Binh, and explore the stunning landscapes.