Top places to visit in Ha Noi 2024
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. Walking down these tree-lined lanes past crumbling colonial facades transports you back in time. Today’s Hanoi, on the other hand, is about much more than the past. Modern cafes, world-class restaurants, and cool art galleries are revitalizing the ancient city. This list will give you a glimpse of Hanoi tourist spots so you can get your trip planned before you go.
Plan your trip carefully for your first visit to Hanoi using the guidelines provided below.
Plan a trip for history discovery:
The Old Quarter which is a must-go play when tralling Vietnam. That is the complex of 36 streets from ancient temples painted a riot of reds and oranges, while in a far-flung corner the clang of a blacksmith’s hammer mingles with a mobile fruit seller’s call.
The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu in Vietnamese) erected in honour of the philosopher Confucius and his disciples in 1070. In 1076, it became home to Hanoi’s first university, Quoc Tu Giam. The site is one of the oldest in Hanoi and a national symbol of Vietnamese education and architecture.
Ho Chi Minh mausoleum complex: The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is an important place of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese. A traffic-free area of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas, it’s usually crowded with groups of Vietnamese who come from far and wide to pay their respects to ‘Uncle Ho’. Within the complex are Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt house, Ho Chi Minh museum, The Presidential palace and the One Pillar Pagoda.
Hanoi Opera House: The Hanoi Opera House is one of Hanoi’s grandest buildings. The exterior is a delightful mix of French neo-classical design with shuttered windows, wrought iron balconies and tiles friezes. Construction of the Hanoi Opera House began in 1901 and was completed in 1911.
Hoa Lo prison: In 1896, the French built Hoa Lo prison on the land, which was a famous pottery village – Phu Khanh Village, Vinh Xuong, Tho Xuong District in Ha Noi. Hoa Lo was one of the biggest prisons built by the French in Indochina. From a famous pottery village, the prison was built to intern thousands of Vietnamese patriotic and revolutionary fighters.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel: The Thang Long Imperial Citadel (UNESCO World Heritage Site) was built in the 11th century by the Ly Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century. It was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries without interruption. The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique South-East Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.
Museum of Ethnology: This is a must-see for anyone intending to visit either Mai Chau or Sapa, or indeed anyone interested in Vietnam’s cultural diversity. The museum is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. As well as the comprehensive array of exhibits inside, there are also traditional tribal houses reconstructed within the grounds.
Quan Thanh temple: Quan Thanh Temple was built during the reign of King Ly Thai To (1010 – 1028). The temple honors Saint Tran Vu, a legendary figure who helped King An Duong Vuong chase away demons during the construction of Co Loa Citadel. The central feature of the temple is a giant, black, bronze statue of Tran Vu cast in 1667.
Tran Quoc pagoda: With origins dating back to the 6th century Tran Quoc is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam. The pagoda’s unique design features a visitor hall, two corridors and a bell tower. Inside are numerous statues, the most notable of which is the wooden statue of the Shakyamuri Buddha. The oldest stele was built in 1639 and depicts the pagoda’s history. Several burial stupas in the garden are relics of one of the earliest Zen Buddhist groups in North Vietnam.
Bat Trang ceramic village: Bat Trang Ceramics Village (in existence for at least 500 years) is approximately 10km northeast of Hanoi and lies on the left side of the Red River bank. It specializes in crafting ritual objects, and producing household utensils such as bowls, plates, vases, cups and pots. Recently, the village has diversified its holdings and started to offer fine art ceramics and high quality porcelain. The village artisans’ skills in providing handicrafts remain unmatched and non-rivalled.
Ngoc Son Temple: Ngoc Son Temple was built around the 19th century. This is one of the typical architecture in Hanoi. Ngoc Son Temple is not only a famous spiritual tourist destination. But also a place to bring visitors home and abroad impressive experience. Local people also often come here to pray for the good luck.
Saint Joseph’s Cathedral: Saint Joseph Cathedral (simply called “Big Church” in Vietnamese) is located on Nha Chung Street near the Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. This is a Roman Catholic cathedral with neo- gothic style like Pais Cathedral, which was built over 100 years ago.
Water Puppet show: Water puppetry is a remarkable Vietnamese art form combining traditional music, fireworks and elaborate puppets floating gracefully on the water. The stories depict Vietnamese legends, peasant life and local festivals. The art form dates back to the 10th century and originally these plays would have taken place on lakes and ponds during the monsoon season. The stories remain the same but now the production takes place in a specially designed theatre with a stage knee-deep in water. The puppeteers are hidden behind a bamboo screen and the whole experience is both entertaining and amusing.
Plan a trip for festival and cuisine:
In terms of cuisine, Hanoians have a long-standing culinary tradition, summing up the quintessence by native people and those who move to Hanoi to settle down and contribute to Hanoi’s food. By the wonderful arrangement of flavors and textures, “Pho”- Vietnam’s most famous dish, has been exported with pride all over the world. “Pho “may have been exported and became popular in some other countries but you just can try the original and fresh taste in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. You can’t come to Hanoi and not try “Bun cha”. “Bun cha” became an overnight sensation after Anthony Bourdain and President Barack Obama lunched at Bun Cha Huong Lien on the show No Reservations. Hanoi’s food has not just “bun cha” or “Pho”, it is famous for “banh com, banh tom, cha ca la vong” and so on.
Ha Noi has many festivals such as: Ba Chua Kho Temple (Giang Vo) Festival on the 12th day of the second lunar month, Bach Ma Temple Festival on the 12th to the 13th day of the second lunar month, Chem Temple Festival on th14th to the 16th day of the fourth lunar month, …
Plan a trip for entertainment, leisure or teamwork:
This kind of trip has been popular recently with camping in Dong Mo lake area, golf area in Ba Vi and other places outside Ha Noi. That will be a great ideal for families or companies with teambuilding.