As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi city is home to a large number of must-see attractions. This city is actually over 1000 years old so the wealth of history here is mind boggling: pagodas, temples, ancient citadels, unique theater, museums, old quarter.
Hanoi Old Quarter, the cultural, dining, entertainment and shopping heart of the city is worth the majority of your time to discover. Make sure to visit as many of these attractions in Hanoi as possible because they all offer entertainment, beauty and education at different turns.
1. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Located in Ba Dinh district of Hanoi, The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an intriguing relic of Vietnam’s history and, signifying its historical and cultural importance, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing 40 meters high, the central flag tower is the most recognizable feature of the Imperial Citadel and is often used as a symbol of Hanoi. This was the center of ancient Hanoi and served as the political center for eight centuries.
Add: Next to Ba Dinh Square, opposite the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum
2. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square is one of the most attractions in Hanoi. It is the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh, the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam, known to his people as ‘Uncle Ho’. His body is preserved here in a glass case at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in central Hanoi. This is more than a tourist attraction, it is a part of living history and a visit here stays long in the memory.
Add: Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi city center.
3. Hoan Kiem lake
Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword lake) is a central feature of Hanoi and is a popular hangout spot throughout the day with locals and tourists. Hoan Kiem lake serves as the central point to reach just anywhere. Ngoc Son Temple sits on a small island in the center of the lake and linked by a bridge, makes a beautiful background for a few photos.
Add: Downtown of Hanoi.
4. Hanoi Old quarter
Hanoi Old Quarter is a fascinating area of the Capital city where travelers can enjoy many fine examples of colonial architecture packed along narrow streets. Endless packs of scooters, motorbikes, bicycles, cyclos and cars weave around retailers selling fruit and souvenirs. This is famous place for street food in Hanoi. The Old Quarter brings to life what many people imagine Hanoi to be, and exploring this Old quarter by walking on foot is highly recommended for all travelers to this area.
Add: Dowtown of Hanoi.
5. Hanoi Opera House
One of the most elegant buildings in all of Hanoi is undoubtedly the Hanoi Opera House which is located in the heart of the French Quarter. Built in 1911, Hanoi Opera House is exudes Parisian charm from its ivory-toned columns, ornate balustrades and Gothic domes.
Inside the House, performances range from opera, to dance, drama and international artists from every corner of the world. Large events are well publicized so keep an eye out and you might get lucky and get to see one of the world’s leading performers in one of the most beautiful buildings in Southeast Asia.
Add: on the famous August Revolution Square, near Hoan Kiem lake.
6. The Temple of Literature (Van mieu).
Located on Van Mieu Street, 2km west of Hoan Kiem Lake, Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam is a famous historical and cultural relic consisting of the Temple of Literature and Vietnam is first university. The Temple of Literature was built in 1070 in honour of Confucius, his followers and Chu Van An, a moral figure in Vietnamese education. Quoc Tu Giam was built in 1076. Throughout its hundreds of years of activity in the feudal, thousands of Vietnamese scholars graduated from this university.