Top 8 Attractions in Hanoi

As one of the most famous and attractive tourist destinations in Vietnam, Hanoi has a wealth of historical relics and numerous places of interest to go sightseeing. Hanoi is an ancient city with a history of more than 1,000 years and enjoys the reputation of “the Land of thousands of cultural relics”. What are the top attractions in Hanoi? Here we picked out some must see attractions in Hanoi that are worthwhile for tourists.


1. Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter

The old quarter of Hanoi was built during the Ly and Tran dynasty. Hanoi's old quarter is one of the most fascinating places of Hanoi and is the soul of Hanoi's history and culture. The architecture here is a fusion of Vietnamese and French style. As if passing through time and space, it is a good place to experience the human atmosphere. For all visitors to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, exploring the old quarter on foot is highly recommended.


2. Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

Ho Hoan Kien, also known as the Turtle Lake, is located in the heart of Hanoi's old quarter and is regarded as the first scenic spot in Hanoi. The crystal-clear lake is over-shaped and surrounded by green trees. The area of the lake is small, and it takes less than an hour to walk around the lake.


Hoan Kiem Lake is also an important landmark in Hanoi.Den Ngoc Son is situated on a small island in the central part of the lake, with the Thap Rua in the south of the lake. Thap Rua is small and exquisite with a star at the top. Den Ngoc Son is dedicated to the Emperor Guandi, King Xingdao and the Emperor Wenchang three saints. Hoan Kiem Lake is free to public, but there’s a fee of VND 20,000 to visit Ngoc Son Temple.


3. Trang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Trang Long Water Puppet Theatre

To visit Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, you should not miss the Vietnam National Treasure Performing Arts Water Puppet Show. Vietnamese water puppet show, also known as "water puppet" and "water scorpion", is a traditional Vietnamese cultural performance, with about a thousand years of history. This unique puppet shows originated from the Ly dynasty in the 11th and 13th centuries and is also a folk-art treasure that Vietnamese people are proud of. Most of the shows feature the famous legend of Restored Sword of King Le that is the story of Hoan Kiem Lake and the giant tortoise.


4. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

The imperial city was built in the 11th century in the Ly Dynasty of Vietnam and is a symbol of the independence of Dai Viet. This is the center of ancient Hanoi and has been a political center for eight centuries. The ruins area reflects the historical accumulation of the Thang Long and the Hanoi period from the 7th to the 19th century. Hoang Thanh Thang Long was added in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.


5. Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

The Hanoi Temple of Literature is a well-preserved traditional 11th-century Chinese architectural style building in Vietnam that is also the earliest national university in Vietnam as well as a must-see attraction in Hanoi. It used to be the place where the children of the royal family of Ly Dynasty studied. The statue of Confucius is enshrined in the temple. During the Spring Festival every year, the Hanoi Cultural Bureau will hold a grand ceremony at the Temple of Literature, including ceremonies, calligraphy and painting exhibitions, chess competitions and other cultural activities.


6. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Vietnamese: Lang Chu Tich Ho Chi Ming) is the resting place of President Ho Chi Minh, the father of Vietnam's independence. It is located at the western end of the Ba Dinh Square in the capital of Hanoi. The mausoleum is magnificent, and the remains of Ho Chi Minh are preserved in the plexiglass case of the Central Hall, guarded by the military guards. Local people and tourists from all over the world come to admire, but every major festival such as Labor Day and National Day will line up long queues. It is best to avoid these times.


7. Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market

Located in the heart of the old city of Hanoi, Dong Xuan Market is an old market where locals often visit. Originally built by the French colonial government in 1889, it was destroyed by the fire and repaired many times. Now the Dong Xuan Market is the largest indoor market in Hanoi, and the products sold cover all aspects of food, clothing and housing. However, the facilities in market are relatively simple, and the grades of goods are also low. For tourists, the significance of feeling the life of Hanoi residents here may be greater than shopping.


8. Saint Joseph Cathedral

Saint Joseph Cathedral

St. Joseph's Cathedral, also known as the Hanoi Cathedral, is the oldest church in Hanoi. Built in 1886 and modeled after the style of Notre Dame de Paris, it is a representative French building in Hanoi. Although the appearance seems a bit mottled, the main interior of the church, the stained-glass window, and the square tower are very worth seeing.


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