Experience the vibrancy of Hanoi, the captivating capital of Vietnam. It invites you to uncover a collection of Hanoi Must-See Attractions that harmoniously blend history, legend, and modern dynamism. From the enchanting Hanoi Old Town Quarter to the tranquil allure of Hoan Kiem Lake, each attraction offers a gateway to Vietnam’s cultural opulence. This collection of Hanoi’s top attractions offers insights into the city’s essence, meticulously chosen by the experts at Amasia.
1. Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Old Town Quarter, affectionately known as “Hanoi – 36 streets,” isn’t just a district—it’s the heart of the city. With a history spanning over a millennium, this quarter preserves the allure of days gone by. Comprising 36 ancient streets, many beginning with “Hang” and named after the goods traded there, like Hang Tre (Bamboo) and Hang Bac (Silver), it exudes a unique charm that captures visitors’ hearts.
2. Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake, often referred to as the “heart” of Hanoi, graces the city’s centre with its tranquillity and cultural significance. The legend of King Le and his enchanted sword adds a layer of enchantment to the lake’s ambience. A visit to Hoan Kiem Lake is incomplete without exploring Ngoc Son Temple and capturing the timeless beauty of Turtle Tower.
The Huc Bridge – Photo credit @amasiatravel
3. Temple of Literature
4. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is a sanctuary of reverence for countless Vietnamese. Amidst serene botanical gardens, this complex is home to the Mausoleum, Stilt House, Museum, and more. A pilgrimage site, it offers visitors an opportunity to pay homage to Ho Chi Minh, an influential figure in Vietnam’s history.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – Photo credit @amasiatravel
5. Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
To delve deeper into Vietnam’s intricate ethnic fabric, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology serves as a window into 54 ethnic groups. More than just a tourist stop, it acts as a hub for ethnographic research, offering insights into daily life, customs, and celebrations.
6. Hoa Lo Prison
Hoa Lo Prison, known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” reverberates with the struggles of Vietnam’s past. Originally built by the French in 1896, it remains a symbol of the nation’s resilience against colonial oppression. It stands as a sombre testament to sacrifices made for freedom.
Hoa Lo Prison, known as the “Hanoi Hilton” – Photo credit @amasiatravel
7. Military History Museum
The Vietnam Military History Museum stands out as an essential among Hanoi must-see attractions, tailored for history enthusiasts interested in war. Established in 1956, it pays homage to Vietnam’s heroic struggle for independence against formidable invaders, notably France and the USA.
8. Thang Long Imperial Citadel
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel encapsulates Vietnam’s historical legacy. Dating back to the 6th century, it showcases artefacts spanning centuries, offering a vivid glimpse into the nation’s history.
9. Vietnamese Women's Museum
The Vietnamese Women’s Museum in Hanoi pays tribute to the integral roles of women in society. With exhibits spanning family, history, and fashion, it honours the contributions of women, especially during times of conflict.
10. Vietnam National Museum of History
The Vietnam National Museum of History provides an immersive voyage through Vietnam’s evolution. Covering prehistoric times to the 1947 revolution, it holds a treasure trove of artefacts that unveil the nation’s multifaceted history.
11. Dong Xuan Market
Dong Xuan Market, Hanoi’s oldest and largest, extends beyond commerce. Established in 1889, it holds historical significance as a reminder of Vietnam’s struggle against French rule. Vibrant and bustling, it encapsulates the city’s vitality.
12. Long Bien Bridge
Built from 1898 to 1902, the Long Bien Bridge, once called the Paul Doumer Bridge, serves as a symbol of Vietnam’s history. As a connection to the past, it invites visitors to engage with narratives of the French colonization and the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people.
Long Bien Bridge – Photo credit @amasiatravel
Amasia’s Recommended Itineraries for Hanoi Must-See Attractions in Vietnam
Explore our recommended itineraries for discovering Hanoi must-see attractions, thoughtfully selected by Amasia’s travel experts.
Hanoi Heritage Trail: Embark on a journey through the city’s most captivating sites, encompassing the Ho Chi Minh Complex, the historic Thang Long Imperial Citadel, the insightful Vietnam National Museum of History, and a serene stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake the vibrant Hanoi Old Quarter.
Charming and Historical Day in Hanoi: Immerse yourself in the city’s highlights, including the Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, a captivating cyclo ride through the historic Hanoi Old Quarter, and the renowned Water Puppet show.
“Tip: For culture enthusiasts, it is highly recommended to book tickets for the captivating ‘My Village‘ performance at the Opera House. This performance seamlessly weaves acrobatics, traditional dance, and soul-stirring music.”
Where to Go Next from Hanoi?
Vietnam offers a splendid array of diverse experiences waiting to be explored. Just a short drive from Hanoi, Halong Bay stands tall with its awe-inspiring karst limestone formations and shimmering emerald waters. Embark on a cruise to unveil hidden caves and soak in the breathtaking scenery.
For adventurers seeking to trek and fully immerse themselves in Vietnam’s rich cultural diversity, Sapa extends an invitation. With its iconic rice terraces, ethnic hill tribe communities, and picturesque vistas, Sapa promises an unforgettable experience.
Often acclaimed as the “Halong Bay on Land,” Ninh Binh showcases dramatic limestone karsts and lush rice fields. Row through enchanting caves by boat and discover ancient temples tucked away amidst the landscape.
For a comprehensive exploration of what to see in Hanoi, consider a thoughtfully tailor-made holiday Vietnam itinerary that delves into the country’s diverse offerings-spanning landscapes, history, culture, and the authentic local way of life.
In this article, you’ll discover Amasia’s recommendations for the top of Hanoi must-see attractions. It is your ultimate guide to exploring the city’s treasures and uncovering what to see in Hanoi. Should inspiration arise, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below; Amasia is excited to hear from you.