Top places to go in Hanoi


Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam – has stood out strongly through the 4000 years history of the country. Places below are the ones you can not and should not miss on your trip to Hanoi. Some may say if you did not visit these places then you hadn’t had come to the city!

1. Ba Dinh Square – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ba Dinh Square – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a historical place in Hanoi that has witnessed several heroic events over thousands of years. At the present, this is considered as the political centre of Vietnam with the Houses of Parliament, the Presidential Palace, and Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Ba Dinh Square - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ba Dinh Square – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ba Dinh Square – Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ba Dinh Square is the greatest Square in Vietnam, located on the street which was named after our first King – Hung Vuong – and being in front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. That is where, on September 2nd, 1945, Ho Chi Minh, President of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, read the Declaration of Independence. This is also the place where parades take place on official occasions. Therefore, Ba Dinh Square has significant meaning in the Vietnamese’ hearts and become an attractive place for domestic and foreign visitors.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of the Vietnamese great leader Ho Chi Minh. His building is enclosed by green bamboo. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is available for tourists every morning except for Monday and Friday. Come along, please pay attention to dress formally, do not carry electronic devices to record, and be quiet in the mausoleum.

2. Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake or Sword Lake is one of the most peaceful areas in downtown Hanoi. The Hanoians usually get together here to stay away from the hustle and bustle  of the city. The name relates to the legend where an old turtle gave the King a sword to chase out the foreign invaders. Located in the center of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake looks like the heart of this thousand-year-old city.. Around the lake, there are architectural works namely Pen tower, The Huc bridge leading to Ngoc Son temple, Statue of King Le Thai To, and Hoa Phong tower, etc.

3. Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple is a historic pagoda located at the center of a small isle. Getting there, you immediately feel peaceful and fresh. Every year, there are a countless number of arrivals to sightseeing its ancient. The Ngoc Son temple opens to visitors from 8 a.m to 5 p.m on a daily basis.

Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple

The tickets to get inside are sold at a small booth located on the left of the main post office addressed next to the lake. In order to enter the temple, tourists need to walk across The Huc Bridge. Standing right at the middle of the bridge, tourists can take pleasure in the panoramic view of Ngoc Son Temple and the Turtle Tower. When the sun comes down, the whole surface is lit up by the sunshine, making a amazingly magnificent view.

4. Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature is one of the most popular tourist sites of Hanoi, which was built in 1907 at the time of the Ly’s dynasty. The temple hosted the Imperial Academy, the Vietnam’s first national university. Over nearly two centuries, in spite of having to face wars and disasters, the temple still successfully remains ancient architectural styles as well as precious relics. It is a pride of the people in Hanoi when referring to the thousands-year-old historical culture of Thang Long – Dong Do – Hanoi. Temple of Literature is better known as a symbol of Vietnamese education and education. This is also a ritual place to worship the Confucius, sages, and scholars, especially Chu Van An, the highest rector of the Imperial Academy.

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

Temple of Literature

In order to visit the Temple of Literature, travelers can get there by public or personal means of transportation  (motorbike, bus, and taxi). If you are going by personal means of transportation, you should notice on the one-way street around the Temple of Literature. In case you are taking a bus, bus lines including 02, 23, 38, 25, and 41 are available for you.

5. Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison was constructed in 1896 as the “Maison Central” by the French colonists, which housed revolutionary soldiers against colonial rules. This historical building was one of the firmest structures in Indochina at that time. After the liberation of Hanoi, the prison was put under the authorization of the Revolutionary Government. From 1963 – 1975, this place was also used as a place to take into custody American pilots shot down by the Vietnamese 

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison

Nowadays, Hoa Lo Prison has been formed as a special monument with multiple of valuable documents displayed and preserved carefully. In the yearly basis, it is an attraction to thousands of domestic and foreign visitors. The place opens at 8 a.m and closes at 5 p.m everyday with a 2 hours lunch break from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. The entry ticket costs 30,000 VND per person. In case people come Hoa Lo Prison by bus, there are many available lines namely 02, 09, and 23, etc.

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