20 Best Hanoi Attractions
The capital of Vietnam, it’s the blend of east and west with French flair. The climate is tropical with hot and wet weather. It is the best city to explore on foot with a variety of entertainment like museums, monuments, temples, modern and traditional theatres, cafes, clubs, lakes, parks. There are so many Hanoi attractions that will capture your mind and soul.

West Lake, the largest freshwater lake centrally located in Hanoi, is a captivating destination for both locals and tourists on a Vietnam trip. With the circumference of 17km. Attracts both local and tourists with entertainment facilities and quiet spots among the lush greenery, hotels and villas surrounded by the lake. One can easily get around different places through here, which keeps the tourists engaged throughout the day.

Hanoi Opera House, was built up by the French administration in 1911 with an outstanding architecture featuring gothic themes on the window, pillars and doors with classy interiors. Tickets can be booked in advance for any show which is staged here.

Here are some of the best Hanoi Attractions:

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Soak in the Beauty of Hoan Kiem Lake

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The English translation of the lake name means "Lake of the Returning Sword". It has a huge historical context and is one of the oldest places in the city. One can also easily spot some softshell turtles which swim in the lake and has been seen since years, they make a beautiful sight. The lake was also known as Luc Thuy which means Green water in English. This was the former name given to the lake because it has green water.

Location: It is located in Hanoi, which is the capital city of Vietnam and has many other tourists attractions nearby as well.

Highlights: Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most scenic spots in the city and is a major tourist attraction which is visited by hundreds of people daily.

Best time to visit
: During dusk and night, the lake looks stunning as it lights up and people mostly take this as an opportunity for photographs.

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Visit Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

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Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is among the few museums which focus completely on showcasing the 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. The museum was built in the year 1997 and many new things have been added by the authority for making it better. The design of the museum was made by famous architect Ha Duc Linh who himself was a member of the ethnic group in Vietnam.

Nguyen Van Huyen, Nghia Do, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Highlights: It is the best place for people who want to know about the ethnic culture of Vietnam. The museum showcases it brilliantly

Best time to visit: The museum stays close on Monday so you can't visit it then. On the other days, you can visit the museum between specified timings by the authority which is from 8:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening. Make sure to plan your trip to the museum accordingly.

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Visit One Pillar Pagoda

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One Pillar Pagoda is a major tourist attraction in Hanoi and attracts a lot of visitors here. The place is quite peaceful and the pillar on which the temple is built is stunning.

One Pillar Pagoda, Doi Can, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam. Location of the place is a huge advantage as it is in close proximity to transportation facilities and other tourist attractions. 

Highlights: The temple is built on a wood which constitutes the single pillar which is of 1.25 in diameter. The whole design of the pillar is in such a way that it resembles a lotus blossom. This is also considered as a Buddhist symbol of purity.

History: The place is an ancient Buddhist temple and has existed since more than a millennium ago. It was built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong in around 1054. He made it as a gratitude for having a son and erected the pillar in between of a lotus pond.

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Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

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The body of Ho Chi Minh is preserved here so people visit to see that. There are many types of restrictions by the authority here such as you need to follow the dress code, be silent and walk in straight lines. Hands must be in pocket and arms should not be crossed. Apart from that no smoking, drinking or eating.

Hung Vuong, Dien Bien, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Highlights: The place is protected by Military honour guards and is a high-security place. The architecture is nicely done and a lot of people visit here to pay their respects to Ho Chi Minh.

Best time to visit: One of the best things about the mausoleum is that it stays open for 24 hours so you can visit it anytime you want. Only you need to keep in mind that it stays closed on Monday and Friday so make sure to not visit it then.

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Visit St. Joseph's Cathedral

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Hanoi is famous for its churches so if you are in the city, you must definitely visit the St. Joseph's Cathedral. There is also a lake nearby which you can choose to visit.

Location: Na tho street, Hanoi. The church is right on the road and you wouldn't have any difficulties in finding it, the place is quite accessible. History: The church was one of the first structures built by the French colonial government in Indochina and it was opened in the year 1886.

Highlights: The church serves as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese to almost 4 million people in the country. The church conducts mass several times in a day so you can be a part of it if you are there at the right time.

Best time to visit: Every Sunday, they organize a mass at sharp 6 in the evening, so this will be the best time for you to visit the church.

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Explore Vietnam Military History Museum

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Vietnam Military History Museum is one of the 7 national museums in the country of Vietnam. For people who are quite interested in guns and arms, they will have a great time at the museum browsing through various different items.

28A Dien Bien Phu, Dien Ban, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in central Hanoi right opposite the Lenin Park and near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

History: The museum was set up on 17th July 1956.

Highlights: There are numerous items on display which you can check out and you will not find them anywhere else. You will also find many statues of soldiers with guns since this is a military museum.

Best time to visit: On most days, the museum opens up at 8 in the morning and is close by 4:30 in the evening so if you are planning a trip here, plan according to that.

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Visit the Temple of Literature

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We all know about the famous philosopher Confucius and this temple is dedicated to him. There are various temples dedicated to Confucius in Vietnam but this is one of the best temples which also hosts the Imperial Academy. The temple has been renovated many times since its inception in order to keep it maintainable.

Ho Chi Minh City, Van Mieu, Dong Da, Hanoi, Vietnam. The location is easy to access and you can get many transportation facilities around the temple to take you to different destinations.

History: The construction of this beautiful temple was started almost a millennium ago in the year 1070.

Highlights: The temple is also printed on the back side of an official banknote of Vietnam. The layout of the temple is quite similar to the birthplace of Confucius which is a tribute.

Best time to visit: Temple of literature is open 24 hours so you can visit it whenever you desire.

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Go Boating at West Lake

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West lake is a fresh water lake located right in the center of Hanoi. This is the largest lake of the city and one of the most popular places for recreation activities as there are many kind of gardens, hotels and villas around the lake.

Location: The lake is in the center of city Hanoi and you can easily get around different places through here.

Highlights: You will be surprised to know that the shore length of this lake is around 17 KM. People like to chill out here on their vacation as the spot also has many entertainment facilities that keeps the tourists engaged.

History: The lake was created by taking a curved part of the Red river. There are many kinds of historical contexts that this lake carries and it was also said that the lake was shaped after a battle between some warriors many centuries ago.

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Visit Opera House

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Hanoi Opera House is an essential destination of the city. You can visit this place in order to enjoy a lovely show of opera singing. There is a large crowd that is pulled to observe the classic opera shows. The building is an excellent evidence of classic architecture. You will admire the whole setup of Hanoi Opera House that is very mesmerizing. The best part is that, Hanoi Opera House also hosts ballet performances that are very attractive. You need to book your tickets in advance for any show which is staged here. Western classics are mostly staged at Hanoi Opera House that is loved by the local crowd. You can easily reach this destination via public transport.

1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi, Vietnam

The stage setup of Hanoi Opera House is grand and is equipped with modern theatrical equipments.

Best time to visit:
Visit this place for evening shows.

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Stroll Around the Imperial Citadel

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Imperial citadel of Thang Long is a cultural complex which comprises of the royal enclosure built during the Ly Dynasty. A lot of the structure has worn out now but it still is one of the most historical places to visit in Hanoi.

Quán Thánh, Ba ?ình, Hà N?i, Vietnam

Highlights: The place was declared as an UNESCO world heritage site in the year 2010 due to which it attracted a lot of tourists in the recent years.

Best time to visit: There are timings to visit the place and you must take a note of it in advance. The citadel opens at 8 in the morning and closes at 11:30 in the noon. It again reopens at 1:30 and then stays open till 5 in the evening. If you are a tourist, you must make sure to visit the place during these timings and plan your trip accordingly.

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Watch a Performance at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

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For tourists who want to experience some great performing arts in the city of Hanoi, this is the best place where all kind of performances happen. The theatre is quite famous for its theatrical water puppetry show with accompanying music that sounds lovely. It is also sort of spiritual in nature as the event is according to their culture.

57b ?inh Tiên Hoàng, Hoàn Ki?m Hanoi, Vietnam.

Highlights: It is an ideal cultural place for all kinds of visitors no matter which country or ethnicity they belong to. The water puppet show is the unique speciality of the place which you will find nowhere else. It is a popular tourist attraction and if you are ever in Hanoi, you must make it a point to visit the Water puppet theater.

Best time to visit: You must check out the show timings on their website in order to know when to visit.

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Visit The Perfume Pagoda

The perfume pagoda which is also known as the Huong pagoda is a huge complex of Buddhist temples which belong here. There are various shrines that are built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. You will find many pagodas here but the perfume pagoda is quite famous for the way it is built.

Location: H??ng S?n, M? ??c, Hà N?i, Vietnam Highlights: It is also a popular site of various religious festivals that are held here. This attracts a lot of pilgrims which are local as well as foreigners. At the center of this huge complex is the perfume temple which is also known as Chua Tong which translates to Inner temple in English.

History: It is said that this site was discovered more than 2000 years ago and has a vast amount of history associated with it.

Best time to visit: Visit here when some religious festivals are taking place, it is really worth it.

Dong Xuan Market

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If you are looking to shop around in Hanoi, this is a nice market to checkout. The Dong Xuan market is an old 3 floor mall which stocks goods of different types. For tourists who want to buy souvenirs, this is among the best places as a lot of variety is available at a good price. But you need to bargain here in order to get a good price.

Dong Xuan Market
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Location: ??ng Xuân, Hoàn Ki?m, Hà N?i, Vietnam. This is located in the best spots in the city as the other tourist attractions are also nearby and you will also have good transportation facilities here.

Highlights: This place is bustling with clothes and vendors who sell street food, it is a decent place if you want to checkout the markets of Hanoi.

Best time to visit: It stays really crowded on the weekends during the peak hours so as far as possible, avoid going there during these times.
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Explore Old Quarter

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The Hanoi Old quarter is among the first place which tourists visit when in Vietnam and also the last place which they go before leaving the country. It was previously a great place for merchants and artisans to sell the goods they create but now it has become a place of heritage for tourists. The place is quite lively and different from rest of the places in the city.

It is a great place to know about the culture and tradition of the people who live in Hanoi as well as the city itself. The old quarter has many old style narrow streets with brick houses. We all are used to see tall skyscrapers and buildings but this place will bring back you to where we used to live some hundred years ago.

It was a place where traders used to trade goods they had.

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Ba Vi National Park

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Ba Vi National Park is a place where you will find different species of birds, animals and plants. It spans across around 26,720 acres of land which is quite vast and you can spot various type of animals here. But the reason why it attracts so many visitors and tourists is the natural beauty of the place.

Ba Vi National Park

Location: Thôn Nghe, Vân Hòa, Hà N?i, Tây ??ng, Ba Vì, Hà N?i, Vietnam. The place is around 48 km west to the city of Hanoi but you can book a vehicle which will take you there. Even public transportation is available here at a good frequency.

Highlights: The park is rich in flora and fauna, it is a great place to be in midst of nature and enjoy your time here. The scenic beauty is at an another level altogether, if you are a tourist you must not leave Hanoi without visiting the lovely place.
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Metiseko is a lovely shop in Hanoi that is famous for its silk products. You can access a number of authentic items from Metiseko that are quite fascinating. There are very less centers in Hanoi that offer such a wide range of cultural dresses. Elegant designs are very common at Metiseko. Home décor items are easily available in this shop. People from different parts of the city visit this destination so as to access quality goods. The weekends are very much crowded so plan your visit accordingly. The staff working at Metiseko is very friendly that is always ready to help you. You can reach Metiseko easily by following the city map. Bargaining is not active at this shop.

Location: 03 Chau Thuong Van, 86 Nguyen Thai Hoc, 142 Tran Phu, Hoi An 00000, Vietnam

Highlights: Best place to buy silk products and designer clothing.

Best place to visit: The weekdays are best to pay a visit at Metiseko.

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Minh Thuy's Family Restaurant

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Minh Thuy’s Family Restaurant is managed in a classic way. The restaurant has a royal setup that is very attractive. You will admire the seating space that will enhance your dining experience at Minh Thuy’s Family Restaurant. When you are at Minh Thuy’s Family Restaurant, then do not forget to taste the chicken and barbeque ribs. The crowd at Minh Thuy’s Family Restaurant is very decent. You must also try the goulash that will please your taste buds. The German dishes offered at Minh Thuy’s Family Restaurant are a good advantage for this restaurant as it attracts a large crowd on the weekends. Wine and beer is also served at Minh Thuy’s Family Restaurant which will surely make your meal more vibrant.

Location: 20 Ngo Huyen, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam

Highlights: This restaurant is good for family dinners as the ambience is very positive and can accommodate a large group without much hassle.

Cost: INR 560- 1300
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