Ha Noi, the charming capital of Vietnam, is a combination of modernity and historical beauty. Embracing hundreds of years of history, Ha Noi is also one of Vietnam’s most productive economic cities.
Arriving at Ha Noi, you can find those historical traces that are preserved by the government right at the heart of the capital, blending with the bustling pace of life in the city. That’s an interesting experience to discover such a city.
Let’s find out things to do in Ha Noi, what specialties to taste, and where to visit in this beautiful city.
6 typical things to do in Hanoi
Enjoy a show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
Situated in the Old Quarter, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater has been well-known for its professional and unique performances. The inspiration and origin of this traditional show was the dance of Vietnamese farmers on the fields flooded in the rainy season.
The Puppet Theater enjoys an international reputation for its success in fascinating programs and shows, attracting a lot of audiences not only from Vietnam but also all over the world. The theater has also received a number of records and awards in domestic and global festivals.
With the focus on Vietnam’s local stories or ancient folklore, the water puppet shows are operated by experienced and skillful Vietnamese artists. Wooden puppets, beautifully painted and dressed, are attached to long bamboo canes, and controlled to dance on the water surface by artists staying at the back of the water stage.
There is a maximum of 6 shows per day, each of which normally lasts around 45 minutes to 1 hour. The audience is specially offered with souvenirs after the show.
Indulge in the view from Long Bien Bridge
Photo: Vietnam Tour
Finished in 1903 by the Parisian architects and more than 3,000 Vietnamese, Long Bien is a historical bridge that is easily recognized when you pass by on the streets of Ha Noi.
The bridge played a very crucial role during the Vietnam War as it is the only connection across the Red River between Hanoi and the main port of Hai Phong. At the time of construction, Long Bien was one of the longest bridges in Asia.
Some parts of the bridge, throughout history, were destroyed or bombarded. Only half of it remains original. The bridge, nowadays, is used for only trains, bicycles and pedestrians in the walking lanes on the 2 sides, and other transports are directed to new bridges.
Long Bien Bridge, therefore, is an exciting place where you can have a walk, observe those traces of history, watch the sunset and snap some spectacular shots.
Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake
One of the best things to do that every visitor to Ha Noi would love to do is blend in the crowd of pedestrians at weekends. The People’s Committee of Hanoi began this project in 2014, barricading a number of streets from cars and motorbikes. People are allowed only to walk in those streets and around Hoan Kiem Lake.
Photo: Eviva Blog
The barricade starts from 6 p.m on Fridays until late Sunday evening, so during those hours, you can freely walk around and try living like a real Hanoian.
In the morning, you can see many people jogging for exercise or groups of teenagers making some dance moves for mobs or videography purposes. In the evening until midnight or early morning of the day after, there are a variety of activities from traditional games, musical performances, book festivals, or portrait drawing.
Go shopping in The Old Quarter
The Old Quarter, commonly known as the urban core of Ha Noi, famous for the 36 streets named based on the specific trade and specialization on each street. Workers from villages in the past used to gather in one area to support each other and sell their products, creating each street’s signature.
That’s why it’s not really difficult to find what you need in the Old Quarter as the street name gives you the idea of what they sell. Therefore, you can know exactly where to go. For example, Hang Duong – “Sugar” Street is specialized in jams, dried fruits, candies, or sugary products.
Photo: Photos & Travel
Moreover, the local night market is available in the Old Quarter area at weekends when the streets are barricaded for walking. If you are seeking some souvenirs for your friends or relatives, it’s a good idea to have a look at this street.
Drink beer on Ta Hien street
One of the most favorite things to do in Ha Noi is to drink beer at the junction of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets. At night, the junction is full of people sitting on small stools, drinking beer, and having some finger food in groups.
This is a popular activity of not only travelers to Ha Noi but the locals as well. If you continue going straight on Ta Hien street, there are a lot of bars and restaurants for your nightlife, too, if you are interested.
Ta Hien is appreciated thanks to its transformation from a quiet street in the day to a crowded street at night. If you have a chance to walk in this street in the morning, you might find it a quiet place with a few people having coffee or drinks for the start of a day.
Watch the flag-raising ceremony at Ba Dinh Square
Ba Dinh Square was the square where President Ho Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on the 2nd of September 1945, setting a new milestone in Vietnam history.
Ba Dinh Square, nowadays, is believed to be in a strategic position with many vital buildings nearby i.e., the President’s Palace or the National Assembly Building.
A particular picture that visitors can view is the flag-raising ceremony at 6 a.m every day. You are definitely fascinated by the impressive parades of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum’s guardians in white uniforms and caps if you are lucky.
Besides, the square is a relaxing gathering place for families in the evening thanks to its beautiful grassland.
What to taste in Hanoi – Hanoi Specialties
“Bun Cha” – Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Vietnamese Meatballs
What I love to savor first on my every trip to Ha Noi is “Bun Cha”, a typical tasty dish of the capital city. The dish comprises grilled pork meatballs and belly slices, served with rice vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and sliced cucumber, combined with the sweet and sour fish sauce. Pickled vegetables are also added to enhance the taste of the dish.
Don’t forget to try “Bun Cha” upon your arrival at Ha Noi! You can try this dish at those recommended places below.
Bun Cha Dac Kim: 1 Hang Manh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Bun Cha Quynh Nga: 1 Pho Hue Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Ha Noi.
Egg coffee at Giang Cafe
Mr.Giang, one of the very first top bartenders in charming Ha Noi, is the inventor of the delicious creamy egg coffee. The idea of making egg coffee was to use the egg as the alternative for milk at this moment.
A cup of egg coffee is usually served hot, put in a dish of hot water to keep it warm. Hot coffee is first poured in a cup, then topped with a sweet, smooth, and fluffy egg foam.
To savor the full taste of an egg coffee, you need to use a little spoon and pick up the coffee layer together with the egg cream, so a special combination of the aromatic flavor of coffee and the egg’s sweet as well as a little fatty taste is expected.
Besides the coffee, the ambiance at Giang Cafe with a little sunlight and green color of plants also brings you a friendly and cozy feeling like home.
- Giang Cafe: 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Upon talking about Vietnam, everyone in this world will always think about “Pho” – the country’s traditional and symbolic dish.
It is a kind of noodle soup including rice noodles (pho) in broth cooked from meat bones, served with beef or chicken, bean sprouts, and some typical herbs. Different people may have preferences for various beef cuts: steak, fatty flank, lean flank, or brisket.
There are many restaurants of Pho all along Vietnam nowadays; however, cuisine lovers will always find that Pho in Ha Noi is still delicious and special in its own way.
Photo: Van Hoa Newspaper
Also, there’s a popular variant of Pho called “Pho cuon” which is beef rolled with vegetables in steamed rice paper.
- Pho Gia Truyen: 49 Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
- Pho cuon Huong Mai: 25 Ngu Xa Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi.
“Cha ca La Vong” – Grilled fish paste
Cha ca La Vong – grilled fish paste is famous for its delicious taste with the fish’s aroma and dill. The best fish to prepare “Cha ca La Vong” is hemibagrus, a sort of freshwater fish, as it’s very juicy and tasty with very few bones. In case hemibagrus is unavailable, mudfish or snake-head fish can be used as an alternative.
To prepare the best-grilled fish paste, the seller needs to cut the fish into thin slices, then marinate it in ginger, saffron, fermented cold rice, pepper, and fish sauce. After that, the fish skewers are cooked on a charcoal grill for the best flavor.
- Cha ca La Vong: 14 Cha Ca Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
- Cha ca Thang Long: 21 Duong Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
“Chao suon sun” – Pork Rib Porridge
Photo: Huyền My – Foody
“Chao suon sun” is a favorite to all the locals and travelers regardless of age. Living in Ha Noi, people love “Chao Suon Sun” for all year long because of its delicious taste and reasonable price. It’s not a usual porridge like what you usually cook at your home.
I always remember the first time I’ve ever tasted a bowl of “chao suon sun”, I was totally impressed and excited. A delicious bowl of pork rib porridge must be inclusive of tender and smooth porridge, with the sweet taste of bones in the broth and deboned pork ribs. You can choose to eat the porridge with some crunchy fried breadstick.
Additional toppings that can make your bowl fuller and more enjoyable are dried shredded pork and stir-fried meat. Address: 14 Dong Xuan Street, Hoan Kiem District
- Chao suon sun Huyen Anh: 14 Dong Xuan Street, Dong Xuan Market, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
- Chao suon Co La: 2A Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
“Nem chua ran” – Fried fermented pork sausages & “Nem nuong” – Grilled Pork Rolls
Most youngsters are into finger food, and “nem chua ran” is one of their top choices for hanging out with friends. “Nem chua ran” is made from cured pork and pork skins mixed with flour, then stored in a short time for fermentation.
The sausages are covered in flour and deep-fried in hot oil. “Nem chua ran” is served with cucumber, pineapple, guava, and a specific chili sauce.
Belonging to the same “family”, “nem nuong” is made from minced pork skin, ground pork thigh, chili, garlic, sugar, and salt, then pressed for shape; however, the fermentation process is longer than “nem chua ran” for the sour taste. The pork roll is then skewered and grilled directly on coal, bringing a fascinating smell of pork.
- Nem Nuong Co Phuong: 10 Au Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
“Bun dau mam tom” – Vermicelli with fried tofu & shrimp paste
Photo: Khánh Huyền – Foody
“Bun dau mam tom” is my most favorite of all. I have to say that I can’t find any better version of “Bun dau mam tom” anywhere else in Vietnam but in Ha Noi. This popular street food is sold from markets, small alleys, street corners to restaurants.
This specialty comprises:
- Vermicelli noodles – “bun” in Vietnamese
- Fried tofu slices – “dau” in Vietnamese
- Boiled pork slices
- Various types of pork paste
- Pork organs
- Shrimp paste, a specific sauce for the dish – “mam tom” in Vietnamese
- Aromatic herbs and vegetables
For a whole dish full of toppings, the price is quite reasonable. You are certainly impressed by the first look at the dish because of the way everything is arranged on a bamboo tray.
The two shops below are my favorite whenever I travel to Ha Noi.
- Bun dau mam tom Co Tuyen: 29/31 Hang Khay Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
- Bun dau Nha Ham: 29/29 Hang Khay Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Where to go in Hanoi – Tourist Destinations
The city center
Hoan Kiem Lake
Photo: An Vietnam
The most outstanding tourist attraction of Ha Noi is Hoan Kiem Lake, as it’s in the Old Quarter area with beautiful surroundings and a special legend about it.
Walking around the lake in the morning, you might see a lot of the young as well as the elder jogging or dancing for exercise. A lot choose this place for the morning thanks to the fresh air and ideal beautiful scenery for their start of the day.
Ngoc Son Temple – The Temple of The Jade Mountain
Address: The junction of Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 08:00 – 18:00
Crossing the Morning Sunlight Bridge on Hoan Kiem Lake, you will reach Ngoc Son Temple. The Temple of the Jade Mountain is now one of the special national historical sites that need to be preserved, protected and improved.
Photo: Timeout Vietnam
The temple consists of 2 compartments – the first for worshipping Grand Price Hung Dao, and the other for Wenchang Dijun, a Taoist deity in China – the God of Culture and Literature.
By the way, one more point that attracts many tourists from all over the world is the Hoan Kiem turtle’s body preserved in the temple. The specimen is 200 kg (440 lbs.) and 1.9 meters long (6 ft 3 inch).
Travelers, while they visit the temple, are requested to put on appropriate and polite clothes to respect and preserve the solemnity of the temple.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral
Address: 40 Nha Chung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
08:00 – 11:00; 14:00 – 17:00 | Monday – Saturday.
07:00 – 10:30; 15:00 – 21:00 | Sunday.
Price: Free entry.
Just a few minutes away from Hoan Kiem Lake, a photogenic spot favored by many travelers, is St.Joseph’s Cathedral, whose name is after Joseph, the saint of Vietnam and Indochina at this moment. The cathedral project was conducted by the French in 1996, showing a strong resemblance to Notre Dame de Paris.
As the cathedral is right at the junction of the 2 streets, it is outstanding with a large venue in front for gatherings, and ideal for beautiful photos. You can have a visit inside the church on some days of a week. Check the schedule before coming.
Ha Noi Opera House
Address: 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Photo: Viet Fun Travel
Built by the French during their time in Indochina, Ha Noi Opera House, or the Grand Opera House is located in central Ha Noi. The structure of the opera house was designed following the European style in the 20th century.
The Opera House has been the most important venue of all the cultural centers in the capital for traditional Vietnamese dramatic arts, symphonies, opera-ballet, or national awards and important occasions.
You can look into detailed information about performances at the Opera House on the website mentioned earlier.
The Temple of Literature
Address: 58 Quoc Tu Giam, Dong Da District, Ha Noi.
07:30 – 18:00 | 15/04 – 15/10 (Dry season).
08:00 – 17:00 | 16/10 – 14/04 (Rainy season).
Price: VND 30,000.
Photo: Vietnam Discovery Travel
Having a remarkably long history since 1070, The Temple of Literature is a complex area of over 54,000 m2. It was the first national university – the Imperial Academy.
There are three pathways continuing through the complex.
- The center was for the monarch.
- The left is for the administrators.
- The right is for military men.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Moreover, the Stelae of Doctors is always the place where people are most interested in. There are 82 carved blue stone turtles to honor the talent of those successful ones at the royal exams. The turtle was chosen, as it’s one of the four holy creatures, symbolizing longevity and wisdom.
Therefore, the Vietnamese hold a belief that they can come here to pray for luck and success before their exams. Also, the temple is featured on the VND 100,000 note.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Address: 19C Hoang Dieu Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 8:00 – 11:30; 14:00 – 17:00 | Daily except for Mondays.
Price: VND 30,000.
Having been mostly destroyed in the 19th century, The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long covers the total area of around 18,395 hectares. However, only the Central Sector of The Imperial Citadel, the area of which is 20 hectares, was recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. This area is now open to the public for visiting, comprising those structures below:
- Ha Noi Flag Tower.
- Doan Mon gate in the South of the Citadel – The Main Gate.
- Kinh Thien Palace.
- Chinh Bac Mon – Northern Gate of Thang Long Imperial Citadel.
- Princess’s Palace, also known as the palace that maintains the peace of the North.
- 18 Hoang Dieu – Archaeological monuments.
- House D67.
The remains of The Imperial Citadel have been the proof of long-lasting and continuing Vietnamese tradition during the past 13 centuries until now, showing there’s the inheritance from generation to generation, from one dynasty to another in terms of philosophy, politics or administration.
This historical site was considered a precious treasure and a great success to archaeologists of Vietnam as they have found so many more than what they expected, to learn about the root of the current modern Ha Noi.
All of those have a great contribution to the recognition of The Imperial Citadel as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Don’t forget to explore the one-thousand-year Imperial Citadel on your journey to Ha Noi!
Tay Ho District – West Lake area and Ba Dinh District
As the largest freshwater lake in Ha Noi, Vietnam, West Lake has been loved by Vietnamese travelers, and especially foreigners, upon their first visit to the capital. On the sides of the lake are beautiful gardens, hotels, restaurants, and villas.
Photo: Vietnam Travel Guide
Also, jogging in the morning by the lake is typical for everyone living around, as it’s tranquil and beautiful with the very first sunlight of the day. Young people usually go there for magnificent pictures as there are various fantastic corners perfect for photo-shooting.
You can visit Ha Noi’s other famous points of interest like Tran Quoc Pagoda, Quan Thanh Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, or Ha Noi Botanical Garden from the lake.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Address: Thanh Nien Street, Tay Ho District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 08:00 – 16:00.
Price: Free entry.
Photo: Hanoi Local Food Tours
Built around 1,500 years ago, Tran Quoc Pagoda is told to be the oldest one of all in Ha Noi. The pagoda has been believed to bring residents a peaceful life and protect them from disasters.
The Kings of Vietnam used to travel to the pagoda, located on a small island on West Lake, for sightseeing and praying. The current structure of the pagoda has been the same since the last renovation in 1815.
The total area of Tran Quoc Pagoda is more than 3,000 m2, inclusive of towers and statues. Besides the Buddha, they also worship the “Mothers” – the Green Mother for mountains and forests, the White Mother for the water, and the Red Mother for the sky who are the very first goddesses in Vietnam.
Quan Thanh Temple
Address: Thanh Nien Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00.
Photo: Vietnam Travel
Featuring a spacious yard with a large banyan tree and the bronze statue of Tran Vu, one of the deities in Taoism, Quan Thanh Temple is one of the Four Sacred Temples that were created in four directions of the capital so as for the protection against bad spirits.
The temple is in charge of protecting Ha Noi from the North, near West Lake. Nowadays, Ha Noi people come to Quan Thanh Temple during Tet Holiday or on important days of the month to pray for health, luck and joy.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Address: 2 Hung Vuong Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 07:30 – 10:30 | Tuesday – Thursday | 07:30 – 11:00 | Saturday and Sunday
Price: VND 25,000/foreign visitor. Free entry for Vietnamese.
If you ride your bike around Ha Noi and pass Ba Dinh Square, you will see a huge marble building which is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the embalmed remains of Ho Chi Minh are preserved in a glass case and protected by military guards.
To visit the Mausoleum, I recommend that you should wake up early as you will have a long queue to wait in. Upon queuing and getting closer to the place, you will have the chance of observing the surroundings with the beautiful natural landscapes. Everyone is asked to follow strict regulations, and no pictures are allowed inside the Mausoleum.
A limited number of people are allowed once at a time, to make sure that there is no noise and no delay in the visit. As you have to continue and cannot stop, you will have only around 1 minute to visit, and many people cannot hold their tears back when walking in the main hall with dim light.
A quiet and solemn ambiance is kept, and everyone is speechless.
Ho Chi Minh Museum
Address: 19 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi
Opening hours: 8:00 – 11:30 | 14:00 – 16:30 | Tuesday to Sunday (except Friday)
Price: VND 25,000/foreign visitor. Free entry for Vietnamese.
Ho Chi Minh Museum is in the Ho Chi Minh complex, dedicated to the Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh. The museum exhibits 8 stages of Uncle Ho’s revolution narrative against foreign powers in Vietnam’s history.
- 1890 – 1910: Ho Chi Minh’s hometown, upbringing, and youth.
- 1910 – 1920: His courageous decision on the journey of seeking solutions to achieve independence for Vietnam.
- 1920 – 1945: The integration of Marxism and Leninism into the principles of the Vietnamese Communist Party, and his great pursuit of freeing Vietnam.
- 1945 – 1969: Ho Chi Minh’s life until his last day of life.
- The final: The details about how he was a national hero and his political life.
The collection of artifacts and miniatures in the museum are set up and arranged meticulously, creatively, and logically, leaving a profound impression on every single visitor. There’s also a special part to recollect those moments of Ho Chi Minh’s funeral and Vietnamese people’s honor to Uncle Ho.
It is to define that even when Uncle Ho passed away, he is still with everyone in their minds and hearts.
One Pillar Pagoda
Address: Next to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
Situated in the central Ba Dinh district near Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda is one of Vietnam’s iconic temples.
Photo: Asean Records World
One Pillar Pagoda boasts a unique structure with a temple on a single stone pillar, in the middle of a small lotus pond. The inspiration is to create a pagoda that resembles the shape of a lotus.
The story behind the decision on the construction was King Ly Thai Tong’s mysterious dream. The King was childless for years, and one night, he met the Bodhisattva sitting on a shining lotus in his dream, handing him a baby. He got married to a woman after, by coincidence, and they had a son together. That’s why a monk recommended the King to build One Pillar Pagoda in order to show his honor and gratitude to the Bodhisattva.
Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts
Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:00 | Daily.
Entrance fee: VND 40,000.
Guide: VND 150,000/group of maximum of 25 people.
(Languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Chinese)
Photo: Vietnam Travel
Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts is one of the modern museums in Ha Noi, which features paintings, sculptures, and ceramics from the Ancient time until Modern time. The museum’s signage is in both English and French, so you can enjoy the artworks and understand the meaning easily.
Because of the increasing number of objects in the collection, the museum was expanded from 1,000 m2 to 3,000 m2, and built an additional building for exhibitions. Even the basement was also transformed into a gallery for the ceramic collection.
Following a logical arrangement and ensuring the aesthetic aspect, 2,000 objects are currently exhibited to visitors in an impressive way. Also, many organizations or solo artists sometimes show their artworks at the Museum, proving the reputation and quality of the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts.
The Museum especially organizes annual exhibitions domestically and internationally like those European countries – England, France, Italy, Spain, or Asian countries – Japan, Korea, Singapore, Laos.
Lotte Tower Observation Deck
Address: 54 Lieu Giai Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 09:00 – 24:00 (Ticketing counter closes at 23:00)
International adults (above 12): VND 230,000/ Vietnamese adults (above 12): 180,000.
International children (3-12): VND 170,000/ Vietnamese children (3-12): 120,000.
Children (under 3): Free of charge.
Situated on the 65th floor of Lotte Tower 272 meters above the ground, the Observation Deck has attracted a considerable number of travelers since its establishment. Besides its exceptional location, technology integration and the creative idea are also why you should go there when you travel to Ha Noi.
The first impression is always essential, and Lotte Tower Observation Deck will leave you the first profound impression through the speedy elevator with the light effect, creating a dreamy ambiance with sparkling stars.
Photo: Vietnam Travel Guide
Below are 5 things that you shouldn’t miss out at the Observation Deck:
- Have a spectacular view of the capital with the heart-shaped West Lake.
- Take a walk on the glass ceiling to challenge yourself and conquer your fears.
- Look closely at everything in Ha Noi through the super eyes – binoculars set up at the deck.
- Type your message through a keyboard to deliver it on the interactive screen.
- Capture your memories via pictures as there are a lot of photo booths and beautiful corners for check-in.
Other museums in Ha Noi
Museum of Ethnology
Address: Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Cau Giay District, Ha Noi, Vietnam.
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30 | Daily except for Mondays.
Price: VND 40,000
One of the most famous museums not only in Ha Noi but all over Vietnam as well is the Museum of Ethnology, which embraces a rich collection of items related to the 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam, from clothes, jewelry to those connected with important ceremonies. The museum is ideal for children, students and those interested in a country’s history and origin.
The indoor exhibition space is a virtual tour of the 16 ethnic groups, along with valuable antiques and daily objects of those people. The outdoor area is inclusive of model traditional village houses created with great attention in natural surroundings.
The Vietnam National Museum of History
Vietnamese History from Prehistoric period to Nguyen dynasty, 1945: 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Vietnamese History from the mid-19th century to present: 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, Hoan Kiem District, Ha Noi.
Opening hours: 8:00 – 12:00 | 13:30 – 17:00 | Daily except for the 1st Monday of every month.
Price: VND 40,000 (For the 2 museums)
Photo: Chao Hanoi
To learn about the details of Vietnam and the origin of the very first people, it is definitely the best idea to take a trip to the Vietnam National Museum of History.
Featuring the architecture of China and France, the Museum of Vietnamese History was originally a French school during the French colonial period in Vietnam and then taken over by the Vietnamese government in 1958.
The first museum on Trang Tien street is about the prehistoric period (300,000 – 400,000 years before) until 1945, an important milestone in Vietnam history, storing over 200,000 exhibits arranged in 5 sections and materials of Vietnamese cultural history.
Out of all items found and preserved at the museum, there are rare collections that play an important role in the history and culture of Vietnam like archaeological artefacts from the Early Paleolithic Age, a collection of Dong Son culture, Champa stone sculptures and a collection of ceramics from other Asian countries.
At the other museum, more than 80,000 documents and artifacts associated with the Revolutionary history, the Communist Party of Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh, and leaders of the Communist Party of Vietnam are filed and presented carefully.
What to do in Ha Noi at night
You can walk around The Old Quarter, have some drinks and live like a real Vietnamese in the most crowded street for nightlife – Ta Hien street. If you are in Ha Noi at the weekend, don’t miss out on the walking street around Hoan Kiem Lake.
- What to do in The Old Quarter, Ha Noi?
There is a lot to discover in The Old Quarter.
- Exercise around Hoan Kiem Lake in the early morning.
- Savor every specialty, as you can find all easily within a few steps.
- Walkthrough the 36 specialized streets, blend in people’s daily life and buy what you want.
- Join the crowd in the walking street at weekends, play traditional games, and watch street musical performances.
- What should we do in Ha Noi?
As the capital of Vietnam, there are a lot worth visiting in this beautiful Ha Noi. You can watch those traditional performances at the water puppet theater, try the special local food, and visit the top tourist destinations such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake or Lotte Observation Deck.
If you have a chance to stay longer, you can explore every corner of Ha Noi, and I am sure that you will love it for the ancient ambiance in a modern city.
By the way, from Ha Noi, you can find some tours to other provinces or cities that are only a few hours away like Sapa, Ha Long Bay, or Ninh Binh.
What should I not miss in Ha Noi?
If you have a short trip to Ha Noi, what you shouldn’t miss are:
- Hoan Kiem District with the famous Old Quarter, beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, the Temple of Literature, and St.Joseph’s Cathedral.
- The walking street of Ha Noi at weekends.
- “Pho”, “Bun cha” and egg coffee.
- Ba Dinh District with Ba Dinh Square.
- Is Ha Noi worth visiting?
Definitely! Considered one of the most economic cities in Vietnam, the capital city Ha Noi, embracing an abstract beauty of nostalgia and history, is also the favorite city to foreigners. Most international travelers would love to put Ha Noi on the top of the list when they plan to go to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese would absolutely love to visit the capital of their country and to learn more about their own origin.
How many days should I stay in Ha Noi?
My recommendation is to spend 5-7 days in Ha Noi as you can take time to travel to many destinations without any rush, enjoy yourself in a new city, and blend in the daily routine of a Hanoian. And sure, it’s better to include weekends in your plan for the walking street.