Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

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Tourist Attractions in Hanoi

An ultimate guide to fascinating Tourist Attractions in Hanoi


Hanoi has never failed to amaze tourists with its rich culture, diverse cuisine, and a long and heroic history. These three indispensable features – culture, cuisine, and history – play an important role in attracting a great number of both domestic and international tourists as well as contributing greatly to the introduction of Vietnam to the world. 

These followings are suggested most interesting and famous Hanoi attractions for visitors to enjoy countless once-in-a-lifetime experiences in this beautiful capital of Vietnam.

Taking a pleasant morning walk around Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is not only recognized as an important symbol of culture and history of Hanoi, but also a favourite destination of both local and foreign travellers when travelling to Hanoi.

Located right at the heart of the capital and intersected with the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is easily paid a visit at any time of day for sightseeing, exploring many interesting activities or simply walking comfortably around the lake and enjoying the fresh morning air. 

Hoan Kiem Lake has existed for thousands of years and played a crucial part in the development of Vietnamese history. The legend surrounding its name hardly fails to enchant history lovers. Before receiving the official name as Hoan Kiem as we know today, the lake is well-known for many names associated with different stories. 

While the name “Luc Thuy” gives the compliment on the emerald blue water of the lake, “Thuy Quan” refers to the place used by the Imperial Court to inspect naval troops. The name “Hoan Kiem” was officially introduced in the early 15th century with the legend of King Ly Thai To returning the Magical Sword to the Golden Turtle after borrowing it to defeat Minh invaders, becoming King and building the glorious and prosperous Le dynasty.

Apart from its fascinating history, Hoan Kiem Lake is also renowned for a wide range of cultural sightseeing and activities. Ngoc Son Temple is one of the not-to-be-missed destinations when visiting Hanoi. Situated on an island north of Hoan Kiem lake, Ngoc Son Temple is connected to the shore by the famous bright red The Huc bridge. Arriving at Ngoc Son Temple, tourists are likely to be amazingly surprised by the magnificent architectural works in the trace of nostalgic time and the beautiful view of Hoan Kiem Lake.

In addition, King Ly Thai To Monument, built to commemorate and honour Vietnamese beloved King – who laid the foundation for the construction of Thang Long Citadel, is an ideal place to enjoy numerous outdoor cultural and music activities. 

Moreover, if you are a fan of fine art music, Hanoi Opera House, which is within the walking distance from Hoan Kiem Lake, is an ideal choice for exploring Vietnamese high-quality traditional music. This delicate architectural building was built by French in 1901 and completed in 1911. Hanoi Opera House is not only a cultural space, but it is also home to many major political events of the country. This Hanoi attraction is considered the valuable witness of the first peaceful moment of the country and the civilization revolutionary. 

Among historical tourist attractions in Hanoi, there would be a big mistake not to visit Hoa Lo Prison. Hoa Lo Prison was built in 1896 by the French colonialists with the purpose of locking away many revolutionary soldiers against colonial rule. This is one of the most permanent structures in Indochina at that time. Today, Hoa Lo Prison has become a special historical monument with many valuable documents displayed and carefully preserved, attracting thousands of domestic and foreign tourists to visit each year.

Immersing in the unique cradle of the culture of Vietnamese people

After filling your hungry bellies with numerous Hanoi specialities, there is another well-known Hanoi attraction that should be included in your travelling journey for a lovely afternoon in the capital city, which is St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Located at number 40 Nha Chung Street, the Cathedral is one of the most favourable destinations of the young locals. 

The church is designed in the style of medieval Gothic Europe with high walls, dome, and many windows. Inside the church, the sanctuary is carved with wooden lacquer and gold paint combined with stained glass system. The feeling of standing in an ancient castle with classical music is irresistible. 

Travelling to the West of Hanoi is West Lake (Hồ Tây) – a romantic, poetic and tranquil part of the bustling Hanoi. West Lake, which is one of the most famous landmarks of the capital, is recognized as “a giant mirror” reflecting nature and city skyline. The nature sceneries along the Lake are very poetic and dreamlike with endless rows of green trees, beautiful flowerbeds, and lively green grass. Especially, the beauty of nature perhaps becomes most gorgeous and unforgettable at the end of the day when the magnificent sunsets fall on the landscape. 

Furthermore, Dong Xuan Market is listed among must-see Hanoi attractions. Dong Xuan Market is one of the biggest markets in Hanoi which sells a wide range of products ranging from houseware, dry food to clothing. As a wholesale market, the goods here are sold at a cheaper and more reasonable price than other places(but still remember to bargain). This market is a perfect place for purchasing lovely Hanoi souvenirs for your friends and families. 

Participating in the vibrant nightlife of Hanoi capital city 

Eager to experience Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife? Walking Street is highly recommended to be included in every visitor’s travel map. There is nothing better than taking a pleasant walk around the Lake and listening to your favourite music from many street bands without the noise of car horns and crazy traffic. Moreover, joining Vietnamese traditional games – skipping rope, Mandarin square capturing (Ô ăn Quan) and tug of war – promises to create unforgettable experiences.

There are a lot of attractive sights to see in Hanoi nightlife and one of them is the Night Market. Hanoi Night Market, which only opens for three weekend days, is made of endless rows of stalls selling various types of goods. Tourists can find almost everything in the market: clothing, accessories, electronic devices, and delicious street food. 

The most outstanding place to enjoy the true vibrant nightlife of Hanoi is Ta Hien Street in the Old Quarter. This street is regarded as the “Beer Street” of Hanoi because visitors are able to have a taste of different reputable brands of beer. In addition, Ta Hien is also a “home” of many lively and energetic bars and clubs to dance your heart out among local people. 

Hanoi – the capital city of Vietnam – has always occupied an important place in the Vietnamese mind and considered the heart of the country and a great destination for exploring a distinctive and diverse culture, history and cuisine.