Hanoi Historic Travel: Combination of Western And Eastern Cultures (2023)


  • Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Hanoi Opera House
  • Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre
  • Hoa Lo Prison
  • Temple of Literature
  • One Pillar Pagoda
  • Vietnam National Museum of History
  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
  • St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi
  • Show More

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and the second-largest city in the country. The interesting combination of western and eastern cultures offered by this city is famous worldwide. The architectural structures of the country have a hint of French impact along with Vietnamese pattern. Hanoi is one of the most famous tourist destinations of the world; sometimes called "Paris of the East" because of its French influences. The beautiful tree-fringed boulevards, thousands of Colonial-era buildings and many rivers streams rambling the city brings out the tourist from every corner of the world.

But Hanoi historic travel is the one part offered by this country that has been renowned by travelers around the world. Hanoi has more than a thousand years of history. After decades of war, the city was extremely devastated, but Hanoi was courageous enough to rebuild itself and made it into a flourishing nation of Southeast Asia. Since then the city has become the center of attraction for the people who are enthusiasts about historic travel. The unique and enchanting Hanoi historic travel offers them some beautiful memories for a lifetime. Here is the list of some of the famous places with a rich history that will make your Hanoi historic travel worth it. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and be ready to explore the pieces from history by witnessing the exceptionally maintained colonial buildings, the world’s largest mosaic, unique museums, and ancient pagodas and bring them back in your memories and pictures.

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Imperial Citadel of Thang Long signifies the historical and cultural importance of Vietnam. The Imperial Citadel was the home to Vietnamese kings and Emperor for more than 100 years. It was the capital of the Ly Viet dynasty; the first dynasty of Vietnam. It was built in the 11th century during the Ly Viet Dynasty. During the French colonization in the 19th century, most of the citadel building was demolished and was replaced with modern French structures. The yellow buildings are from the French colonial era.

In 2004, during the excavation the remains of the imperial capital, The Royal Citadel were found in the center of the city. Since then it has gained popularity among the visitors and history seekers. In 2010, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historical site is a very interesting place to visit. There are not much of the original building remainings, but when you wander around the building, especially the display room, you will be pleasantly surprised by seeing the evidence of the ancient Citadel. While walking through the display room, you will get a clear sense of this place in Vietnamese history. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long continues to carve its age-old past to the future, and that makes it a must-visit place for a Hanoi historic travel.

Opening time: Opens every day from 8 am to 5 pm and remains closed on Monday.

Address: 19C Hoàng Diệu, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the most visited attractions on Hanoi Historic Travel. The Mausoleum is located in Ba Dinh Square, and it is the final lying place for the Ho Chi Minh; a popular leader and founder of Modern Vietnam. The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is lying in the central hall of the Mausoleum. The body lies in a glass case and has dim lights. The temperature of the hall is maintained continuously. The Mausoleum is protected by the Military Honor Guards. While going inside, visitors have to pass through tight security.

The exterior of the Mausoleum is made of gray granite, and it is 22 meters high. It was inaugurated in 1975. If you are planning to visit the Molesuem, then you must dress modestly (no shorts, sleeveless shirts, and miniskirts) for that. Once you are inside, you have tho maintain certain protocols. You cannot click photographs or make videos inside. Smoking, drinking and eating inside the premise is also prohibited. Visitors must remain silent and walk in a normal way; hands must not be in pocket nor arms crossed. A trip to Ho Chi Minh's final resting place can be an amazing experience. Admission to this premise is free, but you can donate if you want.

Opening time: From Tuesday to Friday and Sunday, it is open from 8 am to 5 pm. On Saturday and Monday, the mausoleum opens only for three hours; from 8 am to 11 am.

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Address: 2 Hùng VÆ°Æ¡ng, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

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Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House is the cultural center of Southeast Asia and Vietnam and a must-visit place on Hanoi historic travel. The beautiful Opera House of Hanoi was built in 1911 by the French colonial administration. The architecture of this building was the Paris Opera House inspired. In 1995, the theatre was renovated, and after renovation, Hanoi Opera House became broader and more comprehensive. The marble-paved main hall is very spacious, and it connects to the second flor through an elegant T-shaped staircase. The second floor has a mirror room where large mirrors are hung on the walls. The auditorium has a large stage with 3 levels of seats. The auditorium is richly decorated with colorful frescoes made by French painters, crystal chandeliers and wall lights made of copper. The Hanoi Opera House has 600 seats.

Hanoi Opera House is a very luxurious and classic style that surpasses the values of cultural design. It is now a symbol of pride for the country. It is ranked in the top 20 opera houses in the world. Artists call this place as "temple of the arts". Every year the theatre hosts a dozen delegations of famous artists from around the world.

Opening time: It opens at 10:30 am from Monday to Friday. You can choose the time of the show according to your convenience.

Address: Số 01 Tràng Tiền, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

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Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre of Hanoi is a world-famous theatre known for its unique representation of art and traditional music. The water puppet show has its roots from the 11th century; it was traditionally held in rice paddy fields in the form of entertainment, and the performers hold the puppets, and it often emerged from the water covered in leeches. This unique tradition from North Vietnam has found fame on stages all over the world. The puppet show is one of the cultural highlights of Vietnam that shares the tradition that was once started in the Red River Delta.

The Vietnamese orchestra accompanies the performers and plays traditional music using wooden bells, drums, cymbals, bamboo flutes, and horns. The performance can consist of either several short stories or one long story; depicting the story of ancient village life and agricultural harvests. Seeing the puppets performing in the original location is a rare treat. So, if you get a chance to have this treat, don't miss a chance to grab a seat and watch the show in Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre and book tickets in advance for an amazing Hanoi historic travel.

Opening time: The show is performed in a time-sharing manner.

For summer, from Monday-Friday. The opening hours are from 4 pm to 9 pm. The show timing is 4:10 pm, 5:20 pm, 6:30 pm, and 8 pm.

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For winter, from Monday-Friday. The opening hours are from 3 pm to 10:15 pm. The show timing is 3:00 pm, 4:10 pm, 5:20 pm, 6:30 pm, 8 pm, and 9:15 pm.

Every Sunday, it opens at 9:30 am for only one show.

Address: 57B Äinh Tiên Hoàng, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

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Hoa Lo Prison

Hoa Lo Prison is a popular tourist attraction site. It was owned by the French colonial government, and it has a great history. Maison Centrale is the Hoa Lo Prison that enclosed the revolutionaries of Vietnam and American POW in the course of the Vietnam war. This is a place associated with brutality, torture, and cruelty. One corner of the original jail has been preserved and converted into a museum

As per the official records from the history, the place that was reserved for the 600 inmates was used to hold around 2000 prisoners. In one room, 25-30 prisoners were kept with only one toilet to share. According to the attitude of the prisoners, their one or both legs were restrained with manacles. They were served two meals in a day that too was of very bad quality. They were forced to do sanitation inside their cells. While walking through space, you can sense the great sufferings that were the once the part of the prison.

Opening time: Opens every day from 8 am to 5 pm.

Address: 1 Hoả Lò, Trần HÆ°ng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Ná»™ I 100000, Vietnam

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Temple of Literature

The temple of literature is also known as the Temple of Culture. It is one of the most popular sites for visitors and locals as well. It was first built in 1070 as a temple to Confucius, and in 1076, an academy was added to it; The Imperial Academy. The academy is the oldest university in the world, and it was the first university in Vietnam. It no longer functions as a university, but you will see many students on the premise who go there to click photos and do prayers. Inside the premise, you will find the name of graduates carved on stone and that stone is kept on turtle statues. Turtle is one of the luckiest animals of Vietnam, and it represents the symbol of enduring difficulties and longevity.

As you enter the center, you will have to walk through the series of courtyards. It is still a very active temple with people coming here regularly to show their respect and offer their prayers. The temple s primarily about Confucius but also about the importance of education. It is one of the very few temples that honors Vietnam's finest sages, scholars, bureaucrats, and royalties. Students often come here to celebrate their graduation ceremony. You must include this temple in your Hanoi Historic Travel list and visit there to know more about the temple.

Opening time: It remains open from Monday to Friday and on Sunday. The opening times for winter and summer are different.

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In summer ( From April to October): 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

In winter (From October to April): 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Address: 58 Quốc Tá»­ Giám, Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

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One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar Pagoda is situated near Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The One pillar pagoda is one of the symbols of Hanoi City and one of the most iconic temples of Vietnam to visit on Hanoi historic travel. According to the legend, the One Pillar Pagoda was built following a dream by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong that Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara sitting on a lotus gave the Emperor a baby boy. After having a son in real life, the Emperor told courtiers to build a temple replicating the structure of lotus emerging out of the water; similar to what he saw in the dream.

One Pillar Pagoda has a unique architectural structure; a square-shaped temple lying on a stone pillar floating above the lake consists of a wooden structure that supports the temple firmly. The whole structure looks like a lotus flower, emerging from the lake. It is located in a beautiful tranquil garden full of exquisite bonsai trees, with benches provided for comfortable contemplation. The temple symbolizes the balance of men and women between heaven and the Earth. The uniqueness of the architecture of this temple attracts visitors from around the world.

Opening time: Opens every day from 7 am to 6 pm.

Address: Chùa Má»™t Cá»™t, Đội Cấn, Ba Đình, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

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Vietnam National Museum of History

Vietnam National Museum of History is home to store artifacts reflecting the culture, the developing history of the country and people in Vietnam. The Museum was built from 1926 to 1932 during the French colonial period. In 1958, the Government of Vietnam took over and switched from the Museum of Arts into the Vietnam National Museum of History. The museum retains a unique Indochina architectural style; the style combining the values of French architecture and local ones.

The Museum showcases antiques collected from countries in South East Asia. The artifacts and the historical documents in the museum offer full and comprehensive knowledge about the historical period of Vietnam to the visitors. Hence alluring a great number of tourists from across the countries. The ground floor exhibits permanent exhibitions and traces of Vietnam's ancient history. Some items date back as far as 10000 BC. The upper part of the Museum has a small though an impressive collection of Champa pieces and some stone carvings from the 7th to 13th centuries. You will find some of the very fascinating objects here. This place is worth exploring the history of Vietnam through its artifacts, so this place becomes a must for your Hanoi Historic Travel list.

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Opening time: It remains open every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm to 5: 00 pm. On Monday, it remains closed.

Address: 216 Đường Trần Quang Khải, Tràng Tiền, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Ná»™i 110000, Vietnam

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Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

The idea to establish the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology was introduced under the Vietnamese Academy of Social Science in the early 1980s. The ethnographers of this academy believed that there should be a museum to introduce and promote the culture of 54 different ethnic groups to international friends and young generations and hence preserve the cultural heritage. In 1997, the museum was inaugurated and put into operation.

Among more than 120 museums in Vietnam, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology has its style and display criteria which makes it a must-visit on Hanoi historic travel. The exhibition takes place frequently in a house known as "Thong Dong". Space in the house is divided into two sections for temporary exhibitions of different themes. Objects, photos, and documentary films reflecting all dimensions of a tangible and intangible culture of ethnic groups are found here. One of the massive and most impressive objects at the museum is the bike with numerous bamboo fish traps. There are many objects that arent antique but they are arranged beautifully. Around the premise, you can see several houses of old times. The museum bought these houses from their owners and restored it in the open exhibition area in its original form. Walk around the large exhibition space, and you will find it easy to realize the colorful culture of different regions.

Opening time: It remains open every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 5 pm. On Monday, it remains closed.

Address: Nguyá»…n Văn Huyên, Quan Hoa, Cầu Giấy, Hà Ná»™i 100000, Vietnam

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St. Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi

St. Joseph's Cathedral is a church that was built in 1886 by the French colonial government. This ancient church is famous worldwide and is a piece of evidence that represents french colonial architecture. Local people of Vietnam call this church as "The Big Church”.

The exterior wall of the church is made of granite stone slabs. The grand interior with Gothic-styled windows with pointed arches adds beauty to space. The windows are of stainless glass that was produced in France and then imported to Vietnam. The statue of the Virgin Mary is kept inside the palanquin. The interior of the church has a vaulted ceiling which gives the sense of medieval Europe. Words cannot do justice by describing this magnificent place from history. Visit this beautiful place to explore the beauty of the church that has a splendid architecture.

Opening time: From Monday to Saturday, it remains open from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. On Sunday, the opening time is 7:00 am to 10:30 am and from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Vietnam is known for its Hanoi Historic Travel. So, while exploring the city, make sure you do not miss out on any of these spots. In addition to exploring the historic places of Hanoi, take a walk around the city, try some of the local cuisines, get yourself involved with the local cultural programs and enjoy your trip to Hanoi.


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