Hanoi see and do guide: History

An independent selection of the best things to see and do in Hanoi. No paid placements, no advertorial.

Hanoi see and do guide

Long Bien Bridge

A Hanoi icon in all senses, the Long Bien Bridge - formerly known as the Paul Doumer Bridge - was one of the greatest... Read more

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Long Bien Bridge
Up the ramp from Hang Khoai in the Old Quarter

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Catholic Churches of Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh

The provinces of Ninh Binh and Nam Dinh around 2 hours by road south of Hanoi, are where Catholicism first took root in Vietnam... Read more

Walking Hanoi - Part 3 - Old Quarter to Ba Dinh Square

This self-guided Hanoi walking tour by Rusty Compass takes us along the edge of the Old Quarter, past stunning colonial villas... Read more

Ba Da Pagoda, Hanoi

Ba Da Pagoda is a delightful and historic pagoda on Nha Tho St a short walk from St Joseph’s Cathedral. Read more

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Ba Da Pagoda, Hanoi
3 Nhà Thờ, Hoan Kiem Hanoi

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Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi

Ba Dinh Square is where several of the Hanoi’s most historic sights are located - Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s house... Read more

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Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi
Ba Dinh District Hanoi

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Bach Ma Temple, Hanoi

11th century Bach Ma Temple is Hanoi’s oldest place of worship and is easily visited while strolling through the Old Quarter.... Read more

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Bach Ma Temple, Hanoi
76 Hang Buom St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi - in the Old Quarter
Free

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Co Loa Citadel, Hanoi

Co Loa Citadel dates back to the 3rd century BC and ties in with some crucial milestones in the past 2 millenia of Vietnamese... Read more

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Co Loa Citadel, Hanoi
Co Loa, 16kms from Hanoi

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Duong Lam Village, outside Hanoi

Duong Lam is a surprisingly picturesque traditional village about 50kms from Hanoi. It's an enjoyable half day trip and the... Read more

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Duong Lam Village, outside Hanoi
Duong Lam, Son Tay - 50kms from Hanoi
20,000VND

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Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi

World Heritage listed Hanoi Citadel, also known as the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, is one of Vietnam’s most important... Read more

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Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi
Enter from Hoang Dieu St, Hanoi, nearby the Cot Co Tower.
30,000VND

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Hanoi Museum, Hanoi

You’ll need to have a lot of time, patience and enthusiasm to make the journey out of town to Hanoi’s newest museum. Impressive... Read more

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Hanoi Museum, Hanoi
Pham Hung Street, Từ Liêm, Hanoi

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Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi

There may be museums dedicated to Ho Chi Minh in cities and towns across the country, but this is the definitive effort, set in... Read more

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Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi
19 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, South of Ho Chi Minh
40,000VND

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Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi

The simple timber house on stilts, in a lovely garden setting, from which Ho Chi Minh ruled wartime North Vietnam prior to his... Read more

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Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square behind Ho Chi Minh
40,000VND

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Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh's Mauloleum is the imposing Soviet style block in which President Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed corpse lies. Located at the... Read more

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Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi. Enter at Southern end near Ho Chi Minh Museum.
Free of charge. No cameras or bags. Modest dress required.

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Hoa Lo - Hanoi Hilton Prison, Hanoi

Most of the infamous Hoa Lo Prison, aka Hanoi Hilton, was demolished to make way for an office and apartment complex in the... Read more

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Hoa Lo - Hanoi Hilton Prison, Hanoi
1 Hoa Lo St, Hanoi, Vietnam
20,000VND

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Hoa Lu and Tam Coc day trip

In classic tourist parlance, brochures describe the mystical Hoa Lu and Tam Coc  landscape as “Halong Bay on land” on account of... Read more

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Hoa Lu and Tam Coc day trip
Ninh Binh Province - around 2 hours from Hanoi

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Military History Museum, Hanoi

The ultimate museum tribute to Vietnam’s twentieth century struggles against larger and better equipped enemies - the French... Read more

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Military History Museum, Hanoi
28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi
20,000VND

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Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi

Vietnam’s best account of its thousands of years of history is set in one of Hanoi’s finest buildings. A refreshing break from... Read more

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Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi
1 Trang Tien St, Hanoi - in the French Quarter
20,000VND - more for cameras

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Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi

If you’ve been travelling in Vietnam a while, you’ll recognise the pattern here - a huge collection of photos peppered with some... Read more

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Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hanoi
25 Tong Dan St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi (there's another entrance on the opposite side)
Free

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Old Quarter, Hanoi

Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a warren of bustling lanes that have been the commercial heart of the capital for centuries. The 36... Read more

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Old Quarter, Hanoi
From the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake

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One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi

One of Hanoi’s most revered sights, the One Pillar Pagoda dates back to Hanoi’s founding and is a commonly used symbol of the... Read more

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One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi
Ba Dinh Square Hanoi, nearby the Ho Chi Minh Museum
Free

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St Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi

Hanoi’s main Catholic cathedral, the beautifully faded St Joseph’s, sits at the head of one the city’s most attractive streets. Read more

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St Joseph's Cathedral, Hanoi
40 Nha Chung St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

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Temple of Literature, Hanoi

Along with the One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, dates back to Hanoi’s founding 1000 years ago. Vietnam’s first... Read more

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Temple of Literature, Hanoi
Quoc Tu Giam St, Hanoi
20,000VND

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Vietnamese Women's Museum, Hanoi

The newly renovated Women’s Museum is one of Hanoi’s best in terms of contemporary curation and story telling. This is less... Read more

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Vietnamese Women's Museum, Hanoi
36 Ly Thuong Kiet St, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

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West Lake area

Hanoi's West Lake area is home to the city's oldest temple - Quan Thanh Temple, as well as the Tran Quoc Pagoda. Opposite West... Read more